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worktable 3 - shelf-portrait


Didn’t feel as stiff as I’d thought I might after working on the worktable for the last two days, so I did a bit more.

First thing to do was to put a top on the other unit (more to hold the top of the frame together than to take any weight, as the worktop will be going over it), then to shelve both.

Decided to make two shelves 30 cm apart: I have a stack of small boxes that I use to store most of the smaller bits, and they’re 14cm tall, so I can get four per shelf. Glad I checked first; would have been really annoying to have spaced the shelves too close to get one on top of another; it would have left a gap to small to use neatly but too big to leave empty, and would have got used for stuffing odds and ends in till I couldn’t see the boxes at all. Also leaves a smaller space at the top for my smaller items that I don’t want to get buried too severely.

Ran out of the right size screws during this; typically, I had a box of screws half an inch smaller, but they didn’t stop shelves falling down when the unit was moved, as I found out. I had just one left over (because it was a straight slot-top) Over to the hardware shop for “a box of these but Phillips, please”.

While I was there I remembered someone commenting that small saws were get-able, so I asked and got one. When I got home I checked, and it’s exactly the same size as the one I had. But at least the teeth would be sharper – no idea how long I’ve had the old one.

Also got a tin of yacht varnish; it was the only weatherproofing varnish they had – it might be a bit late for the wood, as it’s been outside for about a year, but it’ll come in handy somewhere.

Got back, took out all the small screws and replaced them, one at a time, so the shelves stayed in place during the operation. Then replace the shelf that had fallen.

I used the new saw to level off the tops, since the worktop would go directly on to them; remembering previous comments about how to correct my tendency to veer, I managed to put my right foot on the unit and saw right-handed; the bits came off fairly cleanly, maybe because of that, or maybe because the teeth were a lot sharper (the saw worked a lot better after I took the transparent blade guard off).

So far, so good

Then to reinforce the backs. The left-hand unit still had its original back-board (it had been tucked in under the worktop, which had protected it from weather), but I’d put thin wooden battens across the back in four places, to reinforce it, plus a diagonal for luck.

The right-hand one was sufficiently braced, I thought, so I just did the diagonal. I’d had to use panel-pins, and some of them were starting to come out – not surprising, given how much the units have been moved around – so at last I found a use for the smaller screws – added some to the left back as well, but the thin wood did tend to split until I learned to screw them home slower.

Put plastic sheeting on the backs of both, held with drawing-pins, as the plastic just pulled right off panel pins – I’d cut an extra-strong plastic sack for this, but couldn’t find the other bit for the second unit, so used a complete, thinner sack, doubled. I’ll tidy it up later.

So all that needs to be done now is work out the spacing and fit the surface. And level the ground a bit, because they do tend to lean rather when placed there. I did think of using some of that scrap wood to stand them on, to keep them out of contact with wet ground, but you can just bet, whatever I use, later I’ll wish I’d used another piece because I have a new need for exactly that piece.

Once that’s done I can start using the table for working at, rather than on. And not before time! I had an email couple of days ago to say that my mini-Buddleia had been posted, so they should be here fairly soon, and I’ll want to look after them as soon as they arrive.

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looks like its coming together a bit better now will be using it before have done a better job than i could have done..:o)

21 Feb, 2012


lol doubt that, Annella! this reconstuction was a triumpgh of BFI - brute force & ignorance! still, it's almost done and hope it'll stay done for the foreseeable future; I'm trying to build in extra strength and weather-proofing

21 Feb, 2012


looks great Fran well done you. its great when a plan works..:-)

21 Feb, 2012


indeed, even if it didn't work in quite the way one imagined it at the start! but mess or not, it's MY work, every bit of it, and that's a result in itself. :-)

21 Feb, 2012


You're doing a great job on those units. It's going to be very handy for you after it's finished. I'm glad yout took the plastic covering off the saw lol.

22 Feb, 2012


thanks, Hywel. lol it occured to me to look closely at the blade only after I'd been sawing for a minute with no result!

I think I'll use some more of the scrap to put shelves under the table as well, rather than pile everything up; but that'll be a "new build" and will take a bit of thinking about.

22 Feb, 2012


Well done Fran- thats going to be very useful for you in the next couple of months. Its great to make something out of nothing. Ive been trying hard to improve my woodworking skills too. I built some compost bins last year out of old scaffold planks. I used my hubbys circular saw, not so much effort needed - but a bit frightening once Id had the safety lecture!! Let us know how you get on and post a photo of it in its final place

22 Feb, 2012


we weren't allowed to learn woodwork at school; this was back in the dark ages, when girls were expected to stay at home till they were married so they wouldn't need to know how to put up shelves etc. But to be "fair", booys weren't allowed to do cookery either - after all, they'd move from "mother" to "wife" so why would they need to learn that skill?

