Giant Jenga

This ‘Tumble Tower’ project was simply for me and my family/friends.. But since I made this set,  I have been asked to make more…

I once saw a picture of this game, and thought that is so simple yet effective, Adults can enjoy this as much as the kids.   I bought some 3″ x 2″ CLS (Canadian Lumber Standard) construction timber. It has the corners eased (nicely rounded) I ran all lengths through my thicknesser ensuring each piece was the exact same thickness (guaranteeing superb game play).

I measured the width, multiplied by three, and cut 69 pieces of this length. selecting a 6mm ’round over’ router bit  I rounded ALL the sharp edges.  Then sanded each piece on all sides with fine grit sandpaper.  Then hand polished with a beeswax/carnauba wax composite… twice.   Better finished than shop bought.

We really have had loads of fun with this game.. and there will be more to come.   And occasionally we let the kids play too.

Porch Refit

Replacing the rotten timber.

I was approached to see if I could save the life of an old timber built porch.

It certainly looked very sad. The tongue and groove panelling was rotten to the core and some pieces crumbled to dust as I crushed them in my hand. The frame at the base on the porch front was rotten and had fractured, allowing the porch to pull away an inch or so from its original position. Some of the beading in the windows was either missing or rotten. The barge board by the roof edge had suffered some rot, but in the main was sound.  The muntin between the glazing at points had rotted somewhat also. But all in all this porch was recoverable to serve many more years to come.

All the tongue and groove paneling required replacing, I manufactured quadrant beading to match, which was mitred and fitted in place. I manufactured a replacement frame base to replace the rotten section  beneath the front doors. As I pulled the frame together to secure the frame to the floor, the doors started binding. These were eased and rehung, and the door bolts were repositioned new weatherboards were manufactured for the doors. Once the doors were rehung, the alignment was as new and the door gently clicked shut.  The rotten muntin was cut out and a new piece was spliced in, and I manufactured beading to match the existing original quadrant profile.

The rotten parts of the bargeboard were dug out, the area was treated with wood hardener and once dry, a two part epoxy wood filler was applied to fill flush to the surface.

Once the homeowner chooses a new colour to be painted, this previously tired and decrepit looking  porch will look virtually as new.   A pleasing overall result.



Garden Project

Traditional Decking

This was a series of projects built over time, to transform a garden space consisting of a concrete apron, concrete paving slabs, and a rough grassed area into a garden.

Despite the grassed area looking level, it needed about 10cm of earth removing to allow a 3.5m x 4m deck to be built at ground level. The earth was stored at the bottom of the garden, and would later be used to help fill the raised beds along with additional soil enhancer (compost)

To maximise the size of the deck, it was built around the mature tree currently there.  The deck frame is made with 50mm x 100mm treated joists spaced at 500mm centres, this is topped with 125mm x 30mm deck-boards.

Further to the deck, garden space was asked for, I could have simply taken some of the paving slabs up to allow the homeowner to cultivate the soil beneath, but to accommodate some planting in pots, I suggested raised beds to allow different heights to structure and display the plants and flowers, allowing pots to be placed in front of the beds also.

We discussed locations for their raised beds, height from the paved area, and a suitable width to allow comfortable gardening to to back of the beds.  The beds were constructed from decking boards, and lined with black polythene to resist rot from moisture, and then to protect the polythene from cuts and tears from gardening tools, I used an additional lining of tough weed suppressant membrane over that.

As well as low level planting, climbers were desired for higher level foliage and flowers, and to help the concrete apron to be shielded from general view. The apron would be useful for gardening tasks and the like, and therefore was nice to have this space available for occasional use.

With a plan to have a raised bed installed on the two available edges of the apron, having a structure to support climbers from both of those beds seemed a good idea. I suggested a pergola. A pergola is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway, passageway, or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines can be trained. I designed and manufactured this to specifically fit the apron.

Having two brick walls as available space for climbers, led to the suggestion of trellis being made and fitted. The trellis was chunky and long lasting made from 1” x 1” treated timber.

The rose arch was designed with a delicate feel to it, as it is located in a shaded area beneath trees, it is made from pallet wood, and with diagonal bracings for strength.

The front garden was being remodelled to include a parking bay, and  several options were discussed. A set of tiered raised beds were designed in an ‘L’ shape and built for the available location beside the pavement and adjoining the neighbours boundary.  

For in-front of the house, beds tiered with differing box sizes were  made. Like the beds at the rear of the house, these were built using deck-boards and lined with both black polythene and the weed suppressant membrane. 

I also made an additional two trellis for either side of the front facing window.

This scope now available for planting and growing in these spaces is awesome. Then to sit on the deck to enjoy their garden in all its splendour must be lovely.