Project Greenhouse day1


The old log wall

After ripping out the old wood store that I put here last year I was left with this old wall where I am going to put a 6′ by 4′ lean too timber greenhouse. I decided that due to kids throwing stones and the occasional golf ball landing in the garden that I would use plastic sheeting like the kind you get on a pollytunnel, it’s easily replaced if it does get damaged.

So to start with I had to get rid of the old logs which actually ended up being part of the wall to the shed.

Blue tarp exposed.

So here it is all taken down, The sterling board was removed aswell and more tarp attached at the bottom to stop water penetration onto the new boards I will be putting up.  The fence panel to the left will also be getting replaced as its been up for 14 years and the gales in january tore it down.

It's a bit patchy!

So yes it looks a little patched up but in all honesty I have used boards from pallets (nearly new ones) but still reclaimed from Yooz a charity reclamation yard, I also got my polythene from them to line the greenhouse with.

Ok well that’s todays work done, over the weekend I hope to get the main frame in place ready for painting pop back to see how this project takes shape.


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Eco Friendly or Not?

I just came across this and felt the need to post it (source). I think most people are pretty clued up nowadays about Certification but it’s always good to know that you are buying things that are environmentally sound especially nowadays when so much harm is done to our planet.

However I would like to just add my tuppence worth as a woodcrafter and a small independent business. Please read the following quote and I will continue after it.

“If you want to buy tables, chairs and couches from an environmental and socially responsible timber industry, you should look for a trustworthy proof of origin. Most manufacturers make their goods with promising certificates, but you should only go for the internationally valid seal FSC. Many dealers promote with fancy labels and convincingly-sounding certificates – but in reality the customer is misled.
The proof of origin is often self-made and offers no guarantee for an environmentally friendly and socially responsible product. The FSC label is the only ecological wooden certificate meeting the basic requirements of environmental associations and consumer associations.
FSC stands for Forest Stewardship Council and it is an independent organization of environmentalists, business representatives and social organizations.     The members have to define the minimum criteria for sustainable forest management and are acting worldwide. The FSC label is currently the only certificate to offer the possibility worldwide to observe the complete processing of the tree from the forest to the garden chair in the store.

Ask the seller for the exact origin of their wood products! If the company isn´t able to tell where the wood comes from: stay away! Ask for products from native hardwoods and prefer native timbers particularly if they are accompanied by the certificate of Naturland or FSC.”

This is the official logo for the FSC.

Official FSC Logo

Ok it states above  “Many dealers promote with fancy labels and convincingly-sounding certificates – but in reality the customer is misled. The proof of origin is often self-made and offers no guarantee for an environmentally friendly and socially responsible product.” From My point of view this only has a modicum of truth. Small woodcrafting businesses like mine tend to source timber locally and in many cases actually recycle wood so how can I prove otherwise? According to the above statement I can’t and therefore should be avoided. So are the Forest Stewardship Council saying that if I see a wind felled tree and ask permission of the land owner to harvest some of it that it is not a valid eco-friendly bit of timber?  Or what about when I recycle something into a new product, should I be certifying it as FSC aswell?

They also state “Ask the seller for the exact origin of their wood products! If the company isn´t able to tell where the wood comes from: stay away! Ask for products from native hardwoods and prefer native timbers particularly if they are accompanied by the certificate of Naturland or FSC.” I can probably tell people where 90% of the wood I use is sourced from but I can’t provide a certificate. I do take great care in finding out the providence of the wood so I can in fact pass this information on to potential customers. The other 10%, well that’s the really funny part about this. When I do buy timber I usually buy FSC labeled timber from timber merchants but as far as I am concerned if asked about it I would have to say I bought it locally from a timber supplier and can only say that it was FSC certified.

I think if when looking at buying eco-friendly products that a certificate is a good thing to look out for but in reality you do have to have a certain amount of trust in the person making the product. Small self-employed crafts people I would say could tell you a lot more about their products than a salesperson in a showroom selling bought in products. I can hand on heart say that as I spent 20 years in sales 10 of which was furniture sales.

Well that’s just my thoughts I would love to hear what anyone else has to say about this.


