Recycled Wood Coffee Table

After replacing some of the fence palings with new ones at our house, I had some old ones left over, some of which were OK enough to warrant possible re-use.

At the same time, we were in need of a bigger and better coffee table for the lounge room, so an idea for a project was born. I will build a coffee table!

I began by sorting the boards, picking usable ones. There was lots of rough ones, split ones and rotten ones. Eventually, I found enough lengths that were good enough. At that point I got to work cutting them all to length.

At this point, I used a belt sander to try to remove as many of the splinters and rough surface as possible. If pieces weren’t fitting beside each other very well, I would plane them down with a hand plane, until they fitted better.

The boards, cut to size were then screwed to a couple of thicker pieces of timber, sourced from an old shipping pallet that was kicking around at home. Skirting boards were also screwed to the pallet timber.

There was a bit more planing and de-splintering done at this point, getting ready to apply a finish to the timber. Once everything was satisfactory, It was time to apply several coats of varnish. I think I applied 3 fairly thick coats over the course of a couple of days. I figure that should help hold the timber together a bit, and stop it from splintering.

With the table top sorted at this point, it was time to work on the legs. I used a length of 25mm square RHS steel. The joints were mitered by hand with an angle grinder, then tidied up the old-fashioned way, with a hand file. It would be nice to have a better method to cut things like this, but I can’t justify a bigger cutting method. A horizontal band saw, or a drop saw of some description would be really handy here.

Of course, the old-fashioned way requires lots of checking. Getting close, but still needs a little more work.

Here we can see the rough little welders square I made to hold the legs square. It wasn’t perfect, but was close enough for this task. I think I’ll have to try again for future projects. By allowing me to clamp the pieces together, it made it so much easier than it would have been if I had to take the pieces while they were loose.

It’s a little of a jump step again, but once I had the legs welded up as square as possible, and ground flush, I joined them together with a couple of pieces of 30mm angle iron. Tacking, and measuring  and adjusting , re-tacking, measuring .. etc…. I eventually got it pretty good. The legs weren’t exactly square, but it’s visually un-noticeable in the assembled product.

And then the legs were screwed to the pieces of timber at each end, holding it all together. Now, all I need to do is pull the legs off it, and paint them black. The paint has been purchased, so it shouldn’t be too long before I can call this one 100% complete.

And that’s it for this post. Sorry I haven’t been posting much lately, things get busy, and this year has really flown.  I hope you’ve enjoyed.

Bye for now.

Happy Valentines day My love

I would like to say Happy Valentines Day to my beautiful wife Diana.

I love you so much sweetie, and I hope you are having a wonderful day. I can’t wait you see you this evening.

I love you. xoxoxoxox

Pictured above is a heart ornament I hand made recently for her.

No plasma cutters or other fun tools here, it was all grinders, drills and hand files. I didn’t document the making of the heart, but to make the letters, I basically scribed out the letters, then center punched a row of points down the middle, before drilling out the center punching, and joining the holes with hand files. An old chainsaw file I have really came in handy here, for filing out the drill holes.

The middle heart, and the stand is welded to the big heart, and the whole lot is clear coated to stop it from rusting.

Etsy store

I’ve made the first step in my experiment in producing decorative pieces for gifts and for sale. I’ve set up a store on etsy.

The painted butterfly, ready for Etsy.

You can see it here

Etsy seemed like a good place to start, as its like a Saturday market. There is no way I was going anywhere near ebay, which from my experience has lost touch with the individual sellers. being forced into paypal is another good reason. Paypal is handy as a buyer, but sucks so much from a sellers prospective. I want to keep the fees down, so I can sell items at a more reasonable price!

So with somewhere to sell my wares, now I need some wares to sell. So far, I have listed one butterfly. I’m in the process of making a couple more of them, with a slightly different design. I have one in the painting process, and another two about half way through the construction process.

After I finish off these butterflys and get them on etsy, I’ll see how they go, and also see what new ideas I can come up with.

Oh, and I haven’t forgotten about the trains. Progress will happen soon on the tree layout. I thought this Etsy blog was more time relevant this week. Stay tuned for more trains, and other projects!

