Thursday, 15 August 2013

Wood for the trees....

Timber is a volatile market. Just like gold or stocks and shares, it varies in price. Sometimes demand or a natural disaster in one part of the world might affect value. Sometimes the cost of moving it from place to place can affect the price.

For the last few years we have seen an increase in the price of timber. This is due to increased demand from countries such as India and China. Another problem has been the current financial crisis, where some timber suppliers have sadly gone under.

I would love to use English oak for my furniture. But sadly it is hard to find stable boards here. We do not produce enough of it. I use European steady oak for some building works, but for furniture I have had to look elsewhere.

I have used European oak for furniture and other projects. But for the last decade I have been using American white oak. This is kiln dried to such a degree that I can rely on it to be stable and I know that once I have made something it is not going to move.

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

The finished Book Case

This bookcase is made in two parts then put together
using the cornice to make it look like one.
It's finished and installed. The book case is in an bedroom. This meant carrying the whole lot upstairs. It is made in two parts which were carried up separately, then put together with the cornice as a lid that fits snugly to keep it all together tightly.

The book case is backed with tongue and groove boarding. I feel this really finishes it off well, and makes it a piece of  furniture rather than just shelves.

The shelves are on fully adjustable book case strips. So they could match on both sides, or as in the photo, be at different heights to accommodate many sizes of books.

My book cases are built to last, so hopefully the child that has it now, will grow up to adulthood with this book case along side.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Book case with a painted finish

Book case with a painted finish.
The book case I am working on is near completion now. The solid softwood carcase and shelves are painted to compliment other furniture in the room.
I use a spraying system to give the best finishes to my furniture.  Sealers, primer and undercoats are sprayed. In this case I applied the top coats of eggshell finish paint, by hand with a brush.

I like to use good quality paints as I have found over the years, that the improved coverage, helps me to get the best finish. I use a zinser primer, and though this is getting on £100 a tin, it gives me a reliable base from  which  to work. This also has a quick drying time which I find very useful.

For top coats I use a good quality trade paint, or in many circumstances, Farrow and Ball. They have a lovely depth of colour and I know where I stand with them. Cheaper paints do not seem to be able to match their finish.

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Book case

Back in the workshop.
This week I am working on a book case.

The brief is a large book case for a child's bedroom. It is to have a painted finish and to be made from softwood.

When making a book case I like to have the shelves easily adjustable, so I use book case strips with slots about 18mm apart. I use these in my kitchen cabinets too so you can add more or less shelves depending on the storage size you need.

Books are incredibly heavy for their size, and we have all had saggy bookshelves in our time. So, as this bookshelf is quite large, I am making it in two sections. This will also help when carrying it up the stairs for installation. I will join the two sections with a cornice, so that it looks like one unit.

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Playhouse to Teenage Den

The finished chalet. The fascias match the house.

It's finished! I have used toughened glass in the windows and doors. At almost £100 this might be considered an extravagance but I feel essential as the first tenants are small children. 
I put on a facia, shaped to compliment the house. The doors are painted blue to add a bit of fun. This building should be around to be a play room, then a teen den and if the children ever leave home, a sewing room for mum. So are the clients happy.......well they wanted their tea in it and wondered when they can sleep in it. Enough said I think.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

The roof is on!

It's starting to come together now. The roof I chose for this project is corrugated iron. This might seem strange as many people would use felt, but the brief was to have the building as maintenance free as possible. Corrugated iron has a long maintenance free life. I chose the green to blend it in to the background and gave it a good overhang so that guttering etc was not needed.
Corrugated iron is also Considered a traditional roofing in this area, where It has been used extensively since the industrial revolution. I think it also gives a "shepherd hut" feel to this building.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Chalet or Playhouse

It might seem strange, but it has taken  a lot more time to put this on my blog, than it did to put it together. I had two helpers to lift the sections into position but apart from that, this chalet was up, with its metal roof on within 5 hours. The joy of sectional building.
The feather edge boarding is a lovely honey colour at the moment, but this will fade to a silver. It could be painted or wood stained, but part of the brief was to make it as easy to maintain as possible. So using the natural properties of Douglas fir seemed a sensible option, as it preserves itself. Also, there is a reduced carbon footprint as the timber is grown and processed in this country.
The base also has a "skirt". This is a membrane to help protect the base from damp. It is placed on levelled metal beams ( I have had in the shed for years...I knew they would come in useful one day).