Liz and I went to our favorite shooting hole in the mountains today. A half hour from our house.

We like this spot because it is in the Superstition wilderness, but not too far from civilization. We can set up a target and shoot in peace.

We have local ranges that we could join and use for practice, but the mountains are free. And, I like to empty a few magazines as quickly as I can, and most ranges do not allow rapid fire. I understand their reason, it is for safety of others. I have been shooting since I was seven years old, so gun safety is always paramount. I like to double tap, and to quickly empty the magazine to see where the shots land. Continue reading »

1953 Craftsman King-Seeley shaper

craftsman-king-seeley-shaper I love vintage tools. I love vintage anything. Most of my gun collection is vintage. I have a lot of antique hand tools.

I am not  a technophobe. I don’t have have the latest of everything, but when working around the shop I use my cordless tools whenever possible. I prefer the sound of vinyl on my 1970’s era record player, but prefer the convenience of my MP3 player with a catalog of well over 5,000 songs.

This week I acquired a vintage shaper.It is a Craftsman model 103.920 made by King Seeley. circa 1953-54. Continue reading »

Installing a window

new window installedI still have a wall of shelves to install in the ongoing shed project. Before I could install the shelves, I had to install the window.

The first problem is that all of the windows I found were 24 inches wide.  This is a real issue when you have a shed with studs set on 24-inch centers.

This is where my Ryobi cordless reciprocating saw came in handy.  I gut out a section of the stud, and then braced the stud with another on the outside, so that I had a 24″ wide opening.

new window for the shedThat process took me longer than actually cutting the opening and installing the window.

I need to trim the window with some 1×3 pine, and we will be good to go. Now I have light on the inside, at least during daylight hours.

Next step is to complete the shelves.

Inexpensive lighting solution

cheap security lightingOur new shed has no electricity, and I didn’t feel like running a line to the new structure. It is, after all, a free-standing, non-permanent, unattached shed.

We didn’t want anything too overpowering – the shed is in a dark corner of the yard, but it is close to the living room window.  During the spring and fall, the insulated curtains are open to allow daylight in. I also didn’t want motion detection, because the only thing more annoying than bright lights shining in the window would be bright lights that continually turned on and off every time one of the animals wandered too close. Continue reading »

Demolition Continues

lot of work to do Down to the bones…
Every day I rip out more of the paneling, pealing off layers of skin to reveal the ugly skeletal underbelly.

I knew there would be some issues towards the rear of the trailer, but I was not really expecting what I found.

Bothrotting wood?  NO wood! corners were rotted for about a third of the length – the left rear bottom frame is totally gone. There is basically nothing holding the back together except for caulk and a few sheet metal screws. It was a tad bit worse than I was expecting, although certainly not an insurmountable obstacle.

rotting frameI now have a good reason to acquire a band saw – time to check out Craig’s List!

Happy New Year!
Well, it is finally New Years Eve. I completed another three-day marathon at work, extra long shifts at night so that we could have a four-day vacation.

We are celebrating at home; Mike, and Tami and Kim are coming over. Liz is cooking the turkey, the Twilight Zone marathon is on TV, and it is unseasonably rainy and cold outside. They are even predicting snow in the area – I moved out of NJ to get away from the cold!


Under my skin

tearing out the wallsThe first step in restoration of our Field and Stream trailer is triage. Ascertain the extent of damage, first aid to prevent further damage.

The pack rat was rather rudely evicted. About three cubic yards of hoarded debris has been removed.

I had to remove the “kitchen” – the cabinets and counter hosting the sink, ice cooler and oven. I didn’t think that the oven and cooler looked vintage – well, not 1953 vintage. The exterior paint job is definitely not period color or pattern.

As I began carefully dismantling the counter, I saw that there were quite a few non-original modifications to the inside structure. I found newspaper used as padding or insulation dating to 1975, which pretty much dates the previous restoration attempt.

I had this laughable plan to dismantle the inside walls intact, so that they could be used as templates for the lauan that will be used to replace all of the interior walls and ceiling. Hah! At least I will have a lot of kindling for the fire pit!

I ripped out most of the left interior wall, and the ceiling around the skylight, hoping to see the extent of the water damage that was apparent from the warped and moldy paneling. I am pleased to see that the damage to the skeleton is not extensive, and that repairs and replacement of the “bones” should be fairly straightforward.  Of course, I have not ripped out the floor and had a good view of the bottom of the frame.

Anyway, the more I research, the less formidable this project seems; I am not aiming for a historic restoration but rather to have a sturdy and serviceable trailer on a budget.  While the outside will look retro, the inside will be comfortable.


I must be out of my head

1960's Vintage Field and Stream Trailer
1960’s Vintage Field and Stream Trailer

I must be crazy! We picked up this vintage Field and Stream trailer this morning. It is in fairly rough condition.

Liz told me about it, and she was told it was a 10-foot camper. And she was told it had good tires on it.

The owner was using it as a potting shed. The pack rats had a heyday with the inside. Both tires were flat. But the skin is good, and the chassis is solid.

We spent the morning cleaning it out, and inflated the tires. It took some maneurvering to get it out of her driveway – we made it down her street and onto McKellips when I noticed the one side seems to be riding a bit low. The driver’s side tire blew out from dry rot. Luckily it had a new spare. Continue reading »

Beginning of a bar

auction findLiz found this vintage bar at the local auction, and placed a proxy bid on it for $40. We see bars go for much more all the time, so didn’t have high hopes. She was pleasantly surprised when the auction house called her today and informed her that she won.

The bar is cool in a sort of retro 1970’s “Three’s Company” sort of way, but not exactly our style; but it is quite solid and will serve as the base for a major makeover. The stools will get a paint job – a nice turquoise – and new fabric, something that resonates Key West.

The bar will be wrapped in bamboo, and the top will be covered with bar coasters and chips from my collection, and coated with a thick resin. The effect will be a tiki bar ala the Florida Keys.

Until I get the energy to begin this project, at least the bar is not so ugly we cannot live with it.

Glutton for punishment

Fosti 150cc ScooterMy latest acquisition – a basket-case scooter. I must be a glutton for punishment.

A buddy at work is relocating, and he asked me if I wanted his scooter. It is a 2012 Fosti 150cc scooter, he bought it new. Like an idiot, I said “Sure, I don’t have enough on my plate.”

He had taken the engine apart to replace the head gasket; unfortunately he did this during Monsoon and all the innards were under water, and it is doubtful that the engine can be salvaged. New ones run around $250.

Doing research on the Eagle 150 – that is the model – I discovered that it is billed as the fastest scooter.  It will top out at 70 mph. But that is sort of like bragging about your 4-inch penis…

I didn’t know people raced these things, but then again, they race lawnmowers.

I figure this would be a good way to teach Liz how to ride. At the very least it gives me Apache Junction Cred to have a vehicle in pieces in my yard…

Pergola Update

PergolaOur house is rather on the small side – 900 square-feet. Which is fine; two people, two dogs and a cat don’t really need more than that. Our studio/workshop is 16’x24′, more than ample.

However, with cramped quarters itis easy to get cabin fever. Yes, cabin fever in AZ… with the heat (even a dry heat) it is easy to hibernate indoors during the summer months. Continue reading »

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