Tag Archives: projects

Dead Tree to Beer Mug – Gale’s Mesquite Project 1

Before

 Could have been firewood.

The process:

Find a dead tree

Cut it to length

Mark approximate centers for lathe

Make certain your last will and testiment is up-to-date, don your face protection and body armor, adjust the lathe to the slowest possible RPMs and mount the future beer glass in the lathe.

Finding that lowest speed is important.

Change tools and readjust as the cylinder size is reduced.  Gradually the RPMs can be increased.

Trim off everything that isn’t a beer mug

When it approaches the shape you want prepare the end for the talon chuck.

The talon chuck holds it by the end so you can begin hollowing out the vessel.

Note the protrusion at the base to serve as a grip for the talon.

If your material is mesquite some filling might be needed at this point.

Gale’s been using chrysocolla for that job lately

Now you’re ready to begin hollowing it out.

A closer view:

Gale prefers to use a drill press to take out part of that center plug because it’s awkward and the speeds of the material vary and directions reverse at the center.

Then back to finishing the rough mug.

The rough part of the job done, cheated death and any more of these one more time:

Other finished, or near finished vessels:

There’s not much money in it for him, though he sells a lot of them.  But you have to admit there’s something magic about turning a dead tree into a wine glass or beer mug.

Sometime soon I’ll show you some of his silversmith work.

Old Jules

 

Building A Salvage Chicken-Hilton – One Man Band

Follow-up construction details:

I’ve mentioned and shown pics of the chicken-house built from discarded shower doors, etc., several times here.

“A chicken-house fabricated entirely from salvage, discarded shower doors, camper shell roof, refrigerator shelves, whatever came to hand free”

White Trash Repairs: Throwing Down the Gauntlet

From the ground:

I said when I made the post I’d be talking more about it, but way led onto way and I never got around to doing it. 

This was a one-man-band project.  The footprint of that structure has about an inch-or-less of topsoil over hardpan caliche or limestone.  Digging holes for the uprights wasn’t something I wanted to contemplate.

I knew I wanted the pickup camper as a roof, the shower-doors as part of the walls, wanted uprights with lateral stability without digging into limestone.  But otherwise it was plan-as-you go, driven partly by material availability.

Those lower walls are two sides of a huge packing crate I picked up for $5 from a guy in Kerrville.  Bought 30# of large lag-screws [$1.00 per pound] from Habitat for Humanity Recycling Store for the project because I anticipated difficulties in the lateral stability department.  The shower doors were free.  The 4x4s were from the same guy who sold me the packing crate.

I used the crate-sides to get three of the uprights generally in place by bolting them together.  Trust me when I tell you this ought to be a 2-man job.  I fudged on a lot of things by not paying a lot of attention to right-angles because I couldn’t be two places at once and knew I wasn’t going to live forever.

I took about a week building it, but probably it could have been done in a day with two people working.

As you can see I trenched below the lower walls and dug to bedrock, only an inch or two, to level the lower walls and provide a base for the corner posts.

Before putting the camper shell on top I built an interior frame and stabilized it with a steel bed frame salvaged from a junk pile:

Once that was in place I ran the front bumper of the truck up against it from whatever angles I could get to it, hooked a chain to the uprights from other angles pushing and pulling it with the truck to test the lateral strength.  We get some high winds and I didn’t want it coming down, even if the additional strength the camper shell structure would add became fractured.

I constructed a lean-to ramp using 4 2x12s and positioned the camper shell diagonally on it, skidded it up with a come-along until I had it in place, then bolted it to the top frame.  As I was finishing, Gale dropped down to see how I was doing and helped a lot during the final positioning of the shell.

The camper shell was missing the door, so for ventilation I used salvaged refrigerator shelving.  It keeps the predators out but allows a good breeze.  But to keep out the water I added the additional planks at an angle sloping away from the roof runoff.

Other than that there wasn’t much to it.

Old Jules

Three Dog Night– One Man Band