July 31, 2010

The set has taken its basic shape

So after many days of working both my jobs and not blogging at all, I have a new post for ya'll.
Over the last few days we have moved the panels and platforms from our shop in Lemon Creek to the location of the plays. The building is located on the UAS campus overlooking the expansive parking area with the backdrop of the Mendenhall Glacier, just barely visible due to growing trees, and the surrounding mountain range. This is a very picturesque setting, the audience sits in the back of the covered area and faces the vista. Unfortunately this creates a back lighting that for any theatre techs out there, you will recognize as slightly a nightmare. Anyways, we have lighting ability and a good tech that will get this all straightened out. We will need lots of front light!!! So with no further adeiu, the stage!!!
Due to that back lighting I had to cut the top of the picture off, but do not dispair.....I have a shot that I pasted together as well as possible of the entire scene. Unfortunately I didn't bring my tripod to work so some amount of movement on my behalf and the main poles don't line up, but it gives you the idea, also it was an overcast day, so no view of the mountains etc.... ha ha ha
So as you can see, my posts don't exactly line up, but it gives a good idea of the layout. These little buildings are the result of the router jig in my last post. The other morning though while working the sun did come out and I took a shot with my cell phone in which you can see the mountains etc.
Very beautiful!!! This is really the life. So anyways, that is about it for today, except one last shot that was taken a few weeks ago and well, I thought I should share......
Ha ha ha ha, ain't she cute?? love ya honey!!!

July 26, 2010

Router Jig

So as I have said before, no idea where this blog will go...on that note, today's lesson students will be how to make a jig for your router, allowing you to cut circles in wood. LOL. Sounds mighty exciting huh? This is a simple project that costs next to nothing and allows a person to cut circles of varying radius from any material that your router can cut.

You will need one piece of plywood, 1/4" will work and a length slightly longer than the largest radius you will want to cut. In my case, I needed to cut a 4' radius maximum. You should make sure the plywood is true (which is easier to accomplish with plywood than regular wood, unless using hardwoods), then take a piece of laminated press board or any smooth sealed thin material. Glue this to the piece of plywood. Then take the cover off the base of your router. You will need longer screws of the same size, so you might want to pick them up from the store first. Mark the plywood from one end to the other through the center, creating what will be your ruler line later on.

Then mark across your board at the point the bit is located. this gives you a "t" and will facilitate later measurement markings. Take the plate and use it as a template, center it exactly side to side on one end of the board, mine required a board about 7" across. Mark the mounting screw holes and the center where the bit will hit. Take a drill bit the diameter of your screws and knock out the mounting holes and a 2-3" hole saw hole for the bit location. Now you should have a hole in the end of the board centered right to left and a few mounting screw holes.  I used a small straight cut router bit about 1.5" long, all measurements will be made off of the cutting edge so it is important not to switch up the bit. Also it is imperative to counter sink the holes for mounting on the bottom side so your jig can slide easily. Also sanding down any roughness created during the drilling process is important, just enough to make it smooth, yet retain its ability to slide. Then mount your router to the board with the new bolts.

At this point you are ready to mark your center line with the basics. I chose to make the feet and half feet. When you want to cut a circle, drill a hole the size of a large nail at that distance, sand the under surface.

Clamp down the wood you plan to cut to a table, use a sacrificial piece if the table top is important to you, and measure where you want the center of your circle. Lightly tap the nail into the mark, remove, place in the hole you drilled in the jig, use the tip to find the hole again in the table and give it a pound or two, just enough to hold it. You are now ready to use the jig, safety glasses and hearing protection on, power on, and just swing the jig around the nail and presto you have a circle.

