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Woodworking and Other Hobbies


#1

I have noticed that many beeks are into other things. Many of us seem to be dabblers, Craftswomen/Craftsmen, Artists, etc.

I’d guess that gardening, woodworking, and cooking are all common areas of adventure for us folk. I thought it would be nice to share some of our experiences with each other. Specifically, I’m interested in learning more about what @Gerald_Nickel is up too and other’s like him.

I’ll keep this intro post short and share my stuff in a followup post.


#2

As a kid I always loved tinkering with things. It wasn’t until I was 19 that I really got hooked on building things with my hands. I spent the summer with my uncle while I worked at an internship. He helped me build a coffee table and a liquor cabinet. Since then, I have been collecting tools and building things. I wish I had more pictures of the work I have done, but, below are some things I have worked on recently. I really enjoy using other peoples discarded materials, there is a strange beauty in old painted wood.

I am also getting deeper and deeper into homesteading. I am just starting out and have a lot to learn. I am currently learning how to grow my own veggies, raise chickens, making food from scratch (butter, cheese, etc.), milling my own wood, aging meat, render fat, make sausage, process meat, etc.

I have a lot of projects on the docket, building a perimeter fence, adding goats, improving my wood milling process, and improving my garden beds are next.

My hive:

Cutting board I made as a wedding gift:

Treehouse for the kids for Christmas:

Chicken Coop:

And some homesteading stuff…

Alaskan Mill cutting aromatic cedar (Ashe Juniper) slabs:

Homemade butter:

Homemade dewberry jam:

My garden:

I’m looking forward to seeing ya’lls stuff.


#3

For me its woodworking, make lots of my hive bits except for frames. Gardening is important as well, lots of other bits 'n pieces but they will do for now.

Some eggplant fruit grown in my wicking beds, best system I have tried.

My highclass woodworking on an entrance reducer. I even had to fine tune it on a bit of sandstone :grinning: Not quite up to the standard shown in another thread but it works.

See ya
Rob


#4

I’m a very keen gardener since I was a kid. My mom tought me a lot, but I still don’t have her green thumb. She can literally shove a dry stick into the dirt and grow a tree from it :smiley: Gardening season is at the edge of starting right now and yesterday I planted some pumpkin, different kinds of cabbage and nasturtium seeds and repotted all my indoor plants. This year, mom and I sensibly buy and plant bee food plants, of course :wink:

Then, I’m a rabbit breeder. My satin angora rabbits don’t live in those nasty single hutches everyone knows, but in relatively large enclosures in groups. I’m waiting for the first litter of the year to arrive :blush: (Reminds me of checking on the mother-to-be!).

I’m a tinkerer too, although I’m not that well equipped with tools and knowledge. This year I built a watering system for the rabbits, so they would always have access to fresh water. They had bottles before and quite often these went dry while I was at work. Not healthy! I was closely monitored during construction :smile:

This is Tulipan farm’s Lawrence Oliver, an hungarian buck with american and swiss parents ^^ He’s the father of the awaited litter.


Water runs through simple garden hoses to the drinking troughs.

I built a “hay press” last year so I didn’t have to mess with loose hay.


It’s a lot of work to press the handmade hay into these bales, but then it’s much easier to handle, to bring it up to the hayloft and take it out again in winter and carry it to the rabbits.

And someone who raises wool animals will certainly process the wool ^^ I’m a spinner :smiley: (in German, this is a great joke, because “spinnen” also means “spinning wool” and “being crazy” ^^ So a “Spinner” in German is an oddball…)

I also refurbished my house. I bought it in 2014 and it was in a poor condition. My dad helped me to install new electric and water systems. Interior design was my job.



Here’s the staircase to the upper floor, as an example… I still have to rework the stairs themselves, but that’s not on top position of my to do list…


Bathroom. Still small (and a liiiiittle bit messy :flushed:), but I think it looks a bit different now… The window was installed by the roofers, who were up there insulating and covering the roof anyway. That was a bit too tough for me…

Next project are quail. I was planning on chickens, but building the chicken coop is a bigger deal than I thought and I need a helping hand, which is not in sight. So I go a size smaller :wink: I’m reusing rabbit cages I bought from another breeder last year, but never actually used for the intended purpose of keeping the young males separatley until they are “ripe” (you can’t keep intact males together when they reach puberty, they’ll fight to the blood). So I constructed this little enclosure for quail.

