Homestead Update 2/12/17

12 Feb

The temperatures have been unseasonably warm the past 3 weeks so we are having a false Spring. When this happens, we always get  another hard freeze after the fruit trees have bloomed out so we will have no locally grown fruit this year. The daffodils are starting to bloom, the trees are budding out and the forsythia is blooming. This is 2-3 weeks too early for here. It has been so warm my bees have been really flying! They are not just cleansing, they are foraging and bringing in pollen. I plan on adding some sugar water to the feeders next week so they don’t starve. I went into Winter with 5 hives, but now I am down to 4 hives.

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This is the dead hive. I was one frame short in the lower hive body so when I placed the medium super on top of it, the bees drew out the comb to fill in the space anyway. The comb just hung down from the frame above it.

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I set up 7 hives in anticipation of swarm season and I will add 3 more hives next week. I am tired of the grass growing up around the hives so I put down a layer of landscape cloth before I set the hives.

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I will come back soon and add some pine bark mulch on top of the fabric to hold down the grass.

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I took this picture of a tree outside of one of my farmer’s shop.

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That is what a 20 year old crepe myrtle looks like if it hasn’t been butchered back to keep it short. I really like the look of that trunk with the bark peeled off, that tree has a lot of character.

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I used my front end loader and pushed up a pile of old limbs and I discovered this really nice looking composted material on the bottom of the pile. I flipped it over with the old compost on top of the fresher limbs on the bottom. I think in a couple of more years, I can get some good usable compost from the bottom of the pile. I also uncovered a big brown snake under the pile. I’ll have to start watching out for them now since the weather is so warm.

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I put together this 12 inch bandsaw from Harbor Freight. And like anything from HF that has a lot of parts, following the instructions is a bit problematic because they are obviously written by some Chinese dude with only a rudimentary grasp of the English language. You really have to use your imagination and judgment to put this together. But after a little trial and error, I only had one small screw hole that had been drilled incorrectly, but I redrilled the hole myself so problem solved! I’ll have another post next week, until then keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update: 1/15/07

15 Jan

Since I last posted, I have spent most of my time working on my taxes and working in my shop.

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I have been getting things straightened up and organized. One of the first projects I completed is this lumber cart for storing my short scraps and sheet goods. I put the really short pieces on the shelves on the right side and the longer pieces stand up in the bins to the left. On the back side I have a place for sheet goods like plywood, and in the middle I can store longer pieces of 2X4s and 1X4s. I put it on casters so I can roll it around out of the way when I am not using it.

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I also built this rolling cart to fit underneath my table saw. The cart has shelves for storing my accessories  such as push sticks and feather boards. I also use it for storing my miter gage and rip fence when not in use.

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I needed a way to rough cut plywood before I bring it in and finish it on the table saw. I cut these brackets I can mount on top of my saw horses.

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Then I can add these 2X3s to hold full 8 foot sheets.

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I can quickly take this apart and stack the saw horses and store all of this inside out of the rain. I have some more projects I will show you later, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Christmas 2016

25 Dec

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Here’s wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope each one of you is spending your day with family and friends. With all the hustle and bustle of the season, let us not forget the true meaning of Christmas. Jesus is the reason for the season, may God Bless you all!

 

Homestead Update 12/24/16

24 Dec

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Tonight is Christmas Eve and Santa stopped by the homestead to have dinner with all of his little friends.

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Sweet Thing has the table set with her festive holiday décor so Santa can dine with reindeer and bears.

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His other friends are Elves, Snowmen, and a Christmas mouse!

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Sweet Thing has also been busy making her world famous Chex Mix. She worked three afternoons and made 30 gallons of mix.

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Here is some of it all bagged and all ready to go. A lot of people really look forward to her Chex Mix!

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Brandi helped her make the Chex Mix so now she is asleep beside me in my recliner because she is all tuckered out! Keep prepping everyone!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Homestead Update 12/11/16

11 Dec

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Once again, I haven’t accomplished much around the homestead lately. I did cut up two small trees that died during the summer and I stacked the wood on the back porch in the stand Sweet Thing bought at Big Lots. The temperatures fell into the teens this past week. I know you Yanks probably consider that “light jacket” weather, but around here we consider that bitterly cold! I told Sweet Thing it was time to light a fire in the fireplace, but she said “No!”