Metal art

My second attempt at making a butterfly

With my hobby of welding, I’ve been thinking of having a go at making some crafty art style pieces. My thinking is by making little bits and pieces, it not only gives me something constructive to build and refine my skills on, if I’m making things of good enough quality, they can become gifts, and maybe I could even sell a few pieces, and make back material costs at least, and maybe

While doing some research online, at places like etsy, and a bit on the Welding Web forum,  I’ve discovered, there is a wide range talent, from those with little or no talent, to those with a lot of skill, and professionalism.

I don’t understand how people can try to sell rubbish, for what can border on obscene prices. Do these items actually sell? I am puzzled. Some of the stuff I am seeing is downright ridiculous. junk sloppily welded together, and sold. But does it sell? I wonder. I would love to know.

Etsy found Object spider. At even $26, I think its a little much

There are of course, people out there with talent. The guys on Welding Web seem to be pretty skilled, but then again, its a forum full of pro welders, and if you posted some of the junk I’ve come across, you’d be ridiculed / laughed out of the building. Some of the work some of the members produce is art, even the straight fabrication some guys produce. That is art.

Regarding my own work, as I’m fairly limited in what I have to work with tool wise. I don’t have things like plasma cutters, mig welders or an Oxy Actelyne set. I’m hoping maybe if I’m somewhat successful with the tools I have, I might be able to accumulate enough spare change to expand my tools and skills. That would be an ultimate goal I guess, a self-sustaining hobby!

My wife is so wonderfu!

It’s my birthday today, and my awesome wife Diana bought me some awesome presents.

First off was the Cigweld Weldskill 170. That’s the one I knew about. It was already awesome!

What I wasn’t expecting is the iPod
Touch I was presented with when I woke up this morning! OMFGZ I wasn’t expecting that!

So here I am, writing a blog post on the touch, just to test it out!


I love you sweetie! You blow my mind every birthday!


Steel Butterfly

With all the welding I’ve been doing lately, I decided I wanted to make something for Diana, my wife. I have been seeing around the internet people making garden decorations etc from small bits of metal, and nuts and bolts etc….

I had the idea of making a butterfly, so I cut out some wing shapes from the 25mm strap that I’ve been using to practice on, and welded them together.

Trying to find something to make the body out of was the hardest part, I initially thought of bolts, and a short piece of rebar, but ended up cutting the body out of another piece of 25mm strap.

The legs are pieces of 2.5mm welding rods.

After it was all welded, a quick spray of Diana’s favorite colour sealed it so it shouldn’t rust, and will keep it looking nice.

I love you sweetie. xoxoxoxox

Have a look below at the finished product. I didn’t take any in progress shots unfortunately.

Mr Fire Safe

It’s always best to be prepared for things such as fire especially when you ar doing things with welders and grinders like I have been lately. When I noticed Aldi were selling Fire extinguishers, and fire blankets for cheap, I decided to pick myself up some.

Extinguisher and Blankets

$15 for a 1kg extinguisher, and $5 for Fire blankets, How could I refuse!

The Fire Extinguisher is for my welding cart, and one fire blanket is for the kitchen, and the others for my shed / Welding cart.

I could have shown a step by step process of mounting the extinguisher, but it was so easy, there isn’t much point.

After Choosing where on the cart I wanted the extinguisher, I got out the drill, and with 2 self drilling metal screws through the slots in the mounting bracket, the extinguisher is mounted. The process was so simple and short, I didn’t document it.

Welding cart with fire extinguisher

Here is the cart, with the fire extinguisher mounted! Too easy!

So there we go, now I’m ready if I set anything on fire!

Whats Happening this week

Or Oh No!. its the end of the week  and I have nothing ready to post this week!

Well, first off, the last few weeks have been busy, with a trip to Hamilton Island with my wonderful new wife Diana for our honey moon, and then a trip to Wollongong the next weekend for my cousin’s 21st birthday, I haven’t done a whole lot

Our honeymoon coincided with our 3rd anniversary of seeing each other, so it served a double purpose.

For our anniversary, Diana was kind enough to buy me an awesome Ryobi 125mm angle grinder. Its great to have a good quality grinder, as the cheap ones seem to vibrate a bit more, and the switches of the ones I have are a bit poor, and so they are hard to turn on, and off.

Ryobi Angle Grinder

My new angle grinder, Thank you sweetie

I bought a lovely pair of butterfly shaped earings

Also, as there wasn’t much point flying such a large present halfway across the country, we bought each other a small gift. seeming Diana has just started studying again, I found here a cool Hello Kitty pencil case, and filled it with pens. Diana found me a cool solar powered robot kit, which reminds me, I need to build it. unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of the pencil case, or the robot.

