Tag Archives: projects

We’re back, and in HD

Well, with HD. We moved into a new house over a year ago, and we opted not to get a cable TV subscription. But the HD antenna I got at the Shack wasn’t pulling in strong signal. Which is sad, because I almost have line of sight to the antennas on top of Mount Mansfield.

HD-antenna-01I decided to build one of the DIY antennas, following the instructions Make magazine has online.

I skipped the stand, and just hung the antenna. I even got to use my new Dremel tool to strip the coating off the coat hangers. So far, it seems to be working much better than the retail one.

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CraftyMomma’s most recent project

When I got home from work, yesterday, Beloved Wife showed me her most recent creation:

A spouse who’s good with power tools. W00T!

It’s a “grazing ark” for our intrepid guinea pigs. Yes, they will be spending most of their summer days outside. (Hurray!)

It came out just exactly as she had described it to me and had sketched. We had a couple brief consultations about construction methodology, but the design and execution are all hers. Well, done, BW!

Making WizWar

When we attended the Carnage gaming conference in November, NatureBoy and I played a game called WizWar, and had a great time. The game itself is out of print, but rules and materials can be downloaded and used to make your own game set. Of course, having played on a beautiful three-dimensional game board, we didn’t want to play on a flat cardboard set.

For Solstice, NatureBoy and I got two silicone rubber molds ( #88 and #285 ) from Hirst Arts, and 25 pounds of a dental plaster casting stone called Merlin’s Magic from a supplier in Massachusetts.

Following the instructions on the Hirst Arts site (here and here), we’ve started creating the pieces necessary for the WizWar board.

wizwar-firstcast-01

Here are the two molds, and some Merlin’s Magic getting mixed on top of the mixing board.

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Summer reflections 2: Picnic Table

I built a picnic table during my vacation in August. I hadn’t built anything this involved in quite a while, probably not since the chicken coop over ten years ago. It seemed like this ought to be a pretty straight-forward project, and I spent time looking at plans online until I found a set that I liked.

Then it was off to the local hardware store for lumber and fasteners. I decided to make the legs out of pressure-treated lumber, but the rest is regular 2x framing material.

First step was to cut the lumber to dimension. I did find a couple errors on the plans as I went, though:

  • Part B, cross stretcher that supports the seats, needs to be 60" long (as indicated in the elevation), not 84".
  • Part D, seat members, need to be 84" (same as table top), not 11-1/4".

Luckily, I was very careful to measure twice, and double-check the diagrams, before cutting.

Materials, nicely stacked.

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