'The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because He loves what is behind him.' -G. K. Chesterton
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label diy. Show all posts

26 November 2011

Pirate Ship Update - Finished (Mostly)

It's been a while since I posted about the Pirate Ship I was building for the grandkids. I managed to break Lu's camera and still haven't replaced it so when the DO got here she took some pics for me. Click any picture to enlarge.

Here's where we left off. The main cabin structure without siding and the beam laid on for measuring. No prow and no landscaping.

Because I was sans camera I didn't get any further build pictures so here's the finished project. I'll just have to talk you through what I did, how I did it and why. I was overruled on the whole two story thing by higher command. I just cut off the 4x4s at the rear of the ship and used the two in front as rigging. The 4x6 beam is bolted to the roof with the end held up by a 1/4 inch steel 4x4 that's 10 feet long. The steel 4x4 is set 3 feet into the ground with 160 pounds of concrete. The beam has a swing, a tire swing and a climbing rope.

The prow is set on another pier block and attached to the main cabin with 2x6 framing. The floor is OSB over 2x4 floor joists. When I decided against it being two stories I went ahead and roofed the main cabin with shingles. The sheathing is more OSB with 2x4s and 2x6s for support. Everything is either nailed or screwed together.

Lu and I were at an antique store when she found this rock. It's fiberglass and it is way cool. 75 bucks. I love finding stuff like this and it added a nice climbing rock to the play area.

We had some old fishing net floats that Lu contributed to the build. I hung them on the sides and used some nylon rope as rigging.

Here's another view of the swings. I wanted to keep the ship theme so used wood and rope everywhere I could. Lu tested everything out. Just to be sure it was safe of course.
You can see the steel 4x4 post here. At the top I took two pieces of angle iron, welded them together to form a U bracket, drilled it, welded it to the post and lag bolted the whole thing to the beam. It's solid as a rock. That was Sarges idea. I was going to use an A-frame but this is both stronger and takes up a lot less space.

I bought a small basketball goal and mounted it to the end. We're planning on having some epic HORSE games. I went down to Ace and bought two gallons of brown paint. The paint guy asked me what shade and I told him Pirate Ship Brown. He offered a color, I accepted and it's now officially known at my local hardware store as Ace Pirate Ship Brown. He still chuckles whenever I come in.

Every Pirate Ship needs protection and this one is no different. This is a gun ship not a sissy merchanter. If you look closely you can see the cannon mounted on the side of the prow. That is most emphatically not a Nerf gun. It's a period correct replica of a repeating cannon manufactured in the 17th century by Theodor Geisel Armaments commonly referred to as a Ma Seuss. It's NFA of course. You can also see inside the main cabin. There's a 4x4 post just inside the doorway that holds the ships wheel. I put down some old carpeting I had from the bathroom/hallway remodel for padding. It's snug, cozy and a great clubhouse.

All in all I'm please with the result. The ship measures out at 7 1/2 feet wide by 20 feet long and 8 1/2 feet high not including the spars. It's surrounded by outdoor carpeting with gravel around the whole thing. It has swings, ropes, a basketball hoop and a rock to climb. The kids seem to enjoy it so I'm calling it a success.

Here's a random photo of Angus enjoying the play area just because he's so cute.

The yard was originally dirt and weeds. Lu took care of the weeds and I covered the rest with landscaping fabric, outdoor grass carpeting and gravel. That's 10 tons of gravel I moved by wheelbarrow, shovel, rake and a 5 gallon bucket. Each and every pebble. It really looks quite nice with the ship surrounded by a green sea and gravel shoals. There's plenty to do and it's a nice place for adventures and fantastical voyages of imagination. I thoroughly enjoyed the build with enthusiastic help from Sarge and Lu. It was all done off the cuff and straight out of my head. I think that's called seat of the pants engineering. All you real engineers should probably just look away. I tended to over build and it's managed to stand up to hard play and the usual Hurricane winds. This place is aptly named. The kids are going to take some paint to it and decorate it to their hearts content. It also needs a name. Monikers are being bandied about and as soon as one is chosen it will be painted on the prow.

This was a true labor of love. We managed to turn a couple of hundred square feet of dirt, mud and weeds into a play area for the kids that will hopefully allow them good, clean fun and a chance to exercise their imaginations as well as their bodies. I hope it reflects that.

19 October 2011

Painting The Storage Building

The storage building was finally ready for paint. I've trimmed the eaves and soffets, replaced the roof, added exterior corner mouldings and Lu primed the bare spots. Time for some finish paint.

I wanted to spray the building. Two problems. A consumer grade gun is $100.00 and up and renting a commercial rig is $50.00 a day. Have I ever mentioned just how cheap I am? A couple of years ago I bought a Central automotive gun to do some work on the Corvette. I later decided to bite the bullet and have it painted so the gun has been on my shelf, unused, ever since.

It's an el cheapo I bought from Harbor Freight for 25 bucks. It's a gravity fed HVLP with a one quart hopper. Still, it was worth seeing if it would actually spray the thicker house paint.

I fiddled with it, adjusting pressures, spray patterns and feeds. I didn't have any additional tips so what I had was what I had. Still, after much trial and error I got this pattern. It'a only a few inches wide but it put out enough paint to make it acceptable for our purposes. The best part is the narrower spray pattern gave me good control in tight spaces and really cut down on the amount of paint we used, about 5/6's of a gallon for the entire building.

The siding is clapboard so the gun really saved time painting the underside of the boards. The gun is gravity fed but as long as the hopper was kept full it painted on it's side just fine.

Lu has always been strictly a brush and roller painter. One of my goals here was to introduce her to spray painting, both to let her try it and to make sure she knew how to set everything up when I'm not around.

Yeah, call it mission accomplished. She was tickled pink. I never saw the gun again until it came time to paint the places she couldn't reach. I did get to hear those words every husband dreams of. "I love this. You were soooo right!" That color is also going on the rear building and the main house. Dark brown trim throughout.

Here it is finished. We'll be doing the trim in dark brown to match the house and garage. The panel in the center of that door will also be dark brown with the rest of the door house color or maybe reversed. We can't quite decide. Anyone have an opinion? Please chime in. The door surround will be dark brown.

Just for comparison here's how it looked before. Crappy paint, diseased soffets and gables, open siding corners and a bad roof. I cut the soffets and gables back by about 6 inches to get to good wood, put on a new roof, put on exterior corner mouldings and painted the whole thing. At least it no longer causes me physical pain every time I look at it. We seriously considered just tearing it down. I'm glad we didn't.

I think it turned out quite well. A nice transformation. We'll be painting those fences to match. Lu has 'volunteered'. She loves her new toy. My total investment was less than $100.00. That includes everything except tools. Lu and I do have more than a few hours into it but that's just pride and sweat equity.

And a cheap husband of course.