Daves Bar……

I wanted to share this with all you guys, Daves bar is the brain child of my own fathers Dadmade creation.

He wanted to build a bar in the garden to entertain his friends and cleverly utilised the redundant garage, it provided the perfect location for Dave’s bar and by only partitioning off the rear third of the garage he still has a usable storage space to the front.

Dave’s bar is open all hours, and be enjoyed by the whole family.

He does quite a good deal on beer aswell, try it home for yourself!!!Bar1 bar 2

Me and My Little Helper….

My daughters three and yes she has a toy tool bench and all the toy tools a little aspiring carpenter could need. She loves helping daddy build stuff and always wants to get involved. I find it so funny watching her mimic me, if like me you have a little helper you will appreciate the sheer joy they bring at this age.

We hung some wardrobe doors recently in our bedroom, and my little girl was on hand with her drill itching to get involved. I don’t expect her fascination with carpentry will be everlasting but I think her getting involved and seeing how things are put together offers a whole host of advantages.

She’s a very clever little girl for her age and has  a wild sense of intrigue, always wanting to know what’s this, what’s that or how does that work. She has been out everyday with me on the Wendy house build and I really love the fact that rather than just buying a Wendy house for her she has watched it and helped it evolve from nothing but a picture.

An Awkward Space, Is Not Always A Wasted Space……

Sometimes getting a room to accommodate your storage needs is not always as straight forward as picking out a bog standard wardrobe and simply standing it in place.

A whole host of issues can hinder your plans for a workable storage solution, that said with some clever and creative thought you can overcome this.

A typical problem maybe a slopping ceiling, this was an issue I faced in the project below. A traditional wardrobe would not stand up in the space, so I had to create a bespoke set of wardrobes that are designed and made to fit seamlessly into the space.

By using MDF panels I was able to template the space and cut the side panels on site to the exact angle of the ceiling. I then stood all the proposed side panels in place, and once I was happy with the exact layout I took all the relevant measurements to complete the wardrobes at my workshop. Add additional items, such as drawers, mirrors, paint finish (as per the images). You can now be confident that when it comes to installing your wardrobes they will fit perfectly!

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I Cant See The Vision….

I seem to have a knack or more of an obsession/passion to see an opportunity in every inch of our house and utilise it. I see a space or something clever on TV and my mind starts working overtime.

I’ll set about planning my presentation for the wife and only when I’ve crossed all t’s and dotted all the I’d will I present it to her.

Don’t get me wrong she has the vision in abundance (unlike the title suggests) she just cant commit to it, without that is. Seeing a sketched up 3D all singing all dancing plan first.

This might sound a bit weird, but genuinely if I want my crusade to go forth and conquer then ill always take the time to do a sketch and show my ideas and plans.

Hand on heart it hasn’t failed me yet, I always get a very quiet and defeated “ok that looks good, proceed”.

whenever I’m asked to make something for someone, I always draw it for them first and say is this what you was imagining or how you envisaged it to look like.

Drawings a great tool to present your vision and whether your good at drawing or not it will always offer a better understanding of the project and what your trying to achieve than words can.

One Gate Shuts & Another Gate Opens….

So…… I made this set of gates for a women in South London, as you can see in the before picture the original set were literally on their last legs. She wanted an exact replica of the ones already there and so I set about producing a fresh new pair. The gates actually spanned 3 metres and it did prove some what of a challenge putting them together in the she in the garden. I used traditional mortice and tenon joints and then finished them in a gloss black paint. I was really happy with them and she was over the moon, its amazing the difference it made to the property when we hung them.

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The Bookcase Archway…..

So a friend asked me if I could make him a bespoke bookcase that would fill a gap. I took a look at the space and started to hatch a plan, I suggested we make the shelves themselves into sectionalised compartments. At first they weren’t exactly feeling it but I thought it would be something quirky and again offer a uniqueness about the piece. I knew once it was all finished and installed they’d love it!

Look hard? Will that’s were your wrong, it’s a simple butt and screw MDF bookcase. Get your design clear in your head and measure, measure, measure.

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My Softwood Surround!

I was asked by a family friend if I could revamp their fire place in their bedroom and come up with  a surround. The original tiled fireplace is still there and I simply created a surround that would incorporate all the friends needs, drawers, mirror etc.

I made it out of softwood and although it looks a wee bit intricate and maybe hard to make, it really wasn’t at all. With joinery and making items like this all it comes down to is careful and considerate planning and thinking the whole thing through with a certain degree of logic.

The only real thing you may struggle with is the curved pelmet element on top, for this I had to create a template and use my router with a top bearing cutter.

Give it a go and make the fireplace a real feature in your home! 

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Tooled Up!

A very good friend of mine and a novice DIY’er, recently confided in me abiut his longing to find his inner practical ability. Hes not known for his ability with a hammer but rather his ability with numbers.

But don’t let this analytical exterior fool you, somewhere lurking under all that number crunching is a Tommy or Norm itching to get out. He felt ready to take the next step on his quest to conquer the DIY world and asked me what tools he should buy. As a beginner, I told him to keep it simple, start with hand tools such as:

A Hammer

A Panel Saw & Tennon Saw

A Square

A Tape Measure

A Set of screwdrivers etc

A good tip is to keep your eyes open at boot fairs, you can always pick up a great bargain at a boot fair and a boot fair is a haven for great tools.

You often find little gems at boot fairs or garage sales, tools that have been lovingly used and cared for.

Happy tool hunting!!

To create or to buy??

Remember that film with Kevin Costner (A field of dreams) and the classic line “if you build it, they will come”. 

I like to think I share a similar phillosophy as KC “if I build it, It will last”. 

Me and my wife are forever caught up in a back and forward debate while out browsing the local DIY/home stores. 

Wife: Oh I like that, that’s what we need.

Husband: I could make that.

Wife: But I’ll be waiting for ages, you’ll never get round to it.

Husband: This thing will fall to bits after two minutes!

And so the debate continues, culminating in a simple agree to disagree conclusion.

I can imagine this scenario is a common occurrence amongst all you DadMade DIY enthusiasts. In my opinion if you feel confident in your ability to reproduce an item you have seen, then generally you should explore your own creative desires before putting your hand in your pocket to pay over the odds for something you know won’t last!

Unfortunately these days nothing is built to last in fact it’s built to do the complete opposite. When your manufacturing these units on a massive scale it’s all about quantity. 

Time is always an issue and finding the time to build these items is hard, the temptation of a quick and easy fix can be overwhelming but stay strong and always believe in your ability and creativity.

if you build it, it will last!!