accidental engineering

the worst thing I have ever made

I love Boulder for many reasons. one of them is the roulette wheel that is spring weather. the winds are a changin', then next thing you know the t-shirt you were wearing seems silly for the 30 degree snowstorm you find yourself in.

one day the winds will change
weather in Boulder changes fast

now, the only problem with this is the two fruit trees in my yard. when it is 65º for the second week in a row, they start to think it is growing time. so, on the morning of April 11th, it was in a state of mild panic that I decided I was going to try to save the poor peach blossoms.

my idea was simple....too simple in retrospect. I would build a square out of 2x2s, brace the corners with plywood triangles, and support it on uprights made of 2x4s, with 2x4s for the legs. I dashed off to Home Depot (hopefully only once), and bought some wood, the crappiest I could find. pro tip—if you ask an employee if you can have damaged lumber for cheap, they will probably give it to you. I got mine for 70% off.

back at home I implemented my plan post haste. I'll let the pictures tell the story, but I think overall it went up pretty well, considering....

two by four lumber and plywood corner braces
corner braces cut, lumber...exists
plywood corner braces attached
corners look good, in theory
clamps used as awkward fixtures
innovative fixturing solutions
more awkward "fixtures"
the overall fixturing situation
the completed shelter thing
behold! this thing.
completed shelter covering the peach tree
tree in its home

well, like it says on the top of the tin, this probably the worst thing I have ever made, but it was kinda fun, and it's done. here's to hoping.

12 nov 2020

surprising nobody, the roof broke from the weight of the absurd amounts of heavy, wet snow on it. one of my oh-so-awesome pieces of budget lumber had a big knot in the middle of it, and while I was trying to knock the snow off it snapped, collapsing onto the tree. It is still keeping the snow off however, so I will leave it.

#14 nov 2020 the blossoms are definitely dead. ☹️ I have had grand visions of a collapsible geodesic dome made of fiberglass rods and 3d printed connectors, so next year the defenses will be at maximum. probably need a heater inside the bubble too. in the meantime, we can hope some of the un-blossomed buds survived! ...long enough to die in Saturday's forecasted frost. sigh.

dying peach blossom
goobye, blossom. I tried.