My blog is of my creations, My furniture, using wood I have collected from here and there, occasionally buying some to make up the difference.
My design is often based around what I have available.
Comments welcome, thanks for your visit.

My Trade Mark

My Trade Mark
I'm into diamonds

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Bowls and Bikes

I had enough of bowls so went biking, the cycle shorts date from 1989 I think in the days when I could do 100km now we are out to do an easy 22km along the sand dunes of Opotiki and 22km is just enough on the first day of spring, I anticipated a little rain but it never happened till we were back at the car however it was so cold where we stopped for lunch I was pleased to be back on the bike, like the shorts the bike is from the same time and the tire decided enough was enough and started to blow out the tire wall so a day was spent cleaning the 30 years of gunk from the gears and getting 2 new tires.
Then back to the lathe and bowls now this is fun and so easy to obtain results, the big bowl back right is Matai and the little one behind it came from inside it so I got 2 from the one piece of wood, the dark one back center is a piece of drift wood from the beach either Totara or Pohutakawa, in the foreground is a bowl made from Cherry, I had 2 halves of the tree trunk and have made 5 of 6 about the same most I have given away now, the big bowl is another Matai piece that I thought was too shallow so added a rim of purple hart.
Now I have chairs from many years ago to clean up and rebuild. 

Saturday, September 2, 2017

How to use tanalised kahikatea

Someone gave me two planks of wood telling me it was Kahikatea that had been tanalised, one was 40mm thick the other 30mm but cut with a chain saw so had a very rough surface and 2 big knots, I thought about using it for outdoor chairs it being tanalised but then could not bear to think of cutting it up into bits, so table that could be used outdoors however I wanted to cut out those knots so it rendered some of it to bits, upon thicknessing it I realised the tanalising was only surface treatment, so I developed a design as I went along, the kahikatea being so white I thought some colour was needed and glued up some stringing using some very old jarrah, I thought the stringing would add some width and make all the joints have a reason for being there, the kahikatea is soft not sutable for the edge the 40mm looked thin around the edge so a hard edge of rimu seemed right
and the pieces I had that came out of the house I renovated were just right, this is the result with a quick sealer coat of epoxy treatment, it seems to have brought out the dark spots of the tanalising treatment that were not taken away in the machining, the top is 1660mm X 760mm which I think is a good size.
I have a fair amount of kahikatea left and some of the stringing and wanted the legs to have a theme with the top, I like the look of the rail to hold the table legs together with the wedges this method also makes for a table that can easily be dismantled for moving and as I intend to transport it to the other end of the country to me son it is necessary, the top took me a week to build and the legs another week now I can see that time again to do the finishing not that I will be on it the whole time as the polyurethane takes a while to dry in our winter.
Now I have a good lathe it is nice to find a worthwhile project for it and turning those pegs was good fun I had to get them correct the first time as I have nothing else to use so I am well pleased with myself, the ends of the tenons are left protruding for effect, the legs had no polyurethane on at the time of the photos so will have more contrast when finished.
Ho so much fun to build as at the start I had no idea other than a basic shape but it could have gone anywhere, just I'm not sure now its suitable to be put outside. 


Thursday, August 10, 2017

In a roundabout way the same but differant

The mirror frame is not yet on the wall.
I have accumulated a bit of wood for turning and have a big old lathe someone gave me, the last time I used it I broke a piece off the face plate, I consider the lathe not very good so have bought 2 more, one of them because it has some good tools and a 4 jaw chuck the other 'cos its heavy and has a good head and tail stock.
This is the first piece of significance to be produced, I think its cherry that someone gave me long ago so is well dry, the bowl is about 75mm high and about 200mm wide, I did have to glue up a few cracks but that is to be expected in my book.
There is a lot to learn about this wood turning and I am not sure where I will go with it, I feel some sort of need to glue wood together then turn it, a need to experiment with more than just spin lumps from a tree as I have done here, the half of tree trunk sat behind the bowl is not big enough to create a bowl so I wonder about cutting it up glue it back together then turn it, into what I have no idea.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Good things take time

By the time this is on the bathroom wall it could be 3 months since I started it, I am now waiting for the polyurethane to cure very well I got some runs in it and scraped them off now what is left feels a little soft and imagine that it won't sand well until it is hard, I would rather not re coat it as it looks thick on the carvings and to sand them would loose the definition of the carving.
I have never carved before so it was a fun interesting few days that I carved 10 in all trying to work out what I wanted, and now was I to make another I would do it differently so that now leaves room to do another one day, now I need a mirror cutting and the ply back screwing on before it goes on the wall.
I now have 2 more wood lathes so there is a whole new world before me, one of them is on a steel base the result a lot of drumming when it runs so I hope a wooden base in place of the steel will cure it.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

