Dry Rot Repair

Dry rot is one of wood’s and property owner’s eternal and very costly enemies. In researching how to repair dry rot for personal use, we have come across a web site that is almost hard to believe.
The company sells a solution type A and type B sort of thing and has done extensive work for the U.S. government repairing thousands of windows first by neutralizing the dry rot problem and then by repairing them with their filler.
Below is an excerpt from their awesome project gallery which is a ‘must see’.
“The U.S. Department of Agriculture Building was the largest office building in the world until the erection of the Pentagon. LiquidWood® and WoodEpox® were used to restore over 8000 deteriorating windows in the South Building in 1986-1996. The most severely deteriorated windows were on the south end of the building. WoodEpox made possible the preservation of the windows on this side. LiquidWood was used on all of the window sills and 8 inches up on the frames. After restoration, the wood was primed and painted.”

For better understanding, the web site below clearly shows and explains the Abatron product in use.

All in all this is a solution that depending upon the gravity of the problem, could save some sweet hard earned dollars.

To The Unaware

To put it succinctly; there is an island out there on the Pacific somewhere between California and Hawaii. It is not an island to take a vacation on, nor one to honeymoon.
It is a floating island of garbage consisting mainly of plastic and it is known as Garbage Island.

The currents of the Pacific at this point come to a gyre and trap the garbage accumulated in their journey making an island that is about two times the size of Texas.
The island is not easy to clean since ecosystems have adapted, have flourished and have become part of the ocean food chain. Professionals are now trying to fix this mess.
Sadly enough, Garbage Island is not the only island of this type floating in the oceans.

In this crowded world we need to conserve, recycle and not litter in respect to the unborn, human or not, who will eventually have to deal with our ignorance in order to survive.
Plenty of web sites address the problem of Garbage Island. Please investigate.

Concrete Base For Solar Yard Light

solar lamp post

The plastic base of an inexpensive plastic bird bath or flower pot purchased at a store can be very convenient in producing bases with multiple purposes.
Check out the inside where the concrete will be poured and that nothing will make the release impossible.

The basic ingredients are a concrete base with a plastic sleeve.
Into this sleeve we will eventually insert a vertical piece which will also embed into the piece above.  The base could end up holding a flower bowl, a bird bath, a sphere or anything else.

The solar light lamp post shown took about an hour and a half but it may have taken longer considering shopping for the pipe.  It is an easy job that yields great personal pleasure.

sleeve not to scale

Plastic mold for base.
3” long pvc pipe sleeve.
3×4”x 5’ gray pvc pipe.
Teaspoon of sand.
Solar garden light

How to make:
1. Grease up the base mold with a mold release agent and place the base form on a flat table upside down.
2. Place a 3” sleeve in the center of the form.  Tape the top of the sleeve hole.
Make sure the sleeve and the base are plumb and stay plumb.

The long shiny battle ship gray pvc pipe in the garden lamp post shown is a ¾” pipe x 5’ long.  It was planned to fit through the 3” sleeve as well as into the solar light.  Attention was paid at the store when searching for a pipe with no printed ink on it.  The pipe which is threaded at both ends, came from Orchard Supply Hardware and it did not seem to be carried by Home Depot.

3. Mix and pour the ready mix concrete making sure the sleeve stays plumb.
Make sure to compact the concrete with vibration and especially at the edges to rid of air bubbles and to obtain a smooth finish during the whole procedure.

The cap to a detergent tub is very handy and more so than a trowel in this case to gently vibrate and compact the edges since the base is round.

4. This is optional.  In the picture next to the base molds there is a small concrete saucer.
When filling the base with concrete prior to getting to the top, immerge this saucer smooth face up.
Make sure it protrudes about ¼” above the finished base and that it is level.
Continue to pour and float to finish.

When placed on hard surfaces like concrete, the saucer will elevate the lamp post base enough for finger space when needed and the finished edge will also remain protected.

