Olly Writes

Woodwork, writing, walks, DIY and more!

Tag Archives: Construction and Maintenance

Decking Gate

So, I’ve been asked about fitting some kind of gate to fit on my mother’s decking. Naturally, whenever I’m asked about making something, the first question I ask myself is, ‘is this something I could make?‘.

It needs to be fairly lightweight as it’ll straddle a 1710mm gap between two newell posts, which are never going to be set like a pair of anchors. ‘Cheap’ is the word that, as often, if floating around as the main cause for these gates (it’ll have to be a double with that span) is to keep the dog from running off.

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Take My Money

After accepting a pleasant amount of money over the weekend in exchange for my planer/thicknesser, this week has so far begun with a stark ‘warning’ that makes me feel as though I’m ‘not allowed’ to keep any additional money that doesn’t come in as part of my average working wage.

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‘Re-Bottomming’ My Drawers

Some of you may recall the making of my workbench back in 2009. It wasn’t until several months later that I decided to make a plywood unit beneath to house three wide drawers for the storage of hand tools and other pieces. In truth, I was never entirely happy with the setup and, each winter, the drawer sides and fronts would swell and it would be an effort to get to the tools I wanted to use. Over time, this has led to the ‘collapse’ of the previous drawer bases (cheap, distorted 6mm plywood).

My workbench drawers; as they were for almost four-years.

A few weeks ago; I took a look at the materials I had available and decided to tackle this issue properly.

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Garage Door Ventilation

I’ve just sat down to write this, having spent an hour out in the workshop this evening – after work and in temperatures that are barely anywhere above freezing!

Marking for the cut-out.

You see, I was watching another YouTube video from the Ultimate Handyman last week where he shows you how to fit simple, cheap louvre vents to an up-and-over garage door. My workshop’s always been in need of further ventilation since I draft-proofed the door and there is an ominous smell of ‘damp’ each time I’m out there. I don’t currently own a diamond core bit to drill the walls and I liked that you can fit these higher up the door which, in my mind, means you’re less likely to get frozen toes… I could be wrong!

Either  way, it might help to pass some fresh air up in to the roof space for the time being and I decided to just get this done and to have a go and hopefully get back out there to do some proper woodwork very soon.

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Floor-to-Go!!

Work on my mum’s bathroom floor began late on Saturday morning. I was waiting longer than expected for my dad to arrive with the necessary materials that would never fit inside my own van. Plus, he has all the plumbing tools that I do not. I think the best way to start this one of would be to show you the state of the floor, once we’d removed, boxed and binned the majority of the tiles and timber

What lay beneath!!

…Now that you’re eyes have returned to their sockets; I hope you’re able to see that each of the joists was rotten; far worse than I’d expected! The guy who did the boiler took a quick peak and told us as much a day earlier. I was sceptical and didn’t honestly look closely enough during my own inspection. That joist one in from the external wall (with the soil pipe) disintegrated under the  weight of my father’s feet as he wrestled to free the toilet from its holding.

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Boiler is Back!

A lot has happened (around the home) over the weekend and I’ve barely had the time to catch up on my e-mails, let alone think about what I want to do, next time I’m in the workshop!

So, I’ll keep this first post brief; simply to inform you that I arrived home on Friday afternoon to find the combi. boiler running on with heat coming from each of the radiators. Beneath it, the bowl was dry and empty. There was no drip to be heard or found. Somehow, the house even felt warmer and the boiler itself sounded more relaxed than before. I haven’t yet noticed it lighting up while the heating is off either.

Problem Part

This was the part I found in a box below; the one which was replaced. I assume it’s something to do with the pressure feed, as the pressure was dropping dramatically before (hence the water loss)… Apparently, there was an inferior plastic part inside which had broken and has now been replaced with a brass fitting (cost-saving measures at the manufacturing stage, I assume).

So, that’s been one less item to worry about, regardless of the expense (that part was far from cheap…). In the next day or so, I’ll show you the progress we made on the bathroom floor (unless you’re already seen it through my Twitter feed?).

(Although I’ve categorised this under ‘DIY’, it is certainly NOT something I attempted myself!)

I’d Rather Have Snow…

Just as I was getting dressed and ready to leave the house for work this morning, there was a knock on my bedroom door. Mum was eager to tell me that another fence panel had blown down overnight; narrowly missing her car and lying obtrusively on the drive. It wasn’t the panel I ‘repaired’ over the weekend – as I said then; that one’s never going to come out!! This one is as tall as it is wide.

A new day and another panel falls to the ground!

These photos were taken in the daylight, after I arrived home from work a couple of hours ago, using my phone as well (8 megapixels, apparently… Although, I rarely bother to preset the white balance). All I did in the darkness was to pick up all the loose stuff and to dump it infront of the workshop.

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Fence Panel Repair

Have I ever told you how much I hate the traditional style of fence panel? If not then, I’ll try not to drone on too much today. Let’s just that I’m ‘not a fan’ of the ‘cost-effective‘ design, where you’re over-relying a few nails and staples to hold a load of thin boards and stick-like battens together.

Three-months later…

In my experience, the very first happens during the drier summer months, when this timber (a softwood) is allowed to rapidly expel the moisture it has gathered, causing its form to take all manner of shapes, along with a few splits, cracks and shakes. That’s all without mentioning the threat of wet rot, rising damp and, perhaps one of my biggest bugbears with ‘solid’ fence panelling; the wind effect.

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