Category Archives: DIY

Teardrop Trailer Kits

You need time, effort, and creativity to build anything worthwhile.

I intend to build a tiny teardrop trailer sometime this summer.  These tiny camping trailers are built on a commercially built trailer frame, on top of which a plywood structure is mounted.

I could build this from scratch, just using half-inch sheets of 8′ X 4′ plywood I cut to shape for myself, or I could buy a kit ~ and I think I’m going to buy a kit.

Some of the available kits include:

http://tinyhouseblog.com/travel-trailers/teardrop-trailer-kits/ 

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https://www.theteardroptrailer.com/step-by-step-pg1

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Make: features 11 Teardrop Trailer Builds on its blog.

https://makezine.com/2015/09/23/teardrop-trailer-builds/

Including this, which I really like because of its squared-off shape, which will give more usable space than a ‘classic’ teardrop shape.

This is totally home built from scratch on a commercially bought steel trailer frame.

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This teardrop camper kit is from Fyne Boat Kits, and I really like its sculptural, upturned, boat-shaped design.

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So-Cal Teardrops has a range of kits, including this off-roader.

http://www.socalteardrops.com/gallery.php?g=12

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And, Little Guy Trailers has this 5 foot wide teardrop kit.

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Or, I could also build just from plans, like the Wyoming Woody.

http://teardropbuilder.com/plans-design-documents/wyoming-woody-teardrop-plans

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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Core Values

Core Values are who you are when no one is watching.

Appreciation of natural beauty is one of my core values.

I cannot claim to know, accept, and understand in detail what my core values about Life are.  In fact, I even had to check the definition of ‘core values’ before I could work on knowing, accepting, and understanding my own core values.  The various definitions seem to coalesce into;

Core Values are Fundamental Beliefs and Principles that guide a person’s conduct and relationships with others.

It would appear that Core Values can be positive, negative, or pretty meaningless and neutral.  I firmly believe that almost everyone has all three types of core values, and we all have more negative core values than we would like to believe.

My own negative core values include;

  • Everybody lies.
  • The world is full of fools, and 90% of the people I meet will be much less intelligent than I.
  • The world is a dangerous and brutal place, and a man has to be capable, knowledgable, and tough to survive and thrive.
  • Casual sex, first date sex, sex with multiple partners, picking up girls in bars ~ are all reprehensible behaviours.

My more positive core values include;

  • Treating my friends with kindness, consideration, acceptance, understanding, and unselfish love.
  • A belief that there is great beauty in this world, and it should be protected, celebrated, and appreciated.
  • Life is short, and I should therefore make the very most of every minute of every single day.
  • I should continue to strive for self-improvement and self-awareness.
  • We should treat all others as well as we possibly can, just as we ourselves would wish to be treated.

If you want to see the true measure of a man, watch how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.  ~  J.K. Rowling

As it goes, I have a small problem with the quote from J.K. Rowling, as it makes the assumption that some people are superior to others, ergo some people are inferior.  Actually, this is true, but it is not a pleasant thought.

My wishy-washy, neutral and meaningless core beliefs include a belief that politics, and religion are pointless, dishonest, and self-serving.  Which may really be more negative than neutral.

There are some other words which resonate with me when it comes to my core values;

Honesty, Integrity, Individuality, Enjoyment, Trustworthiness, Reliability, Wisdom, Simplicity, Learning, Discipline, Truthfulness, Politeness…..  All of these words should probably form part of my written core values.

It’s actually all pretty difficult stuff.  I think I need to meditate, or take a long walk, or just let my subconscious mind ponder the whole subject of my own core values for a while.  It could take the rest of my life.  It should take the rest of my life.

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Dawn seen from the garret.

 

 

 

 

Sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advanced DIY

Really successful engineering is all about understanding how something will break or fail.

For some strange reason I am blessed with the ability to fix almost anything, install almost anything, make almost anything, and build almost anything.

I built myself a Caterham / Lotus 7 sports-racing car, which I then drove all over Europe on long road trips.  The trip I enjoyed most in this little car was driving down the entire Loire Valley in France.  (Or maybe it was the Stelvio Pass.)

Minor pieces of carpentry are child’s play for me ~ which is why I could rip out the old kitchen in my garret and replace it with something that I liked and suited my needs.

(With help from my friend Marmaduke of course.)

I’ve also erected log cabins and built vacation homes from plywood.  (This is a stock picture, not one of mine)

Sometimes, half way through a project, I’ve wondered why I started, and if the thing would ever be finished.  The picture above shows this kind of ‘why am I doing this’ project. Although, this wreck of an Austin-Healey Sprite turned into a really beautiful little car, finished in British Racing Green as a frog-eye.  (the almost completed little car, I like that I did the white stripes)

For my next project I’m thinking about finding an old school bus, rebuilding it as an RV, (Recreational Vehicle), and then spending an entire year in the thing, touring as much of the USA as I can, on the longest road trip ever.

Something you need, if you want to tackle advanced DIY projects, is a really, really comprehensive tool kit.  And, take my advice, always buy the very best tools you can afford.  (You may need a hard hat.)

