Watch Out for That Bumble Bee!!!!…..The Editor Pays Us a Visit.

…and then something happened the ring did not intend. An editor, Jodi of the Shire, brought the router tables into the light and the darkness and fear of the dungeons of the Barad-dur were lifted. The router began to sing and the pile of routed diamonds of all sizes began to flow from the workbenches. A lighthearted song was in  the air and even a few smiles graced the faces of those toiling on that day….mocking the forces of evil and doom…and the Great Eye blinked.

It’s like I said in the last post…”I had to come back.”

There really is nothing like working outdoors on a beautiful day and being involved in a project like this. It was in the 60’s today and it was gorgeous outside….and yes my wife made her first work related appearance at Hobbit Hollow. Locked and loaded for bear I might add. The only hitch in the day was that we had to stop early. Georgia had a gallery opening with some of her art work in Pittsfield, Massachusetts that we went up to see so we knocked off at 1:30 and headed north. Unfortunately we had to pick up that battle axe of a mother in law of mine. I had my wife drive….this way I knew I wouldn’t have to deal with her backseat driving drivin’ me nuts. I’m just kidding. It was the five of us, myself, Jodi, Jude, Terence, and you-know -who in the middle of the back seat of my Ford  F-150. I wanted to put her in the truck bed and seal her in with the toneau cover….but being I had no seat belt back there I couldn’t risk being pulled over by a cop and getting a ticket. Speaking of tickets I got one the other night while driving to work in Rego Park, Queens. I mean how the heck does a cop see you’re on a cell phone in the middle of the night? My fault though, I forgot to turn on my bluetooth. I couldn’t believe it! $138 bucks and the stupid bluetooth was right there in front of my nose. (It’s always annoying when a 20 year old cop tells you be more careful driving.)

Truth be told we all had a wonderful time on our trip there and back again. The weather makes such a difference doesn’t it? I almost forgot that my mother in law was in the truck with us. Georgia was so happy to see all of us. Jodi didn’t tell her everyone was coming. So she was really surprised when we all showed up. The gallery showing was pretty cool, too. It was a mix of artists from local colleges who had to be invited to show their work.  It was varied and interesting. We all enjoyed it and went out for dinner after words. I was pretty beat by the time we got home. A bowl of ice cream and off to bed. ( Ya gotta have ice cream when the weather is like this.)

I think if we had a full day of work it would have been a grand slam walk off homer at Hobbit Hollow though. I had asked Jude to see if any of his friends were  interested in working this weekend but no one was available. So enter our friendly neighborhood blog editor. Jo had said she would help when the weather warmed up and true to form she got her work boots on and met us over there. I mean it was really great. There’s so much detail work to do right now but it can’t get done if there aren’t any detail blocks routed. I set her and Jude up in the light  and gave them a pile of blocks to get started on. It was soon thereafter that they had a well oiled machine going. Here they are doing their thing.

The editor and Jude: Router basics 001
The editor and Jude: Router basics 001

I had sort of kind of made a mistake the previous weekend. Not really. Sort of batting out of order if you will. Terence and I had put up the first of the retaining wall curbs last weekend and I did this before I had installed the finishing details of the spandrel and the exterior soffit. By putting this curb up it winds up getting in the way as you’re trying to install all of this little trim. Last weekend I didn’t have the  trim or detail blocks cut. So after work this week I was able to cut up all my trim. I didn’t want to struggle with trim installation so I got right into the trim work Saturday morning. The Porter-Cable brad nailer is a thing of beauty. It’s the perfect fit for what I’m doing. ( Of course having the right size and gauge nails help. )

So I’m doing the trim, Jodi and Jude are routing the detail blocks and Terence is doing what? Well I had Terence start off by drilling the 1 inch holes in the 6 inch blocks for the snap ties. There were like 50 blocks so it was kind of a lot of work. After finishing that he had bigger fish to fry setting up and prepping the balance of the retaining curbs.

So I’m doing some cutting on the chop saw and happen to look up and I see Terence start moving backwards quickly and as he is,  he’s like slapping at his mid section. Cardinal rule number one is never back up on a construction site. (Two and three are never run or jump)There are enough tripping and falling hazards to begin with while walking forward with your eyes seeing where you are going. He’s about to trip over some panels behind him, I mean it’s like right out of the movies. It’s one of those slow motion scenes where my mouth is forming the words a: “Nooo!” but there’s no way I can prevent the accident from happening. Luckily, he stops just before he’s about to trip over the panels. He’s like: “I was just looking down and noticed this huge bee crawling up my sweatshirt.” It was one of those wood bees. They don’t live in hives but bore a single hole into wood and live in there. They’re really big though. They’re pretty harmless but if you don’t see it coming they can be quite alarming. Terence got pretty alarmed. Anyway he knocked it off of himself and the bees wings where broken. I finished him off.

