The End of July?

“I heard something. Someone should go see what it was.”

Wow! It’s the end of July. Last week, when it was the 23rd of July, I thought, “July sure is taking it’s time.” Now, it’s yielding the floor to August and before long, leaves will be turning colors and we’ll be preparing for winter.

OK, maybe I’m rushing a few seasons a bit. We are still in the first half of summer.

But summer isn’t what the moon and the calendar say. Summer is the time between Memorial Day (last Monday in May in the States) and Labor Day (first Monday in September) and we’re way past half of that. I just heard over at Joey’s place that her kids are starting school on Thursday – this Thursday! That’s crazy, but that’s the kind of times we’re living in. Crazy times. So, as I write what will be my last blog post for July, I think I will answer two questions I said I wouldn’t answer.

Judy asked me to explain what my garage and workshop look like. I could just say “mess”, but I didn’t want to be honest. I told her that subject should wait until I finish the 3-part project, but that’s dumb. It’s D-I-Y season and D-I-Yers want to know. Others, here and at work, have been asking about my coffee table project. Again, I thought I should wait until it’s done but, what the heck, maybe some won’t mind another update. I’d say, “I’ll try to keep this short,” but I’ve used 250 words to get here.

Garage – We are updating the outside of the garage and preparing it for a good number of carefree years. Maybe that means years with less required care. This project starts with the roof, will continue with vinyl siding and will end with a little work inside.

The garage is 22′ (6.7m) wide and 28′(8.5m) long. Attached to the back of the garage, attached, as in the roof spans both structures, is what the previous owner used as a garden shed. I made it into a workshop. It’s 16’ wide and 12’ long.

When we bought this place, I realized that the garage was an elegant design that was poorly executed. There are two “bridge trusses” running the length of the garage, supporting an 8’ wide storage space, as well as the ceiling joists and the roof rafters. Actually, in some places, it’s hard to tell what’s supporting what. One thing for sure, the header across the garage door wasn’t adequate to carry its part of the combined load. I made that stronger.

Once we finish the outside, I plan to partition the inside of the garage about 10’ from where that back wall is. That will give me a workshop that is 22’ x 16’ with an extra 6’ in the 10’ section carved from the garage.

That’s important!

16’ isn’t enough room to process 8’ lumber over a tool like a table saw, jointer, planer, shaper (router table) or bandsaw. I don’t often work with 8’ lumber, but sometimes, I have to. That extra six feet will be essential. Since all of those tools are on wheels, I can maneuver them in and out of position when necessary. That partition wall will open into the rest of the garage with two large pocket doors.

The design has several benefits:

I can hang stuff on the wall on both sides of the partition.

I can insulate and isolate the shop. That way, if I heat it in the winter, I won’t lose the heat when a car goes in or out, and perhaps, I can keep sawdust out of the attic storage space.

I can position those rolling tools against the wall, when they are not in use.

It will reduce moisture carried in by the cars in winter, from rusting my tools.

The downside is that the two structures are not on the same level – I have to step up into the workshop. Then again, I’ve been doing that for 25 years, so…

Coffee Table – Fabrication of the table legs, stretcher “bar” and feet is complete. The leg sets have been painted. The table top has been sanded, the live edge (bark) has been cleaned and all wood parts have received a first coat of Waterlox Original Sealer Finish. The second and third coat will be applied Monday and Tuesday evening, respectively. The table will be assembled next weekend and will make its debut in my office on Monday, August 6th, otherwise known as “National Root Beer Float Day” and /or “Hiroshima Day” – your choice.

Below is a diagram of the garage now and in the future. The gallery includes some pictures of the progress on the coffee table (explanations are in the captions) and the current state of the garage.

Thanks for stopping by – see you in August!

You can click on any picture to see the full captions.


