A Segmented Bowl

I had wanted to create one these bowls ever since I first saw one a number of years ago.  Taking the time to do it was the major hurdle as it seemed to be a very daunting task.  This one is really quite simple, basic basket shape, straight forward construction,  and two color contrast.  The design objective was to make an attractive, useful item that had the basic elements of segmented construction while keeping things relatively uncomplicated so that I actually had a chance of completing it well enough that I would not be tempted to relegate it to the just bin.  I believe I accomplished the goal.  You be the judge.  I will be making more of these as I think they are a beautifully unique combination of nature and precise mechanical-industrial design.

Segmented Bowl
Segmented Bowl

It is: 3 inches tall, 8 inches in diameter, has 110 individual pieces (3-36 piece layers and a two piece bottom), and is made from eastern maple and black walnut.

By the way if you don’t think this is a basic example of this art form then google segmented bowls and see for yourself some of the exciting challenges I have ahead and maybe understand why I want to do more.  This was fun!!

Take the time to make someone happy.

Your Random Rover, Gordon.

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Bertha’s Maiden Voyage

April 17th and we are off to Lake Patagonia Arizona State Park.  A very short trip, 65 miles one way, but away from home with different scenery and a chance to try everything out before we really hit the road in another month and a half or so.

Sign at Patagonia Lake
Sign at Patagonia Lake

The view is an awesome typical Arizona skyline as you come into the park.

Sign
Patagonia Lake Map

We have come here before and enjoyed just getting away as I am sure we will this time.

Campsite
Site 63 At Patagonia Lake

This time we landed at site 63. Which seems to be just fine.  This is the first time I set up the satellite system in an RV and it works well.  It is just like home.  Only one hang up so far.  I thought I had a problem with the kitchen/lounge thermostat, but (and boy do I hate to admit this) it was operator error.  We are so far very pleased with Bertha and all of her modifications.

Elaine with sister Nanette and brother Bill
Elaine with sister Nanette and brother Bill

On the 18th we had guests arrive for a day.  Elaine’s sister and brother-in-law came here to enjoy this wonderful lake in the desert and our new rig with us.

Lake Patagonia
Lake Patagonia
Pedestrian Bridge
Pedestrian Bridge
Lizard on a Rock
Lizard on a Rock

On the 19th we all took a nice hike along the lake in the morning. This Oasis in the desert was a wonderful place to enjoy with friends today. Tomorrow we will head home ready to get ready.

Make a memory for yourself, your loved ones, and friends:
Your Random Rover,
Gordon

Bertha’s Modifications

It seems that I cannot simply leave well enough alone.  Even before buying Bertha, Elaine and I had already discussed some of the necessary “changes”.  So here in no particular order are most of the modifications.

Wine Rack
Wine Rack

We took one look at the wine rack (first picture) and decided it was cutesy (Is that really a word?) and impractical.  Besides there would certainly be better places to store the alcoholic beverages. So I removed the wine rack that was to the left of the sink, took out the dividers, made some bins to hold (vertically) the oils, vinegars, and sauces that we use all the time, and remounted the unit.    The bins are of the simplest possible construction but they look fine and function well.

Slide Out Basement
Slide Out Basement

Camping World, on line, had basement slide-out kits on sale at a price I could not pass up.  The kit, a sheet of plywood, some outdoor carpet, a little ingenuity and voila!  (Check that out a French contraction, minus the obligatory grave accent, and you thought I only spoke redneck.)  Anyhow, this is one mod I know I will be happy I did.  Now that is accessibility!

Sink Area
Sink Area

There was a single fixed shelf under the kitchen sink which to our minds made for poor storage and we wanted a pull-out trash unit.  Plus, we like a tall faucet and wanted a charcoal filter for drinking water.  OK  Start by removing the cabinet doors and then the shelf.  Like most of the other shelves in the unit it was made up of 1/8″ plywood over a light weight pine frame.  Pry the plywood off the frame, unscrew the frame, unscrew the face frame rail and remove all. Remove the existing faucet.  Place the new faucet in the existing hole.  Position the filtered water tap and mark its desired location.  Get everything out of the way and drill for the added tap.  (An ordinary drill bit will work fine on the solid surface top)   Mount the filter, faucet, tap, and hook up the plumbing.  Build the pull out trash and 2 pull out trays.  Install a short floor mount partition to hang the full extension guides on.  Reinstall the right hand door.  Remove all the hinges from left hand door.  Slide in the pull out trash.  Align the left hand door with the right and hold in place.  Open the right door and from inside the cabinet screw the door onto the trash bin uprights. Place the trash bin and install the other two slide out trays.  Eureka!! A sink area that functions.

Bookshelves
Bookshelves

Since we both often read in bed we needed a place to put our books without getting out of bed.  But where??  With a king size bed in a Queen size bedroom there just did not seem to be anywhere that did not get in the way of something else.  Two narrow shelves right over the headboard made from one of the now unused wine rack dividers ought to get the job done.

Beverage Bins
Beverage Bins

Did I mention beverage storage?  Yes I did – simple removable bins to keep bottles upright and separated.

Drying Rack in Shower
Drying Rack in Shower

Unfortunately the sun does not always shine while we are on the road. So this is a place to hang items that are wet.  It is situated just aft of the skylight over the shower.  It is made from 1/4″ plexiglass that was cut, glued, routed, and drilled before being torched to polish the cut edges.

The rest is all pretty standard stuff like a soap dispensers in the shower, storage for dump hoses underneath, or duplicated items from Hannah.  (see “Hannah” posted July 2012)  I did do under the bed bins again and added some fixed shelves in the wall cabinets to keep things in reach.  A total of 9 roll outs, including a mini roll out pantry, in the kitchen make more things easily accessible.  If you have questions send me a comment and I will try to answer.  As you can see I have been pretty busy.  The only thing left to do is to set up the satellite system and Bertha will, I hope, be ready to travel.  Now on to that list of things that I need to do for the homestead.  Oh yeah, I guess we need a small drawer cabinet for the living area.  Did I forget anything??  Maybe I’ll be done in time to leave.  When on earth do retired people get to take a vacation??   🙂

Keep the shiny side up and seek out the things that make you and your loved ones smile.

Your Random Rover,

Gordon

2013 Big Country Gold 3251TS 5th Wheel

Introducing Bertha

2013 Big Country Gold 3251TS 5th Wheel
2013 Big Country Gold 3251TS

Well we did it!!  She is beautiful and we call her “Bertha” because she is large.  Over the years we have always named our homes on wheels.  We started in a tag-a-long we called “The Outhouse” because when were out and about she was home.  Next came our first 5th wheel which we called “Wanderer” (a Thor Wanderer) and then there was “Hannah”  had to, just had to call her that, because she was a Montana.  After a great deal of thought we decided to get a larger unit and although she is only about 3 1/2 feet longer than Hannah was she is much bigger inside.  I know we will make many memories with her.

Floor Plan
Floor Plan
Living, Dining, and Kitchen
Living, Dining, and Kitchen

These two interior shots are stock photos from Big Country / Heartland. Bertha looked almost exactly like this when we picked her up.  She is definitely up to date with hydraulic landing gear, built in microwave / convection oven, and almost all of the lighting is LED.  Soon I will post some of the modifications I have done already.

Shiny Side Up and Make Memories,

Gordon