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

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Second lap to a new kitchen

I think making the kitchen was the first lap, with the house to myself for 10 days it was time to demolish the ceiling then using steel battens bring it down to match the lounge ceiling, I also re positioned the lights, it amounted to about 20m2 but only 5 sheets of gib board the longest being 4m long and 4 sheets at 3m long, this part of the house is an addition to the original house so was built using gauged pine, there was non of that awful insulfluf I have uncounted in the old part of the house and I managed to leave most of the insulation in place.
I also installed a window then replaced the gib board to the outer wall to the right of this photo is the new wiring for kitchen stove, bench top power outlets and the difficult range hood power outlet including pre fixing the range hood the original had been taken through the wall but it was not an option with this type so I had to do some careful brickwork outside then remove the soffit and install the ducting to come down and out of the soffit, the walls inside are higher than the soffit so the roof is very near the wall top and a tight fit for the ducting making it a challenge.
The ceiling is done and the outer wall, come the new year we will eat outdoors while I rip out the kitchen there is still a lot to do.   

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

On the starting blocks

I have spent the winter in preparation and now feel that my feet are in the starting blocks of the kitchen rebuild.
The last post showed the wall alteration to take this new window and now we have a window we can see out of, the window next to it will be replaced too before the end of the year so it will look much the same as the new one you see here.
The next step is to replace the whole kitchen ceiling and I plan on starting that very soon I can see 2 weeks work as it is about 6m X 3.5m and involves lighting to the kitchen dining area, there are 2 more windows and one sliding door to install then I can get on with lining the walls before I install the cupboards I made over the winter months.
I am pleased this is not a race I am in the starting blocks for as I can see it being February and still not finished I would also like to take my time and enjoy the journey so lets throw in a few weeks more and aim for the end of march when we think about vinyl layers doing their bit.   

Sunday, October 23, 2016

It Happens Eventually

There is a lot of story about how this top came to be and most of it is written about in previous posts, here it is still in the garage but sat on a finished cupboard unit ready to go in the house for storage till the kitchen is ready for it, in my bones I can feel the day approaching that I will drag it to its permanent home, before that there is a lot to do.
I have ordered 3 new windows and one sliding door that have to be installed there is a ceiling to be replaced and walls to be relined.
This long window with an obscure glass did not fit the style of the house, this area inside the house was dark and while the view out is nothing I did want the light, upon investigation I discovered there was a window here when the house was built in the 1960s and was changed to this narrow window when the house was extended in 1984, I worked out how big I could make the new one to rescue enough bricks to brick up the bottom part so the end result looks like no change has been made, it has been a dusty experience but rewarding in that I was unsure I could be successful.
The Manz Shed I am a member of has talked about a coffin club for 2 years and it has been all talk, I elected to make it action, In August I bought the first material in September we sold 2 and here we are into making our 4th and 5th coffins, the plan is to have people buy them and decorate them before they need them, this is a way to bring the whole subject back into peoples control and have some fun and social activity too, I hope I am right in being able to see a group of people having fun painting and decorating their own coffins with the help of friends, as I see it happening in Rotorua, do a google search for rotorua coffin club to see what I mean.     

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Doors but not in Boats

I finished making kitchen cupboard doors a while ago now they only need sanding and taking to someone who will lacquer them, I intend to sand with some fine paper that will create fine dust and I hate the stuff it makes my nose run and gets in the clothes, it is a tedious job so would not want to do them all at one time but its the best way to get the job over and done with, I know the more effort I put in the better the outcome so its a state of mind thing and not rushing will prove best in the end.
Building a boat is more fun than sanding doors and we had a show to be ready for, we had lots of oooo's and haaaaar's at the show but no one wanted to buy it so it is to be finished for my use now, I bought a 5m length of light glass cloth and with epoxy I have covered the outside of the boat so it is well water proofed and a bit stronger too, now I have the gunwale to do the same with but I come back to that sanding thing and need to sand off the excess glue that ran down when glassing the top sides, the epoxy dries very hard and the wood at the side by comparison is soft so its easy to make a mess when attempting this job and have hollows in the wood and leave lumps of hard epoxy but again with dedication and patience I will do this one day soon 'cos I want to get on and finish the boat.
I didn't want to run away from the sanding, its spring the weather is fine and warm and a cycle ride calls, I have wanted to do the dunes trail the first part of the Motu Trail ever since we arrived in Whakatane and now is the time, its 10km each way so we had lunch at the end in a shelter by a river, we were about 4 hours and that included an hour for lunch and lots of photo stops, this bridge is at Opotiki where the trail starts and where our house guest hired her bike from it was a most satisfying day and now I'm ready to sand.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Diverting my attention

