Friday, 9 October 2020

Making awls from odds and ends...

 Just a quick post on my latest experiment, that being making awls from bits of wood left over from other projects and old drill bits.

They are simple enough to make, just take an old drill bit, and cut a length off it, then sharpen one end to a fine point, then all you need is a wooden handle, as I have a lathe I've used it to make my handles, but you could just as easily make them by hand.

Here's the ones I've made so far - 

Turned out well I feel

Not much to them really, all three are made from scrap bits and pieces I had in my workshop, I recorded a video on how I made them, which you can watch on youtbe.

Video -

Thanks for reading / watching.

Monday, 7 September 2020

Homemade sanding stick...

Now that the garden and allotment are starting to wind down a bit I've had more time to get round to a few projects, one of which is making a tool to hold sheets of sand paper so I don't have to put my hand inside things I'm turning on the lathe.

I've made a couple of video's, one is of it being made and the other is of me using it, but basically it's a round handle that you can attach a sheet of sandpaper to, there's a coupe of pictures below and the video's as well, all I've really done is to turn a round piece of wood and then cut a slit into it, it's into this slit that the sandpaper slides, it's very simple, but saves catching your fingers on fast spinning bits of wood.

Pictures - 

Really should've made one sooner

Check out the video's, there's a couple of pictures of the brush pot I made for my daughter at the end of the shorter one, onto the next project.

Making the sanding stick - 

Using the sanding stick - 

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 30 August 2020

Repairing the hole left after removing an extractor fan...

We've recently taken out an old (and broken) extractor fan from the kitchen, the trouble is that once the extractor was removed we were left with a hole roughly 100mm wide right through both walls of the house, the problem was filling the holes.

Definitely a hole in that wall

There are numerous ways to do it, but being tight and not wanting to spend any money I used what we had lying about, that being half an old breeze block, these are handy because they can be cut very easily with an old handsaw (I have one just for cutting breeze blocks) and as it turns out you can very easily turn them into round blocks with a little bit of cutting and filing using a rasp.

Obviously I made the wiring safe, the cable has been disconnected at both ends and is not live, I wasn't able to remove it from the wall as it's been plastered in and I didn't want the extra work.

'If you're not confident with electrics please get someone who is if you need anything electrical done'

So please take a look at the short video of the rough steps I took to fill the hole, it really was very simple to do, below is a picture of the finished wall, we've painted the kitchen white so it's difficult to see much so you'll have to take my word for it that it's fixed and you can't tell there was ever a hole there.

All done - 

You can just see a faint outline where it's been painted

Take a look - 

Hopefully you find it useful.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, 23 August 2020

Homemade bowl (friction) sander...

 Thought it was about time I made myself a bowl / friction sander for my wood turning adventures, don't know why I haven't made one before now (no excuse) but now I have, and to my surprise it works quite well, so here's a video of me going through the steps I used to make it, and at the end of this post is a very basic plan with some measurements on it, the measurements will change depending on what size bearings you use and what sort of size you want to make it.

Homemade bowl sander - 

The plan - 

Should give you a rough idea of how it's made.

As I said it's a basic plan to give you a rough idea of the dimensions of the one I made, hopefully you find it useful.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, 20 August 2020

Quick and cheap paint mixer...

 While the weather has been good we've been doing a spot of decorating, this involves amongst other things a lot of painting, which means getting the paint out of the loft and obviously as it's settled it needs mixing.

Stirring 10 litres of paint with a stick is a pain, so I made a paint mixer which I can put into a drill and mix away, you can buy pre-made mixers, but I didn't want to spend any money and I figured I probably had enough stuff to make something that would do the job just as well in the shed, and I did, I did also do some rough sums to work out if you could make one cheaper than you can buy one if you went out and bought the parts, I'm confident you could buy the materials to make one like I did for about half the price of a bought one.

Anyway here it is, it's basic but works well (better than I expected)

Simple, but effective

And here's a quick video of how I made it, there are numerous ways I could have done it, but I used the first parts I grabbed.

Quick paint mixer make - 

Thanks for watching.

Friday, 14 August 2020

How to propagate verbena bonariensis...

 Trying to catch up with some gardening jobs, this one should have been done few weeks ago, but the plants haven't suffered, they have good root systems on them now and are ready for potting up, so here's a video of me doing just that with an explanation of how I propagated some verbena bonariensis using  ajar of water, you can propagate loads of plants in the same way, which couldn't be easier, it's basically sticking your cuttings in a jar of water and forgetting about them for a couple of weeks, anyway the video is below.

Potting verbena cuttings - 

Thanks for watching.

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Paint scraper /decorators knife repair...

 It's been a while since I've posted, so to start off here's a quick repair job.

I've been decorating the house and managed to break the scrapers / decorators knives I've been using for various tasks and seeing as I didn't want to spend any money buying new ones, or if I'm honest given the current lock down I didn't want to have to queue for ages at a diy store to buy new ones, so of to the shed to repair the ones I had, there's a short video at the end of the post if you're not in the mood for reading.

One fixed already - 

Repaired and to be repaired
Repaired and to be repaired.

You can see the problem, there should be a plastic handle attached to the metal part, so I need to make one of those and as it turns out it was easy given the piles of random bits of wood I have.

First I marked 2 points where I intended to drill -

Paint scraper
Ready for drilling.

Then after drilling the holes I found a couple of long(ish) bolts, these need to be long enough to go through the wooden handle.

Like so - 

These bolts should do.

Next a handle is needed, for this I used an old spindle from a wooden bed, sometimes having random things pays off, I just cut one of the spindles in half which gave me 2 handles.

Handle picked and cut - 

Now to make the blade fit in the handle.

To make the blade fit you'll need to make a cut in the centre of the wood you use, a square piece will do, but I'd round it off a bit to make to more comfortable to hold.

Cut made - 

Now to fit the blade.

Mark drill points on the piece of wood, I used the blade I'd already drilled as a template, you'll need to make 2 holes in the wood for the bolts to go through, and it's a good idea to counter sink the holes as well.

Almost done - 

To be drilled.

Bolts fit - 

Not much left to do now.

Assemble the scraper and finish it off, I cut of any extra bits of thread from the bolts and gave the handles a quick sand, they don't need to be pretty as they'll be used and abused, but will last longer than they did with the plastic handles, they do feel a lot sturdier and like they can take more punishment, so although it's a repair it's also an improvement on the original.

Assembled - 

Bit of finishing needed.

All done -

There's a certain rustic vibe to these.

Quick video/slideshow detailing the steps -

Thanks for reading.