  1. Thank you for the diagram, now I can visualize what you are doing. About two years ago, my husband I got tired of trying to move things in our garage either to accommodate wood pellets or to clean so we put casters on everything, even if that meant we built a platform with casters and set the item on it. Now, we can pull anything in and out easily because you can never prepare enough for those ‘carefree’ years. The table looks great and thanks for the product explanations. Maddie looks like she is still enjoying her summer, and I really do not want to think about school starting or leaves falling. :-) Happy Monday, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Judy. And thanks for asking for the diagram. I worry when I get too far ahead of myself, but plans can change, and people understand. I really do appreciate the comments and support I get from this community – you guys are the best.

      Every stationary tool I have, except the two that have to be bolted to the floor, are now on wheels. The changes to the garage will allow me to take advantage of that by keeping them against a wall when I’m not using them and moving them into an optimal space when I need them.


  2. July is almost over? Nooooooo!!!! Can we start over again? I wouldn’t mind. ;-)

    I admire and commend you, Dan, for being so handy with tools and taking on these projects. You are going to have a nice-sized space for your workshop when all is said and done. And MiMi will finally get some rest from all of the noise.

    August 6th will also be mom’s 99th birthday. More on that next week…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Happy Birthday Mary’s Mom!!!

      Thanks for the comment. I had such a crappy week at work last week, that stripping shingles off the garage roof was an improvement! I hope Unfortunately, we can’t reboot July, but I can get all the outside stuff done before the ‘S’ word works its way into our vocabulary.


  3. You’ve got a lot going on there, Dan. The coffee table is going to be terrific. The other stuff — horsefeathers, that’s a lot of work! That one pic of Maddie is a total glamour shot! Sweet MiMi, she has the right idea. Have a marvelous Monday. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Teagan. The coffee table didn’t go according to plan, but I’m liking it. I thinks it’s going to be a nice piece. The other stuff is hard work, but after the work week I had last week, it was fun to rip shingles out by their roots and throw them in a dumpster – I think you know what I mean.

      Maddie and MiMi (and MuMu, the shy one) have the right idea. Walk early, sit late, sleep through the heat of the day – ah, the good life.

      Liked by 1 person

      • LOL. Now you have me wondering what I can find to pull out by the roots — besides my hair.
        Seriously though, there’s nothing like the satisfaction of seeing a finished product for your effort. Cheers.


  4. All of your projects are looking great, Dan. I just keep thinking of how much money you are saving on the roofing project, alone! MiMi is so cute–‘keep moving, people. Keep moving……’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Lois. I am watching a “contractor” put a new roof on our neighbor’s house, and I am so glad I am able to do this myself. In addition to the money we’re saving (a bunch), that contractor has left debris all over the yard, left a ladder leaning against the house, left tools and material on the roof – for weeks! That job should have been done several times by now.

      MiMi would prefer that I was working inside, where she can watch and try to steal my tools. If she can’t go out, the project has no value.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The coffee table is already looking amazing. Can’t wait to see it finished in all its glory. Your projects always entail a lot of work, but the time and effort you put into them always pay off. Big time!!

    Enjoyed your drawn diagram of the garage, but more so your descriptive diagram. You brought it to life for me. You are gonna have one fantastic workshop Dan. Sounds like you’re covering all the ‘what if’s’. I wonder if Judy’s cleaning product will take the “green with envy” color off my husband! Lol.

    Maddie and MiMi, and the ever elusive MuMu, sure know how to chill out in the summer heat! Hope the coming storms forecast for this week won’t be too stressful for Maddie. I KNOW they won’t phase MiMi!!

    Have a great work week….one free from aggravation and unnecessary complications.
    🔹 Ginger 🔹

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. My projects tend to get more complicated as they go. It’s a good thing I have the Editor to keep me centered on the overall goal. It is a garage – simple might be better – no need to go overboard.

      I hope when this is all said and done, that I can find my workshop. These projects take a toll on my normally (not so good) habits for putting things away.

      Maddie is making sure I get my regular walks and time to sit back and enjoy the progress.


    • ♫ Our state fair….

      I have never made it to Iowa during the fair. Maybe some day. Our local fairs don’t get into full swing until mid-August. Your county fairs probably dwarf our “state” fairs.


