Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Houseboat project

I cut the house off the boat in the spring of 2017. Then in the summer of 2017 I built the new house.

Click here for the photos from this project

I deliberately took the fall of 2017 off to watch for leaks on the inside and patch them as I found them. I had planned to continue on the inside in the summer of 2018 but due to health reasons I did not continue working on the boat again until the summer of 2019. I'm currently working on the inside of the boat.

Above is the before photo

Then the top came off. Over 10,000 lbs of lumber and fiberglass went to the dump that day.

The frame for the new house was built.

There was a lot and I mean a very very lot of rain that summer.

This link is to photos building the new Houseboat, Spring and Summer of 2017 along with a few photos from the summer of 2019.

This link is photos of the floor going in. Summer of 2019

How about a mask

Sometimes things just don't work out. 
This was supposed to be part of a rifle case. Now it's a mask.
The real goal in this Mask project was to not waste the leather.

Click here for all the photos in this project

Was the case a poor plan or poor idea? Who knows. I was not happy with it and with every cut things got worse, and worse, and worse. So I accepted the failure and moved on. I was able to use most of the leather you see in the image below on the left for other project. It was just the section on the right that went wrong.

Looking at the failed piece I saw a mask with a single eye. So I added a second eye and other facial features. With the failed project it was the first time I tried doing the two needle double thread stitch, a stitch used to sew baseballs. I want to remember what I learned here and salvage the leather.

On the left side the stitches are a bit farther apart. For a hollow project this made it harder to keep the leather lined up edge to edge. I also started sewing from the closed end. This made it harder as well.

On the right side the stitches are closer to the edge. As you can see from the image above (top right) I punched the holes first the ones I liked best (right side of mask) I eyeballed the distance from the edge for the holes. For the ones I don't love I used a special tool that was adjusted farther from the edge. I was lazy, I could have readjusted the tool, but I also wanted to see how it would turnout. The stitching is not where the original project failed. It was a design flaw on my part or unrealistic goals. For this mask project the two sides being stitched differently is actually good.

Anyway on the second stitch on the right side I also started on the open end. I feel for this made it easier to stitch, but I had access to both sides (inside and outside) of the mask.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Combined two Blogs

In an effort to be more effective, I exported and moved all my posts from Grayharley.com into DFB.net

Prior to this year DFB.net was only my Wooden Stuff, Picnic Tables, and Chickens. This year I started adding other projects, like Leather, and the Houseboat. I also converted the site from old style html to using Blogger.

Prior to this year, Grayharley.com was my Tech blog, using WordPress.

This year I added Health & Fitness, converted it from WordPress to Blogger, and then, just today, on a whim, exported and merged the two sites.



I created DFB.net back in the late 80's when email addresses were linked to your internet service provider. After moving a few times and loosing yet another email address, all my saved emails, and my contacts, I decided there needed to be a better way to do email.

So I registered DFB.net

Then with nothing better to do, I learned to program in html, php, MySQL. I loved php and MySQL, and went to to create some very intense websites. Then I retired, or rather quit my job and moved to Florida. I spent many years with no home-internet, telephone, cable tv, or AC. I have to say I love that more than MySQL.

With needing something to do, I got a part-time job at a college, and started working on projects. To share those projects with my grand children that live out-of-state I use my blog and Google Photos.

Some of my projects include, the Houseboat. Purchased for $1000 with termite damage I did not know about, it sat in the water for two or three years before I gave up on repairs and cut the old house off, and built a new house.



You will find a link to that blog post here as well as a link to two Google Albums


I've also been working with leather. Below are a few projects I done, but have not yet written up and posted in a blog, but I do plan to do so soon.

Like these two leather carvings.


I've also done some leather stitching projects like this flask.


And I stripped and re-did this leather chair.




I made a case for my kindle.


A pair of moccasins.


Then there was a rifle and holster project.




Some projects are already here and have links to more photos like
Talking poop againManual leather sewing machine, and a Leather wrapped thermos.

And some photos are here but with no words yet like. I will also from time to time add more info to a prior post and fix some spelling.


Chicken House

Picnic Tables


Wooden Plates & Bowls


Wooden Stuff


Wooden Trees

Monday, May 6, 2019

Talking poop again

I just had the full top of the tank replaced on my almost 40 year old septic tank.

Here are the before and after shots. When I bought the house over 10 years ago, the prior owner had died so no one knew just where the tank was. And you know what they say, if it aint broke dont fix it.




When they opened the tank to pump it for me. The 40 year old cement cover crumbled a bit. I could have just covered it with dirt, but in 5 to 10 years when I need to do it again I would like it to be easier.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to remove the old lid. I may have just been lucky. They put a heavy pry bar inside the access hole and hooked a chain to it, and then just slid the lid off.



I built this wooden thing a few years back to mark the spot Click here to see more poop

Blowing in the wind. Hair Sock

I'm a 59 year old male, with long hair. When I ride it tangles.

I'm sure that I can't be the only one with this problem. The wind knots up my hair so well that I have to tear the knots out. I've tried ponytails, hair scrunchies, and dew rags but it's tough to hide all the hair.

Recently, I thought what I really need is a socky. Like a scrunchie but closed like a sock. Then I thought why not a sock.

First I tried one of my socks. I found a tube sock worked best. My sock was a bit big, so I went to the dollar store and found a kids sock.

Much better.

When I ride, I now wear both the sock, and the dew rag, and I'm loving it.


