I got up when I heard Raven in the kitchen, she spent the night in the vardo. We each had a boiled egg and she was off with it warming her hands, on her way for a class with a friend on matrilineal art, inspired by the lineage of the artist’s women. As I was up and last nights rain had stopped I went out picking some long grass to attempt a basket, I’m learning from Youtube.. This one didn’t work out, too brittle, oh well.

I bought a couple pieces of 1×2 at HD yesterday coming home as last week we saw a nice signboard at Beverly’s while waiting on the tires. I broke out the saw horses and measured the boards, 8 feet one inch, one and a half wide. Two pieces each, marked at one and a half short of 3 feet, 34 1/2″ and again for the sides, left 28 inches, 14 in the middle top and bottom. There is a piece of birch plywood left from the cabinets I’ll use for the panels, 53 1/2″ by about 16″. I cut the side boards on the inside of the line to keep them equal and the 14s down the middle of the mark. As the panel is 3/16″ thick and the boards are 3/4″, I set the fence to 9/32″, half a line over a quarter and just a hair less. I cut the top and bottom boards with some difficulty as I don’t have a zero clearance plate on my saw, balancing a see-saw with push sticks to keep it to depth. I got it done. The long sides were easier though scary as I cut the slots in the middle of the board, stopping the cut and removing the board before it cleared the end. I used the push stick on the narrow end cuts. I next cut the panel down to 14 1/2″ by cutting a 1 1/2″ piece off the side with the fence. I freehand cut the panel in half on the line with the table saw, a bit risky, but it worked. Nudging all the pieces together with a plastic mallet and a long clamp, drilling nail holes and hammering them together on the bench with the vise open for the clamp and roller holding up the far end. One panel is done, the other needs nailing and I’m low on nails. It’s only 11:00 but Raven’s class gets out at 1:00 if she chooses to return.

I head for town, to Garrett’s for nails, hinges and a piece of brass plate to make the side frame hinge, like a ladder cross bar. Also plants a sun gold tomato, cilantro. I want celery in the garden, to the nursery, nope but seeds, a new parsley start and a spaghetti plant for Shelly. Shelton’s next for O celery, farfalle bow pasta and mushrooms to make the chicken soup I have prepped. A quick stop at Safeway for Bucky’s coffee and bread. Salvation Army on the way home, an insertion blender for 50 cents and a portable work bench vice tool box for $5, good deal.

Home, as I unloaded, Jamin the neighbor’s kid wanted to come play, “Not yet, I need to do some things.” I planted the starts and a patch of celery seeds in the garden, it’s getting full. A quick sandwich of package sliced chicken, cream cheese, mayo and garden greens, beet, arugula, pak choy and new lettuce, tasty.

I worked on the A brass piece next, cutting the brass bar in half with the hand jewelers saw on the vee block to back it. I cut a tab at a third up on one side to be bent as a stop. On the other side I cut a slot to match behind enough stock for a hinge pin. Punching centers I drilled the holes to match the bronze welding rod, cut short enough for a ball peened rivet. Grind the plates round to fit together nicely, peen the rivet, cut the bars to a good length and drill a larger screw hole.


I finished drilling and nailing the other half of the sign board as Jamin played with pieces of wood and a hand saw. Attaching the top hinges to the panels, then attaching the A hinge with a couple washers to space it. It works perfect, just needs chalkboard paint and a finish.


So Jamin wants to make something, I have new nails. He has these pieces cut roughly the right size of equal length set up on the new bench. I help him, but let him figure out how to get the saw to cut. He has most of a box laid out. I go find some scraps and cut him some ends, true up a couple of the pieces on the table saw. We use the electric drill with a tiny bit, he on the trigger, me on the housing to save my bit, down and back. He hammers them in, well done.

Jamin's box

We built a fine box, he added a ramp for his cars to get in. As he was called home I heard Wows from his folks.

I cooked up a batch of chicken soup, carrots, celery, onions, mushrooms, garlic, garden herbs, all that home made chicken broth with the chicken held back until the end. Add three handfuls of bow noodles, wow, this is amazing soup. A bowl for now (plus some, so good) with the rest in the fridge after cooling some. I’ll split it up frozen for lunches.

A good vardo day, perhaps more tomorrow.

Sunday 4/26/2015:

More soup, quarter roll, half an O avo, yum. Laundry is drying. We have two sealed grey tanks secured to the rig, with a drain input to the first one. I still need to make a drain system. We have 10.5″ ground clearance, the axle has 11″. If that isn’t enough, we can reduce the 2 x 4 a half inch. I also added a piece of 1 x 4  to hold the tank in position under the drain. There is a twenty and half inch distance between the tanks center to be plumbed. I think I’ll wait and research the size for drain hose. A large quick connect would be cool, maybe the size of that fire hose I have. TBD.


Three soups freezing and one in the fridge for tomorrow.

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