I've finished and there's no sun

Its taken a while, and its not exactly what I had planed but flexibility and an open mind (an open mind is half way to happiness) are the pleasures of doing it for myself, that dark ply is some cheap stuff from Malaysia it has all sorts of flaws but I am able to tell myself it adds to the character of the look, I gave it one good coat of epoxy wood treatment and left it to cure well then a light sand (that veneer is thin) then a heavy coat or oil based polyurethane all while it was laid flat so as to avoid runs, the top is NZ Tawa, left over floor boards and matches the flooring in the
Its an en-suit bathroom so for 2 people so 2 draws and a cupboard, the draws go right to the back of the unit so are a pointed shape, I cut a 6mm X 40mm groove in the bottom of the draw and glued a 6mm X 40mm guide to the shelf the draw sits on, the groove is in the center of the draw so goes right to the back and the guide is tapered to the front.
I am so happy with the final result, it has cost me zilch as its all leftovers from the house reno.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Trying to make it last longer

I kind of consider the bathroom development finished, well finished enough that it is usable, those two shelves need more varnish on them, directly in front of the toilet is an empty corner that lends itself to a cupboard for this and that, it is behind the door when the door is open, the door hits the wall heater when it opens (see block on the floor) so I figger the cupboard will in some way act as a door stop, so plans are afoot for that.
The mirror is too short and I want a frame for the mirror a fancy frame, I have lots of floor boards left over, how to make it fancy? when I built the dining table I had seen a pattern for some inlay banding and did use a simple version for the table well now I am looking for a challenge that will keep me occupied, I couldn't find what I had seen 6years ago so started to plan my own design, I like the round cutter I have so that had to be used, I drew a few ideas and was in a hurry to get started  but then for some reason had to walk away it was when I was away that this idea came to me, I also wanted to stay with NZ natives as that what the shelves and floor are but this pattern needs contrast.
I am thinking that what ever I use around the mirror will also be incorporated into the cupboard, I am seeing a banding around the flat top and also use some short pieces for handles to the draws and door.
As I write this I am hoping I will remember what the plan is as compared to the construction of the bathroom this is a whole different game of concentration and patience, the process is slow the steps taken are small and already I have taken the wrong steps and had to go back and machine more wood, I think I also made a wrong decision on direction of grain in that pattern I cannot be sure but if the contrast is not a great as I hope so be it, maybe I will start again but then maybe not, it is all a big experiment and if I have to do it again in theory it will be better.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Then and now

Each time I see this picture I wonder if I should have looked further than Whakatane when I moved from Auckland, this is such a magical scene, as I was driving through Karetane I took a walk by the harbor and just so peaceful, we are so fortunate in this country to have such a choice.
That was back then in December.
Now we are May and I have been so busy for 11 weeks getting this bathroom and bedroom ready, I am now wondering how to keep busy to keep warm as our weather has cooled and at the same time take it easier than the past weeks have been as I am feeling some what worn out and could do with a few days laying on the beach above however it will be a bit cooler now than it was in December, if you look closely I still have some trim to put in place around the top of the walls, another coat of varnish on the floor and shelves then a cupboard to build to finish off the bathroom.
It has happened much faster than the first bathroom as we now have a long term boarder staying in the house and I wanted some sort of comfort in the house and not a building site atmosphere with a layer of dust settling through out the house each day even though I kept the doors closed.
This passage and the bathroom were once a small bedroom, now the bedroom that was created by by extensions to the house in 1984 feels very large with room for a settee in the corner on the right, the ceiling in this room is the only one in the whole house that was worth leaving in place I did replace the hall ceiling and in the process dropped it down to 2.4 meters high the result was I had to hide the discrepancy this I did by taking the ceiling cove across and butt the hall ceiling into the back of it, doing this reveled the ends of the ceiling cove in the hall this was made to look good with a bit of sand paper wrapped around a pipe, all that remains to be done is to re-carpet the whole house, its not the whole house as 2 bedrooms have exposed tawa wooden floors as do both bathrooms, someone has told me tawa used to be known as poor mans pine, I think the grain of tawa is far more interesting than pine and the colour has more depth and variety.