Sunday, June 9, 2013

Do It Yourself

In making the move to our place in the country my wife and I have been taking on some projects as of late in which we have absolutely no experience.  We recently decided we needed a water trough for livestock, deer and turkeys close to the barn and house.  We did not want a standard looking rubber or galvanized metal trough since it would be visible from our front porch.  We priced some custom concrete and rock troughs and almost had a stroke when we got a couple of bids.  The only answer was to build our own limestone water trough, so we read some books, watched a few YouTube videos and bought the materials.  After framing the forms and putting in the drain pipe we mixed the concrete by hand and poured the slab.  Next we mixed mortar and laid the bottom layer of stones.  Today we finished laying the top layer of stones. We now have a very healthy respect for those that handle heavy pieces of limestone and cut the rocks by hand.  I got better as I laid more but it still looks pretty rough.  I still need to plaster the inside and hook up the water but it looks as though it will work just fine.  I really don't think the wildlife and livestock will mind the looks at all when they stop by to get a cool drink of water. We get to have the pride and satifaction of saying we built it all by ourselves. 
The second project is a unique door for the walk in pantry in our new home.  It will look and work like an old time barn door.  I am making it out of laminated pine that will match the ceiling and trim in our great room.  The door will hang on a wrought iron bar with rollers in front of the walk in pantry.  The door will simply roll out of the way to enter the pantry.  The placement in our home will make the door one of the centerpieces of our great room.  It will be stained to match the ceiling and finished in a satin gloss to bring out all the wood grain and laminations.  I am about two thirds of the way through with the glue up and will sand it down on the next work day.  It will be cut to the proper height and the top piece installed after we get the wrought iron hardware up so we can hang the finished door at the optimum height. The final width is forty six inches and the height will be somewhere just over seven and a half feet tall.  The handle is a massive piece of wrought iron hand forged by a Blacksmith friend of ours, Chris Smith.  I will try to post some pictures when it is complete and hanging in the house.  The top picture of this post is similar to what we have planed for this door when it is finished and hung.
Try a new project of your own.  It might even surprise you what you  are capable of creating.  You could even discover a new talent.   My next project is to wrap the water storage tank with cedar and build a top, weld up a livestock transport pen for the trailer, rewire the trailer lights, dig all the post holes and build a new east line fence, construct the sheep pens, grub up and poison the cedar and mesquite in the pasture, install a mailbox up on the county road, put in an automatic gate opener, restore the old fishing boat we bought, plow and plant the food plot, build the poultry coop and pen, construct a walking path from the house to the barn, burn all the brush piles, build and hang bluebird and screech owl boxes, move the deer blind, build a shooting bench and set up a shooting range, design a rainwater collection system for the house and barn, construct a pond, build a hog pen, cut and stack all the dead trees from the drought, grade the road, and..........Wild Ed


Skywoolf said...

Well done. I have been a do it yourself guy all my life so I understand the satisfaction you get from making things. As you say, most people can do more than they think they can, especially with access to the internet.

I think the finish on you tank is great. It looks natural and far better than what a lump of smooth concrete would like. When you finish the inside be sure to use a waterproofing additive in the cement like Sahara.

Wild Ed said...

Skywoolf thanks for the advice. I will use a waterproofing in the plaster mix for sure. Ed

Rick Kratzke said...

I think those were two very nice projects indeed. I really like how the door turned out. Doesn't it feel good when you accomplish something like that.

Wild Ed said...

Rick it feels great when the project turns out ok or works. Sometimes things just don't turn out the way you would like. Ed