5.  Two days later remove from the form and when fully dry insert the ¾” pvc pipe into the base.  Add a little sand around the gray pipe where it goes into the sleeve to stiffen it making sure it is plumb.  Cap the pipe with the solar light.
Copper piping could also be very attractive.perfect fit

Before becoming a lamp post, the solar garden light was held by a spike inserted in the dirt.
The higher altitude provides the solar powered lights with a better chance for exposure.

These particular solar power garden lights which I am extremely happy about are Westinghouse and were purchased at Costco about five years ago.  They have been very faithful needing their batteries recharged in house only once a couple of years ago.

Concrete at the price of $2.69 x 60lb bag would price this concrete base at about $1.30.
The pvc pipe was about $3.60 for a 5’ length.
Longer pipes are available and they can also be cut to size.

Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.


Do we need to run or drive to the store to buy another potion
so we can make our plants’ leaves look like these
maybe two or three times a year?
The answer is in the refrigerator.

got milk?

Enjoy the luster for weeks to come.

Decorative Concrete Ornament For The Garden

debris from spaceMr. Woodlydid the eyes move?

This decorative concrete ornament is meant to hang and sway from a tree branch. It is about 12”x8”x1”+-
It took about half hour to make at a negligible cost.
The front has a rubble look with marbles embedded to catch the light.
The back of the ornament is slightly concave and in this case it holds a head made spontaneously.
This concave area is ideal for religious icons and statuettes.

1. Fill a plastic bag with desired amount of sand.
2. Place on flat surface with the extra plastic down under the sand bag.
3. Shape your form in oval, round, square or free form fashion.
Think of width and depth.
Notice the interesting texture above the head in the picture. It is from the creases of the plastic bag.
4. Pour the concrete over the sand bag tapping and shaping gently.
5. Tap with the trowel marbles, pebbles or anything else. Embed a hook at the end of the composition.
Let slow dry for a day in shaded area.
6. Flip and remove from the sand bag. Set the composition on top of the bag for protection and with a spray bottle spray water for adhesion where you’ll be placing the head.
7. Mix the concrete and shape a head.
Let dry.

Bungee cords are wonderful in the garden. The ones where the hook and the cord are separate pieces will allow adjusting of the hook so that the art work faces the desired direction.

Night Stand

Main parts:
• 20” tall garden clay pot. $20 each
• An inherited refrigerator glass shelf to add a touch of Dadaism.
• (2) continuous color changing night lights from Costco.
The lights fade from one color to another and bland two colors into a third. Chances to get them both red are extremely slim.
The lights can also be set so that colors do not change.
• An old CD.
• Clear marbles.
• Extension cord.
• Larger felt pads for the floor and smaller clear pads for the glass.

one of two night stands

How to make:

1. Take white latex paint and dilute. Maybe 1 part paint, 4 parts water. White wash the interior to a desired shade.white wash

2. Use (4) ¾” felt pads at bottom of the pot to protect the floor and to raise the pot enough to allow electrical wiring clearance.
3. Insert an electrical extension cord into the pot through the drainage hole at the bottom of the pot. The hole might have to be enlarged with a drill to allow the cord’s plug to go through. The extension cord should be able to receive at least 2 plugs.

just a nice pic

4. Cut a slit through a CD to the hole and let the extension cord slide through the slit and into the center of the CD’s shiny face up.
5. Place clear marbles on top of the CD.
6. The CD and the marbles are for reflection. The CD is also to refrain the marbles from going through the drainage hole of the pot.
cord bearly enters
7. Plug 2 continuous color changing night lights to the extension cord.
8. Almost done!
9. Place a small clear rubber pad at each corner of the pot’s rim, gooey side up, so that the protection pads will adhere to the glass.
10. Connect the extension cord to the power.
11. Done!



The night stands (or anything you want them to be) will come alive in their elegance
during the darkness of night emitting very subtle color changes.
The pots come in different heights and could be
shocking focal points in outdoor spaces tastefully vegetated.
The night stand shown above would be very nice as a glass coffee table accompanied by a black leather coach and chairs while the inside could be orchestrated differently.

