Hearth Removal: Concrete, Jackhammer, Persistence

The hearth re-do.

Our intention was (6 months ago) to remove the existing mortar bed of the hearth so we could lay a new tile hearth flush with the floor. I’m embarrassed to admit that we haven’t made any progress with this project since last spring. For a reminder of where we left off, read this post.

A quick re-cap: we removed the wood stove and its tile pad, revealing “faux” tiles made from concrete which sat on a mortar bed.

FireplaceHearth_before

The first layer of concrete was easy to remove with a chisel and hammer, but there was a very stubborn layer of concrete underneath. We went to work on removing it. Continue reading

This Plus That Equals: Industrial Coffee Table

We found these HUGE casters at Second Use (where else?) and immediately thought “coffee table”. (Actually what I immediately thought was that the husband would kill me if I brought home another big metal piece of randomness – like this and this and this.)

RedCasters_Before

8″ diameter industrial casters.

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WoodPlanks

Planks from RE-Store, planed.

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GasolineCan

Old Gas Can from Habitat for Humanity.

Equals_reverseRedCasterCoffeeTable_after

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

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Make Gift Wrap from Old Books

We made several sheets of this gift wrap for the holidays and it was a hit, so here’s a quick how-to tutorial. Change the color scheme and it can work for any occasion throughout the year. GiftWrap_Box

Project: Sew pages of a book together with contrasting top-stitch thread and roll on ink with a brayer to create unique, recycled gift wrap. We used an old encyclopedia and pulled out pages that related to people’s interests – the music section for our musician friend, printing press section for our graphic designer friend, and the biography section for our literate friend. Continue reading

Visualize Your Idea: Build a Quick Model

Here’s a tip: If you have a design idea floating around in your head – a new deck, staircase, fence, arbor, etc… build a quick model from cardboard or balsa wood. You don’t have worry about being too precise or neat – it just helps to see your idea in 3-D so you can see it from various angles.

Below are a couple of prototypes we’ve made – as you can see we weren’t too worried about fine craftsmanship, but it gave us an excellent idea of how things would work together and what modifications to make to the final plan. Continue reading

This Plus That Equals: a Side Table

Ten years ago, we made the mistake of planting 3 Leyland Cypress trees (too) close to our house. We wanted to create a screen between our house and our neighbors. The trees turned from a cute hedge that provided dappled shade and privacy, to a 40 ft dark forest that shaded out our entire backyard. Usually we are tree huggers, but in this case we turned into tree cutter-downers.

After we spent $600 to have the trees cut down, I thought the least we could do was to commemorate them with a small side table (a $600 side table).

TreeSection_before

Leyland Cypress slab left over from our logging project.

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MetalStand_before

An old metal (maybe welding?) stand, picked up at RE-Store.

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TreeTable

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

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This Plus That Equals: a Side Table

This is the first post in a new category where we show little photo collections of some of our projects. The intent is less “tutorial” and more “look at things differently, you never know what can go together to make something new and one of a kind”. Enjoy and please let us know what you think! We love feedback.

SteamTable_before

Steam table, on its way to the scrap metal yard. Stripping it of its silver paint revealed iron legs and galvanized body/shelf. Removing the screwed-on top revealed a solid copper lining (like a silver lining only better).

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ReclaimedWood_before

Old Douglas Fir lumber from Second Use Building Material.

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Hinge_before

Old set of hinges, from a gate we removed in our backyard.

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SteamTable_final2

Finished side table with hinged plank top for access to storage.

See more of Heidi’s artwork at Old Stuff. New Stories.

Make a Home Office Pendant Light

I needed a light for my workspace. I wanted to find a really awesome Pendant Light. I poked around online and found some that were amazing, but a little too expensive for me to handle. I had a very basic $17.00 IKEA pendant light left over from my kitchen update. $17-40.00 was more like my budget. But, it was so small and lacked any funk at all. Plus it looked like it belonged in a kitchen.

Original Ikea Pendant Light

I was hoping to snag an inexpensive, awesome, retro light from Second Use Building Materials or RE Store. Continue reading