Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Building a Classic Wooden Motor Boat - Part 3

This is part 3 of a chronicle on building a wooden motor boat or launch. 

In the previous chapters Walter the boatsman built the hull, and then we went with the kids to pick it up.

Now the Boat sits at the technical department of a large boat sales company here in Santiago, where they are fitting the engine, and instruments and controls.

We went over there with my wife to look at it a few weeks ago, to see how the work is progressing and take them the instruments that will go on the dashboard.

Engine Fitting

The engine I selected is a 4.0 liter V6 Mercucruisier Sterndrive, with the Alpha One Drive. I chose the carburated version over the fuel injected, since i can do carb maintenance and tune ups myself, and is actually something i enjoy very much.

I didnt want to go with the 5.0 liter V8, because of noise, fuel consumtion, and the extra cost. Plus I dont think i'll be needing that much power, since the objetive is to have pleasura rides, and not a super fast boat.

To be able to fit the engine, they had to fit two pieces of 14 mm thick marine plywood inside and out, making a sanwich with the stern, this is for both having perfect smooth and parallel faces, where the water seals of the sterndrive will go. You dont want water entering Through this big opening under the waterline.

The marine plywood pieces go glued and then screwed, and the screws covered with epoxy putty. In order for the gluing process to work well you have to wood that has 12% or less moisture content (MC), and upon arrival to the shop the boat had 15% MC so we had to work 3 weeks for the MC level to go down before the work could get started.

Now the wood is below 12% MC and as you can see in the pictures the opening for the drive is already cut in the stern, in a perfect cut that almost lloks like they extracted a violin out of it.

The aft part of the keel had to be shaved considerably (only on cm high remains on the outside) in order to reduce the amount of turbulence that reaches the propeller from under the hull. But in fact i will have to remove more of it in order to reduce hull drag and get the boat up to planning speed. More on this later.

We also took a nice set of 6 vintage looking white dial instruments for the dashboard including all the common stuff you will need to monitor. I still have to find the adequate control box with the speed and fore-aft levers, as I already got an old style wood rim steering wheel with aluminum spokes, same as you'd find in a 50's british sports car.

Yesterday they called me from the shop telling me they need to enlarge the engine doors that go on the deck towards the transom, since the engine fits very tight and routine maintenance such as cheking air filter of cleaning carbs would be a pain, and i want that task to be comfortable since i'll be the one performing it.
It could be left at it is but they woud have to shave a lot off one of the crossmembers under the deck and this could leave a weak spot in that part. So we are going to have a larger engine bay to work on.

Hull improvements

Meanwhile i've been reading a lot about hull design and hull structure, the enginnering or intellectual approach to doing things as one friends puts it. In doing so ive discovered that structural dimensions are fine and exceed what is needed, which is good news. Also ive discovered that the hull shape in general is fine and should lead to a pleasant ride, but I can make a few improvements to have a more sporty or agile cruising (read make sure the thing will go moderately fast).

This hull is originally a displacement hull, if i want it go fast I need to turn it into a semidisplacement or better yet a planning hull. To to this I need to approximate the aft section to a flatter and squarer form, since round forms dont plane, they get sucked into the water.

Since the aft bottom has a moderate V (11 degrees) I shoud add some running strakes in th emid section, to help give it more upward lift as the bow rises and it tries to climb its own wave. Running strakes are like water skies fitted to the bottom of the hull, with the surface horizontal (parallel to water) instead of having the slope of the V.
This will make a wing-like effect and create a plain vertical lift force, as opposed to the inlcined one the V surface would create, thus more effciently raising the boat and helping it get out of the water to get into a plane.
They only run in the center section, since at speed they create more drag than a plain bottom, so whe the boat is already planning in the aft section of the hull you dont want in the way anymore.

