September 2018

It’s now getting close to the end of September. The weather is rapidly cooling off here. We’ve had frost several times (and had the wood stove up and running) and the leaves have begun to change colour.

We’ve been doing our regular thing, working on getting some projects finished that we started earlier.

If you recall from previously, we were working on building the drawer for the bottom of the pantry. That has now been completed and you can see the finished results here.

We also finished redoing our front steps. They turned out pretty nicely.

Another project we were working on was finding something to cover up the column of wires that goes from the floor to the ceiling up in the bedroom area. You can see it over on the right side of this picture.

Not only is it a column of wires, but some of them are attached to a set of switches so we can turn on and off the lights in that section. Originally, those wires were embedded inside the wall that made up the closet where the toilet was located. After we removed all of that, we were left with the wires. We had thought of putting up a big wall with closets and storage across that section and putting the wires back inside a wall, but we decided we liked the openness of the trailer better.

So we came up with another plan.

After the big storm that blew down several trees on our property I got the idea of using a log to cover the wires. We had a small maple tree that got knocked down when a big poplar snapped and fell on it. So I cut a section out of it and started to work on it.

First, I had to cut it in half and this was the most difficult part of the entire process. The log wasn’t perfectly straight so I needed something that could follow the curve of the wood. A big format band saw would really have helped with this, but I didn’t have access to one. A friend of ours had one of those portable/hand-held band saws, but it didn’t have enough clearance to cut the log.

So I settled on doing it the hard way with my sawsall/reciprocating saw. And when I say the hard way I am not exaggerating. It took me 3.5 hours to cut that log that was 193cm (76″). Actually, I only made it to within about 20cm (8″) of the end and the saw seized up so I finished it using a hand saw. My hands and arms were pretty woobly after that, but I did end up with the log cut in half.

The next step was to cut out the core so the wires would fit. A router would have been handy for that, but I didn’t have one of those either. I used my skill saw instead. I cut a 2cm (3/4″) trench right down the center of each of the half-logs. Here’s the first one.

After the trench was cut, I reconfigured the blade on the skill saw to be at 45° and cut out the sides, making a triangular trench down the center of the logs. Here you can see the first one is finished.

Despite the curvature of the log, using the skill saw worked quite well. Fortunately, the depth of the cuts wasn’t a lot; if it had been more, it would have been much more difficult to turn the saw to follow the curve of the wood.

Now having the cores cut out of the half-logs, the next thing to do was strip the bark off it. I took one half and Kat took the other. We both had a machete and went to work. It didn’t take long and the machete made short work of the bark.

We were getting close, but I still needed to add a spot for the light switch. In disconnecting the switch from the wires, one of the metal contacts on the switch was pulled out, thus destroying the switch so we had to order a new one. Luckily, Amazon sells replacements.

I took some measurements and cut a spot for the new switch to sit in.

And here you can see the switch sitting nicely in it.

Once that was completed, it was simply a matter of putting it all together. I clamped both pieces together and predrilled the holes for the screws. Then we took it inside, I wired up the new switch, we clamped both pieces together and I screwed it tight.

And here you can see the results. This is the switch side.

This is from the opposite side.

It was green wood so we didn’t put any varnish or other finishers on it yet. We’ll let it dry out over the winter and then see what we want to do in the spring. With the fire running all winter, the humidity drops significantly, so much of the moisture of the wood should be pulled out.

Yay, more things accomplished!

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2 thoughts on “September 2018”

  1. Nice job! Very creative and inventive. Add some carpeting about the bottom of it and it will double as a cat-scratching device. : )

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