Right wall finished

The right wall is “finished”.  The components are prepared, but I won’t fasten the roof piece in place until it’s clear I won’t need to lay the project on its side, nor glue the decking down until the base is complete.

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I positioned the outer deck support at a slight downward angle, which should make the far end of the dock sag.  I’d like it to look dilapidating but still functional.  Hopefully the slant is sufficient, I couldn’t adequately test with only two hands.

Construction of the bit of roof progressed faster than I anticipated, despite my indecisiveness on the finish.

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You’ll notice I am short one rafter.  I miscounted, but then liked how that looks.

I put down an underlay of  tarpaper, simulated by dark blue cardstock, as black would have faded by the sun.  A metal roof to cover this, with bits of the tarpaper peeking through.  I have some thin corrugated aluminum that’s been in my stash for years which I thought I’d use.

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Though it’s dented it’s still too new looking in comparison to the wood finish on the building, so I used sodium percarbonate (Oxy-Clean) and heat to age the aluminum.  The chemical dulled the finish and flame melted spots, but I didn’t get a finish I was crazy about.

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I splattered on rust spots with ink, which helped...

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I was going to examine additional distressing, but then saw this tossed out of the garage by my husband while cleaning.

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The corrugated aluminum was a bit small in scale, and the corrugations in the coffee can are too big for scale, but the real rust finish...oh my.

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Looking at the pictures again this morning, I’m still torn.  I like the scale of the aluminum but the rust of the coffee can...though the coffee can is maybe too rusty.  

What do you think?


Right wall progress

Progress on the right wall :)

I moved the door away from the corner a bit and put in a smaller window.

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The siding is on and the wall is stained.  Nancy shared her “secret recipe“ for gray ;) 

The door and window weren’t very absorbent, but I’m going to accept them as they are.  Nothings ages evenly, including myself.

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I attached the ledger rail for the dock... I didn’t wipe off the excess glue from the bottom edge, but pressed in green flocking.

 Next step...a bit of roof... it’s hard to explain, you’ll see.

I also fixed the rubber bumper under the boathouse door on the left wall.  You can see the difference from the first picture to the second.

 


progress report

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I’ve spent most of the past few weeks working in my gardens, communing with the chipmunks and birds, but did get a bit accomplished on the build.

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Left wall:

I finished bricking, then grouted, aged, and shadowed.  I stained the boathouse door, applied layers of gloss medium to make faux windows, and added a bit of signage. 

A bit of cheesecloth between the layers of the rightmost window made an acceptable spiderweb.

I used bolts, washers, and nuts to fasten the rubber bumper to the bottom of the door opening.  I’m not happy with it, the hardware is too high on the bumper, so I will make corrections, and most likely reduce the fastenings from seven to five.

Because I didn’t want shiny hardware, nor rusty hardware, I used heat to remove the shiny finish.

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Right wall:

I decided, as I was gluing a piece of stripwood to the side of the door so it would fit the opening, that I didn’t like the blue I painted the door and window, as it created a focal point in competition with the boathouse door.  I was pondering whether to sand and refinish them, or flip them over and stain the unfinished other side, when I thought to test others from my stash.

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I really like the shorter Timberbrook door (bottom left).  I bid on eBay for a matching window in a small lot, but fell asleep a half hour before the auction ended and lost it.  I suppose it was for the best, since I am trying to reduce my stash, not add to it.  I will use the small double-hung window I already have.

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The door needs to be moved to the right, and the window hole resized, so I’ll do that this weekend, unless transplanting overgrown ferns from the front to the back garden wears me out. 

I did get the bottom section of the wall painted to look like concrete, then aged, along with the supports the dock posts sit on.  I am not happy with the paint job but I haven’t figured out why yet....too gunked up maybe?  I’m not necessarily unhappy with it either, though.  I’m over-thinking it.  Most likely it won’t matter, because by the time barnacles take it over not much will be visible.

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I have plans for a roof edge but have to work out the construction.  I also need to decide on siding.  I stained some thin wood strips already but might use clapboard instead.

The base:

I sanded the edges of the cut-out and painted.  The paint is primarily to seal the MDF, don’t be alarmed by the color :)

During the past few months I’ve been collecting, scavenging, and crafting sea life to fill the tide pool, but I will cover that in its own post, later.

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The Peapod:

My friend Bill sent an email suggesting I coat the boat with PC Petrifier.  I should have thought of that, I used it on the edges of the roof of the English Cottage Kitchen.  I still had half a bottle in my supply cupboard, so gave the boat a couple coats.  I haven’t started sanding/filling the inside yet.


Left wall progress

I have been patiently and thoughtfully bricking the left wall over the last week and a half...I finished yesterday.

