Sunday, March 28, 2010

Raised Orchard

We'll soon be receiving the fruit trees we ordered this winter for our orchard. To prepare, I went out a couple of weekend ago to start preparing the holes, and to my disappointment, the ground was absolutely saturated with water. I was reminded that we live in an area with very little perk (think wetland). The only way to fix this issue on our property is to build raised planting areas. With a little more rock (5 tons to be exact) and some cedar boxes, we're ready to plant the six dwarf fruit trees we'll be receiving this year.

Before Photo:

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

After Photo:

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Monday, March 15, 2010

Kitchen coat and shoe built-in

The space between our laundry room door (stained) and the backdoor (painted red temporarily) is to become a set of shoe storage shelves, a bank of drawers for coat and glove storage, and an open coat cubby with hooks to hang coats, sweaters, etc. We've constantly got coats all over the house and piles of shoes by each door. This built-in should serve a much needed purpose. In addition, the lower shoe shelf will also feature a small opening larger enough for the cats to access their litter box in the laundry room. This project is one on a long list necessary to finish our kitchen remodel.

To construct the cabinet, we used mostly vertical grain fir that's was salvaged from an old school cabinet (minus the drawers which are face grain. We're using drawers salvaged from another piece of furniture. The cabinet is made up of two pieces - the first being the base with the shoe selves and drawers, and second is the upper coat storage cubby.

All of the salvaged lumber has been sanded of it's original finish and cut to size. Next up so to start staining so that the cabinet can be put together.

Check back here for updated photos as the projects progresses.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

One gate down

Completed the new garden gate to compliment the section of fence I finished a couple of weeks ago. Went with the same vertical slat style as the rest of our fence, but with a little embellishment on the top to help distinguish between what is fence and what is a gate.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Overall, a very simple design. I used a frame and panel design using lap joints to hold the frame together. I cheated on the skinny short slats that appear to protrude through the cross member :-) In fact, they do not. I considered cutting mortises, but then decided I'd like to get the project done in a day. Who will know besides for me and all the readers of this blog? Next step is to find attractive hinges and to mount. I've been looking at the extensive hinge selection at Van Dykes.

Happy to have this gate done. I have about 5 more to build in total, and I'm not sure when I'll get them all done. The design of this one was quite simple, so at least I'll know how to do it when the time comes.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Spring potager

We're starting to collect the needed supplies and building materials for our outdoor spring projects. This year we intend to build the potager, which is a fancy French work for kitchen garden. Our kitchen garden is on the south side of the house in the former area of the driveway. Last year, we went through the painstaking task of removing 30+ tons of concrete to make available 1800 square feet of dirt!

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

The "dirt" that's underneath the driveway is hard pack clay and rock fill, which isn't exactly perfect for a kitchen garden. On top of that, it doesn't drain at all and tends to hold standing water right next to the foundation of the house. Again, not good. Therefore, we're going to dig out a good portion of the fill dirt and bring in new soil and lay drains. To accomplish this little task, we've got to shore up the creek that runs alongside our property that helps carry away the winter rains. We were lucky enough to find large landscaping blocks for an incredibly reasonable price that we're going to use to shore up the creek.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Upon completion of that, we'll then be able to dig out a good portion of the fill dirt/rock where the beds are going to be and haul in dirt. Once all that's complete we plan on laying a brick path and patio for a finished look. Over the paths, we're building craftsman style pergolas to allow for better use of the vertical space with items such as pole beans, hops, etc.

Here's the latest pile of bricks I collected for this little project.

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

Once all that's complete, we should be able to plant an onion and perhaps some lettuce by August. Ha! Who knew something as simple as a garden could turn into so many steps. I guess I wouldn't have it any other way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Counter tops

We're slowly planing down recycled oak sticks that were salvaged from a building to build counter tops. This is one of those side when you get around to it projects. The original stock was finished on three sides, and has two rounded edges. We're planing this down to square stock so that it can be glued together to build horizontal butcher block. Once complete, we'll use this for wood counter tops in the kitchen to replace the temporary plywood we have now. The real challenge is going to be cutting out perfect holes for the sinks, cook top, etc. That should put our craft skills to the real test!

From The Making of a Craftsman Home

This is just one of dozens of examples for how we're using recycled materials throughout our remodel. Soon, I'll post some pics of the recycled trim we're using throughout the kitchen.