Sunday, 22 May 2016

A Gate

Hi all,
In my last post I told you that I was working on a commission from "the management," (my wife) who asked me to make her a garden gate to hide the alleyway behind the shed that leads to the water butt.
Here's the view she was complaining about.
It seemed like a simple request even though she said she also wanted a panel on the front with some decoration on it. This would provide me with an opportunity to exercise my carving and pyrography skills, so I was eager to get on with the job and set about it the very next day.

The most boring part was going to Wickes to get a load of roofing lathes and other wood to make the actual gate with. This type of wood comes ready treated with preservative but I painted it again with some Forrest Green preserving stain made by Ronseal.

Using mostly roofing lathes is a very cost effective way to make a gate. The wood, hinges and latching mechanism only cost me about thirty quid in total. Buying a ready mad gate would cost a lot more and I would have also had to modify it to get it to fit the size of the hole.

Here is a picture of the gate in after installation and I must say it does improve the look of the garden.

The framework for the panel was originally the door of a bedside table that I took apart a few weeks ago. I don't like chucking wood away and I'm pleased I kept this bit. In the centre of the panel I did a oak leaf and acorn design. First I cut out some oak shape leaves on the panel with my scroll saw then I cut some more out of plywood and stuck them into position. Then I cut out some acorns and carved them to shape with a rotary tool.

The next thing I did was to finish off the design with my pyrography iron. The whole panel was then screwed to the gate and given several coats of yacht varnish to make sure that water doesn't get into it.
Here is a photo of the panel.
I attempted to give it a multi layered look, but to be honest, I'm not sure it all works. If I was doing it again I would not bother with the three cut outs and relied more on my pyrography skills to give it a bit of depth. You have to try these things sometimes to see if they work and on this occasion it didn't. However, having said that, I'm very pleased with my carved acorns.

In my next post I'll show you my new toy. I bought it after several years of thought and splashed out a bit of my pension lump sum on it. So what does a newly retired man treat himself to after slaving away for years in a factory? An open top Mercedes perhaps or what about a Harley Davidson, wouldn't that would be a step up from the Honda 90 I used to seek thrills on.

To find out what I lashed my money out on please watch out for my next post.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Box Rescue

Hi all,
 It seems a mighty long time since I made a post, but now that I'm officially retired I'm trying to change my lifestyle. For the last 60 odd years I've been dashing about like a blue arsed fly trying to make a few pounds and make people happy. Well, other people's happiness will always be high on my agenda but my blue arsed days are over, it's time to grab a hold of mellowness and dance off with it into the sunset.

Anyway, in my last post I showed you a picture of the oyster box that I was making. It looked great but the hinges didn't work how I expected them to. Okay at the front when open, but

this is what it looked like when viewed from the back when shut. Not good.
It just goes to show that anybody can make a mistake and I don't mind sharing mine. It taught me a lesson, which was to be more careful with my designs and make sure I've thought them through properly. It was a shame to see all that work go to waste so here is what I did.

I removed the hinges, glued the lid on and did a pyrography design on it. Then I gave it three coats of lacquer to make it feel really gloss and it became an ornament for the sideboard.

It has now been re christened by my wife who said it looked like a peanut and I guess she is right. It looks very tactile and one can't help picking it up and giving it a fondle when one goes past.  Sad I know, but getting old isn't much fun, so you have to grab any pleasure you can no matter how well it tries sneaks by unnoticed.

In my next post I will show you the plaque that I'm working on. It was a commission from my wife and it is coming out well.

Just one last thing. My book, "Bossyboots" which is one of my favourites, is free today on Amazon.

 If you would like a free download, just click on the books tab at the top of the page and click on the cover. It is very funny and down to earth type of read.