Saturday 26 February 2011

I might give my tool box a wash...

The second half of this week I was back on the Gypsies site putting fascia and soffit on. This is a job that can take just as long as putting up the roof, all the rafters have to be cut and battens and noggins added to carry the UPVC.
On Thursday the sun was shinning (first day this year where I haven't worn a hat!) and things were looking good. That was until I got my toolbox out of the van, turned my back on it for a second, only to turn back round and see the bricklayer's dog piss on it!
I was unimpressed.
I was even more unimpressed when the Gypsies dog decided that he to needed to mark his territory as well and copied the first. The trouble was everyone else on site thought this was really rather funny, I told them I was laughing on the outside but crying inside! Never mind, I'll give it a scrub today and plot my revenge on the two devil dogs!

Back to the soffit - I'm not a fan of plastic, least of all when its trying to look like something else, but this oak effect UPVC looked quite like oak!
Fitting the soffit seemed like a never ending job, especially when we had to scribe it all round the corbeling above the windows, and each piece is only 300mm wide so the long sides of the house took a fair amount of time to nail up. By the end of Friday we had all the soffit complete and some of the longer lengths of fascia were up - John will have to finish on his own on Monday as I'm off working with my brother, felling trees, should be a bit different!

Tuesday 22 February 2011

Up on the roof!

If I'm honest it's been a while since I've done any proper roofing (besides sheds and porches) so I was quite keen when I got offered a days work giving a mate a hand to finish putting a roof on. He'd put all of the large trusses on the previous two days, but due to there being a large open plan area in the middle of the house, the central section had to be "cut on" as the large attic trusses couldn't span across this as it would close it in. This would be really difficult on your own as holding and fixing these rafters is nearly impossible without a little help.
We also added a gable over the front door and used diminishing trusses to cut it back into the main roof, this goes on faster than you'd think. Lastly we added the gable ladders so the roof can stick out past the brick work. These were really awkward to fit as we had little to stand on and ended up like a couple of monkeys working across the roof. It was the first time I'd worked with this mate and I was quite impressed with him and the amount he'd managed to do on his own the days before (he's also working with a broken wrist!)
This weeks work has not been so glamours. doing some maintenance work on a school in Sutton Coldfield replacing two rotten "beams" for a company I've not worked for before (although one of my best mates now works there - hence getting the couple of days work). In the end the job wasn't as bad as we thought as the beams were just a 3x2 frame clad in ply, it was tricky not to do any more damage to the old perspex roof but we managed it in two days when the firm we were working for had allowed quite a bit more time than that.
I think the whole lean-to should come down as the rest of it wasn't in a much better state. I really felt for this school, all the buildings were wooden and everything was rotten, you could easily kick your was through a wall if you wanted to.

Tuesday 15 February 2011

MDF Pantry Unit

Not the most exciting of project. MDF is not the nicest stuff to work with (as I've said before) but it's a cheap material and makes a custom unit affordable.
This unit was made out of just over one sheet of MDF, total material cost £12 plus paint and glue. All the components were rebated into each other with the router (trenched in) so that the 1/2" (12mm) thickness board was then strong enough to carry all the cans and bottles it needed to over its 30" width. To make sure all the groves align I rout the complete sheet first then cut the sides from it, no chance of any errors that way the sides and the back have to match up!
I then glued a complete frame around the front to make it stronger and to make it look a bit more substantial (also stops the tins falling off).
The down side to a project like this is that it ties my little workshop up during the finishing. It has to be sealed, undercoated twice and then glossed - that's over four days, with drying times, where I can't make a dust. Still it looks OK and its a practical unit that I'm sure will be used for many years

Saturday 12 February 2011

Ash Bowl and a Hobbit Door

I had a small job this week to make a pair of half sized doors for an outside shed, which houses a pressure washer. Nothing very fancy, just ledge and braced door made out of TG&V, the job was made a little bit harder by the left hand side block work being (very) out of plumb. They looked good when they were done and it was a nice job in the February sunshine.

A more fun project this week was turning my first bowl with the grain running across the piece. This has been a little project at wood turning classes for the last couple of weeks and I managed to finish it on Thursday night, it's made out of ash, sanded to 600 grit and finished with Liberon finishing oil. I quite like the shape but it's not a very practical bowl because of it!I also managed to obey the main rule that my wood turning teacher preaches which is to have no evidence of how the piece was held on the lathe.

Sunday 6 February 2011

A Heavy Project

Before Christmas I was asked to make a FLB gate (Framed, Ledged & Braced) for a customer who I'd been working for. With the snow and Christmas getting in the way I only managed to get the timber from the saw mill the other day (sapele).

The cost was quite high because they wanted it to match their existing gates which were 55mm thick.
The project took a little longer than I would have liked due to the fact that the stiles were 125mm wide - more than my little morticer could handle, they all had to be finished off by hand.
The gate looks nice sanded up, but it's so heavy and difficult to move - I'm not sure I'll be able to hang it by myself (or even get it to the job in my little van)!
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