Thrifty furniture

Have you made something and want to show it off? This is the place for your photos or just talk about the things that you have made or would like to make. All crafts from knitting and crochet to woodwork, in fact anything that you have made!
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Maykal
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Thrifty furniture

Post: #276177 Maykal
Fri Sep 06, 2013 1:51 pm

Wanted my house, which I'm still in the slow process of doing up, to use wherever possible local materials and local labour. Had a simple pine double bed made by a carpenter in a nearby village for a pretty decent price (£80 materials and labour) but it took him seven months to get round to doing it! I also wanted a bathroom vanity made up but another carpenter (one who wouldn't take a year) quoted me £300, which I thought was a bit over-the-top for the area. In the end I got a cheap Ikea unit and butchered it and stained it (I think the fashionable word is 'repurposed' it) to get it to work as a sink support. I'm quite pleased with how it came out. Had to remake one of the drawers to keep it functional but L-shaped it to go around the drainage pipe. Also the original unit was on wheels so a bit more butchery was required.

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Ended up saving myself about £220 quid in the process so I used the money I'd saved to invest in a few tools and spoke to the local sawmill and found their prices to be pretty good. Of course, most of the wood they mill is for firewood and construction so it's not quite select carpentry-grade wood, but I found if I over-order I get enough decent bits to make what I want, and the remainder I keep for garden projects where it doesn't matter if it has splits or knots.

First project was the kitchen sink, well pump/tank and boiler area. The worktops are oak, as is the frame work. The panelling for the doors and sides (the large cupboard thing on the right houses the boiler) are made of robinia (black locust/false acacia). I made the whole thing a bit higher than standard as I'm quite tall and sick of getting back ache when preparing food and washing up. The space on the left of the sink will be for a washing machine (one day) and the pump will be hidden with a curtain at some point. I made the little green foot stool thing (bottom right) from cut-offs so shorter people can reach the windows at the back. Total cost for frames, tops, cupboards, hinges, etc etc was about £75.

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Next I made a little unit for the bathroom. I wanted a slim cupboard/shelf unit for storing loo roll (actually, loo doesn't work yet as I don't have a septic tank and the village has no sewage system, but I'm thinking ahead... :D). Total cost £5.

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Finally, I've started making a cupboard to go next to the cooker. I wanted something with a tiled top so I can take hot pans off the stove and have somewhere to put them without scrabbling around one-handed looking for a mat or something. Still need to make the doors and side panels, and at the top there'll be a little shelf with a rail underneath it from which you can hang cooking utensils, and I haven't stuck the tiles down and grouted them yet, just put them in place for show. Again, the framing is all oak and the panels are robinia. Total cost (including tiles) about £60.

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276179 Pumkinpie
Fri Sep 06, 2013 3:17 pm

Looks great.

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276184 tosca
Fri Sep 06, 2013 4:50 pm

Looks great, could do with you here! It looks as if we are going to have to make do with what kitchen units are here, which look ok in photos but which give you splinters if you touch them. OH says he will make me an island one day, as I only have two half sized cupboards for dry stores, but his carpentry skills are pretty non-existant, though he is learning fast. But we are lucky that water/sewerage has been done and we got unused (though 6 years old) washing machine, fridge freezer and cooker with the house.

Keep up with the pics, it gives us ideas. :iconbiggrin:

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276185 Maykal
Fri Sep 06, 2013 5:04 pm

Before doing these, I hadn't done any woodworking since the wooden shark on a stick I made in CDT at school in the 80s! I bet the OH could rattle out an island for you - from what I've seen he's pretty handy.

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276230 Skippy
Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:32 pm

Cracking looking furniture maykal , I'm impressed at how little you have spent for the timber. Oak is horrendously expensive over here. Your comment about finding enough good stuff by over ordering is actually quite close to what happens in many joinery works it's not uncommon for shops to buy in sawn planks or baulks and to allow 100% wastage, i.e. the volume of timber removed by machining is pretty much the same as what is left in the finished piece.
Feel free to post any more pictures, we're all nosey, er I mean interested.


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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276231 Skippy
Sun Sep 08, 2013 4:32 pm

double post deleted

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276243 Crickleymal
Sun Sep 08, 2013 6:33 pm

Looks very good, You should be proud of yourself
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Maykal
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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276246 Maykal
Mon Sep 09, 2013 5:16 am

Thanks for the encouragement Malc and Pete. I'll post up some more pics of the finished kitchen unit when it's done - I think I just need a day to finish it but next time I go up to the house I have to collect all the grapes and press them. My first crack at wine making. :)

Re the timber prices, the sawmill uses wood from local managed forest, which is great because it means it hasn't come far - it's nice to be able to virtually see the woodlands the timber has come from whilst working in the workshop. He sells me the black locust for about £150 for a square meter cut up however I want, although I usually try to keep it simple so he doesn't waste too much time resetting the machinery. It's rough sawn, so needs a lot of squaring and planing before use, plus you get the odd split or cracked plank, which I put aside for garden use. It's also sometimes a bit green in places but as I'm over-ordering, I'm storing the leftovers so I should eventually build up a good stock of seasoned timber for future projects. They also provide our firewood (£10 meter stere for beech logs).

Incidentally, anyone got any good ideas for using up sawdust as I'm getting quite a pile of it in the workshop. I've used some for sprinkling in the dry toilet but that's barely touching the heap.

Mike

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276248 seasidegirl
Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:01 am

It looks lovely. So stylish and long-lasting.

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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276249 diggernotdreamer
Mon Sep 09, 2013 6:53 am

Just pressed the like button. Wooden furniture is just so tactile, and pleasing to the eye, it must be very satisfying to make your own furniture. Have you got hens, you could use the sawdust in the hens house, I make all my own potting compost from shavings and chicken poo mixed

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Maykal
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Re: Thrifty furniture

Post: #276355 Maykal
Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:23 am

Unfortunately we don't have hens as we don't live up at the house full time yet (hard to find employment in the area) so mostly I'm focusing on renovations and getting the garden into shape at the moment. Hens are definitely on the agenda in the long term though.


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