Troy's Blog

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I'm just a typical Dad. I have a good wife of 20+ years and 2 good kids. All 3, at times, contribute to my hair graying or falling out.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

1st trestle piece made and a template

A couple of years ago I got a ton of boards that are 1/4" thick, 4" wide and 3' long. Now I have found a use for them. In my goal to build a trestle without spending (much) money, it is coming together. I cut the boards into 1/4 x 1/4 inch x 36" pieces, plus some 1/4 x 1/8 x 36". The 1/4 by 1/4 are the main beams and the thinner ones are the cross members. Above is how they look after being ripped lenghwise.
This is the first trestle support that I made (laying on its side if you look at it this way). It took 4 evenings to get 4 pieces on. I had to square it up and wait for the glue to dry. I decided piss on that and started using the hot glue gun. It bonds in 1-2 seconds and I built the rest of this in one evening.

When I got done with the first one and was showing off my accomplishment, I actually kinda got a compliment from Kaitlyn. She said "huh......I didn't think you could do it". Apparently the plans looked complicated and she thought it was beyond my talents. The "huh" was the compliment part.

I have about 19 of these to make. But first I have to cut all the wood for them.
This is the same support from the side.
This is the template I made for assembling the rest of them. Of course now that I have the template made, I've thought of a couple of things I should have changed.
This is how the pieces will lay in the template.
This is my sander. I can't use it for these small pieces, those I have to sand by hand. I just knew you wanted to see a picture of my sander. I love it. For those of you that use those fancy stones for the hard skin your feet, this would do the trick much quicker. But get your own, you're not using my sander for your feet. The round sliver disc also holds a sanding pad. You could use that on your toe nails.

Turn your head for this one, too. Does anyone know how to rotate pictures? This is my band saw. I use it to cut all of the small pieces. I love it, too. It makes just the coolest noise when it starts up and shuts off. You can actually feel the power. I have been warned by several people that it is really easy to cut a finger off with one of these. Because you work so close to the blade and are always moving your hands toward it....I guess some people have learned the hard way. Hopefully you don't seen any pictures of me at Innovis Hospital.

Off the trestle subject for now. This is one of the braces that will be screwed to the main frame and support the non trestled portions of the 2nd level. These get put together in about 5 minutes but it takes a day for the glue to dry. Because they will have more of a load, I can't use hot glue for them. I have about 17 of these to make. All of the pieces are cut for these.

This is how it looks standing up.
That's all for now. I don't want to overload anyone with info.
One thing that I do have to brag about......I update my blog more often than Kaitlyn & Sean do theirs.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Slave Labor aka my weekend with KJ

dictionary results for: slave
/sle…™v/ Pronunciation Key
slaved, slav·ing.
1. a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person.

Use in sentence structure: While visiting my sister in Chanhassen, I was treated like a slave. OR I spent my vacation day and weekend slaving away for my sister.

Yes, I just got back from Minneapolis. I had meetings Thursday and Kristi invited me over for the long weekend since I was in the area and had taken Friday off as a VACATION day.

Quoting her: "Oh, by the way, I have a couple of flowers I'd like you to help me plant". At that point, I'm assuming holding her lemonade glass, offering opinions, or better yet - getting there late enough that it is already done.

Friday we dug holes and planted. Saturday we dug more holes and planted more PLUS laid down landscaping paper and mulch. Sunday (the Lord's commanded day of rest - apparently except for slaves but I didn't see that part in the bible) we laid down more landscaping paper and mulch.

After spending 3 days at her place, there a couple of things I learned or that were reinforced into my memory.

1) Her kids are cute and extremely fun to be around. You just never know what is going to be said or what they will or will not do. Of course since they weren't mine, it was always funny.

2) A "couple" of plants means 26 shrubs, 55 plants, 3 huge trees, and countless other things. (KJ, I may have rounded up).

3) Either Jeff hates physical work or he is smarter than me and left town before the work started. I think it is a combo - he hates work and left town before the work started. I won't go so far as to say he is smarter - after all, he did marry her.

4) Kristi does NOT have tennis elbow. She has "waive at every neighbor" elbow. The spot where we landscaped above referenced hellacious project is at the entrance to their neighborhood. Every time a car entered or left, KJ would stop whatever she was commanding and waive to the passerby. Roughly 99.8% of the people knew her. I believe the other .02% knew her and chose to look the other way fearing they'd have to help. Roughly half stopped on their way out to offer encouragement and the other half stopped on their way back in to compliment HER on the work.

