I made a video

I put together images of the wattle woven raised bed and made a video out of it. This time, I borrowed my daughter’s microphone for the narration, and WOW was it better! I didn’t have to use background music to camouflage the background noises my headset microphone always made.

Something got glitchy when I saved it. I had to save it several times to get rid of some strange coloured stripes that showed up. They were only visible after I saved the file and checked it, never in the editing software. I uploaded the video, only to find the glitch had simply moved to the very beginning of the video. I had to re-save it and re-upload it, and I think this one worked.

Please let me know if you can view it all right!

The Re-Farmer

Old Kitchen Garden, wattle weaving progress

Oh, I am so happy!!! It’s almost completely done!

I went and borrowed my husband’s phone to take a picture. It’s my old phone, but of course he’s set it up to how he wants it – which turns out to include fingerprint scan to unlock it. I really hate that function. I find they don’t scan fingerprints well, and the last thing I’d want is to get locked out of my own phone because the thing can’t recognize my fingerprint. It could well be because my hands are so rough, it messes up my fingerprints. Either way, it looks like I won’t be borrowing his phone when I got into the city after all. It’s changed so much, I had to get him to tell me where the camera icon was! He does love his funky themes and designs. 😁

Anyhow…

Here it is!

I had enough long poles that I could do the back without having to overlap any. The only problem came when it was time to do just the taller posts. It wasn’t too bad when I was weaving around seven of them, but when it came to just the three at the turn, it was more difficult. I had the shorter pieces for it, but three poles just isn’t really enough to hold the wattles in place, though for some of them, I could push the more flexible tips into the previous wattles to lock them down.

There was lots left over when the inside of the L shape was done, and I wanted to use them while they were still green and flexible, so I went ahead and did the outside. The first thing that needed to be done was to hoe the soil out of the path and back into the bed, while also clearing and leveling where I estimated the uprights would go. Once that was done, I measured two feet from that long pole right in the corner, marking three places; the left and right are lined up with the back walls, while the center one is in the middle.

Knowing I would be working with much thicker poles, I spaced the uprights further apart along the sides, compared to the previous ones. That left me with four extra prepared posts. After using the pencil point bar and a sledge hammer to make holes for the posts, then sledge hammering the posts in place, I could see I wouldn’t be able to use the uprights at the ends, so I added another post at each end, just inside the posts supporting the end wattles.

When it came time to weave the wattles in, I used the longest poles first, with the thickest parts at the ends, so that the more flexible tops would go around the curve. Some of the posts were long enough to actually bend all the way around the curve! When I put in the second side, I was able to wrap the ends around the wattle in the first side. I was able to do this for the first several layers before I found myself having to weave a shorter third pole around the curve. Unfortunately, a few of the poles just couldn’t go around the curve without breaking.

With the more flexible ends going around the curve, this meant the ends built up higher, faster. Which I’m okay with. For the last few pieces, they weren’t long enough to go around the curve at all.

I will need more material to build up the curve, but I also want to build that corner higher, too. So what I need to look for now is a lot of thinner and flexible, pieces. If I can find enough of them, I might be able to not only build up the corner and the curve, but wrap a nice edging along the top, all the way around.

Finding appropriate materials to do this was surprisingly difficult, but I’m really happy with how it’s turning out. By the time this is finished, though, we probably won’t be able to accumulate enough materials to do it again anytime soon, except perhaps for some very small beds.

Once the walls are done, we can add amendments and more soil to this bed to build it up, and it will be MUCH easier on the back to work in it.

The Re-Farmer

Some chilly morning progress

At some point, I’m going to have to borrow my husband’s phone or something, just to have handy to take some progress pictures!

And kitty pictures.

I counted 26 this morning. !! And I didn’t see Rosencrantz until much later, nor did I see Rolando Moon, who seems to have moved on again.

My new phone is expected to arrive on the 28th, which is the day I’m taking my mother’s car in to get the tire fixed. The shipping notice originally said the 27th, which I would have preferred, since that meant I could have the phone set up and ready before going in for our first city shopping trip for next month. I’ll definitely borrow my husband’s phone for that trip, at least.