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She already had the fireplace decorated for Christmas and she refused to take it down unless the power goes out and we absolutely had to have the heat. I guess I’ll have to wait until after New Years to have a warm, cozy fire.

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My niece bought a house recently and the previous owner subscribed to a garbage service which she wasn’t going to use. She called the company and told them to come get this big, green, heavy duty, rolling garbage can. They told her to just keep it because it would cost them more to send a man out to pick it up than it would to just write it off. She asked if I wanted it and I said “of course I do”!

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One of the young men that works for me recently bought a house and he wanted to dump into my back gully some old carpet that he tore out while he was remodeling. He also dumped this wood and fortunately I discovered it before it rained tonight! There was a good 2×4, 1×4, 2×8, 2/3 of a sheet of interior paneling, 1/2 a sheet of particle board, several smaller pieces, a roll of hardware cloth, a package of gutter leaf guards as well as this solid wood door. I asked him why he threw this away and he said he thought I didn’t like particle board. I said I don’t really like it, “UNLESS IT IS FREE’! Then I will take all I can get. This heavy wooden door is way better than the back door I have in my shop right now so I will replace it with this one soon. I told him not to throw away any more wood without checking with me first. I have several projects I can use that wood on. I will keep you updated on my projects, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11/20/16

20 Nov

I started thinking what did I do this week to write about. Then, I kept thinking, “what DID I do this week?!” So I just went through my pictures to remind me.

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I drove my SIL to her doctors appointment and that took all of one day. I worked in my office on paperwork quite a bit each day. So I guess I spent the rest of my time organizing my work shop. I built and painted this charging station for my rechargeable tools. I put slots in one shelf to slip my drills into and I have all of the chargers on the top shelf. I even have room for drill bits and supplies. Now, all of my drills and batteries are all together where I can find them when I need them! I put castors on the unit so I can still hang tools on the wall behind it, then I just roll it out of the way when I need to reach the wall.  I painted it Tennessee orange to give a splash of color in my otherwise drab white and brown shop!

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Speaking of castors, I went to Harbor Freight to get some to use for some other projects I have planned in my shop. I picked four of the 2 inch castors from the bin, and they were on sale for $2.99 each, which is $12.00 for the 4. But wait! These furniture movers were on sale for $9.99 and there are four 3 inch castors on them. So quickly doing the math in my head, I can take the castors off of the mover and have four 3 inch castors for $10 compared to $12 for the four 2 inch castors. It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out! I bought 4 of the movers to remove the castors, and I also got sixteen 2 inch flat head bolts with washers and nuts, and four slats of wood from each unit to use as well. What a deal!

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Two weeks ago I was so sure Hillary would win the election, I went to Sports Academy and bought some 30 round AR magazines, some 38 Special bulk ammo, and even some 22 long rifle. That is the first time I have seen bricks of 22 on a shelf since Obama was elected. I also went online and bought more 30 round magazines because I figured with Hillary in the White House, the first time there was another shooting with an AR rifle, she would issue an executive order banning high capacity magazines. I wanted to stock up before that happened. Even though she lost, I am still glad I bought them anyway. I probably won’t get much accomplished this week due to the holiday coming up and needing to meet with some of my clients this week. If I do anything I’ll keep you posted. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 11/13/16

13 Nov

This week I have spent most of my time cleaning up and rearranging my workshop. I am making a French cleat system for hanging my tools.

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As I was making the cleats, I realized I needed to make an out feed table for my table saw. I think it turned out really well, although it is fixed so that I can’t move it by myself. I have some modifications I need to make to make it foldable as I get the time.

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Before I started, I bought this Incra Precision Miter gauge. It is highly accurate with an expandable aluminum rail. It has a fold down fixture for holding the wood, as well as T-tracks for adding additional accessories.

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I also bought this Woodpecker brand precision T-square. This thing has holes bored in every 1/16th of an inch that you can stick a pencil lead through to get highly accurate measurements.

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I used those tools to make this exact width dado jig for my router.

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The jig allowed me to cut dados for a shelving unit that are so tight I really don’t even need glue or screws to hold it together. All of my other tools are from Sears or Harbor Freight so it has been really nice being able to use some high quality equipment for a change!

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Oreo and Kensey didn’t care for all that sawing going on. They spent some time out in the shop with me while I was cleaning and reorganizing but when the sawing and hammering started they retired back into my “Man Cave” and curled up in my old recliner. I hope to be far enough along with my project to post some pictures next week. Until then, keep prepping everyone!