Generating Invoices Online

I do some commission work on the side and have found the best way for me to send out invoices is to use .   It is straight forward, easy to use, and free with good looking invoices.  Check it out if you need to bill someone, it looks rather professional. 

Re-doing a paver path

So I wanted to redo the paver path behind my house.  After I tore the old one out, I only had a few good pavers left and couldn't find matching ones.  Being that my budget was tight on the redo before a family picnic, I decided to rip some 2x4 s into 2x2 and create a frame for the existing pavers to elevate them above the ground and fill the rest in with a washed stone.  I also put the new planter in on the left, but that's a job for another post. 
So first the final product in case you don't want to look any further.  Now how I did it.
I started by laying out the blocks I had and figuring out the gap I needed between each to make my distance.

Once I had this, I started making a frame for the blocks.
I put a little strip of wood under each one to make sure the paver wouldn't work its way through and the wood become elevated around them.  
It was about 20 feet so I made 2 of them that fit together.  I then stained them up to match the deck stain on the house.  It took a few coats, I realize they won't last forever, but it should get me a decade or so, at which point it will probably need to be freshened up again anyways, so a quick fix that I think turned out good.  One last pic after install before the gravel.

Tree House Build

So the kids wanted a tree house, this is what they got.
I know, not exactly a tree house, but its sitting around 200+ year old oaks, and I really didn't feel confident in injuring them at all.  So perhaps elevated playhouse is a better name.  In any effect, here is my build.

I started by clearing the area with my tractor and digging 4 foot post holes, one was only 3 foot when I hit bed rock.  
I put in 8 inch tubes and filled them with cement.  I put a 3/4 lag in the top of each to tie to.

Next I put a post plate on each for a 6x6.
Everything went together good here and the measuring and cross corner checking when I dug the holes really paid off, the entire thing was very square.  Next, I set 2x12 beams (2 on each) on the top of the posts.  I notched the posts to make it super solid and used 3/4 inch lags to hold them together.
From there I was able to build the joists that would be the floor of the playhouse.  I used 14 foot 2x8 with a 3 foot cantilever on all sides.
The top of the deck is now 6 foot off the ground for scale.  Next I decked the front 4 feet for porch and put sheeting down in the back half for the house.  I used all green treated lumber to this point I should mention.  Even the sheeting, which is extremely heavy (3/4 inch 4x8 green treated).
So then I framed up my walls all the way around with openings for the door only.  I didn't have windows to begin so didn't bother framing them in at this point.  I will cut and frame them in as I get them so I have more options for finding used windows.

So next I framed up a loft on the back 60 inches of the house using 2x6 boards.  I doubled up the 2x6 on the front to make a beam that could support the loft.  I used joist hangers to put them all in.  After that I swung joists.

So at this point we have the skeleton and I started sheeting it.  I just used A11 grade siding plywood in 4x8 sheets with galvanized #8 nails.  The walls were all 6 foot 3 so I can walk in without hitting my head so the sheets hang down a bit.

Once that was all in place, I started sheeting the roof with half inch OSB.

This picture has the drip edge on already.  So the final step was putting the metal roof on.  We also put a railing up by pocket screwing 2x4 on the posts that hold the roof up and putting spindles in.  We had created a 2 level playset the year before and moved that to the other side of the tree and build a bridge with some short 2x8.  The entire thing is 14 x 12 with a 10 x 12 playhouse 4x12 deck, and 5x12 loft.  I still need to make a door, frame in windows, fur the edges, and stain the whole thing.  But I will follow that up later.

Beauty and The Beast Rose Prop

My wife was throwing a princess party for our niece's birthday and asked me to make a few things.  The first was a beauty and the beast rose holder and then some stands.  I started with the rose holders.

First I got some plastic wine glasses at Walmart and then cut off the stems with the band saw carefully.  

Next I cut out some circles with my whole saw a bit larger than the top of the plastic cup.

After that I sanded the edges down as that sort of hole saw is dangerous and leaves a bad edge.

After that I wanted to round over the edge, but the router with this small piece of wood is asking for stitches, so I screwed it to another piece of wood and routed it that way, it worked well.

Then I was able to sand it all up.

Finally, after some painting, using hot glue to attach a jewel to the top and my wife made some rose chocolates for inside, we had our beauty and the beast rose treat on display.

Wiring a LP Furnace to work with Outdoor Wood Burner / Boiler

So I installed an outdoor wood burner and in doing so needed to connect it to the gas furnace in my house.  How the outdoor burner works is it sits outside the house about fifty feet form the house and burns wood in a large wood furnace that has a large tank of water around the burning chamber.  This heats the water which is then piped into the house underground and circulated through a radiator in your furnace.  So when your house needs heat, it blows ir through the radiator (heath ex-changer) and blows hot air through the house.
This is all rather simple to do, though the one not obvious piece for me was wiring the furnace.  Now, my house has zones and 3 thermostats that control independently with louvers in the ducts.  I didn't want to have a second thermostat to override the gas operation so instead purchased a Honeywell aqua stat like this one from Lowe's.  
It basically can be attached directly to the how water line going into the furnace.  From here it has 3 wires.  

Now a furnace has several ports or wires coming out of the mother board.  They are as follows:

R= Red wire, power from furnace control transformer for heat function.
RC= power from furnace control transformer for cooling function.
C= power return to furnace control transformer for thermostat operation. Could be either blue, black or another color different from the other terminals.
W= White wire, power from thermostat to heat function of furnace.
G= Green wire, power from thermostat to manual blower operation of furnace.
Y= Yellow wire, power from thermostat to furnace for cooling function.

What I did to get this all working is simply unhooked the Gas wire from the control board, hooked that directly to my aquastat R, then ran the Aquastat green to the gas and aquastat W to the fan. So if cold, turn on gas, otherwise just fan. Left control to fan in place if I want to run the fan. Seems to work great, I went the whole winter like this and saw it fail over to Gas when the burner was low, otherwise it just blew through the exchanger.  After discussing this technique with my furnace guy, we decided we should turn off the breaker on the AC just in-case this method may kick it on, we didn't want they running at the same time, so just turned off the breaker for the winter to be safe.