Once I was done my morning rounds, I grabbed the loppers and went into the south side of the spruce grow. We haven’t done any clean up in there for quite some time. Much of that area was under water this spring, anyhow.

This area has been mostly taken over by poplars, and that was what I was after. As we clean out the spruce grove, one of the things I want to do is cut back a lot of the poplars and plant more spruces. I want it to stay a spruce grove, not turn into a poplar grow. Spruces are better for cutting the wind and snow year round.

What I was looking for were tall, straight poplars small enough to cut with the loppers. At that thickness, they should still be flexible enough to bend as I weave them around the uprights. If it’s too thick to cut with the loppers, it’s too thick for the wattle weaving.

While I was doing that, I found myself working around the apple trees we’ve been uncovering out there. I asked my mother about them, and these were trees she’s planted herself, mostly from seed. My mother still has a hard time understanding that you don’t get the same type of apples from seeds at the tree they came from (as far as I know, there is only one type of apple that grows true from seed). We have no idea what kind of apples these can produce. The area is so overgrown, the much shorter apple trees barely had enough sunlight to start blooming. I was even cutting poplars that were growing through the branches of an apple tree!

Since I was there anyhow, I went ahead and pruned several of the apple trees, cutting away dead branches, and opening them up to more light. With the number of poplars I cut away from around them, that will be a help, too. We will need to come back with other tools to cut away the ones that were too big for the loppers to cut through, as well as other bushes I can’t identify at this point. I was happy to spot little spruces trying to grow through the tall grass and fallen trees and branches, which also need to be cleared away. I was also very thrilled to find a single Tamarack tree. There were three others planted closer to the house, in between some spruces, that are way too crowded together. I’m hoping to save them, but that might require cutting down the spruces next to them, and I don’t want to do that if I don’t have to. This Tamarack, however, as all on its own and would not have been deliberately planted there. I really like Tamarack, and would like to eventually plant more of them.

Anyhow.

I kept finding more of these apple trees, but I couldn’t get at most of them. Of the ones that I was able to prune, though, I’m hoping they will finally get enough light to bloom and produce. I did see some flowers on one of them for the first time last spring, but no apples developed.

I am quite happy with how many small, straight poplar I was able to get at and harvest. Once I was done, it took several trips to drag the piles of them I’d made, over to where the burn barrel is. The branch pile may be chipped, but I’m already adding more to the remains that need to be burned! The next while was spent trimming all the branches and twigs off, adding those to the burn pile, then sorting the remaining poles more or less by length. Then they all got dragged over to the old kitchen garden.

I should actually have enough to finish wattle weaving the inside of the L shaped bed, and even start on the outside of it. What I think I will do for the outside is not have a 90 degree corner, like there is around the double lilac, but to have a curve, instead. I haven’t quite decided yet, but if I think having a curve would actually make things easier, and more even.

By the time the poles were dragged over to the old kitchen garden, I had to go inside to warm up! I don’t know what the temperature was outside at the time, but the thermometer in the sun room was at only about 3C/37F. Which is what our high of the day is supposed to be. It’s almost 2pm as I write this, and we finally reached that temperature outside. Tomorrow’s high is expected to be only 4C/40F, but after that, we’re supposed to have three days with highs of 13C/55F.

I have to get back at work with the poles I cut this morning, though, while they are still at their most pliable. It’s definitely going to be chilly work!

The Re-Farmer

Old Kitchen Garden: Wattle weaving progress

After finishing up my morning rounds, I did as much as I could with the wattle fence, using what materials we had been able to gather. There wasn’t much I could do with the longer sections. With the shorter part of the L shape, I was able to use a few single lengths, but even there I had to start combining them in pairs.

The girls had gathered some really nice, even pieces of maple suckers, though, and they were the perfect length for the wider end bit.

