Mr Griffin - Just Havin' Fun!

January 31, 2012

I still have a couple projects going here at 173.  As it turns out, they're going to take awhile to complete, and I've been yearning to post something so - here's a little hobby project I've been working on.  I've always been into the old classic scary movies, and when I was a (younger) kid I put together just about every monster model on the market.  I've recently rediscovered the joys of painting and assembling these little gems. They're a blast!

So currently I'm working on "The Invisible Man" based on HG Wells' book of the same title, of course I don't call him that - I call him Mr Griffin for obvious reasons!  While I was working on some of the pieces, I got to thinking that maybe this was also some bizarre way of satisfying my yearning to build/refinish furniture at a time when there are too many higher priority projects in the works!  I dunno, maybe I just like to build models, you know - that whole existentialist thing has to creep into everything!

Here's a couple more pictures of the progress thus far...probably won't post any more 'til it's complete, but at least my yearning to post on the blog has been satisfied!

Oh, and just for fun, here's a shot of Frankie I finished in the fall:

Portable Craft Table - Made at 173

January 14, 2012

173 is an old house.  As an old house it requires a lot of maintenance and the occasional emergency repair.  But there's also a bit of a kid in all of us.  When I was young (thaaaat's right, I said young not young-er) one of my favorite things to do was building plastic models at the kitchen table.  A few decades have passed since then, but as I remember it through the cloud of time, it seems like building those models was a Sunday afternoon thing.  My thoughts go back to the days of sitting at the table working on Dracula, Frankenstein or some car or other, while my sister and mother played cards and Dad watched TV out in the living room.  Warm memories, makes me want beef stew.

Anyway, I've come to enjoy making models again - that inner kid thing.  I work on them in the bedroom, the kitchen and even in the living room.  I've kept my supplies in an old model box and just moved around.  The Nomadic Model Maker.  A week or so ago I saw a model-makers table for sale on some hobby website.  Totally affordable, but for some reason I don't like buying things like that - especially when it's something I can build and customize to my needs and tastes.  So I started looking around the basement and came across this:

It's an old drawer that I found in the basement when we first bought the house.  I stored it away because I knew there'd come a day!  The drawer wasn't exactly the right size - it was 4 feet long and not quite deep enough, so adjustments had to be made.  First I cut off a good portion of the drawer (yup - I kept the leftover piece!).

You can't tell too well from this picture, but I removed the drawer bottom, made it a bit deeper and made adjustments to the dividers on the inside.  Then came some specific customizing.  I used a Forstner bit and chisel to make a spot to hold a paint bottle - I'm clumsy so anything to reduce the chances of knocking the bottle over...

...and I drilled some holes about 3/4 of the way through the top to hold the brushes I'm working with.

I used an old piece of piano hinge (also inherited on purchase of 173) and another old hinge...

Then came the priming and painting.  But here's the neat part of the whole thing.  I actually planned ahead a little and thought out the use of this little box and thought - I don't want to have to clear off the top every time I want to pull out another paint color.  So I cut off part of the top so that it's a two-part piece.

I lined the sections of the box with some cheap Wal-M@&* felt, and voila!  Simple project done!

Yup - That's a magnifying glass - my eyes aren't what they were.  Actually I've been saying that since the 10th grade.  See how the paint bottle sets down in the top a little?  An ounce of prevention!  That '48 Ford Woody looks like fun!!  So, the Nomadic Model Maker has a portable headquarters!  Made at 173.

Uh Oh - Getting Too Many Projects Going At Once

January 9, 2012

Three projects going now. I don't like doing that a lot, but sometimes it happens.  I almost wrote that it's sometimes necessary, but in this case it really isn't necessary - it just happened.

Now - to stay focused and get 'em done!

Projects for 2012: I just can't make resolutions

January 2, 2012

Happy New Year everyone!  With the close of another year, most of my friends and colleagues are talking about resolutions.  I'm not big on resolutions, mostly because by about January 7th or so, I completely forget what I've resolved to do.  I know, not  very disciplined or motivated, but on the up side - I know who I am!  No resolutions for me!

But I thought it might be fun to make a list of projects I'd like to get done this year and see how I fare at the end of the year.  The list will be in no particular order, I suppose that would be waaay too structured for me.  And of course the list is absent any unexpected-I-have-an-old-house-so-there-will-be-emergency-repairs kind of projects!  So here goes:


A few weeks ago we had all the windows and the door replaced, but that exposed just how badly the porch needed some updating!  On the inside there'll be a lot of paint stripping, sanding and painting.


Last summer I shingled the back porch to match the front.  The only problem is, it doesn't match.  The front porch shingles are definitely showing their age, and with the new windows and door - ugh!
They need replacing!


The fence worked out fine...that is until this little guy 

figured out that he could just move the branches and get in.  Luckily he didn't figure it out until the fall, but since then he's made a mockery of the whole thing!  So this spring the fence demands some design adjustments.


Looks okay doesn't it?  Well, that's just by virtue of camera angle and lighting.  The fact is, there's a lot of plaster repair work going on there.  2012 is the year to get that finished.  I hope.

Then there's...

Yup.  The kitchen.  I'm really hoping that this will be the year I get the nerve up to rip out the kitchen and get a new one in there.  I'm not sure why I've been so intimidated by this one, but maybe, just maybe, this'll be the year!

That's the major projects.  There's a bunch of minor one's, maintenance projects, and at least one project I have to hire out.  Time will tell, but that's the plan (or lack of plan!).  Happy New Year to everyone and best of wishes for your projects!

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