I made a rock jack inspired chair for use on steep terrain. I actually made two chairs and the mistakes and learnings from the first lead to this series of photos.
My process was to fiddle and mess about with putting flats on the two horizontals and the base of the vertical so that they'd splay out at the right angle. I also miter cut where the two horizontals met (which wasn't easy by myself). I nailed them together and then could artistically carve flats in the angled legs and the spots where they touched the horizontals and vertical. It was very rigid after attaching all that together and putting the reclaimed boards on for the seat made it even more stable. I used a 5 gallon bucket to prop up the back as I built it but for steeper slopes you could use a higher device.
It seats two very well. If one person gets up the other doesn't tip over.
Y'know what cats love? Cat trees! And what better thing is there to make one from than and actual tree, huh? There is none! For this submission, I capitalized on the natural beauty of a dogwood stump to make a piece of furniture that is intended to be used exclusively by a cat. Ahh... first world living.
Some PEP-informed plusses and minuses:
+Used only upcycled materials ('cept screws, everything else was scrap or got for free)
+Non-coated wood; natural beauty, baby
+Strong enough to hold a 200-lb man. Safe to say no cat will come close to putting that weight on
-Toxic gick used (liquid nails and plywood in the base; carpet and particle board on platforms [20 years old means they're safe now?])
-It's literal cat furniture
During the PTJ 2021, I decided to learn a new skill and make coat hooks, hat hooks, and shelf brackets out of salvaged railroad spikes. Jim, one of the PTJ instructors, showed me how to do this project and I improved 25 spikes. I plan to use them in my shop and/or garage when I get home.
To document the completion of this Oddball project, I have provided the following photos of railroad spikes
- as found with Jim's Bending Bar
- marked for bending and drilling
- started centerpunching
- drilling pilot and counter-sink holes
- grinding ledge off of shelf brackets
- heating and bending
- vinegar bath to remove rust
- using raw linseed oil to protect from more rust
- all hooks and brackets - sorted by type
- shelf bracket - nine total
- coat hook - ten total
- hat hook - six total
I had some bird seed that I wanted to put out but I lacked the correct type of feeder - all I have are a pair of peanut feeders and a cage for fat balls, nothing to hold the smaller seed that I wanted for attracting a greater diversity of birds.
I'd learned that you could improvise using a plastic drinks bottle. I routed around in the trash and found such a thing and washed it out. I also found the handle for an old, broken bucket that I'd pulled out of a skip over the weekend to use for the perch. The bucket was a little too broken to use as a bucket so it is now a large plant for (and the tomato it is resident to is happier for the extra space!).
I hacksawed off a length of the bucket handle and rounded over the ends using a big file. This took off any sharpness and made it safe, for us and the birds.
I then used the tip of a knife to make two opposite holes in the plastic bottle, about 2" from the bottom; these holes are for the perch. I added two more holes, directly above these, and enlarged them with a pair of scissors; these holes will allow the birds to get the seed.
I made some more, smaller holes in the bottom for drainage. Finally, I added two small holes in the neck of the bottle, perpendicular to the perch holes, for hanging the feeder.
I used a darning needle to thread some yarn through the holes in the neck of the bottle and tied them together to create a loop. This is now hung over a branch in my garden.
I filled the feeder using a funnel and, once full, screwed the cap back on to keep out the rain.
Not a long job - I think I spent 30 minutes on this, all in all - but a nice use of waste materials. If the plastic ever degrades due to UV damage then I can recycle it and make another - there is always waste on our road.
EDIT: in some of the photos there is visible glue on the bottle from the label. I cleaned this using a little tequila (!) which dissolved it and then wiped it using a paper towel. You can see that it is no longer present on the final, completed shot.
I think this goes down in the books as the most time-consuming and non-awe-inspiring BB I've done. But, here it is!
Back in highschool, I made this medieval gown:
and the laces are very NOT-medieval. Not only that, they are satiny and untie constantly. So, I thought I'd make a cord for it like they did in the medieval times, with fingerloop braiding. I used this flax thread from EcobutterflyOrganics
I followed this method:
"Fingerloop braiding" sounds so easy, so gentle, so genteel. HA! After three+ hours of braiding, I had blisters on fingers, a wild sunburn on my neck and I was sore from the aerobics I did to make it work. Probably 1 of those 3 hours was spent untangling the thread. Though, looking online, it seems like it always takes people a long time to do this sort of thing. So, I don't feel toooooo bad.