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I also built most of the door...I have to stain it, fashion windows, and add a rubber coated bottom.  I have no idea if a “soft” bottom is realistic, but it makes sense to me, as boats will be gliding over it.

The bricked in windows and darker bricks around the door are meant to give the wall history, as if the boathouse door were added some time after the building was completed.  I will play with the color of the grout, as well, to make the darker bricked sections look newer.

You may have noticed the coloration of the bricks darkens at the bottom of the wall.  That is deliberate, as it marks the high tide line, where the bottom of the wall will be wet, and the even darker shadow under the dock.  Something you may not have noticed, since it doesn’t photograph well, are the lintels and sills of the bricked up windows...I will need to paint in some shadows to accentuate their depth.

This is what I mean....

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I wish I had done the windows differently.  Now is the time to decide if I want to remove bricks to re-do it....before grout.  I will ponder the situation, but your opinion is welcome.

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Peapod part three

I faired the planks on the outside of the hull, it required hours of careful sanding.  Once that was done I cut the stems from the strong back and removed the boat from the form.

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The inside is very scary, because I botched the planking.  Hopefully I can manage to make something of it without causing irreparable damage.

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Holding it up to a light accentuates thin spots.

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I plan to sand down the high spots and fill the low spots to finish with a smooth surface.  Wish me luck.

 


Penciled in

I had a productive day yesterday.  In the morning, while I was waiting for the sun to come out, I covered my computer equipment with a doubled over bedsheet, then cut the base board to prep for a pool.  I added supports, then glued on a bottom.

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While that was drying I went to the beach to search for weathered sticks to use as pilings, before the city workers remove the debris.

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I came home with several possibilities, zebra mussel shells to crush for substrate, and other bits.

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These are not rocks, they are, as far as I can tell, chunks of spray-foam.  I picked up as many as I could find, to discard them properly, though I may end up using some in the build.

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The afternoon was spent raking leaves off my flower beds.  It was warm, sunny, quiet, and absolutely lovely outside.  I have more outside chores to do today.

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In the evening I penciled in the structural components and put the build into dry fit.  I think I have it all worked out, but need to run through the process in my head a few times to make sure I’m not overlooking something before I resume construction.

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I am going to work on the build in three sections: left wall, right wall, and base.  I need to document in my notebook the procedural order for each section, as I think through it.  I also need to clear space for two sections to rest as I work on the third, as only one at a time will fit on the cart I’m using as a temporary work surface.


Working anyway

I decided that lack of a worktable shouldn’t keep me from working on the contest kit.  I chose some small tasks, starting with the rear wall.

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I added height, blocked the window, and filled in the groove where the loft piece, or whatever you want to call it, is supposed to go.  I also put a thin coat of wood filler over the outside of the boat, to fill the slight gaps between a few of the planks, so I can start sanding.

While I was waiting for the filler to dry I steam bent some wood strips for the arched door of the boathouse.

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It was much easier than I expected.

Now I can make the rest of the door, then once that’s glued in place I can start bricking the wall.

 

 


Checking in

It’s been a month since my Governor issued a stay-at-home order.  I am fortunate enough to be able to work full-time from home, but the only suitable location to do so is my studio, so I haven’t been working on the contest build.

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I very much enjoy working from home as compared to the office, primarily because I have a loud coworker who narrates her day.  The only auditory disturbances here are the blue jay’s morning staff meeting and the afternoon chipmunk territorial disputes.  It is calming, and so much easier to concentrate and stay focused. 

My husband is not working, so is cooking elaborate meals, washing dishes, growing a beard, napping, and talking about cleaning the garage.  Ester loves having a daytime napping companion.

As you are, we are limiting trips out of the house, enjoying some outside time when weather permits (it hasn’t much), and trying to watch some news, to stay informed, but not too much news, because many other human’s behaviors are terrifying.  Mostly I watch the birds through my windows, and am appreciative that I fortuitously stocked up on seed before the pandemic.

Thankfully all our loved ones are healthy, and I hope they remain so, though I worry, of course, about the future.  I hope all of you are safe and healthy too. 

 


The conservatory has a floor

I LOVE THIS FLOOR.

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I constructed it with authentic used bricks, grouted with spackle, put on some gray grunginess, then sealed it with a matte varnish.  It did not take as long as I suspected it would.  The only thing I wish I had done differently is stir a little gray paint into the spackle before I grouted.

Because I knew I would want to manage the randomness I made a decision to not look at any brick I grabbed from the bag.  It was a great opportunity to practice self-discipline.  Even when I grabbed the sixth (gulp!) light brick in a row, I just glued it down next to the previous one.  I am quite proud of myself.