  6. I’m with you on your definition of summer. I agree this has been the longest July on record. In fact just this morning I flipped my desk calendar to August because I’m so over July. Your garage plans look amazing. I look forward to seeing the completed project, as I suppose you do too!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha – I like the idea of flipping the calendar. I can’t wait to turn this page, but I want as much time as possible to get this project done. I would prefer 2 months of summer and 4 of fall, but I’ll take what I can get.

      Thanks for the comment. I am looking forward to the finished project – whenever that happens.


  7. How oh HOW can it almost be August already? My months are hinky — June was absurdly long, the first week of July stretched, and then the rest of the summer shot by in a flash. I can only imagine what next month (aka Wednesday) will be like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sicne you still have two kids to get ready for a new school year, I think I’d rather be looking at a construction project. I remember those days (and we only had one child) and hectic seemed like the starting point


  8. Hi Dan – gosh I admire your abilities to get things done, and obviously the Missus helps a lot more than discussed?! She washes, cleans, stokes you up with food, probably beer too?! et al …but congratulations on all your plans and getting on with the execution thereof. Our leaves are turning already … so summer has been sharp and brutal – but I hope it stays around gently for a while – easing in what the calendar says is Autumn – that white stuff stays away, as too the cold – guess I’m in the wrong country now. Take care – and glad the shingles came to the ‘venting’ help last week … always good for a rip out … Hope that this week is easier. take care – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Hilary. The Mrs. helps in so many ways, but she’s like MuMu with respect to pictures. She feeds me, keeps a ready supply of clean dry clothes and keeps me hydrated with healthy things to drink. I’m on my own for beer. She also keeps me from going off the deep end of complicated.

      Oh, she also tries to keep me safe.

      As long as fall stays until the end of November, it can start any time it wants to ;-)

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, Dan, impressive work! I can see where you’ll happily be In your retirement years. I think your DIY projects have a professional, expert look! The unique table for one! Thanks for explaining with pics. Sweet Maddie in the line up made me smile! Have a great week! 📚 Christine

    Liked by 1 person

    • MuMu is fine. She’s afraid of Maddie, and she’s skittish by nature so she rarely comes out until Maddie is in her crate (where she prefers to be) for the night. If you were here, you would hear from her.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Thanks for the diagrams. It helped me visualize what was happening on the inside. In my world, I would consider this 3 very large projects – 4 if I count the door overhangs separately. That’s a LOT of activity going on!! I guess I know how you spend your weekends and evenings. Whew!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Wow, those are some BIG Summer projects! The shed and garage are coming along, and the table is looking really beautiful. So the table is going to the office to live when complete?

    Thanks for the update. I’m looking forward to more progress reports, and of course the big reveal when complete.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. The garage ensemble needs this collective facelift in a big way. I think I can get the outside wrapped up before it snows. It’s hard to know for sure, some of the sections will be complicated for siding. The inside might have to wait until spring – we have to start putting cars in there by Thanksgiving.

      The coffee table is going to my office, at least for the 15 months I have left. I do need one and I can’t imagine using one of the ones available in the office furniture catalogs we have. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it after that.


  12. I don’t care for July after the fireworks are over. Stone fruit. That’s it.
    I like August. August 6th is the birthday of two of my favorite people, but I do like that it’s Root Beer Float Day as well :)
    Thanks for the shout-out, although reminding me it’s in two days is awful. I guess I’ll look forward to taking the windy way to work and not DANGER RAMP! Hah!
    One time, The Mister said I shoulda married a carpenter with a philosophy degree, and I asked him, “Like Jesus?!?” We had a good laugh, but I do so admire how you make things happen by building them yourself. The table looks great and it’s not even all one thing yet!
    I also like how you lie under Maddie instead of her lying on you. That’s cute. She’s adorrrable!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope to have the roof done before the end of August. I’ll work the siding around, side-by-side, starting at the front. I hope to get it done before it snows, but it’s hard to tell. I have to replace a bunch of windows, one door and remove and rehang the barn door to my shop. I also have to build two mini-decks.

      The priority will go to the things that make a difference in winter – you know, New England planning :-)

      Liked by 1 person

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