Sunday, 7 February 2016

Mental arithmetic with fractions makes my head hurt

This weekend we went out and bought this lumber:

Then turned it into this robust workbench:

...but not without a huge struggle in which I had to do mental arithmetic with multiple fractions because we were using American instructions based on imperial measurements.

American instructions using imperial measurements
referring to lumber that isn't actually measuring what it's called, eg a 2"x4" isn't actually two by four inches after planing
I had to comb the internet to work out how to buy equivalents in the UK in metric - eg the closest equivalent to a 2x4 seems to be a 50mm x 100mm x 2.4m, 3/4" plywood is 18mm here etc.
   - then-
I had to work out how long to cut various bits allowing for the differences in metric lumber vs the American timber.
  - resulting-
in me having to calculate things like 34 1/2" minus 2 x 3 15/16ths" minus 19 3/4" = ?
ow ow ow headache...

But we got there in the end and the bench is really solid, it's got a useful shelf and we added a good-sized bench vise.  Best of all, I now have all the measurements worked out ready for when we build the second one next weekend. The instructions are here, free to print from the detail below the Youtube video - we didn't actually watch the video before building it as the instructions are pretty good by themselves (apart from not being in metric). Our carpentry skills are pretty minimal so if we can manage it then almost anyone with a handsaw and a power drill should be able to cope. We got the plywood cut to size at B&Q.

This was the first step in tackling the final dumping ground in the house which is the unheated cellar room. It's a disaster zone at the moment, full of stuff that got left there when we were unpacking, untidy messes of tools and packing material, empty boxes, paint tins etc.  I want to turn it into a more tidy workshop with decent storage, and places to put our power tools. And eventually a place to build dollshouses hopefully.

Also on the DIY front, I installed the painted brackets I posted about last week. They look good, like they are holding up the beam rather than just stuck to it. A subtle bit of bling for the room. And you can't see the hints of lime green  :)


I did in fact run out of white yarn for the Baa-ble mittens so they are stalled while I wait for another ball to arrive in the post. I have the tip of the second mitten to do, and thumbs on both mitts.

I also went shopping for fabric as the Fabric Guild in Leicester emailed me about their sale when I was having a weak moment. I wan't happy with the solid blue fabric for the border of the Let it Snow quilt, it was just killing all the joy of the central panel stone dead. So I headed up to Leicester on my day off to look for an alternative. I found a mottled blue which is much more what I wanted, so I've unpicked the snowballs but I'm leaving the corner triangles in solid blue and will replace the plain squares with the new fabric. They also had this snowman fabric for £2/yd so I picked up some for the back of the quilt, and fell for this cute pack of four FQs and this vintage sewing fabric. I felt I was showing real dedication to my craft as the Fabric Guild is a little over a mile from Leicester station and it was very windy and raining as I trudged along on foot there and back on what was meant to be my relaxing day off.

I did a bit more stitching on the latest applique block from my ancient UFO 25-block applique quilt.  I manage about two blocks a year and I think this is only block 17, sigh...  It is starting to look very pretty though, will be fab if I ever finish it.

I also finally finished the first Basket Check Sock - commuter knitting took a real back seat to my re-reading an urban fantasy series from my bookshelf the last few weeks. You know how it goes, you pick up the first book because you don't have anything to read on the train and before you know it you are procrasti-reading all eight volumes and stalking Amazon to see when the next one comes out.

1 comment:

swooze said...

Which series are you reading? I adore your mittens and hat!

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