June 26, 2008

Working Tidy

(My post from Outta This Funk)
In the Feb 08 Issue of Creating Keepsakes, Becky Higgins office is in the ‘how we create’ section, titled “begin with the end”. On page 54 you can see where Becky has a hole in her desk, under which lives her garbage! She just slides her scrappy trimmings to the hole, and –bye bye…scraps land in the bin!

I love the idea of keeping my work surface clean as I work. Heck, anything that helps me be clean I love! I recently built myself a large L shaped desk, and in the corner section that I designed to scrap in, I drilled my garbage hole!
(this photo is poor, taken just now with the sun on this side of the house. You can see I've got a tall bin under there.)


I used a 4” circular bit in my drill to cut a hole in the door. (I used doors for the desk top. Click on my name to go to my blog if you want to read more about the construction of my desk.)


Now, remember these doors are hollow, so I also cut the hole in a piece of mdf that was the same thickness as the hollow space in the door.


Cardboard is the only filler between hollow core dores, so I moved the pieces in my way, dry fit the piece of wood, and took it out again. I put glue in the hollow door and onto the wood, slid it into place, and clamped it down. I also used masking tape to make sure it stuck and stayed right where I wanted it.



When the glue was dry, I removed the clapms and tape and proceded to finish my desk by painting and varnishing it.
On my new desk, where I make jewelry, I don't need a large garbage can because scraps from jewelry making are so small. So my solution here is to just put a cute bowl on my desk top to act as garbage can, and this I just empty on occasion. ;)

(Look at that cute metal bowl on the right of my red bowl. I should have included it better in the photo here. I use it to keep my jewelry tools in, and because of all of the circles, I can hang earrings on it as I make them. he he.)
TFL!
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A Great Big Desk -part II

Sorry for the large gap between posts. (I’ve been neglecting my computer with lots to do. I’m finally working on that room where I ripped the wall down!)

Onto the top of the desk! ---I built it out of doors!
I decided because I wanted it to be 10 x 11.5’ I would need 4 doors.
Two 60” desks at the left, one of which would be part of the corner piece. A full size door at the right, and a 30” square piece to finish the creation of the corner desk. This would be a finished desk that would be in 3 sections. One desk for the computer, one to scrap on, and one to make jewelry on. The dream desk!

I went to Home Depot first and they did not have any flat 30” doors, so I left. (The empty gap on the shelf for them was 21-ish dollars.) I went to a local door business, they wanted $33 each for the flat hollow-core doors and he had an invoice popping out of the printer and handing it to me before I had a chance to know what was happening. I said to him “Woooh wooh. They’re not even close to 33 each at home depot.” He said they had to be that much anywhere because of wholesale price, and I said "thanks anyway" and left.

Then I went to Lowes! (Big smiles here)
I headed to the doors and saw they had what I needed, but there were only two in the slot. Suddenly a guy appeared and asked me if I was finding what I needed. I asked if they had more of these 30” doors, and that I needed 4. (priced at $20 each)
He started looking overhead and pointed out that the doors didn’t have holes for knobs. I told him it was fine since I wasn’t going to be using them as doors, I was making a desk.
At which point he said, "Well have you seen our clearance doors?"
“No my good man, show me to them!” ;)
He took me to a large pile of doors that were all damaged and knocked down to $7.50 each. (These ones had holes for knobs.) Then he offered to help me get what ever doors I wanted out of this big pile.
One by one he pulled out doors and marked them down even further because of the damage on them.

I arrived believing I was going to have to spend $20 each on these doors, and I ended up leaving with my 4 doors and only spending $24!!!!! FREAK!!

K, that story was too long. So let me get on with it.
One door was going to be solid and uncut, so there was nothing to do there but determine the right side.
The second door was going to be cut at 60”, and after deciding on the side with the least damage, I cut the end off to position the knob hole where it would best serve as the hole for my computer cables. (perfect size)
The third door would be half of the corner piece and also needed to be 60” long.
The fourth door would get cut into a 30” square. This would attach to the side of the third door and form my corner.
I cut a triangle from a corner of scrap to attach to the middle of the two, creating a softer corner to sit in.

I used my garage floor. Put gorilla glue between the doors, and glued a ¼” piece of mdf (measuring 2 x 4 ft.) to the back of them. I did the same with the little corner once the glue was dry on the big pieces.

Then I filled the gap between the three pieces with filler and then plastered over them for an even surface.

Also…
In the Feb 08 Issue of Creating Keepsakes, Becky Higgins has her office in the ‘how we create’ section, titled “begin with the end”. On page 54 you can see where Becky has a hole in her desk, under which lives her garbage! She just slides her trimmings to the hole, and –bye bye…scraps land in the bin!
I like this idea so much that I have not forgotten it. I used a 4” circular bit in my drill to cut a hole in the door. Now, remember these doors are hollow, so I also cut the hole in a piece of mdf that was the same thickness as the hollow space in the door.
I put glue in the hollow door and onto the wood, slid it into place and clamped it down. I also used masking tape to make sure it stuck and stayed right where I wanted it.

