Archive for October, 2011

Work continues—

Once the temps warmed enough, I headed outside to continue working on the last details of the greenhouse.

Next season, when everything is broken down into sections, I can paint the frames white that I can’t get to right now.  By then, I’m guessing I will have concocted some “other design plan” and will be modifying the current look!

I finished the day with something that was–for me–bad news/good news.

There’s just no way around it— winter is fast approaching.  But, Winter=Christmas.

And I like to decorate the Christmas tree with dried hydrangea heads.  So when I could do no more for the day–I grabbed the hand pruner and worked my way through the hydrangea garden!

Many heads are hung to dry for decorating!



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At last–down to some construction details!

And I’ve also begun to “decorate!”


This is a totally modular greenhouse design! 

  • the front, low end is all 1 piece,
  • the sides each, break down into 2 pcs (knee-wall & glass panel),
  • the roof is made up of 3 sections,
  • the flooring has 2 insulating layers and topped with pond liner!

Next spring, the whole thing will break down, and store flat against a side wall in the garage–and we’ll restore the dining deck!

But for now, the plants will winter-over in warmth and comfort!

Outside temp around 10am–40’ish.  The local greenhouse experts said the plants need to go semi-dormant, and our goal temp is 40-45°Uh-oh, too hot!  (I opened the deck door to share some heat with the kitchen—nice!)

The Interior will be white-washed and caulked, but—

The exterior, green and white, which you can see is partly done.  Tomorrow I’ll paint the posts, and get busy caulking all those seams—and cut away all the expanded foam insulation!

Then I’m gonna have a little fun!  I’ve been sketching some porch baluster profiles–but nothing I’m sold on just yet!  When I hit on one I like, I’ll paint the design over the green knee-wall panels!


(I sure hate seeing the light fixture upside down)   : \    Catherine

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The greenhouse—

Omgosh–Mother Nature is giving me such a run for the money to finish this project.

Since I was unwilling to knock down the dining deck and give up on “summer” without a fight, I’m having to work around these unrelenting days of high winds and rain.

Well you can see that I acquiesced to the calender, and cleared the deck.  You can also see the general footprint of the greenhouse now.  8′ x 8′ .



Here, you can see the knee walls forming.  Deciding I wanted the “glass panels” to sit in slots, I had a lot of dado’s to cut, slowing everything down.


You can see a few of the dado’s here, and how the panels fit into them.


Yesterday was finally a nice day, and my oldest big brother came to lend some help!  I was in desperate need of a second pair of (knowledgeable) hands.

We got the upper glass wall panels cut and installed, and all the framework secured to the house and deck.

The roof is only tacked on while we figure out some engineering problems.  The “idea” of this project seemed so simple–ha ha!  (and I need to remove the protective film)



Today–before the rain and wind became too much (again)—I was able to cut and lay down the flooring of insulation and OSB, and stretch out the pond liner, that will be used to keep the greenhouse water-tight.




The light you see poking up—will have to flip upside down to fit into the structure through winter.

We’ll build an 18″ section of hard roofing (using leftover shingles from the new house roof) to make a rigid and strong connector from house to glass roof.

Tomorrow’s list—close in the knee walls and insulate them.  Secure the pond liner and move the plants in.  We’ll finish the roof from outside the structure.


And, if Mother Nature would grant us just one beautiful day before snow–I’ll play with “dressing it all up!”


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I seem to be juggling several projects lately.

None of which are complete to share with you.

The two bigger projects—

–I just wasn’t happy with a few of the structural issues of my “radio cabinet,” which sent its progress a bit backwards.  

AND– the polycarbonate sheets that will be my greenhouse walls have been cut and picked up!  But just when I thought “I can finally start building!” . . . .

we’re back to major wind and rain—booooooo!

Tomorrow’ll be a better day –right?




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I really hope you’ll try this!  I will always “rather see a bad dresser get cut down and REinvented, than thrown out!”

Here are the REinventions of—

(and the pictures I had of)

a couple of dressers, an old radio cabinet, a broken secretary, and curbie nightstands!

So, 1st— The Former Dresser

This particular dresser had a tiered design, so a reciprocating saw was the best tool for this job.