So what else have I been up to, apart from all this jet setting? not too much really.

Nitro car

My nitro exhaust is coming together slowly. I haven’t had much of a chance to run the car lately. I really should give it a run. Its looking like I’m going to go down the alloy path with the pipe, I have a nice thick plate for the mount. All I need to do now is everything else…. get a piece of suitably sized alloy pipe, work out how to bend it nicely, and in what shape I need it bent, and then get the two pieces brazed together


I’ve been trying to practice my welding here and there, whenever I have a chance. I currently need to source some more practice steel, as running stringers on plate gets old pretty quick

welding pad

Sure, all the practice helps, but what I really want to do is join steel

Vice stand Take 2

You may have seen the vice stand I made a while back, well its getting a makeover. I was never really happy with it, it was too light, and unstable, and had a tendency to rock. I have an old steel car rim kicking around the house, so my plan is to cut off the feet, and make it a bit shorter, then attach the pipe to the wheel rim, and maybe, depending on how it goes with its initial weight, I’ll add some concrete

vice stand

the old cross legs weren't that stable. I'm hoping by welding it to the car rim, it will be a lot more stable

Welding bench

well, my handy little welding bench is very handy, and I want to make it better. Recently at aldi’s there was a sale on fire extinguishers and fire blankets. I’m planning on adding both to the trolley, as I think it’s a really good idea, with all that molten metal flying around.

I’m also looking to improve the surface. currently the underlying surface is wood with a metal sheet on top. I was thinking of pouring  a concrete top in it instead of the wood, but I’m told that its not the greatest idea to get the concrete too hot, as it can crack or explode, So I’m not too sure. Maybe one solution is a fire brick lining, or maybe a single solid plate across the whole surface? I’m not sure yet.

That’s about it for now. Sorry for the non post today. I’ll try to have something with more substance for next time.

Welding references

The way I look at things, if you want to do something like learn to weld, there are a couple of ways you can do it.

1. Get a welder, and start welding – You might have some success, you might get frustrated and stop. You might get OK at welding on flat pieces You won’t have much of an idea on what you are doing wrong, and how to fix it

2. Get a welder, get a book, and start welding, and reading when you have a spare moments. This is the way I’m doing it so far. My book is actually more than one book. Its the whole internet. One the internet, there are many forums, and many websites, some helpful, some less than helpful. If you look hard enough, you can find books and PDFs with valuable information in them that can help you

3. Get a welder, get a book, and get an education. This is probably the best way to do it, and really the only way in this day and age if you want to earn a living from it. You’ll have someone to give you feedback, to tell you what you are doing right / wrong. You’ll have access to equipment that you couldn’t get to use otherwise. You’ll learn much more, and experience much more than you could just at home.

The actual references:

For the time being, I’m taking the #2 option, of welding, and trying to read. Trying to take in what I can. I thought I would do this post to show others wanting to learn to weld were I’m finding my information. Some of the references I’ve found are posted below:

Books / PDFs

CIG’s The Manual Arc Welding Handbook. This is a pretty old book I belive, but seeming the process hasn’t changed much, if at all over the last 20 – 30 years (or longer) I figure its still a very handy book to have a look through.

welding manual normal




The Miller Arc welding guide is a great reference which you can download from their website.

The Miller Arc welding guide is a handy reference. You can download it from their website HERE. It could also be worth taking a look at their  website, especially if you are looking for info on TIG or MIG welding, as they have guides for those too.

Web References

The tutorials at are a fantastic place to start with your learning. There is an stick/arc tutorial as well as a MIG tutorial. I’ve seen them linked to quite a bit on the net when people are asking how to weld. They also have a great forum which is definitely worth a look.

The  Welding Web forum is also a great source of information. It is an american welding forum, populated by a lot of very experienced welders from all over the world. If you ask well thought out questions, and can post welder settings etc… and photos, they seem to be fairly happy to offer feedback. I’m yet to post my practice welding on it, but at some point I think I probably will, to get some feedback on how I’m going. I think at the moment I’m still learning from my own critical review process.

So, that’s a start. There are other references out there, there are books and videos out there that could be informative, you just need to do a bit of research. I’m a bit short for time this week due to our honeymoon, uni work, regular work, and another trip, so I couldn’t  add more of what I have, but I’ll try to tell you all about more info when i can find it.