The other modification I need to make it modify the round chine (where bottom meets sides) into a hard chine. This is because water tends to climb aling the sides of the boat with a round chine, creating more drag which eats your power. But water cant clinb a sharp 90 degree turn (a right angle), which is what a hard chine is, it just gets separated of the hull, expelled sideways, letting your boat run free of that drag.
This is the reason why speedboats have vertican or even negatine angle transoms, with sharp angles, instead of the round aft section found on displacements hulls - as a sailboat (which under power only lowers the back end but never gets out of the water).

After I get the hull back from the engine and control fitting, I need to make these changes to the hull prior to the sanding, and varnishing (or painting below the waterline).

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Building a Classic Wooden Motor Boat - Part 2

In this last summer vacation I decided to start building an old wooden motorboat, a la Chris Craft or Hacker Craft or Gar Wood of the 50s, here's an update on the construction.


Cold Caulin

"This is the same wrong road we took on the bikes" Carola said. This time without helmets or shouting from the motorcycle next to me, since we were inside a rented car. But the situation was familiar, 8 or 9 years ago we were on this same muddy sloping road facing a deserted beach on the pacific ocean, on the southern island of Chiloe, and it was still the wrong road.

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This familiar road led to the wrong side of the right beach. On this wrong side there's a few houses of the local fishers and villagers, but no hotel. Our nice Caulin Lodge, with the Colorina de Caulin restaurant is on the right side, 900 meters away, by the stony beach filled with algae and waves that leave just a narrow lane when the tide is up.

I rode the bikes on the beach on that first occasion, but they were my bikes, ligher to drag out of the water, and i hadn't left a thousand dollar deposit for them on my credit card. So we took the "safe" approach and took the rented Subaru Impreza around and rode back up the muddy road, to the paved road, and back thru another dirt road (the right one) to our Hotel on the beach. Our closed Hotel to be precise.

Turns out the lodge only opens in summers these years, the Colorina got married moved up north to a warmer beach a couple of years ago, and the restaurant is closed even for breakfast, still... you don't have a lot of options on the top of lonely beach in the south pacific in autumn. So we knocked the door of the house and they were kind enough to rent us a frozen room with smell of fungi and penicillin.

The smell went away, the cold stayed with us through the night.

It was not just cold, it was fireplace-on-all-night go-to-bed-with-all-your-clothes-on, including-your-first-layer-and-your-fleece-jacket-on, under-a-ton-of-blankets-including-a-goose-feathers-one cold.

Pretty cold.

Cryogenic cold.

The place is not decaying, it's re entering the ice age.

Even soaked vultures think so...

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Walter the boatsman

The reason we are in this forgotten paradise at 2 degrees celsius is to visit Walter again, the boat builder that's working on the hull of the classic wooden motor boat (or launch) I decided to build a couple of months ago.

The boat could almost be ready by now, except that I made a major change to the design a couple of weeks ago (I think i'm catching the change-o-phillia of my clients at work...), I just switched at the last minute from hanging a huge lump of an outboard at the transom, to a period correct inboard. Yes, i know... but the outboard seemed like a simpler alternative at the time.

Actually is not fully period correct, since it will be a stern drive 4.3 liter Mercruiser, and the really correct choice with be an inboard with a propeller under the hull, but it's way better than the outboard alternative. 

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Walter is a very understanding soul, and after a minute of silence on the phone for all the wood work that was dying as I told him about my brilliant change in plans, he started working on changing the transom, the hull transom support, the engine support, and the engine hatch doors and openings. Now I can't complain about any changes at work because of his noble attitude.

A month has passed and Walter has advanced a lot with the hull, all the side planks are in place and also most of the deck. The first images show the boat with just the front deck, but when we got there he had already finished the whole deck and also redone the transom.

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 The hull really looks great and is starting to resemble the wooden boats of the 40s and 50s. 


It's our second trip here to see the boat, and already I realize i'm going to miss these trips and Walter once the boat is finished.

It's a beautiful place, and a great feeling to be able to help give birth such a pretty vessel...

