GRAYnomad Nature Photography :: The GRAYnomad Chronicles :: #079



Did I say we were dun buildin'? My bad. Yes the house is finished but I still have a lot to do on the workshop.

Also we are slowly reducing our dependence on the system, once again, still a long way to go but we're getting better all the time. No food growing these days though and that's a big hole in our preparedness that I need to address before long

Nothing much else to report, we're just sitting out here in the bush enjoying the solitude. I have been a bit AWOL here for a long time, part of the reason for that is Facebook, yes I admit to being a bit of a FB junkie because it's immediate feedback is quite addictive in many ways. But It's NO use as a record of one's journey on this planet whereas a proper blog can be. We are constantly referring to these chronicle issues to remember what we've done and when we did it. Sometimes to clear up our recollections of an event, but other times just as a stroll down memory lane, a pathway that's over twenty years long and counting.

So, once again, I promise to try and keep updates more frequent...and yes I know I've said that before.



Till next time then, and remember,

Mon 7 Oct 2019

One of my bench grinders vibrates quite a lot on wind up and down, I used to have it firmly mounted to a bench but at certain frequencies the entire bench (and connected infrastructure) would resonate something terrible.

So I've decided to build a stand with a platform mounted on resilient (rubber) mounts . The platform will be at the same height as a nearby bench but separated by 10mm or so and mounted on it's own leg.

And rather than use some steel for the leg I went searching for an appropriately shaped log.


I think this will work a treat.

I swamp the base in sump oil to discourage the termites then back fill


Job done, now let's cut the extra off...


...and install the mounts.


On top of these mounts I will place a sheet of ply onto which the grinders will be mounted.

Tue 15 Oct 2019

A new workbench for some of my bench tools.

 I think this would be a good spot for the wood lathe.

Wed 23 Oct 2019

I have a long way to go with regard to steel storage, but I did make some progress today in the form of three storage racks under the welding table.


These will be used to store large and heavy off cuts up to about two meters in length.

Mon 28 Oct 2019

My sign wall is no more. I took all the signs down today and paneled the wall in preparation for hanging woodworking tools. There is still some room up high so some of the signs might go back.


Thu 05 Nov 2019

On the way into Bundy there's a house that burnt down a few years ago . I've often thought it might be interesting to have a poke around so today, on the way home from town, I stopped and did just that.


The house has long since been cleared but the out buildings are still there.

Sun 17 Nov 2019

How's this for a tool wall?


Still a long way to go to get the workshop ship shape though. The most obvious thing here is the pile of wood off cuts on the floor, quite apart from them being an eyesore they attract termites, and we have enough trouble with the little buggers as it is without encouraging them to set up house right inside the workshop.

Mon 18 Nov 2019

I started building the new awning today.


We can open both sides of the living room to get a nice breeze and overall that works well. But come late afternoon the sun is streaming directly into the living room so we wind up closing the large doors on the west side, thereby losing the breeze. So this awning will shade that side of the building and allow us to leave the doors open.

It should also be good in the rain as we can similarly leave the doors open and watch the rain without getting the floor wet.

Tue 19 Nov 2019

Back into Bundy today. I pick up some 2mm plate and and a small gas bottle.

 The foreman does a quality check on the plate.

 It's full size diameter wise, but only about a foot high.


The plate will be used for various things around the place like bench tops, and probably some new mudguards for the Cruiser when (if?) I build a camper body for it.

I plan to use the gas bottle's concave base as a blacksmithing tool to help forming certain dished shapes. We'll see. It used to contain CO2 so it will be safe to cut it if necessary, but I think it will work as is, I just need to smooth out the base so it doesn't leave marks on whatever I'm shaping. It seems that these concave bases are not all that common, I've looked at a lot of old gas bottles and this is the first I've found.

I've owned the blacksmithing gear for a few years now and done bugger all with it, but I am still keen to do some smithing, just need to finish the workshop first.

Mon 25 Nov 2019

More progress on the awning.


100mm purlins are not that strong by themselves and over a longish span they can bend and warp a fair bit until you add bracing etc. In this photo you can see how I pull two of the purlins into line and square with each other before I add a spacer between them to firm everything up. Eventually of course the roof sheeting will be added and that will really strengthen the structure.

Tue 26 Nov 2019

The awning is almost done, I just need to trim off the corro sheets to get a nice straight edge.


Wed 27 Nov 2019

Finished the new awning, it's awesome and we're lovin' it. It has actually transformed the living room, allowing it to be more "outside" but still sheltered.


Here you can see the large "barn" doors we open to get the breeze. They can stay open a lot more now.

I plan to make a rockery of some sort under the awning, and that large "Triffid" you can see is an upside down tree trunk I cut some time ago, I think I'll use it for a bird bath base.

Tue 01 Dec 2019

I had a bench where my lathe used to live that was made of yellow tongue flooring (chipboard essentially) and it had become very stained from oils, cutting fluids etc. I have since moved the lathe and decided to make this part of the workshop a drilling station.

