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Old 05-03-2016, 06:57 PM   #449
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More photos:

1. Looking north at the Castle Valley from the La Sal Mountains.

2. The Loop road through the subalpine ridges.

3. A view west from the Loop road. It looks a lot like the rocks in photo #1 and may be, but there are a lot of rocks that look like that around this area.
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Old 05-03-2016, 09:35 PM   #450
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Love the pictures, Gene. Keep them coming.

Brian
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Old 05-03-2016, 10:44 PM   #451
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Great Thread

I'm liking the pics and narrative....Thanks Gene...
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Old 05-03-2016, 11:04 PM   #452
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Nice thread

Looks like a great trip. You make me want to visit that country. Thanks for the writeup and photos. I hope you are both over that bug you caught.

Susan
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Old 05-10-2016, 12:10 PM   #453
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A few more photos below. Got back last week and started working on stuff as always. I think I have solved the driveway parking and now know the exact points to aim for. I now get the trailer parked in about 4 minutes. It used to take me 20 at times.

Reminds me of Ken's driveway in Washington. When they bought the house, the driveway though it appears big in photos, but when you stand in it, you can see how difficult it could be. It takes a while, but eventually you solve it.

Started working on kitchen countertops. I'm learning how to use the planer and jointer. Making butcher block countertops seems about as easy a project as I could think of with these new machines. The first piece is drying. I am using Watco Danish Oil cherry flavored to bring out the rich reds in red oak. Over the oil will be many coats of polyurethane. It came out pretty well though it is hard to make sure the glued together piece is perfectly level. The clamps sometimes start curving the wood. I saw a photo in a magazine of someone clamping half the clamps from the bottom and half from the top. That sounds easier than it is, especially with a heavy hardwood. Using Titebond III glue, the best reasonably priced wood glue, means working fast since the glue sets up fast—8 minutes according to one article. Since I have the strips around 1 1/8" wide (they vary), that means 24 strips for a 25 1/2 deep countertop. That's a lot of glue and a lot of clamping and unclamping. It took 2 1/2 days to cut the wood, plane and joint it and cut it some more, arrange it for best look, glue it, sand it, coat it with Danish Oil. It'll take about 3 days of polyurethaning and wet sanding to finish it and then install it. I am unsure how the countertops were installed, but if they were glued, it will be a challenge to release them.

Our last house had off the shelf "butcher block" Formica. We hated it, but it took us 10 years to replace it. The irony—this house has the same. Three years this time to replace it. Once I finish the first piece, 5 to go ranging from 23" to 65" wide. No corners, no curves, fortunately. The new machines make it easier to get the wood properly sized, but it still is an art. I suppose I could buy computer operated machines for multibucks, but even then it is wood. Wood is alive even after being cut. You can cut a pretty straight piece the long way and the next day (or sooner sometimes) the two pieces curve as they are released from the original way they were cut (why doesn't curved wood ever seem to straighten?). At least it is dry here, so the wood usually doesn't pick up moisture—that can cause more twists, turns and other surprises. You can cut all the wood one day, come back the next and it is curved too much to use it, or you can, but have to clamp it very tight. And spaces between pieces of even 1/64" look enormous. I used the oak sawdust (looks like reddish flour) with a little water forced into the spaces and it seemed to fill them well; then I immediately oiled the wood so that the wood flour would stay in place. You can see the space, but it is now dark and looks natural.

Only a couple of weeks 'til we go to Ouray. Still have no idea of summer trips.

Photos:

1. Getting ready to leave the KOA in Moab. La Sal Mountains in distance. This is a very ordinary KOA. We were in a new section where in 20 years the trees will provide shade. In the summer Moab can be very hot (best to visit Utah parks in the spring and fall), so if you go here, try to get some shade trees when you request a space.

2. More window reflections. This is part of the rock walls that intimidate people on Utah 128; some lean over the road, but you'd have to have a 25' high trailer to worry about it. Mostly the rocks are 2 or 3' from the highway's edge, but there is a short section that is closer. The walls are a small part of the drive and seem less intimidating than the westbound side with a river a few feet away and 20' down.

3. Just can't get rid of the windshield reflections. Another part of 128. River is in the bottom middle. I know it looks like smoke coming from the top of the hill on the right and I have no idea what it is.

4. The remains of the original Dewey Bridge from the new one. The tower for the north side of the one time suspension bridge is visible and you may be able to see the cables that now hang down. Some of the original decking is hanging from a few of the cables even though the deck burned a long time ago.

Gene
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:47 PM   #454
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Don't forget to put polyurethane on both top and bottom of the butcher block. If you don't, it will do weird things. Don't ask how I found this out....😄

I like the look I get from clear water-based polycrylic. Goes on milky, sands out nice between coats and cures really hard but flexible. Seems to be really durable.

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Old 05-12-2016, 09:56 AM   #455
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I put one coat of Danish oil on the bottom and yes, I have learned to coat the back of things and the ends of doors to keep them from expanding too much during damp times. I will coat the bottom again with polyurethane and two coats of sealant should be enough. The top will get 6 coats of polyurethane on top of the Danish oil. How did I decide on 7 coats?—inspiration perhaps.

