Summer 2019

Summer 2019
Summer in Tsukahara

Spring in Tsukahara

gkimbal's Spring in Tsukahara album on Photobucket

Sunday, October 14, 2018

ScopeDome: After two and a half years

Well, it’s been 2.5 years since ScopeDome found it’s home in Japan. It’s held up very well over the years. Other than the metal trim strip disaster, everything is in working order. Of course the ScopeDome requires some annual maintenance to keep things operating smoothly. I noticed that after the long winter, some of the shutter rollers corroded and needed some grease. I had some sealed bearing rollers (16) made and I’ll be replacing all of them in the near future. Stay tuned for that. The dome has remained watertight through all of the typhoons. There is absolutely no issues with moisture getting to the scope or electronics.

ScopeDome is made of a gel-coated fiberglass. The gel-coat looks pretty good considering it has withstood yellow sand from China, pm 2.5, snow and rain, ash from Mt. Aso, and who knows what else. However, it is a gel-coat and eventually the coating yellows and oxidizes. I planned on this happening before purchasing the dome so this is no surprise. My plan is to make the dome look like new by using a buffer and some really high quality buffing compound…and some elbow grease. The pictures show that the gel-coat has a dull appearance. Some yellowing has also occurred.

The buffer is made by Makita and has a slow start. That’s important because you don’t want that expensive buffing compound to fly off the buffing wheel. I use a wool pad and a finishing pad from Makita. The buffing compound removes oxidation and provides a protective coating especially formulated for gel-coat finishes. It’s a great time (and back) saver since I can do both (oxidation removal and wax) steps at once. Last, make sure the buffer is lightweight. The job took me over 6 hours to complete. I took four days to do it and I waited until it was cool and clear. Autumn is the perfect time to do a job like this.

It was worth the effort. The dome looks like new. Even the scratches disappeared. I’m not sure how long the protection will last, but I purchased plenty of buffing compound for the future. I just hope my back holds up.

OMG! It’s another pile of plywood!! It must be time to do the floor in the LAST bedroom. Stay tuned…

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Stairs to the third floor...finished...finally

Autumn is my favorite season. It’s nice and cool with no bugs.  It’s also a perfect time to get some work done around the house. To celebrate our 7th year in Japan, ta-da…the stairs are finished. I underestimated the difficulty of remodeling stairs and installing handrails. I discovered that there were too many angles to cut, pieces to mill, and figuring out sizes and shapes of all the pieces to get them to fit properly. In other words, it was too much work! Fortunately, my stair building days are over and I’ll never do that again. Okay, enough complaining and here’s the finished results.

The next project is the third floor guest bedroom. We’ll empty the room and get some paint on the walls. The skylight really adds a nice touch to the room. Great view from the third floor and the small windows added during the remodel provides ventilation. I think it’s the nicest room in the house and after it’s fixed up a bit, I think you’ll agree. Stay tuned.