Jan, Author at West Wind Hardwood
Jan’s Day Off: Mary Anne

Jan’s Day Off: Mary Anne

In the 60’s, William (Bill) Garden, renown Pacific northwest naval architect watched out his office window (in Seattle) as a Canadian dredge loaded with four lapstrake boats was towed enroute to the ship-wreckers across the canal. Buying the entire load, one of them was renamed Mary Anne. This was unfailing good luck as the family required a tender for our summer camp on the West coast of Vancouver Island.

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Jan’s Day Off: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Jan’s Day Off: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

What happens when you’ve lived in a wood house for over 25 years AND you’re next to a CRD park full of trees? More specifically the question is what doesn’t happen?!

My lovely little “Sori-bashi” – bridge with an arched appearance – was literally falling about after 20 years.  Made of yellow cedar, it was riddled with bugs; even two of the treated rail-road ties had been eaten to bits.

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Jan’s Day Off: Kitchen Drawer Organizers

What do when a ‘cold’ hits?  Organize some kitchen drawers………of course!

Little Drawer Before Big Drawer Before

Let’s just say we are traditionalists and started off with that good old plastic cutlery organizers…in 70’s avocado green naturally.

Then as we aged into our sophisticated 30’s, we bought the larger white organizer from Ikea and settled into a well-organized kitchen for the next 20+ years.

Now add a restless soul and a spare weekend.  Voila; two drawer organizers with bits and pieces that slide and good-looking to boot.

Little Drawer After and Full (2) Little Drawer After and Full (1)

Jan’s Day Off: The Ipe Bench

ipe-bench-jan (5)

Not saying that our “world of wood” is a man’s world.  Talent with the hands is not a gender specific trait; however, we do see our share of women trailing their men with less enthusiasm.  Being ever accommodating, Jan decided to build a place to rest.  As you can see it’s been well tested by the four-legged breed.  Not to be encouraged but…….Lucy’s looking pretty comfy.

Next time you pay us a visit, give the bench a try.

Jan’s Day Off: Jan’s “REAL” Day Off at Buttle Lake

Ralph River Provincial Campsite – Buttle Lake – Strathcona Park (Vancouver Island, BC)

overturned soup bowl candlestick

What’s wrong with this picture? Nothing as far as I was concerned, however, apparently my choice of stable candle holders was inappropriate. And thus another ‘project’ was born. Fast, Simple and Aesthetically Appropriate for the Outdoors.

So what does a good wood man do but find a piece of green cedar with the intention of carving out nicely sized holes to fit our candles.  At this point, now ask yourself who goes camping with a full set of carving tools?  Unfortunately the selected piece split and required repairs.  Naturally, slender willow branches were selected to bind the board.

DIY rustic candlestick DIY rustic candlestick

Nothing is more satisfying……so I’m told…….than a man sitting by his fire with his cigar whilst working with wood.

rustic candlestick holder

a patina of wax on the candle holder a patina of wax on the candle holder

A nice patina of wax build developed as more and more candles were used.

rustic candle holder Day and Night – Night and Day – All was right with the world.

Day and Night – Night and Day – All was right with the world.

rustic candle holder rustic candle holder

But all good things must come to an end and a fiery pyre was deemed an appropriate finale to our camping trip.

Jan’s Day Off: Raven Hood Deck Re-Dressed

We built in 1988 and moved into a home that was, at its best, considered 60% finished…at least in Shelley’s view.  Two out of three bedrooms were finished.  Kitchen had no upper cabinets; lower cabinets were just carcases with no shelving or doors.  Two out of three bathrooms were unfinished and for doors we hung old curtains.  Of course baseboards were nowhere on the horizon, but what we did have was a wonderful brand new 400 Sq.Ft. clear Yellow Cedar deck; specially built for my sister’s wedding in August 1989.  We were the hosts for this gala event!

***Note for any legally concerned readers.  We were authorized tenants with a proper occupancy permit well in place!

The Wedding Deck 1980's

The Wedding ~ The Deck ~ The 80’s

A little difficult to see because it’s so clearly yellow!

A little difficult to see because it’s so clearly yellow!

For twenty-six years it stood the demands of a typical family and multiple pets.  It was however plagued with problems due to corrosion of the fasteners causing rot.  The wood plugs let go, water seeped under and voila….water in a place that was not meant to be.

Finally in 2009, after investigating various repair ideas; even contemplating the replacement of the entire deck with ipe, I decided to deal with the original cedar.  Although the yellow cedar had a weathered patina, it was only 1/16” deep and the interior wood was pristine.

I decided to cut out all the ‘bad’ parts including the wood blocks underneath, and 250 pieces later, the deck was better than new!  This time I used stainless steel screws where needed and larger wood plugs inserted with our ecopoxy glue.  Good old-fashioned galvanized deck nails were used for the new wood blocks needed underneath where there were no supporting joists.

I opted to give a fresh coating of Ipe Oil and five-years later you can see “the good, the bad and the ugly” has weathered to a consistent beautiful grey.  No further refreshments needed!

The 2009 Fix:

All Grey Again in 2014

  aged yellow cedar deck  Aged yellow cedar deck