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Tag Archives: DIY

Warco pillar drill, and other tools

My father has decided that his days of DIY are over, and asked me if I would like to take over custodianship of his Warco pillar drill, plus various other tools that he has accumulated. Not an entire clearout, but passing on things that he thinks may be of use to me.

The star attraction was a pillar drill by Warco, and a rotary bench grinder also by Warco. These are both things that I really want, and in fact the restoration of my cabinet would have been so much easier had I had access to them.

I visited my parents last week, armed with several removals blankets and dust sheets, to get them.

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Posted by on July 3, 2017 in Diary, DIY and Home Improvement

 

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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.

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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.

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Project Reorganise: Shelves and chair

I have been on the lookout for some shelves to go above my dressing table, and finally found something suitable on Amazon from a seller on the Marketplace. They do two versions; both the same height and the same number of shelves, but differing widths. On the photographs, at least on cursory inspection, they looked to be the same so I made the assumption that they would be the same apart from width.
These were ordered at a cost of £87.90 (£75 + £12.90 delivery) for the pair, which I thought was a little steep although they had very good reviews on Amazon.

The shelves arrived sometime in the following week. They turned out to be sturdily made, consisting of 2cm thick shelves and end boards, with the back made from 1cm tongue-and-groove planks. Although sturdy, they felt a little hastily thrown together and slightly wonky (Note: as in, not straight. They weren’t wobbly or anything), but that could well be a Shabby Chic thing I guess. They were painted in a uniform cream eggshell colour, as advertised. For some reason that I can’t quite fathom now, I decided that the supplied colour was not suitable and that they should be white, and so ordered some white chalk-based Shabby Chic paint by Rust Oleum.

Ready to paint

Ready to paint

A few weeks later, when the weather was nice and I fancied tackling the painting, I wondered how best to paint the shelves and looked around the garden for inspiration. Sat in a corner, quietly rusting away, were the steps for a rigid-framed above-ground pool that I had once owned (and which gone to the tip many years ago). They’d been squashed flat, but were good enough for what I wanted. With the addition of two opened-out wire coat hangers I was able to hang the shelving units by their mounting holes using the steps as a frame.

It was whilst painting them that I realised they were not the same. On the wider shelf unit, the bottom shelf was flush with the bottom of the back board, whilst on the narrower unit, it was not and there was some back board below the bottom shelf. This was rather annoying and, of course, since I was in the middle of painting them they could now no longer be returned. However I figured that, given I was going for a Shabby Chic style, this probably didn’t really matter. In fairness to the seller, when I went back and looked on the photos on Amazon it was very obvious that they were not the same and also the seller didn’t even claim that they were. It was just a bad assumption on my part. With hindsight, I should have contacted the seller and asked for a price of a matching pair; one wide and one narrow.

Sanding the chair

Sanding the chair

Also that day I sanded down one of the chairs using an orbital sander. Strictly speaking, this isn’t actually necessary when using chalk-based paint as it doesn’t require preparation or undercoat, but I did it anyway. It came up pretty well. I then painted it with the same chalk-based paint as I had plenty left over from the shelves.

Pew! Pew!

Pew! Pew!

The next day, when the shelves were dry, I drilled holes in the wall above the Dressing Table for them, using my laser spirit level (pew pew!) to ensure they were at the same height and also level. When screwed to the wall I considered it a job well done.

Unfortunately, the next day in daylight, I realised I had made a terrible mistake on the colour. Although there is some white in my bedroom (from the wardrobe doors, the skirting board, the door to the en-suite shower, the ceiling, and the door into the room), all my furniture is cream. The white of the shelving units clashed quite horribly with the Dressing Table and the other furniture. And, worse, with hindsight the colour the shelves had originally been supplied in might well have sufficed. *sighs*

So back onto Amazon, and I ordered ‘Clotted Cream’ chalk-based paint by Rust Oleum, and also some Rust Oleum clear furniture finishing wax.

When those arrived, I took the shelving units down and sanded them and also the chair, and repainted with the cream paint. Then the next day, gave them a light sanding with a fine sand paper to smooth out the paint brush marks a little, and then applied the wax to seal them.

Finished items

Finished items

The result is much better, and I’m happy with it. The shelves are now back up on the wall and populated with some of the trinkets and nick-nacks I have bought during my visits to Antiques and Collectors fairs, although there is room for plenty more.

I’ve stayed with the original cover on the seat of the chair for now, but I plan to source some suitable material (possibly from an old pair of curtains) at some time and re-cover the seat.

I also need to find a lamp or wall light too, as that corner is a little dingy and needs some additional lighting.

 

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Project Reorganise: Necklace rack

I buy too many necklaces and am starting to have trouble storing them. I have a table-standing necklace rack but it’s getting pretty full and also I find it looks a little messy.

I’ve seen a product for sale that is a full length mirror that is actually a shallow jewellery cabinet, but the quality is very poor and I didn’t much care for it. So I came up with my own idea.

12mm cup hooks

12mm cup hooks

First off was a purchase of 50 small (12mm) square shouldered cup hooks from eBay for the grand total of £3.50 inc P&P.

The plan was to attach these to the inner side of the two doors of one of my fitted wardrobes. The wardrobes are built in and are just made from white Conti board / furniture board, so I didn’t feel too bad about doing this.

I laid down some masking tape so that I could mark it all out without marking the wood (I wish whoever made it had done the same!), and then used a metal Combination Square to ensure a straight & level line and then marked out two rows of regular 2cm spacing on one of the doors. Then I used a spring-loaded centre punch to mark out where each hook was to go, and removed the masking tape. Then I used a small 2mm drill bit to pre-drill a hole into each mark made by the centre punch so that each hook would easily go in without damaging the wood. The hooks then screwed in easily.

The end result didn’t look too bad at all.

2cm spacing

2cm spacing

After hanging some necklaces on it, I realised that I needed much wider spacing for some of my necklaces. So, since I still had 12 hooks left, on the other door I did a much wider spacing of 8cm and then, for the last 2 hooks, a really wide one specifically for my large butterfly necklace. If I need even more space, then more hooks are a cheap purchase and I have 4 more doors in my fitted wardrobe set. And I can always add additional rows to these two doors as well. It’ll be a long time before I run out of space.

Wider spacing

Wider spacing

 

All in all, I think that came out pretty well. I’ll be putting my table-standing necklace rack up for sale on eBay I think – I have no further need for it.

(Note: These aren’t all my necklaces. Whilst I was doing this project I took the opportunity to have a sort out and ditch about 6 or 7 necklaces that were some of my earliest and cheapest, and I know that I will never wear again.)

 

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Making your own handbag charm

Charmed, I’m sure

Today I made a handbag charm out of a My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic blind bag figurine of Rainbow Dash, a screw-in eyelet, and an old key chain.

The component parts

The component parts

The first thing to do was to assemble the chain, clip and eyelet. Using two pairs of long-nose pliers, I gently opened up the links at either end of the chain, and also opened and discarded the one on the clip.

I found that to close up the end links again, it was easiest to use a small vice.

Assembling the chain

Assembling the chain

Rather than screw the eye straight into the figurine, I drilled a small hole into the head (no ponies were hurt during this process), using a 2mm drill so that the eyelet would screw in easily.

Drilling the figurine

Rainbow Dash needs a hole in the head like, well, a hole in the head.

I also put a small amount of Super Glue onto the thread of the eyelet, so that it would not easily come out again.

Attaching the chain to the figurine

Attaching the chain to the figurine

And there it is; all done and finished. Yay!

All done!

All done!

Finished product

Finished product

Action shot!

Action shot!

 

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