Dual Use Wine

So what do you do with the wine bottle after you drink it?  I know, I know… make glasses!  Not what you were thinking?  Well, that’s what we do with them.  It’s an insane project I must admit.

First, you have to drink the wine.

Then, you have to wash the bottle and score the wine bottle with a hand glass cutter.  We like using wine bottles that have some fun painted-on labels these days… rather than having to take off the paper labels.

Next (we have to figure out a better process someday), we use a candle and heat around the glass score mark the circumference of the bottle for several minutes… then run to the closest cold water spigot and chill it down…. keeping your fingers crossed and your breath held hoping it breaks perfectly when you gently tap it on the corner of the sink.

Finally, you sand sand sand to get the edge nice and clean.  Being careful to not overdue it, as if the glass gets too hot it will break in your hands.

sandingi.JPG

It’s a long tedious process for every single glass.  We often wonder why we continue to do them… but them make great gifts that our friends seem to enjoy.  I wonder if they realize how much work goes into every glass?

In the end, you have a cool wine bottle glass that tells it’s own story with individuality and uniqueness…. and you got to enjoy the wine.

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Pizza Oven, Part One: The Prep

We normally do one big project each year.. along with quite a number of smaller projects.  We have moved outside for this year’s project and got a wild hair to do a pizza oven.  It seemed like a good idea at the time.  We looked into buying one (which probably would have been a wise choice), but looked at the cost, particularly for a gas & wood fired oven.. and decided (like so many things we do) that we could do it ourselves.

So we embarked on this journey that continues … and continues.

before po

We identified where it would go and how we would go about it.  It should sit on a concrete block pad, which we would later wrap with stone and granite counter tops.  The oven itself would sit on top… and have a concrete pad lead in… and a flagstone area around it, where we would put the concrete table we made (remember that earlier post?).

Who knew how much work just doing the prep would be.  Suffice it to say it has been filled with long days and a lot of back breaking work… but it’s finally starting to look like something.  I gathered some photos and built this little video.  Wordpress does not allow me to upload directly, so I posted it on YouTube.

Check it out.  Next, we can now actually start the pizza oven itself.  Stay tuned…

Pizza Oven Prep

Concrete Tables – Progress

So, you haven’t heard too much about these concrete tables lately.  Perhaps you thought we’d given up on them.  Tempting… considering the amount of work they have become, but it’s for that reason that we couldn’t possibly.

If you recall where we left off … we had poured the concrete into the forms (in the snow, I remember well) with the metal bases we had made.  We allowed them to dry for some time due to the cold temps.  In late January we very awkwardly flipped the (now very heavy) table on it’s feet (with the help of John Deere).  We let the tops dry for another couple weeks before  attempting to pull off the plastic and plywood insets.

tractorpull_Ssi Forgive the crappy cell phone pic.

Getting the plastic off was easy… but getting the plywood insets would prove to be a pain in the backside.  We ended up chiseling it out.  In the process we ‘chunked’ out bits of the corners around the inset.  So we had to mix up concrete patch (which we had to color, best we could) to match the colored tables and benches.

We put 3 coats on… sanding the concrete between each.  (Yes, sanding concrete is as difficult as it sounds.) As a matter of fact, if this project is starting (?) to sounds like a lot of work, well… let’s just say that would be an understatement (and a little insane, yes).

Finally… we individually cut our tiles for our insert.  We mixed up some thin set, and began the daunting task of laying the tiles, and then with a toothpick removing the thin set from between the tiles.

table clean_Ssi benches_Ssi

Whew!  Almost done.

btt_Ssi

We still have yet to grout in between the tile… and waterproof with Thompsons.

Oh, and there’s the bit about prepping the whole area they go in with a retaining wall, sand / rock, leveling, tamping, and laying flagstone.  That’ll be awhile.

Maybe next time we’ll buy our concrete tables.  They did come out cool… and are the only thing like it out there.  Built to last in elegant style.