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Worktable phase 2


Started work on my worktable repair again.

Step 1: brace the taller unit: the back-board fell out last year and, as I intended to cut it down to match the height of the other unit, it’d need bracing. I had rescued some backing-board along with the stacks of wood, but none of them was the right width; I cut a piece down, but, typically, cut it just slightly too small (the prob with having to use a marker pen to see the guide-line is, which side of that thick line do I cut? I chose the wrong side). It had already fallen out the day after.

Which led to

Step 2: the board doesn’t have to be in the slots, I thought: just needs to be securely attached to the back to provide the necessary bracing. This time I thought I’d secure the board first and then cut it to size.

Fixing it was hard work, physically; I had the kneeling pad on the ground, and had to z myself so I could get my eyes within inches of the panel pin I was trying to hammer in. I managed to hit it two out of every three times, my thumb got about half of the rest (I was supporting the pin with my thumb alone, so that, if I missed, there was an even chance of the hammer hitting the board the other side!).

But that meant that I didn’t have to put window-blind struts on the back, so that was two jobs in one. Cutting it down was a lot easier, I had the unit side to guide m; still went off-track but that don’t really matter, it’s “wrong” on the right side!

Step 3: the unit would need a new top once it had been cut to the same size as the other unit. I stood the two units side by side and used the marker pen to the height of one against the other. Thought I could put the new top on before I took the old one off; that’d add extra rigidity to the frame while I was sawing. Found a piece that fitted nicely, and used my new drill outside for the first time, both to drill and to screw.

I could have set it a little further down; it was for bracing, not an actual top, but I tried to get it as close to the line as I could; indeed, that was my guide.

That was all done yesterday, and it was enough for one day; the kow-tow position is not a good one to have to be in for extended periods, even with lots of stretches and occasional breaks – I was walking round like Groucho Marx the rest of the day!

The sun was shining today so I thought, go for it! I wasn’t looking forward to cutting the unit down, knowing how good I am with a saw.

First prob was getting into position! Tried laying it on its back so I could get at the fronts of both uprights, that was a bit too low, so I put it on one side and worked on the other; meant I was a bit higher, and that I could put a foot on the bottom and brace my knee against the top to steady it.

I can not cut a straight line! I always veer alarmingly to the right. And the saw squealed like an injurd piglet when I tried to veer it back on track; suppose I was bending the blade.

Took a break and Googled “how to saw a straight line”. After I’d put the “saw” in quotes, to cut the “how to sew in a straight line” I tried a few; the answers seemed to involve a circular saw, a guide clamped to the edge of the cut-mark, or, in one instance, a left-handed saw! I’m pretty sure saws will work with either hand; it’s the body behind the saw. I tried varying my position to get my right shoulder in line with the cut, so the stroke would be straight forward, not coming from an angle, no go.

The only helpful hint was to use the bottom part of the saw rather than the tip; they said it was used less and so would be sharper, but I’m sure a major factor is that, using the part nearest the handle, there’s less room for the blade to bend in use. I had to use both hands to get the necessary force, so the push was coming pretty centrally, and I still veered a bit.

But I’d put the new top so close to the cutting line that I was shaving off the top of it; at least when it was to the right it stopped me veering even further off-course!

I eventually had a brain-wave – or a brainstorm – and got the drill out again to cut the wood – it was done in minutes. The gory details will be in a blog of their own.

Not a bad match, considering …

Very belatedly, it occurred to me to protect the units while they were still open to the elements by putting bin-bags over them, which is what that black bundle in the bottom of one of them is.

All that’s left to do now is to fix the shelves in both units so they add strength to the frame, rather than using the Ikea pegs and putting the shelves on them (not enough pegs to go round, anyway) and then fixing the top, which can wait for another day, and another blog.

And it’s still not noon yet!

Sorry if this is TMI, but it’s mainly for me, so I can look back and see not only what I dun, but how I dunnit, and why.

