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Pine dresser

          I always had some sort of fitted wardrobes in mind for this wall. The two wardrobes we brought with us when we moved to our seaside weren’t of the highest quality and didn’t survive being manhandled by the removals team very well. They still featured in the future plans, just not in their original form.

          After the decision not to move the bed to the front of the chimney breast was made and a new “Headboard” installed instead, the scenarios in my mind were pretty endless until the wardrobe pieces I bought from marketplace turned out to be solid pine and then the thoughts became a little more organised and the usual “Progressive planning” began.

          A little manoeuvring of the bedroom was needed to make space to work with, but the bedroom is pretty big, and Hubby is usually quite patient at the beginning of a project. He doesn’t see the world the same as me, to be fair not many people do, but he’s more or less learned to trust that even though I always make things look worse to start with, they usually look better when I’ve finished.

          I spruced up the three biggest pieces of pine with the sander, the two outside panels of the pine wardrobe and the dividing upright piece from inside. Then I set about removing bits of coving from the ceiling and attacking bits of skirting board with the crowbar to make space for them. The crowbar is almost as much fun as the sledgehammer, but even I thought the sledgehammer might be a bit of an overkill this time.

          With the panels sanded, screwed to the wall and supported by the half panels below, my thoughts turned to the front of the chimney breast. The top and bottom panels from the old wardrobe were good quality pine too, the top would easily turn upside down and become a desktop/dressing table, and the bottom panel lent itself well to shelves.

          I planned to use the very bottom of the wardrobe, the kickboard I would call it, against the ceiling, giving the impression of an old kitchen dresser.

          By cutting the desktop to the same depth, front to back, as the computer desk, I had a nice piece left for one of the dvd shelves. Then by cutting the other dvd shelf, and a slightly wider TV shelf out of the base, I had a spare shelf leftover. I considered sanding the wood and saving a couple of brackets incase I wanted them for an extra shelf at a later date, but then I had the idea of putting a light underneath the TV shelf to shine onto the desk, and instead I cut two more “kickboard” pieces out to finish off the desk/dresser nicely.

          I laid everything out to make sure I had all the pieces I needed, then put away my jigsaw ready to spend the next day with the electric sander.

          I’ve been sharing pictures of my latest game with my Dad as he’s not too well at the moment and unable to play with his own toys. He said it looked like it was all cut to plan and asked where my plans were. I don’t have any plans as such, I have a picture in my head, and a couple of pencil lines drawn on the wall, and the rest? I’m making it up as I go along.

          I called on Hubby for a little help to put the next bit together. I didn’t have enough hands to hold the brackets in place while I pre-drilled holes for the brackets and the conversion of the kick-board to a pelmet. This is where my pencil lines, which had been drawn with my spirit level, came into play. With the brackets screwed firmly in place, the shelves sat perfectly level on top.

          Once the two top shelves were up, I asked Hubby if he had any opinions. A risky thing to do because he doesn’t have as much access to the pictures in my head as I do, but I was quite pleased when he said it looked like a Welsh dresser, because that’s the effect I was aiming for.

          The next shelf was to be the TV shelf, but first I’d bought a singing and dancing bracket to fix the TV to the wall. A lot more measuring and pencil lines balanced with the spirit level later, and I had my marks to drill two holes to bolt the bracket into the right place. Needless to say, the holes I drilled weren’t perfect but after a slight correction the bracket passed inspection.

          Unfortunately the TV didn’t hang quite right, and there didn’t seem to be any way of adjusting it so the bracket was abandoned in favour of putting the TV on the shelf.

          Hubby was of the opinion that my shelves were too long and were going to warp. I don’t listen to him very often, and I wasn’t too sure about his feelings towards the top two shelves, but as for the TV shelf and the desktop, I had to agree.

          The TV shelf was given the added support of a piece of wood hidden at the back underneath, and the desk, instead of just two brackets for support, was to have solid panels of pine at either end, and one slightly further in to incorporate some sort of shelves or drawer unit underneath on the right. That was until I priced the panels and found that the two pieces of pine I would need would cost more than I’d already paid for the whole caboodle so far… Off I went back to the drawing board.