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Building a Classic Wooden Motor Boat - Part 1

I've always liked old wooden motor boats, a lot, but i can't afford the 40 or 50 grand on a restored american classic. Coming back from a vacation in Easter Island this last summer - where we spent a great deal of time in and around boats - I decided i could build my own.
This is the first part of the chronicle on the construction.

I love classic wooden boats. The mahogany kind that have shiny varnished decks that James Bond uses to make elegant escapes from Venice, or the classic american runabouts of the 1940s and 50s by John Hacker, Gar Wood or Chris Craft. It's no surprise i like them; they live at the intersection of wood works and classic vehicles, two of my passions and hobbies.

They are rare sights in these days dominated by white fiberglass, and are becoming scarcer as their original builders never imagined they would become collectible and would need to last 50 or 60 years, they were designed to last 6 years, so most of them have rotten, or were bulldozered and burned in piles in the 60s in favor of fiberglass.
The concours restored examples are becoming increasingly expensive, and thus they don't see action and water all that often. Most are seen in wooden boat shows and museums.

Still there is a strong community of owners, collectors, restorers and replica builders. So even though they are scarce, they are far from extinct. You can also find excellent resources online, from coffee table books with beautiful pictures, to detailed plans, great books on restoration, and a few history books as well.
eBay sells every bit of chrome and bronze hardware salvaged from rotten hulls and they also will sell you a full restored runaboat if you have the 50 grand to spare.

Where it all began
Our summer vacation this year was split between our wooden lake house (the long chronicle on the construction of that in this same blog), and in Easter island.
It was just connecting the dots: a finished wooden house just in the border of a lake... and a far far away Island (you can't help but notice the boats on an island, even if you are very drunk you'll see the boats).
And then we went diving, where you ride on boats and focus even more on their shapes, hulls, curves... and what if they had a deck and were more beautiful?

So I started planning to fit a nice wooden deck on these fiberglass fishing boats as a shortcut, but luckily i wasn't convinced the final contraption would look good. I was willing to be fooled but i had my doubts the result would look very elegant.

Further online research showed that we still have skilled wooden boat builders here, no big surprise in a country that has more coast than surface when you think about it.
So instead of buying a fiberglass hull I could buy an actual wooden one, just built for me. And what if the builder could produce something more like a motor boat than a fishing one? Ha! now we are talking...
I love wood working, but I know my limitations and building a beautiful boat that floats is beyond my current capabilities (maybe the next one), so i needed someone who made the beautiful bare wood hull that floats, and I would just make her more beautiful.

Walter, the boat builder
One of the independent wooden boat builders with the best blog page is Walter Mansilla, who leaves near Calbuco, a small rainy fishing town I know from the sailing trips we have taken with a friend from Puerto Montt to the beautiful island of Chiloe.
Walter is a pleasant fellow that builds fishing boats all by himself, out of mañio and cypress, and has some good pictures of his boats on his page. One of them in bare wood, which I particularly liked.
I wrote him an email telling him my plan, along with this photo, and asked if it was possible. he said it was... so we talked over the phone agreed on some basic design stuff (like the height of the deck, two spaces for bench seats) and set a price. This was a month ago.

Over this last 30 days i've read a couple of magazines on varnishing techniques, and Don Danenberg's excellent and huge two volume book: The Complete Wooden Runabout Restoration Guide -the best there is - according to my 60 minute research in Amazon (a lot of other buyers agree) which covers everything you could want to know.
This is a pricey printed book, so i got it in ebook format for 20 bucks. Not very romantic, but good for searching and reference.

So after reading a few chapters I would call Walter and interrogate him on the wood he'd use, he would call and ask about transom heigh and strength and design, and I called back a few times regarding the hull shape for better speed, water proofing between the planks, and fastener material to avoid fast or early corrosion. So we had talked more or less an hour on the phone, even though we haven't met.
It's called joint remote design using collaboration tools. In this case a cell phone and pictures by email.
I can say that Walter is a very patient man, probably a good trait on a guy that bends wood and builds boats.

