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Worktable phase whatever-it-is!


Thought I’d do a thorough job and give the units something to stand on to keep them off the damp ground; the bottoms were already beginning to suffer from contact. Also it’d give me some dry storage. Had to take out a lot of dirt from the space, plus two bulbs that I saw trying to break out – I potted those and hope they’ll survive.

I levelled the ground; I couldn’t exactly change the height of the paving so I had to remove layers of dirt to get the base more-or-less level (if more than half of the bubble’s over one of the centre-lines I count that as a success):

I had to cut round that post – apparently it’s there to support the ‘orrible boards that a previous tenant must have put up for privacy; I did try to take one out, as it was exactly in the way, but they seem to be bedded in concrete:

Units in place with the old top; thought I had more storage space than that! But then, the right-hand unit was at the extreme end of the top, and the left-hand one was further along – and the top was developing a noticeable downward curve in between, which can be seen even in this photo – because I hadn’t cut it straight, I couldn’t turn the top over and use it that way to get it to curve back again.

I was going to cut the “wedge” off (which was why I left my “half-cut” photo on screen while I was outside, so I could refer to Severnside’s very useful hints!) but using the new top meant I didn’t have to – then, anyway, it’ll need cutting later, and the tips will come in just as handy then.

Tried the new door that I’d won with the rest of the scrap wood: longer and deeper. I did think about using the old one anyway; it was narrow enough that I could reach over to the tools hanging from the fence with no problems; with the new top I had to stretch a bit. But I can always move them down a bit so they’re back within easy reach.

I wanted to make sure the top was secure, but without making it so secure that I couldn’t easily disassemble it later if need be – no way could I move all this as one unit!

Put the top as I wanted it and ducked under to mark where the back of the units would come to – this would have been easier if the units had had straight backs that went all the way up all the way along! Turned the top back over; got some plastic blocks (used to support shelves etc – I’ve got hundreds from former bookshelf projects) and put them along the lines, as straight as I could, which wasn’t very.

Then turned the top over again and jammed it hard against the fence, then moved the units back until the tops caught on the blocks to stop the top moving (that’s the theory, anyway). I did think of putting blocks to each side to stop the top moving laterally as well, but it was hard enough work to get these blocks in, and the more I did the more chance that I’d get it wrong and have to undo it. I could have done it with the op in position but that would have called for some contortions: had enough getting pics of the set-up in place:

It’s not a very good fit on the right side, but then it wasn’t straight at the back and – just had a thought while typing this; I can put a batten across the very top of both units to make them straight and level all the way across, that’d hold the blocks much better. But it’d mean disassembling everything to get at the back again. And I really can’t face that at the moment. I’ll see how well this arrangement holds up for now. Second thought: fix the batten on the underside of the tabletop.)

Everything in place:

Had another thought while I was getting this into position: I also rescued a kitchen drawer; if I moved the units a bit further apart I could at least put it in under cover; maybe get runners for it later. Moved units. Then another thought: if I moved them yet a bit further apart, I could get a part of my shelf system in as well and that’d save me having to create one later.

Gave everything a final scrub (I know it doesn’t look it! but they’ve been exposed to the weather for about a year):

So at least it’s ready to be worked at, rather than worked on. I can add bells and whistles later – the batten at the back, for one (and, since I moved the units further apart after I’d placed the blocks, add another to the each end – but I put three on each, so at least two are still engaged.

I was a bit worried about fore-and-aft stability; I do tend to lean on the worktop if I’ve been stood there a while and my back starts to ache; I tried it and it did tilt rather easily. Not so bad after I’d jammed everything together. I might fit another couple of blocks to the fence; dunno how strong that would be! But if I keep the back of the table loaded (as it would be when I work at it – pots, gravel, plants waiting their turn, you name it) that should counterbalance any leaning on my part, or at least some of it.

How it was, for comparison:

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goodness me you have been a busy girl, nice working top there, and lots of storage space, so what is your next project going to be,

24 Feb, 2012


I admire your inventiveness ... your enterprise ... your energy... I'll have some of whatever you're eating please ;o)

.. as long as it's vegetarian !

24 Feb, 2012


lol and thanks Yorks and TT - that took me about a week, on and off, bit each day, and I was aching all over yesterday; that tabletop was not easy to hoik back and forth.