The little stall still lacks a roof. I need to make it hinged, so it mustn’t be too heavy and it needs a skylight. Still a little thinking to be done, before the little birds can move in ^^


#5

I have a few other interests besides beekeeping. Producing most of our own food. A few days ago I lashed out & bought a 360 liter WORM FARM!!! … I’m going to have some fun with that. I used to be a commercial line fisherman. I worked the bees when the weather was too bad to go fishing.

Apart from bees, producing my own food, oh, & bread making, fishing, I’m a bit of a motoring enthusiast, in other words “a petrol head”. Here’s the car we’ve had for the past nearly 9 years. Also a video of one of my other passions, making artisan bread.



#6

Addendum: Here’s the G-litter of “Thüringer Langohrschafe” (thuringian long-eared sheep)

Just arrived today, maybe not yet complete. I’m proud and happy :heart_eyes:


#8

Nice! I am struggling with my garden. I have decided to start over with my approach. I learned that my soil was too sandy and that I need to learn a lot more about gardening.

Over the next month I will be building a test garden bed: Raised bed, using the Lasagna gardening method and no-till gardening. I plan to water with a soaker hose and layer the soil with layers made of homemade compost, shredded leaves, biochar mixed with my existing soil, chicken poo covered straw from my chicken coop, green compost. And, I’ll top it off with mulch.

That is how I usually solve my problems, with simplicity, but, I am super excited about the bees, so I am putting more effort into their hive than necessary. I think being able to reduce the entrance with cobbled together shims is a healthy way to live ones life!


#9

Really cool!

I am trying to convince the wife that Rabbits are a great idea. I have only read very positive things about raising rabbits for meat. Unfortunately, my wife thinks they are too cute. I will wear her down eventually.

I really like your chicken coop too. The chickens will love it. The hardest thing for us was protecting the chickens from foxes and hawks. They would take out our chickens during the day. We moved the coop inside a fence and that solved the fox problem, but, now they don’t get to free range. We hope to find a way to move them back outside sometime in the future. The hawks are still a problem, but, they usually only get teenage chickens who don’t know to watch for them yet.

I am most intrigued by your hand made hay bails. That seems like a ton of work. How many square meters of land do you grow the hay on? And, how long does it take you to harvest and bail it?


#10

I bought two books on bread making recently in the hopes that I could up my game (Bread Science by Emily Buehler and Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish). I just made 4 loaves of french bread that I cooked on my baking stone. Seeing your video, you have become pretty adept at shaping your dough. In reality, I am not too interested in classic french style bread making, instead I would like to bake the perfect hamburger bun and pizza crust. I am still searching for a book to help me make better hamburger buns (mine are always too dense and misshapen).

As for cars, I have started doing 98% of my car repair work. I own some aging cars and they have been keeping me busy. Over the last 2 years I have replaced A/C compressor, rear A/C freon line, evaporator coil, turbo charger, exhaust manifold, and starter. All that, on top of doing the regular maintenance. As long as I am not rushed, I enjoy doing the work. Except that I smell like diesel more often than I would like. I can’t figure out how to get the smell out of my clothes.


#11

How long ago did you start down this path in your life? Meaning, the homesteader lifestyle?


#12

My wife wants a horse. We are probably 5+ years away from that. I worry they will be a money pit.


#13

I started breeding rabbits in 2013, but not until this year was I able to butcher them myself. I started the angora rabbit thing for the wool and the cute fluffy bunnies, too, but the boyfriend I had back then constantly kept asking for rabbit meat. An injured young buck was the initial spark to allow him to ask the neighbour for his help, since none of us could do it. After a while I realized that it was not possible to keep breeding and sell all the surplus rabbits to good homes, even though I normally don’t have more than 3 litters a year (most of which are really big with 9 kits…). You can keep the females in the groups, if the enclosure is large enough, but you can’t keep males together. They’ll fight to the end or impregnate every female in reach… There just isn’t that much demand for these special rabbits and I don’t sell rabbits to bad or unsuitable homes. They need special care and they have all the other needs of a normal rabbit too: social partners, fresh adequate food, space to run… which are still not satisfied in an overwhelming majority of cases, even for “normal, simple” rabbits. In my opinion it’s better to be eaten after six months of a good life than to live a lonely caged life for 10 years… And it’s very useful to be able to do it yourself, because I had some injured or sick rabbits that I wanted to put down as quick as possible, but had to wait until my neighbour had time to spare. So I HAD to learn it myself for my bunnie’s good… That’s the path I came down to the “homesteading” point. Plus the thought to eat healthy meat from animals of which I know what they were fed. It’s kind of disgusting to learn what crap mass production animals are given to feast on…

