Sunday, December 6, 2009

Permaculture Residence

An intriguing opportunity to design a  Permaculture Residence has come my way.  Among the challenges are incorporating a cook stove that will also be utilized to heat water (Thermosyphon).  My goal is to create a design that does not compromise kitchen efficiancy or complicate plumbing while maintaining ease of fuel (wood) access and storage.

I would very much like hearing from those who have experience with wood burning cook stoves, what they liked, what they didn't and any other recommendations they might have.

I'm looking forward to seeing how this will evolve and will try to share the progress on this blog as it unfolds.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Bear Camp

Last Summer C.M. contacted me about helping him with some plans for a remote property he owns.   The Yonderosa Outpost was close but needed some modifications to fit his site's orientation, the climate and various limitations.  With any luck he'll be pounding nails next Spring.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Description of common tools

A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatching flat
metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in
the chest and flings your beer across the room, denting the
freshly-painted project which you had carefully set in the
corner where nothing could get to it.

Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhere under
the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes
fingerprints and hard-earned calluses from fingers in about
the time it takes you to say, 'Oh s h --'

A portable cutting tool used to make studs too short.

Used to start
the process of rounding off bolt heads. Sometimes used in
the creation of knuckle

Used to complete the process of rounding off bolt heads.
Sometimes used in the creation of blood-blisters.

An electric sanding tool commonly used to convert minor
touch-up jobs into major refinishing jobs.

One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija board
principle. It transforms human energy into a crooked,
unpredictable motion, and the more you attempt to influence
its course, the more dismal your future becomes.

Generally used after pliers completely round off bolt
heads. They can also be used to transfer intense
welding heat to the palm of your hand.

Used almost entirely for lighting various flammable objects
in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease
inside the wheel hub out of which you want to remove a
bearing race.

A large stationary power tool commonly used to launch wood
projectiles for testing wall integrity.

A tool used for
raising a car to change a flat tire that seldom
fits under a car with a flat

Used for lowering an automobile to the ground after you
have installed your new brake shoes, trapping the jack
handle firmly under the bumper.

A large stationary power saw primarily used by most shops
to cut good aluminum sheet into smaller pieces that more
easily fit into the trash can after you cut on the inside of
the line instead of the outside edge.

A tool for testing the maximum tensile strength of
everything you forgot to disconnect.

Normally used to stab the vacuum seals under lids or for
opening old-style paper-and-tin oil cans and splashing oil
on your shirt; but can also be used, as the name implies, to
strip out Phillips screw heads.

A tool for opening paint cans. Sometimes used to convert
common slotted screws into non-removable screws and
butchering your palms.

for cutting wires and zip ties.. Can also be used to
determine the presence of electricity.

A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or
bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent

A tool used to make hoses too short.

Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadays
is used as a kind of divining rod to locate the most
expensive parts adjacent the object we are trying to hit.

Used to open and slice through the contents of cardboard
cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly
well on contents such as seats, vinyl records, liquids in
plastic bottles, collector magazines, refund checks, and
rubber or plastic parts. Especially useful for slicing work
clothes and fingers, but only while in use.
Any handy tool that you grab and throw across the garage
while yelling 'Dammit' at the top of your
lungs. It is also, most often, the next tool that you
will need.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Murphy Bed

The Murphy Bed is a good solution for a small multi-purpose space. A comfortable sleeping space requires only around 5 feet of wall and 16" of floor space for a full sized bed.

I purchased the hardware from and I used plywood and solid stock that I had on hand. The joinery is simple and does not require shop sized equipment - though it does make it easier if you have a table saw. The hardware is good quality. The pistons make raising and lowering the bed very easy. The latching system is crude but effective. Of the commercially available hardware I've found I believe this is the best. I would recommend it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Summer 2009 Kitchen Project

Custom Cabinet project, summer 2009. Hundreds of hours of design, milling, shaping, assembling, sanding, finishing... Almost ready to install.

One of the shop bays

Probably my most enjoyable project this summer was a Kitchen Cabinet project. The plan is to install next week. Here are a few pictures from the staining phase.

Nearly Birch 30 drawers, all custom made in my shop.

Not shown, Vanity and Laundry room cabinets.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Lumber Pile

I love a lumber pile. I love it for the potential it has. I love it for its heritage. I love it as a medium in which to work with - to create something that was once just a dream into something lasting, usable and beautiful.

I don't see wood as sterile or unliving like some see meat under cellophane. I see it as part of a forest, a survior that overcame impossible odds to reach maturity. During its life it was food, shelter, purified air and water. It may have passed its genentic traits to future generations. Its rings record decades / centuries of rainfall and other disturbance, hidden within until revealed by the sawyer's mill. Crafted it becomes lasting testament of its life. Its soul reflected within the grain.

There is nothing more natural than incorporating wood into a home.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Underfloor insulation

The insulation is mechanically held (not show) by flexible wires to the warm side surface allowing a 1" air gap at the bottom of the joist bay. Ventilation is accomplished with screened holes in the sheathing.

Plywood was installed to "critter proof" the insulation.

With the building now fully insulated the temperature fluctuations were further reduced. Unheated or air conditioned the building is ~15* F cooler than the daytime high and 15* F warmer than the outside temperature in the mornings. The Temperature range for this trip was 45-90*F.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Yonderosa 'Outpost' update

Another Side mostly done.
Loft Floor / Porch Lid insulated

T&G Pine Porch Lid

Interior Loft Soffit

A look into the Loft

Adding a window

Window framed in and installed

Wall insulated and backsheeted for finish and trim backing

Unfortunately building remote limits your choices as to what materials are available. I did not plan to use this insulation but it was my only viable choice given my time and delivery options.
The Vaulted Main Floor area gives a spacious feel and affords many finish possibilities. We will likely use Pine T&G on the Lid and some Local Doug Fir for Wainscot, Panels, Base, Case, etc.

Exterior View of the new Window

Color Scheme
I also brought the first of the Cabinets over. There is a long way yet to go. We are pleased with how it is coming along.

Monday, July 6, 2009

"In me shed."

Shed inspiration -

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Questions & Answers

What is your specialization in architecture?
Custom Design - Challenging and small spaces.
What is it for you a good architectural design?
Efficient use of space and materials. Time proven and classic styling with artistic flair.
List the name of a famous building which you don't care for.
EMP in Seattle
What do you think of competitions? What types of competitions do you normally compete in?
Competitions create challenge, challenges bring out creativity. I enjoy competing in any that I know about and have time for.
In your professional philosophy, what comes first, function or form?
Function first. Form follows and a good design is not a compromise.
Can one copy and still be original?
A great writer draws from the same vocabulary yet orders it in such a way to create something entirely original. Architecture is the same only without the limitations of language or dimension.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Stimulus Blueprints - Projects Found

Update:  Thank you for the interest.  Due to time challenges I'm no longer able to take on any more "stimulus plan" projects.  I hope to be able to post pictures once the projects get underway this spring.  Thanks again it has been a pleasure working with all of you.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May Progress

Started the Siding, installed some more windows and did the soffit under the eves and gable ends.

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Plenty left to do

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We're considering adding some windows on this side. I'm drawing a few options to run by the boss (Wife) and let her decide.