Saturday, 26 July 2014

Making a bed with salvaged timber

bed frame using timber from door frames 


Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Reusing foam packaging as floor protectors

Here I've reused a bit of foam packaging salvaged from the protective packaging of our new windows, and I've stuck it on the base of some table legs in order to protect our timber floor. There was already an adhesive surface so it wasn't necessary to add any extra glue.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Constructing a dining table with salvaged timber door frames

This project is currently under construction so the process below is still incomplete. I'll update it as the project progresses.
During the renovation of our apartment, we changed all of the internal doors. There were 9 or 10 doors, which amounted to a lot of beautiful hardwood timber which could be reused for something else. As the pieces were quite long, the average door being 2.1m high, I decided to take advantage of this length to construct a new large dining table, approximately 2.9m x 90cm which can accommodate up to 10 people.
As the pieces were already accurately jointed together in a 90 degree angle, I decided to alter the joint only slightly as required in order to lay them flat, lengthways. A few small cuts and a bit of work with the chisel was all that was required.
In order to temporarily hold these pieces together, I used a small bit plywood and nails, all salvaged from the demolition works.
As each door frame is aboue 10cm wide, these will need to be joined together side by side to make a table approximately 90cm wide. Before joining the edges need to be cleaned of all varnish, plaster, cement, paint etc, so that the glue will take a strong hold.

Here is an edge after being cleaned with a bit of sand paper. 
 In order to join the pieces together, I have laid them side by side and put a pencil mark across the edges of both pieces. This indicates where I will drill the hole to insert the timber dowel.
After continuing this line onto the side of the timber with a set square, I am now using a marking gauge to mark the position of the hole. I then follow the same process for the other piece of wood to ensure that the hole will be drilled in the same position. 
I then use a wood drill, 8mm diameter in this case to drill the hole to the half the depth of the timber dowel.
I then insert the timber dowel, in this first instance without glue.
If this the first time you have joined 2 pieces of timber together lengthways, you might want to consider joining only 2 pieces togther first as a trial, to ensure that you are comfortable with the process. Here I have added glue to the dowel holes and along the edge of the timber which will be joined to the other piece of timber. Then I have used 3 clamps to pull these 2 pieces of timber together from the sides, and 4 smaller clamps from above to ensure that the pieces are kept straight and level and don't bow. I would recommend setting up this equipment and doing a trial run before adding glue to the pieces. Like this, if there is a problem with the timber dowels or clamping method, you will have a chance to rectify it before adding glue. It becomes less stressful and a lot less messier.
If you succeeded joining 2 pieces together, go ahead and join the rest together at the same time.  
Here all pieces have been joined together. I will let this sit for a few days to ensure that the glue fully dries.

Monday, 24 March 2014

reusing wine corks

There are a million ways to reuse wine corks. 

Here I've cut some corks lengthways and stuck them together to make a mat-like object which I will stick to the bottom of the legs of my furniture in order to protect the timber floor from being scratched. 

it's easy to make a variety of forms to suit the shape of the object onto which you wish to stick it

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

reusing old doors to make shelves

During the renovation of our apartment, I salvaged some of the old doors with the view to reusing them for shelves and other bits of furniture. Below you will find an explanation of the process I went through to make some shelves which I will install into our new inbuilt cupboards.
Step 1: Remove the door hardware, then cut the door panel to the desired dimension of the shelf. If there are some holes in the panel left behind by the handle and keyhole, fill them with whichever small scraps of wood you can find, glue them in and wait for them to dry. Cut the small pieces of wood level with the surface of the door then apply a layer of putty to fill the small gaps. Let this dry and move onto the next step.
In order to fix the shelf to the wall, we will need to, cut and chisel out grooves along the sides of the shelf (these shelves will be side mounted) allowing for the insertion of concealed supports. I find concealing the supports more beautiful than more traditional methods, usually bulky support brackets left exposed.
Here you can see the shelf support, cut to the length of the shelf. For this, I used another piece of timber also salvaged during the renovation.
Press the shelf support down into the panel, to a depth matching the thickness of the support itself. As I have used a hollow core door which is filled with cardboard, it was quite easy to push the shelf support inside the panel.
Add some PVA glue along the line of the cardboard, rendering it more rigid and ensuring that it stays in position and the shelf maintains it's strength.
Clean the edge of the panel which will face the front of the cupboard. A wood chisel and a bit of sandpaper were all I needed to achieve this.

Sand the holes which were previously filled with scraps of wood and wood putty, to obtain a smooth, level surface. The panel is now ready for painting.

Paint the shelves. Here I'm using white spray paint and there are a still few more coats to do.
Here's an example of some shelves which have been painted and installed.  
Here's another example of the finished product painted and installed

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Reusing plastic bags

There are millions of obvious ways to reuse plastic bags... For example, to protect your bicycle seat from the rain

Saturday, 18 January 2014


Have you ever considered using the Lemon rinds for something else before throwing them into the organics bin? They can be used to make limoncello: the rind of 10 lemons, 1.5 litres of water, 1 kilo of sugar and 1 litre of 95 degree alcohol will give you just under 4 litres of limoncello. Here I've put the limoncello in old liquor bottles, and used and a string, piece of leather and cardboard salvaged from packaging materials to make new tickets to remind me exactly when the limoncello was bottled.
 Limoncello is quite easy to make. Wash 10 large lemons, then peel the rind off. The original recipe uses lemons from Sorrento, but if you can't get your hands on any of these, use what you can find locally. Cut the rind into thin strips then put them in an air-tight 4L glass jar with 750ml pure alcohol. Put this in a dark, cool place and let sit for 30 days. After 30 days, add another 250ml of alcohol and a sugar/water solution 1kg sugar, 1 litre of water. To make the solution, boil the water, add the sugar, stirring until it has disolved and let cool before adding to the jar. Let this all sit for another 40 days, again in a dark cool place, then strain lemon rinds and bottle.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Reusing bottles and jars as bottles and cups

This old laphroig whiskey bottle has made a beautiful water bottle and an old sake' jar has made a simple, elegant drinking glass

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Reusing salvaged wood and fixings recovered from demolition works

We're currently renovating our apartment and have demolished quite a bit of the existing space to make way for the new work. It's a veritable treasure trove for those who like to recuperate old materials to build/make/create new objects.  
I've been quite busy de-nailing, de-screwing, and disassembling anything and everything which I thought could be used for another project
I took a particular interest in salvaging the old wood as I enjoy working with a material as versatile and characteristic as wood can be. To prolong the life of this already 60+ year old material by using it to create new objects gives me a certain amount of satisfaction.

I've taken the sander, glue and clamps to some of the pieces in order to repair them and use them to construct new objects

 this is a sawhorse under construction