RSS

Category Archives: Diary

These are posts about me personally.

Think of it as a “dear diary” post.

Workbench 3 – the final workbench

In a previous post, I mentioned how I had built two workbenches out of plywood and planed timber.

Only a few days after building the smaller one, I sold the grey fridge freezer which meant that I now had much more space and would need a wider workbench there.

I popped up to my local B&Q to have a rummage in their offcuts section, and as luck would have it they had a lovely bit of 18mm exterior plywood measuring 165cm x 60cm which was pretty much exactly the dimensions I wanted, and it cost only £5.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , , ,

Building a workbench or two

At the end of my series on restoring an Art Nouveau style cabinet, I mentioned that I had another project I wanted to tackle. That project was building a workbench.

I’ve never made anything like this before so I rather made it up as I went along.

I actually completed the project in the days immediately following finishing the cabinet, but I haven’t had a chance to blog about it until now.

Read the rest of this entry »

 

Tags: , ,

Weekend Away (Part 4) – the journey of eight legs

This is the final part of my series of posts on my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour and also a gig by my best friend Claire’s band Iconic at Lady of the Lake in Lowestoft

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, in Part 2 I covered the Caro Emerald gig, and in Part 3 I covered the rest of the weekend including the Iconic gig.

Now, in this final part, it’s the journey home.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on May 8, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

Tags: , ,

Weekend Away (Part 3) – Iconic

This is Part 3 of my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour and also a gig by my best friend Claire’s band Iconic at Lady of the Lake in Lowestoft

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, and in Part 2 I covered the Caro Emerald gig.

Now for the rest of the weekend.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 7, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

Tags: , ,

Weekend Away (Part 2) – Caro Emerald

Caro Emerald tour dates

Caro Emerald tour dates

This is Part 2 of my trip away for the Bank Holiday weekend, which included front row VIP tickets to Caro Emerald‘s 2017 UK “Emerald Island” tour.

In Part 1 I told you about my journey there, and how we barely arrived at the Ipswich Regent Theatre in time for the Meet & Greet.

So without further ado, here’s what happened next.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 5, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

Tags: , ,

Weekend Away (Part 1) – The Journey there.

Caro Emerald tour dates

Caro Emerald tour dates

I’m a big fan of Caro Emerald, and almost a year ago I bought two tickets for her 2017 UK tour. In fact I think I might have bought the tickets the moment they went on sale. I went a little over the top and bought VIP tickets with a Meet & Greet with Caro beforehand, because I was a little more flushed with cash back then.

I chose Ipswich as the venue because, even though it wasn’t my closest, it was one that my best friend Claire could join me at and I thought it would be a nice thing for us to do together. As it happened, it fell on the May Bank Holiday weekend so a plan was hatched to stay with her and make a long weekend of it.

Since it was a Bank Holiday weekend, with the ensuing traffic chaos, I decided to take the train. Normally I would take my car, but I know from experience that the journey can take over 4½ hours when the M25 is rammed, although I have done the journey in as little as 3 hours when travelling back late at night. But I thought it worth trying the train.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
3 Comments

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Photos, Social

 

Tags: , , , ,

Diary update – Lady driver

Recently I popped over to Thruxton Race Circuit for a track day organised by Gold Track. It’s a circuit I have driven several times before, but on this occasion I was not driving as my sports car is too noisy for Thruxton and my current road car is too boring.

The reason for my visit is that Melindi Scott, who runs Gold Track, has become a good friend over the years and I was visiting to see her as it’s been a while since we last got together.

It was a lovely sunny day, so I drove over in my noisy sports car and arrived late morning. I figured there was no point arriving too early as I knew Melindi would be busy with driver check in, briefings, etc.

Read the rest of this entry »

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 23, 2017 in Diary, Out & About, Social, Transgender

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Art Nouveau style cabinet – part 4

This is Part 4 of my restoration of an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.

As you will see from Part 3, I ditched the idea of using 18mm MDF and reverted to the original construction of a sandwich of plywood and mitred softwood.

Caution: This is a pretty long post with lots of pictures!

Read the rest of this entry »

 
 

Tags: , , , ,

Art Nouveau style cabinet – part 3

This is Part 3 of my restoration of an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.

As you will see from Part 2, it was my intention to use 18mm MDF to construct the new base. I decided that it would be best to use dowel joints to join the base to the bottom rail. I thought it best to practise on some offcuts of MDF first.

Dowel jig

Dowel jig

My first attempt was to measure carefully and then drill by eye. This was a bit of a disaster. Despite several attempts, I just couldn’t get the holes to be perpendicular, which meant wonky joints. I decided that I needed a jig.