So what we have under construction is a mañio and cypress wood (both good at resisting rot) 22 ft long boat that is going to be 7.5 feet at the widest point and 3.5 ft tall to the deck. The fasteners are going to be all copper, that promises to last a lifetime. After I do the finishing work I'll fit a 100 hp outboard engine (since an inboard seemed more complicated in construction and sourcing for the first timer).

I've also bought almost every conceivable bit of hardware from eBay, from chromed cleats to transom mahogany flag pole, to boarding rubber step pads, to stern lights... the works. I'm still looking for a reasonable priced chromed windshield frame from the 50's period runabouts in case you find one.

And this last friday I took the day off, and we went with Carola to meet the newborn boat and his creator. We flew to Puerto Montt and picked up Walter in Calbuco's plaza after having breakfast. Then the three of us rode the rented car back to Walter's house in nearby Huito, a nice small channel fishers village north of Calbuco, upstream in one of the many channels where they harvest seafood (Choritos if you must know).
Huito is small - 20 houses give or take - and it's inhabitants either go to school, or to church of have a fishing boat. And there is Walter who builds them.

He used to work in the Chiloe salmon plants, but an epidemic disease (the ISA virus) affected the chilean salmon industry some 3 years ago, and today many plants and boats can still be found abandoned.
Things are starting to pick up steam again for the salmon companies, but in the meantime Walter has found a new job. He learned to repair boats and bend wood as a kid, and repaired many boats along his young years. Then he learned more from a few boat builders, and two years ago he decided to start advertising and do this for a living. And so far he has produced more than two dozen boats for recreational and tourism use for a lot of customers between Santiago and Chiloe. His customers are starting to line up.

MIne is his most "particular" boat type for now. But not for long, as he has a 30 ft round transom fishing launch from Norway for his next challenge. A nordic customer came to his place with plans and all.

Walter modified his templates to accommodate the added height of my boat, with the dimensions reflecting the shape of an old Hacker Craft from the 1950's, one of my favorites. So i'm very pleased with what he has built and I expect to pick the finished work in a month or so, to take to the lake and work on the sanding during the winter, and then vanishing and finishing on the spring, and fitting the engine before the summer season.

The pictures below show where the boat building is so far.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Birmingham - 24 hour lesson on Design

At Birmingham I experienced great and awful design in 24 hours, the great

design came in the form of the historic motorcycles in the worlds largest Motorcycle Museum, and in the Jaguar Factory Tour, seeing how modern Jags are assembled today.

The bad design was present everywhere in my hotel room, that even though was conveniently located, is the worst built thing I've ever seen.

From Bath I took a train to Birmingham, and arrived at night,

after a while I got to my hotel chosen not for it’s accommodatio

ns but for its closeness to the National Motorcycle Museum, which is a couple of miles off the Birmingham International Airport.

The Gables Guesthouse as it’s called was close, and that was it, for it was right by a busy highway and the room was small, equipped with cheap furniture and built as light as a building can be built without being called a real size architecture model. However no graduated architects took part in the plans of this guest house, as it was obvious there had been no planning.

The right closet door could not be opened because the tav table was there, the remote-less TV cou

ld not be seeing while lying in bed because the closet was there, and the bath door could not be opened without first moving the chair

so that it blocked the room entrance door.

In the bathroom they couldn’t fit the WC in the place they intended because you couldn’t open the shower door, so they moved it to a proper location and put an ugly horizontal 8 inch drain pipe to match with the ill planned plumbing hole in the floor.

I’m quite sure my 5 year old son can plan a room better than this, it’s actually hard to make so many design mistakes in something that had less than 12 square meters including the bath. Oh yes, the power outlets (the gigantic power outlets they use in the UK), were placed right by your head at the side of the bed, probably so you could unplug things using your teeth.

