Snow Sled Rebuild - Finished!

September 29, 2019


The other day I posted Part One of the Sled Rebuild and left off with the wood pieces of the sled cut and ready:


After that it was time to do some serious work on the steel runners.  The sled was built circa 1936, and my neighbor said it was sitting in his basement for a few decades, so the steel was in fairly rough shape:


And the steering mechanism was a bit rusty as well...


I started with a wire brush, moved onto the wire wheel on my drill, then sandpaper.  Fortunately, it was a beautiful day outside so I saved the house from all the dust...


And right there in the carport I spray painted all the parts.  The runners with Krylon Cherry Red and the steering parts in Krylon Satin Black...


That done, it was time to finish fine-tuning the steering handle...


But, when I went to round over the edges, I forgot to tighten the bit in the router and plowed out a huge ugly chunk of wood...


I was absolutely crestfallen.  I was so proud of the work I had done on that handle, only to ruin it so completely!  The thought of replicating the handle to the same precision was depressing for sure.  Then I thought heck!  Why not take a second look at the original oak handle.  It's funny, I was so upset that I didn't even photograph that part of the process, but you'll see that a little later.  In the meantime, I started putting some of the parts together to get a sense of what fine-tuning would be necessary.  I only have a little rivet popgun, so instead of rivets I just used bolts.  Here's the frame:


Using quarter-inch bolts meant I had to re-drill some of the holes on the runner stanchions...


Then it was a matter of a full dry fit.  Oh, there you can glimpse the original oak handle too.


The dry fit was necessary because I still needed to put a finish on the wood.  As is always the case, I stressed over to stain or not to stain, and if staining, what color?  I certainly wasn't going to try to match the color of the oak handle.  Then it occurred to me - why not just put amber shellac on it.  I love the old-school look shellac gives, so I went with it...


Sorry it's such a dark picture, but the color was hard to capture on my cell phone camera.  And before I go on, I wanted to show a little detail I found interesting.  When I did the tear-down, there were these gullies on the ends of the cross braces that I couldn't figure out the purpose.  But when I put the sled together it dawned on me that these gullies were to account for the different thicknesses between the side rails and the deck boards:


It all made sense!  Anyway, after three coats of shellac,


And a couple hours of fine-tuning the assembly, we have a rebuilt old-school sled!


Here's a bit of a closer look at the handle, I really like the look so I guess I made a fortuitous mistake!


 And here's a look in its natural habitat!


And a little wider view for context...


And, just for fun, a final look from the other end of the porch:


Come Christmastime, it'll be a nice spot for a little more Christmas decorating!

Snow Sled Rebuild - Part 1

September 26, 2019


Back in 2017 my neighbor was tossing his old sled out to the trash.  Having seen other blogs and the decorating people did with old sleds I thought - heck!  I'll take that thing!  My neighbor just chuckled and said, "One man's treasure...".  Again, that was in 2017.  Here's a picture from when I first grabbed the sled...


And here it is just a couple days ago...


Yep - pretty much the same!  But - in 2017 I did do a (very) little work on it...


I took the momentous step of sanding the rust off the runners!  And then it sat.  I'm not sure why, but I quickly lost interest in it.  So much so that a week or two ago it was heading back out to the trash, and for whatever reason I held onto it.  Then a couple days ago I thought maybe I'd dig in a little and give it one last chance.  Before I get started, here's the stamp on the underside.  I'm not sure of the manufacturer, but I think I can make out that it was made in 1936.  Maybe?  If anyone can tell, please let me know!


When I finally got started, I decided I would replace all the wood.  Not a popular move I know, but really, there wasn't much value in keeping the original because it was so worn out.


So I started by carefully taking the sled apart...


It had some pretty beefy rivets in it, making the tear down quite challenging...


I actually had to grind them off... 


I think the most challenging part was fabricating a new handle, which started by tracing the old one...


Cutting it with my trusty ol' saber saw...


Then sanding and shaping at the drill press...


At long last it was dismantled.  Always interesting to see something in its separate parts, and to think it was probably the first time in sme 73 years.


