We now have a truck! (finally). With aid of my father-in-law’s salesmanship, we now own an used, 2006 Dodge Ram 1500 SLT, Quad Cab 4 x 4. Sweet! We have been wanting a truck for a while, but the cost versus quality never arose. We had friends offer vehicles, but they were on their last legs and I didn’t need another problem to repair. My father-in-law friend was downsizing and didn’t need another large vehicle. Even though it’s just a truck, it will make transporting lumber and plywood so much easier. Plus, traveling on the back roads during a freak winter storm will not be so nerve racking.
Since the weather conditions can change by the hour, I purchased a used set of studded Cooper Arctic Claw XSI Snow Tires and had them installed on the truck. The tires are huge, 275/60/20. When standing next to the tire, the height is easily 42″. We are quite pleased that it will make the long journey so much safer, under any condition.
The next step is to look at a tonneau cover or a canopy. My spouse will want to transport wedding items for an event and it’s a good feeling that it can be locked up. I’ve looked around on the web and used prices are around $500 for a canopy in good shape. For now the next couple of months, we will use big plastic totes for clothes and food items. Al least there is lots of room.
I’ll keep you posted on the projects.
This project evolved from a request from a subscriber. A person comment they liked the Chalkboard Sidewalk Sign YouTube video, but also asked about how to make a chalkboard photo booth.
A photo booth will be a hoot at a wedding, birthday or special event. The party goers can stand in front and have their pictures taken with props or just smile for the camera. If the actual backdrop was made from chalkboard material, the host can write thoughtful quotes and praise.
Hint: If you want to spread the word on social media, at the bottom of the photo booth, write down the Twitter hashtag for the wedding. For example, #ryanjennwedding2015 or #smithbirthday2015. Go to this link to create a Hashtag for your event.
I mentioned the project to my spouse and she suggested we make it for a family friends wedding in a few weeks. Great!
The photo booth had to be big enough to “frame” two people standing. The wings can be adjusted to the venue (or hide something).
The chalkboard photo booth consists of 3 panels, a wooden frame and door hinges. The frame was made from Western Red Cedar. Keep in mind to use a lightweight wood like a softwood (Pine, Cedar, Fir, Larch, etc) for the framing material. It has to be easy to set up or transport from the venue.
On the front, the frame corners were cut at 45 degrees for a classic look. On the backside, a standard 1″ x 4″ were used for structure. The chalkboard panels were sandwiched between the front and back frames. Make sure to use a good wood glue on the chalkboard panel and frame. Immediately after the glue was applied use a brad nailer with short, 1″ brads. If you don’t have access to brad nailer, wood screws can be used instead. Just screw from the back to the front. This way, the ugly screw heads will not be seen.
The panels are the same dimensions as the front door on a home. The panels are 36.5″ wide by 80″ tall. Tall enough for most people to fit under and the panels don’t hit the ceiling. Each panel was connected together with door hinges with removable pins. If the panel needs to taken down, the pins in the hinge can be popped out with a nail (or car keys). As an afterthought, I should have put a hinge on one side of the photo booth and the other on the back. Then the unit could fold up like a “Z”.
Two thin coats of Varathane interior polyurethane was applied to the frame to keep the wood fresh and protect the wood from any chalk dust.
Depending the condition of the door hinges and your budget, I suggest a spray on metallic finish by Rust-oleum. It will add a vintage look to the project.
Click the link to check out for Wedding or Special Occasions Project YouTube Playlist.
For the past year, I have searched for an efficient, bright and cost-effective way to add light to the off-grid workshop. The local Costco had a stack of LED shop light boxes on one of the aisles for $49.99. (Not on the Canadian Costco website). The lights were $10 cheaper than the Home Depot’s LED shop lights. The box claimed it starts up instantly when it’s cold and only uses 32 watts a power. Excellent! This would be perfect for the future workshop and hopefully they work off the 12-volt inverters. The LED shop lights was purchased and then taken up to the cabin the following weekend.
Carefully cut the factory wrapping with an Exacto knife.
Read the instructions for installation and piece of mind.
The LED shop light are basically ready to go. Just need to attach the supplied links into the ceiling joist. Then insert the shop light, factory installed hooks into the links. Note: The hooks do not rotate.
My family was heading from the West Coast of Canada to London, Ontario to visit my folks and sister. When I looked up London on Google for road directions and places of interest, it mentioned the head office for STIHL Power Equipment was located just south of the city. The website even had a special web page inviting customers to come for a visit. It’s located under Corporate-> Contact Us -> Your route to STIHL. Great! It would be cool to drop by for a visit. I considered myself a connoisseur of well-made equipment (Even though I only possess a few machines). So, in a nutshell, I was thrilled to go for a tour. The trip was at least 3 weeks away, so why not shoot them an email and see if a visit/day/time could be arranged? An email was sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. 3 Weeks went by and no answer. Flew out to London, had a great visit with family and came home.
A few days later, I sent STIHL Canada a follow-up email and mentioned how I was disappointed there was no response. Guess what, someone responded! I was given a generic reply… “sorry for missing your message and next time when you’re in London, drop by for a visit” Really! Maybe in 4 years. Flights in Canada are really expensive. The distance we flew was equivalent to Seattle, WA to Detroit, MI, at $740/person return. (It cost us more money to fly to Ontario than it would to fly to Hawaii.)
The generic reply really ticked me off. It’s typical, “copy and paste” reply for social media. A quick answer to make the customer go away. When it comes to social media, you have to engage your customer and reply within 24 hours of a question. Always follow-up and offer alternatives. For example, I missed the chance for an in-person visit, but, maybe there was a special event, like a tool tradeshow happening nearby. It would be handy to know for the customer and an opportunity for the retailer to get to know the customer. It’s a simply marketing technic, drill down and gather more data. Maybe even generate a future sale.
This video will show you how to construct a bat house from lumber and plywood scraps.
This is a fairly easy project and can be constructed with only a few tools. Most of the materials can be found free from a lumber yard or left over from a home renovation project. (Plans to come)
Bats are a critical part of our ecosystems. A bat house is a good way to increase the bat population and to control nocturnal insects.
I would like to thank Margaret from www.BCbats.ca for her suggestions on plans and where to mount the bat house.