Don’t back down

Project Hex: Building an Hexagonal Bird Table (Part 1)

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I’ve been meaning to document the build of ‘Project Hex’ for some time, since I began in the Autumn of 2008.
Yes, the above photo isn’t that inspiring, but it represents the start of this slightly oddball way of spending some of my weekends.
I guess it all started when I built a regular rectangular, pitched roof bird table a while back. I was quite pleased with the way it came out and it got me thinking.

I wanted to have a go at something more involved, more challenging. This isn’t so much as a hobby, as something to do when I was bored, or the weather was bad. Also, I had recently lost my faithful dog of 13 plus years and needed to keep my mind occupied, so I guess this is what I did.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos from the early stages of building the bare-bones structure of the table, so all the pics I have are from the beginning of the tiling stage. As you can see, it shows the start of tiling the roof with small wooden tiles. I originally planned to cover the bird table with some roof felt that was kicking around the garage. Although the felt looked OK, it didn’t really have a wow factor…. hence the wooden tiles idea.

I decided to rip the felt off and have a go at creating a tiled roof. I headed down to the local retail park and into a large ‘hobby’ store. I left clutching a jumbo sized bag of standard lollipop sticks. This is not as mad as it sounds, the white birch wood used for lollipop sticks is high quality as it is primarily used in food. So, no splinters, no weak wood with consistent quality and thickness.

I had cut each tile with some wire snips. Resulting in 4 tiles from each lollipop stick. Each tile was then filed smooth at one end and pencil marked accordingly. A flexible outdoor waterproof glue was used to mount the tiles on the triangular sections of outdoor grade plywood that make the base structure of the roof.

hex001The beginning of the tiling process

hex002One side of the first tier complete

With the now defunct roof felt removed, side two of the first tier gets underway.
Any gaps bordering the roof base where filled with black outdoor silicon sealant. The reason I have only tiled 1/3 of the way up the roof is that I intend to have a three tiered roof.

I have many more photographs to sort out, so further updates will be forthcoming.

Click here for Part 2 of ‘Project Hex’

Written by rufdog

May 13, 2009 at 12:03 pm

Quiet Motorway

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I took this shot whilst on a long trek with the dog. I did have a fiddle with it in Photoshop as the original was shot with my awful camera phone. It was extensively grey and washed out.

Written by rufdog

May 12, 2009 at 3:44 pm

Best Beer in the world?

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I found this image on my Mac whilst having a randon hunt through some old files. I thought it was already on the blog, but I was mistaken.

This shot was taken after a great day ridin’ the slopes in Chamonix in March. There is not a lot that comes close to that first well earned beer at the end of a perfect day on the slopes, shared with your best mates. That truly tired, satisfied feeling with the low sun falling on your face is pure nirvana. Yes, it may have cost an extortionate €8, but f*ck me, it was worth it. Actually it was worth getting another round or two in.

Beer was shared with Spider, G and joining us later was Mike & Dave. It’s one of those moments that will never be forgotten.

Written by rufdog

May 3, 2009 at 1:10 am

Blue + New Teeth

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Blue has finally departed with his puppy teeth. I was genuinely surprised by the size of his upper teeth, they are comically enormous. Although much larger than the outgoing nashers, these are thankfully not as sharp.

Blue has grown quite a bit, I reckon he is around 12 KG’s, I’ll know for sure soon, as he’s off to the vet for a routine check up in a few days. His coat is a little longer and suits him well. I’m not sure whether it’ll need trimming at the dog groomers, I presume so.

His increased size has enabled him to run faster and jump higher. On that note, he has recently taught himself a new trick… When he is having a ‘mad moment’, running flat out in figure of eights like a nutter, he’ll flop down in tall grass. Tongue lolloping. After a minute or so, he mentally sets his target, explodes out of the grass, running like the wind, launching himself at said target.
The target is me, well the center of my chest to be exact. The upshot is that I end up with a wriggling lump of excited dog in my arms.

I think it’s great, and Blue seems to thoroughly enjoy it.


Written by rufdog

April 30, 2009 at 1:13 pm

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Old Barn

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This derelict old barn is part of a sprawling farm that I regularly pass when walking the dog. I love the patina of old wood that has been subjected to age. Sun-bleached, weathered and with that depth of texture from the naturally aged tannins just looks beautiful.

