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2170 posts in 1997 days
#1 posted 06-27-2011 10:17 PM
William, somehow I knew the we would be on the same wavelength. I have started sketching plans for riverboat birdhouse after Tim Sweely made the suggestion commenting my Old West style bird feeder. I’m planning on a Purple Martin house because that’s the next birdhouse ma wants me to build her. Well I’ll see if I can think of something else for the contest. I’m sure that something will pop out from between the ears, Haven’t made a saloon in a while and have had a few request, maybe I’ll go that way. Good luck William, and thanks for the blog, I would have been disappointed if at the last minute we showed up to the dance wearing the same outfit. I know that yours would look better than mine.
-- Darrell, making more sawdust than I know what to do with
Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)
8855 posts in 2225 days
#2 posted 06-27-2011 10:39 PM
Thank you William for the wonderful story! It means a great deal to read of your history on the river. You know I am a sentimental fool and I certainly understand your love of a place that gave you so many good memories. The boats are magnificent and I have no doubt in my mind that you will do them justice in your bird house building. I can’t wait to see it!
I thoroughly enjoyed going down memory lane with you. I could actually picture what you were describing as if I were watching a movie. Thank you for sharing it with us and good luck with the contest.
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"
2601 posts in 2323 days
#3 posted 06-27-2011 11:43 PM
Thank you William for a wonderful read traveling down your memories and you described it vividly enough that I could have been standing there with you and in fact I was! I got a lump in my throat from reading this! Good luck with the contest and I hope you win!.
Erwin, Jacksonville, FL
-- Erwin, Jacksonville, FL
#4 posted 06-28-2011 12:25 AM
Thank you all. I will try to do the riverboats justice. The photo, even some of the others I’ve found on the internet don’t do these boats justice. I don’t suspect I will either, even though I am going to try my best in the time I pln on devoting to it. I hope to start tomorrow. Today had been nothing but research and planning. My biggest thoght of today has been size. I have been trying to decide how I wished to show the size of Mississippi Queen since it was one of the most massive to float the river. I could easily just go with shape. Here’s what I have come up with though. For easier scale, I’ve converted the size from feet (382 l, 68 w, 71 t) to (roughly rounded off) meters (116 l, 21 w, 22 t). I’m taking three fourths of that and making it inches (87”long, 16” wide, and 17” tall). Or I can go to a halved inch measurement (58” long, 10.5” wide, and 11 inches tall) Of course I won’t be following this exactly to a science. I have to think about my material availablilty of certain sizes. I also have to consider things like time constraint and differences in artistic media when dealing with such as a 29” walkway along the maindeck on both sides with handrails that were only probably 2” thick versus making all this out of wood. I mean, if I use my same math, even at the 75% conversion theory I’ve set, I can’t very well plane and cut wooden handrails that are .038” thick. So there will be adjustments.Anyway, I’ve gotten so much chicken scratch on paper today of various ideas that if I keep going I am going to overwhlem myself. Devann, I see nothing wrong with us wearing the same dress to the dance. That would only mean you owe me a dance. Besides, I’m not so sure mine would look better than yours. Are we still talking dresses? I haven’t put on anything with a sleeve in it in twenty years. Tank tops don’t look very good at formal affairs. I’m enough of an old country boy though to not rightly care. I’ve been meaning to ask though Devann. In your profile photo, what is that you’re standing behind. I don’t do well with small photos, but it looks like some type of trap to me. It reminded me of some of the catfish slat traps we used to use on the river years ago for commercial fishing. I done commercial fishing for catfish back in the nineties as a side job. I worked twelve to sixteen hour days back then as a mechanic in an industrial plant. Then after leaving that job I’d have to hit the river to check and rebait my traps and trot lines. The fishing part I didn’t have to do. I just enjoyed the river life. The extra money I made on a good haul didn’t hurt my feeling either though.
806 posts in 3025 days
#5 posted 06-28-2011 12:43 AM
I enjoyed reading this entry. When I was a teenager, we lived in Louisville, KY. Every year for Derby week, two steamboats would race on the Ohio River on wednesday before the horse race. It was always special to me and I hadn’t thought about that is quite some time. Thanks.
-- Every cloud has a silver lining
1197 posts in 2141 days
#6 posted 06-28-2011 03:16 AM
What a great post!
-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν
#7 posted 06-28-2011 09:49 AM
William, It is some kind of a trap. I’m not exactly sure, I thought it was a lobster trap but after reading what you said about catfish now I don’t know. It belongs to the bug exterminator that was next door to me at my old shop location. Him being a fellow Texan I was wondering what he was doing with a lobster trap. He brought it in the shop for repairs after his son had taken it to the coast and tried to catch crabs in it.
