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tyrava: bed platform

Not long after I got back from Colorado, I had a visitor, & so did Tyrava!

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[ Tyrava, seen from the side, takes up part of the driveway; parked next to her, and a little ahead, is a vardo perhaps half her length, green with blue trim, with two windows on the side. ]

My friend Sarah showed up with her wagon house for a couple days at the beginning of her massive road trip. It was really cool getting to see her setup, & we couldn’t resist getting a couple photos of the two vardos together.

Once she got back on the road, though, I had to get to work. Continue reading tyrava: bed platform

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land trip: door repairs edition

Not long after setting out — in fact, before I’d actually left the driveway — I realized that Tyrava was having a problem, which was that her back door wasn’t staying shut.

Since she was carrying approximately half of what I own at the time, this was KIND OF A PROBLEM.

The immediate solution was obvious …

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[ Tyrava’s back doorknob, a fancy black lever, is fastened to a heavy-duty handle next to the door by a bungee cord. ]

… but the actual fix was gonna hafta wait til I’d had a chance to stop at a hardware store.

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[ A close view of one of the heavy-duty hinges holding Tyrava’s back door on. The screws that should hold it in place are visibly pulling out of the door. ]

Given that the screws were only an inch long & set into the particle-board interior of the original door, yeah, they were gonna pull out eventually. Fortunately it was an easy fix. Unfortunately I hadn’t brought any clamps big enough, so I hadda buy another one.

… oh well, not like you can have too many clamps.

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[ A quick-release clamp that’s a good eighteen inches long sits on the seat of my comfy folding chair, along with a package of more heavy-duty door hinges and a baggie of LONG screws. ]

I’m glad I thought to GET the clamp, otherwise I’d’ve been trying to hold the door in place with one hand & probably my knee while trying to get screws in with the other, & that never goes well. But this made it easy.

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[ The door’s all the way open, and clamped into place; one of the screws formerly holding the hinge to the door is partway out, the rest waiting their turn. ]

The new screws are four inches long. THAT oughta last a while.

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[ Four new screws holding the hinge in place. Everything looks properly lined up and sturdy. ]

& then I added a third hinge, on the theory that overkill is rarely a BAD idea.

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[ There’s now a third heavy-duty hinge between the two that were holding Tyrava’s back door in place. It’s closer to the top one than to the bottom, because I just slapped it on there. ]

Success! The door is held firmly in place! It still closes & opens correctly! It’s not going anywhere!

… it still flaps open if I drive Tyrava over anything bumpy, I DO NOT KNOW WHY & IT IS VERY FRUSTRATING, but at least the door is staying on the hinges now.

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it’s a wall!

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[ That wall section that’s right next to Tyrava’s front door is done now, all the way to the top. At the base of the wall is a scattering of tools and stuff, including a rubber mallet, a drill and driver set, and a lot of screws. ]

Last bits!

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[ A slightly fisheyed view of one of Tyrava’s side walls, which is now entirely paneled in reclaimed wood. There’s a single window about halfway down. Right now it’s just a hole covered with tyvek. ]

It’s an entire wall!

Next up, that window!

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stress woodworking!

(This was written on Monday but scheduled for Wednesday; who knows what’ll happen between now & then!)

So I got this new shipping label printer a couple months back, & it’s really been making shipping go a LOT more smoothly. I stuck it in the top drawer of my printer file cabinet, & it fits just fine, but the labels, when they come out, kind of curl up against the front of the drawer & I have to keep an eye on them.

[ A small label printer, about 4x4x6″, sits in an open drawer, with 4×6 labels stacked behind it. There’s a small space between the front of the printer, where the labels come out, & the front of the drawer. ]

So I decided to fix that. With power tools.

[ The front of the drawer, once black, is now grey, with some of the colour sanded away. There’s a horizontal slot cut in the drawer, pretty unevenly. ]

It doesn’t look great, but it works, & it gave me something to think about other than the possibly-impending death of democracy. Anyway once I paint it it’ll look better.

I’ve been meaning to do this one for a while, really, but wanting to NOT be at the computer, doomscrolling, made this a perfect time to finally get round to it.

I’ve also been meaning to make a proper book stand for my herbal recipes book, & putting it off because all of the ‘easy’ DIY things I found wanted me to cut wood at an angle, which I do NOT have the tools to do in any useful manner. No, not even with a mitre block, look, I can mess up a straight line when I’ve got the guide clamped in eight places, I’m TALENTED is what.

I need a table saw.

In the meantime, I faked it with mostly-straight lines, using detailed plans that involved ‘bring the book outside & hold wood up against it until something works’.

[ My book of herbal recipes sits open on a table, outside, with my hand holding a couple of short lengths of wood along the bottom edge. ]

The finished product! Or at least ‘done enough to test’.

[ The back is made from a roughly sanded piece of scrap wood, maybe an inch wider than the book on each side but shorter than the book is tall. A thin length of wood has been screwed along the bottom for the book to rest on, & an even smaller length of wood is attached to the top front of the bottom piece to hold the book in place. ]

As I’d suspected would happen, the bit at the bottom wasn’t high enough to hold the book in on its own, so I added another bit for tilting purposes.

[ There’s now another small piece of wood running along the bottom front of the book stand, causing it to tilt backwards. ]

Of course, that bit of tilt was enough to make it fall over backwards, & while I could have left it that way & depended on the wall to hold it up, I knew better.

[ A larger piece of wood, maybe an inch by an inch & running most of the width of the stand, has been attached to the back piece, but just a bit up from the bottom, so that it supports the book stand at an angle. ]

Success! Here’s a side view so you can see how it all goes together.

[ Side cross section! The tall back piece tilts slightly to the left, held in place by the piece behind it; in front, a short horizontal piece sticks out at the bottom, with matching small lengths of wood on top & on the bottom at the outer edge. ]

& it even holds the book in place! Like it’s supposed to! Seriously, this is gonna make things a LOT easier.

[ My recipe book, in place in my work table, neatly held on the book stand. It’s not falling off or anything! ]

I finished the day up by adding a couple more boards to Tyrava’s inside walls. I’m gonna run out of denim insulation soon; the stuff had better come back into stock someday.

[ One section of one of Tyrava’s inside walls; short lengths of wood fastened horizontally cover it from the bottom to a little more than halfway up, & from behind the top piece, blue denim insulation is visible. ]

I also spent some time cleaning up out front — I brought in the show shelves & stuff, which are in DESPERATE need of another coat or two of linseed oil after spending the summer out in the sun, & I’ve been slowly picking up wood & sorting it out. Anything still big enough to be used goes into Tyrava, & everything else gets stacked up for firewood.

Little steps. Plus, bonus, I didn’t have to think about huge existential things for a couple hours!