More blog posts by franl155

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I admire your energy and enterprise ! :o)

20 Feb, 2012


lol when it's Hobson's choice it makes it a bit easier ...

And there's so much pleasure in looking at something and thinking *I* did that, as opposed to, I got someone to do that *for* me.

20 Feb, 2012


I enjoy your blogs Fran and I applaud you for all the effort and determination to get the jobs done no matter what you are up against, its easy to go out and buy things if one can afford to, I bet you get more satisfaction out of making them, keep up the good work...

20 Feb, 2012


oh, heck yes! apart from the "HOW much?!" reaction when I see the prices of stuff in the shops!

But often I can't find exactly what I want, and the only way to get exactly what I want is to make it myself - lol, that's assuming that it's still exactly what I wanted when I've finished making it!

The times I've started projects and not finished them! One time I started to make a bed platform, with storage underneath; then I saw an Ikea catalogue that had exactly what I wanted, so I bought that instead, abandoning the project half-built - I had my old bed in the bedroom, and half the bed-platform frame, no room to move, playing hopscotch every time I went in and out.

I went to a John Lewis last week - I had some gift vouchers for John Lewis or Morrison, both to be found at the new Straford shopping centre. Me and a carer wandered around JL; I didn't see much that I liked enough to want to have in my home, and the few that I did sort of like I put back quickly when I saw the prices! Ended up buying some stuff in Morrson's.

20 Feb, 2012


Phew I'm exhausted now!! Lol

20 Feb, 2012


lol GM, I'm sure I'm going to pay for this tomorrow! the rest wil have to wait till I've unstiffened - luckily, there's not much to do now: fit shelves into both units, place them (which will involve a bit of shufling back and forth) then put the surface on and secure it. *then* I can get on iwth my plants!

20 Feb, 2012


Brilliant Fran! Sleep well tonight.

20 Feb, 2012


What a brilliant blog - enjoyed reading it. Your sawing of wood and hammering of nails reminds me of myself lol can't saw in a straight line to save my life, and my fingers have been hammered more than any nail you can find :o)
You're doing well with those units. You'll get there ...

20 Feb, 2012


lol sure will! especially as i've been up since .am - trying not go to bed too early, htough I could do with it right now!, cos I'd only be up around 3am again tomorrow. still, it's nice to watch the sun rise and hear hte birds start the Dawn Coughing

I did remember a bit of advice about finger-saving hammering, Hywel: push the nail thorugh a bit of thin card and hold the other end of the card, at a safe disatnce; onc e the nail's in enough to stay up by itself, just pull the card away - ha, knowing my luck, I'd pull it out again! didn't think of it this morning, and when I did, could'nt be bothered to unfold and go and ifnd some card.

Still, the hard part's done - now just need to shelve both and then fix the top, easy peasy, lol

20 Feb, 2012



20 Feb, 2012


lol that's a new smiley to me, must "adopt" it ;-}

20 Feb, 2012


Oh thanks for that advice Fran. I'll have to try it :o)

20 Feb, 2012


no probs: I think they said card from a cereal packet, doubled; had to be strong enough to hold the nail, but weak enough to pull free - unless you cut a slit first to help it pulll out?? or corrugated cardboard?

lol there must be a niche in the market for nayone inventing a safe-finger nail-holder that could be used time and again! maybe tweezer-type; so long as yoiu gripped the handle the slot stayed closed, when you let go the jaws opened and you could remove it and get the nail all the way in>?

20 Feb, 2012


It would be good to invent a thing like that :o) I'm no good at designing things though - have to wait for someone else to do it ...

20 Feb, 2012


lol, well, I've given them a starter for ten! just so long as they remember where they heard it first ...

20 Feb, 2012


Yes. Maybe they could name it after you lol. .... and of course, give you a share of the proffits :o)

20 Feb, 2012


lol yep! actually, getting the credit for it is more imporatnt; money is soon spent, but reputation will go on - of course, a few zillion in the bank wouldn't go amiss, either

21 Feb, 2012

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