Minnesota Farmer

Projects; New from old
January 14, 2017, 4:28 pm
Filed under: dust, family, happiness, projects | Tags: ,


Wife has had me moving furniture again.  She gets this idea that I need to be bumping into old things in the wrong place periodically and nothing will stop her.  Along with new furniture arrangements can come new projects.

This one as usual came with a need. There was a space on the wall that needed a special hanging.  Nothing too much, but a lot just right.  She gave me a direction with some pinterest pictures, where do I go from there?

First I go digging through my mental closets, I have “stuff” stored away all over the place.  Some of this “stuff” has been the subject of “When are you going to clean that up” requests.  The problem is that, what at one time may be “junk,” at another time becomes “raw material for a beautiful object.”    Digging in my mental closet disclosed the location of some of my “treasures.”  Off to the hidden corners to retrieve my raw materials.

Ages ago I was at an auction and saw a bunch of cedar shingles.  For no special reason I bought them.  They were cool and I knew I would need them someday.  They were piled away in a corner and awaited inspiration.

When an old family barn was to be torn down I came across some old half pint glass milk bottles.  Some even had the remains of metal caps on them.  I dusted them off and put them away for inspiration.

This picture is the result of the inspiration.  A bit of twine to hang the jar, a hole drilled in the shingle, some fake grass and we have an inspiring dust catcher (I don’t dust).  The grass could be swapped out for other seasonal items.

Yep, I made her happy again, all because of a bit of “junk” and her inspiration.  We do well together.


Weekend projects

I’ve been working on a pair of woodworking projects that have been on my mind for a while.  Both are from materials of opportunity, found things, that will make for unique items. Garden Bench100_3104 The garden benches are made from weathered 2X12’s that once were part of a cattle yard fence.  The wood has incredible weathering patterns and bits of lichen that add to the look.  I had actually made two of these last winter and have now made two more.  I have material to make a few more depending on how the material can be worked in each plank.  Not every part is suitable for legs or seat, some parts are not even usable for the stretchers.  Joints are glued and all screws are hidden.  This bench must stay unfinished, but placed in a secluded, shaded spot, it will look like it has always been there.  I sold one of them for $80.  The three that are left are for sale. Slab Chair 100_3105100_3106 This is my first attempt at making a chair.  The material is from a pair of spruce trees that were cut down by our house.  There is a bit of work needed to finish this piece.  Working with unusually shaped lumber adds some difficulty.  I hope to make more, but production of these will also be limited.  The orange strap is to hold it while the glue dries.  No screws here, wooden dowels hold it together.  I’ll finish it off with a sealant of some kind to preserve the wood.  Not sure what I would sell this for. These have both been interesting projects that took a bit of thinking to figure out how to do.  The bench was much easier, but the chair has been more interesting to build.

Dad can you build….
September 27, 2013, 8:35 am
Filed under: church, family, Farm, house, Minnesota, projects | Tags: , , , , , , ,

My daughters are following in their mothers foot steps by keeping me in projects.  This summer my “between college and a job” youngest came to me with a project that involved stuff that had been saved for a later day.  It seems that old windows are chic, and things made from them without any changes to the peeling paint are “shabby chic”.

Our youngest knew of my stash of windows taken from our 1920’s house shortly after we moved in.  Those old windows were single paned and did little to keep out Minnesota’s heat and cold.  So she dug out one she liked and handed me a picture.  Dad, can you build this.  The challenge was on, and I think I did a respectable job, and I only resorted to a few purchased new items to get the job done.  It now is the coffee table in her apartment.100_2193Well one thing lead to another, and looking at the pile of old windows I decided to build another very similar to the other one to sell at our churches Holiday Fair.  Again a prairie style window for the top, but I found some old hinges so that I could have them on the outside where they show off.


Well, this week inspiration struck.  The inspiration came in the form of a broken chair.  Here’s the result.100_2477

The top and bottom sashes came from the same window, so you have a one piece glass bottom shelf and a prairie style 4 pane top.  Any one out there interested in a coffee table?  I have more windows.