Month: July 2015

Log: July 24-26, 2015

Friday

Came up at 6:30 and got things settled in the trailer. Turned on the A/C right away as it was 80° out with 90% humidity. Had to clean out the drain hole on the back of the unit as the fan was slinging water. I need to come up with a solution to protect that from the elements and leaves and whatnot while still letting it vent properly. I spent some time in the pole barn getting a workstation set up for cutting down the trailer door, the one project I’m absolutely determined to finish this weekend. Aside from looking much better, being able to latch and lock again, and doing a better job of insulating the trailer, I’m hoping this cuts off one more point of critter entry.

I installed the adapter I needed to finish the kitchen sink drain and tested everything out. I really appreciate being able to wash up inside—sure beats hanging out by the pump with all the mosquitoes. Dressed the bed with the clean sheets I brought up with me and did some general housekeeping. Spent the rest of the night lounging and watching TV. It’s going to be a busy weekend, so I might as well relax while I can. The new “ducting” on the A/C sure seems to help it circulate better; it got down to 70° in the trailer and the difference in humidity is immediately noticeable as soon as you go outside. In bed by 10:30.

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Custom Cut Steel Entry Door

The main trailer door was in bad shape.

It was actually the third door to be in bad shape. The first, the original door to the trailer, had peeled and rotted away from years of disuse and exposure to the elements thanks to both a lack of weather protection around the frame and the trailer having sat in the yard at a slight tilt for many years. The second door was a hollow-core interior door that fell apart almost immediately and never fit well into the existing frame. And the latest door was a hastily hung interior door from my house that couldn’t even latch. Gaps wide enough to fit a determined housecat existed along the top and bottom of the door frame. The new deck looked so nice that it made the door seem even worse by comparison, so it was time to give this project the attention it deserved.

The problem with mobile homes, especially older, smaller ones, is that pretty much everything is at a reduced dimension compared to normal construction. This saves space and weight, which are important for the “mobile” part of a mobile home. But it makes finding replacement materials and effecting proper repairs a little challenging. A standard rough opening for an exterior door is 82 1/2″ tall, minimum. The rough opening for the trailer is less than 79″. There are specialty mobile home catalogs and suppliers out there, but you certainly pay for the privilege of custom-fit parts. The cheapest exterior door assembly I found during my initial research was over $300 and it was pretty plain and flimsy looking. I knew Menards had steel exterior doors for around half that price, but at a standard height. Could I actually cut down a door like that?

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Trailer Deck Part 2: The Railing

Even in its incomplete state, the deck has become a welcome addition to the property. But there’s still plenty of work to be done on it; it’s hard to relax in one of the lounge chairs when you don’t know if you’re going to pitch backwards off the platform. It’s time to tackle the railing.

Once again, SketchUp was instrumental in planning and visualizing this project. Among other things, it helped me decide how to finish the rail cap corners. Joining them at a 45 degree angle is difficult to get right and invites later warping. Instead, I had them meet at right angles, but with notches cut in the long board where the corners meet. It’s a simple, clean look and compliments the two small 45 degree corner rail sections. All of the posts are attached from outside of the deck platform. This way, none of the square footage of the platform is lost by adding the rails and none of the planking needs to be cut to accommodate the posts. It’s also easier to clean up and would disassemble relatively easy should we ever need to move the deck.

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Pickled Eggs Part 2: The Results

When last we left our eggsperiment, the three test batches were sealed and sent to chill for a few weeks. Since then, I gathered a few brave souls to test our results. I think we have a hit on our hands. Three hits, in fact!

First, a few words on the process: nearly half of Part 1 was dedicated to following a method to “perfectly” boil eggs. I had never tried it before and didn’t know what to expect, but I’m really happy with how they all turned out. All of the yolks were creamy, not chalky, and none of the whites were too hard or rubbery. You could have the best recipe in the world and waste it on bad eggs, so it’s great not to have to worry about that.

Unexpectedly, we even managed to convert a few hesitant onlookers into pickled egg fans. Lyssa and Paco’s wife Ashley both enjoyed the mustard eggs especially. I solicited comments from Red and my coworker Matt which I’ve included below in their own words. For the others who have sampled these eggs, you’ll just have to trust me to relay their impressions. Also, while you’ll find plenty of extra goodies soaking in the jars alongside the eggs in each batch, I’m always a fan of more garnishes. I’ve included a suggested topping for each egg in the review section. It makes me feel classy, like some kind of egg sommelier!

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Log: July 6 and 7, 2015

Monday

Came up a little before 8pm with a tarped load in some intermittently heavy rain. Backed the truck into the pole barn and unloaded the woodworking tools and hardwood pieces I picked up after my last trip up. It’s nice having all of that out of the Oshkosh garage, and it’s really nice being able to say I “backed the truck into the pole barn.” Up until a few years ago, that statement would be describing an accident.

Before it got too dark, I noticed how much new-growth grass we had this year in the area between the driveway entrance and pole barn. It’s nice to see the yard reestablishing itself.

The rain really started pouring as I finished wrestling down the last drill and sander from the truck bed. I need to put a small section of rain gutter above the pole barn entry door. It’s like looking out from behind a waterfall. I finished unloading the tools I brought up and the supplies from Menards for repairing the outdoor outlet for the pole barn. My first setup didn’t stand up to winter very well, so this time I got the same type of PVC box and conduit I used for all the other outdoor outlets. I installed this during breaks in the rain, but still need to wire it back in.

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