Coatsville Update

These are in-process, the final roofing shows up down the blog; but this shows the series of six with all the basics covered. The dark color is a flame finish, an idea originated in Japan called Yakisugi (or Shou Sugi Ban). It takes about 20 minutes to “paint” the burn for each house with a little butane torch. This seals the wood making it waterproof, bugproof, fireproof, and UV tough. Bluebirds often nest in old woodpecker nest-holes carved in forests after big fires; so they should feel right at home in a flame charred house. This is a modified version of the “Carl Little” design from the National Bluebird Society, Cost per house is $14.00
Bottom floor is seated 1.25 inches up, with a cut-line 3/8 inches up- these both mitigate water. And the bottom tie-down eyehook.
The roof slopes at 20 degrees with its own underside cut-line to drop back-flow water. The lines on the bird box are grab lines for the birds, antithetical to the cliche’ perch. The smooth face keeps other birds from hassling them, and the slot entrance tucked under the angled roof deters other birds and predators as well.
The wall of the house drops open for clean out, and peeking in for brood checkups. The flat peak of the door is mirrored on the opposite wall, providing cross-ventilation in conjunction with the slot opening.
More airflow and water drainage is at the floor, with the points of the edges trimmed back. Another essential element is the climbing ladder, allowing the chicks to exit.
A secondary clean floor of cedar sits atop the house floor, with a thermal break between them of aluminum sandwich insulation.
Here the floor panels are stacked.
At top and centered in the wood slat is a threaded insert for the door lock.
This wingnut/thumbscrew bolts the door closed. Below and to the R is an eyehook, mirrored on the opposite side, (and the one already noted on the bottom) for anchoring wire that affixes the house to fenceposts.
Next is a thermal break of aluminum sandwich insulation (at L), then covered in cedar panel as weatherproof shingles (R).
The metal plates cover a little gap I added to the entrances, thinking I had made the entrances too narrow. Turns out they were fine, and the gaps needed covered. The covers are angle corners pounded flat.
Last Friday I built out this storage sled for/with an artist friend to hold seven 4×8 foot panels of a big mural. This will fit into the back of a moving truck and strap down, then the art goes in place for a 500 mile drive to Denver, where the art will then be unloaded from the sled by a specialty company for fine-art international air-freight to London, who will make the real crating.
The artist’s plan prior to this was stack them on the floor with blankets between them, I proposed that this would keep them safer: upright, separated, padded (pink gasket foam), and tied down via the frame rather than the artwork.

A Stouter Quip.

An empty zen mind may / STREW about for a STOUTER QUIP / A real BITER of a mental COUP / Casting a DRUID JINX to cut / A SWATH through unyielding conversation; / Yet FOAL up nothing, as all thought is TOO GRAINY / To conjure a MERRY WIN that cuts / With AXE edge into the visiting HE and his GUESTY buttress. / JADED jibes would BUT LAG, / Arising a NINTH behind, no GLUES to stick them, / NARY a thought to float within the AERO expanse / Where once anecdotes and retorts could demand a FEE.

His favorite carnival act had always been the Geek Throw,

watching the bodies hurl into the maw he felt a Queer dizzyness,

not felt since finding spoiled Lox deep int the chin whiskers of his Goatee,

And found by his own upper lip, thinking it had found a Cutie morsel of Interr sweetness.

Now the Horde of Lib-tards, in awkward Quad piles; he imagined the Farms that bred them;

a land without Sun, with fitness of enforced Jigs and dinners of squirming Bug Pie.

He felt they were unlikely Kin, and himself a Cad;

he began a Yern-clawing of his beard, as if it were on Loan

from an Oaf; a Lein against his entire summer crop of golden Oat.

(Quiddler Poem of ED 11/24/2022)

Crabapple skirt touches the ground.
Japanese Flowering Cherry
Service Berry tree at year four in the yard; the boldest color spanning many back yards.
Service Berry
Pampas grasses bound up for winter, so this week’s snow doesn’t lay them flat.
Pond is turned over for winter, with salt water softener added to keep the fish healthy.
Hunga Tonga- Hunga Ha-apai is mounted to the wall between the Bean Whole coffee roasters. Jed is planning on painting the black gas line behind the mask white. At night the backlighting will look great from outside through the front wall of windows.
View from the common area of the Neighborhood Hive in Sugarhouse.
The latest Aeromod to the truck is this “floating” bar of mudflaps running the length of the back of the truck, with a 6 inch gap to the ground (unloaded). The low pressure a truck drags behind it will push all the way to the front, proven in wind tunnel studies. This low line in the back is nearly as effective as a similarly (impossibly) low bumper in the front. The bar is a custom weld job from scrap metal I had around, fitting into the hitch mount (or in tandem with the ball hitch), and has two loose-fit stabilizing pins in the bumper; in this way, additional to the mudflap’s flexibility, some tip and give is allowed when backing up our steep drive. The truck also drops a lot of big ranch mudballs that explode onto the highway, so this keeps other drivers and their windshields safe.
Crabapple blooms.
Orb is entirely skinned in ocean; new oceania was created yesterday and firmed up overnight.
South pole with pole.
Another 8 hours of art time are absorbed into the Orb…
I added two transparent “windows” today as well, cutting the fiberglass ball and skinning with clear & color panel created yesterday.
Layered edges with the new window panel overlayed giving a sense of depth.
The edges around the door are cleaned up, and skin-thin at top to allow paper to be slid inside.
Center is a clear-edged seam cover from a trove created yesterday. All too wide, and most are not color-correct; so a do-over tomorrow, then wait til Saturday before they are ready.
Kwanzan Cherry is just starting, and will be slowed by a 3 day rain/snow storm.

Bird strikes against the windows are always a bummer. Window stickers do little, and before the earthquake we had a variety of stained glass hung that also wasn’t 100%, but it is mostly down now. I looked at a few birding sites, and rope strands outside the window seem to do the trick, so I tricked it out. All the rest of the windows get covered outside with a mesh heat/light shield, later in the season.

The winter greenhouse is the summer sunroom, now upgraded for our feathered friends.
The fishing line strand and knots on the rope bottom keep things tidy in gusty wind. Leaving them loose at the bottom lets me wash the windows.
Vinyl J-Channel and a drill with a bit bigger than the rope, plus shock cord is all it takes (and two screws). Strand the cord through the hole and tie a knot to keep it up there. The J-channel hides the knots along the top.
My metal shop has needed drywall mud and paint since day one. I had insulation blown into the walls back in 2010, with 2 holes drilled per 16″ stud bay; then had commissions pile up, and never got around to it (also, it is a shop…). The drywall work at the ranch made me think I should get some more practice taping and mudding, and as I had everything I needed already- including tinted kilz paint from painting the ranch house back in 2013, I knuckled down and got it done at last.
So much brighter now. Of course, I had to reorganize everything as well…
In looking up you can see that I didn’t get excited enough to do the ceiling.