Apr 20

Using up offcuts

So with the lockdown in Ireland now extended to May 5 – or The Lock-in as we ought to be calling it the way WW2 was The Emergency – garden centers are closed (apparently the Greens asking us to feed ourselves from our window boxes full of lettuce didn’t make Woodies an essential business 😀 ). I ran around one before the Lock-in commenced and got a lot of seeds and potting compost (and we already had a general-purpose liquid fertiliser and tomato feed and for high-nitrogen stuff like Basil, well everyone knows that trick of mixing eggshells and used coffee grounds with their compost, right?); but I thought we had more planters than we had. Seems I threw the ones we did have in the bin a few weeks ago because the UV had finally mangled them past maintenance’s hopes. Oh well.

I do have a shiny new brad nailer…

And I also have every woodworker’s inability to throw out wood combined with a large timber storage box 😀

Why yes, those are a lot of bowl blanks, and yes, my first bowl is all finished off and put to work as well, thanks for asking 😀

So I found some of the cedar T&G lengths I had which I have literally no other project in mind for but I still had a single three metre length in the house and three or four metre lengths in the box, so those are obviously the sides, and I can do the ends with some plywood bits and pieces and use some 1×3 scraps of deal to tie them together.

For rapidly knocking something like this out, that brad nailer is a bunch of fun. There’s glue providing the actual long-term strenght but a few 50mm brads act as temporary fixings and clamps all in one.

Then an offcut of poplar which was, to be honest, so scraggly that using it for anything proper would have meant a fair bit of work getting it straightened out, but for something that will live outside and be full of earth, this is grand. It acts as the base, and it was about 3″ too long so those 3″ get cut up into feet.

I didn’t have brads in any size bar 20mm and 50mm so I had nothing that really held the sides in place; the 20mm ones pinned them in position long enough to drive longer screws into the 1×3 battens though. Need to buy a few more lengths.

And that was it really. Very quick and dirty, handsaws and brad nailers and even the pillar drill with a fostner bit for the handles (along with a rasp, some sandpaper, a block plane, and some tidying up with a chisel). But it does the job and kept us at home, so that’s fine by me.

Filled with potting compost mixed with eggshells and coffee grounds, then transplanted our basil plants into it and watered with some liquid fertiliser.

Slightly less ghetto than previous solutions 😀

Apr 20

Planting mushrooms

So the mushrooms turned from that branch from Fernhill were finished off; I cut the tenons off the two I turned in the chuck, drilled a mortice and glued in a piece of dowel:

And then Claire, Calum, Sonic and myself wandered up to Fernhill to plant them.

…and then I looted more wood.

Slightly larger this, but less circular. Not sure what I’ll make from it. More mushrooms I think, and maybe I can do a little birdbath…

Apr 20

Lab rebuild…

Well, now that we’re all locked down at home, the lab/office had to get rebuilt a bit because otherwise two people can’t work from there. Also, this was probably the jankiest setup for a printer ever…

So that desk becomes Claire’s and all the stuff on it has to get repacked into a couple of crates…

I mean, it’s a little messy.
So a few full days of assembling Ikea furniture and repacking stuff into crates and boxes, and the desk is now emptied except for Claire’s plants and all the electronics and 3D printer…

And that’s the arts&crafts stuff on one shelf, the 3D printing stuff on another, the raspberry Pi boxes in one of the drawers and the printer needs to be put on feet still, but it’s not doing too badly right now. Plus, I finally got the PETG settings on the printer dialled in.

So some of the dust collection parts are printing, but that’ll take…. well, ages. 3D printing is not fast. Flexible and great for prototyping or emergencies; but not fast.

Mind you, that thinkpad needs to be retired so all the data on that has to come off and be transferred to the old games PC which has a lot more oomph, then it can go to the attic and the part of the desk behind the laptop is getting yanked out and I’ll make some shelves for there and claim a bit more desk back.

In the meantime, the tidying up turned up some hardware I’d forgotten I had 😀

Can’t believe I remembered the password…

And this was the mobile internet before the iPhone showed up 😀