Monday, April 9, 2012

Return to Biscuit City: Project Puppies

It's good to be back in the glass-enclosed brain center of the Biscuit City studios. There has been a little renovation work going on here while we were on spring break this past week. The old carpet is gone, although the new one is not in yet, and the chair where I sit writing this has a new vinyl pad under it to keep from scraping the hardwood floors. Unfortunately, the studio was built by the lowest bidder, which means that the floors aren't exactly level. I sit down in the chair and it goes rolling back to the side wall. Not exactly what I had planned, but a nice trip anyhow.

My brother Ron is a wonderful renovator and repair man (even fixes acoustic guitars), and he says that projects have puppies. By this he means that you start out fixing one thing which causes something else to break or not work correctly so that you're then working on two puppies from the original case. Or a project has puppies by not going as you expected it to.

I started a project this weekend using landscape timbers for edging the front of our front azalea bed. I had had experience last year with building some raised beds for a  couple of hydrangeas so I figured it wouldn't be that hard to run 40 or so feet of the timbers, one atop another to form a wall,  across the front of the bed.

Wrong again. The problem is that with the raised bed I was using about six-foot lengths of the lumber. The present project uses eight-foot lengths which have an unfortunate tendency to curl, twist and bend when placed in some semblance of a wall. I can pry and persuade and force them into place but that's a whole lot more work than I thought it would be. The thought project puppy. Now there's an app we can all do without!

Right now my "retaining wall" looks like strands of spaghetti at the end with the timbers going every which way. I'll take a picture for illustrative purposes.  But I'll get them into line with a combination of foot-long pieces of rebar, a bunch of six-inch lag screws, a long pry bar, some muscle (such as it is), most likely some personal injury (I manage to whang myself with the pry bar at least once during such proceedings--look for the mark on my forehead--ouch!), American ingenuity and some German persistence courtesy of my ancestors. Or, as my mother used to say, "Persistence or stupidity: I don't know which it is with you."

Here are the warped ties, in place but warped! Twisted! Misshapen!

And a couple of shots of completed sections where the timbers have been "persuaded" into place.

1 comment:

  1. OH my goodness! What a pain! Looks like you bent those timbers to your will, though, Mr. V. You show 'em!