Because I needed the cord to be long, I used my feet to tighten the braid since my arms couldn't stretch far enough apart (I also tied the ends shorter)
When I finally braided enough, I got to sit down to braid--that was nice!
Here's the seriously-strong...and seriously unimpressive cord:
Since the textiles badge has pants -> shorts, but no long-sleeve -> short sleeve, I'm putting this entry here. I had a lovely linen blouse with 3/4 sleeves that was incredibly thinned out/damaged at the elbow. The rest of it was in good order, so I decided to try to save it by making it into a short sleeved shirt. The fabric was so fine that I decided to do it by hand for the most control of the fabric and my stitches. Now a wearable garment again!
We have a stone rolling pin, which is great for pasta and dumpling wrappers, but it's a bit heavy for things like biscuits and scones. To address this, I decided to make a wooden one out of a big chunk of reclaimed oak wood. It's turned on an electric lathe and finished with a mixture of grapeseed oil and beeswax.
I submit here a wooden flax breaker, for taking retted flax and removing the worst of the chaff off it so it can be processed into linen.
I used a design I found used in a dark ages textile find, as it was relatively small and portable. I started with raw logs of Japanese maple (handle), and a spalted wood (possibly sycamore?). These were being pruned along places I cycle by, and I popped the logs onto my bike for further processing.
Logs were split with a froe, cleaned up with a sideaxe, cut to shape on a band saw, the handle turned on an electric lathe, cut out with a chisel, and the teeth were also finished with a hand chisel. The axel is a piece of scrap bar stock we picked up off the side of the road, and the whole thing is finished with a mixture of beeswax and grapeseed oil. Like the original, it has two holes so it can be pegged into a workbench as needed.
It works great, and is easy to tuck away when not in use!
I submit this horsehair shaving brush. Have a low-quality boar bristle brush in a plastic handle for using with a straight razor, and the brush is on its last legs. In a process which took quite a long time (much of which was indecision and research), I decided to make a new one from local materials. Active working time: ~5 hours (0.25 pipe, 0.5 cylinder & mould, 2 sorting horsehair, 1 tying, 1.25 turning and finishing wood handle)
- Lock of horse tail hair. A local woman was bobbing her horse's tail for dressage showing, and I managed to get a lock from her.
- Stainless pipe. From local scrappers
- Silicone. Leftover from patching a leaky garage at the flat I was living in at the time
- Wooden cylinder. Turned from scrap hardwood
- Nylon fishing line. Picked up off of the beach
- 2-part epoxy for making the shaving brush knot
- Plum wood for handle. Sourced from local woodturner's offcuts--saved from the firewood heap!
- Danish oil
I started off by getting a piece of used scrap stainless steel pipe. I cut it to length with a hacksaw and then filed all the edges so there were no burrs to catch on the horsehair as it needs to be able to slide right through. I turned a wooden cylinder about 3mm thinner in diameter than the interior of the pipe (not pictured) and sanded it until it was very glossy. I then coated it with some silicone to create a mould for the butt of the shaving brush.
Then I sorted the horsehair by hand, selecting pieces with low crimp, reasonable length, and no split ends.
Bit by bit, I then stuffed the horsehair through the tube until it was well packed. I then secured one side with a piece of fishing line. Using my barber's scissors, I cut the unsecured end flat. I then pushed the hair through the pipe, tying it every couple cm to keep the brush in place. I made a longer brush to sit deep in the handle, as horsehair is much softer than the traditional badger bristle. Once I'd pushed out the desired length, I cut the secured bundle with a very sharp knife. I then put epoxy in the silicone mould and set the brush in it overnight to create the knot.
I turned a handle for the brush from plum wood--going slowly and using calipers to ensure that the dimensions were exactly right. I carved away the point of attachment to the chuck, sanded it and finished it, inside and out, with Danish oil. I then attached the knot with shellac. Since shellac is alcohol-soluble, this means I can remove the knot when it wears out by dissolving the shellac in ethanol and popping the knot out.
So here it is--a lovely horse-hair shaving brush with a replaceable knot. It has just the right amount of give to apply a good lather!