Thursday, June 21, 2012

Happy Solstice!

1:30 am (solar midnight) looking due north across the Arctic Ocean from Barter Island.
Corrie and Melinda out on the ice.
We also spent a few hours watching actual polar bears today. It's been a great solstice! I'll post more when I have a better internet connection in a couple of days.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Safety is our number 2 priority...

A few more pictures from building the greenhouse that I didn't have yet for the last post. Plus my first video post. 

Figuring out where to put the ridge pole support.

Apparently I have questionable safety standards. So, of course my sister grabbed a camera. 
Marking the last piece of Fiber glass for cutting in place.
Note there is a hand keeping one ladder steady and the sturdy only partially rotted 4x4 supports. It didn't really seem too shaky. Besides, I was getting pretty good at cutting fiber glass with the circular saw by that point. 

Trimming the back worked well enough I decided to touch up the front. Corrie took a video since she wasn't steadying a ladder. 

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Repurposed fort building skills

All that practice reusing old materials went to good use this week building a shed and greenhouse for my sister. She bought an old greenhouse she found for sale on craig's list a few weeks ago. We took it apart the first time I came through anchorage in May and saved all the materials. This week my dad and I build a shed with of most of the lumber we salvaged. After he headed out to catch his Salmon for the year, I built a small green house out of the left overs. 

One of the neighbors was kind enough to offer us some scrap siding that matched the stuff from the greenhouse.
That made the front of the shed a lot easier to finish.
Most the new materials went into the roof. We used 14 foot 2x4s for the roof so we had a bit of an eve. After seeing the price of lumber, 100 dollars for the greenhouse seemed like a steal. 

Finish! It's probably more than 75% reused or recycled materials. Even the new roofing panels were 50% recycled. Similar 10' x 12' sheds are going for $2,650 installed in Anchorage and we came in a good bit less at $675.

As a bonus there was enough material left to build my sister a small greenhouse with. 

The 2x6 ridge board on top and the nails were the only new material in the greenhouse. 

It came out looking pretty good despite a couple of silly mistakes figuring it out as I went.
Total cost was about $25 since most the material was free after building the shed. 
Two sunny days in a row means it's time to go paint the shed and the front of greenhouse. I wonder if either of them will last as long as my fort did...

Monday, June 4, 2012

The end of an era

I took down my old tree fort today. This fort was my first large engineering/design project. It was built out of scrap lumber, salvaged nails, and small trees. A lot of the wood had rotted and I didn't think it was still structurally sound. But it turned out to be sturdier than I expected. I guess I over built it a bit. 

The front first level is about 24 years old.

The back half and second floor were built between 24 and 15 years ago.
This was a long term project. With a lot of design changes.

I expected the who thing to come down when we pulled on the main tree.
Instead the tree snapped in two places and the fort just held it up.

After I pulled the two front supports on the same side as the tree.

I pulled out one of the back supports. The chain slipped off the other one...
Surely if we pull out the other support it will topple over.

Nope. Still standing with no supports at all on the north side.
Safety factor >> 2 :)

It finally fell over after we cut the middle tree and three of the four trees on the south side.

All gone.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another RTW traveler

Of all the places I through I might first meet another RTW traveller, I would never have guessed Glennallen AK. We stopped for gas and I started talking to a guy on a bike who looked liked he'd been doing some riding. Turned out he's riding around the world and was planning to camp in Tok that night. So, I invited him to stay at my dad's house. It was nice to talk with someone else doing something like I am. Noah hit the road from California about three weeks before I started. He's headed east, shipping his bike to Europe for the winter, and then riding across russia next spring. Looking at his blog, I might have to learn to ride and do another trip... 

Noah with is bike at my dad house