The red barked lengths are the maple the girls had gathered. When I used those up, I went to the pile of small willow branches I’d set aside and brought over the pieces that were close in size to the maple. Those are the greenish coloured branches. Last of all, I topped it with two thicker pieces of maple that I’d pruned from the nearby maples that are now clear of the branch piles. Those are are lot tighter, and will lock everything in place. I didn’t trim the top one to size yet, as I might need to move it out while the other section of wall is worked on. However, as it is now, that is as high as I intend to go for most of the bed.

It would be great if the whole thing could have been done like this! It looks so much prettier, with smaller gaps and more consistent sizes. The only down side is that such small pieces will also break down faster than the larger ones. It will likely still take a few years, but it’s something to be aware of.

I used more of the maple suckers I had gathered at this end, along with more willow that was left, and locked it down at the top with two thicker pieces of maple.

This corner looks a mess right now! It will be built up, end to end, until they are the same height as the walls at the ends. After that, it will be build up higher to match the heights of the debarked posts. By time I’m working on just the three tallest posts, I’ll be working with much shorter pieces, and should be able to tidy up the whole thing a lot more. Right now, it’s looking quite the mess!

That piece of 2×4 is my mallet.

At this point, I am out of useable materials. I think I will go hunting around the spruce grove for more material, before I start wandering father afield. The Red Osier Dogwood that we have would make excellent, flexible pieces, but that’s something I’m trying to encourage as undergrowth. I might still be able to harvest some, though. There might even be some young poplar I can harvest. Mostly, I just want to find enough material to finish this back wall. The remaining sections can wait until spring, if we have to. Once the back wall is done, the soil that has eroded into the paths can be hoed back into the bed and tidied up. I will likely use grass clippings that we still have all along the bottom of the wattle wall to keep the soil from falling into the gaps. Slowly, this bed will be built up to the height of the lowest sections of wattle, which will make growing in it MUCH easier on the back!

That’s about all I’ll be able to get done today, though. We’ve had another change in plans, with company coming tomorrow. We’re hoping to be able to have a bonfire with the remains of the big branch pile that got chipped, but it will depend on the weather. The forecasts keep changing. Just in case, we need to be prepared to move indoors, so we’re going to have to start moving things like our canning supplies back into storage, and all that other stuff that just sort of takes over every flat surface! We’ll need to be able to expand the dining table, too, which will take up twice the space.

We are terrible house keepers. 😂

But I’m really looking forward to seeing my BIL and his family, and really appreciate that they are willing to make the long drive out here, knowing that my husband can no longer go to their place. It’s going to be awesome!

The Re-Farmer

Garden bed and kibble house progress

Today’s high was supposed to be 19C/66F. I don’t know if we reached it, but with the blustery winds, it never felt that warm. I’ve been keeping a close eye on the weather, and my app on my desktop includes historical data for each day, including 30 year record highs and lows for various data. I noticed that today had a record high for snow of 14cm/5.5in in 2019. In fact, we set record highs for snow on the 10th, 11th and 12th, all in 2019. We were just coming to the end of our second year here, so I went looking at my blog posts for those dates.

Ah, yes. I remember that blizzard!

The amazing thing is that, just days later, all that snow was gone, and while we were still cleaning up storm damage, everything was back to green and sunny!

Depending on which app I look at, however, we might be getting a mix of snow and rain starting tomorrow night, and by Friday afternoon, we’re expected to get between 3-6cm (roughly 1-2 inches) of snow.

That meant my focus was preparing to build up walls around the L shaped bed in the old kitchen garden.

I went through the maple pieces I’d cut yesterday and started cutting them to size, cutting points on them, and debarking some of them.

I had lots of furry help. So much help, one of the kitties got plumb tuckered out!

From the longest, straightest pieces of maple, I cut three into 4 foot lengths. Then I went through some of the strongest pieces to cut four 3 foot lengths, then four 2 1/2 foot lengths. After that, I just cut as many 2 1/2 foot lengths from the thinner straight pieces as I could get out of them.

