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Ben's blog

  • Cool Duplo Project #44 – Face




    Behind the maskIMG_0727

    I expect more experimentation with faces to follow.

  • Dry & Shaded

    My brother & I have been pushing for 6 days straight to get a roof on before the next rain. Yesterday we reached this holy grail after 2 days of intense roof sheathing. Intense because working 20ft high is draining for you have to be alert at all times. Intense because the Sun does not relent. Intense because lifting half a ton of sheathing material up a 20ft ladder is no joke.

    Unloading, cutting & rigging stationIMG_0735

    Up it goesIMG_0761

    Many swear words laterIMG_0788

    The same night we had a little camp fire to celebrate and we heated enough water for a bin I could fit in. Words won’t do justice to describe the experience, bear in mind I hadn’t taken a hot bath in more than 2 years, nor a hot shower in several months. Not that I mind a cold shower, it’s a great way to end a long Summer day. This only serves to say the experience along with the stress of the roof having vanished left my body relaxed to a point where I could barely walk home. I slept like a log, but this also is a pale metaphor for how I slept and how much the softness of my bed meant to me when all my hands had known for several days were dry rough wood, splinters and scorching surfaces.

    The rain came the next day and the addition stayed dry even though the walls aren’t fully sheathed. It would take quite a bit of rain and wind for it to be an issue (not unheard of…). In the meantime, we are appreciating a new dry, shaded space and the huge milestone the roof represents.

  • So very close to a roof

    4 days marathon building session, which isn’t over yet in light of the good weather ahead. We are pushing for a roof before the next rain. Rafters, rakes, ridge boards, blocking, fascias, it’s all there. We are ready for sheathing.

    The high altitude acrobatics have started. IMG_6897 2IMG_6938

    If it isn’t plumb force it with a clamp.IMG_0579

    We got to work in the shade for a change, amazing what this does to your energy levels.IMG_0598

    The roof lines coming togetherIMG_0617

    To the right, the chicken coop and first structure I built in which you can actually stand; which was a major aha moment. Center, the expression of the skills I’ve gained ever since.IMG_0663

    Vermont, the lesser known big sky state.IMG_0702

  • Gave the berries some much needed TLC

    Took the weeds down, added mulch and a fenceIMG_0571

  • Roof line complete, getting ready for rafters

    This beam, being a triple 2x12x24′, was a bear to put in place



  • Cool Duplo Project #43 – Wind experiments

    More wind spinners & a few sail based vehiclesIMG_0385

    this ship looked good but was too heavy


    A quick mod and it went!


    Sail plane!


    3 way race2017-07-08 00_37_27

    Wind spinners were a disappointment, they took focused wind to get moving. Not at all what I had in mind with the cup shaped design. We’ve tried many of them and could never get one working well. wind_spinner

    Coming up with his new wind powered race carIMG_6683

    Fun times, I’d like to get more ideas of things which could move with the wind.