It’s slower to cut, and harder to get a good, straight line—but it’s easier to work around the projecting wood detail.

1st—remove the drawers and the backboard—only the sides should be left to cut off!  Leaving the dresser top connected will keep the part you’re cutting off more stable—but you’ll probably want someone’s help holding things too!  (It didn’t help that mine was on wheels!)

**Note that a reciprocating saw creates a lot of vibration, and can loosen the remaining frame of the dresser.  So be prepared to REglue, or add nails/screws from the inside to re-strengthen.

I knocked out the drawer spacer boards, 1) to make it easier to REglue and screw the frame, and, 2) because the wood was stinky-dirty-gross!  And that was another job for the reciprocating saw!

The following posts will show you the rest!  Here and Here!

**A few thoughts on the Reciprocating Saw.

—I may not use this tool “all the time,” but when I need it—I need it!  Absolutely a permanent tool in my arsenal—very easy to use!

—I keep a good supply of wood and metal blades on hand, it’s easier cutting with a good blade, and they can break—make sure you wear safety glasses! 

—I originally bought an expensive battery-powered saw.  But not using it frequently, it seemed like the battery was always too low to use when I needed it.  And like most batteries, when left continually on the charger, they just don’t hold a charge long.  So I bought a cheaper electric saw—and couldn’t see any difference in the power-performance based on expensive to cheap.

—From Curbie to Chic!

I found a pair of mismatched nightstands on the curb as trash.  They were both broken and missing parts—primarily drawers and tops.

Both had FLAT sides, so I was able to use a circular saw to cut off the upper sections.

The benefits?

—It cuts a faster, straighter, cleaner line.

—It doesn’t “vibrate” your piece into loosened joints.

—You can make simple cuts, or compound cuts.

I marked a line completely around the [outside] of each nightstand (just above the bottom drawer) using a framing square and Sharpie marker.  This gave a good visual line to follow with the circular saw.  I laid the cabinet on its side to make the cut, flipping it over as I worked around it.

The same actions made to both nightstands!

I’m sure both of these could have been cut down and made into something other than what I didStorage Cabinets for Children! 

But, ultimately, this is just to show you what you can do

with a good imagination

and the right tool!


—What’s in your toolbox?—

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Hmmmm. . . . something temporary.  To save the biggest, most spectacular flowers, that become soooo expensive to buy each spring.

It takes much of the season for them to get big!  And full-abulous!  And then the season’s over.  Done in by —winter— boooo.

Not    my favorite time of year.

We’ve tried bringing plants inside.  Uproot them from their pots.  Prune them back.  House them in the upstairs library.  Not very successfully.   **Except for the major back ache from carrying the many heavy pots inside, and up the stairs.

So this year, I’m building a [modular] greenhouse.

–Four panels that can be secured together come Fall, knocked down in the Spring.

–The deck door from the kitchen will be the entrance to care for the 10 large urns of various flowers we want to save!

Not finding anything online that fit our needs or budget—I realized I’d have to build it myself.

Here are my crude sketches trying to sort it out.

You can also see the neighbor’s handwriting, showing his thoughts on my ideas.  He likes my chutzpah and is g’na help me!

I discovered a local plastics company that made the polycarbonate sheets I would need to build the insulating walls!

Omg!  I really can do this!

Now I can start to think about how I can make it pretty, too!  The materials arrive next Wednesday!



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I finished the basic construction today!

It stands 7’2″ and will have 6 shelves for storage.  I have not yet decided on a paint color (oops, the shelves are not in the picture) or the back boards!

Friday night we’re attending an event at Na-Da farms,

where I plan to check out the displays of A-S Chalk Paint they will be promoting– on sample boards and finished furniture pieces!  Till now, I’ve only seen pictures.  I’m thinking I would like to try it out on this project!

Have you ever seen this odd-looking tool? 

It’s an incredible aid for copying contours –which I used to copy a lower trim piece on the original cabinet to help blend the new structure.  **I routered the edge detail first.

I was also able to recreate the curved styles thanks to my ever-growing collection of router bits!


Tomorrow I’m off to Chicago, but I’ll be back on my project Saturday!  Maybe with A-S-C-P. . . ?  Hmmm


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