I used a hatchet to cut the points on all of them. That was probably the most unpleasant part of the job. Not so much for the thinner pieces, but for all the thicker ones. I’m ambidextrous for most things, left handed when it comes to fine motor control, but for some things, I am completely right handed.

Using a hatchet is one of those things, and my right hand has been in terrible shape lately. I had difficulty gripping the hatchet, and had to stop frequently to give my hand a break.

The draw knife was awesome for debarking the wood. It’s still quite green and came off easily. I don’t have a way to secure the pieces I’m working on well, so there were quite a few times when I was pushing instead of drawing the blade – and it works just as well that was, too. For some of the thinner pieces, though, it was easier to just use a knife to debark them.

Also, no, that is not rust on the blade of the draw knife. It’s stained with tree sap.

The stack of the thinnest pieces did not get debarked. It would have taken forever and, at their sizes, it would have been awkward. The pieces that will be taking the most stress, however, have been debarked.

That all took a few hours.

Then it was time to get to the garden bed. I pulled the lettuce I’d left to go to seed (it looks like we’ll get seed from just one of them) and got ready to prep the bed. Without walls, soil was falling into the path and the inside of the L shape, and I don’t like wasting good soil!

I used a hoe to draw some of that soil back into the bed, and level off the edge, where the uprights will be going.

The three longest pieces will form a triangle at the inside of the bend. When we start weaving branches through the posts, these will be taking the most stress. Working out from there, one 3 ft piece will go along the short end, and three down the long end. If I have enough materials to do it, I plan to build up the wall higher at these posts, as much to wall around the lilac as to create a wall for the bed.

The four 2 1/2 ft pieces are for the corners at the ends of the bed.

To install the posts, I used the pencil point bar and hammered it into the ground.

Unfortunately, that old hammer doesn’t have the right handle on it, and the head fell off again. I had to switch to a sledge hammer.

I really didn’t want to switch to the sledge hammer.

Ah, well. It worked better. I’m just going to be in a world of hurt, tonight!

I started by placing three posts in, then tied twine between them as guides for the rest of the posts. Then I laid out the spacing for the remaining two 4 ft posts, and the four 3 ft posts.

At this point my daughter, who had been working on putting salvaged shingles on the kibble house, ran out of roofing tar. I’d only picked up a small can for patch jobs, never expecting to need more.

So I left my daughter to continue pounding in the posts while I went into town to pick up more tar, and a few other things while I was there. When I came back, I found my daughter lying on a tarp on the ground surrounded by kittens. She is having much more success at socializing than I am!

She had even pounded the other two corner posts at the ends of the L shape.

The weather was starting to get worse, so I quickly filled in the gaps with the smaller 2 1/2 ft posts.

The long end of the L shape will be only 2 feet wide, so the end posts needed just one more added in between them, plus three more along the north side. The short end of the L shape needed only 2 more to fill the gap. Since this end can be accessed from three sides, we’re okay with it being wider than 2 feet, so the end posts there got two more in between. The rest of the posts will be for the outside of the L shape.

From the looks of it, I’m going to need to find more pieces to be able to finish the outside of the bed, but I’m not concerned about that right now. It’s the inside of the L shape that I need to get done first.

By this time, however, dark clouds were rolling in and it was starting to look like rain, so I left the job at this point and focused on cleaning up and putting away anything that might blow away. My daughter, meanwhile, finished the roof of the kibble house.

The green shingles are almost 50 years old and are in pretty rough shape. The brown ones are better, but they’re almost 30 years old.

The water bowl house roof is thinner plywood, so we’ll be using pieces of metal roofing that we’ve been scavenging for various things since we’ve moved here. If we used shingles, the nails we have would go right through by nearly half an inch, and that would be a problem! I dragged a piece of metal roofing out from the barn that we can cut in half and lay side by side to cover the roof of the water bowl house, but I also spotted a stack of corner pieces. I brought one over, and helped my daughter put it on the edge of the shingles on the kibble house. I found a bin of metal roofing screws in the warehouse, so I grabbed a bunch for when the water bowl house is done, and my daughter used a few of those to install the metal cap on the edge of the roof, using the screw holes that were already in the metal – after making sure to put some tar under each hole, first.

