Monday, September 03, 2007

How I spend my time off

My weekends are Tuesdays and Wednesdays. With this little house on South Mountain that we purchased last December Iv'e been quite busy.

Here are projects that have occupied me since the springtime.

May saw the screening-in of our front porch. It's like having a whole new living room. This project wasn't even on my list until one evening Virginia and I (and an open bottle of wine) were enjoying the spring evening on the porch and we both remarked how swell it would be to have the porch screened in. Thirty-two hours later it was so. Many more pleasant evenings have been spent out in that bug-free environment.

But I get ahead of myself. Before any projects could go forward this new homeowner had to arm himself with the basic tool of home improvement...the tablesaw

Just prior to leaving Midhigan we had an enormous yardsale at which our entire lives were for sale. I watched a little ruefully as two good ol' boys loaded up my dad's 1941 CRAFTSMAN tablesaw. With that saw I'd remodeled two of my homes. As they drove off the accumulation of sixty-some years of sawdust blowing off of it made it appear that their truck was on fire as it drove out of sight.

Then came the next big projects:

The library,
At least half of the books in this case are on the American Civil War.

A few years ago, to mark my 50th birthday I resolved to "grow my collection of CW books in a grand and dramatic fashion". Owing to the fact that where we lived at that time had an incredible clearance book warehouse, and, that I was bequeathed the entire ACW library of a friend who'd since gone to his celestial reward, I was able to bring that resolution to fruition.

Many a pleasant evening will be spent this winter, sitting in this room learning more about the war while raising glasses of red wine in tribute to my thoughtful, departed friend...

Bill Corder, traveller, scholar, all-around good guy. This is Bill participating on one of the annual Civil War travel/study trips that I used to host for the museum I worked at.

As the library is where we read the books, this matching office area is where Virginia "does the books".
Both cases are built-in with arched niches that match the simple design of the entryway from the kitchen (which ain't shown).

Finally, after all of the common areas were finished, I moved down to my studio, and made myself a workstation/editing suite,

And book/display case, still in progress.
(Dear Michael Chertof, the projectiles are all inert, thank you very much). Actually, four of the eight shells are made of wood. I turned them out of maple on a 1911 woodlathe.

This project provided ample opportunities for a variety of joining methods.

Waiting for next year's herb planting...
are these raised beds. Constructed from the junk left behind by the previous owner. Bricks, boards, tarpaper, and rocks, the project demonstrates that one man's trash is another man's treasure.

Total expenses have been low but included a box of band-aids and this neat finger splint.

So it's been a busy spring and summer up here on the mountain, and I've loved every minute of it.

Staying busy, just north of Boonsboro,

Ranger Mannie


Anonymous said...

Outstanding! Everything looks great! Good job.

Barry Hill
Lakeland, FL

Anonymous said...

Just that 32 *consecutive* hours or *work* hours?

John David Hoptak said...

Mannie. . .
The liberry looks awesome. Time to start a Seasonal Rangers Civil War Discussion Group. We'll all have plenty of free time coming up to sit around and discuss. . .

Anonymous said...

Hey Mannie,
Outstanding work!
I could use some free standing bookcases(and some other woodworking projects) for my library(CW motif) in my Queen Anne style house. That's if you want to come to Orleans County, NY. Have some spare bedrooms to put you up...

see you this weekend, just south of the Dunker Church

Jim Tuk
WNY Chapter of the USSC