Monday, March 12, 2012


This warm weather is presenting an opportunity to finish the painting work that I didn't quite get to finish last fall. It is basically the portion of the wall under the lower roof over the kitchen.

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Desk

The new desk

The storage cabinet closed. Inside is the printer, modem and power strip

The inside of the storage cabinet

Note the arrangement for holding the various cables in place under the desktop. They are easily disengaged if need be.

Detail from one of the cabinet side panels

The office desk is nearly done. We are waiting on a little more hardware and there are a couple of tweaks here and there, but the big stuff is done and in place. I used cherry wood throughout.

You might recall from a previous post that Nancy and I came up with the design by creating a mock-up to test out the arrangement. From there I translated that into a plan for two cabinet bases, a large desk top and a "wing" that slots into the desk and provides good work space and views for Nance, who spends lots of time working at this desk. She's managed with some pretty rudimentary set-ups in the past, so its nice to create something that sets her up well.

The right hand cabinet is a conventional set of drawers; the top one is a simple drawer and the bottom one is a file cabinet sized arrangement.

The left hand cabinet looks like a matching cabinet with drawers but in fact serves as storage for the printer, the power strip, and the modem. The side of the cabinet opens to reveal the stuff inside but doesn't look like a door.

The wing is designed to easily come off so that we can have space to set up a bed in the office when we want to make it into a guest room.

When I was working out the plan, Nancy challenged me to come up with something clever for sides of the cabinets and I was sort of stumped. After tossing around some ideas I decided to stamp the side panels with letters and numbers--the idea being that desks, cabinets, printers and the like are pretty much about generating and holding letters and numbers. The result is subtle, but I'm pleased with how it came out.

A bonus is the keyboard drawer which I picked up the at the state of Vermont salvage store in Waterbury. It is versatile, easy to use, and very solid; a new version of this mechanism would cost over $100. It was a good catch at $10.

When the drawer slides arrive I will build a slide out base for the printer so it'll be easy to load up paper. The drawer pulls will be in that same order and installing those will round off this part of the project. Yet to come are an upper shelving unit along the back of the desk for storage and such. That'll be easy compared to the desk and cabinets.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wood Use Check-In

This week we are just finishing up burning a total of 1/2 cord of wood so far this season.

(Since our wood is all cut to 12" long, it is easy to quantify the volume of wood we stack between the posts on the porch. I have a mark at the height of a quarter cord and can easily mark the heights for fractions of that quarter cord.)

Last night Nancy and I discussed how much more we should load onto the porch. I suggested another quarter cord, or maybe an eighth. We settled on a sixteenth.

With the strong sunshine at this time of the year along with warming temps it just doesn't seem like we'll burn too much more wood.

Now that we are beginning to understand our heating requirements the information allows us to consider how we might source our wood needs. In the years we lived in the yurt we needed so much wood (about 3.5 cords per season) that cutting it ourselves was not really a consideration. Harvesting a half cord just doesn't seem so hard so its interesting to think about harvesting our own wood supply from the surrounding woods.