Almost everything about the kibble and water bowl houses has been done using scavenged bits and pieces we’ve found around the property, and a lot of it is pretty old and starting to rot. We don’t expect these to last long, but using paint and even decades old shingles will help them last longer. At some point, it’ll be nice to be able to build versions using new materials, all well measured and cut and leveled, etc. But this will do for now.

Once this was done, I set up a longer extension cord I found that was in good shape, and was able to plug in the cat’s house. We lifted the roof and put in the high density rubber mats I’d dragged out of the barn, which will help insulate the floor. There’s a thick scrap yarn crocheted blanket that is laid out on top of the mats, too. We will not be using straw this year. As much care as we have taken with the terrarium heater bulb, I would much rather not have straw in there! The heat bulb is working fine, with the heat shield still in place, and the timer is set to light sensor, so it will turn on when it gets dark, then off again when it gets light. The smoke detector was tested, too, and it’s working fine.

Once the water bowl house is done and set up where it will go, we’ll be able to plug in the heated water bowl through the cat’s house entry, too.

Tonight, the cats will have a warm and cozy place to stay if they start feeling too chilly. I especially hope the tiniest kittens will start using it!

As for me, I’ve pain killered up and hope I’ll be able to continue in the old kitchen garden tomorrow. For the weaving, I plan to cut the willow branches and use them right away, while they are still very green and flexible.

I really hope this works out. Otherwise, that’s a lot of work for nothing! Well. Not for nothing. Now that those posts are in, even if wattle weaving doesn’t work, I could still use them to hold whatever we find to use instead. It’s all fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants work, anyhow!

Which is half the fun. 😊

The Re-Farmer

Small builds, and green tomatoes

It has been absolutely gorgeous outside today. As I write this, we are at 14C/56F. Just perfect to be outside for many hours!

I was planning to build a soil sifter today, but after fussing with the trail cams this morning, I decided I needed to build a new stand for one of them, first. The gate cam had stopped working again, even though I’d just changed the batteries. The day before, there were only 3 files recorded before it stopped working. The gate is more of a security priority, so I took the new solar powered camera from by the sign and set it up on the stand at the gate. Which was not as good of a set up, but it would do.

I brought the camera that had been at the gate inside and tested the batteries. They had gone down a lot, for being used only for a day, but they were still well into the green. After checking the camera itself out for a bit, I decided to take a scouring pad to the battery contacts in the flip-down cover. Water had gotten into it at some point, and there was rust, but I had given them a scrubbing before, and things were quite dry. Still, it was really the only thing that was available to do. Sure enough, it worked!

I wanted to leave the solar powered camera at the gate, so I took the now working camera to the sign. I could screw it onto the mounting plate, but it’s a very different design. Instead of screwing into the bottom, it screws into the back. With the other camera, I could swivel it into an angle that covered the front of the sign and, because it’s a wide angle camera, it also included the road and intersection. Not being able to swivel this camera meant that it was basically facing the sign, on edge.

I figured my best bet was to use the old flag stand the camera was mounted on at the gate, and bring it to the corner by the sign. That would actually work better than having it mounted on one of the supports holding up the tipping corner fence post. Which meant making something for the new camera, that I could attach the mounting plate to, for the gate.

After scrounging in the barn for some scrap wood (I spotted a couple of Rosencrantz’ kittens just outside the barn!), this is what I made.

The solar panel makes the camera very top heavy. When it was mounted by the sign, there were many files motion triggered not by someone or something going by, but by the wind making the camera wobble on its mount. I made this stand taller, and attached the mounting plate low enough that I can use the strap that also came with it, to secure it more firmly and ensure no wobbles will trigger the motion sensor.