In my case I was making cathedral shaped doorways, so I only wanted part of the circle.The extra scraps of luan are to make the surface all one level due to using a scrap sheet and and also pulling a radius larger than the actual boards, basically you want to support your jig completely from nail to router. Any questions or additional thoughts to this are appreciated and welcomed. Take care, have fun, and go build something!!! Ha ha ha

July 24, 2010

Building the set for Perseverance

Well, today was a day of construction. There are three plays on the same set, that will be at the pavilion on the UAS campus. There is the raised stage and two buildings. The platforms are finished and ready to go, so today I began the stud wall construction for the two buildings. One is a box about eight feet cubed and the other is a tall tower, about nine feet right now. Later there will be some scaffolding added to the top. Anyways, they are both basically boxes, one with a round door, the hobbit box, which will have some scaffolding too to mimic a hill, cause that is where hobbits live. The tower will have two big cathedral type doors to swing open and is to be something like the wizard of oz doors. Needless to say the pics I promised for today didn't happen, unless you just want to look at flats with stud construction and luan facing. Not super exciting!!! Once we have the set installed and the painting is done I will stick up some. While taking a break today though at the back of the shop, which is essentially a warehouse in Lemon Creek near the famous Juneau Costco, I noticed that someone had taken some real care and time to build a nice little run-off system. The downspout enters into a little sediment pond, then follows a 3 inch wide creek across the gravel path, splits and goes around a little island that has a Hindu Buddha on it (unfortunately this appears to have seen better days), and then travels down the hillside through bamboo tubes mounted on risers each spilling into the next until the final where it hits a flat stone tilted downhill slightly. It makes a peaceful little sound. This seems to save the hillside from runoff damage and naturally filters the water before it enters Lemon Creek. It reminds me of some of the projects that I did while working as a landscaper,  just on a much smaller scale. Its very cute! Anyways, here are some pics just for fun. Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!! Take care of yourselves and those you love!!!

This is the part I liked most, pretty cool idea. Inspiration for anyone wanting a unique downspout system to move water away from your building while adding a small maintenance free water feature!!!!                                                      

July 23, 2010

Juneau Sunshine :)

Well, any of you that have lived here know the joke already!! Those that do not, well it goes like this, we get our sun in the form of liquid falling from the sky. ha ha ha. Not so good for the tan, but keeps everyone and everything hydrated!! Today looked like the middle of November outside, we had high speed winds slamming things around and the rain just kept coming. Spent the day working at the Silverbow making lunches and coffee for customers that looked more like drowned rats than people when they walked in the door. As usual though, Juneau-ites just keep on smiling and trudge on through with their Extra-Tuffs, and raincoats with the hoods pulled up.  Spending the weekend working on the STAR set for Perseverance theatre and should have some cool pics of that early next week. Other than that not much going on and just trying to keep dry. Don't look up too long, you might drown :)  !!!!

July 21, 2010

Finally Home

Well, after a decade of living in Oregon in the great city of Portland, Sarah and I have finally made it back to Juneau Alaska. Coming home had some very mixed emotions for me originally. I grew up in this small town on the inside coast of southeast Alaska on what is called the Panhandle. I made the usual mistakes and enemies that everyone makes in their early years and wasn't sure how I felt about returning. When Sarah got a job here. I had to ask myself...was I ready to go back? Well, the answer only came to me when I actually arrived and finally got settled into our new life, yes! This is truly some of the most beautiful country that a person could call home. The kayaking, hiking, mountain climbing, and fishing are top notch!!!

I am not sure exactly what this blog will encompass or where it will finally end up, but as with all things in life it will take its own natural path. I hope it allows my friends and family to have a glimpse into the life we are making for ourselves up here and to keep them all somewhat connected to us. The distance is amazingly far and time has a way of zipping along and people tend to become lost along the way, so hopefully this will help us all stay in tune. I will be posting pictures and blogs of our adventures and worth while experiences. As a aspiring photographer I have my own photo page that will be linked to this site, so most of my serious work will be posted there where people can order prints of all sizes and even framing. Also, those that know Sarah and are interested I will also be putting up a link to her blog site, hopefully we don't have too much repetitive things. My hope is two people with two different views on the same life could be pretty fun!!!

Feel free to post your comments and after reviewing them I will post them up. Suggestions on changes to basic layout, content, etc are all welcome along with the general hello and such. Well for now not much else to say, so chat again soon......