Sunday, 8 January 2017

Turned Decorations

A little late on posting this one but I thought I'd share with you some gifts I made as Christmas presents this year.
These are some little wooden Christmas tree decorations I turned on the lathe out of some beautiful pear wood from a friends stack of wood (it had been drying at his for years). 
I haven't been on the lathe much since moving here except for occasional repair jobs on chairs and the like, I just haven't had the time to turn much for pleasure lately. It used to be something that I really enjoyed doing, I had two years worth of regular lessons (where I was the youngest by about 30 years) and a great teacher, I was really pleased that I hadn't forgotten it all! 

I gave out the decorations in sets of two or three and made six sets - you'd be surprised at how long these little blighters took to turn! 

Finished with some boiled linseed oil for a simple finish. 

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Concrete Steps

This has been a labour of love over the last three weeks! Blood, sweat and the whole of my little finger nail (which got ripped off on a piece of reinforcing bar) have gone into these steps! 

With the patio being so large I decided that having a nice, wide flight of stairs would really set it off. There was a few ways I could have made them; timber was out of the question as I wanted something maintenance free and to last a long time (it's very wet here and they'd rot in ten years or so). 
That left me with either using blocks or concrete, the blocks would be more expensive and I'm not great at laying them (so I'd get my brick layer to do it. The concrete on the other is something I could do myself but it does involve a lot of work (and I mean a lot!).
First step form work
Not one to be deterred by a bit of work I went for the concrete option. I have built full flights of stairs like this where you pour all the concrete for the steps in one go (have a look here) but I decided that as I was mixing the concrete in a small mixer by hand I'd do one step at a time, doing it this way means I can use the same timber to form each step as well so it save money. 
I join each step by leaving some reinforcing wire between each step to tie into the one above. Each step is also vibrated to remove the air from the concrete using an industrial vibrator (no rude jokes please!) 

These pictures show the process, there was a bout 6 to 8 mixes full of concrete in each step! I tended to move and set up the shuttering/form work one night, then mix and pour the concrete the next and strip it the night after that. 

Pouring the concrete in for the first step

Removing the shuttering/form work 

Second step form work in. Stone fills in behind and is compacted down. 

third step - note the bars in the back to tie in the next step

Another step - I did this one when we poured the footings for the extension as I ordered enough concrete to do it - seemed daft to mix it if we were having some delivered.  

Nearly there! 

Steps finished!
I was surprised how much work were in these stairs, even though I knew there would be. I guess mixing concrete after eight at night after doing a ten hour day on a building site is going to make me a bit more tired as well! 
Still it feels great to have them done. They'll get clad in the same stone that the patio will be with a handrail down the sides. 

What do you think? 

Ever made steps like this?

Sunday, 17 July 2016

A Pair Of Doors

I recently made and hung a pair of doors for some customers who live in the village. 
The door was built to their proportions and given a clean looks by not adding fussy mouldings. 
I was really pleased with how they turned out. 

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Fitted Wardrobes

Yesterday I went back and put the finishing touches to some fitted wardrobes I'd made for a customer.
The couple wanted something different to suit their needs so I created a "his and hers"  - one side each. 
His side

Her side

Trouser rail
 I was really pleased with how they came out now they're painted and so was the customer. A lovely couple to work for and some really nice work for me!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Large Door

I fitted this door I made for a very happy customer today.

It's a monster at nearly three foot wide and eight feet tall! 

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Altering A Doorway

A couple of weeks ago I had to alter a door way that used to have double doors. 
Since then pipe work has been added either side and a fridge was to be positioned behind, so they decided to have the one half partitioned off and a glazed door ont he other half.
To do the work I first had to build the frame out either side 75mm, I then hung the door and built the partition to suit. Quite a tricky job when you first look at it but when it's broken down into stages it becomes quite straight forward. 
The customer was more than happy and sent me a thank you note when they paid. 

