Here comes…

There’s a lot going on at the farm right now be sure to watch for the up coming posts!

The sheep have been sheered and it’s time to turn the fleece to a sweater. (Ok not our sheep, that will come later. But I do have a few fleece to tend to)

The pigs have been butchered. I should talk about the butchering, bacon making, ham curing, chop cutting pig processing,  but then what would I talk about next fall. Fat is being rendered and soap being made this time.

We are also going to talk about hide tanning too! But for now I have some steer hide ready to be tooled.

Cheese is in the works to start aging.

There’s some lace being put into a “built in” in the dining room. (I know it doesn’t sound to interesting but it’s actually kinda neat.)

The barn needs some help and repair.

The summer kitchen plans are getting close and will hopefully be in use by next year.

There’s more to come in the kitchen, the craft room, the garden and the barn yard.  Some things we are starting in the middle of the process, but don’t worry we will circle back to the beginning too!

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Homemade Cheese Press

I like to try new things… all the time… I want to learn it all! In my quest for learning new things I decided to tackle cheese next. There are a million different kinds all using the same basic ideas and techniques and all end with a different product. There a few cheeses that are pretty basic and can be made in any kitchen with minimal equipment and ingredients but I’m more interested in the aged cheeses.

This brings me to needing a basic cheese press to produce the delicious cheese wheel. I wasn’t interested in spending too much to buy one, to be honest I really didn’t want to spend any money all.

As luck would have it, my dad is building another shed and had some pretty nice wood scrapes. He also had a piece of 6 inch pvc that he donated to my project. A quick trip to the hardware store for nuts, washers, springs and all-thread rod and I was in business.

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It’s not the prettiest contraption I’ve ever made but it’s functional.

I used an 8 inch piece of 2×8 for the base and two 8 inch pieces of 2×4 for the top cross pieces. I drilled a hole on each end of  the bottom of the base about half way through with a large bit. Then I drilled the center of each hole all the way through with a bit slightly larger than 3/8inch. (the all-thread rods I bought were 3/8 in and need to fit through the holes). I lined up the 2×4’s and drilled holes on each end to line up with the ones in the base.

Then to assemble  I used a lock washer and nut on the bottom of the rod to secure it through the base. The lock washer and nut fit in the larger hole that was drilled half through so they don’t rub on whatever surface I set the press on. On the top of the base is another nut with a flat washer.

The pipe is set on the base and the first  2×4 is slid on to the rods. Then another flat washer topped with a heavy spring. The next 2×4 is slid on the rods and fastened with a flat washer and wing nut.

I also cut 3 circles out of a 2×8 to fit inside the pvc pipe. These are what is pressed onto the cheese to get a uniform wheel. Depending on the amount of cheese to be press all three circles may not be needed.

Now for the fun of making cheese!

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The High Chair Restoration

I love things that are old, used and can be up-cycled or repurposed. I had mentioned to my mother earlier this year that I would love an old wooden high chair. Something that would stand the test of time and could possibly be passed on to my children.

I had found a few wooden chairs at box stores. I wasn’t impressed. There were what I thought to be over priced and still had a fair amount of plastic. The quest was on to find one that fit the “old and no plastic” specifications that I had hoped for.

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Wouldn’t you know, on the way back from the cities my mom spotted a high chair on the front step of an antique shop. The price must have been right because she pulled over and hauled it home!

It’s turned into one of my fall projects. Little Mister won’t be using it until this winter but the longer it sits the more projects pile up behind it.

The first step to disassemble the chair looked to be a bit challenging as there appeared to be tiny finishing nails holding the spindle in. But with a little wiggling it practically fell apart. Good thing I decided to disassemble or the little guy may have ended up on the floor. Ok, so it didn’t come apart that easy but it wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been.

IMG_0665Then was the task of stripping and sanding the old finish and stain off. A little wood stripper and scrapper got the process started. The pieces that wouldn’t work in the lathe I sanded by hand. Thank God I didn’t have to do it all by hand! I love the decorative spindles and such but sanding all the little crevices takes a fair amount of time.

IMG_0666Once sanded, the real fun began… Staining. I had a little can of stain left over from the farmhouse style table my husband and I made this spring that I used for the chair. Not much of my furniture matches and yet somehow it all mixes well together. But, waste not, want not. So I used up the last of what I had for stain. A few pieces the same won’t hurt either.

Next will be assembly…

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