Then I painted all my door/desk sections with a pale yellow paint, 2 coats of my chosen color, and 3 coats of Varathane. (Dries hard as diamonds apparently, and is water based. The smell is almost non-existent.)

The doors came already primed, so I didn’t need to worry about that. DH suggested I use a light “base coat” hence the yellow -which was left over from painting my kitchen over a year ago.


I learned a couple tips for painting surfaces that you want to use as a desk.
You want it smooth obviously, so use a large roller as opposed to a small roller so that the paint can be applied quickly for and even settling and drying. By settling, I mean, the rollers leave marks in the paint that settle slightly in the first minute or so, a large roller means the settle happens mostly at once.
Also… buy a short knap roller. Even 3/8” knap is too tall. I was only able to find a ¼” knap, but that was better than the 3/8”!
I need a surface I can write on. After all, this is a desk.
And lastly, 4 coats of Varathane was considerably smoother than 3! Who knew 1 coat could make such a big difference.

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June 7, 2008

A Great Big Desk!

I've been wanting a large L shaped desk for a long time now. I thought I was going to get one custom made by someone other than me...

I went to an office supply store and looked at desk sections. The salesman told me it's more expensive to buy the pieces than it is to have one custom made. (sounds crazy) He went on to say the drawers would be the most expensive part at $125 each. So I figured this thing might end up being around $600 and be the desk of my dreams! I gave him my measurements, and the quote came back, at $965.

Ya, this cheap-skate isn't going to go custom via anybody but me at that price.

This here post is my first project towards accomplishing this wonderful desk.

I looked all over for drawers to go under my desk, and I was really surprised how little there is out there that aren't filing size. I ended up at IKEA, (surprise surprise -not) and they too didn't really have what I was after. They had one really cool one called Alex, with long drawers that aren't tall, and it was perfect, but at $119, that was a bit pricy to have more than one, so I had to decide what to get to go with it.

I asked the opinion of many strangers, and was there for around an hour and a half trying to decide! I wished I hadn't gone alone! In the end I was so pleased with what I chose because of the great idea I came up with!

I bought 3 of the Goliat at $34.99 each, and as I started to assemble the first one, I had a great idea when I saw the handles were PLASTIC.

I opened the Alex box, got out a drawer front, and drew a line similar to the shape on the Goliat drawer front. Just down to the holes that were predrilled for the plastic handles.

I taped off the front and back of the drawer before I cut it with a scroll saw.



(Scroll saws are an awesome tool to have. A friend of mine gave this to me. I've had it quite a few months, but until now I haven't needed it or had any intricate projects to saw. It's a gem!)










With each 'handle' cut out of the drawers, I sanded the corners for a smooth finish. Then I finished assembling all of my drawer cabinets.

Once assembled, I used white acrylic paint to cover the raw chipboard edge. It took three coats:)








I knew I didn't want the castors on them that came with, so when I assembled the drawers I left the castors off.

Then I measured the height of everything and the height I wanted my desk to be. I ended up back at Ikea and bought feet to screw to the bottoms of everything making them all the same height.

While I was at it, I bought an extra set of feet to attach to a board that I spray painted white. This is the guy I'm going to put my computer tower on. It may as well match eh?

I paid $10 for the 4" legs, and $12 for the 6" legs. that sounds bit pricey considering what a cheap-skate I am, but I knew they'd be easy, and they were just what I was after. Plus when you do the math.... (and rationalize it...)

$56 for 20 legs ($2.80 each)
$223.97 for 4 sets of drawers. ($55.99 each)

That's actually cheap.

So, this is the foundation for my large L shaped desk. Stay tuned for more :)
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June 3, 2008

What you can do with a Babmoo Blind

I was given this screen at a yard sale. It was pretty broken, extremely dirty, and tied together with a piece of string. All the hinges were attached, and the frame wasn't too bad, so I pulled it apart!

I removed the woven wood slats and sanded the heck out of the frames. Each frame had a small chanel that these slats tucked into, and were glued. So I did have quite a job sanding down these grooves to get the chunks of glue out.

Having sanded the frame down to bare wood, I then stained it walnut.


I bought a large bamboo blind for $25. (48 x 72" new. Keep an eye out for second hand ones, the savings is great! I have since bought a huge blind from a yard sale for $5 that was 3 times the size of this one. I'm waiting for another idea to strike for that one.)


...and cut it with large tin snips to fit inside the groves on each of the screen frames. This took a little patience because the blind is plyable, it wasn't like sliding two solid things together.


Then I reassembled the whole thing, nailing small nails into the back side of each screen and into the blind to keep everything secure and in place.
It went from ugly and dirty, to lovely and useful. I'm going to place it in front of a closet door that is seldom used in the TV room.

Hope this gives you some good ideas for a blind you might be hanging on to and thinking you should throw out.

ps It was some scraps from this blind that I used when I made the House number ;)
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