I've bought some Buddleia Buzz, mini plants, which arrived two days ago and are still in the packagaging (because I didn't have a work table to work on them!) that's my tomorrows's job, provided the weather holds out.

I want to try to fit a "roof" to the space, so I can work in the dry, no matter what; I'm not allowed an awaning between house wall and fence, but I'm thinking of thrying to rig something to the fence like a shop awning, to open when needed and close other times. how long i'd get away with that i dunno, only one way to find out.

Then i've got hte rest of the scrap wood to use; was thinking of seats/storage boxes - did think of plant stands, but htey'd have to be awfully strong, and since the tables didn't cost that much ...

and I must check the plants i put in the greenhouse - out of sight is sort of out of mind, i keep forgetting to check if they need watering.

lol then the rest of the plants to organise and still trying to get ret to planning my mini-garden and making hypertufa troughs to house it

24 Feb, 2012


You're going to be busy... if you're not allowed an "awning"... I suggest you make an "arbour" of similar design... nobody has said no to an "arbour" ;o)

24 Feb, 2012


smiles, I did ask about gazebos, I'd found some smalle nough to fit, but apparently I need planning permission for that, too.

I have a couple of garden arches (£5 from Lidl) but as I've no ground to bury tne ends in, they'd have to be tied to the fence - if they're wide enough to go over the table. Maybe I could use bit of them both to make the arch longer.

I did tyr a garden paparol, but a) they're not tall enough to stand under without the edge blocking off vision and b) that damn base means I can't get close enough under it to be sheltered, and to reach the table.

I think they think that if it's attached to theb brickwork, it needs planning permission - I was told that if I lived in a house, no probs, but as it's flats ... and the annoying thing is, if I'd not asked, I'd probably have got away with it. I just wanted a transparent plastic tarpaulin to shut out the rain but not the light; half a dozen hooks over the windwos, hang the eyelets on that, tie the other eyelets to the fence; being transparent it'd not have been obvious to the eye. but now I've asked, I can't claim ignorance.

They did say that if it was a temporary structure ... (and they put those dots in!) but what do they define as "temporary"? I'd also said that I wanted an all-weather outdoor space for my washing; as it is, the only place where I dont' risk tripping over the airer is in the shower, which rather interferes with showering.

but I'll look at what I've got, what I can do with them, and see what I can come up with.

24 Feb, 2012


Oh Fran you do make me smile. Great blog, I can just imagine you while your building talking yourself through it. I think you should make short little films of your projects & put them on the web, they would be so entertaining.
Can't wait to see the roof project.

24 Feb, 2012


Something fixed with hooks is a temporary structure.

24 Feb, 2012


thanks, Willi - prob is a vid would need a music track to cut out all the naughty words that get addressed to bits of wood that won't fit together, no matter what!

Besides, there'd need to be someone doing the filming, and I'd be likely to say to them, Put that camera down and come and give me a hand!

I'll have to re-recheck their letters, TT, to make sure I get their wording *exactly* right - not easy as it's all in small print, and I mean *small*!

if I can get away with "temporary" I'll go for it - I did think of a rigid-plastic cover, till I saw the prices! but I'm still not sure if I'm going to stay here, so I'm not willing to put anytihng in that | can't take with me.

Someone said that a plastic awning might annoy neighbours with noise of it rustling in windy weather; I don't know how much noise it'd make, but I could always fold it or roll it up when not in use

24 Feb, 2012


A groundsheet for a smallish tent on hooks might work Fran, you could roll it back when not needed, they can`t possibly expect you to apply for permission for that surely, have to say I like what you`ve done so far, I didn`t know a gazebo needing planning permission ..

24 Feb, 2012


Would a ground sheet be too dark ?
Does it need to be clear to let light through ?

24 Feb, 2012


Good question Terra, how big is this space Fran ?..

24 Feb, 2012


it's two metres "long", as wide as i can get away with, at least over the windows. I've seen transparent tarplauins in eBay; got the eyelets in four sides, see-through middle.

I want it trasnparent to let light in, it's only rain I want tso stop

I did think of some kind of pulley, like on a window blind, to roll it up when not in use, but that's a bit beyond me, to be honest. maybe a kind of Roman blind, with battens, or a roll-up - or roll-down, come to that.

