Tag Archives for carpentry
Years of IT got me used to cleaning up other people’s disasters, and this was yet another project that got me shaking my head and wondering “what were they thinking?” Demolition had been carried out throughout the unit by someone working alone, without drawings, a plan, or timeline before I took over. Luckily there were bathrooms on other floors to use while we worked, but I wondered, why start by demolishing a functioning bathroom? Whether you’re working by yourself around the clock on-site or with a team in shifts, it’s the first necessity, for peeing, washing tools, or showering off a day’s worth of fiberglass insulation. This is a big reason I work in chunked phases, even within a single room — the wheels of production grind faster overall when one isolates and minimizes the functional downtime of each room and fixture.
Engineered stone tile on floor and walls, pine ceiling, replaced ventilation fan, sink/vanity, bath fixtures.
Notable tasks: Using appliance paint to make a black refrigerator white, and being pleasantly surprised at the results. Opted for roll-on instead of spray based on online-reviews. Converting an unused bathroom vanity by swapping the sink out for a piece of butcher-block. Updating some 70’s style cabinet doors by filling in the routed groove and painting over (as opposed to cabinet replacement…I like to up-cycle where possible). Floor is laminate strips printed to look like wood.
And now for something completely different…
The idea for this emerged from the repeated dilemma of needing to transport two kids, which the trail-a-bike simply can’t accommodate. I started looking at cargo bikes, or “bakfietsen” which I had seen all over Amsterdam, but found the cost prohibitive. Trikes on the other hand, are roughly the same price as two-wheelers. I found what I was after on Craig’s list, gave the bike some TLC, built a custom bench out of some pine support slats I rescued from a bed being thrown out, et voilà:
What I started with:
Old motor components removed:
Primed and painted:
Designing the bench:
I’ve been toying with the idea of motorizing it (even the most fit of us can only go so far carrying so much weight), hence the locking storage under the seat.
<3 airline seat buckles. Why aren't these used in cars?
It was only a passing request from my daughter’s first grade teacher – whether I had any ideas for improving the book storage above the coat cubbies, which was admittedly an eyesore. Upon some examination of the alcove, I told him he should rethink the entire situation, and via my own pushy compulsion, somehow volunteered to rectify the situation. What I peeled away during demolition was an unused legacy cubby system of hooks mounted on a long shelf, which sat unused behind the existing milk crates housing the kids’ stuff. The milk crates rested on top of a couple of unused shelves fashioned out of the doors that once rendered the alcove a large closet. Above all of this nonsense was a shelf, also made of the doors, housing a few hundred pounds of hidden books (yes, above where the kids retrieved their coats), covered with a few pieces of 1/2″ plywood, held vertically in place by small bolted slats that he would turn to remove the wood in order to get access.
Some remnants of what I ripped out:
What I started with – 7 chipboard bookcases being sold by a downsizing lawfirm. I like reclaimed materials, not just for the ecological aspect, but because I hate staining and varnishing:
Body & shelves made from 1/2 plywood to save on cost and weight. Edges concealed with iron-on veneer. Doors and facing made of solid pine. Chinese cabinet hardware purchased ebay.
I used slot joints to create this one, but in retrospect, I think dado joints would have been a better choice. Slot joints are great for flexible materials, or in a perfect world where all the pine you get from the lumberyard is flawlessly straight and uniform, but well, yeah.
Angled pieces cut from 2×12’s, which required the creation of paper templates pieced together in the space to get the shapes right. Hidden reinforcement with reclaimed “fasttrack” shelving hardware.
Copied this one out of a Pottery Barn catalogue.
Replaced rotten boards with weather-treated 2×4’s dadoed with a circular saw to fit and lightly stained. I expect this to last decades longer than the thin polyurethaned slats that typically come with these models. Couldn’t find brass bolts in the right size, so I ended up spray painting some carriage bolts gold.