It was so wrong that instead of getting upset I actually felt sorry for the constructor and the owner... It was such a mess, like all the left-right swapping thing from driving on the other side, got into the builders head and confused him to right down to the bones. However the indian couple that owned the place were nice and accommodating - I suspect there had a quota of shame for the 7 capital sins of des

ign and architecture they had perpetrated. They had a nice restaurant that smelled of two generations of curry cooking, good beer, and fixed me a good breakfast the next morning.

After breakfast I took a cab to the National Motorcycle Museum, which is the

largest collection of Motorcycles in the world (hopefully they will expand more someday to include non UK-bikes as well, but it seems unlikely at this time). An amazing collection of 800 historically significant Bikes that is constantly growing. What is even more amazing is that the Museum burned (due to a cigarette stub apparently) in 1998 and some 400 bikes were burned in the fire, some beyond repair, and all of them were either replaced by an identical donation or completely restored by 2007.

I spent 3 hours in the morning admiring the bikes and their very detailed stories, in 3 of the 5 large halls, and had to leave of the Jaguar Factory Tour I had signed up at 1:00, so after the tour I returned in the afternoon and finished with the other 3 halls before leaving for the train station. The Museum is a fantastic place to visit for any motorcycle enthusiast, specially if you like UK vintage bikes like I do.

The Jaguar Factory Tour

Upon arriving at the Jaguar Factory in Castle Bromwich I was offered tea while I could admire

and sit on the new models in the showroom, and when our group gathered the tour started with a short introductory video. Then we were handed reflective Jaguar factory vests, helmets and headsets and our tour guide - a retired gentleman who used to work there in various position up to a section supervisor in the Ford years - took our 8 people group on a van to the XJ assembly section, two 15 acre buildings that are part of the 120 acre

Factory at Castle Bromwich (there are 3 more plants in the UK that specialize in upholstery and carpentry, new models and research and something else).

There are tours focusing on the XK and the smaller sedans as well.

Our guide was very detailed in explaining how the efficiency of Just in Time production and automation of the plant - 120 robots and 200 workers - to assemble the XJ lineup, is the way for Jaguar to compete in the modern time, with Japanese and other European firms that are also producing fine cars with these same techniques. And how Jaguar was not up for employees excuses anymore but for timely results, all of which made sense. Unfortunately, he also made some bad taste jokes as how the robots are never tired, don’t have sick kids, or answer back. As a manager myself I can understand where he was going with the joke, but I guess his kids never got sick when he was a plant employee. Mine do, and fortunately they get all our attention.

In general lines the plant seems to work like a clock, small jams in the line were announced in LED boards all over the place and quickly solved. When we were there the goal of producing 90 XJs was reached by 3:00 PM, the plant produces one complete XJ cars every four minutes.

The JIT production works with only two hours worth of stock for cars, all of which are transported outside and inside the plant by DHL employees (not Jaguar employees), right up to the robot “feed” racks. Plus the focus on value added activities and the corresponding incentive, all make sense if Jaguar is to remain competitive in this century.

However I suspect sooner or later current owner TATA is going to move the factories to India sooner than later as the land and labour there are 3 to 5 times cheaper.

There is no doubt Jaguar has been carried into this century

competitive environment by previous owner Ford Motor Co who introduced automation and JIT production in a 10 years transformation and by new owner TATA (biggest India multinational - diversified into everything) who is focusing on improving efficiencies. Without them Jaguar would have followed the dinosaur route most other british brands took.

The new XJ is an all aluminum car, 90% recyclable, all the parts are riveted with aircraft technology that creates a water sealed rivet, not a single point of soldering... The cars are lighter - I lifted a door that was about 10 Kg, faster, more efficient in terms of mileage per gallon, and inside they feel extremely cozy and well built, with the familiar leather and small touches of wood, a few kilos of electronics and 3 miles of cables complete the modern Jaguar automation experience.

All this said the lack the romance and craftsmanship of my old XJ6 Vanden Plas, the leather and the massive wood panels are not the same, as the company has turned more and more efficient in terms of cost. Jaguar didn’t have to compete with Japanese companies back at the beginning of the 80’s.

