Saturday, 7 November 2015

All hail the sin bin...

Most diy type stores have an area or a crate where they put damaged things, or random bits of wood, I (for reasons I'm not entirely sure off) refer to them as the sin bins, probably has something to do with what goes into them looking like mistakes made when cutting things for customers and such like.

I always look in them, sometime the bits of wood are free, some times they might cost 50 pence or maybe as much as a pound, they are handy if you're looking for a small bit of wood for a project, although sometimes you do find things like garden chairs in them, so it's well worth a look.

Most recently I came across a piece of Oak, which I rescued, most of the time these shops will just skip anything that's been lying around for too long at least this way there's one less bit of wood going to landfill or on a bonfire.

Here's the bit of Oak -

Any ideas what to do with it ?
Not much to say about it really, it's a random bit of Oak, about two feet long, I thought at first it was a bit of flooring, but it has no grooves or tongues and typically doesn't have any of the signs of it being a bit of flooring, so I have no idea what it was, or where it came from as the shop in question doesn't appear to sell anything like this.

What to do with it ? well there are numerous things you could do with it, make some book ends, coasters, a nice shelf for some plants maybe ? I however went for the easiest thing, cut it in half and make a couple of chopping boards.

All I did was measured it and marked the centre, then rather than cut straight through I made a kind of curved design and used my scroll saw to cut it out, bit more interesting than a plain old rectangle.

Centre and curves marked - 

Now for cutting.

Once I'd cut the boards I gave them both a good sanding and made a hole in each one so they can be hung up easily.

Cut and sanded - 

The shape reminds me of a bird.
Now for some oil, as these are meant for chopping and will come into contact with food I've used pure Tung oil, it brings out the colour and grain of the wood, it's highly water resistant (more so than other oils) which is great for use in the kitchen, it's much less likely to go mouldy like Linseed oil can, and it's safe for food use.

Although you do have to be careful as not all Tung oils are the same, some have had things added to them, like solvents so read the labels carefully, it's also used to make Danish oil, one other thing to remember with Tung oil is that it takes a while to dry, even after a couple of days I was still getting traces of oil on my hands after touching the boards.

Tung oil - 

You can buy it online or in your local diy type shops.

One board coated in oil, looks much nicer than the bare wood one - 

Almost done.

And after about a week of waiting for the oil to fully dry I had two nice very usable chopping boards, Oak is very hard wearing and using the Tung oil means these boards will last a long time, not bad for a bit of wood that may have ended up on a bonfire or on a land fill site going to waste, all it took was some cutting and sanding to give it a new use, so 'All hail the sin bin'

The finished boards - 

Added a bit of leather cord for hanging.

Thanks for reading.

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