The chicken coop door handle broke while I was away. Instead of buying a new one, I just cobbled a roundwood handle onto it. I found a pine branch that fell this winter, cut off a suitable part, cut it to fit, notched the end to mate up with the broken handle and screwed it on.
The older house we bought had cement board siding on the exposed basement part of the back of the house. It was falling off and needed some loving. This submission includes removing the siding, improving the studs with which to affix the new siding, replacing the window and putting on new window/door trim. I was able to reuse the old siding for another outbuilding (yay!!).
First I had to dig out around the base of the siding since it went below grade 6". Then I gingerly removed it to reduce damage. Luckily it was only held on with a few fasteners. The cinderblock foundation had 1.5" of styrofoam on it with 2x2 "studs" screwed to it for the cement board to attach to. It's very hard to nail through the edge of cement board and hit a 2x2 reliably as you work your way down a long wall.
So I removed every 3rd 2x2 and replaced it with a 2x4 on the flat. This way where the new sheets met, I could screw/nail them an inch from the edge of the panel and still hit wood.
I removed the old window which was just two panes of glass held in place with scraps of wood. So it was a homemade double pane window. I was able to use the glass for a solar dehydrator (yay!!). I installed a new window and flashed it.
I installed new cement board siding. I debated other materials but this spot faces the west winds and rain and doesn't have an overhang to protect it. As you can see from the "after" winter photos, snow piles against it for months at a time. So I wanted something low maintenance and durable.
There were some electrical runs and a dryer vent that needed to be worked around. I had to carefully cut around the electrical section and fit the new piece around it.
To put window and door trim on I first had to extend the jams out to the surface of the cement board (up to 8" in the case of the door). Then I put casing on the outside surface. So it required shimming and fitting 11 jamb extension boards and then 11 casing boards for the project.
Some more details are explained in the pictures...
Here's a little odd ball one. I needed to add an automatic vent opener to a lower vent in my greenhouse. When it heats up in there, the upper vents open but with no inlet down low, they don't exhaust much heat. So I'm adding one down low. I couldn't install it like a normal one so I had to make a wooden bracket to hold it, retrofit the end of it to go onto a long turnbuckle I had laying around and then screw the turnbuckle to the vent. Long story short, I got it to work :)
Boy did I have a project today... Friend of a friend said their ceiling was sagging and needed it fixed. And holy sh!t was it sagging. It was tongue and groove pine installed over some paneling. There may have been another layer above the paneling but I never found out. The pine had been nailed on with tiny brads that probably went into the rafters 1/4". Once one lost its grip, it took down its neighbor. The only thing keeping the whole ceiling from falling were a few heat registers in the ceiling. The ceiling fan was hanging down off the pine somehow.
The belly of the sag was about 6". SIX INCHES!!! Some of the tongues were coming out of the grooves so I was quite worried it wouldn't fit back together. I was also worried that we'd touch it and the whole damn thing would fall down. I was also worried that if we lifted one spot, another spot would get worse (kind of like squeezing a tube of toothpaste).
So, I cut some 2x4s to be 4" shorter than the correct ceiling height and set them on a 2x4 and put another 2x4 on top at one end. Then I carefully raised the other end and let it lift up the ceiling. My helper would hold it while I jiggled and teased the tongues into the grooves. Eventually we got it up enough to put in the second vertical stud and take our hands off it. Phew.
Then we did a second support wall at the 60% mark down the room (first one was at the 40% mark). Once they were both in place we were quite happy with ourselves since the risky bits were over. Now to lift it the rest of the way and screw the boards on.
I cut another stud a bit longer and used two chunks of deck boards to spread the pressure (for the carpet on the bottom and to span 3 boards at the ceiling). The stud was longer than the ceiling height by a bit so I could kick it semi-vertical to jack up the ceiling in one spot. I started at the end of the room, jacked one end and drove a trim screw through the center of the t&g board and into the joist. Then I repeated it at the other end of the t&g board. This was to verify the actual location of the rafter. Then I taped a string up between those screws and worked my way from the center of the string out to each end (with the jacking arrangement).
Once I got near the temporary wall, the ceiling was lifted up off of it and I could remove it. 400 screws later and we were done. Yay!
My helper was invaluable to hold the end of a board as I erected the support walls and also to provide conversation :)
I turned a barrel into a maple sap water tower. It has fittings in the lid but I needed to be able to clean it out and to have a fitting at the bottom to feed sap into my evaporator pan. With these barrels, if you cut the top off and flip it over, it becomes a lid. So I cut it with a jig saw, drilled a 1.25" hole with a forstener bit for the bulkhead fitting and put the plumbing together. I already had one tank like this so I was adding this one to the system. That way I can store up to 70 gallons of sap before boiling.
I grafted some fruittrees! 89 trees to be exact. A decent selection of apples, pears and plums. My grafting mentor is happy when he does 10 trees per hour and I was about that fast. If enough of these are successes I will feel confident enough to teach this skill to others.
My neighbour texted me o let me know that he had 50 raspberry canes for me as he was thinning out his patch. Woohoo! 3 different varieties intended to fruit from June until October. However, I needed to get them in the ground fast so the didn't dry out!
I wanted to create more ground cover and forage food in the chicken run as well as start to create a living fence on the back side of our property. So here is me planting 50 raspberry canes!
The snow melted back three days ago and the rhubarb are already poking up. I wanted to try an experiment to encircle a few raspberries in my food forest with rhubarb. I think I heard somewhere that rhubarb acts as a rhizome barrier so we'll test it against the power of raspberries. Battle to the death!
I dug up one rhubarb and split it into 5 and then chunked parts off of three others. In the end I created 12 new plants that hopefully will root and live.
I got to repurpose some cedar posts today. They were originally an orchard fence that was built around the turn of the century. Five years ago I pulled them out (fairly rotted down on the buried end) and made them into raspberry guide wire holders. Now they've rotted down too much for that job so I made them into a simple grape trellis. When they fail at this job, they'll probably be firewood unless I can come up with another intermediate use.
I made them into a zig zag shape so they can work together to resist side forces. The overlaps were roughly carved with the chainsaw and held in place with a screw.