Even though the car is lighter and solid and obviously safer, it doesn’t convey the same panzer tank ruggedness the old car does, I guess plastic bumpers and deforming sections never do.

They are building great cars but I’ll stick to my old XJ6 Series III anytime.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bath and Eat

After visiting Christian Malford (just a small small village outside
of Chippenham) by taxi, no buses on Sunday, too small I'm afraid. I
came back into town, bought a British looking long parka, that is
called a warm "raincoate" here, and walked to the railroad station and
made my way into Bath.

The Roman baths are impressive, I thought I liked jacuzzis but this
guys ruled! The contruction was top notch - it's still standing and
holding water a liitle over 2000 years - and huge, very tastefull.
These guys believed that the warm water was a gift of the gods and
built facilities proportional to that.

(Excuse me but my duck liver pate has arrived) I'm at Browns Bar &
Brasserie at the centre of Bath.

Ok that was quite a fair amount of mashed duck, absorbed most of the
sour beer I had. I'm almost sober again...back to Bath... Then I
walked around town until my feet cried for a stop.
So I stopped. For beer, at the Bath Ale House, had a pint of a dark,
thick stout that cold be just as well be served on a platter with a
knife and a fork. Very good, not exactly light.

Now I'm having a lighter lager called a Staropramen, blonde and
strong. Preparing my stomach for the wild boar and chorizo burger they
are building (this stuff you donf cook, ypu build) for me at Browns
kitchen at this very second.

All this is in very present tense as I'm trying to blog this from the
iPhone, we'll see if this works.

Wild boar is here... Gotta run

Calling Chippenham, Wiltshire

Its sunday morning, i’m at the White Hart Inn, in Calne, (Wiltshire, UK) an 8 bedroom hotel with a pub and restaurant included. Last night there was a party here, and they didn’t serve food, so i walked two blocks in a light rain - that has continued all night - to the Landsown Inn.

The night was fresh and the streets were shiny... beautiful.

Turns out the Landsown Inn bar was full too, but It has a large restaurant, and it’s very likely THE place to eat in this small town (there a are a couple more Inns or restaurants). I had a Grilled Goat cheese entree, and a delicious Beef bourguignone that included vey small onions with the beef pieces, it was great both in flavor and in size, so I had a couple of pints of an amber local beer whose name I never got, but it was good . For dessert I had a Lemon/Lime tart with raspberry sorbet on top, form a large selection of desserts.

The waitress was fast and nice, and the Van Morrison album playing on the restaurant was the perfect complement for a quiet night.

The Landsown is quite an old place, as the eight pictures on the walls of the restaurant showed, they seemed to be early 1900’s B&W prints and you could see no cars in any of them.

I walked back to my hotel in the rain and arrived mildly wet, the party was still at full steam, but the insulation on this old walls is good so after smoking a cigarrette in the inside patio with some of the partygoers. I went to my room and passed out in bed and had the first decent - more than 5 or 6 hours - sleep of the whole week.

I got here by train, from Heathrow airport, with two transfers on the way, it was a two hour trip, where the landscape transformed from outer city suburbs and storage warehouses to green filed with cows, beautiful barns and rolls of hay on the green slopes.

The trains arrived to Chippenham, where i walked around a flea market that was starting to pack (the rain or the time, I don’t know) on the main street and found the bus station on the other end, and the fairly busy public libary on front of it holding the bus schedule.

My bus to Calne appered the very second I opened the schedule leaflet, and I got into a double decker that left me in Calne’s downtown, about 4 blocks from my hotel.

Its almost nine o’clock, I have to get up and get breakfast and somehow head to Christian Malford the object of my visit here, to see the origin of the Skinners that went to Chile. Then I’ll go back to Chippenham to catch my train to Bath and spend the day there, to take a late train to Birmingham tonight.