Wood boring bee carcas.
Wood boring bee carcas.

Okay I’m going to let you in on a little secret. One of the big jokes in our family is I’ll make a statement and then everyone will begin mocking me. It’s like these statements have been haunting me my whole life. Now when the bumble bee incident occurred Jodi and Jude didn’t see it. We didn’t even tell them about it. It was like no big deal. Anyway Terence and I are putting together one of the curbs  and just kidding around I say, ” Watch out for that bumble bee!” Of course Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum have to hear me say this. And  my wife is the worst. I mean its good natured ribbing. It’s the voice inflection when you do it. You kind of have to make believe you’re like a stock broker on Wall Street or a real serious insurance salesman. “Hey! Watch out for that bumble bee! Ya dam fool ya!” I think I heard that like about 15 times. Or some variation on that theme. No offense to stock brokers or insurance salesmen of course.

This editor is getting on my nerves.

Where were we? Kind of flew off on a tangent there.

Oh yeah I almost forgot. We went to dinner at Patrick’s Irish Pub in Pittsfield. Inside they had  curved archways throughout the restaurant very Hobbitesque. Definitely got some ideas from there. They had one that was wooden and a few that were brick. The wooden one definitely gave me a few ideas. Very cool.

Anyway, like we’ve talked about one cannot simply walk into Mordor….I mean route squares all day long. So after Jodi and Jude worked about an hour routing squares I set them up doing the detail work which I had previously started. This is basically a pattern I came up with that repeats every four feet on center. Everything is based on a 4 inch on center layout pattern that I had previously drawn on the plywood after work one day. So I showed Jude how to use and reload the air gun. He would nail the different parts in place and then Jodi would come behind and screw them into position so they wouldn’t get stuck in the concrete when we strip the forms after the pour. It is a bit confusing when you first look at it but once you get the layout pattern everything makes sense. This was a good break for them and it allowed me to get some other things ready to go. The added bonus was it was just nice to be working on the deck in the bright sunshine. Here are acouple of pictures.

The editor's getting quite a bit done here isn't she!!!!!
The editor’s getting quite a bit done here isn’t she!!!!!

Oh yeah, I just made up a new rule. No personal cell phone use while you’re on the payroll!

I had to take my Balrog fire whip out to get the editor motivated. It worked though.
I had to take my Balrog fire whip out to get the editor motivated. It worked though.
Jude marking the centerline of the 1/2 inch 1/2 round
Jude marking the centerline of the 1/2 inch 1/2 round.

 

Soffit details installed
Soffit details installed

So the editors up there working away and she’s like: “Why are we doing this nobody’s going to see it?” Hmmmm. That’s why editors have to get out in the field every once in a while and see what the heck is going on. This area is going to be the soffit of the house or overhang. So when you walk up to the door and look up you will see this detail before entering the house. Very cool. A lot of extra work but very cool nonetheless.

So while Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dee (Or maybe it was Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum …I forget.)were working away on the soffit details Terence and I started installing the retaining curb on the north side. We had this down and the installation went smooth. If we had a full day we would have easily finished installing all of it. Hopefully these next few pictures will help you “get” what it’s sort of going to look like. Check it out.

Retaining Curb from the inside.
Retaining Curb from the inside.
Retaining curb from the outside.
Retaining curb from the outside.

Didn’t help much did it. Maybe next weeks pictures will clarify things a bit more.

One more for the road.

 

The Traveling Company picks up a new member.
The Traveling Company picks up a new member.

 

Oh yeah, and watch out for that bumble bee!

Enjoy your week and thanks for stopping by!

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

2 thoughts on “Watch Out for That Bumble Bee!!!!…..The Editor Pays Us a Visit.

    • Sally! How’s everything. I never thought I would learn so much about nature by writing a construction blog about a Hobbit House. I have you to thank for that. I was reading the articale you mentioned above and you failed to mention that the carpenter bees can be a nuisance. Aggressive no, and I agree, but a nuisance definitely at times. Actually I had about 25 carpenter bees turn my cedar shed into a piece of Swiss cheese a few years back. I’m not a big fan of the Swiss Cheese usually I go for American. We have a bunch of carpenter bees that live in the ceiling of my covered front porch. You can hear them munching away if you listen.

      Anyway it’s good to hear from you and I hope all is well! Thanks again as always!

      Jim

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