05 Jun

Clementine Crate Birdhouse

Clementines make winter seem shorter and they are very tasty. I go through a bunch of them when they are in season. So, I had several of clementine crates sitting around that I could not throw away. What to do with them? Hmmmm.

A birdhouse, yeah, that’s it. Can’t say if a house made out of these light wood crates will last in the weather, but it is worth a try. With a sturdy roof made out of an old license plate, they just might.

I used a power saw to cut the crates because I have one, but a hand saw or even an Exacto knife might work to cut the thin plywood. The corner pillar pieces are used at length, so there is no cutting required. An electric drill is also helpful in this project.

The slideshow below shows the major steps to assembling a birdhouse from these raw materials. If you have questions, just leave a comment or email me.

 

On the question of what to use for a perch: it is up to you. I used an old cabinet pull on one example and a coat hanger on the one shown in the slideshow. This is where you can get creative. Use whatever you like. I would suggest you keep it light because the plywood of the crates is thin.

To finish or not to finish: I used a single coat of polyurethane finish on the outside of this birdhouse because I had some leftover and I thought it might help weatherize the structure a bit. For your creation, it is your call.

Finally, if you should try to do this at home, I would love to see pictures of your creations. Send me a picture or connect with me on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter to share.

12 Feb

Chair Caning Help

There is a new DVD set on Chair Caning that I wish was around when I was teaching myself to restore chair seats. The four DVD set ($79.99) covers the 7-step method, pre-woven cane, fibre rush, and splint-type weaving. If you only are interested in one aspect of seat weaving, you can buy any individual DVD ($24.99).

As for books, I can personally recommend Seat Weaving by Ricky Holdstock and Chair Seat Weaving for Antique Chairs by Marion Burr Sober. The former is a great resource with lots of pictures. The later is a 64 page booklet with line drawing diagrams, glossary, and easy to follow instructions for hand caning, rush weaving, splint weaving, and Shaker tape weaving.

Here are some online resources for instruction:

03 Nov

Writhing Wood

Bruce, at Redwood Bench and Table Co. in Mitchell, Oregon sent me the coolest picture of twisted western juniper. I had never seen wood like this. I guess it grows this way. Bruce says he removes the bark with a pressure washer. That method appeals to me as my normal method is very low-tech—a  pocket knife and some elbow grease.

Western Juniper

Western Juniper

If you are interested in purchasing some of this writhing wood, I bet Bruce can fix you up. You can contact him at 541.462.3232. Check out their web site to see some really cool beds, lamps, and tables.

07 Nov

If I could turn back time…

My college friend Diann could do a mean Cher impression on this particular tune. Not me. But I wanted to post something about a functional piece of art done by my friend and colleague, Jason Burnett that does reverse time for abandoned objects. This piece, called “Steelmaster”, is only the second piece of legit art that I have purchased. I saw it at his first one-man show in Gadsden, AL. I loved it then and kept pestering him about it while I saved a few bucks.

He makes functional time pieces out of found items and random parts. Beautiful work. Jason tells me that the “ears” on this piece were at one time earrings–had to be a product of 80’s fashion. The recessed clock face was a sink strainer in a previous life. Recycled, renewed, and reclaimed resources–it is an example of “green” art. This piece is pretty mild compared to some of the larger pieces he has made. Very intricate and seemingly random, but held together by form and function. If you get a chance to see his work in person, you will see what I am saying.

Steemaster