Truth be told, I had a great time. We had almost 3 full days of fun and interesting conversation, lots of good food, perfect weather (if you like sweaty relatives), lots of laughs with and at the kids and with and at ourselves, and I'd do it all over again. Comparible to child birth.....eventually the pain will be forgotten and soon you're ready for another.

Thanks for the fun weekend KJ!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Laurel - this is all for you.

My family's eyes just glossed over and Kaitlyn actually said "how long do we have to listen to this?" when I tried to explain the trestle and get some votes on the design. Now, those not versed in train language (trainage) and those who are not train experts (trainsperts) are even commenting on my blog that this is too confusing. Since some people understand pictures better than words, and I am 100% one of those people, too - the top blueprint is of one of the 19 vertical supports that will make up the trestle. A train will run under each side. The 2 sides are designed differently so I could pick which one I liked better. I'm going to do the one on the right.
The 2nd picture is looking at the built trestle from the side. There are different designs I have to pick from. A dual set of tracks will run on top of the trestle and underneath it. The little bit sticking out on the top left and the bottom right is just doodling ideas.
As you can see, building this, approximately 13 inches high and 3 feet long is going to take a lot of little wood pieces, glue, and time. I have wood scraps, saws, glue, and winter coming up so some time, too.
There may be those that comment "someone needs more to do". To those I say, "One thing that is a bigger waste of time than building this is reading about someone building it."
Now that the toybox is done, it's back to the trestle.

Same Box - New Paint

Below is the remodeled product. New paint, new hinges, new fabric, and new wheels. In addition, I added handles (it now looks like a coffin) and chains to keep the lid from flopping back and bending the hinges. It is even comfortable enough for the local alley cat.
I got to thinking. If I was 8 when this was built, and I remodeled it again after the same number of years, Sean will be 47 and I will be.....old. Of course by then, 76 won't seem old.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Almost Done

Above is a view of the bottom and the back - primed and ready for paint. Below is a view of the inside (duh). The back is on top.

The last few days I've finished gluing the box and let that dry. It took a while as the temps are cooler and I like using A LOT of glue. All of the original boards and nails are still there. Now they're just reinforced with glue - it could hold a herd of elephants. This is actually the toy box on its end. This is not a trick photo. If you look closely, you can see, under the primer, the slightest amount of green (former color) seeping through. And, back in the audience, just under the left tusk, sit Shirley, Sean, & Kaitlyn.

I've sanded and primed. This is how it looked before the first coat of paint. I'm not sure if I'll put another picture on while the paint process progresses or if I'll just post the final product.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


As I mentioned, I'm leaving my train project sit for a while - to get some creative planning going. In the meantime, this is the new project I am working on. It is a toy box that my Dad made in the mid '70's. Exactly when...I don't know. Someone would have to go through the picture books and find that date. Hmmm....Mom? We hadn't yet moved to where Ty lives now and I can't remember if KJ was born yet or not. Possibly this started out as her crib?? - thus the soundproof cover. Anyway, it is built like a brick shit house - very sturdy. So when Mom & Dad mentioned it was time to get rid of it, I just couldn't let this family heirloom go to the dump. I said something I normally don't...."I'll take it". I figured a quick coat of paint and a some new fabric and I could use it as a chest for my train supplies. As I got to taking it apart, I noticed the ~30+ years of use had taken its toll. First it was a toy box for Troy and his little brother Ty. Then KJ stored some of her dolls in there and possibly even a batch of her famous mud pie cookies. Eventually it was used to store (aka HIDE) liquor during the prohabition years of teen youth. Yes, Ty and KJ were a handful but we got them raised. I left all the wood as is and didn't take it apart. I just glued all the seams, put a new base on the bottom and a new floor on the inside, gluing and bolting both to the original floor. I put on new larger coasters as it is going to be on carpet, puttied some of the holes, and really slathered on the filling over the wharped and pitted spots. I added handles, got new hinges, and bought new fabric. This is what it looks like prior to sanding and priming. The foam, next to my '57 :>), will be used again. We looked for new foam but nothing was as thick as what was on there. Stay tuned. (the first picture isn't completely accurate - I didn't think of taking a "before" picture until I had it apart - so I had to get the cover to hold just long enough to snap a picture)