Our Wood Tool Boxes

One of the items we plan to make and sell are wood tool boxes. I’ve already made one for my own use, and it works well. That was probably two years ago; and as often happens over time, designs improve. The new ones will have features that allow a man to do more work; or will look great as a decor piece, all at a reasonable price. We plan to have them finished in our own period paints and varnish. All the hardware will be from a bygone era. Here’s a sketch, without all the features.

Fun with Kerosene Lantern History

It’s the night before Thanksgiving, and I fired up a kerosene lantern which was given to me years ago, for the first time. It was given to me by the author of a children’s book that I illustrated. It’s a red glass signal lantern, because the story was about trains. It’s beautiful when lit, the picture below doesn’t show it well.This prompted me to look into the history of the lamps. It looks like a fun topic to learn about.

More information is here.

An Unusual Palette Board

I was taking apart a wood shipping palette, and found an unusual board. It was very rough, but it looked to have visual potential. It’s turning out very nicely, better than the pictures show. I might make a sign from it.

1. Front side, no sanding.

2. Back side, no sanding. very rough, pits in the wood.

3. Front side, sanded.

4. Front side sanded and one coat of clear shellac.

5. Close up of 4.

Brown Hides

I used to make some signs for a nearby theme park. One of the specifications was that the back of the signs be painted brown. They said it makes the back of the sign less visible. I started doing that to some of the things around the yard, like sawhorses. It works well, but they often get overspray on them; and need more brown. I rebuilt an older airless paint sprayer, and decided to test it on the outdoor things, along with some wood birdhouses a friend gave us.

I haven’t tried selling birdhouses before, but my guess is that I have to make them as appealing to the buyer, as they are to the birds. Or more so. Besides, they need to stand up to the weather better than bare wood. So I coated the birdhouses also, the same brown. It would actually have been better to use a grey, but I can get away with brown. I need to come up with themes for the birdhouses; like mountain cabin, adobe cottage, or seashore bungalow. Some look like they would make a good store, with a place for a humorous sign.Is it a birdhouse subdivision? No, it’s painting day. Or basecoat, anyway.

I had to buy this trailer now.

A man I know offered me this trailer months ago for $800. I didn’t act swiftly, because people around me didn’t think it a spectacular deal. The man called me back, this time the price was $600. He lives in a mountainous area, and said some guy was driving way too fast on the hilly, winding road in front of his house. The car became briefly airborne, then landed on this trailer, damaging it. You can see in the picture that one of the ramps is broken off, and laying in the trailer, near the front. the back edge of the trailer is bent, and the axles may be skewed, but that’s all stuff I can fix. I figured that somebody else would buy it at that price, so I got it first. I recall seeing these starting (used) at about $1100, and going up from there.

As it turns out, I have realized a number of jobs this trailer can do. It can haul long logs to a saw mill. I now have access to one. I’ve already used it to get a bunch of free fall decorations, more about that soon. I’ll spare you the rest of the ideas, but suffice to say, this looks like it will be a great tool to have.