I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

Monday, November 30, 2009

And now for something completely different

...a project I actually completed! (Well, 95%, but who's counting.)

In the last post, I listed some of my to-do list for the garden cold season, and by crikey here's one that came to fruition. It is about the sloppiest example of wood cutting anyone could ever hope to perpetrate, but what the muck, we have decided that this is just the prototype for greater things to come.

I ripped the majority of the pieces with a jigsaw blade as dull as dirt, late at night, and with no clamps to hold the stock, so we have a rather free form example of the original hod (thanks RunnerDuck!) I set out to replicate. Still, I think it will be very functional and if I don't carry bricks around in it, may last for a few years.

The original design has handle supports attached to the outside of the hod ends, but due to some airheaded measuring, I cut the dowel handle too short. Not a problem; did some 'redesign' and attached the handle supports to the inside of the hod ends. (See this photo for a much cooler example of another handle option.)

Guess what- I like the 'booboo' design even better! Truth be told, I did consider attaching the handles on the inside before I goofed on the measurements. (That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.) The inside attachment doesn't reduce the interior space very much, but does reduce the outside dimensions if you have storage considerations (as I do).

My final measurements are a little larger than RunnerDuck's, due to going with a 1 x 8 instead of a 1 x 6- 7 3/8 " high x 9 7/8 " wide x 17" long (basket dimensions, not including handle height- that is about 13"). I'm very happy with the extra 2" depth. This is still relatively lightweight since it's made from pine.

That's right, cheapo pine was used here, not the cedar recommended by RunnerDuck (mainly because Homey Deepo did not have any cedar), so I applied a tung oil finish for some water repellance. Right before I took the pic here, the hod was out on the deck and it started to rain. The water beaded up just fine, so I think if it is not left to fend for itself day and night in the cold cruel (outside) world, and is given reasonable care, the little basket will hopefully be around for many seasons.

Another modification was to use 1/4" wire mesh instead of 1/2". My reasoning was that herbs (as well as smaller vegetables, like little hot peppers) could be gathered more easily in a smaller meshed hod, with no 'slipping through the cracks'. The only caveat is that the wire gauge of the 1/4" is also a little thinner. If you want the sturdiest construction, go with the 1/2" mesh. You could always line the basket with a cloth to keep the little stuff from falling out.

One last mod, which has not been applied yet, will be to add 'feet' under each end, creating a little air space underneath the mesh, and theoretically protecting it from getting cut up. The plan is to rip two pieces, 7/8" square x 6" long, and attach them to the bottom of each end piece.

As for the savings over a ready-made garden hod, if you don't count the ~$38.00 I spent on tools- spade bit, jigsaw blades, carpenter's glue, and clamps- the wood and mesh ran about $15.00, and there is just barely enough wood to make one more hod. So much for pinchin' the pennies.

There may still be an opportunity to grab an artistic photo of the new garden basket brimming over with 'plenty'- never mind the fact that it will probably consist of nothing but swiss chard and jalapenos- hey, doesn't everybody still have jalapenos growing at the end of November?

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