I couldn’t sleep so I got up to do some research on a second choice for the birdhouse competition. I want it to involve a practical shape so I have thought about making ether a military barrack, aircraft hanger, or maybe an aircraft carrier. I’m kinda leaning towards the aircraft carrier theme because my dad was stationed on the U.S.S. Kearsarge (CVS 33) in the late 1950s and he passed away last Feb. 2010 so I thought it would be a nice way to honor him. I need to see if I can pull off the hull shape and still build it so it can have some practical size compartments for the birds. I’m still thinking that I would like to have purple martins so a black flight deck / birdhouse roof might not work out here in the hot southern sun.
As far as a riverboat I was planning a bit of a plain look because I wanted to make it more for the birds than a photo-typical model. For that reason I wasn’t going with any handrails, just post. And I a sheet of that 1” thick 4’x8’ blue Styrofoam sheathing that will be incorporated into the underside of the top no matter what design I choose to do.
#8 posted 06-28-2011 11:46 AM
I think Darrel has a lobster trap. It sure looks like the older ones we have around here.
I can’t wait to see what both of you gentlemen come up with for the contest. I am sure they will be really cool. Thanks for sharing again. We will all be watching with excitement to see how you will do this.
#9 posted 06-28-2011 03:36 PM
Devann. Great minds think alike. Mine too will be a purple martin house. It’s going to be so big that there’s no sense in wasing all that space without making many holes. The purple martin is the only local bird I am aware of around here that will dare use multiple housing like that. Because of that, mine too will be on the plain side as far as detail goes. I thought up a way to make my handrails without getting in the way though. It came to me about three this morning, in bed. I’m leaning towards using the smallest dowel I can find. Then I’m going to set up a jig to drill holes in a consistant spot on all of them on the posts that this will make. For the handrail, I’m going to thread bailing wire through it. This will solve a major problem I was running into, going around the curve I plan on putting across the front. As for details, I want to add some details just to make it unique, but it’ll be hard to get too fancy and still incorporate all the holes for the birds. Another advantage to the purple martin is that I have found out that I can pretty much use any type of finish I want around here and they’ll still use the house. My funds are too low to afford cypress or cedar right now, so I’ll be using a variety of woods I have on hand, including cottonwood and plywood. I’m going to be sealing exposed areas with oil based extrerior paints. Any inside that isn’t painted will be drenched in Thompson’s waterseal. I have a couple of gallons of it under my workbench back there. I have to draw a fine line here between details and functionality for a bird house, all in the time allowed. I’m sorry if I messed up your plans though. I still say I don’t know why you couldn’t build a steamed paddle boat if you wish as well. Out of the other ideas you’ve presented though, I like the aircraft carrier the best. I’d have to do some research, but I see no problem making room for the holes if the scale is large enough. Make the holes in the hull. From photos I have seen of carriers out of the water, the hull goes pretty deep, making for a lot of room there. Again, the deciding factor here will be to what scale you build it. As for the black surface for the purple martins, from my experience here in Mississippi, it doesn’t matter too much. If the weather is too hot, they will just add their own nesting material that’ll place their own matural insulation barrier between themselves and the ceiling of their individual compartment. This is one of the reason I chose purple martin too. I have found that, at least here locally, you can pretty much do what you want with it. The only hard rule you have to go by is to make sure you have a way to get inside of it to clean it out each year. The bird will not return to the same house in the spring and other bird will not use it if it is not cleaned out good.I don’t think the trap in your photo is a catfish trap. The general idea of it with the slats just made me think of them. Here around Vicksburg, people use two different kinds of traps usually.Hoop nets.And slat traps.No matter which one you use for commercial fishing now though, they are both highly regulated by the Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. Back when I done it, regulations were pretty much non-existant. They catch you now using, for example, a slat trap over five foot long or over fifteen inches wide, and they’ll fine you and confiscate your boat and all your gear. Yours looke more like a lobster, crab, or turtle trap to me. I could be very wrong though. Thank you Sheila. I know we’ll both come up with something. What that is may be what bothers me. Seriously though, I don’t think it’s going to be too hard to do. My dilemna at the moment is striking a balance between detail and still being able for it to be used as intended. Also, with what I’m building, it’s also a matter of detail versus how many hours I decided to dedicate to it. Without considering the useability factor, there have been model builders that have spent upwards of a year building something like this. Of course they were painstakingly recreating the finest details though. I don’t think I even desire to go that far. If I did, the birds wouldn’t be able to use it with the protective glass I’d have to encase it in.
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