If it keeps raining I’ll have to get a good jacket, as

my thing white linnen jacket is not too water proof, it’s been tested to a limit of two blocks walk in light rain. It will be a good way to remember this beautiful Wiltshire region

Opera alla Scala di Milano

Visting la Scala, no tours on my schedule... ok an opera will do the trick.

After a week of business travel touring european retailers and consultants looking for innovation in retail at London, Germany, and Milan , i’m at Milan’s airport waiting for my flight to London to depart and take me in a 4 day train & backpack journey around UK, visiting the origins of my family, a motorcycle museum, a classic car factory, and the origins of british music.

Being in Milan, last night I had the opportunity to go to an Opera at The Scala de Milan - La occasione fa il Ladro - and had dinner a great rissoto dinner with red italian cabernet and assorted cheese for dessert.

Life doesn’t get any better than this. More so if I get to write this in the shiny iMac i wanted for so long, and was able to take along for this trip.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Details, Details, Details

It is often said that the Devil is in the Details, which is probably true if you are building something or managing a project behind schedule, or against a deadline and a trying to meet a budget. These are things many of us do for a living (or so i'd like to think, since it is what i do)...

But if you are adding finishing touches to your house, with all the time in the world (let's say I have a 30 year deadline). I think one can find the details process quite enjoyable and peaceful, and come to the conclusion that it's actually God who is in the Details.

Here are some images of the details we have been adding to the house this last year

This a picture of the House from afar, you can see me working in a bench (in France it would be a Chaise Longue) I added as a reading place to the bow window

A Sun clock from Ibiza, that placed on the wrong hemisphere never reads the exact time (but 12-x does), A woodpecker door knocker on the main entrance door, the sleepers stairs to the lake, and a rusty sun ornament hangs outside the kitchen window above the fireplace logs for the chimneys.

My room's windows one of them full of green, the toolshed behind the house is surrounded by the pine trees that survived last January's fire, and a old railwail equipment plaque that seemed a fitting ornament by the fireplace that separates kitchen from living room.

The massive kitchen table, built out of sleepers and Marble is the main reunion place, both for people and things. The other two images show electrical installations in the bathroom, I decided to go with exposed copper tubing, as in the rest of the house (it's nearly impossible to drill holes for electrical conduit on sleepers, so it all goes exposed on copper tubing). Old bronze switch covers are used, the old style vertical switches are not available in Chile, so my Dad brought me a few from a US trip. Thanks Dad.

A round bathroom mirror and the complicated layuut of electrical plumbing for the bathroom light and a power outlet, The lavatory over a sleepers stand, and the hippiest WC we have ever had/seen/used/etc. We bought it because of the black color and then the wooden custom painted lids were made to order.

Both sides of the bathroom let the light in by means of glass bricks, It gives good light and a fair amount of privacy, even though if we had close neighbours we probably wouldn't have used as much bricks in the back of the shower. The image on the right shows the house seen from the back, from the road that leads down to it.

Images of the roof, whose structure I love to stare at from the living room, on the left photos you can see the second floor that shows the kids 2nd floor (and Domingo's indoors tent), with it's steel cable handrails that are safe but light on the view.
The big bronze lamp on the right was my Grandma's, it was on her dining room when we were kids. It was a gift from my mother for the house.

My room, at night, the back wall is all made of sleepers and probably the most solid of the house, the curtains are blackout for the perfect darkroom effect that guarantees long sleep nights and perfect naps. The trunk at the bottom of the bed shows the lack of closets, which I haven't built to this date.
The middle image shows a wooden window for the bathroom with double articulation and thermo-panel glass. Being a prototype from a factory that never started production it turned to be quite unique (another gift... from my good friend Cristian). The living room wall on the image of the right is made out of pieces from hardwood form a 50 step staircase from a huge house demolition.

The center table by Domingo is a large slice of corktree with a matching branch as base. Last, Pablo tests my finished reading/napping bench in the bow window space. It has become a much coveted place since it was built.