This post is sponsored by:  http://www.amazon.com/shops/salinevalleyenterprises

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jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

some power tools are a must have

click on the power tools picture

Relaxation and Right Thinking

Anger blows out the candle of the mind.

People are telling me that I need to relax more, stop being angry, stop being paranoid…

Anger, confusion, and paranoia are all symptoms of a chronic lack of thiamine and potassium in the blood stream ~ and I was suffering from that.  (But so are nausea, heart palpitations, strokes, and death through heart failure)

I realise that I have been holding on to anger from the past.  I need to let go of this anger and stop letting it rule me.  The time to deal with anger and paranoia are when I first feel it ~ I need to relax, let go, and not let anger and paranoia fester in my mind.

Yet I know how to relax, and it’s really very simple.

  • Take a walk by the sea.

  • Practice clean deep breathing, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga.
  • Stay away from any booze.
  • Take a long bath with some relaxing music playing.
  • Get plenty of good quality sleep.
  • Talk with my family and friends.
  • Keep my apartment clean and tidy.
  • Read something inspirational and mindful.
  • Do something creative ~ like writing this blog, making something, cooking…
  • Check my thinking and let go of negative thoughts.
  • Go back to seeing a professional counsellor.
  • Build and photograph a rock stack by the sea.

There is something very therapeutic about building a rock stack.

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Food on Friday will return next week.

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

pictures taken with a Lumix.

 

2017 Resolutions

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The Four Great Truths I will follow in 2017;
  1. Accept that Life is difficult and painful.
  2. The underlying causes of my problems and pain are giving in to my own cravings, lusts, desires, and my blaming of others.
  3. I can’t change what happens to me, but I can change how I react.
  4. The path to freedom from suffering is through self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.

These are not the ‘normal’ kind of New Year’s Resolutions, but I believe they will work for me in 2017.  My spirit can be free to fly through blue skies.

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p1050118jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke makes a Christmas present

Christmas Carpenter Bear

My little teddy bear likes to do a bit of woodwork.  And, like me, he’d rather make a Christmas present than buy one.  There’s more love and care in something one has made, as opposed to something you’ve bought at the store.

So he’s been making me a coffee table for Christmas.  Marmaduke may have an ulterior motive in making this little table ~ it’s just the right size for him to have a clandestine teddy bears’ picnic.

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christmas-cardsMerry Christmas Marmaduke

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke’s Christmas Bird House

Marmaduke the Teddy Bear Carpenter

He’s very skilled for a little teddy bear, and Marmaduke also loves nature, so he’s been making a rustic bird house to keep the little robin redbreasts safe over the cold winter.  And, like a good little bear, he’s finished the work well in time for Christmas.

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The snag was, when he’d finished the thing, he wanted to keep it for himself, and moved in with all his possessions, even his marmalade.

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Eventually he realised that the little birds needed it more than he does, so now it’s gone.  Marmaduke loves robyns especially.

All cool guys should be able to do a little woodwork, it’s an urban survival skill.

WAF Landscape Christmas Cards.qxdjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Marmaduke’s Wildlife Woodwork

p1050273After the success he had making a traditional North of England wooden stool, (a cracket), Marmaduke has been looking around for his next project.  He and I had a few words of disagreement about making a mess in the garret, but as usual he has got his way.

So now he’s got lots of board-feet of treated timber, and he’s going to make a bird table.  (For the life of me I can’t remember what bird tables are called in the USA.)

The garret is full of pressure treated out-doors type wood.

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And Marmaduke says that he’s going to make something like this.

windrush-bird-table-k87hg_original

I said he should hurry up and get it done.  For; the north wind doth blow, and we shall have snow, and what will poor Robyn do then, poor thing?

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dscf0011jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

Woodwork at Advent

There is something very therapeutic about working with wood.

Marmaduke and I made a stool as a Christmas gift for a close friend.  A cool guy should be able to do some carpentry.

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By a Carpenter mankind was made, and only by that Carpenter can mankind be remade.  ~  Desiderius Erasmus

I seem to have really caught the carpentry bug again.  So, what’s next?  Build a boat in the basement?

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p1050279no little teddy bears were hurt during the making of this little cracket

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Carpentry for Chistmas

As men will do, I asked a female friend what she would like for Christmas.  Now, this woman is the only female who has ever been allowed in the garret, (apart from a policewoman).  And, she has seen that I can make things, fix stuff, do amazing things with my hands…

What she has asked Santa to bring her this Christmas is a stool a little like mine.  Around this part of Northern England it’s called a cracket.

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I made this cracket back when I was in school, so despite all the abuse I could throw at it, this little wooden stool has lasted for 40 years or so.  All I’m going to need a length of plank, a few bits and pieces, and a little time.

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dscf0005For 40 years old it doesn’t look to bad at all.  And, it’s an amazing useful piece of furniture.  Standing on, resting stuff on, using as a saw horse…  So, that’s what I’ll be making her for Christmas.

Doesn’t the real spirit of Christmas have something to do with a carpenter?

I’ll do another post nearer to Christmas showing you how Marmaduke and I progress.  For a little bear, he’s a pretty good apprentice carpenter.

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dscf0007Jack Collier, jobbing joiner.

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

 

 

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