Friday, 12 October 2012

A question of scale

Two projects involving stock items to report on - a mid-sleeper bed for my older grandson and a tweak of a crutch (a support crutch, that is) for my father-in-law.

During a recent visit, my son was following a mid-sleeper bed on Ebay.  If, like me at that point, you're not familiar with the term 'mid-sleeper', it's like a top bunk without a bottom one, a bed with long legs, offering play, work or storage space below.  Unfortunately the Ebay bed got away so I offered to make one. The project reminded me of the time about 25 years ago when I was making bunk beds for my son and his younger sister, and he begged me to make the top one (for him) first. Tricky.

I had to buy some timber and went as so often in the past to Imperial Timber in Whalley Range on one of my  Manchester trips.  The wood there isn't plastic-wrapped and tends to come in very long lengths challenging my roof rack capacity, but it's half the price of many other places.  My other favourite source of timber is a yard near home which cuts everything from felled trees and where they rather look down on planed softwood, which is all I needed this time.  Screws, glue and tools came from stock.

It's a luxury to have the space of the new barn to work in, and the bed quickly took shape.

John Lewis efficiently delivered a mattress and the whole lot went over to Manchester on the trailer on a blessedly fine day.  One happy grandson.

Last week Liz's parents came to stay in the cottage. Father-in-law is struggling now with mobility, and on a recent visit to France bought an arm crutch to support his walking.  Unfortunately he discovered that the open design of the armpiece led to him dropping the crutch if he wanted to let go temporarily with his hand in order, say, to open a door.  It seemed worth trying a modification, and one hacksawed soilpipe clip later we had a happy f-i-l.  A hot air gun moulded the plastic to the right shape, and a couple of nuts and bolts with spring washers held it firmly in place.  Cost - zero.