You mean the quail coop? Chickens are not yet in sight. But when I finally get some, they will live in a fenced area, too. I don’t want chicken poo all over the place and I certainly don’t want chickens in my veggies! I don’t think I’ll have a problem with foxes or birds, I have two dogs running around here, plus the dog next door, who guards the neighbours chickens. My German Spitz even helped collecting escaped rabbits several times and once guarded them, when they escaped at night, to tell me at morning and show me where they went. One time I came home from work to see a stable door open and rabbits having fun on the gateway. :scream: He found EVERY single fluffball in their hiding places plus one I didn’t even expect, because the little one belonged to another stable and just had found a hole to crawl to the other group.
Tell your wife it’s great pleasure to raise rabbits THE CORRECT WAY!!! :wink: Don’t imprison them in hutches, please! Don’t feed them industrial crappy food!

The hay comes from a piece of municipal land that I’m allowed to use (so the community worker doesn’t have to mow it :yum:). I never really measured it, but I’d say it has about 700m², plus the garden of another neighbour he allowed me to use for hay, which means another 300m². I cut it by hand with my scythe (that I also use for cutting everyday fresh food), then I have to turn it several times with my rake, then collect it and stuff it into the wooden box, where I first placed the yarns in. I press it with my feet and bind the yarns, then push out the bale and when I’m finished, I’ll collect the bales with my car and trailer and transport them to my home. My son helps me to lift them up to the hay loft with a rope over a pulley. I’ll stand up on the hay loft pulling up the rope, he’ll stand on the ground putting the bales on the hook. All in all, I’d guess it’ll take 4-5 days, depending on the weather. Hot, sunny, a bit windy - the grass dries in no time! The faster it dries, the better quality the hay. “My” piece of land is shaded by a little forest until noon, so the morning dew takes a lot of time to dry off. You constantly have to hope that there will be no rain in that period and you’ll want to turn it over at least two times a day. If you are really good, you’ll rake it up to heaps at the evening and spread it out the next day as soon as dew has dried up. But that’s even more work…


#14

I used to quite like Moomie’s recipe. I put less sugar in, but otherwise it is the best bun recipe I have found:


#15

Thanks! I’ve tried two bun recipes from King Arthur’s website. They were both good, but not great. I’ll definitely try that one next time. I made their English muffins once, AMAZING!


#16

My life will not be complete until I have enough land to have some horses. It’s been a dream of mine since I was 5 years old to have horses… 38 now and still working on that dream lol.


#17

For the bread and butter, I am a web developer (official title is Web Marketing Manager).

Most of my hobbies are fairly normal: Gardening - in straw bales - @lhengst you should check it out, hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, etc.

The one semi-unique thing I love to do is pan for gold. Here’s an old video LOL


#18

Hi Lorne, here’s one of my videos for hamburger buns. This one is for Italian bread rolls/ hamburger buns.

The secrets to soft bread rolls is more hydration & ‘bread improver’. I stopped using bread improver after I started making artisan bread. With artisan bread, you get back to as the title of that book is: flour, salt, water & yeast. The thing about good artisan bread is: you only use a fraction of the yeast you would use in normal bread.

I have a few more videos for humburger buns, potato saffron, onion & poppy seed, sweet potato saffron. If you want just plain hamburger buns, follow my recipe & leave the other things out.

Happy bread making Lorne:) cheers


#19

The key to really good bread is wild yeast (sour dough starter). It can be tricky to get started at first but is quite easy once you get the hang of it. They will live indefinitely if you feed them regularly, in culinary school we had one that had seen 26 years of continuous use. The addition of this starter/biga/levain/poolish (it has many names) gives you incredible depth of flavor, and better crumb, that is impossible to achieve in commercially available yeasts. Usually what I do is combine the two as the natural yeast can take 24-48 raising times which I can’t always wait for.


#20

My painstakingly built wood fired pizza oven, apart from homemade pizza, cooks the best bread this side of Germany and even my wife if she is not careful. I sent her in one day to do some patch up work inside because I was a little too round to fit through the small opening:grin:


#22

Cowgirl, like you, I have my daughter hooked on horses, now I just gotta work on her B side. When she was 3 she got stung by a bee, now at 11, she still remembers and is somewhat a little apprehensive but with a complete Flow Hive, I’m confident that she will be fine.