Saturday, September 3, 2011

Dead Letter File

Well, it's not like I haven't been doing anything since my last post. It's just that I haven't been doing Halloween stuff, or at least not completely.

I've been making decorations for the Alice in Wonderland-themed Sweet 16 party I mentioned previously (I've got two mushrooms made and I'm working on Absalom the caterpillar) while at the same time I'm building my Secret Reaper gift.

Since we're all friends here and I know you can keep a secret, I'm building my "victim" a mailbox. Some of you may remember that for the NJ Make & Take group last year I built my victim Karen (Black Cat on the Haunt Forum discussion boards) a mailbox based on the sarcophagus made by the Davis Graveyard.

I had considered doing that again, but quickly discarded the idea in favor of making a mausoleum mailbox. It will have gabled ends and a columned portico in front through which you place and retrieve the mail. At least that's the game plan. Figuring out the angles is a bear!

I've done some framing in my time, building garages, sheds, and various storage buildings, but I swear I must have roofing Alzheimer's because every time it comes to framing a roof I have to break out my reference books to figure out the angles. With this project, the angles are even more difficult because it's a compound cut I have to make on the portico. The addition I'll be adding is called a "California Valley," which explains a lot, but it's also known as a "blind valley." If anyone has done roofing and doesn't need to refer to books constantly to figure out the angles (or even if you do) and you can give me the quick and easy way to determine the angle, I'll love you forever.

Anyway, here are some progress pics. It's made out of MDF so it's pretty heavy and is joined together with biscuit joints. Shipping this thing ought to cost a small fortune as I'm thinking it's not going to fit into one of those flat-rate Postal Service boxes.

I'll actually be posting a vlog or two on the beginning of this project, but I decided time is too short and I have too many projects to do to fiddle around with a video camera right now. So I'll try to keep a regular camera on hand to snap some progress pics, but video will have to wait till I have more time.

Laying out the gables (no rise and run for me!)
Carcass pieces cut to size
Carcass glued together - nice mess!
(But see the lead picture of this blog post
for it all sanded smooth and clean)
Drying after a coat of spar varnish
Gluing up the mail slot door
Yes, it will have a sarcophagus too, inside the mailbox!


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