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.

Thursday, 29 March 2018

Keep on trugin...

It's been a while since a made my last trug (about 6 years I think) and as I had some wood from an old shelf unit I though it was about time I made another, this time I've made one with a fold-able handle.

And here it is -

One rustic trug.

Here's the material for this project -

Doesn't scream trug does it?
As I said this is an old unit, which up until recently was in my daughters bedroom holding her ever expanding book collection, she now has an antique oak bookcase which I recently restored so this old slot together unit was surplus to requirements, I was just going to lay it on it's side and line it with plastic to use as a planter, but as we're changing the garden around this wasn't very practical.

There's quite a bit of wood here, but I felt like a trug was in order, and because all the bits of wood have notches cut out I was wondering what else I could do with it, there are loads of things I could make, but I like making trugs.

Firstly I cut two pieces of wood with a curved side, these make up the sides of the trug, then the idea is to nail slats between these two pieces to make up the basket part of the trug.

Sides cut - 

Should make for a good trug.

Marking curves onto wood is easy enough, have a look here at the last trug I made, it also has a quick guide on how to make curves on bits of wood - Simple trug how to (opens in new window)

So with the sides done it was time for the slats, these I cut using my bandsaw, but a table saw or even a hand saw will do just as well.

Slats cut - 

I'll tidy these up later.

Each slat is about 20mm thick (3/4 of an inch) and 25.5cm (10 inches) long the length of the slats gave me the width of the trug, so it ended up being 25.5cm (10 inches) wide and about 35.5cm (14 inches) long and about 9cm (3 and 1/2 inches) deep, so it's not huge but will hold a fair amount of stuff.

I glued and nailed the slats to the sides of the trug - 

Yes it has gaps.

The gap between each slat is roughly 20cm (3/4 of an inch) so it has gaps, but it's okay for apples or spuds and other things, and it's easy enough to put a bag or cloth liner in it for smaller items.
I used a good quality wood glue and annular nails to fix the slats, it's a good idea to drill small pilot holes for the nails to prevent splitting, just use a drill bit that's thinner than the nail.

Annular nails have what looks almost like a thread running along part of them, this helps the wood fibres to bind to the nail and helps prevent the nails being pulled out, if you've ever taken a pallet apart you'll have no doubt come across this type of nail.

Annular nail - 

You can see what looks almost like a thread.

With that done it was on to the handle, this is made in three parts, two sides and a top piece. The two sides are held to the main body of the trug using a wooden peg, this is what also allows the handle to fold.

To make the handle I drilled out the hole for the peg in two bits of wood, and then set about drawing a shape onto each bit of wood, then I cut out the shape on the two bits of wood, I ended up with a kind of fish shape.

Two sides of the handle - 

I did say kind of fish shaped.

The top piece of the handle is fixed to the side pieces using a couple of screws and glue on each end.
Rather than have just a flat handle I've cut it into a bow shape to fit the hand better.

Marking out the handle shape - 

It feels better in the hand, rather than just a flat bar.

To fix the handle to the body of the trug I've used two pieces of 9mm dowel, the dowel is glued into the body of the trug and the handle is held onto the pegs using a small pin, this gives the trug a more rustic look, well I think it does.

Handle peg (trug body) - 

You can make out the wooden dowel.

Handle peg and pin - 

The pin is easy to tap out if the handle breaks.

And here's the finished trug after a coat of wax - 

Perfect for apples.

That's about it, it's a really simple thing to make, it uses very little wood, I've still got enough to make a few more like this left over, it's something that would make a good project for kids to try, you don't need loads of power tools, it can be made totally by hand and in numerous different designs and it's practical as well, even if you don't use it for collecting apples it would make a great fruit bowl for a kitchen table.

Thanks for reading.