Watching Wood Dry

Not so much this time — watching wood dry is not very photogenic.

But I have made progress. After about ten-days of the planks drying, I rough cut all the pieces that I will need for the kitchen cabinet doors and drawers. A few days later I thickness-planed the 2″x2″ pieces to their finished 1.5″x1.5″ sizes. I ended up with three trash bags full of very expensive sawdust, which Armando was happy to have as bedding for his chickens. Here are some photos:

With a new $80 blade, the Caoba (African Mahogany) cuts like butter:

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The sawdust is extremely fine and doesn’t have a lot of oil in it.

I had to do a complete tear-down of my thickness planer. Years of lack of use in this tropical environment rendered it rusted and frozen. I completely disassembled it, replaced a new gear that I bought on the Internet, and sanded, polished, and lubricated all the moving parts. A total of $5 and a day’s elbow grease got it going again as good as new:

P1030068-001Here the planer spews expensive shavings:

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I used the miter saw to cut boards to rough lengths. I have another new blade ready for the finish cuts:P1030049-001

Here the wood sits, stacked and drying for a couple more weeks — still a lot more thickness planing to do before I can make the doors and drawers — Armando’s chickens will be very happy:P1030057-001

While I wait for the wood to dry, I kept at my Long List Of Stuff Still To Do, including installing roller guides for the door in the half-bath in the hallway off of the living room:

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Using a hammer and small chisel, I created two small holes. I set the bolts in the holes and filled around them with tile grout.

The strong east sun had faded the trim paint at the front door wall, and the caulk glazing between the glass and the metal angle iron had shrunk as well, allowing water to enter the framework and rust the metal. I am in the process of caulking/repainting this front wall:

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I spent a full day working on the front door. Some welds on the door jamb needed to be ground smooth and there were areas that had never been properly primed and painted. Also, the hole for the latch was ragged and ugly, so I welded in some new metal and ground and filed it all smooth. The door closes much better now.

So bit by bit, I’m chipping away at the remaining detailing of the house. Feels good to be this far along.

In other news, nature happens all around us, all the time. This morning while I was washing Very Stinky Jabo, I spotted this motionless drama — a very pregnant gecko tried to eat a very large spider. Neither won, neither walked away:

P1030079-001Every now and then, an adventurer/traveler, looking for a place to park a camper, will find our quiet neighborhood. I generally invite them to park in the road in front of our house — it is well lighted and safe and no one will bother them. Yesterday, Peter, from Germany and on the road now for about two years, stumbled upon us.

We invited him in for dinner with one of our Panamanian neighbors, and had a pleasant evening talking about exploring and traveling. Peter’s camper is quite a rig, an engineering and craftsmanship marvel, and I am very envious. He built it himself with 3,000 hours of his labor, and his blog shows construction of the rig plus his travels around the world. Here are a couple photos of the Lady Grey:

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Peter says that no one bothers him because no one knows what his vehicle is! The vehicle is foreboding and impenetrable, but Peter is  warm and friendly, excited to meet strangers and learn about their cultures.

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An electric winch is needed to remove the spare tire from the back of the rig.

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On the rear of his vehicle is this saying: “The most dangerous world view is the world view of those who have not viewed the world.” Alexander Von Humboldt .Well chosen Peter!

That’s all for now. Thanks for stopping by.

4 thoughts on “Watching Wood Dry

  1. It is always such a pleasure to find that you have added another post to your website. It is the first thing I open when I find this anounchment in my e mail. I still think your house if a thing of beauty, I love the photos of the plants, the containers on your front porch this time seem to be very happy! Thanks for continuing to update your progress, and for a glimpse of your life and for introducing some of the people you meet. Till next time, Tricia

    • Hi Tricia,

      Thank you very much for your kind comment and compliments. Yes, the plants are happy. We used to have two different plants in the pots, but the ones you see in the photo pushed the other aside and completely took over! And the plant/vine that is growing on the arbor at the carport has now reached the top and is starting to move to the left. Everything grows so fast here. New bananas almost ready to pick and a new bunch is now forming bananas. Love it. Thanks again for your comment. Fred

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