Sunday, December 26, 2010

new heating plan . . .

Since the chalkboard work is still continuing, I had to come up with a heating plan for the wood shop.  For weeks now it has been really cold.  Like 7 in the mornings and in the 20's during the day.  I was having to go out in the shop at night after supper for a couple of hours, and spend a little time as well on the weekends out there.  When I had orders for chalkboards, I found myself out in the wood shop completely bundled up and working on them dreading the chill.  (I have been using a hair dryer to heat the paint cans up so they will spray nicely, and every now and again using a propane burner to take the edge off the cold) It has not been great to use the cold, steel table saw, or to wear gloves while I am trying to sand small edges on the boards.

So I decided to come up with a heating plan!  A plan that would utilize some of the things I had here at home, and if I needed to purchase anything, it would be minimal.  First was the stove.  I had a wood burning stove that I bought last year and used in the house until the wood cook stove came in.  I was storing it in the foyer planning on building a fireplace sometime.  Since it wasn't being used yet, I decided to use it out in the shop to keep the place a little warmer, and to help the paint dry on the chalkboards. I picked up some stainless steel stovepipe from an Amish friend of mine, and then had another metalworker make some mounting brackets for me.  I spent just under $60.00 for all the stuff.  I had some older stovepipe that I was going to be using on the inside, and also needed to purchase a couple of more things at the home improvement store in town.  I ripped some of the insulation off the ceiling in the garage and tore off the flammable paper backing for some insulation around the thimble that passes through the wood wall.  And out in the horse barn I found some sheet galvanized steel that I cut, painted, and applied to the wall as a "flashing" of sorts.  

This is what I came up with.  A pipe that runs up the side of the wood shop about 12 inches away from the wall.  I have been monitoring how hot it gets and even when the fire is RAGING in the stove, the brackets and the wall are still as cold as it is outside.  The pipe gets hot right as it comes out of the wall, but the further up it goes, the cooler it is.  And this is my new wood work shop area with a fire in it.  I start the fire around 9:00 am and by 10:00 the wood shop is a comfortable 60 degrees!  GREAT working temperature.

I told the children that I probably should have done this during the summer.  It would have been a little easier to work with the tools outside!  Hey . . . I am still on the learning curve.  :)

Saturday, December 18, 2010

adding some new decorations . . .

Last year we didn't have a tree during the Christmas season.  We were right in the midst of moving, and decorating for the holidays was not a priority.  In fact, we skipped the traditional Christmas we usually have.  

This year, since we are now settled, I asked the children if they wanted to decorate for Christmas time by getting a tree.  They all decided that we should, and they wanted to go to a live Christmas tree farm.  So, last week on a snowy Sunday, we went and picked out this tree.  I brought my chainsaw along just in case we had to cut it ourselves.  As a side note, it is so much nicer using a chainsaw than a hand saw to cut on the truck of a tree.  While in Los Angeles, there was no need for me to have a chainsaw so each Christmas that we got a live tree, I had to spend a whole lot of energy cutting a tree trunk with a handsaw.  :)

Once we got it home, the children decorated it.  Each year we use the handmade paper items we have made over the years, and some of the ones we purchased.  This year I decided to add some other ornaments to the mix as well.  Mini chalkboards that Macy wrote words on.
Paper garland with Rejoice printed on it.
And some partially budded branches.
I do enjoy having a tree inside for Christmas time.  Not sure why, maybe out of habit, but I like it.