Thursday, December 28, 2006

Barrel refurbish, part 3.

Work continues on the barrel refusbish project.

The hoops are done and I applied stain to the top 1/3rd of the staves. While it was "bottom end up" on my temporary dolly I made the permanent rolling base. This base consists of a laminated pine circle (most often used to make small "bistro tables"), 4 casters, and a piece of stuff that keeps carpets from sliding on wood floors.

Here is a picture of the rolling base parts before assembly:

And here is the barrel sitting on the base. It has the appearance of the casters being mounted directly to the barrel bottom, but that is not the case. You can just see the edge of the pine.

1. Apply stain to the remaining 2/3rd of the staves
2. Remove the top
3. Clean the inside
4. Let it air out for a few days before putting it into use.

Barrel refurbish, part 2.

An update to my barrel refurbish project.

Using my drill and a wire wheel I removed all loose rust on the hoops. Then I masked off the barrel and sprayed the hoops first with a rust reformer primer paint then 2 coats of black "hammered texture" paint.

Here is a photo of the barrel after applying masking and painting the hoops:

And here it is after removing the masking.

Two things to note.
1. At the time of these pictures the bottom 3 hoops were still original rust. I have since processed those three as well.
2. Look at the area between hoops 2 and 3 where it appears to have a nice golden brown color. That was a test area for the stain and finish I will be applying. Before long the entire barrel will look like that.

1. Apply stain and finish to the wood
2. Remove the top
3. Add casters to the bottom for portability (actually I will make a rolling base that will fit in the recess at the bottom)
4. Clean the inside because it will probably smell like a distillery for a little while
5. Let it air out for awhile before putting it into use.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Wonderful Christmas

Got home last night after a nice 4 days with family. In the beginning JP said he didn't want to go to Atlanta and was crying. I just know that his mother brought about that feeling. But we went anyway and he had a wonderful time. There were a few times where he was cranky, stubborn, and selfish but we worked through it. The highlight, for me, was when he made a sacrifice of his desires for everyone else's.

JP had made a deal with his grandma Pat and Aunt Debbie that Christmas gifts were going to be opened on Christmas Eve. That was when the ladies did not know that JP and I could stay until late afternoon on Christmas Day. So a change was made. That did not sit well with him. After much debate he made the sacrifice. All of his aunts, uncles, and grandparents praised him for such a mature decision and it brought tears to his eyes. I was so proud of him because it was such a big step. Unfortunately, to this point, his mother continues to treat him like he is her little baby, but he will be 12 in a few weeks. Trying to get him to act more mature has been a huge struggle.

Later on, in the car, I praised him again and discussed the tenet of "it's better to give than receive." He had heard it, but never felt it. So I explained that the feeling he had when he gave up his selfishness for the others was so much better than any other gift he would receive. He told me how that made him feel good but cry, and I asked "when have you ever gotten [a toy] that made you feel like that?" Never.

Anyway, on Christmas Day JP "played Santa"...passing out gifts to everyone. I believe that he really enjoyed family that day. We had a wonderful brunch but it was all over too soon.

On a selfish note, I had made and brought a box full of pens for each person to choose from. That went over well and I was very pleased. Interestingly, I had made many of them from a cherry tree from my yard, yet the ones that all "disappeared quickly" were from more exotic woods like purple heart, sakura, teak, and blue keiyaki. Go figure.

I have JUST ordered the parts that will be used for NEXT years gifts and will get started in the workshop as early as possible. Not saying what the gifts will be, but I'm making about 20.

Hope everyone had a great Christmas. I know I did.
Tim (and JP)

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Monkeys not included

I started a little project of refurbishing a used whiskey barrel. It will be used for storing firewood by my fireplace. Currently I use a cardboard box which is not very portable and definitely not as sturdy.

To start I drove to the place where they sell these. They are used in the making of Kentucky whiskey. As I understand, they are used once and then cannot be used again to make whiskey, so there is a never ending supply of barrels available. They sit out in the sun and rain and get weathered and rusty. I bought one and brought it home.

Next I took the first photo before doing anything. Notice how weathered and rusty? That will change.