          Actually, off I went back to Facebook marketplace and found this … .

          The measurements I’d been given were correct, but I hadn’t taken into account the big round feet which were included in the height so the two side panels came up a little short. I puzzled for a while and ended up building a plynth for each end panel to stand on.

          After a couple of weeks of just building the shelves in my head while visiting, I ordered a few extra bits I would need for the finishing touches from online to arrive when I got home and spent an hour like a child at Christmas when all the gadgets and gizmos I’d ordered all arrived together.

          With most of the main pieces made and fitting nicely in place, I stripped the dresser back down to the two side panels and set about the chimney breast with a little pollyfiller and a couple of coats of cream paint. Unfortunately I had to settle for the imperfect blocking up of the fireplace as redoing it really wasn’t an option.

          This was the most difficult part so far… Not the painting around the edges, or the three coats it took until I was satisfied with the coverage… But quite literally, the waiting for the paint to dry. Finally, it dried and I was able to put my puzzle back together with added long screws into the shelves to secure everything in place.

          The next stage was to make the desk …

          Of course, the electric saw and sander fearured heavily in this next part, but I had a great time with one of the new gadgets I’d bought, a circular saw to fix onto my drill. I cut big holes at the two back corners of the desktop, and another three in the shelf, and middle panel support underneath. These are for passing electrical plugs through, and when not in use, they’re filled with ingenious little covers which twist open and closed.

          Once the last of the puzzle pieces were in place, I set about the whole caboodle with a screwdriver and a few extra long screws to pull everything securely into place. This turned out to be no small feat in itself and I found the tiny 2.5mm drill bit to be more than worth it’s weight in gold as I drilled guide holes for more and more screws.

          All I have left to do now is transfer the computer and the rest of its rigmarole into place. This is just a temporary measure as the old computer is really struggling along day to day and is due to be replaced by a more up-to-date laptop instead. The laptop will generate less wires, and a new short extension block will make the wires safer, and more respectable looking. The desk/dresser can just do its thing for the next month while I rest the extra aches I’ve acquired during the making of it.

          My wardrobe, a large three-door unit itself, looks quite small in comparison when pushed tightly up to the dresser where it will wait for its turn for a remodel. Hubby’s wardrobe is next though, at present it’s staying where it is, sticking out into the room, precariously supported by one corner which has been jammed up against the wall, I have a feeling it won’t be moving away from its holding position in one piece.

          More from before : “Finishing and fixing“.

Pine project planning

          This is what I found on Facebook marketplace …

          I’ve had a “Patchwork and Pine” project in mind for our bedroom here since we moved house, however, as time passed the original idea mutated somewhat. At first I thought of relocating the bed from its present position to sit in front of the chimney breast and turn half of the room into a snug seating area, but eventually settled for buying a “Pine headboard” and making fitted wardrobes either side of a desk / dressing table instead.

          At one point, just the price of the pine cupboard doors, let alone the wood for building the frame, almost made me give up on the whole thing, but then I hit on an idea.

          People don’t seem to want their old pine wardrobes anymore and are turning to marketplace to get rid of them. At just £25 and an offer of free delivery this was too good to be missed, even if just for the doors, but when it arrived, it was solid pine through and through, an absolute bargain.

          The wardrobe was very old, but it’s age was shown in it’s quality as well as its scratches. Once it was thoroughly dismantled and separated into good wood and bad, there were more than enough pine pieces for me to start putting my imagination to work.

          The dividing wall between our room and the guestroom is made up of three cupboards, the airing cupboard opens up onto “The landing“. Behind the airing cupboard is another square section opening up into our room, and the third cupboard opens into the guestroom. The cupboard in our room has no door, and has been turned into an office space with shelves, electricity supply, and a keyboard shelf which slides in and out. My original plan was to brick up the doorway of the cupboard in our room, and open it up in the guestroom, but after a lot of consideration about the cost, and the workman needed for this job I was pursuaded against it.

