Things I did today

  • Mowed some of the lawn, in advance of tomorrow’s expected thunderstorms.
  • Reorganized the shed, because starting to reorganize the back room immediately led me to the shed for something and I just, well, my talents were more needed there.
  • Found an excellent use for part of an old broomstick. (Pic soon)
    • Remembered how I need to take a few more pictures to finish off months-old posts sitting in the drafts folder.
  • Swapped the glass window for the screen window in the front storm door.
  • Discovered a loose piece of trim on screen door, took it down to tack down said trim.
  • Returned hammer and tacks to back room.
  • Discovered more loose trim, took screen window down again.
  • Checked to make sure there was nothing else loose on the screen window. Returned hammer and tacks to back room. Muttered about how the back room needs reorganizing.
  • Put screen window in front storm door.


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Voila. A sideboard. Sorta.

Doesn’t this look nice?


It does! That’s why it’s a shame it would have fallen apart and/or collapsed if you looked at it wrong. I say ‘would have’ (and fallen, and collapsed, and looked) because I turned these miscellaneous items into a fully functioning side table with less than $2 in parts.

The legs were a handy find at a restaurant liquidation – they’re a stand for a server’s tray, and probably cost me less than 50 cents. The top is a salvaged piece of good quality veneered particle board from a broken Ikea dresser I disassembled a while back. The dimensions worked and the pieces looked nice together. Keeping them together was the trick.


And that illusion was solved by two $0.48 pipe straps from the local hardware store and a handful of screws from the back room:



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En français, s’il vous plaît

Sometimes you just have something really heavy to hang:


That is one of two (!) four-foot by four-foot metal-clad hardboard-backed bulletin boards I picked up years ago at a liquidation ($0.51 a piece, baby!). While they may eventually wind up in the library (and the library may eventually wind up being built) I had use for one on a wall in my bedroom. The main difficulty was figuring a way to securely hang the rather heavy square without putting tons of holes in the plaster wall. The full post »


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‘Quick’ custom drawers

The box shelves I built, so as to curb my daily wanderings into the living room for the purpose of getting dressed, did an excellent job of shelving things. But sometimes things should be drawered instead of shelved.

In my experience (and I once built a prop desk off of a three inch sketch, so I have at least some) drawers are boxes with hardware and/or framing that allows them to slide in and out. The box part should be exceedingly simple – it’s the functionality that requires some planning. Or, in the case of my never-ending collection of salvaged stuff, someone else’s planning that you save.


The full post »


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Finishing that floor project

Here’s the thing about paint on floorboards (and probably other old wood surfaces) – it’s damn hard to take it off. Paint stripper, sanding, all of it only gets you so far. So, after a while, I agreed with the writing on the floor and decided to let sleeping metaphors lie. But the floor did need to be finished in some way, shape, and form (let’s be honest – the shape would probably be a slight rectangle) – the options were all some combination of painting and staining, or not, and laying some sort of urethane over the top, assuming I didn’t paint the entire floor.

While I didn’t love the oddly distressed look of the partially removed paint, it did have a certain style all its own. I finally decided to leave it as was, and leave the bare, sanded boards in the middle; a nice seal would show off their return to life.

CIMG8778 The full post »

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A quick transition

Removing the carpet from one room, but not the adjacent hallway, left a bit of a drop between the two:



I debated various possible home-brewed solutions, then stopped by Home Depot on the way back from something else and perused the floor transitions section. Turns out there’s something for just this sort of situation (it’s intended for tile adjoining carpet).



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Build your own mitre saw bench

It’s quick and easy, and you can do it with things you have lying around the house!

Step one – check if you have a mitre saw lying around the house. Otherwise, this is not the project for you.

The full post »

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All natural paint stripper

I keep a gallon of vinegar under the kitchen sink pretty much all the time. It’s an extremely useful cleanser, especially in conjunction with baking soda or a dash of salt as a mild abrasive. It’s also a weak acid (duh) and thus useful for loosening or degrading any number of things – like an old, thick coat of paint covering metal clothes hooks.

CIMG8638 The full post »

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Necessity is the mother of semi-permanence

Close readers of this blog (hi Ezra!) will note that my closet project had reached a midpoint, and said midpoint involved all my clothes in the living room. After standing in front of the now-bare closet for many a day, chewing on the end of a metaphorical pencil and gazing thoughtfully into the space, envisioning a huge range of possible shelving and hanging possibilities, colors, finishes, rewired light fixtures, and a use for that trap door, I determined that my clothes were still in the living room. The situation now growing untenable, I built some box shelves:


The full post »

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A porch is a porch, of course, of course

But it looks better with lattice instead of whatever corrugated white fiberglass-like stuff has been wrapping the porch for years:CIMG8413
The full post »

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