Friday, 1 January 2016

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year To You All!
Some flooring finished just before Christmas

I'm back in full time work this year so if anyone has any projects for me then please let me know!
I'm booked up until the end of February at the moment with bookings for the spring already coming in. I'm also looking at starting an online shop of handmade wood products that can be shipped around the country. 

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Laying A Pre Finished Oak Floor

I've been laying a pre finished oak floor this week and I think it's up there with the biggeest single room I've done so far.
Each run of boards was 10 meters long so getting the first row straight was essential. 

The boards were engineered with a 6mm layer of oak on the top. They were pre finished with oil and have a really good feel to them. All boards were secret nailed down and the tongue and groove were glued to prevent squeaking. 
I've still got lots of floors to lay in this office yet, another 5 offices and all the corridors so plenty more before Christmas! 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Solid Oak Floor

Another solid Oak floor last week. Glued down to concrete, but this time using a Gekko gun and a lot less messy than with a trowel. 
Ready to go down

Cutting station set up with dust extractor

Alex with the oversized gun, my partner in crime on this floor! 

Midway clamp up, always tricky to keep it tight when gluing a floor to concrete

Wedging up the end at the end of the first day, still another room to go

First floor looking good.

Last board to clamp up. with my patented bent bit of metal and clamps set as spreaders

Track saw making ripping easy

cutting under frames so no expansion gaps can be seen in doorways

Between rooms

Second floor nearing the finish

Sanding up, orbital after the big floor sander has finished just to take off the marks left by the drum
More pictures to follow. Managed to do the last bit of sanding today so now it's ready for oiling then I can drop back and do the doors, architraves and skirtings.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Oak Fireplace

A commission from a customer to make a chunky, clean lined fireplace was a nice interesting project that I've been tackling in the workshop in the evenings. 
Planing the timber up to size

Housing joints to hide any shrinkage, loose tenons to hold it all together

All parts ready to assembly
Setting out

Fitted and a happy carpenter! 

I was really pleased with how this came out. I fitted it on interlocking brackets and then glued it to the wall for extra security. The customers were pleased as well and were sending pictures to their friends before I'd even left! 

Monday, 2 November 2015

New Bottom Tread

I had to add a new bottom tread to an old flight of stairs the other day. 

Quite a bit of work but it will look good when it's carpeted. 

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Planing Larch

Monday night I planed up some larch for a customer.  It was as big as either my machine or I could manage as it was still quite green and heavy. Not really a job for ten at night but the only time I could fit it in!

Good to get the job done and the workshop clear of the timber. It looked nice planed up as well. 

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Fitting Door Linings

At the last of the first fix stage of the office I've been doing in Malvern. That means getting the linings for the doors in, some normal and some grooved for fire doors.

I enjoy fitting these and it's good to know that by fitting them myself the doors will be much easier to fit!

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

PPE On small Jobs

Health and safety is something that many people roll their eyes at. I've worked on many large jobs where it's rammed down your throat to the point your sick of hearing about it, I remember once that we got marked down on a site because a roofer, who was on a roof, wasn't wearing his hard hat! 
But on small private jobs, my bread and butter now, there is no one there to remind you what to do and it can be easy to be a little complaisant about it all. 
I know a few builders who frequently say they're deaf anyway so why does it matter, one man I know is only a year older than me and he now wears a hearing aid full time. I'm sure that had he been a little more proactive about his hearing protection he could have saved his ears instead of having to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life.
I'm determined to be better about it and use ear plugs, goggle and dust protection more and be better organised about it. 
Anyone else trying to be better in their use of PPE?

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Battening Out

Worked at my brothers on Friday. We battened out his two external walls so they could be insulated and then plaster boarded. 
 Rather than just fixing them to the wall we levelled them up as well to make a much better job of it. although this takes a lot longer it's worth it in the long run. All the battens have plastic behind them to prevent any damp tracking through the wall. 

My brother now needs to run the pipes to the right places and new wiring run for the sockets before insulating it with 1 inch Kingspan. I'll then come back and give him a hand plaster boarding it ready for the plasterer next month.
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