I have wanted to find interest outside my home renovations for some time now, I have visited the local Menz Shed over the past year for some social interaction, I had mentioned using the plans I have and build a canoe with the hope of getting a team build going and maybe get others interested as a way of improving skills.

The canoe is called a 6 hour canoe to emphasis its simplicity, originally it would have been built from a single 16 ft sheet of 1/4 inch ply in Canada I have used 4mm ply to reduce weight and have to join 2 sheets together using a scarf joint and here we have the first side cut out then preparing to cut and fix the log chine, we are using epoxy as an adhesive with many screws to temporally hold till the glue dries, all screws will be removed and holes filled later.
The length of the bottom is 14 ft and 2 ft wide or 610mm wide and about 5 M overall length it is a one man boat but very capable of carrying a child in the bow, with its flat wide mid section it is very stable in the water just not the fastest in the stable.
In the first day of 4 hours we had the shape, the log chine and gunnel fitted the next step will be to fix the bottom and will probably fiberglass the inside of the bottom before fixing it on and eventually glass the whole of the outside too.
There is half a plan to put a deck both fore and aft to cover the flotation foam, the seat will be just aft of the frame, now what would happen if a mast and sail were erected in the bow? 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Stamping my mark

I feel I have truly stamped my mark in the back garden, not only stamped my mark but also washed all the pebbles.
We decided these ornamental plants needed moving to make more room for the veges in the raised gardens, I wanted to be able to see them when I sit on the deck, A path to the washing line and outdoor water tap seemed a good idea and this is the end result.
The new concrete sheds a lot of water onto the grass when it rains and right where we walk to the washing line so it made sense for the path to become a soak hole, I dug it deep and buried all the concrete I found around the tree stump I removed in the front garden. 
The pebbles have been in the garden a long time, a lot of trees and plants had grown between them over the years so there was a lot of earth for the weeds to grow in, I made a big sieve to separate the pebbles from the earth then I washed the pebbles in a big plant pot, it has been a few day of steady work and a few nights of back/leg ache I am now pleased I got on with it as it is so much better to look at as I was annoyed with myself for leaving it unfinished after rebuilding the deck.
Now I have to find some edging stones to put around the pebbles then grass the area in front of the lemon tree, timing has worked out well, as well as slowing down my progress on the kitchen rebuild as spring approaches it must be the right time to sow grass seed.
A new planting of tomatoes for the summer season where the ornamental were will complete the job and allow the strawberries more room to grow. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Trying to slow down

There are only 4 cabinets in the kitchen one is already fixed on the wall, this is the last one to be made, the draws are all made 4 in each side this one has a painted back on it and 2 doors on this side there will be a half round shelf under the compass point and a power outlet.
We are mid winter it is cold at night and 3 days of rain common so its no time to have holes in the house walls and no ceiling, we have a house guest who we need to cook for each day so we need an operational kitchen.
I am thinking I will wait till summer before I demolish the kitchen then we can cook, eat and do the dishes outside, I will isolate the kitchen from the house as it is a very dusty time pulling ceilings down and gib board from the walls, I can see a minimum of 2 weeks but more like 4 weeks before the kitchen is usable again, I have 8 doors for the cupboards to make, draw fronts to prepare, and some end panels to make and paint, but this is not 5 months work so what to do, our winter has some lovely days be they cold and short so working in the garden can be better than in the man cave.
I began by washing pebbles that had been in the garden for years and were more than pebbles, I removed a small tree stump and turned over the grass, by now its very sticky earth from all the water used in washing pebbles so I moved to the front garden to remove a tree stump for two days and what a rewarding 2 days now that it is all gone as we have some plant cuttings about ready for planting out, we get a lot of water run off from that concrete slab so I hope I have created a area for the water to go along with a dry path to the washing line when this is all covered with pebbles.
More photos soon to explain and show an end result.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fun with a router