I moved the camera to the other side of the driveway, so that the solar panel will get maximum exposure to sunlight. With the wide angle lens, it also needs to be closer to the gate than the other camera. Once I find the sweet spot for coverage, I am thinking of pegging the legs to the ground, for extra stability. It would be better to have something like a sandbag, though, since I’d have to move it when mowing in the area.

Once that was done, I could start on the soil sifter.

I measured our wheelbarrow and cut pieces for a 2’6″ x 2’4″ sifter. The straight pieces would form a box, and the angled pieces would make a frame.

At this point, the only thing holding the frame together are the metal right angle brackets on the corners. The frame would be secured to the box, with the hardware cloth sandwiched in between.

The roof of the water bowl house made an excellent surface to unroll the 1/2 inch hardware cloth, then use the box to measure out where to cut the wire. Once cut to size, I tacked the mesh to the box with a few staples, just to hold it in place while adding the frame.

There is, a problem with using salvaged wood for everything.

I should have made the frame pieces about an inch longer. I didn’t compensate for the slightly extra width the box got from how I attached them at the corners. However, the wood is warped and uneven, which meant there was no way I could match the frame to the box, even if I’d made the frame part bigger. In several places, I had to put the screws in at an angle to catch the edge of the box. I had been using a drill to make pilot holes, only to break the bit part way through, and I didn’t have another in that size. The wood is old and very dry, so it was easy to put the screws in without a pilot hold but, as you can see, the wood started to split in a couple of places. Some of the wood was already splitting on its own.

Once the frame and box were secured to each other, I folded the excess mesh onto the sides, cutting at the corners so that a piece could fold around the corner to be secured.

The mesh was secured with a LOT of staples around the outside of the box, and more staples were added to secure the mesh to the frame on the inside. These won’t hold well, though. We need a heavier duty staple gun for projects like this.

Once done and set up on the wheel barrow, I could really see how warped some of the wood it. It can’t lay flat. Which is okay. I am not expecting this to last very long, but if I can get a year or two out of it, that’ll be enough. I am planning on using it while cleaning up and preparing garden beds for next year, to sift out rocks and roots. I want to use it on the wood chips, too. The smaller chips can be used as mulch right away, while any larger pieces can be set aside until we can bring the wood chipper out and use the shredder chute to chop the bigger pieces finer.

While I was working on that, one of the things the girls worked on was picking through and sorting all the tomatoes we picked. They found more slugs inside some tomatoes! The ripest tomatoes were set aside to use right away, while the greener ones were to be laid out on screens.

The problem was finding a place the screens could be laid out that the cats won’t get at.

We ended up using the sun room.

The onions were still laid out to cure on the wire mesh door we use for this, so we prepped them by trimming the roots, brushing off the dried dirt, and thinning the greens, before and my daughter braided them. It made for one very heavy braid! Once those were out of the way, we set screens up over the mesh door, and many of the tomatoes would fall straight through the mesh.

In the foreground are the chocolate cherry tomatoes. Then there’s all the yellow pear tomatoes, with the few remaining Sophie’s Choice tucked in with them. At the far end are the Cup of Moldova tomatoes.

They can stay in the sun room to ripen, though we will also be looking up recipes for using green tomatoes, too. There are plenty of ripe ones to start on first, though. Now that these ones are laid out on the screens, they can sit for a while before we have to get at them.

And the kittens can still use the swing bench, below. In fact, there was a kitten sleeping under the tomatoes when I took the picture! Unlike the inside cats, they have no interest at all in what’s on top of the screens. They just want soft, warm places to lie down and sleep!

The Re-Farmer

Water bowl house, in progress

My younger daughter starting working on a shelter for the water bowls, and we got some more progress on it last night. This is being built with whatever scraps we can find in the barn.

Construction is almost complete. A couple of floor boards are not nailed down yet. It got too dark to see. The scrap boards used for the floor and walls are pretty old, and there was a fair amount of rot on the ends. For the walls, I laid the boards so that the strongest wood could be nailed in place, then the rotted ends were sawed off. The same boards were used for the floor. Since this is to hold water bowls, there are spaces left in between, so that if any water spills, it’ll run through the gaps and not accumulate inside.

