My two favourite pieces of scrap wood finally being used
different thickness of planks
no where near straight
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
aligning holes wasnt too difficult
using this tool – which I dropped and broke even before I had used it – not a good start
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 together
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
So after 15 years perhaps I had enough of climbing through the trapdoor cut in the upstairs floor – this had been done as I thought due to the state of the chimney wall – where the new stairs was to go – I could be crushed if the wall decided to collapse such was its state. Also the wall was not top of my priorities and a staircase couldn’t be installed as that would hinder fixing the wall – so a real chicken and egg situation.
So I always like to start a new project at the beginning of each january – it has to be challenging yet not go on for too long otherwise I wander off both mentally and physically – so a new stairs it would be. Of course it has to be cheap so I bought 3 sheets of plywood – 3/4 inch and got out my router. The stairs will be scrapped once I get around to getting the house close to completion so it’s a trial run and will let me see what needs tweaking before I do the good one; also it will be abused no doubt so I don’t have to think about being too careful with it.
I have only built one staircase so far and no complaints – it is still standing.
My first attempt at a staircase – off by a few centimetres here and there but it works
The original staircase – sitting in our barn – maybe 200 years old or close to. See all the rusted nails used probably to attach carpet – the runner would have been very narrow as see paint marking boundaries on sides.
If you look really closely you will see the top part of an old boot was used to patch part of it – bizarre. Rot has had its wicked way with it – helped along by woodworm and old age I will store it until it becomes invisible – yes all hoarders reach this spiritual level of denial and blindness. Just a pity our significant others dont have this super-power !!!
So from the above to the ensuing steps, no pun intended
To platform structure, angled turn of step
A satisfying stage
Sizing the steps
Fitting using some gentle persuasion
I just used screws and routed grooves for the threads – these are standard 9″ x 2″.
So all in all it probably cost just over 100 euros – still 2 years of use and counting , still serviceable
Fitting the risers