The energy and money used for this artistic furniture luxury is miniscule in relation to the many other ways we can save.

Please note these last pictures may appear much darker on some monitors.

Tutti Frutti Island

This experimental garden sculpture was made from a 24” flower pot saucer.
The center piece with the marbles was made previously.

• After applying the releasing agent, the concrete was poured gently in the saucer with occasional vibration to rid of air bubbles.  It was leveled with a trowel and concentric lines made with a plastic card.tutti frutti island
• The bottom of the previously made center with the marbles was first sprayed with water for adhesion and not to suck up the water from the wet concrete, then placed on top of the saucer at the center.
where all fruits are welcome •Some concrete was then applied all around the center piece as rubble and to anchor the center to the saucer.
• Marbles at the edges were then tapped in with the handle of the trowel but since the concrete was rapidly drying, the marbles had a hard time sinking.  Some plain cement was placed around the marbles to float evenly.could it be volcanic?

• The darker color of concrete around the peripheral marbles was due to the cement that was sifted from the concrete bag.  The darker color is baffling but it can be handy as an accent.
• 24 hours later the concrete was taken out of the form.

Concrete at the price of $2.69 x 60lb bag would make the price of this composition about $.90.
Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.

Concrete Humble Pie

This experimental garden sculpture was made from a 16” flower pot saucer.
humble pie

Apply the mold release agent to the saucer and pour the ready mix concrete.

Tap marbles down a hair above their equator for anchoring purposes.
Remove the mold 24 hours later.

Of course if this composition was made with red marbles it could have been called a cherry pie.
Purple marbles would have made it a blueberry pie.
Concrete at the price of $2.69 x 60lb bag would make this composition for about $.60.
Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.

Concrete Saucer

The flower pot saucer form has the beauty to satisfy multiple tasks:24" saucer
1. When placing a flower pot atop, the depression in the middle will hold a small amount of water but the pot will not develop a ring around the base as it usually does.
2. It can be used as a base to art work.  The depression at the center comes very handy when interlocking a piece above and frames it visually.
3. Use as stepping stones.
4. Use as a bird bath.
5. Saucers can be stacked with smaller sizes on top creating a ziggurat type composition.
6. A hole through the center favors other uses such as drainage
or placing a solar garden light through it.24" saucer with hole

Flower pot saucers come in multiple sizes and it is wise to stick to the same manufacturer for interlocking and fitting purposes.

How to make:
1. Spray the saucer with a mold release agent.
2. Place tiles face down after planning the pattern.
3. Mix and pour the ready mix concrete.   Vibrate and tap gently the concrete with a trowel to avoid air bubbles.
4. If a hole in the middle is desired, place a plumb pipe in the middle that is long enough to stick out of the finished concrete level.  Later as the concrete cures turn the pipe a hair a couple of times.  If needed the pipe can be shorter and left as a sleeve.
5. 24 hours later take the saucer out of the mold and with a credit type plastic card scrape excess off of tiles while damp.
6. Use a plastic card as a straight edge and with another card score along the straight edge.
7. Fill imperfections at tile edges by gently shaking some Concrete Fix All over the crevices. Then feather and level into crevices with the light brushing of a plastic card.
With a spray bottle dampen the area and let dry.
8. When dry buff gently with a small wash cloth wrapped in a couple of plastic bags.
9. Done.

Concrete at the price of $2.69 x 60 lb bag would price a 24” saucer at about $.90 ea.
Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.

Pyramid And Mastaba

This composition consists of a helical pyramid centered in the depression of a 24” mastaba.
When watering in the yard occurs, the whole composition is wet.24" mastaba
Later the mastaba will dry but some water will be trapped in the depression and will keep the pyramid a wet dark gray for most of the day.  The pyramid will dry from top to bottom.
All summed up this is a living sculpture if one considers it as a sweating fountain.

Refer to the ‘concrete for the home’ category for tips on concrete, tools and molds.