Then it was a matter of sanding down the steel parts:



Then it was a matter of cutting the rest of the wood pieces.  This is the dry fit without the steel:


Now it's just a matter of painting the steel and reassembling the whole thing.  Hopefully this will be complete in the next couple days!

Made at 173: Colonial Pipe Box to Kitchen Utensil Box

September 21, 2019


This is one of my Legacy Projects, projects I post years later because they took place before House 173 hit the blogosphere.  This project was built somewhere around '99 or 2000, and was one of my first little woodworking projects down in the workshop.  It started because I had bought this book at a second hand bookstore...


It has LOTS of great project ideas, with clear directions for each.  Unfortunately, 173 really doesn't have a country theme going, so many of the projects just aren't practical...then again, who knows - times change!  LOL.  One day when I was looking through the book and itching to make something, I settled on this little beauty...


They called it a wick holder, but many other sources refer to these as pipe boxes...

From:  Old Red Barn's Etsy Shop
They were made to safely store the fragile clay pipes of colonial times, and had a small drawer to store the tobacco.  So for me, it's a pipe box.  Semantics aside, the plans for this box were simple and clear...


Although I complicated it a little and ad-libbed on the measurements and a few details, although the main structure stayed the same.  From the start, the plan was to use it as a kitchen utensil box, you know - to hold spatulas, those pancake-flipper things, etc., therefore the alteration in dimensions.  I also wanted to be a little creative with the top-most part of the box, so I added my own flair.  I don't have project pictures, but here it is when it was first built...


Back when I made the box, crackling paint was all the rage, so I followed suit.  Unfortunately, the only natural habitat picture of the box before the kitchen remodel is this highly filtered, somewhat blurry shot cropped from an old printed picture...


As you can see, at the time of the picture the bottom had come loose, and was beginning to show its age.  But then again, so was the whole kitchen!  So after the kitchen redux in 2017, I reglued and affixed the bottom, and repainted the box - red!


That's because the small kitchen appliances like the electric tea kettle, toaster, etc are red, so - why not?  Here's a slightly different angle, which gives a sense of the dimensions...


And finally, a shot of the rare pipe box in its natural habitat...


There you have it - colonial pipe box turned kitchen utensil box!  I'd like to make another of these sometime...

Made at 173: Garden Hose Post

September 20, 2019


If you've followed 173 for any time at all, you know I always enjoy the challenge of making stuff from scrap wood.  From things like this rustic book case for the front porch...


To this scrap wood umbrella stand for the back porch...


,,,and many others, some of which you can see on the Made at 173 page.  Anyway, this is another of those fun little projects - let's get into it!  For years, since the great fence replacement of 2001, which you can also check out in a 2018 post, I've had this leftover fence post lying around...


I kept it around because, well, you never know when you'll need a fence post - am I right?  Well, it sat around all this time, until a few weeks ago I saw this picture on the Dukes and Duchesses blog site:


By the way, I have no affiliation with Dukes and Duchesses, but take a moment to check out their site - it's full of inspirational stuff!  Well, that picture sure was an inspiration for me, so I took that ol' ratty fence post and gave it a good sanding...


Priming...


And painting...including one of the old shelf brackets we inherited here at 173...


I loved Dukes and Duchesses use of the fire engine red, and I already had some red spray paint.  And, to be quite honest, I didn't want to spend any money on this because - well, I suppose it's time to start using some of the stuff I saved just in case.  In that same spirit, I took a old lag bolt, cleaned it up, and mounted it on the end of the bracket...


Then affixed the post to the small concrete pad beneath the spigot with a post bracket I picked up a few years ago (for some unknown, long-forgotten reason) and never used:


And wa-la!  Just like that 173 has the nicest garden hose holder this side of the fence!


Ha!  I hadn't noticed that the rope was still on the hose, it had already been put away for the winter!  Here's another look at the shelf bracket-hose-holder...


And a wider shot of the post in its natural habitat...


Thanks to Randi Dukes at Dukes and Duchesses for the inspiration!

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