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Bike Store

As promised and keeping well and truly to the recycle remit I built this bike store over the past couple of days from scrap timber and offcuts from recycled (and recycled again) decking boards.

Bike store

Decking board & Scrap

The Decking was offcuts I picked up from a friend who bought some second-hand boards to do their garden. It was originally painted red cedar so the green has covered it pretty well.

It's just a little over 6'wide

The center support is actually the offcut from the “new” door I put onto the workshop.

Corrigated plastic roof.

The 2 sheets of corrugated plastic were actually the original roof of my shed but after a hard winter the plastic just didn’t have the desired effect so these have been sitting for 2 years just waiting to get reused, I hate to throw anything away especially when I bought them in the first place. I think that also counts as recycling.

I have a confession though I didn’t take any measurements when building this and on Monday my son told me he didn’t think their bikes would fit. I told him don’t be daft.. ahh the irony because dad was the dafty. I will have to remove it and add one more board at the bottom as the bikes are just a tad bigger than I realised. I humbly apologised to him when he got back from School on Tuesday. I think secretly he was amused going by the big smirk on his face.

Shed door

New door for the workshop.

So anyway This is the new door I put onto the workshop on Monday. Donna saw it advertised for free on Gumtree, I was really glad to get this as the door I made last year had warped over the winter as it was only scrap pine offcuts from the pews from an earlier project. This is a solid hardwood exterior door that would have probably gone to landfill or the council recycle depot. Donna has plans to paint it black to match in with the fascia boards and window. Just to the left of the door where the logs are is where the new lean too green house will be living.

Last but not least….

Strawberry bed.

Roll on this years stawberries!

Being as the plastic lightweight greenhouse was blown apart during the gales earlier this year all I was left with was a few bent poles and some connectors. Every year I have had issues with birds eating the berries so this year I came up with a cunning plan and reused the old poles that weren’t bent and twisted to make a frame.

I plan to save up and replace the fence panels at some point this year as these have now been up about 14 years and they took a pounding from the high winds. Having shopped about I found a decent deal at B&Q warehouse (I have a trade card so it may only be available for trade sales) 6’x6′ panels £20 each or if you buy more than 5 £15 each. remember if you are in west-central Scotland and are needing a handyman especially for fencing, shed re-felting, grass cutting & general gardening work please get in touch. You can find details of how to get in touch on the contact us tab at the top of the page.

Well that’s that for today. I hope you enjoyed and maybe I have inspired you to reuse and recycle as the end results really don’t look all that bad. I am more than willing to use recycled materials (you just have to supply them) on any jobs to help save someone a few bob.


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As I opened the back door this morning two massive crows took off out of the garden, nothing unusual about that really. That is until my neighbour over the back asked me if I was missing some small white metal fencing. I was a little confused to say the least as I have wooden fences. Anyway she explained to me as I opened the door this morning she was cleaning her bedroom windows and saw the crow fly off with one it’s beak and it suddenly dawned on me what she was on about.

In the raised bed I placed  these little hoops along the edge to deter the dog from jumping up onto the flowers.  The beds look a little drab just now but we have some seeds ready in a mini greenhouse germinating. Anyway I diverse.

Well  the little buggers haven’t just taken one they have taken every single one apart from the two that are left right down the length of this bed and along the bottom. If I were to guess how many are missing I would say about 15 of them have gone. I had such a laugh at the thought of them pinching them to line their nest. If I am honest I hadn’t even noticed that they were missing as I have been busy doing other things and haven’t got round to dealing with this bed yet.

Has anyone else had run ins with thieving crows or magpies? I would love to hear what else they are capable of.


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Delivery of my new Fund 101 tools, from Axminster Tools center.

The Nice man from TNT delivered these 2 boxes of goodies to me erlier. I ordered them on Friday from Axminster Tool Center after humming and hawing about what I needed to help me in the production of our items. The much needed funds came from Enterprise Nations Fund 101. I applied for a £500 grant in September last year and to qualify I had to acheive 500 votes from people I knew like family and friends, I also spent time networking on facebook, forums and to some extent on twitter (I am a twitter novice). It took me just shy of 6 months to gather the needed votes but in all honesty now I have these boxes sitting here it was all worth it. I feel like I owe a lot of people a huge thank you because without your help I would not have been able to afford these tools.

