Jan's Day Off Archives - Page 2 of 5 - West Wind Hardwood

Jan’s Day Off: Summer 1997

 
(left: Lucy – the original.  Still very much missed even after 11 years. Right: Nick, our nephew.  Now all grown up with a little girl of his own to love and cuddle.)

No there was no transformation from dog to kid.  This is an outdoor shower that Jan built way, way………..way back in Summer 1997.  It gave us an opportunity to shower off after hottubbing.  In face we enjoy it so much, we sold the bathroom we never installed and use this rain, shine, summer and in the dead of winter when one slips slides along the icy deck.



Yellow Cedar shakes working their way up.

The shakes are of Yellow Cedar and still holding strong although the Douglas-fir joists are giving up and desperately needing repair.  And interesting, the wasps do seem to like stripping the wood for their nests; not sure if it’s the wood species or the damp condition of the wood.

A New Look for Antique Bedroom Furniture

A New Look for Antique Bedroom Furniture

A little something from the archives; and I do mean the story starts a long, long time ago.

We have two bedroom suites.  One we purchased from an estate sale in the neighbourhood of Oak Bay (Victoria, BC) in 1977.  A lovely black walnut set consisting of three dressers (two with mirrors) and bed unit.  Jan and I purchased these prior to our wedding; we were setting up house.  Great fun!!  It was from the 1920’s and with 50 years of living, the dressers tops needed serious re-finishing.  We set about removing the varnish; tops only.  Major ‘newbie’ mistake; hadn’t considered the tops were veneered; edges were poplar – just a bit of a colour difference.  Too late and we left the variation.  We were young, in love, having fun and didn’t care!

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Santa’s Workshop – 1998 Flashback

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Jan’s Shop – Snug as a Bug Winter 1998 – All Photos by Jan T Nielsen

Jan has been censored for having to much fun loving what we do; for wanting to share our passion; for mentoring others who share our desire to work with wood.  So here’s a little blast from a Past Day Off back in the winter of 1998.  By the way, for those who read this and censor, the tools are an accumulation of 3 generations of woodworkers; including the wife’s side of the family. That’s almost 400 years worth!

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Jan’s Day Off – “Yew” Need to Take Care

Jan’s Day Off – “Yew” Need to Take Care

Don’t Ask!  Just let it be known there is another project in the stew pot.  Fairly major and all encompassing.  Furniture is required for this project; the flavour is West Coast.  Jan’s choice of wood is Pacific Yew.  I know it’s one of my favourites.

Jan had forgotten the toxicity of yew wood and felt it was extremely important to remind our readers of the care required.  The dust attacked his respiratory system.  I would liken it to a severe asthma attack; wheezing, shortness in breath, mucus build-up, and headaches.

The leaves and seed are toxic. Sheep and cattle have died as a result of eating these; humans also.  The toxin which causes the problem is taxine, and it is present in the wood.  Yew is used widely by turners, and goodness knows how many yew vessels are used for fruit, or eating and drinking from.

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Jan’s Day Off: The Best Laid Plans of Mice, Men and Jan

Jan’s Day Off: The Best Laid Plans of Mice, Men and Jan

What does one do when a year’s worth of planning takes a huge slide to the nether regions of “don’t know when now”? Our plans to cross Canada in the tear-drop trailer for Perth, Ontario’s 200th Anniversary have sadly been postponed for 2016. Perhaps, we’ll manage a celebratory trip for Perth’s 201st.

The trailer bits and pieces – still in view as a gentle reminder – are lovely stored to make room for the next-in-line project. This is a project that should have taken place when the house was originally built in 1988. It’s a project that we’ve talked about forever knowing it would make it to the ‘to-do’ list when the time was right. Our upstairs bathroom now has a view with two new windows that open. WOW!! The light; the air circulation… and I’m still shaking my head with wonder as to why didn’t we do this sooner.

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Jan’s Day Off: The West Wind Flyer

Jan’s Day Off: The West Wind Flyer

This is not Jan’s Day Off – This is Jan’s Month(s) Off.

It’s been talk for many, many years.  Then justification made it a reality.

  1. Perth, ON was celebrating its 200th Anniversary as a Military Settlement this year.

As Jean S. McGill wrote in her earlier book:  A Pioneer History of the County of Lanark, “The industrial revolution of the century previous had continued to displace tradesmen and craftsmen throughout the British Isles. Now, with the end of the War … , Great Britain was overrun with discharged soldiers also seeking employment. Something had to be done quickly ….”

Second, …the British Government had recognized that a loyal population must be established inland away from the St. Lawrence ‘front’ as a second line of defence in any future (American) threat.”

  1. Shelley’s ancestors were in the first wave of Scottish immigrants in 1816.

Opening the uncharted area north of the Rideau system offered a creative, if challenging, solution to both problems. In early 1815, the British Government commenced an emigration program that offered land and support, including transportation, to families from Scotland, joined by discharged soldiers, willing to take up a new life in this isolated part of Upper Canada.

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