Then I spent a little time with a sander. That would do a great job of making the wood look new again but it would have taken a LONG time to do. So I switched to washing the wood with deck cleaner and OxyClean. It started to look GREAT when wet and this is how it looks after drying.

Here's what's left:
1. Attack the rust with a wire wheel
2. Mask the wood and prime and paint the hoops black
3. Apply stain and finish to the wood
4. Remove the top
5. Add casters to the bottom for portability
6. Clean the inside because it will probably smell like a brewery for a little while
7. Let it air out for awhile before putting it into use.

I understand (and have seen) that as the barrels age the wood shrinks and the hoops become loose and fall. So in another year or so I will carefully drill some holes in the hoops and add screws through them and into the wood. Just a couple screws per hoop will do it.

This is a pretty easy project and I haven't seen a single monkey yet. Will post more pictures when more progress is made. I have off till the end of the year but will be going to visit with family for a few days.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The last of the nasty gumballs !

He finally did it. The guy across the street cut down a large gum tree that is near the street. For a few years I had been hoping that he would cut that tree down. It drops nasty spiky balls that hit the street and end up in my yard. It isn't my business to ask someone to cut down a tree unless it is unhealthy and threatens my property. So I was ecstatic when I drove home the other day and saw that tree down. When it came down the balls flew all over and there are many in my driveway that need to be swept up, but that is the last of them.

By the way, this is the neighbor of the "trouble brewing" posts. Over the years he has done a lot to improve property value. Of course the other neighbors will now bitch about how the limbs from that tree extend into the street until the city trucks come to pick them up. Never mind the fact that this guy is increasing their property value too.

Monday, December 11, 2006


1. My mom came to visit for a week. She did a lot of nice stuff around the house while I worked from my home office. Over the weekend we drove out to Blowing Rock, NC. Cool little town and it had snowed a couple days before. JP was with us and he had fun throwing and eating snow. We then went to the "Mast General Store" in Valle Crucis, NC. Look it up, they have a web site. Cool old place.

2. Back to work. After a 3 day weekend it is tough to get going again. But there's enough to do before Friday. I take Friday off and will have vacation and holiday through the end of the year.

3. A friend sent me the following "prayer"...hope you like it. It is all to easy to be quick to judge, isn't it?

Heavenly Father, Help us remember that the jerk who cut us off in traffic last night is a single mother who worked nine hours that day and is rushing home to cook dinner, help with homework, do the laundry and spend a few precious moments with her children.

Help us to remember that the pierced, tattooed, disinterested young man who can't make change correctly is a worried 19-year-old college student, balancing his apprehension over final exams with his fear of not getting his student loans for next semester.

Remind us, Lord, that the scary looking bum, begging for money in the same spot every day (who really ought to get a job!) is a slave to addictions that we can only imagine in our worst nightmares.

Help us to remember that the old couple walking annoyingly slow through the store aisles and blocking our shopping progress are savoring this moment, knowing that, based on the biopsy report she got back last week, this will be the last year that they go shopping together.

Heavenly Father, remind us each day that, of all the gifts you give us, the greatest gift is love. It is not enough to share that love with those we hold dear. Open our hearts not to just those who are close to us, but to all humanity. Let us be slow to judge and quick to forgive, show patience, empathy and love.

Saturday, December 02, 2006


I got hooked on a new (to me) author...Robin Cook. Read two books and really wanted to read more. Someone said "Go to Wal-Mart...they sell some of his books there." But the thought came to me that I saw a fellow at an indoor flea market with a HUGE selection of used books (and within a mile of Wal-Mart). I went there and the guy had many novels by Robin Cook...each for a dollar. There was still a Wal-Mart price sticker on one of them... for something like $5.95. So I bought 5 since I had that many loose dollars. I'm going to have to make a list of all of the Cook novels and return to that guy. Score!

I don't know about the rest of you, but we seemed to have dodged a weather bullet here. Except for a little rain the other day the temperatures here have been wonderful. Score!

The leaf collection situation is under control. Score!
I can take a nice long nap today. Score!
I figured out a better way to capture LP records into my computer, saving me drudgery of editing out errors going through the sound card. Score!
And today I will be receiving a Netflix DVD of the opera "Aida". Score!