Pontoon replacement

This had had its day with the handrail dangerously loose and a lot of the decking rotten and unstable.

The first thing to do was to remove the whole superstructure leaving just the piles in place. These were still sound showing little or no rot. A testament to Greenheart which is one of the most robust timbers available.

Next, leveling by strings this is not only to find the level for laying a deck but also the width so that the timber laid will be of equal width and true to the eye.

The bearers and sides called strings are now fastened to the piles in preparation for the deck and handrails.

All fastenings used are stainless steel. Normal green decking screws and bolts would soon start to rust in this marine environment.

Newel posts and handrails are fixed to the strings. These I machined off site from 100x100mm stock.

And finally the decking. Non slip decking was laid and fastened. All timber used throughout being double vac tanalised so treated twice this extends the lifetime of the timber which should exceed 25yrs. As time passes the wood will melow in colour and end up being a dark honey colour.

Scarfing in

Here you can see the process of scarfing in. The corner post of a
french 3 door bifold set that divides the living room and the outside.
This would not be cheap to replace. The customer was quoted £7000 for
the replacement of the frame and doors by a builder / installer. I did
it for less than £500

Image 1. Shows the rot and my markings of what needs to be cut out.
Image 2. The cutting out of marked lines.
Image 3. The removed piece.
Image 4. A template is made to fit exactly into the cut out. This is
then transferred onto the timber that will be used. The scarf piece.
Image 5. The scarf. Glued and screwed with stainless steel screws and
timber plugged.
Image 6. The Finished piece with primer and undercoat.

Boxing in pipework

Not the most glamorous of projects but an essential one particularly when the pipes run down the corner of a living room. Rather than butt two pieces of MDF together which look amateurish and unsightly I carry a stock of edging pieces that I machined out.

It also means that when the customer paints the box there is no rough edge.

The edge of MDF acts like a sponge so you never quite get that perfect paint finish.The edging piece covers that.I was undecided about wrapping the coving around the box so instead left the box as is.Once it is painted it will blend in.   

Storage/Display drawers

Oak comes in an infinite range of shades and grain structures. I  explained this to the customer who replied ‘The more contrast in the wood the better’.  This set of storage/display drawers are made with solid Oak drawers, top and legs.And a combination of solid and OAK veneered MDF used for the main carcass.A particularly delicate piece comprising 9 drawers 380mm x 220  with an internal depth of 26mm for the shallow drawers and 70mm for the larger ones. The intention is to keep a large collection of crystals and rocks in the drawers with several books on the subject on the bottom shelf. Personally I think a lovely pot plant would be nice to sit on the top.I finished the piece with a finishing oil and the customer has employed a french polisher who will do their magic to bring out the grains and colours.

Furniture panels with AirTec Edging – Custom built Furniture and storage Cupboards

The industry standard is to use cams and locking pins to assemble furniture boards together. We have all seen them and probably used them when we buy flat pack furniture to assemble at home. They work and have the added convenience that with care you can dismantle and reassemble the furniture if you move house for example.However cams are not great if you wish to achieve a piece which has the characteristics of a traditional ‘solid’ piece of furniture. 

With this in mind I use a method of construction that entails a trench to be machined into the meeting panels and introduce an Oak batten, I choose Oak because of its sheer  strength thus avoiding splitting should the piece come under stress. The trench is normally 6.3mm wide and 15mm deep on each panel enabling a 6.3mm x 30mm batten to be glued into place. The images below show the construction of two cupboards that are to be used in an office come handicraft workshop environment. They do not have to be white I can source over 1000 colours with various finishes that can have AirTec Edging. 

AirTec Edging enables a seamless hardwearing edge to panels and the appearance of a quality piece of furniture. Something that cannot be achieved with the iron on alternatives often employed.The great thing about these furniture boards is that matching existing colour schemes can be achieved which means adding an extra cupboard or an infill does not become an obstacle to enlarging or redesigning an existing installation.   

A Meter Cupboard

This electricity meter situated in the hallway needed to be housed in something. I had fitted Oak veneered doors throughout the property so an Oak cupboard was decided as being most suitable.American white Oak and Oak veneered MDF for the door panels was used.I was keen to copy the curve of the plaster work to the top of the cupboard which gives a certain flow to the finished piece.

American White Oak is not the easiest of timbers to work with. I have to be really careful in selecting stock from suppliers as it is prone to warp, splitting and cupping.It has to be clamped from the moment I purchase it to the moment it is machined and assembled.Because of this characteristic I allow for 30% wastage. By that I mean that a 2 meter length will have a workable length of approximately 1.5Mts. The .5 offcut is used for smaller projects e.g. picture frames and such like.   

Basement storage

This narrow basement being approximately 2 meters wide by 8 meters long had fitted this MDF storage unit. I split the unit into 5 sections, manufactured it off site and flat packed it for transport. It was then reassembled in the basement and fitted against the wall. 

All facing edges are finished with a glued 18mm x 21mm softwood batten. This prevents sagging which is a problem over time with MDF shelves and also enables a better finish when it is painted. I find that the edge of  MDF tends to be a bit like a sponge and the paint tends to sit with a rough finish without edging.

This storage unit is 3.7 meters in length and 2.1 meters in height with a depth of 700mm it has 25 individual shelves which sit onto adjustable shelf strips. 

The potential storage capacity is enormous, a massive 5.1 cubic meters, that’s a lot of books 18mts or 59ft.    


Glass Fronted Bookcase

This double bookcase I made using off cuts from various jobs that I have done. The carcass and shelves are Oak Veneered 18mm MDF whilst the doors are solid American White Oak. The shelves are sat on adjustable shelf brackets so that i can maximise the storage potential. Finished with Liberion finishing oil x 3 coats.It houses my stamp collection. I have been a keen stamp collector since being at school. There are over 250000 stamps to my collection. In the past I have come to ‘arrangements’ with customers who have been left collections or who no longer collect themselves as part payment for work.If you happen to have an unwanted collection let me know.The benefit of having glass fronted doors on bookcases is obviously about the dust that accumulates but also insects that can become trapped between books. High value books either monetary or otherwise deserve the protection offered.

Glass Fronted Bookcase
Detail of the Bookcase

Free standing Utility cupboard storage

What seems like a straight forward job of fitting shelves into a utility cupboard turned out to be an awkward proposition.

Utility cupboard storage installed by Southampton Carpentry
Utility cupboard storage

It wasn’t until I ran a cable detector down each wall that it was realised that both walls were stuffed with cables and pipes. The property was a new build, the utility cupboard itself in a bathroom and all the services ran through this area.
The answer was to manufacture a two piece free standing frame which I then introduced shelves onto, the shelves keep the frame against the wall so if in the future the customer decides to open up the cupboard again it will be a simple task of removing the shelves and the frames will follow. No screws or glue were used so no footprint will be evident. The MDF shelves are lipped with softwood this stiffens the MDF and prevents the MDF shelves from sagging overtime with the weight of items on the shelves. This simple but effective stiffening I do on all shelves that I fit when using MDF.