I have been making one kitchen cabinet a week and now have 3 made, that is 3 made without doors they will come later.
With 3 in the garage the work area it is getting tight for space so it seemed logical to install this one and what a boost it gives me to see something fixed in the house or more to the point another eye sore ripped out as the steam from the rice cooker was taking its toll on the doors.
This cupboard has an additional shelf for the cups that are in daily use it is narrow so we don't loose any bench space.
The ends will eventually have painted panels to cover up the screw heads and the wood panel above will be painted to match the walls.
I have used HPL glued with PVA on all the edges it is a bit of a slow job doing this but I think a better option than anything else with the curves I had to make an accurate mold to press it with till the glue dried and in this photo I show the mold and a strip of HPL I used.
Yesterday was our shortest day and whilst it has not been too cold yet it very wet, now some of the trees are telling us that no longer need there leaves, the silver birch is now naked and the maple is putting on a most splendid view for us its not only the leaves on the tree but those on the ground sure make a statement as I look out our front window. 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

The short days of winter

Because I start later in the morning I finish earlier in the afternoon, after all its winter, but still there is progress to be seen, here are the 2 units that will be put under the stainless steel top we had made when we first moved here, the right hand unit is longer than presently in the house as we shall not install a dish washer.
I have used a ply board with high pressure laminate (HPL) for the construction and gluing HPL on the edges the draws are a metal sided runner with a 16mm bottom and back.
I have 2 more units to build one that will be mounted on the wall above the right hand one shown here the other will be under the compass rose top both of these will take longer as both are more complicated and winter days are short.
The pile of Rimu wood shown in the last post is destined to be the doors of these units so in the past week I have created a lot of sawdust trying to cut around the defects, the defects are such that I thought I was short of wood and may yet have to glue some together to achieve the size I need or show some defects I am not keen on either of these avenues and as I look at these photos I realise I need draw fronts, they will certainly need to be glued together to obtain the required width, this photo shows the rimu awaiting further attention but I await better machine knives to arrive from the USA with the hope it will reduce the sanding I will have to do.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Proud and another not finished

I am proud of my effort this last 2 weeks, it is so good to be doing some real wood work that has nothing to do with gib board and paint.
This bench top will eventually be to the left of our stove and the off set will allow one of us to use the top and be out of the other persons way as they use the stove.
The light wood is douglas fir and is glued to a sheet of mdf, the douglas fir is very old and I wasted a lot cutting out the big knots and wood borer as a result I had very few long pieces so the idea of the compass rose was to enable me to use the short pieces, the purple hart was given to me and I just had to use it, I think the result is very pleasing adding to an otherwise plane top.
I think the colours will be more pronounced once the coating is applied.
The material for the kitchen cupboards is ordered along with draw runners, the second hand rimu has been rescued from its cob web infested corner, I have 13 doors and some draw fronts to make from this pile of what at the moment looks like rubbish, today I spent some time extracting nails and cutting out some very large knots and at times have my doubts about the quality of this pile there are some very large shakes that are full of very dry gum and the nails I have been pulling out were 50mm deep into the wood and at 450mm  centers so at some time I will be making a lot of fire wood and dust along with all the thoughts of "why have I chosen to do this" the radio will be necessary to distract my mind and keep me otherwise entertained.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Excitment in a rose

The compass rose is taking shape, the colored wood is 5mm thick and glued to 9mm mdf, it has taken me 2 days of intensity to get this far, I have had other things to do but there is probably 6 hours or more in cutting and fitting these shapes and gluing them to the backing board, the dark long pieces are purple hart and will be cut to radiate out from the center filling up the ellipsis around the points then it will all be set in the bench top to finish flush.
Ho so much fun.  

Monday, May 9, 2016

3 Days on

Its been a fun 3 days and a lot to show for it, I did 2 pressings in the jig shown in the last post each time I glued up 4 lamination's and when removed from the mold it sprung open I then took 12mm off the outer part of the mold and glued together the 2 previous pressings giving a very stiff, very accurate 21mm edging, the joints are tight on the top fortunately but a bit gappy on the underside and may look better when I cut it to width, I am very pleased with the stiffness and the way it has kept its shape, it is now put aside till I have the top made and ready for the edging.
I machined up the Douglass fir trying to keep the grain straight and eliminating any blemishes I have cut it to 20mm thick and about 50 to 70mm wide there is still much worm to cut around and some big knots so I have a lot of short pieces and to make the short pieces more usable I have decided to incorporate a compass point within the round end, the center of the compass point will be the center I used for the round end, I will try to encase the compass point in a ellipse making the north point long and east / west point short, as the bench top is such a plane colour the compass point will be very colorful I have some very pink jarrah that I expect will go dark brown and european beach that is very pale and to fill in the ellipse with purple hart so a big splash of color, I had wanted to use
padouk but after my last efforts with it and the bleeding of the color into the white wood the jarrah is my next choice.
In this photo I have tried to show one of the drawings of the compass point it is not the one I will use but you will get the idea if you can see it.
There is a lot to do now and progress will be slow but fun.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Starting the kitchen

Its a big project so as they say break it down into small projects and face a bit at a time.
I will replace the ceiling around August and plan on having a kitchen ready to install when the ceiling is finished there are some new windows to install along the way and the walls to reline.
The bench top here is going to be different and I have toyed with what to do for a long time, well since we moved into the house I have known that the bench is too near the stove and had thought a island unit was the way to go but having looked at the pros and cons I have decided to change the shape moving the bench away from the stove, the area behind the bench unit is intended as a dinning room but we have our large table towards the lounge so the space is vacant most of the time, it is access to the ranch slider and we need room for a curtain, at the moment the microwave is taking valuable bench space up so I an thinking of a shelf between the extractor hood and the curtain, the electrical socket will need moving down but that's a small issue.
I have shown the cupboard door style in a previous posting also the stainless steel sink bench top so I am hoping a bench top of Douglas Fir won't look out of place, I have some very tight grain Douglas Fir and with a thick coat of epoxy that is made for bench tops I hope it will stand the use it will get.
This picture shows the back side of the top so it will be the other hand when installed, that offset is 300mm so I think it will push the top far enough away from the stove to be more comfortable it will also give us one more cupboard than we have at the moment along with a bigger bench.
The picture shows a piece of mdf I will use when laminating the edging of the top, I intend a 20mm thick edge and the only way to get douglas fir around that radius is in 2mm strips so I will be gluing 10 of them together around that radius then strip plank the top, the strip planks will follow the shape I say to make it more interesting but the truth is I have lots of short pieces and not mush that is 2.2m long as I want to cut out the knots and other defects, the end against the wall is 600mm wide and 900mm at the round end.
Just one small project in the big picture that will keep me busy for a while.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Finished House Front

Its now 18 months since we moved into this house, now I am able to say the front of the house is finished, that is the house not the garden as I think there is a lot to do there over time.
The window on the right is the latest one to be replaced and I am so pleased with the look and up close I no longer see all the powder coating peeling off both inside and out, the opening sash is firm on its window stays as is the window catch, it is double glassed and has a tint but still the heat belts through on those hot days, with the window closed at night it is very quiet, if you look back though this blog you will see what the old window looked like and why I wanted to change it, the room is a bedroom and has had all the gib board replaced now and whilst doing that I was able to improve on the insulation, the tawa flooring has been sanded and coated, the wardrobe moved and improved, a new door and door frame are now in need of their final coat of paint then I will cut and fix some skirting boards and walla a room is ready to receive all the junk that has been stored else where. 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

8 M3 Concrete

It all happened so fast, I had 2 quotes and chose one after some refinements, they phoned on the Monday morning to say they would like to take a walk around with a forman and get started.
There were a couple of small cuts to make in the concrete and some boxing to place, in the afternoon they got the bobcat here to lift out the old foot path and scrape away the grass and topsoil down to 160mm.
I was also having the footpath crossing and the first 2m of the driveway replaced all in all it amounted to 82 m2 of new concrete most of it at 100mm thick so in total 8 m3.
On Tuesday it was a tidy up and laying a hard fill base course that was compacted to an exact surface to allow for 100mm of concrete on top, I wanted the water / rain to drain away onto the grass and not back to the house as previous to this work it was pooling under the house in heavy rain, in the afternoon the steel mesh was cut and put in place all ready for an early start with concrete on Wednesday morning, by the end of Wednesday both front and back were finished the front to a nice brush finish the back was retarded and washed to give an exposed aggregate look, the concrete has small river pebbles in it so the effect is smooth under bare foot.
I was kept busy with decking while this was all happening so all the deck is now finished including handrails and privacy screens, the camera ran out of battery and this is the last photo I took, I am undecided whether to leave the wood bare or give it a coat of treatment.
I am so happy with the look and the result of the work I have put into this project it was well worth exploring what we could do to get away from the original design, the only short boards in the deck are where we have to have access to drainage otherwise they are all long lengths with minimal joints.      


Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Making a lot of fire wood

I cut the corner off to see how it would look, then I thought we had better have a hand rail, a high one was decided on with the thought we will put a planter on it, so here we are with all the rotten timber gone, I did think the joists needed replacing and did hope the bearer would serve another round however it is replaced, the footpath has been broken up as the whole of that patch of grass is going under concrete.
At present a lot of water pools under the house when it rains heavy as the footpath slopes towards the house, the new concrete I plan will shed the rain away from the house and will drain onto the grass  I have drilled a row of deep holes in the earth along what will be the edge of the concrete and filled them with old concrete from the footpath, at about 500mm deep I have been hitting sand as we live on what was once a river bed a long time ago, there will probably be more holes drilled and filled with concrete so we can be sure of good drainage in those heavy down pours.
We have changed the whole look of the deck going for two long steps down onto the new concrete and keeping the front one straight line this area in front of the table will have a hand rail, the half way point has not been reached yet and I am needing a rest so we could see a slowing of progress and as there is talk of concrete work happening soon that may well be finished before I am.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Passion of our garden

We bought 2 bromlaids from a community function they looked as if they had just been stuffed in some soil with the hope they would sell I had my doubts about there future but for the price and the fact it was a community fund raiser I bought and they have lived under the lemon tree for a few weeks now, obviously they like being under the lemon tree and are now putting on a lovely show of pink and getting bigger every day.

Next door the passion fruit is enjoying its spot in the garden as I am picking up about 6 fruit a day that get sweeter as time goes by.

We have now pulled out most of the pumpkins and all of the marrows
this photo is of a harvest that we could not use so was taken to Auckland for distribution, the mass of leaves in this photo conceals about 20 more pumpkins that we are hoping will keep till we can use them.
The pumpkins had grown over the top of all the other plants but nothing seems to have suffered much and after a few days are stood up enjoying the sunshine again.
We have eaten most of our evening meals out on the deck enjoying looking at the wonders of the food producing plants, I don't enjoy looking at the cracked damaged foot path the old worn deck the awful paint job on the hand rail, and as I now have 2 weeks when I don't want to be making a mess in the house the deck replacement seems to be a good way to spend a couple of weeks, I expect it will be more than 2 weeks as I will integrate it with having some concrete laid between the house and garage, I have cut off the corner of the deck to see if we like the look and think by doing this it will give us more room to get the cars in and out, I plan on not
having the present stair arrangement so the next posting on this blog could be a whole different look.