          My plan now involves emptying this cupboard completely and building the chest of drawers you can see in the picture into the bottom of it, with an extra clothes rail above in the top half for Hubby’s uniform and such like. Then full length wardrobe doors will close over the top of the wall, pretending to be wardrobes reaching to the ceiling.

          Well, where do I start. Encouraged by the nice quality of the side panels of the wardrobe, the desk/dressing table is to be the first to be made. I have three good panels, so between them they can form the sides of the wardrobes which will show next to the chimney breast. I’ll use one and a half side panels on each, with the full panel up to the ceiling and the half panel down to the floor so that the join is hidden away below the desk.

          I guess maybe sanding down the aged varnished surface of each panel outside on the “Crazy patio” would make sense before I attach them to the wall. Being from a three-door wardrobe, the top and bottom panels are plenty wide enough to reach right across the chimney breast to make the desk top and a couple of narrower shelves for the TV to be raised onto the wall, and be surrounded by my dvd collection from inside the cupboard.

          There… I’ve made a plan. Once I’ve made the desk, the computer can sit on it, the computer desk in the bay window can be replaced by the rocking chair and I can start fitting the chest of drawers into the cupboard space.

          More from before : “Finishing and fixing“.

Headboard

          We’ve never quite got around to buying a headboard for our bed. Our room always seems to be the last to be decorated and the patchwork to go with the pine is still very much a “W.I.P“. I saw a headboard a very long time ago made up of two pillows hanging on a curtain pole. I think it was in a hotel we stayed at somewhere so I could probably find the picture hidden away deep in the holiday files. I haven’t quite given up on the idea of making it one one day, but since one day is still a long way off in the distance, and since after decoratjng our room in the old house with cream walls, I was a bit miffed when the dye from the pillowcase left a mark on the wall. When I saw a pine headboard on the Facebook market place for just £20, it would have been rude not to go and get it in preparation for decorating the walls cream again this time.

          I don’t drive, I sometimes think that I would love to drive, but then I remember how long it often takes me to build up the confidence and find a big enough gap to walk across a road, and I take pity on other drivers and stick to the bus or train. However on some occasions, my need for independence outweighs my acceptance that I often need help, and jnstead of asking Hubby to take me somewhere in the car, I walk. This was the case when I went out and about on my “Lampshade shenanigans“, and was also the case when I found my headboard for sale.

          The address given for collection turned out to be just around the corner and down the road a bit. Mr Google reconed I could walk both there and back in under twenty minutes and to be fair he might have been quite close with his timing, but he didn’t take into account my calling into Asda first for some cashback, or the fact that I’d be carrying a double pine headboard on the way back.

          I arrived quite happily at the doorstep to collect the headboard and the lady who answered the door hadn’t brought it downstairs so she called her Hubby to help and I waited, the headboard duly arrived and was exchanged for the pennies I had brought, then the Hubby looked over my shoulder and asked where I was parked. I guess I did seem a bit strange, but he looked astounded when I said I was walking, even more so when I hitched the headboard up under my arm and toddled off down the road in the direction I had come.

          I make up my side of the bed with two pillows, not because I sleep on two pillows, I actually like quite a flat pillow, but because I like a soft surface at the top of my head when I sleep so I lean one pillow against the wall. Of course, a hard pine headboard doesn’t solve this problem at all. However, my original plan for the decoration in the bedroom includes terracotta and cream, and “Patchwork and Pine“. The new (old) pine headboard fits in brilliantly with my scheme and as the patchwork is very much ongoing, I plan to cut a piece of plywood to the same shape as the centre panel, I’ll add a piece of wadding to the front of the wood, then I’ll make a piece of patchwork the right shape to cover the whole caboodle and fix it to the front of the headboard.

          Since my original plan of patchwork curtains in the old house is no longer an option … too much window space … I have a lot of patchwork material to play with, and I’m a big fan of “To match“, so we have two short, fat cushions which we use to prop us up for watching TV or reading in bed, they’ll have a couple of patchwork covers. Then of course, there’s the rocking chair, I couldn’t possibly not make that to match too…..

          From there on, we’re just limited by my imagination.

          More from before : “Finishing and fixing“.