Sunday, March 3, 2013

Come on Summer!

I'm ready, aren't you??  Here in sunny California we've had a long, cold winter.  I know people who are laughing their fannies off right now at what I consider cold, but when you're used to winter temps between 60-70 degrees, the 20's and 30's we've been getting are just too much for me!  

So, I'm ready for summer time.  Hot days, warm nights, and outside parties with family and friends over for BBQ's and swimming.  I always have to borrow ice chests when I have family parties.  One for beer, one for sodas, and something to chill wine.  They line the ground next to the BBQ area.  When I want something, I have to bend down to dig through them - I'm old and bending down to get my beer or soda is not something I want to do anymore!

Camper daughter and SIL gave me one of their ice chests.  They said it didn't fit in their motorhome, but I really think they were tired of having to deliver it to my house and then take it home again!  In any case, I'm happy to have it.  This is what it looks like:
  It's huge, so it holds pretty much all the beer and soda we need.  
Which means I can do away with 2 small coolers!  

Well, here's what my laziness prompted me to make and what I was so excited about yesterday!
 Pretty cool, huh?
The ice chest fits right down inside the cedar box - cedar, does that ring a bell??  I think I mentioned in an earlier post that my Logger SIL sent me home from a visit with a trunk load of cedar that he'd milled for me.  I used pretty much all of it.  

Notice that I even used the rough edge of the boards with the bark still on it!!!
Wow, I was so impressed with myself.  I had a plan and I made it work.  I was impressed until I got it all nailed together and then noticed that I had nails sticking out all over the place!
That edge is thinner than the board and my nails, which were the right size in the think parts of the wood, didn't quite work right in that edge!  A disaster just waiting to happen is what it was.
After using my little pincher/cutter plier like things to snip off the pokey sharp ends, I think everyone will be safe as they grope for cold drinks!

My brother, Jimbo, had made one of of these that is similar, but much smaller.  He very kindly gave me drawings and clues.  This should have made it simpler, but, in case you don't know, my bro Jimbo was a cabinet maker (all of my brothers were cabinets makers, as was my Dad!).  And, as "simple" as his instructions were, it was still me reading them.  I tried, but some things were just beyond my understanding; oh, I did kind of understand, but I just didn't know how to make it work with my ice chest!

So, I just started cutting wood.  Cut the legs to the height I wanted.  Then tried to lay boards around the chest to determine the width and depth.  The ice chest has bowed out sides!  And handles that don't come off and are really bowed out, making measuring, which we've already established isn't my strong suite, even harder!  Somehow I got it together and the ice chest fits snuggly inside.  

Then I had to make sure it sat inside at the right height for the lid to close correctly.  I measured, and measured again, and added the bottom cross pieces.  And put in the chest.  And, lo and behold, it was about right.  So I nailed the supports in really well.
Then I added the trim around the top of the box.  And, then it dawned on me that I'd forgotten to include the trim in the depth of the box, so now the chest was too low!
I ended up making a box to sit on the supports.  It works, and I'm telling myself that the box will add much needed support to the whole thing!  Yep, that's what I'm telling myself...

See, I had to make sure that lip on the ice chest sat above the trim to that when the wooden lid closed it would fit into the channel in the lid of the ice chest.  

Here it is in it's almost finished state.

You can see in these pictures how I used the rough edging in the trim.

Can you guess what this is?
I needed some really short screws to attach the ice chest lid to the wooden box lid, and I didn't have any. I was scrounging for something to use as  kind of washer, which would add some thickness and allow me to use the screws that I did have, when I found a sheet of these things.  

In it's real life, it's a rubber bumper that sticks to cabinet doors so they don't bang shut.  But, it was the perfect size for what I needed!  
Thank goodness I kept these things when I found them a couple years ago because they did the trick!

So, I'm ready for a party!  I have someplace for you to put your beer.  And, since you're all getting old right along with me, I know you'll appreciate not having to stoop down to grab a cold one!
Soon, very, very, soon!

And, just a plus, looks what's blooming at my house.  I can't remember what these are called, but I've had one for years.  I dug them up from Cara and Jon's house way back in 1998, and have dug them up and moved them with me every time we moved since.
To me, these are spring time...
(and the jasmine's starting to bloom too!)