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Bit of a lash-up (in more ways than one)


Been wanting to put a roof over my worktable for some time – not so much to keep me dry in the rain, since I’d get wet getting there, but to keep any projects dry – read that concrete projects need to be kept dry.

Thought about several ways to do it, none of them very practicable. Then someone dumped some sofa bases out by the bins – wooden frame with wooden rods across the short side. Grabbed them; thought I might be able to tie one to the fence and cover with plastic.

But how to support the front? Didn’t want anything that’d get in my way. Didn’t have much long thin wood that might do.

Went out again next day and there were another two sofa frames, with slats rather than rods. Grabbed them too; washed and half-varnished them all (ran out of varnish after that) and then debated how best to use them.

I thought that if I tied the long side of one frame to the fence, couple of inches from the top, I could tie the front of the frame to the top of the fence, to support it, suspension-fashion, with no uprights to get in the way. So tied the frame to the fence at what I thought might be the right height.

However, hit a snag when I tried to tie up the front; as the fence was wire, it just bent inwards under the weight. Might have spread the load if I’d done all three points (each end and centre) but didn’t think so, so rethink.

Eventually got the two slatted frames and …

Had to do a fair bit of gymnastics: one foot on the stepladder, one knee on the worktable, trying to reach both sides of the back of each upright frame to get the string round (the gap between the slats wasn’t quite wide enough for me to be able to turn my wrist much, and my fingers aren’t as flexible as they used to be – and to add to the fun I had to work by touch cos I couldn’t get close enough to see what I was doing – and pulling the frame tight to the fence made it even less easy to get the string round the back). Had to keep stopping to stretch one leg or the other, and give my back a rest.

Tying the front corners also stabilised the uprights – they’re not going anywhere now.

I’d found a transparent plastic dust-sheet while I’d been doing some sorting; thought that’d go over the top and down the sides. No doubt it will … when I can find it again.

Found a strip of old shower curtain (I’d cut one up to use as “sky” for the end table, since replaced by the CD curtain) – not quite wide enough, not quite long enough, but it’ll do for now. I just clipped the ends for now, till I can find the larger sheet and then I can secure that – well, securely.

Of course, I won’t know how effective it is until it rains. The back of the plastic isn’t supported by the wood, so I should imagine that any rain will sag the back, pull the clips loose and go straight down the back. I did think of trying to make so me kind of gutter to direct rain into something, but that’ll have to wait a while.

I could raise the back of the roof to the top of the fence, and then lash it to the back of the uprights, but couldn’t face it then. Besides, I need a slight tilt to stop water pooling.

Whole lot’s only held up by nylon string at the back and nylon rope at the front, so it won’t be too much to take down and rebuild better later.

Thought I’d done enough for one day – this was yesterday and I’m rather aching today. I’ll leave the refinements for another day or three.

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Brilliant ! Its amazing how unwanted items can be used for the garden. This one does need a length of plastic guttering though, an end section, a junction fitted to a downpipe.
I suppose there is some kind of glue that could fix the plastic to the guttering. I would use clothes pegs !

17 Sep, 2012


Great effort there Fran, should keep the rain off : )

17 Sep, 2012


Your DIY skills are great're never defeated are you :)

17 Sep, 2012


there aren't any downpipes on the outside walls, Diane (no idea how they get the rain off the roof). I've seen some mini-guttering, and I'd probably need some flexible pipe to lead down to a water container - only got 5-litre ones, don't know how long that'd take to fill, don't fancy going out in the pouring rain to put a new one under!

simpler might be if I can put bits of wood under the plastic all round except for one bit, somehow get the plastic sheet there arranged to funnel the rain where I want it. lol this is going to be quite a bit of trial and error!

When I find the sheet, or give up and buy another, I'll try to get one end longer than the other for this purpose; then I can tie it down securely all round top and sides.

Thanks Stevie and Scottish. it might keep most of the rain off for now, but once it's properly adjusted should be better - might add a bit to the front so I can stand in the dry, too!

17 Sep, 2012


You've really done a fantastic job there, Fran! :-)) I can imagine you fighting to tie the uprights to the wire fence! I can almost imagine myself in your situation! LOL! :-))

17 Sep, 2012


Thats a darn good idea Fran and how kind of someone to dump their old slats near you, what you need next is for some kind soul to buy a new mattress and get rid of the polythene, its always strong stuff...

17 Sep, 2012


Fran you are so clever and inventive- it6s all so ingenious - hope its really successful and you manage to keep the rain just where you want it!

17 Sep, 2012


Brilliant effort - your future tweaking should give you exactly the protection you want. :o)

18 Sep, 2012


Grand project Fran. Now we await the next cloudburst, or even shower, with baited breath, to check if your clever ideas work. What if someone knocks on your door and says 'Can I have my bed back please?'We did that once with two big cartwheels we found in our other garden when we moved in. Put them on either side of an archway. The seller sent his son round to ask for them back. I requested that they removed every last brake cable/sparking plug/ screw/nut/bolt/number plate/corrugated sheet etc. Then we might think about it!

18 Sep, 2012


Thank you all for your kind comments. I found the plastic sheet yesterday )in amongst my clean pillowcases - where else?). I'll see how hig it actually is, will probably be able to use it doubled at least.

lol Balcony, that was my physiotherapy for the week! bending and stretching probably did me some good, in the long run.

great idea, Lincs, but that would probably go in the big bin, and I'm not trawling in there! (need a ladder to get at it, for a start). My garden tables arrived in strong plastic bags inside boxes, but not sure they'd be big enough to cover the top, let alone go down the sides - as I didn't varnish all the wood, I'd want as much of it covered as possible.

This wasn't my first option, Steragram; I did ask the council if I could put a plastic sheet over that side of the garden, wall to fence, but they said I needed planning permission (@ £150, plus surveryor's drawings at £???) to put some hooks in the wall above the windows; I'd still have got wet getting there but at least I'd have been able to work in the dry. sigh, if I hadn't asked I'd probably have got away with it. But then I'd not have been able to have the table under the window, unless I hand-watered it every day.

That was a bit cheeky of them, Dorjac! how long after they moved out did they ask? If you had time to inocrporate the weels in the arch, which surely wouldn't have been the first thing yoiu did when you moved in, it must have been quite a while aftger they left.

Surelly, unless something was clearly marked "to be collected later", if it's left behind, that would tend to indicate that it wsn't now wanted - as with all the other junk you list that they kindly donated to the new occupants!

18 Sep, 2012


I think they could be seen when passing on foot Fran, as they only lived down the street a bit further on. Got the hump because we sent a solicitors letter for him to remove a car with one wheel on bricks from near the kitchen window, or no exchange of contracts. As you say, he was a bit late with his request, via a lickle lad.

18 Sep, 2012


good grief! sounds like they were running a home car-wrecking service! They were generous enough to leave you that, but they want their cartwheels back? some people have so much brass.

18 Sep, 2012


They were breaking up cars in the garden and the orchard that we later bought off him and restored to a productive garden, when all the rubbish was cleared. We cleared it and fenced it and planted it out. His kids rode horses in the street, even though we were near the town centre!. That was a long time ago.

19 Sep, 2012


ah, gotcha. some people don't deserve gardens, they use them only as junkyards, parking spaces or dog toilets - or any combination of all three!

horses in town centre?? add "stableyard" to the list!

19 Sep, 2012

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