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...

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!

Das Beisler Haus Gets a New Roof - German Style!

September 15, 2019


Nephew is on a tear, knocking out one project after another!  Oh to be young again!  First let me say, putting a roof on a German house is nothing like the typical american house with thin asphalt shingles tacked to the roof.  Not at all!  The Germans have a system - a serious system, and while I can't explain it all in this post, I'll do my best through the pictures and brief explanations nephew sent.  Let's get started...  This is the before picture taken August 6, 2019 -


I dunno, looks pretty good to me!  The first step is obviously to take off the old tiles...


I think that would be my least favorite, albeit the easiest part of the job, you know - with gravity helping and all!  Then, once it's all cleared off, here's what's left...


The horizontal bars are called "Dachlatte". You have to built a grid out of the Dachlatten, and the Dachlatten are nailed into the rafter (Dachsparren).  The Dachlatten made from spruce, and are 3cm x 5cm and a length of 5 meters. They have to be dry before they are put on the roof, so here in Germany. they put them in high frequency dry ovens, like a huge microwave to dry them very fast.  We call the tiles "Bieberschwanzziegel". 


Bieberschwanzziegel translates into English as a beaver tail, so it's probably fairly obvious why the tiles are called beaver tails!


The tiles are made of clay. They are pressed into a mould then they are baked in an oven for a long time like a brick. After that they get their color, which is also baked into the material.  Each tile weighs 1.8 kilograms!  The old tiles were more brown, but the new have a little touch of red in it called "rosso". We took the red touch because it would fit much better to the new colour of the house and garage.  There are 41 pieces of them needed to cover one Quadratmeter.  We took 2600 of the old tiles down, and after that the same number of the new tiles back on the roof. The tiles have two noses on the back to hang them onto the Dachlatte...


Like so...


And they're secured to the Dachlatte with 90 mm long galvanized nails...  The tiles have to be screwed into the Dachlatten with 90 mm long galvanized nails...


Not every tile gets nailed down, but certain areas on the roof must be so as to meet code - one meter on each side and a half meter at the bottom and the highest point down...


That should cover them against strong wind to blow them down. If you didn't screw them down, the insurance wouldn't pay your damage. There are online calculators where you have to put your address, the size of the roof and which tiles are used... and then the calculator says how many screws or "Halteklammer" have to be used to get proof of insurance. (😅 Germany).  Here's a shot of a Halteklammer...


And of course, the tiles being clay, there are pre-drilled holes...


 The technical stuff aside, here are the new tiles going up, with a column of the old tiles on the left...


 A little closer view of the setup...


And here's the other side of the garage...


Here's the finished back side of the garage...


And the front!


I'm tired just thinking about all those tiles!!  It's always impressive to see the quality (let alone the quantity) of work nephew does!  I think there's a blogger in the works!

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