Sunday 30 September 2012

Stud Work On A Farm

Finished the first stage of a local job yesterday on a farm house. To build a new downstairs toilet as the old one was too small- in fact it was only a couple of feet wide!
The room all stripped out and ready for me to start
 I managed to convince the customer to allow me to decided the height of the ceiling as where he wanted it my head would have been brushing against it the whole time, but was where the old one was. Having it higher meant the room would feel bigger and it also gave me a great fixing for the ceiling on top of the brick wall at the back.
Stud work up
I got the stud work up quite fast once I'd insulated the slopping ceiling, then I installed the ceiling joists, making sure the plasterboard would be supported all the way round.

Ceiling in to provide some storage above
The customer did make me laugh when I was doing the insulating (I'm sure he wont mind me saying why). I accidentally brushed one of his wires he had tapped up out the way with my elbow, a loud bang with a big spark followed, I shouted him over and showed him what had happened
"Good job you never made a hole in that pipe when the wires touched it." He said dryly
"How about - good job you never killed me!" I replied
 He smiled as he spoke "Yeah, that as well..."

Door linings in and the wall plaster boarded ready to be skimmed
The last couple of jobs were uneventful just to plasterboard the walls and install the lining for the door and loft hatch. Making sure the studding was dead level and plumb when I built it meant that installing the lining was a quick job.
Taking the plasterer to see the job today and hopefully finish it all off fairly soon.
How did everyone else spend their Saturday?

Friday 21 September 2012

Green Woodwork Stool

Every night I chuck my work clothes on a stool next to the chest-of-drawers, giving it little thought.
Humble little stool with some great memories
But I remember I had a great weekend making that stool.
For part of my 21st birthday present my mum and dad paid for me to go on a green woodworking course (in fact it's only a couple of miles from where I live now!), many of my friends were only interested in drinking at this age, but my obsession lied somewhere else completely!
Well used pole lathe
 I couldn't get enough of woodwork at the time (and still can't), I'd do it all day, read about it in my breaks and think about it on the drive home, so it was a great present to give me but mum was worried as it was "an introduction to grren woodwork".
But the course itself was brilliant as it was completely different to what I was doing in the week and taught me so much about the material I use. I got to use a pole lathe for the first time and a shave horse, as well as tools I'd never even picked up before.
Shave horse
 The stool I made was a fairly simple design, Ash legs split from a log then turned green on the pole lathe, which were then kiln dried overnight to fit into an air dried elm top that I cut using a large frame saw with an old bit of band saw blade in. I remember them saying they couldn't believe how fast I cut out the 2" thick elm, but I was used to spending most days sawing wood!
A happy group at the end of the weekend, some 8 years ago!
That weekend taught me a lot about a different aspect of woodwork from how I earn my living.
It's things like this that make me realise I'll never get bored of woodwork!

Friday 14 September 2012

Rotten Roof Repairs

A bee's nest behind a bit of rotten fascia board is what started a larger-than-we-thought-job this week. The painters had been prepping some of fascia when they noticed how rotten a section of it was under a chimney. I went up, stripped off some of the slates and investigated.

Rotten fascia was hiding some deeper problems
The fascia and soffit were both weak with wet rot but as I took back the slates I could see that the wall plate and bottom end of the rafters were rotten as well. 
Not trying to sell a tool but the Fein Multimaster is amazing for this type of work
So I then started quite a major repair for this little bit of the roof. Firstly I removed all the rotten wood, cutting sections out. When I cut the fascia out I used the Fein Multimaster to cut it on a 45 degree angle so I could easily fix a new piece back in, This tool is incredible for doing this, it would be a lot harder by hand and cause more disruption to the roof.
some rooten timber around this chimney
I started by adding in a section of wall plate. I used oak as that is what the original was, I used a good sized half lap joint to make sure the two pieces were fixed together and bedded it on a layer of mortar. I then cut a rafter end with birds mouth and added it into the roof. I made sure it was long enough to sit on the first purlin up in the roof so it would be structural rather and fixed to another rafter and also to carry the soffit and fascia when I add that later. I decided to double this rafter up around the chimney as it will make the lead work easier at a later date.
New rafter added and a new section of wall plate half lapped in place
With all the structural work done I cut a new bit of soffit and fascia to fit. When adding wood like this it's essential that they are added at an angle so if/when  the wood shrinks it doesn't leave a big gap. I replaced more fascia that I had originally though as it was rotten quite far up. I then treated all the wood before I covered it back over.
The finished repair, ready for a bit of paint
Quite pleased with the repair but it took a lot of time and it's never fun playing with rotten timber!

Sunday 2 September 2012

Old Crosscut Saw

My work this week wasn't really blog worthy - unless you want to see pictures of plasterboarded walls!
Old crosscut saw
So instead I thought I'd blog about my latest acquisition from the car boot sale this morning - an old crosscut saw. Now I could do with a bit of advice on what the correct name is for this saw. I know a lot of this style were meant to be one or two man saws but this one is 58 1/2" long so it would be pretty tricky to use it on your own!
Front handle - notice the different teeth at the start
Handle at the back
It's in great condition, the teeth are all there and the curve of the blade looks like it's never been messed with, in fact It almost looks as though it's never been sharpened. Not bad for £4 (he wanted £5 but I haggled him down). The rust is only light on the saw as well with no pitting.
Curve of the blade
So if anyone knows the right name for the saw and the type of teeth (which I'm fairly sure I know but I'll test you all anyway) please let me know.
I'm very tempted to mount this saw on the wall going up the stairs and then just use it for special occasions!

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