I know about the polyacrylic and we considered using it. The urethane version tends to get reddish after time while the acrylic option is supposed to stay clear. But with this we wanted a bit of reddish coloration plus I had a full gallon of polyurethane and didn't want to have it stand around too long. The fact that I had that gallon may have led to rationalization, but I don't want to think that.

Ten days to Ouray.

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Old 05-12-2016, 03:19 PM   #456
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Hey Gene,

Clamping some cauls over the top of the counter during glue-up may keep it flat. At least that's what the experts recommend. I've never taken the time to make any though. Usually some care during clamping and some planing or sanding afterward does the trick for me.

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Old 05-12-2016, 11:27 PM   #457
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Understand the desire for a reddish hue. I would have trouble not using a gallon of polyurethane--I suspect the design department (DW) would have a low opinion of wasting the money...and she would figure out a good use of the material.


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Old 05-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #458
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Don, I didn't know what a caul was until I just looked it up. I had thought of doing something like that before I knew the name but I feared they would stick to the glue that always oozes out after you finish with the gluing and walk away. I glued up half a piece (#2) and kept it pretty level by using two clamps on the bottom and two on the top. I may use cauls next.

Once I placed the new countertop (piece #1) on top of the old Formica, the original oak next it to looked yellowish by contrast. I thought of comparing the colors before finishing the new piece and seeing if we were going down the right road, but didn't want to carry the very heavy new countertop upstairs to compare. I will separate the oaks with subway tile and that should ease any color clash. The curve in this piece is not noticeable to the eye though I reserve judgment until we put things on it. Later I'll get the Formica out and install it. I have to level the bottom since it rocks a little and then back prime the areas I chisel down.

The oak cabinets are planned to stay the same, but to do new drawer fronts and doors and paint them. It is tempting to think about also painting over the oak, but more work than I need to consider now.

I have scheduled a plumber to put in a new gas line for the new stove. I've done black pipe gas line before and not blown up another house, but this house has the plastic pipe that I know nothing much about, so I'll pay someone. He discovered the nearest line to tap is too small (I wouldn't have known that), and he figured out how to solve that. I have to schedule the stove delivery, pull out the electric oven and store it and get things ready to remove the longest old countertop, switch the sink, tile around that area (we found a dark grey porcelain tile that felt just right), install new countertops, make sure I have a 120 v. receptacle for the new stove, remove the 240 v. receptacles for the oven and cooktop, remove the Thermador electric cooktop without breaking it (apparently a big problem with this one—a broken one is harder to get rid of than an unbroken one), cut up the old countertop to ready it for the dump, strip some Formica backsplash off and probably a bunch of other things.

I was looking at how much polyurethane I used for the first piece and figure it'll take about 2/3 of a gallon for the whole project. Then before I use it again, a hard crust will develop over the top and I'll only be able to salvage part of it before I use it again. I could try putting some plastic wrap over the top of the remaining liquid like I do for thinset or drywall mud, but I'm afraid it would become part of the liquid and create more problems.

I have to make 3 more pieces, go to Ouray, host a party and have the oven out by June 1; rest of countertop next day. That's why I'm sitting here writing this instead of working. It is so much easier.

Bird issue: Some birds attack low-e windows because they think they see another bird flying toward them to attack, but it is themselves they see in the reflective surface. We have a small bird attacking our great room windows for hours at a time. I have tried to sneak up on him with a hose, but he is too fast and has too good hearing (he hears me around the corner). He is leaving a mess on the windows (feathers, bird slime or whatever) and they are about 15' above the ground. Not easy to clean. We hung a fake bird on the inside of the window to scare him away, but it didn't work. I can't get close to him at all and have no solutions that will not destroy that side of the house. I will continue to try to get him with the hose, but "tactical" nuclear weapons start to seem reasonable. Maybe I need to find him a mate so he is otherwise engaged; is there a website for birds seeking a date?

Gene
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Old 05-14-2016, 11:51 PM   #459
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Shot him through the window from inside with a shotgun.

That'll fix him good.

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Old 05-15-2016, 01:06 AM   #460
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Hi, put a fake cat near the window.
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Old 05-15-2016, 10:20 AM   #461
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Ken, the shotgun idea had occurred to me and like the idea that the solution to a difficult computer is to throw it out the window, I have decided not to pursue than satisfying, but impractical approach. I do like the simplicity of it though.

Bob, a real cat has jumped up to the window sill while the bird sits on the outside part of the gas fireplace. The bird just attacks a different window. The cat patiently watches—a paper tiger so to speak.

The bird, species unknown but it does have some blue tail feathers that hardly show when at rest and only with difficulty when it flies, seems to be attacking with less fervor. I assume he has a nest nearby ready for a female and is making sure that other male lurking inside the window does not invade "his" territory. This is my territory and I have the deed to prove it! Since the other male bird is staying inside the window, the outside guy appears to feel a little safer. But the other male inside will not give up! I now have the hose on the deck and can stay quiet enough to get it and peak around the corner while he sits complacently on the fireplace (outside). But I take too much time turning the hose on (I have a ball valve between the nozzle and hose so I can turn it on quickly, but not quick enough). But I'm getting better at this and hope to knock him over with my junior water cannon and send him far away. Maybe I can hot wire the cover over the outside of the fireplace?

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Old 05-15-2016, 11:54 AM   #462
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Place a salt shaker on the outside window sill. He'll suspect a trap and go elsewhere.

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