Logo 2 #topThe Poor Man's Fix-it shop.[not for the proficient craftsman] . . . .Logo 2


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   When I lived with my father, taking care of him in his old age, I expected at any time to be sent back on the road. In preparation for this event I built a customized trailer designed for selling my art work and hopefully the flutes I intended to make. The trailer I used was a rusted trailer built from the back end of a small pickup that was setting unused in the back yard. I painted the rusted out holes with Rustolium, and laid a 1 inch sheet of plywood over this for ease of access as well as to keep from falling through the rusted floor. Now I use this trailer for storing extra camping gear and the fabric to be used on projects I'm working on.  




    Here's the trailer shortly after completion. As you can see I painted it to match the van, as it  was at the time of construction.

    At the bottom edge of the flaps there's a rail that extends the length of both flaps that allow me to present my art work, resting them on the rail. 

    The extension over the tongue has a locking cover that gives access to a compartment where I store a jack, a 5 gallon propane tank and other such needful things.  

    Inside the trailer I have a foldaway shelf on each side that I can use as a work bench to create the wares I hope to sell, and brackets built under this to hold such things as a canopy that I can set up when it rains or to act as a shelter from the sun. That canopy now covers the walkway to my office and serves to protect me and my exercise equipment.

    This is the trailer from the back, loaded with mat board and other framing material. I built a special shelf in the back just for these, after moving them hither and yon trying to find a dry place for them.
    The lumber is what I tore out of my neighbor's porch, another story altogether, which I describe elsewhere.
    The old cedar fence was laying against a huge rusty propane tank in the front of the trailer. I had the tank hauled away and replaced this fence with another as shown in another part of this web page.



    The van and the place as it appears today. I love the color blue, and the two tones I chose for the van suits me to a "T" (whatever that means.

    Do the rhododendrons appear painted to you? Does it cause you to think of Alice in Wonderland? Me to. Yes, for some reason the rhododendrons were washed out in the pictures I took so I embellished them with my paint program. Naughty me.





    We have weather where I live, whether we like it or not. Rain is common here in what's called the "Banana Belt," (strange though, I have yet to see a single banana grown in this supposed banana belt). It's not uncommon to get hail in the winter, but hail this size can cause a person to wish they were wearing a helmet when venturing out in the weather.





    This however is a rarity. We may get a little snow during the winter months, but 6 inches overnight puts a strain on everything. I had just returned from visiting a friend, having been fighting a back that was crippling me to where I could barely walk, and I awoke to this the next morning. If you look closely you can see that this is a picture of my place from the same spot the previous picture was taken.

    It took most of the day to create an opening by which to pass through this mangled jungle of fallen rhododendrons and magnolia trees, and the place looked barren and ugly for some time thereafter. Nature tends to correct its own mistakes however, and the green belt is looking almost normal again. What is the most surprising to me is that my back held out fine to the labor-intensive work, and even with all that weight (of the snow) I had no problem with any of my canopies or tarps, even though my neighbors were buried under their's.





    Strange things happen to people sometimes. Upon returning from my doctor's appointment some years ago I found my new neighbor tearing out, not only hers, but my green belt. I think she got overcome with what she was doing and didn't realize she had passed her limit. I've had this happen to me, so I can understand how it can happen to others. To re-institute my sense of privacy I bought some plastic window shades from a thrift shop, stretched then across the barren areas, and painted them green to match their natural surrounding. Then I went to the dollar store and bought some imitation ivy that I laid across the top of the screen, concealing its smooth edge. I put these up over 8 years ago and they're still standing tall in spite of the high winds and the snow storm just described.




 Another screen, only 8 feet in hight (wide when used as a window shade). Time has almost caused these areas to be once again as they should be and the screens are no longer needed. But the new growth is so dense now that trying to reach these screens would be more trouble than it's worth.



    The natural cedar shingles covering the Ramada have turned to moss and not much more than slivers of their original composition. However they still seem to me performing their function of keeping rain off the roof of the trailer, at least in most areas. Some spots have fallen to ruin and need to be replaced. I don't have the money to re-roof the Ramada, so I've come up with this idea: (the tarps you see serving the function of shingles in the meantime).



   I rode my bike to the local lumber yard and bought a sheet of half inch plywood and had it cut in 2 foot squares, the distance between the rafters of the roof. In this picture you can see where I've removed the old cedar and repaired the roof. The plywood had rotted beyond repair so I used a circular saw with the blade extending only a half inch and cut out a 2 foot square section (three of them in this case, one at a time so the hole wouldn't be too large and unmanageable). I then inserted and nailed down the replacement boards, then painted them with an oil base primer. Once dried I painted this with a good floor paint, intending to leave the surface uncovered until I could afford some roofing material (even if only tar paper for the time being). I bought some 4" strips of tar paper and some roofing tar and laid the strips over the cracks between the sections of plywood, then painted over the area again. I found some (what you see here) roofing material and I used this to cover what I had already prepared, as you can see here. I figure there are 5 more sections I have to replace, and I've cut and painted the boards in preparation for the time I can get to the job.
    Such a painted roof will be to slippery to walk on. To compensate for the lack of grip roofing affords I'll apply a layer of paint mixed with sand, which is not much different than the substance sold for this purpose.
    I've taken two particular safety precautions. First I built a rail around the edge of the roof and using a spacer I screwed the rail to the edge of the roof into the support underneath (as can be seen in the photo). The pacers allow for water and leaves to pass through, while the rail itself serves as a safety measure in case I was to slip. Of course this is only a first aid measure, the rail would never hold my weight should I actually slip.
       When the time comes for actually working on the roof I bought a harness, a rope, and a set of brackets that nail to the peak of the roof, and this should do the trick seeing it's designed for just such a purpose. At my age I don't think I could survive a ten foot drop off a roof, nor would I want to tempt fate to such a degree. 



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