Sunday, July 1, 2012

That's How The Luggage Rolls

After yesterday's rainy afternoon, thing have dried out, so I was able to make some more progress with The Luggage. The air was also drier, so the stain finally felt drier as well. The dewpoint doesn't get over 60 degrees much around here, but it did over the last couple of days, preceded by a day or so when it was nearly that high. With the dewpoint back in the lower 50s, working was easier.

My first job today was to reinforce the bottom of The Luggage with sections of the two 1 x 4s I'd gotten. So I cut four pieces (after measuring twice - I remember some bits of handyman advice at least) to fit lengthwise, using a powered jig saw I hadn't used since the '90s. I applied glue after making sure they all fit - some were a little tight, which was OK. Once the glued boards were in place, I put the wheels on top of them. Since they weigh five pounds each, I thought they'd hold the boards down. I didn't take a picture at that point, so this one to the right shows the boards after the next step.

After an hour or two, I got the new drill out, took out the wheels, marked the hole positions on the bottom of the overturned Luggage, then began drilling. Maybe I should have waited because getting the holes drilled through turned out to be tougher than I thought. It was probably the glue impeding the drilling, but eventually I got all the holes done.

I put the wheels in place and threaded the bolts down into the interior. They all went in, although a few took a bit of gentle coaxing with a lightly applied hammer, which did not damage the threads. I flipped The Luggage upright. As expected, a few bolts promptly fell out, but at least one or two for each wheel stayed put. Then I opened packages of wingnuts.

That's when I realized I hadn't allowed enough clearance between the bolts and the sides for the wingnuts to turn. Oops! But again, I was able to get at least two on per wheel. Looks like I'll be making another trip to Home Depot tomorrow to get some regular nuts. Also I'll need one more bolt because one turned out to be a size smaller than it should've been. As Roseanne Roseannadanna said, "It's always something. If it isn't one thing, it's another." At least this is easily corrected.

Why wingnuts? The idea was it would be easy to remove the wheels and put them inside The Luggage for transporting in a car. It'll still be possible, but I'll have to make sure I have the right sized wrench handy.

In spite of the rain in the afternoon, I still got something done earlier yesterday. Craft Warehouse had a two-day sale this weekend, so I got down there early to get some 60% off birdhouses that I want to turn into faerie houses. I got five different types and a couple of other things, then came back home. After checking stuff online, I decided to get them out of the bags.

One of the birdhouses has a curved roof. It's on the left in the picture to the right. As I took the birdhouses out and found places for them to sit, I took a look at the curved-roof one. Suddenly the word "vardo" came to me. Vardos, if you don't know, are the small wagons the Romani people travel in. I thought of Tricky Pixie's description of their CD Mythcreants - "Gypsy Celtic Folk Rock for Naughty Punk Faeries." Aha! Gypsy faeries!

With that in mind, I made another trip down to Craft Warehouse to see how many more of those birdhouses they had. At first I only found one and was a little disappointed. There were more with barn-style roofs, but I wasn't all that thrilled about them. Then I looked up and saw two more on a high shelf. I was just able to reach them. After that I saw there were two more behind the ones I'd just retrieved. There were some dowels handy, so I grabbed one, stuck it through the hole in each house and was able to move them forward so I could reach them. Now I have six future gypsy faerie vardos. And less than four weeks to get them ready, along with costume stuff and clock hats. Good thing I'm not working elsewhere for pay!

Next I asked a clerk if they had miniature wagon wheels. They did, but the spoked ones were rather pricey and I needed either 12 or 24 depending on whether the vardos would have two or four wheels. Then we spotted some slightly smaller wheels that came 12 to a package for $2.97. So I got two packages for 4-wheeled vardos. They're only 1 1/2" in diameter, but they'll look like wheels you might see on a modern vardo. This picture, from the Flickr page of Shirley Two Feathers, gives some idea of what I'm going for, although it won't be quite as fancy. Looking at images for vardos, I see my imagination can range quite freely in finishing each one off. Oh yeah, each one will have little Oregon license plates like the one I did for The Luggage. These should get done much faster now that I more or less know what I'm doing. Hmm ... maybe I should've waited until I did them before commenting!

The weather forecast is looking better from here on out, with only some early showers possible on Tuesday, otherwise it'll be partly cloudy or sunny every day. Looks like the Northwest saying of "It'll be dry by the Fourth of July is going to work again. That's good because I'd like to work out on the little deck more.

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