We had a winter storm come through the other day. It’s a little early for snow, but not extremely so. There were numerous years growing up when I had to wear my snowmobile suit under my costume to go trick-or-treating.

20181012_185141[1] This was my tree on 10-12-18. When I left for work in the morning it was full of leaves. When I came home in the afternoon it was like this.


And this was my tree yesterday, 10-12-19. I can normally walk under those branches without ducking. Yesterday the dog had to duck.  I didn’t take a picture this morning, but all the snow and most of the leaves are off the tree now. Most of the snow is melted as well.

I still need to mow the yard. I wasn’t able to get it done on Wednesday before it started raining. Hopefully as it warms up this week it will dry out enough to mow.

The reason I didn’t get the yard mowed was that I wanted to finish the dance platform I was making for Little Britches. I wanted to make it somewhat portable so we can pick it up and move it if needed. I thought I could put the panels together, then stain and polyurethane them. It didn’t work out quite so well as I had hoped.

My original thought was that the sash locks would work for locking the six pieces together. They work fine for the kitchen table. I didn’t think that through well. So I added the draw latch locks. They worked better, but still not so well. 2X2 firring strips were used as the frame on the bottom to hold it off the floor. I added the two square pieces to the top and bottom sets of panels to help hold them together and provide added strength.

After getting them flipped over and locked together, which getting the latches locked is a treat I’ll tell you, the panel seams weren’t even. They weren’t even close enough that I could sand them down. So, new plan was to put some pieces around the edge and lay down some laminate.

20191007_140015[1]I bought four 1X2 firring strips to go around the outside to act as a “wall”, and also give it some added stability. So I broke out the router and went to work. My first attempt was not great. I didn’t get the guide locked in tight enough and it slid, making my cut move up the board and out the side. It was a learning experience.

But I don’t think it ended up too bad. It was my first time using a router since junior high. That was, erm…35 years ago? Something like that. And that was using a table router, not a hand router.  So the next day I had to go back to Menards and pick up another 1X2 firring strip to replace the one I messed up.

I have an old miter saw that I was going to use to cut the laminate flooring. After talking to my Dad I decided that I could use it, but needed to get a new blade specifically for the laminate. I’m glad I did. I bought three boxes of laminate because two was going to leave me one panel short. I messed up the very first panel I cut. Glad I had the extra. One more learning experience. Glad I bought the saw blade as well, because by the end it was getting quite dull.

Quite a bit of my tools are old. They were purchased by my grandfather and Dad back in the 70’s and 80’s when they were doing roofing and construction. Both the router and the miter saw are from then. They are still in good shape and work well. But they aren’t always easy to find parts for now. The Rockwell miter saw uses a 9″ blade which isn’t typically stocked in the local stores, so I have to order them.

20191009_183847[1] In the end Little Britches seems to love it and has been using it every day. When it warms up again, maybe in the spring, I will stain the edge pieces and put some baseboards around the edge so it looks nicer.