This is the tool I really needed the most The planer thicknesser. This should really help me with the production time when processing rough or reclaimed timber. It’s still to be put together properly and placed in the workshop but this will give an idea of what it looks like.

This is a great bit of kit and big enough for our small workshop.

The top of it which is still covered with the greased paper will help get a nice straight edge and I can also feed timber into it so as to get a consistant thickness. It is really going to help me speed up production.

Last year after burning out 5 sanders all of which were of domestic quality only I really felt I needed a new industrial quality sander. Having shopped around for a thicknesser that would fit in the workshop and trying to use the £500 grant in a way that I could make the most of it. I decided on this random orbital sander.

plus 100 sanding disks to start me off.

The following pictures are some of the other things I got and although they look like run of the mill hand tools even the smallest tools that could be deemed insignificant all have a purpose and I’m 100% sure I will make good use of them all.

Thes fine edge saw will help when doing handmade joints it leaves a much neater finish especially on soft woods.

Gent’s saw or Gentleman’s saw  — a small dovetail saw with a straight turned handle, rather than an open one typical of most saws. The name seems to have arisen from its use by the nineteenth century dilettante who would now be called a hobbyist but it is hard to find a nineteenth century reference to it. For example, in the section on tools in Every Man his own Mechanic (1881) (816pp), tenon, dovetail and sash saws are listed as a group but there is no mention of a gent’s saw. It is adapted for use in making joints in very small woodwork such as that in some musical instruments, dolls’ furniture or other model-making. Its distinguishing features are its small size and turned handle.

(info taken from wikipedia)

Such a handy little tool.

A block plane is a small woodworking hand plane which typically has the iron bedded at a lower angle than other planes, with the bevel up. It is designed to cut end grain and is typically small enough to be used with one hand.

According to Patrick’s Stanley Blood and Gore, Stanley marketing materials states that, “A Block Plane was first made to meet the demand for a Plane which could be easily held in one hand while planing across the grain, particularly the ends of boards, etc. This latter work many Carpenters call ‘Blocking in’, hence the name ‘Block’ Plane.” Tradition also claims that the block plane gets its name from its traditional use to level and remove cleaver marks from butchers’ blocks that were built with the end grain facing up. (Info taken from Wikipedia).

The fretsaw is a saw used for intricate cutting work which often incorporates tight curves. Although the coping saw is often used for similar work, the fretsaw is capable of much tighter radii and more delicate work. It has a distinctive appearance due to the depth of its frame (typically between 10 and 20 inches), which together with the relatively short five inch blade makes this tool appear somewhat out of proportion compared to most other saws. (Info taken from Wikipedia).

A file is a metalworking and woodworking tool used to cut fine amounts of material from a workpiece. It most commonly refers to the hand tool style, which takes the form of a steel bar with a case hardened surface and a series of sharp, parallel teeth. Most files have a narrow, pointed tang at one end to which a handle can be fitted.

A similar tool is the rasp. This is an older form, with simpler teeth. As they have larger clearance between teeth, these are usually used on softer, non-metallic materials.

Related tools have been developed with abrasive surfaces, such as diamond abrasives or silicon carbide. Because of their similar form and function, these have also been termed ‘files’. (info taken from Wikipedia)

These are parts I will be needing to make some new items.

A Lazy Susan is a rotating tray, usually circular, placed on top of a table to aid in moving food on a large table.

The term “Lazy Susan” made its first written appearance in a Good Housekeeping article in 1906, although their existence dates back to the 18th century. Prior to the use of the term ‘Lazy Susan’, they were referred to as dumbwaiters, a term today applied to a small elevator for transporting food. There is no clear evidence as to the origin of the Susan part of Lazy Susan. (info taken from Wikipedia)

Yes this rather a long post so I will cut it short here and just say thanks you all once again for the help in gaining the funding that helped me buy these items, and watch out for the “Handy” ranges of storage & displays coming soon.


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