Author Archives: bosleydoyle

About bosleydoyle

I have always loved old buildings, preserving our heritage is so important to me and I want to do my little bit. So this an on going story about my contribution to saving a tiny part of a by-gone generations home. The original family are buried across the valley, peoples whose graves date from 1700s lived in this house or on this site - names to places is what Ireland is all about.

Window sills – using scrap wood









My two favourite pieces of scrap wood finally being used

So lots of off -cuts from planks made from our meagre selection of trees that were felled and cut up into pieces primarily for use as beams to carry curtain poles – I never would burn good wood and so after sitting around for 8 years I decided to make window sills that will match with the curtain beams for the 6 upstairs windows.

However it took a few steps to get there as wood was different thickness – so I pack-out with thin ply or scrap wood. Next step was to use dowels to somehow knit planks together – tricky at start but not difficult –  I used the tool below on right

so these dowels I put in to cut down on warping and keep different thickness planks together but it is heavy wood and more dowels would be needed plus glue and clamping which isn’t realistic if you don’t have perfectly created flat sides so next step was

screws to secure now dowelled woods together39142794290_8f99cea1f4_o

But a sill needs to be a sound base as it will have someone either sitting on it or standing on it so the final step once packed out with filler wood is to secure 3/4 inch ply to the underbase


The wood is still very rough – I intend to get the same finish as the beams that match it overhead so one day I will take out the woodplaner and beltsander but the hardest bit is done.

Cost of growing trees used for house project – nil

cost of getting trees cut up   – 80 euros – scraps were about half of total so 40 euros

cost of scrap ply and few screws  – 20 euros tops

cost of labour – that’s arguable as it depends on what else you could be doing

cost if you were to buy 1 sill – many multiples of total sills made cost to me

Bedroom chimney rebuild – upstairs big room

cut open chimney for lintel – just below this can vaguely be seen a blocked up fireplace – done with cement blocks – my aim was to take out blocks – put in a lintel and leave – simple idea but labourious process so see the steps below


Backside of previous pic – downstairs parlour room – the good room and upstairs filled in op

Below are the steps of restoring the upstairs dividing wall, much time was spent trying to repoint deeply the surrounding stone wall so that removing material would not lead to a catastrophic collapse.

Having rebuilt parts of the wall below; including a rebuilt chimney stack, it was then possible to do upstairs.  However that wasnt going to be simple as two fireplaces – one downstairs feeds into the upper one; as I didn’t want a working one upstairs I decided to blank it  and focus on just  the one. No lintel was in place and the wall was crumbling so I built the left-hand side first and then put in the lintel – which had to be propped up (as well as the wall).

The wall was 2 feet shy of the ceiling in some places –  nothing straight and nothing stable


See pics above – some of these pictures are out of sink because this is what had to be done before I could form the new chimney – no wonder I don’t have any hair left –  this was a very heavy bit of stonework – I hazard a guess 1 ton plus is balancing.  I wanted to take it to floor level but the last builders cemented those bricks in place creating a rock solid mass resistant to the pneumatic drill I used years previously and nothing was going to shift them – and so I left it there to sort this problem later – bit silly really.

Rebuilding the chimney was never going to be straight forward and so this risky strategy had to be employed; which I do not recommend.

Dolphins Barn brick – a bit of history also from the city where I grew up

2013-11-02 12.09.47

Chimney wall completed – sigh of relief

So dummy beam out and new beam in but no partition wall as yet, oh and the wall is up to ceiling level. This area was originally divided into 3 rooms plus the attic mezzanine area – I have put it into two but with a corridor.