Saturday, July 29, 2017

Suet Solution and More

I'm a huge fan of the "Squirrel Buster Pro" birdfeeder: it's so much fun to see the litter varmints try to figure out how to get to that delicious seed--and to see them thwarted at every turn! 

(The seed doors also slam on the heavier birds--blue jays and grackles. My only problem was the clever raccoon who managed to empty the feeder at night--not sure how. But thanks to my friends Vinnie and Debbie, I learned that weighting the feeder shut at night solves the issue.)

But how to solve the suet problem? I decided to hang the basket from a tree branch to keep it out of reach. Take a look at this sneaky devil figuring out how to get to the suet.

Yup, he figured out he could climb the rope and get to the suet. Back to the drawing board.

Here is my solution:

I took the dome off a defunct feeder, added old phone wire I had sitting in my workshop, and attached it to the rope. So far, no varmints have been stealing the birds' suet. 

Now, how do I get the big blue jays and grackles to share with the little guys--like the woodpecker in the picture above? Advice welcome.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Davis Chair Project

Description: The following post will chronicle the adventure of restoring and reupholstering the Davis dining room chair set.

Day 1, Friday, June 23, 2017

                Here are 4 of the 6 chairs. I numbered the chairs and seats to make sure the seats end up in the right chairs. Began with number 1.    

First, I took apart the loose joints and began to reglue the chair. While waiting for glue to dry, I began taking apart the seat.


Discovered that the last person to work on the seat simply covered it with a new needlepoint fabric.

Once all the material and webbing was gone...

I discovered that the frame needed to be reglued.

Day 2, Saturday, June 24, 2017

Day 3 & 4, Saturday, July 1 & 2, 2017


Seat work

Coat of Restor a Finish shines it up.

Finished product...

Only 5 more to go...

Day 5 & 6

Discovered a rookie mistake--glued the top rail on backwards! A few small drill holes, hot water and vinegar solved the problem.

Three done, three to go...

Day 7

Some photos of pre-existing conditions & repairs

The repairs were still firm, so I didn't mess with them.

Day 8:   Four done, two to go...

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Hazel helps me replace the refrigerator circuit board…


So, our refrigerator started making strange clicking noises. The inside display light went out at the same time. A few minutes later, the clicking stopped, and all returned to normal. The problem was intermittent over the course of a few days.
I went online to see if I could figure out a solution, short of buying a new refrigerator when this one eventually stopped working altogether. A combination of “how to” blogs and YouTube videos provided me with just the information I needed, and I learned that the main control board was dying. The experts online informed me that I could replace the circuit board myself.  Back to the web I went to find out the part number and where I could buy the replacement.
I ended up going to All Brand Appliance Parts –they had the exact part I needed, and the man who helped me was friendly and knowledgeable. While I could have ordered the circuit board online–and saved $10–I decided it was better to support the local economy (and get the job done sooner). 
It wasn’t hard to replace the board. One of the most helpful tips I learned from an expert online was to take a picture of the dying circuit board before I removed it so that I would have a reference as I plugged the connections into the new board. All went well, and I am glad to report that as I sit at the kitchen counter and write a day later, I continue to hear only the comforting, normal hum of the refrigerator.
But I wondered what to do with the circuit board I removed. It bothered me to think of throwing it out because it is a cool, complicated piece of technology that still worked–partially. I decided to get in touch with a friend who teaches high school science, and I was delighted to find out that he wanted it for both his electrical engineering and applied physics classes.
Great service at All Brand Appliances, no more clicking, I cleaned behind the refrigerator, and students get to tinker with the old board I almost threw away–an all around happy ending. 

Monday, May 9, 2016

Restoring a Dining Room Chair

This chair belonged to my wife's family, and it was made in 1950.

The following photos show some stages of restoring the chair.