My usual method of construction is to nail or screw two bits of wood together the best I can, and brace corners and angles where necessary - I probably put much too much in, but better than the alternative.

Do you have pics of your handywork?

lol that's the bit that put sme off circular or any kind of electric saw - saw a safety vid years ago, Rowan Atkinson so a humorous take on it, but the message wasn't lost on me. I'm looking for one with safety guards, but that's probably have to be bench-mounted rathher than "freestyle"

On a Scout training course we did chainsaws - at least, the others did! After the lecture about needing to wear safety boots, goggles, helmet and gloves, the chainsaw was offered to us trainer-wearing, helmetless, goggle-less and ungloved onlookers. I was the only one who refused: don't know if I'm the only one who failed or the only one who passed that!

This job seems to be getting bigger all the time: I thought it'd be a three-part: cut tall unit down, shelve both, put top on. But at the moment I'm trying to put boards down to stand the units on to keep them off the damp ground; they're already a bit the worse for wear at the bases, and it'll give me dry storage betweeen them.

Then to put the top on, and maybe to add shelves between the uprights. But so long as I get the top on pretty quickly: my baby mini-Buddleia arrived this morning, and I want to get them unpacked and potted asap

22 Feb, 2012


well done Fran for all your hard work,

22 Feb, 2012


Fran my hub is trained to use a chainsaw!!! Not sure if thats a good thing or not! Lol. Love your mini greenhousecloches they will be brill to keep your plants cosy and warm.

22 Feb, 2012


Please Grandmage, don't encourage Fran to use a chain saw, we'll have a chain saw massacre on here next, Lol

22 Feb, 2012


Ooooh no I am not encouraging her Yorks promise!! They are very dangerous.

22 Feb, 2012


don't tell meG/M tell Fran, she will end up going out and buying one, I dread to think of the damage she could do, Lol

22 Feb, 2012


Hopefully Fran will read this later on!! About two years ago and only two streets away from us a man was pruning some conifers in his garden with a chain saw and his wife was standing on the bottom rung of the ladder making sure all was well! Well her hubb. slipped dropped the chainsaw and decapitated his wife! His chainsaw had no safety cut out switch on it!! and he had hired it out from a DIY store too. All the roads were shut for a day and we couldnt gain access to our road until the next morning. It made the main news on TV. poor man, how he must have felt.

22 Feb, 2012


my goodness, that is just awful, that poor woman and her poor husband, my neighbour does that every year and his wife stands at the bottom of the ladder, I will tell her to move in future

22 Feb, 2012


Ooooh er thats just awful - the stuff of nightmares!!! I dont think Fran would be keen on using a chainsaw! - Lets hope not anyway. Fran you asked me if I had put any pics on regarding my compost bin project. I did a blog called Hard hat on.... trying to make compost bins. It was a while ago (last September, I think) I hope you can find it. That story has put me off using chainsaws full stop. Time to get the tree surgeons in - I like my head where it is!! You go careful too!

22 Feb, 2012


lol there's no way I'd ever use a chainsaw even if I were properly togged up and had all the training certificates going.

I'm wary of power tools, even little ones, and a chainsaw is hardly that. (I read on one of those "stupid notice" sites that some chainsaws had "do not stop the blade with your hands" labels - would anyone NEED to be told that? there must be people that stupid, or they'd not need to put the label on in ).

In general, if it's bigger than me, or has the capacity to bite back, I give it due respect. Even the new cordless drill, which is pretty wimpy by power-drill standards, could bite hard if not used properly.

People in general seem to be so casual about the possible risks - the stories there used to be about lawnmowers cutting their own cables and electocuting the user ... people leaning off ladders at dangerous angles while trying to reach a bit further, rather than move the ladder along a bit ... There's a site called Cheezburger that people post pictures to, and there's a section for awful repairs and hair-raising men-at-wprk - a man being dnagled by his ankles out of a window so he can reach an external fitting - you wouldn't think anyone would be that daft, but ...

Oh, that's awful about the man and his wife! isn't there a regulation that all power-tools have to have an emergency cut-out? if there isn't, there damn well ought to be!

Thanks, Poppy, I'll have a look

22 Feb, 2012

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