Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bas Bleu behind the scenery

On stage at the Bas Bleu:
Set Building Time!
It was time for Jeanne and I to help out with the local Bas Bleu Theater group and build some scenery. The work was for a play called "The Moving of Lilla Barton" which we have scheduled our newcomers group to see February 7th.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

Metal & Ceramic Work

Latest project update:
Figure 1: The Magic Agogo Belt
A member of Fort Collins' Premier Samba band 'Bloco em Foco' showing the proper method for playing the Magic Agogo Belt using claves. The bells may also be struck with brass rods or wooden drumsticks depending on the timbre one wants to produce.

Figure 2: Magic Agogo Belt without shaker
The belt is made from 2 strips of 1/4 inch thick steel welded together. The current model has 3 Agogo bells, a shaker loop, and a utility stand for additional bells (A standard hammered cowbell is shown).

Figure 3: Magic Agogo Belt with Shaker
Additional holes in the belt are to accommodate extra bells that can be welded to the frame. Not shown is the cloth belt and neck strap.

...and in the home:
The fireplace, with it's brass finish and light colored ceramic tile was just so '90's. It had to go, so the old tile was painstakingly removed and new tile was added.

The new Fireplace!
Luckily we had a few bad weather days in a row, so it wasn't so bad.

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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yet Another RAGBRAI banjo update:

This does not look good:
The old RAGBRAI banjo has  a real crick in its neck!

Yes, the peg head came off and part of the fret board too!
A bit of glue and a few clamps should have it back in no time (I hope!) This gives me a chance to update the markings for the RAGBRAI XXXVII season! Just 37 days left! Yahoo!

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Entropy Part 3 and Happy Birthday Jeanne!

The window project is (almost) done!!!

The cold and wet weather helped get me in the mood for finishing this project; and just in time for Jeanne's birthday! It's a win-win situation!
The zinc frame was added on Saturday and the window was put onto the existing pane to check the fit.
The design was modified in that the bottom six inches of glass on the panel was made from standard clear window glass.  This change was made because it was observed that our new dog, Mr. Duncan MaDog, liked to gaze out of the window to watch the children playing in the street.  
The photo on the left shows the panel temporarily hanging in place.  I removed it so that I can finish some last minute soldering and cleaning. Some sort of method for fixing the panel onto the pane will have to be found, but I would have to say that this project is better than 99% complete. 


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Entropy Project Part Two

Remember on February 18th I started this project?
The glass window project (so far)
It's a stained glass window strip that is going into a side window by our front door. I may actually finish this project next week! 

In other news, our dog has his own FaceBook membership, and he's collecting friends from all over the place. If interested, search FaceBook for "Duncan MaDog" and you too can be his friend!


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snow Day?

Our first Colorado snow sculpture!
Here's Jeanne doing some initial carving.
On Friday, I piled up some snow in the back yard. What could we make? Could it be a statue of a corgi? The snow was light and it didn't pack very well. I made a 4 by 6 foot block about 5 feet tall. Due to the warm weather, the corgi idea wasn't going to fly. Maybe we would make a turtle...

but the idea regressed to a non-vertebrate !

By Saturday, the snow was melting quickly so we had to work fast getting the shell together.

While placing the antennae, the head fell off!
We quickly slapped together a new head, got the antennae back in place and took a last shot of our creation.

Sure, it's smiling now, but it will be gone by tomorrow!
Some snow that was. Maybe 6 inches total in Fort Collins. All the streets were dry by the end of the following day due to the warm sun that seems to shine every day around here. What fun is that?

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Entropy Project Part One

When we moved all our stuff to Fort Collins last Summer, among all the boxes that I packed were two very heavy boxes of colored glass.
These boxes of glass were packed very carefully, and after a journey of 1000 miles, I thought that it would be time to unpack them and see how well they adjusted to the move. I carefully checked each piece; everything seemed to be in order. Nothing was broken, there was no disorder to the system!

"This simply cannot be!", I thought; "Why don't you make a stained glass window for the front door?", Jeanne asked.
"O.K.", I said.
It's not really for the door; there is a half-foot by five foot clear glass window to the left of the front door that needs to be unclear somehow. I had six clear beveled window pieces and enough (I hope!) stained glass to make the design shown to the left of this text.

So, like my other projects, if I post it on the blog, it will remind me to 'Git r done' (Larry the cable guy ain't a bit o' help!)

Here's what we have so far:
30 pieces of rough-cut glass

Breaking glass is fun! It's been done before, and I will finally recycle all that glass that has been collecting dust in the basement!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

New old windows in 2009!

The first project for 2009:
When we left our house in Illinois, I removed all the custom stained glass that I made for the front windows.

I removed the zinc frames and soldered 12 gauge copper wire around the window adding screw loops to each corner.

Here they are!


Saturday, December 20, 2008

Kiln Update!

Stuff has cooled down enough to take all the goodies out!
The last few items on the bottom...

Here's all the stuff from various classes. This was the last of this year's pottery cookout. On the bottom left is my banjo pot.

Jude Varnum's dog. They likes dogs in Fort Collins!
The locals bring their dogs everywhere. Even we are thinking of getting a dog next year. If we do, it will be a Pembroke Welsh Corgi!


Monday, December 15, 2008

Not too hairy potter

At the pottery studio:
 We  were supposed to make Christmas related pottery.
What I've got on the wheel is a clay banjo rim.  As of today it has not yet been baked out, but if it is round and can be headed, it will be used for making music! (possibly?)
I guess I made a few other things. WARNING! Those of you who I might see this season may get some kind of ceramic crap that I made at the pottery class! Just remember: It could be worse!

FoCo Weather update:
It's damn cold outside! We had a record temperature of -8 degrees F. last night! The rest of the week looks like maybe 36 for the highs and zero for the lows.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Throw some pot!

At the Pottery Studio!
They have 12 kick wheels and 12 electric wheels!

Lots of glaze varieties

3 gas fired kilns and 1 Raku

2 Electric kilns

A Slab roller!

Lots of work areas!

I think I'm gonna try this place out!


Friday, November 21, 2008

Wood Shop, Part Third

The headboard is finished!
Here it is in the hallway. The finish is supposed to be "espresso", but in order to achieve the look, I first coated all wood surfaces with flat black paint. Then I coated all surfaces with "Kona Brown", available from Home Depot. Both coats were sprayed on. The final coat was Minwax Polyshades Bombay Mahogany applied with a sponge.

The crown molding at the top is not exactly what I wanted, but it will do for now. If I find the right molding, I can easily replace it.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Woodshop, Part Deux

We're havin' a heat wave!
Well, today it was 76 degrees! A nice day to work in the garage:
Here's the headboard I warned you about. The parts are shown here on the garage floor.

Here the 'bottom' of the headboard is clamped after the glue was applied.
Tomorrow will be nice as well. I should be able to apply at least two coats of finish before winter sets in!


Saturday, November 15, 2008

Woodshop, Part 1

What? You expect me to goof around looking for roadside mysteries every day? I've got work to do. This week I am making a headboard for our bed. Here's the deal:

Our bedroom has an Oriental look, so I thought that I would make a headboard that sort of looks like the above painstakingly rendered PhotoShop picture. The wood lattice motif is taken from the armoire (not shown) , and I plan to build something like it that has the same height as the armoire (why not?).

Hey! I did something like this when I built a drum in 1995. So just like that, I am building it while I update this blog! Hope I don't screw it up! First I make a bunch of dado cuts to 16 pieces of 1x2's. There are evenly cut 3 U's and 2 L's on each end, if you get my drift.

Here is the first part of the lattice pairs using the 16 pieces. The things hold together without glue (so far).

Now the cross pieces are cut. The lattice pair won't hold together without glue, so I must glue the parts. Gotta do one side at a time, wait for the glue to dry, etc. so that's all for today. I realized also that I can't complete the whole project in the basement because I won't be able to get it into the bedroom from the basement! I'll have to measure and cut all the wood first and then move everything into the garage in order to complete this project. Ha! That's showbiz!