It took a little practice.
First I start to put my hair in a ponytail and stop.
Then I turn the sock inside out and put the sock on my hand like a mitten.

Then I grab the hair like I'm doing a ponytail, and grab, and fold, grab, and fold, till all the hair is in my grip inside the sock.

Then I pull my hand out, with out letting go of the hair.

Then I tuck and roll the hair filled sock end, into the sock. Just like rolling up a pair of socks.

Manual leather sewing machine

I've built a simple wooden base for an old fashion, manual, Leather Sewing Machine, that I found online.



The sewing or Shoe Repair Machine is new, made in China, and looks like something from the 1800's. From the youtube videos I've watched, it will be a project in itself to get it running, but for the price it's well worth the effort.


The machine is designed to sew leather shoes. It has a long neck that will let it get into tight spaces. I don't currently plan to make or repair a lot of shoes, but I don't want to lose the ability to easily take advantage of the long neck.

I want to build a base that can easily re-position the machine to take advantage of the long neck.
It has to be stable while sewing with the neck fully extended.
I want a tabletop base for portability and because I don't have space for a dedicated bench.

My original vision for this project was a rectangle made from 2x6 pine with just enough height that the flywheel will clear a table. The machine was to be be mounted to a block that could slide back and forth within the base, an additional heavy block was to be used to fill the gap and to provide counterweight.

Ya, that did not work out.

But I now have a simple wooden base that will do 90% of what I need and want to do and I can still think about making a second base. More photos of the wooden base below.



This photo is from the unboxing. Lots of tiny styrofoam dots to vacuum.


You may find these photos helpful as well.


I used a drill press to counter sink the bolts




I timed off the excess wood 

Saturday, May 4, 2019

Let's talk batteries

Your body is no different than your cell phone in that it's got a battery inside and you've got to figure out how to charge it.

You've got lots of options everybody sells a different charger, lots of options for cables, they've even got batteries to charge your battery.

The efficiency of charging your cell phone depends on the voltage and wattage of your charger, the quality of your cable, and how many watts it takes to fully charger battery.

Your body pretty much works the same way. Mine needs a minimum of 1800 calories a day. Though it would prefer 2000.

If I give it 3000 I may regret it for a few days. If I give it too many calories two frequently I'm probably going to regret it for a year or more.

So should I skip the egg yolk? Not if I'm counting my calories. That's kind of like going out to get a hamburger and telling them to you know don't add the meat. Seriously sure Don't add the bread That's a lot of calories you don't need and bad calories at that but if you're not going to have the meat why are you going to order the hamburger I mean seriously.

The foods that you choose to make up your calories is important but not as important as staying within your numbers.

Once you've mastered staying in your numbers or at least doing an adequate job then you start paying attention to your carbs and your protein to make sure you're getting enough. If you're not getting enough protein you're going to be tired and if you're eating too many carbs you're going to have a hard time staying at your desired weight.

So eat that egg yolk, just make sure you counted it.

Make sure you're getting enough calories to get you through your day.

If you rapid charge, it may not get you through the day. A trickle charge is better.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Four seed mix

Contingent with the theme of my previous post on simple math I do the same thing with seeds.
I'm eating seeds for fiber and calories. To keep the math simple I mix them all together but only call them sunflower seeds.



My current 4-seed mix is Sunflower & Pumpkin half organic and half roasted no-salt.

( organic sunflower, roasted sunflower, organic pumpkin, roasted pumpkin )

But when I enter them into my calorie counting app I just called them roasted unsalted sunflower seeds.

At one point I tried throwing in the chia seeds as well but that didn't really work out well so I keep the chia seed separate now.

I've found that using a shot-glass is convenient way to eat them.


Put your shot glass on the scale, zero it, add seeds, record, eat

Simple math

When I'm tracking my meals I like to keep the math simple. Every label that you look at is going to be a little bit different one's going to tell you it's measuring a serving, another is going to tell you it's a cup, another's a half cup, another's a quarter cup, one's a teaspoon, or an ounce. That's just too much trouble.

The simple solution is switched to grams. You don't need to understand grams. You just need to be able to put it on the scale have your scale set to grams and enter the number it gives you. Everything converts over to grams. It's really simple.

What if you're mixing ingredients, then what, well I just made a batch of my three bean salsa, or spicy three bean soup, whatever you want to call it. Now I could take all the labels add everything up do some fancy math and try to figure out how many calories are in whatever but why bother. So in this case I had pinto beans, black beans,refried beans and salsa. The black beans had the highest number of carbs, fiber and calories so I'm just calling it black beans. I put three scoops into a bowl. My scale told me that was 200 g so I tell my calorie counter I had 200 g of black beans. The reality is the calories and carbs that I had were less than what was entered I'd rather them be less than more and it's not so dramatically less that it really makes a difference as far as my belly is concerned because it's less so simple math.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Leather wrapped thermos

When I got this thermos from a friend, it was used, the plastic outer shell was cracked open and the foam insulation was not pretty. I cut off the outer plastic shell and the foam insulation.

When I was done removing the outer shell it looked like some sort of alien technology.

I measured and cut but when I held the leather around the thermos it looked like I cut the leather too short.

After a night of trying to figure out a way to salvage the project I decided to just put the holes along the edge and sewed it up as is.

The sewing was slow and a little difficult because half the sewing was from the inside of the tube.

I was a bit surprised when everything fit.

Of course then I had to take it off again so that I could start getting ready to make the bottom.

I was very happy with how the project turned out.

To view this project from beginning to end, click this link to my Google Photo Album