Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?

That’s great! Can you ferment in a climate-controlled space?


As climate controlled as my home air-conditioning allows. In short, no


Same here. I’d love to get a jacketed fermenter at some point. The excessive summer heat in Alabama is part of why I’ve move to doing more liqueurs.

But this spring is nice so far. Maybe I can slip a batch in.


We built our house decades ago and since day one we’ve been trying to figure out what to do in the back. Several years ago after we bought some property from the neighbor to put a driveway in we decided to put a deck out back but because of the monster tree we can’t put footings so it was always going to be a ground level floating deck.

At the the end of 2019 we actually had the driveway planned and a contractor who was going to do it in November but the weather got ugly early so we decided to wait until Spring and then covid so it kept getting put off. I wanted the drive first so we could put the deck at the right height to only have one step down.

When we saw the weather after Easter and Home Depot giving 12 months same as cash we went for it. I pulled the grade off the road using an old fashioned water level so when the driveway gets poured it should be one step down.

Took 4 days. Some crazy weather here in Michigan allowed us to do it in shorts and tshirts. We own a small 5’x8’ utility trailer so we picked out the lumber, loaded and unloaded it 25 12’ boards at a time at 6am each morning. We’d work until we ran out of boards and then go get more in the morning.

Just me and the wife built the whole thing. I ain’t no carpenter but I did keep all my fingers and toes. The neighbors across from us had a front row seat to the two stooges yelling at each other, laughing at each other but getting it done.

Today, 35 degrees and snowing.

When we were done I wanted to build a couple benches so I searched and came up with a modified leopold bench. The guy with the plans said two tools and 30 minutes, he was dead on, easiest thing of the whole build.

I have a 4 day time lapse but I’m not allowed to post it for total strangers.

Mrs. Feral had a ball playing in the open boards while we were building and then she claimed it as her own and brought a freind that we have no idea where it came from. I built in a new feeding station for all the critters on the top step.

The last photo is a message I left for our daughter.


Ha. I’m glad I’m not the only one who does this. We leave notes in the walls and under the floors when we remodel. In one bathroom we took down to the studs and joists we left a family picture and a note in one of the walls. In the fireplace at the current house my son left a note in Mandarin.


Patio furniture is so expensive and high maintenance so I made it myself.

The table plans were free from the Queen of free plans, Ana White.


I’ve noticed this also. I used some foam exercise mats (from Ross, so even cheaper) and folded them to fit some deck chairs when faced with truly astonishing prices just for all-weather cushions.

your furniture looks great!


Thank you.

I’m going to sand the seats and backs and then seal them so they’ll just hose off. They are surprisingly comfortable.

I think I’m going to get a piece of diamond plate aluminum or just plain aluminum for the table next to the barbecue so it will be easy to clean. Home Depot and Lowes sells various sheet metal.


feverishly makes notes


Nothing fancy. Just giving some $10 yard sale patio chairs a makeover with black spray paint.


I’ve got a set (with table) needing the same TLC. Can I tempt you with beer, pizza, and fine company?


You had me at “beer.”

It was actually pretty easy, tbh. I sanded some rusty spots and then bought a few cans of matte black Rustoleum. Each chair took about 10 minutes for the first pass. I’ll clean up some missed spots in a few days.


Last photo, we’re officially done with the deck, it needed a little something more.

I did make the fire, that counts, right?

That’s the perfect size for just me and the wife when we want cuddle without using the big fire pit.

It was raining but we had to test it. I put it on wheels to easily move around or put near the edge to stick the grill over it.

If the logs are below the top ring it really is smokeless but when it peters out it gets smokey again.

It’s not Solo brand, it’s East Oak Pan Stove, almost half the price but really well built.


What were the angles on the side boards of the chairs/benches?


The angles are below.

This is where I got the plans. I paid 5 bucks for a pdf so I could print it and take it outside but he shares the plans freely on his website. I used my miter saw but you can easily do it with a circular saw. I used a 4 1/2" circular saw to make the long cut for the backrest.

The best tip I picked up in the last few years was using rigged foam under the boards to support it and protect the work surface. He uses that technique in the video.

I bought a 4x8 sheet of 2 inch foam and cut it into 4 2’x4’ pieces a couple years ago, I’ve made a lot of cuts on it.

I still can’t believe how comfortable they are, he really did get the angle right. I’m going to make 2 more 24" wide ones to easily move to the big fire pit.

He also has plans making the same bench with 2x6. The angles are slightly different.

His video is below.


That’s great, thanks!


Hey, guys. Remember many moons ago when i was disassembling a piano? Well,

We have a piano bar! Needs a little polishing, yet. But pretty much done!


Awesome So Cool GIF by CBS


mum and i put together a new toy for the workshop today.

this is the AtomStack M5 laser engraver/cutter that i have big plans for. have to get the GRBL software figured out next.
stay tuned! could be fun.
now, how do i turn it on?

EDIT: allow me to correct the make and model in case anyone is interested in a mid-range diode laser engraver/cutter. this is the AtomStack A5 M40.
i only say this for your reference. i am not a shill for this Chinese manufacturer. it was the right price point for what i want to do.
it runs on 40W, the fixed focus laser is a 5W diode laser it will not etch or cut metal!


I’ve wanted a Gloforge since day one but they are too much money. I’ve been watching as other brands pop up. I’ve been ready to pull the trigger for the xTool, still a little pricey but doable. I haven’t seen your brand.

Please let us know how it goes.