24 Feb, 2012


Fran, you do make me laugh with your antics..handy Andy you,but i have to give you 10 out of 10 for effort...i could not saw a straight line to save my life..well done on the finished unit (if it is finished that is ) you have made something you can now use.. cant wait for your next project..:o))

24 Feb, 2012


I think this is Worktable Phase 4 ..
... just to show I'm keeping track :o) Lol.

24 Feb, 2012


lol Tt..

24 Feb, 2012


Can't wait for phases 5 .. and 6 :o)))

24 Feb, 2012


that will be the bells & whistles then heard that one before Fran..:o)

24 Feb, 2012


It's a close run thing as to which is the most elaborate ..

Fran's worktable, or Tony's playstation extraordinaire for Tiny the budgie ;o)

24 Feb, 2012


Ha ha ..soo true..maybe Bampy could make a trophy for the winner...GoY (eventually) award..:o)

24 Feb, 2012


If Fran wants to stand any chance of winning the trophy, she'll have to incorporate lots more budgie mirrors and perches ;o)

24 Feb, 2012


lol...maybe S the T would like to enter too with one of his creations...

24 Feb, 2012


thanks all for your kind comments

I write blogs in Word first, bigger text and it spellchecks; when I went to save it I couldn't remember what "phase" I was up to - I knew there'd been more than I'd originaly imagined: three - units, shelves and worktop.

I'm hoping that the blocks on the underside of the top will hold it steady; if so, I can cut to the next step: move the tools down so I don't have to stretch to lift the loops off the top of the fence.

I can wire a rod lower down the fence and use s-hooks to hang the tools from where I can reach them better:
I've got plenty of s-hooks, but they have a habit of falling off when the tool is removed, unless they're moused, which will be a fiddly job (mousing is putting a barrier over the hook so that it can't slip off whatever it's hooked on to - why mouse I have no idea). that's one "bell" - I don't know where "bells and whistles" comes from either, but it's either that or all-singing, all-dancing!

Then put the stuff back in the shelves, sorted this time: I put a bit of wood up on the left side, will use that to hold sacks of compost, if I can get more than one in there at a time.

fit or fudge track for the drawer so it'll pull out and free-up the shelf it's on at the moemnt

*Then*, once I know where everything is, I can start
sorting me plants out!

roofing it will probably take some time; need to check exactly what the council said, and work out how to interpret it to my best advantage.

bought myself a small tub of Tete-a-Tete daffs while I was at Sainsbury today; suppose they'll be all right in the tub this year at least, so don't have to worry about finding them a home.

I've also got five wall planters that I want to put up, but I did think about painting the wall first; of course, I could always take 'em down and put 'em back after.

And I've got my two shopping trolleys to "gardenise"

that lot is probably a few whistles!

lol no way could I compete against S the T - unless there's an "idiot newbie" class I could enter

mousing a hook:

24 Feb, 2012


Fran ... your recent blogs are listed top right hand side, so I could see previous phases 2 and 3 there...

24 Feb, 2012


ah! saving in Word, it would have meant scrolling through to find the last one I did and then changing the file name. "wathever it is" was what I tyed at the top of hte page because I couldn't be bothered to navigate down four levels of folder to find my GoY blogs folder and see what the number should be; Word takes the first line of a new document as the fillename (number of times it's tried to save a letter under the filename "dear sir"!) lol that's probably more than you needed to know about Word!

I'll have to rememeber that the next one is 4. or willit be 5?

24 Feb, 2012


Lol. Too much information...
... Next phase will be Five.

Do you realise you are competing against the budgie Bahama Sun Hotel for the "GoY Construction Trophy" ?

... strong competition there ;o)

24 Feb, 2012


oh, and a most important job I just remembered: make something out of the Fire Bird feathers so kindly donated!

don't know that one - Bahama Sun Hotel?

lolololol that's trememdous! no contest, that's in for a gold!

24 Feb, 2012


What ever number it is we are all watching with great interest Fran.

24 Feb, 2012


lol thanks dear - you say that now .... *s*s*

24 Feb, 2012


LOL.. well done Fran . there's never a dull moment on Goy ... I agree with Joanella ~ S the T started all this with his wonderful ideas :o))

27 Feb, 2012


yep, glad to pass any blame that's going around ... or any kudos. If I could get pallets, or pallet wood, who knows what I might do????

27 Feb, 2012


wow very well done fran you have been a busy bee :))))

28 Feb, 2012


lol makes up for all the time I've taken to get round to it

28 Feb, 2012

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