Archive for September 2013

New Powermatic table saw anchors the wood shop at Maison Barbara…

So, the PM3000…Roughly 650 pounds of cast iron… 5 horsepower… 52 inches to the right of the blade which gives me plenty of room for a 3-1/2 horse Porter Cable 7518 router with a Jessem router lift. This saw is the center of the shop I’m assembling at Maison Barbara.┬áMy old trusty Ryobi just didn’t have the power to cut through 8/4 hardwood nor was it rigid enough to make truly accurate cuts. It wasn’t a bad saw, it just wasn’t enough saw…

The first project is to build a 3-inch thick butcher block counter top for the kitchen island and after that? We’ll see. I do have quite the list of projects lined up!

Now all I have to do is run another 220 service leg into the shop. The main panel is inside the house so I’m going to need to install a cut-off switch in an exterior sub panel that is outside between the main panel and the meter and then run conduit to the shop, punch a hole in the cinder block wall and place a new sub panel in the shop. I can do all of that myself but I think I’ll get an electrician to tie it in!

Powermatic  PM 3000

New kitchen cabinet for Berkshire house

The Berkshire house’s kitchen had a desk base cabinet that wasn’t really useful to us so we decided to replace it with a standard height cabinet without a knee-hole. (Losing the knee hole got us a lot more storage space!) The trick was to make it look like it belonged but to also give it a little extra visual punch.

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Comal County Tacos

Comal County Tacos is an institution in Bulverde, right next door to Canyon Lake. Not pretty, not gringo, just great tacos. They’re only open from 6 AM ’til 2 PM and they’re generally packed full. Perhaps the best way to experience their delicious tacos is as take out.

They tend towards the breakfast crowd, as the hours would suggest, but offer plenty of non B-fast oriented fare. I personally dig the carne guisada, chicharon with chili and the chicken fajitas tacos.


Remodeling 101

When we started looking at homes in Canyon Lake, this one really impressed us with its great view and reasonable price. We also really appreciated the fact that it has a level entry at the back of the house on the upper part of the lot. Usually having a great view means living on a hillside… meaning lots of stairs to climb!

This house is Maison Barbara.


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Ahh, Paris

What can one say about Paris that hasn’t already been said, and by worthier journalists than I? She is at once bustling but refined, her sidewalks thronged but still friendly. The sights and sounds and scents are unique, the people impeccably fashionable, the bistros inviting. Read more

Turning a slab of elm wood into a table

This slab of elm wood started out its journey into becoming a table top at the Whitewater Trout Farm in Whitewater California. The tree, along with several others was being removed because it was non-native and it was diseased.

I was fortunate enough to be on the scene at the right time to rescue the log, which was about seven feet long, three feet in diameter at the base and about four and a half feet across the crotch. I went home and borrowed a heavy duty trailer and went back to have them load it into the trailer with a back-hoe. Read more

Market Day

Saturday morning is the big market day in Agde, as in most French towns and villages. I took far too few photos to do the scene justice. Not only was there fresh produce in more abundance, quality and variety than I’ve ever seen before, but all the other food groups were amazingly represented: fresh meats of all kinds, sausages and cured meats, more varieties of cheese than you knew existed, fresh dairy, breads, pastas and pastries to make your jaw drop, herbs and spices, honeys, dried fruits and nuts… the list goes on. Read more

Agde, France

One of the nicest places we spent a couple days at on our transit of the Canal du Rhone and Canal du Midi in the South of France during May and June of 2013 was Agde, Herault, France. Situated on the River Herault about five miles from where it empties out into the Mediterranean at Le Grau de Agde, Agde dates back to 525 BC and was founded by Greeks. Read more