So I've decided to clad the bench with steel, a material that doesn't mind the aforementioned fluids.


This is some of the 2mm plate I bought the other day. It has plenty of surface rust but I don't mind that, it scrubs up alright and I like that old/used look.



Thu 03 Dec 2019

Too bloody hot to do much today, so I just finished modifying the feed rollers for the drill station and bottled a home brew. That'll do.


I've mocked up a stand for the mag drill with some timber scrap to get some measurements. I plan to build a proper stand out of heavy steel so the drill can be used much like a normal drill press.



I'm down to abut 50 bottles of lager even with the 30 I just bottled. That's a little too close for comfort, I'd better start another brew.

And speaking of beer, it's time to sit down with a drink and enjoy the view from my easy chair.



Thu 17 Dec 2019

After much ado I finally managed to get the truck started and moved out to it's new park location in the sun.

The truck batteries are stuffed and the Cruiser's doesn't have the grunt to turn over the Perkins, but after about an hour charging them I manages to start the ACCO.

 I use a stick to give the motor some herbs while I go and do other things.

 Wothahellizat in it's new location. Not quite level but close enough.

 One day those panels will be mounted on that pipe.

Sun 22 Dec 2019

I'm not a fan of having anything that depends on me for survival, either animal or vegetable. But I weakened today and bought some bamboo. We'll use it to create a screen for Chris' car.


Apparently it's quite hardy once established and will manage when we go away, although Lord knows when that will ever be.

Wed 25 Dec 2019

Merry Wednesday everyone...well all days are the same here at Wallaby Ridge.

In deference to the current bush fire situation we are getting a bit more serious about being able to fight anything that occurs here.

Not a full on canopy/crown fire mind you, in that situation there's really nothing you can do and you just GOOD (Get Out Of Dodge), but a lot of the footage of fires I've seen over the years shows houses/properties with multiple small fires starting, mostly from ember attacks. If these can be nipped in the bud then there's a better chance of the house surviving, but most people seem to try and cover everything with a single 1/2" garden hose.

So, to this effect I have been installing a 1" line to all corners of the house with 3/4" taps to which 3/4" hoses will be fitted.

Also, on the roof will be 5 (or more) sprinklers running from a separate pump and tank.

Also, there will be various small wobbler sprinklers underneath the house and in the firewood storage and other other nooks and crannies that are overshot by the roof sprinklers.

We may even get a fire-fighter pump to connect to the 2" outlet I installed on one of the tanks.

So the plan is to fire up all the sprinklers then be vigilant for spot fires and douse them before they get a foothold.

The under story is well cleared around the house and we aren't supposed to get canopy fires up here in Queensland so for most scenarios I hope we are covered.

Time will tell I guess.

And yes people will say "But that poly will melt in the radiant heat". To be honest, if you get to that point I think the property is stuffed anyway you should have left ages ago.


Thu 26 Dec 2019

The investment in 1" plumbing for fire fighting is already paying MASSIVE dividends.

When making a home brew batch (AKA Graywater) I used to have to wait for ages to fill the barrel with water using the old 1/2" tap in the workshop.

Today I used one of the outside fire-fighting taps and WOOOSHKA, quicker 'n you can say "Schooner o' XXXX please mate", it was full.

You gotta love the law of unintended consequences.

Fri 27 Dec 2019

I seem to have acquired a collection of 4- and 5-inch grinders. I have five in total, my old Hitachi and these four Bosches.

 A gaggle of grinders.

I normally shorten the leads on tools because I mostly find that long leads are a pain in the arse. The new ones here still have long leads so I'll be attending to that before long.

But before I get onto that I have new side boards to make for the trailer. The old ones were made from cheap plywood and really only intended to be single use to bring our stuff up from Glasshouse Mountains.

That was years ago, and lately they have deteriorated beyond repair. So the new ones will be made from steel, RHS frames skinned with roller door material.

 I'll get all four sides from this one sheet of roller door material.

 The floor of the trailer looks a bit sad as well, but it'll do for now.

Sat Dec 28 2019

My neighbour gave me his old non-working TV a while back so today I thought have a look and see if I could spot the problem.


I'm guessing that the two fried geckos on the high-voltage (see HOT label) side of the power supply had something to do with it.

I salvaged all the screws and brackets I could and the rest will go in the bin.




Date  ::   01 May 2020
Name  ::   Scott
Location  ::   Canada
Comment  ::   Holy Cow Rob!

You seem to have nearly reached the current decade.

Now whatcha gonna do?
Date  ::   01 May 2020
Name  ::   GRAYnomad
Comment  ::   Forget decades, some would say I'm still living in the last century (19th that is).

Date  ::   01 May 2020
Name  ::   Scott
Location  ::   Canada
Comment  ::   21st century has been a bit rough so far. Might be best to backtrack to the 19th.

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