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I built a substantial portion of my house, but what I really like building
are things for homes that are both functional and artistic. In other
words, things you won't find at any Home Depot. Here are a few of them.
I built a shed for my Mom,
so I decided to make a custom door that is
wide enough (53 inches) to admit her tractor but is also a work of art. I
made this door from scratch, including the stained glass window that lies
just behind the trees. The latter gives the appearance of the three carved trees as
being in the foreground, and the stained glass mountains and rolling meadows as
being in the background. In my opinion, the neatest thing about the door
is that the trees are carved from the same wood as the door; they're not just
| Here is a close-up of the window for that door.
By the way, the pictures of the door don't do it justice. The door is
much more attractive in real life than it is in these pictures, especially when
the sun is shining on it . . . then WOW! This may seem hard to believe,
but my Mom's door attracted something of a fan club: some people come by
every day to see it!
Here is another picture of the door.
|This is the shed I made.
|I think the shed would look better if it were made from logs, but my Mom
isn't fond of log structures. When I get the time, I'll build a
chandelier from glass and copper to hang near the apex of the roof overhang.
Incidentally, the decorative railings to either side of the door are
sculpted to show the silhouette of a pine tree, but that's difficult to see
in these pictures.
Want to see more sheds I've made?
These are much fancier than this one.
||Cupola with copper shingles
cupola (pronounced KWEW-pah-lah) is a small structure surmounting
a roof that may be functional but is usually just decorative. This cupola
is both. In addition to providing a lot of ventilation through its four
louvered sides, this cupola also sports complex crown molding and a four-sided
roof topped with copper shingles. Originally, I thought it'd take about a
day to build this cupola, but like just about everything I make it took four
times longer than I had anticipated.
The cupola shown isn't totally complete; I added more molding
and another base section to dress up the bottom third of the cupola.
||Pine cupola with copper roof
Here is a picture of the second cupola I made:
The roof is also copper, but this one has a subtle rippled
appearance to increase visual interest by enhancing the copper's reflectivity
from a wider range of angles. I made four windows for it, but those won't
be installed until the cupola is mounted on a roof.
This cupola is about 6 feet tall, so there's plenty of
interior room for adding a chandelier inside. Another idea I had is to
make a display illuminated by LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes). This display
could be simple (e.g., red and green LEDs shaped like a Christmas tree) or
complex (e.g., a programmable display that'd show a Christmas tree in December,
a pumpkin for Halloween, a heart for Valentine's Day, or even a flashing 911 to
help paramedics more rapidly find your home if you're having a heart
attack!). Yet another idea I had was to install a "Cupola Cam"
-- that is, a camera mounted in the cupola. That would transmit its
picture either via a cable or wireless link to a television or computer
monitor. While it could be used for security, I think it's neat to see
pictures taken from high atop buildings . . . it's a much better view up there!
Another hand-carved door
it took almost a month to make the first hand-carved door, I wasn't exactly
eager to build another one. It may look easy to build such a door,
but there are literally thousands of steps involved in making one. The
tricky part -- and the part that takes so much time -- is that the oval window
and 3-dimensional trees are carved from a solid block of wood. It'd be
considerably easier to just glue on the trees, but that wouldn't look
right. By doing it the way I did, the trees gracefully blend into both the
window area and the door itself. This gives the door its exquisitely
unique appearance, and so while it's time-consuming, it's a labor of love to
produce such a masterpiece. I built a shed for myself and I couldn't bear
to give it a bland, factory-made door, so I made another door. This one is
very similar to the first one, but it's the width of a standard door.
Dremel bit holders that I
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