I bought a cheap jig for under £7 from Amazon and tried again. Also, I used an offcut of MDF for one side, and some harder wood for the other side as I felt this would be more representative. I think perhaps that I didn’t drill the holes deep enough, and one dowel was a little snug, so I hit the two halves with a rubber mallet to seat them, the MDF just disintegrated.

Split wood

Oops

This setback made me question my decision to use MDF. In fact, the more I read about it, the more I am thinking that it is the wrong material to be using. I’ve therefore decided to abandon the use of MDF (I am sure I will reuse it some other way at some other time, perhaps as an extra shelf in an IKEA cabinet) and instead go with the same construction as the original base. Having measured that with a Digital Vernier Caliper, it is nominally 4mm for the upper plywood layer, 14mm mitred softwood for the middle layer, and contrary to what I previously thought, nominally 4mm plywood on the bottom. Although it looks like it may have had a veneer on the underside. Having researched plywood online, it looks like 3.6mm plywood is a much more common thickness so it could be that with some minor expansion. Or maybe it really is 4mm ply. I don’t know. However, the thickness of the bottom rail is 23mm, which suggests 4mm ply.

Using a sandwiched construction means I can dispense with dowel joints and glue & screw the base to the bottom rail instead. A friend has suggested that I don’t actually need to screw it (or use dowel joints were I to stick with the MDF idea) as wood glue would be sufficient given the base will be screwed to the cabinet sides. But I think I will glue & screw as it gives me more confidence of a solid construction.

Also, using the same sandwich construction that the cabinet originally had is a more sympathetic restoration.

With that decided, I moved on to cleaning up the feet.

IMG_20170402_130127_01

Repaired leg

I pulled old nails out with a Carpenter’s Pincer which I have owned for decades. Unfortunately in doing so I managed to break the tip of one of the leg brackets but managed to glue this back again with wood glue. Unfortunately I forgot to take a “before” pic. I’m quite pleased with the repair, even though you can see the joins, because it broke off two pieces and I managed to reassemble it like a little jigsaw.

I also used an orbital sander to sand off the old glue from the tops of the legs, and in one case the glued-on residue of the woodworm-eaten soft wood.

The next job is going to be assembling the new base, for which I will need to make a shopping trip, and also to buy some Woodworm Killer and treat all the existing woodwork; especially the mouldings which I will be reusing as they have woodworm holes in them and I’m not sure if there are any dormant larvae in there.

 

Tags: , , , , ,

Art Nouveau style cabinet – part 2

In a previous post, I mentioned an Art Nouveau cabinet which I had bought and whose base was riddled with woodworm.

At the time I thought it was beyond economic repair. However, I decided that I had little to lose by stripping it down to get a better idea of the extent of the damage.

Prising off the plywood base, I found some mitred soft wood that was heavily damaged by woodworm (but no evidence of live larvae), with thicker laminate ply above. So the base was a sandwich of thicker ply upper, mitred soft wood, and a thin ply underside. I removed all of that, carefully peeling away the silk backing that was glued to the top of the base.

Once that was away, I could see that the hardwood of the cabinet itself was free of woodworm, as were the legs.

With hindsight, I think I could have left the thicker ply upper base and replaced the mitred soft wood and lower base panel, but it’s way too late for that now.

The edging strip to the front was sound, and very secure, so I decided to try to save that if I could. The side ones are a bit beat up, with heavy woodworm damage to one of them, but I think it is better to keep these rather than trying to fit a new strip, which would have to be mitred and stained to match. I might be able to sculpt the missing bit with wood filler. Fortunately it is on the back edge so will be less visible.

Unfortunately I damaged the back whilst removing the base, so cut that back flush. I don’t think it is going to matter too much as you won’t be able to see it when it’s against the wall. If it is an issue, then I can always make a repair strip.

Next job was to cut off the captive screws that had held the base and cabinet sides together, remove any old nails, and generally tidy it up.

For the new base, I decided to go with 18mm MDF which I used a Rosewood wood stain on. Dark Walnut would have been better, but I had the Rosewood anyway and decided to save money by using what I had. It’s not like anyone is going to see it anyway, as the only part of the base that will be visible is the underside which will be in shadow.

Don’t worry about the overspill of wood stain on the edges of the wood on this photo – I sanded that back and then applied another layer.

That’s as far as I have got so far. I intend to use dowel joints to attach the front edge bar to the MDF, and will glue & screw the legs to the MDF base. Once that is dry, I then plan to glue, screw, and dowel the base to the cabinet itself. I’ll also need to use some contact adhesive to re-attach the silk lining to the base.

Bear in mind that I have never done anything like this before, so I might be going about it all the wrong way and a solid base might be the wrong approach. We shall see!

 

 
 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: