Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for January, 2009

From bath to bonfire…

Here’s a very quick thing I did this weekend!

I’ve finally had a much-needed new bath fitted in my bathroom, and had left the old one in the garden awaiting cutting up into manageable pieces prior to disposal. In addition to the main fibreglass and chipboard construction the bath had two framework legs with levelling screws on, which I had removed ‘just in case they would come in useful sometime for something!?’

My much-beloved copper half-cistern and dustbin lid garden bonfire (see below) has always been in need of some steadying legs – it currently works by simply  resting on the ground on top of an old saucepan or on old bits of wood, which has always made it a bit precarious to say the least!

Bonfire burner in its existing form

Bonfire burner in its existing form

I realised my discarded bath legs may be just the thing? With a bit of judicious drilling and bolting I fixed the two bath legs into a cross shape, and then attached the slightly too small dustbin lid (which upturned forms the base of the bonfire) in a suspended arrangement between them using some longer coach bolts. Instantly, a more secure, self-levelling bonfire support! 

The tops of the legs were a bit too long, so I cut them half way through with my trusty angle grinder (the best tool in the world for absolutely any task!) and bent them inwards slightly to help hold the copper burner part in position (it’s always just been free to wobble around on the dustbin lid before – again, none too safe!)

I’m not sure I like the look of these bent legs much, but will give it a good test burn and see how I feel in a bit / after some usage. The alternative is maybe to fashion some funky looking sculptural arms from copper pipe etc that I could simply slip over the top of the legs – not as functional, but might look nicer when the fire is going.

Finally, I realised how worn the whole copper burner part is looking after several years of really intense heat. The copper has gone incredibly soft and malleable, and it occurred to me that rather than the slightly functional / straight appearance of the top rim, I could maybe cut a nice shape or filigree into it (again not as functional,  but I can imagine it looking really cool when alight). The last shot of the photos below shows a trial go at this, using my trusty arc welder to simply burn a spattering of holes through the copper… Not sure this completely works, but I’ll try a few different things and see how it goes.

Hopefully the photos below illustrate the whole process in order a bit better. . .

Here's the old bath, lying majestically in the garden sans legs awaiting disposal!

Here's the old bath, lying majestically in the garden, sans legs, awaiting disposal!

Legs from the bath (I've already bolted them together in this shot)

Legs from the bath (I've already bolted them together in this shot)

Legs in their new cross-shape

Legs in their new cross-shape

With the upturned dustbin lid bolted in place

With the upturned dustbin lid bolted in place

With the copper burner in place and legs folded in to secure

With the copper burner in place and legs folded in to secure

Close-up of trial decoration of burner lip

Close-up of trial decoration of burner lip

Read Full Post »

Washboard!

Look what I’ve just found in a junk pile. . .

Washboard

Washboard

I’ve always wanted one of these (what with my predilection for things that make musical sounds, and all…) and I fervently hope it’s going to be possible to rejuvenate it into a both attractive and useable piece. It’s clearly seen better days – the wood is pretty rotten in places, particularly on the back struts (the lower part of the image shows this quite well) so I may have to create few new bits from scratch.

Part of me feels nervous about tinkering / ruining this classic ‘antique’, but to be honest it’s in such a poor state of repair that I also feel anything I do can hardly make it worse than it is at the moment…

A quick look on the trusty WibblyWobblyWeb instantly threw up a plethora of useful sites / pages on washboards and their use for in music (is nothing new under the sun!?). Sites like Washboard International for example (I’m not kidding!) had lots of photos on, many showing a wide range or weird and wonderful modifications that people have been made to the basic washboard design / format. Already I can think of a few musical bits and pieces I have in my ‘bits box’ that I can add for additional interest (a few old bells from both bicycles and alarm clocks instantly spring to mind!) so I hope to start work and documentation of this project very soon.

I may possible go for a ‘steampunk’ stying, as the basic item has a very retro / antique look already, with wood and metal working nicely in synergy. As always, any thoughts from out there would be gratefully received in advance of me starting…

Read Full Post »

I’ve had a real mental block / crisis of will-power recently regarding completion of my wind chime project. I’ve no idea why it’s continuing to be such a difficult project to complete, but a really nice comment on Part I of the work from a lady called Kristie has inspired me to crack on a bit (many thanks to my temporary Muse!)

Shown below are a sequence of photos of work since Part 1:

Completed Chime Number 2

Completed Chime Number 2

Near-completed Chime Number 3, end caps to be fitted

Near-completed Chime Number 3, end caps to be fitted

Although I envisage the final piece being wall mounted, I also thought it might be good to make a floor stand which could be used instead – to allow the piece to be shown in a variety of locations, for ease of recording etc. The left hand side of the photo below shows this stand in construction – it’s made from the legs of a small table found in a skip and the circular base of an old lamp. When these are combined (as in the right hand side of the photo) there will then be a brass finial-type thingy on top of the whole affair which will act as a socket for the copper tubing of the chime ‘arm’ (not shown as yet as I’m still working on this bit!)

Chime stand

Chime stand

Finally, when the chimes are wall mounted, shown below is the bottom of the chime arm assembly. This serves two purposes – as a hook for a yet another hanging chime (if required) and also as a removable end-cap to allow the arm to be fitted into the base unit.

Arm assembly end cap

Arm assembly end cap

Sorry if all this is a bit confusing – I’m hoping when the thing is finally completed and assembled, all will make sense!!? Stay tuned for further progress. . .

Read Full Post »

My great friend GG just gave me a tin of the following stuff, which previously I’d never even known existed but to which I am now a firm convert!

Superglue Applicator Spray

Superglue Applicator Spray

Called ‘super glue activator’, it’s a spray-on chemical that instantly causes superglue-type adhesives to set fast. Now I always thought superglue was pretty fast in setting anyway, but I have to admit there are lots of times where I have clumsily tried holding things steady whilst blowing frantically on them in an attempt accelerate the glue hardening process. Never a pleasure, always a chore…

This stuff is a miracle however – it can be sprayed directly onto wet glue on a joint, or applied to one surface whilst the glue is applied to another and the two brought into contact Voilà, instantaneous setting!!

There is enough in the tin to last several lifetimes I am guessing, but I’ve already used it several times to great effect.

Read Full Post »

New addition for The Shed. . .

I thought I’d share a small (yet highly treasured) addition for ‘Clivey’s Shed’, again acquired over the dreaded New Year / Birthday Interregnum of 2008. . .

Says it all, really. . .

Says it all, really. . .

. . . it’s very exciting being me!! (I’m being ironic here, of course. . .)

Read Full Post »

I thought I’d share one of my top presents of Xmas 2008 with y’all…

Ever since I saw a builder chappy (aka Big john) using one of these earlier in the year, I’ve been obsessed with getting one. Imagine my delight therefore when some kind Santa (aka again, the very generous Lesley!) gave me this in my stocking. . .

Eastwing Weight Forward Hammer

Estwing Weight Forward Hammer

For the uninitiated, it’s a ‘weight forward’ hammer – as the name suggests it’s 17kg of hammering joy that is weighted towards the front end (the idea being that it therefore takes less work to bang nails in). Apart from this fundamental feature, to my eye it’s also a simply wonderful piece of design – everything is a delight to look at / use, although I particularly love the sweepingly sharp ‘claw’ at the back.

“To a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail” the great Mark Twain once said – just imagine if he had one of these!? The best I can come up with is the promise that 2009 is going to be the Year of The Great Hammering…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »