Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Cablebox Reunion

Although I bought it about a year ago and have talked about it with many people, both family and non-family, I realized I had never posted anything about our "new" boat.

Bought it on eBay for a surprisingly low cost.  Not sure of the exact age, but probably about 50 years old.  However, in the 80s, a father-son team re-built it and registered it in Massachusetts as a handmade boat.  So, when I registered it in Maine, the title shows 1984 as the year it was built.

Since it was too late last year to use it in Maine, it lived in Sharon while I did some upgrades--changed out the steering and controls, added a bilge pump, etc.  Now, it's ready to go to its new home on Mooselookmeguntic.

A couple of interesting stories.

First, everyone groans when I say I bought a wooden boat.  Will it leak?  Well, the time-honored way to deal with wooden boats is to put about six inches of water in them until the wood swells and (hopefully) seals all the joints.  When I first put the water in it leaked like a sieve--all the water poured out in about two hours.  But a day or two later, amazingly, just an occasional drip.  Hooray!

Next, the question of what to name it?  Boats, especially wooden ones must have a name.  And, once named, it is very bad luck to change it.  I could find no evidence that it had ever been named, so I came up with a few traditional ideas and ran them by my family.  Okay, they thought, but Lauren decided to ask Max what he thought.  As she tells the story, Max immediately said "Cablebox Reunion."  What it means, and where it came from, only he knows.  However, that's what it is.

Cablebox is beautiful, isn't she?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Corkscrew Willow

We lost the big Maple tree next to the screen porch during the ice storm a couple of years ago.  We replaced the Maple with a Redbud which did fine the first year, but never budded this year.  So, today, we put in a new tree--a Corkscrew Willow.  A really interesting tree with lots of character.  We love it!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The playhouse is now moved, leveled, and has a door.  And, thanks to the "Ooops" shelf in the paint section of the local hardware, it's been painted a dark green (Max's favorite color), with pale yellow trim.  Looks pretty good!

The "Building Trades Boys" needed a small project for the end of the school year and I had been thinking of building a playhouse in the back yard for Max and Daphne.  Seemed like a good match.

It's not perfect.  Needs to be leveled and moved a foot or so.  And, obviously needs trim, a door, paint, etc.  However, the students had a good time.  They even found time to try out the swings including the new horse tire swing.  I had them all sign a wooden plaque that will hang in the playhouse.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Ready to Ride

I saw one of these tire swings in a Tractor Supply Company store and thought they were pretty neat.  But, they were made with fake tires and I thought it would be fun to try it on my own.  An Internet search yielded the plans--seemed easy enough on paper.

The first challenge was to find the right kind of tire.  It had to be an old-fashioned bias ply tire because cutting radial tires would leave shards of the metal belt sticking out.  Not a good thing.  I tried the pile at the Recycling Center, but had no luck.  I asked our Automotive students.  No luck there either.  Finally, after about six months of casual checking, the Recycling Center came through.  Step one.

Using a Sharpie, I traced the template onto the tire, then started using metal snips to cut the pattern.  Whew, what a tough thing to do!

The final step was to turn the tire inside out, drill holes in the appropriate places, and install the bolts.  Ever try to turn a tire inside out?  That process took more than a little help from Sue.

Today, Horsey finally moved to his real home--hanging between two trees with about 10 feet of rope.  Looks pretty good, I think.  Hope Max and Daphne will enjoy the ride.