Stevo's Playhouse

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  • I have been spamming the usual DIY, gardening, homeowner, shed threads without knowing which one was appropriate for the different bits and pieces. Starting this so anyone interested can see my crack handed endeavours, and similarly those who aren't can just ignore.

    In my last place, I had an 8'x6' wooden shed that I tried to fool myself into thinking I could actually do some work in. However, that never really happened. So when we moved to a place with a 100' x 20' garden (Thornton Heath and a wreck, so, cheap) I had dreams of eventually getting something big enough to enable my tool collecting bug and actually allow me to work indoors, without filling the house full of dust and noise.

    However, the first problem was the garden. When we moved in, only about a third of it was accessible (we didn't actually know it was three times bigger though, that was a bonus). So it had to be cleared.


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  • Once it was mostly cleared, it was obvious that the end of the garden was falling into Norbury Brook (I had pulled three or four previous fences out that had fallen or were in the process of falling in). In came @ColinTheBald to build a retaining wall.

    This was on a concrete footer that went down behind the concrete of the Brook, and was steel reinforced and the blocks filled with concrete. And 4 courses high.


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  • From there, I put up a fence to give us some privacy from Thornton Heath Rec, which is on the other side of the Brook. Posts secured to the wall itself using 12mm Thunderbolts and some semblance of post savers to try and help against the moisture from the soil at ground level. Panels just screwed to the posts.


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  • Talks were had with the internal auditors about what size of shed we could get away with. Thankfully, "the biggest one that will fit" was the response I got. Maybe something to do with it being my 40th birthday and some additional generosity. So settled on Ace Sheds and their Thanet Summerhouse model. I plumped for the 15' wide x 10'deep with a 1' overhang on the front. Double doors, 4 windows with openings, two roof lights. onduline roofing, T&G floor and additional floor bearers.

    I just had to get Mr. theBald back to lay some concrete for the footings.

    In the meantime, I got myself a little bikestore type shed for all the gardening crap.


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  • Shed Day!

    Ace Sheds were, ace. Rocked up when they said they would and had the whole thing up in half a day. Really impressed by the quality of it. I got a little paranoid about wind so added some extra angle brackets myself to help the roof stay on if we get those high winds again. On the day of the install, they only had one roof light available, so they actually came back today and fitted the second. Makes all the difference (photo later).


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  • First thing I did was get some storage. I got a 3 bay shelving rack and two workbenches from BigDug. The metal is very flimsy, but they are very strong in the direction that they are supposed to be (holding stuff up). The workbenches are no good for any kind of woodworking, but great for the power tools that you don't have to move around too much when using them. And they are fantastic clutter magnets.


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  • The plan is to get permanent power eventually, with an armoured cable running off its own circuit from the CU. However, until then I wired up a small garage CU with one circuit running a ring main of four double sockets, and a lighting circuit with two LED strip lights. The LED lights are linked together, to I only really had to wire one of them in, the other one daisy chains off it. They are then also independently switched on the light bodies themselves.

    Instead of the armoured cable, I put a plug on some 2.5mm cable and use that as the feed. When I want power, I plug that into an extension lead that is plugged into an external socket off the kitchen 30A circuit. I never leave it plugged in.


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  • Tool wall! I put a spare sheet of ply I had on the back wall and ordered a 6'x2' peg board and a set of peg accessories. This got most of my hand tools out of drawers, boxes and shelves. Very pleasing, as you can see.


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  • I ordered a 5'x2' wooden workbench off Etsy. I considered building one, but by the time I priced up the timber to copy the one off Etsy, there wasn't much in the price difference (some suppliers would have cost me more to make it myself). It's a great thing. I also then cleaned up and fitted my big 10" woodworking vice and made some new jaws for that. The new jaws are 12" wide x 6" tall.


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  • The first thing I made in the new shed was a super sized wooden tool tote/trug. I had a standard one from Ikea, which is great. But I was finding that for any jobs that needed doing in the house, I was making multiple trips to and from the shed, which was annoying. This, while heavy, allows me to do it in one.


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  • I lost the key for my drill press chuck in the move, which was an excuse to get a keyless one.


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  • I then also realised I had lost the folding stanley knife I use for marking. So made a new handle for the replaceable blades out of some oak strips I had.


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  • I noticed that while the big vice on the bench is great when working along the long axis of the table (planing etc), it is not the most robust when working across the table (sawing something at 90degrees to the clamp jaws). So I am now trying to make a moxon style vice to go onto the right hand and of the table so I can clamp stuff and saw along the long axis of the table.

    The back piece (the one being clamped in the top photo) with have the two coach bolts coming through from behind, with the heads recessed. That then gets screwed to the end of the bench, flush with the top and one side. It's so thick as I wanted to give the coach bolts as much material to pass through as possible to keep them aligned. I could have mounted them into the bench, but I want to be able to remove/update this in future without damaging the bench too much. The front piece with the cross braces then slips over the bolts and is tightened down with nuts.

    This will run on two M16 coach bolts and initially just the nuts and a spanner. But I might try and make some handles to set the nuts into for tool-less use.


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  • I have a smart TV and a stool now too.


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  • Super impressive and looking great! Might need to get you up here with those woodworking skills! I know it’s the tiniest bit so far but love that wee knife

  • Massively good project!
    I want a six months in pic of that tool board, I made the mistake of not outlining /labelling the location of everything on mine :)

  • That's why I'm not outlining, nothing is final yet.

  • Forgot that I also put blinds up for security. Black on the outside so it doesn't even look like there are blinds until you get right up close.


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  • Double roof light action, with blinds closed.


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  • Work continued at lunch on the moxon vice. Still waiting for the coach bolts to arrive.


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  • It might stick out too far (200mm bolts that won't retract). I'll live with it for a bit and if I keep catching myself on it, I'll consider making it removable and fix it to the top with threaded inserts or something. Currently just 6 100mm screws so can easily be removed leaving the small screw holes in the bench timber.


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  • Not a very exciting project, but something I've been putting off for lack of space to do messy things. I've had this big off cut of kitchen worktop (I think from @Chalfie) that we've been using as an oversized chopping board. I just re-sanded it, removing the saw marks that have annoyed me for years,
    added a 1/4" round over all around with the trim router and gave it two coats of food safe mineral oil.


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  • Well this is a very enjoyable thread

  • Hand wheels cut for the moxon vice. These will have the M16 nut recessed and epoxied into the other side of them. Still waiting on the bastard coach bolts.


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  • Eureka moment realising that if I just use the standard nuts that come with the coach bolts recessed in to the handwheels, they would be too close to the front face of the vice and difficult to turn without catching my fingers on the features of the cross bracing. So have ordered some 50mm long M16 connector nuts to use instead so they stand off a bit. They will push against a large washer, not just the bare wood.


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Stevo's Playhouse

Posted by Avatar for stevo_com @stevo_com

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