Written by rufdog

April 25, 2009 at 8:03 pm

Posted in Architecture, Photography

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I took Blue for yet another 6 mile-er today, in a vain attempt to burn off some of his energy. Walking past a copse I spotted a carpet of bluebells. Blue wasn’t too bothered though, he was more interested in eating soil and chewing his stick.


Written by rufdog

April 25, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Time Lapse Perfection

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Bathtub IV from Keith Loutit on Vimeo

This time lapse video by Keith Loutit is absolutely stunning. Instead of waffling on about the awesomeness of it… just watch the film.

This film is 100% ‘real’, but there are some new techniques for me here, such as using time lapse to create the illusion of forward movement for the helicopter ocean scenes.

Keith Loutit

Keith Loutit’s Vimeo Site

Written by rufdog

April 7, 2009 at 11:12 am


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Whilst in San Diego, the hire car was upgraded for free to a Nissan 350z. I’ve driven a few sports cars, so was excited to give the Z a go. Unfortunately, it came without Sat Nav. This reined in any fun I could really have, as it was the first time I’d ever driven in the US. I spent all my time concentrating on where I was going, instead of opening up the glorious V6. Yes, the ‘box was an auto, but the engine had a lovely howl to it.

I took this shot in the hotel car park, it came out much better than I thought. You can really appreciate the lines of the car. I know it’s not to everyones taste, but I thought it was a nice bit of kit.

I was quite surprised as to how snug it was inside. I expected it to be more of a roomy cruiser. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing, in fact it’s something I quite like.

Written by rufdog

April 4, 2009 at 11:27 am

Posted in Design, Photography

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Bluelistic Missile

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Even after a long way into a walk, Blue occasionally goes ‘a bit mental’ running around like a nutter really enjoying himself.

I know it sounds like I’m trying to stop his fun with the rogue plastic he found, but I’m always cautious of discarded packaging on farmland, not knowing what sort of chemicals could have been stored in the bag. Plus, the more I shout at him (positive or negative), the more speed he gets up and the more fun he seems to have!

It’s a shame I can’t really let him off the lead so he can really enjoy himself. He’s just too young and not completely trained. I’d love to take him to the beach when he’s a little bit older.

Written by rufdog

April 1, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Posted in Blue

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Big paws & farmers muck

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blue010Crazy Blue

Blue does have his ‘mad moments’, when he gets all over excited and just wants to play for hours. After going for another monsterous walk across the fields, he still had the energy to play like mad when he got back. Maybe it’s the fair Spring weather that we’ve been blessed with recently. Something’s definitely in the air, as signaled by his more concerted efforts to try to hump one of his cuddly toys. I should stop him, but it’s hilariously funny.

blue011The ‘innocent’ look


blue012One happy dog

He was a right handful on a recent walk. He discovered an interest in the muck that the farmer was spreading on the fields. He got his nose down and looked like a mental Hoover for half of the walk, skipping from on area to another in a sweeping pattern.

I tried my best to distract him, and to guide a path around the muck, but it was no good. I sat him down at one point and had a stern word with him about the emerging bad habit of burying his nose in farmers slurry… he just gave me that innocent ‘I’m sorry’ look and continued his muck-sweeping with even more zeal.

He seemed pretty pleased with himself by all acounts, and seemed to be having so much fun, I couldn’t really tell him off.

He’s starting to make some new doggy friends whilst out and about. I have to say, he is really well behaved around other dogs, small and large. Although he did give a 14 stone Irish Wolfhound a wide berth, which I thought was wise, the thing was seriously big.

The conversations with other dog owners are all similar, keywords include; puppy, age, cute, lovely lad, what breed… etc. The most common outcome of all these conversations is “woah, look at the size of his paws”, followed by a had signal that suggests Blue’s got a long way to grow.
Personally I don’t think he’ll get too big, just be one of those dogs that has comedy big paws! I don’t really care about his size anyway, if he turns out to be huge, then so be it, won’t make a blind bit of difference to me.

Written by rufdog

April 1, 2009 at 2:59 pm

Posted in Blue

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