I might be able to cover those triangle shaped gaps at the sides. I was originally going to just leave them, but they are pretty big. Big enough that I think too much snow might blow in during the winter.

Once the construction is complete, it’ll get a scrub down and a paint job.

It’s big enough to hold the four water bowls we have, though it won’t fit as many cats at the same time as the kibble house can. That won’t be a problem, as they don’t crowd around the water bowls the way they do for the kibble.

Once painted, this should actually last a few years, in spite of how bad some of the boards are. The frame is made with sturdier wood, so it’s actually pretty strong.

It will be good to not have to dig the water bowls out of the snow this winter!

The Re-Farmer

Making tree cages

Since transplanting the Korean Pine in the outer yard – and promptly losing one that got dug up by a critter – I’ve been wanting to find a more secure way to protect them, but also to make them more visible. With the possibility of cows being allowed into the outer yard, that become more of a priority.

This is what I put together while doing my evening rounds.

I used chicken wire salvaged from the garden row covers we made last year. We’ve got some square buckets, and I used one to work out where to cut the wire. After the cut wire was made into a ring, I used the bucket as a sort of form to square off one end, then fold the edge inwards to make a sort of top with an opening in the middle.

We’ve got some high visibility paint that I use to mark rocks in the yard, so I can see them through the tall grass when mowing. Just the thing to make the chicken wire visible – on its own, it pretty much disappears against the grass!

They will dry overnight, and in the morning the girls will place them around the Korean pine. Along with the one that got dug up by a critter, another on just up and died for some reason, so we are down to 4 of the 6 we planted. I’d like to not loose any more of them, if possible! Hopefully, these cages will help protect them from critters, at least. Tomorrow morning, the girls will take them out and put them over the saplings, in place of the plastic cloche they used this morning, when the calves got into the outer yard. Some ground staples to hold them in place and, hopefully, they should work out.

The Re-Farmer

Scrap wood bench is done! Or… maybe not

This morning, I moved the painted scrap wood bench back to it’s spot under the white lilacs.

For all that the salvaged wood had damage to it, this is a VERY solid bench.

And heavy. Much heavier than it looks. I don’t know what kind of wood they are, but the true-to-size 2×4 board I used for the legs, plus the seat board, are dense and have a lot of weight to them. With care, this thing should last many years.

Once I set it in place and sat down on it, I gave the seat a good look. I think it could use one more coat of paint. There are cracks and old nail holes that I’d filled with paint, but once the paint dried, they’re not quite filled anymore. Especially that big crack you can see on the left. When I give the stairs a second coat of paint, I’ll go ahead and add another coat to the bench seat, too. There’s no reason not to.

This is an ideal spot for a bench. Nice and shady, but also open and airy. There have been many times since we’ve moved here, where I’ve been working in the heat of the day and wished for a nice cool place to sit for just a few minutes. We do have a few places to sit down, but they are all in full sun.

Over time, I hope to have seats and benches scattered all over the place. Nice little spots where one can take a break and enjoy a bit of shade on a hot day. 😊

The Re-Farmer

Scrap wood bench progress

After giving the leg ends a second coat, and filling in any spots that looked like they got missed, this morning, I finally flipped the bench to pain the top this evening.

Once it was right side up, I could also see spots on the legs and cross pieces that got missed, simply because it was more difficult to see and reach while upside down. I also took the time to make sure paint got well into any holes or cracks in the wood, so no water can come in contact with unprotected wood.

I thought it might need three coats of paint on the top, but now I think one more coat on the top, and it’ll be done. The paint filled things in better than I expected. I don’t know what this seat board was salvaged from, but it’s got saw cut markings on it, nail holes, and even several small nails and some kind of heavy duty staple stuck in it that I couldn’t get out without damaging the wood. Nothing the paint can’t smooth over.

For something thrown together in an afternoon, using scraps dug out of the barn, I’m really happy with how this bench has turned out.

The Re-Farmer