Archive for February, 2010

Magnetic Corflute Lightbox (Prototype)

My old cardboard box lightbox didn’t survive the big cleanup and was looking the worse for wear. I originally made it following the directions here, although a really good a cheap idea it does have it’s draw backs;

  • Hard to store
  • The sides are very fragile and after a few replacements the tape builds up
  • If it gets damp/wet while outside the cardboard starts to disintegrate

So I had a thought to make a collapsible lightbox using magnets and corflute (the stuff house for sale signs are normally made of, plastic corrugated cardboard). It also meant I could build a slightly bigger box and have it semi damp proof and easy to store. The idea was to laminate the two pieces of cor-flute together for each side with tape and have a layer of baking paper/tissue paper between the layers. Then use magnets and nails to hold the whole thing together.

Started of with some white and blue cor-flute I had left over from another project (3mm stuff) and cut out 10 squares 15inchs x 15inchs ( I didn’t quiet have enough white and had to use two smaller pieces to cover the bottom):

After cutting out all the squares it was time to cut the middles out I left a border of 1.5inchs around the outside and then cut the middles out off 2 of the blue pieces and 4 of the white (yes oops 🙂 ).

Next up was to tape a piece of baking paper across the square hole, I did a piece of tape at each corner and piece halfway along. Then a taped the white and blue pieces together by taping each of the long sides together. I oriented each piece of cor-flute so the flutes ran at 90 degrees to each other for added strength:

Once I had the top, back and bottom built it was time to try and fit it all together. Down 2 rows of flutes on each wall I pushed some nails (big ones), then using some magnets I had laying around I held the whole thing together:

Hmm, it worked and it wont fall apart if I bump it while putting things in and out but I definitely need some slightly stronger magnets. I’d say at a guess about twice the size or twice the strength or a little of both. It takes about 1-2mins to assemble and a little longer to pull apart, I’ll keep my eye’s open for some cheap stronger magnets and try those in the future for now I’ll call this a prototype and work on it again once I source those magnets.

Anyways I’ll go back to working on the dragonfly now ;).

Repainting the Lounge Room

This was an unexpected project that pretty much cropped up as we had got rid of the nasty wood paneling but it really bought the mould yellow walls and green curtains into stark focus, not much we could do about the heavily stained carpet. I didn’t get a true before photo but below is a photo of what we started with:

As is always the case when repainting, first stop was the hardware shop and the mandatory 2 hour spousal debate about which shade of colour to get and just when you think you both have something you can live with of course a totally different colour catches your eye. In the end we settled on something called Dusky Rose by nippon paints which we then had mixed up in 4 liters of British paints flat base. Below is a picture of the colour card:

I’d recommend to anyone thinking of painting to put the dog outside we ended up with pink paw prints all across the nice chocolate brown lounge. Fortunately as the paint was water based a quick wipe with a damp cloth had the paint removed, although we probably could have said it was a new trendy pattern.

While we waited for the paint to dry we headed to spotlight to get some new curtains. We didn’t really want a christmas theme in the lounge room of green curtains with light pink walls. We found some very nice deep red/claret curtains in spotlight that where full blockout and quiet heavy. We bought three sets to replace the 3 green sets in the lounge room. Although with the both of us knowing about as much about curtains as we do about brain surgery we did forget to buy the string you need to thread through the top that makes them pencil up, but we hung them up anyway and they look much better than green.

The last little job was to hang two new lights on the side wall were the old fake gold ones had been we went with simple round lights. Although neither of us is to hot on the chrome. They were cheap and as the wall they hang on is probably going to be removed in the future when we re-do the kitchen they will do the job for now and certainly look better than the old half broken light fixtures.

Here’s a couple of photo’s of the whole room:

Although this wasn’t an expected project it’s certainly helped improve the look of the lounge room and it feels more like our house (the lounge area anyway) now rather than somewhere we just happen to be living.

I’ll be moving back to one of the three main pending projects now and having a think about what I’ll add as a fourth.

Lounge Room Wall Repair

The lounge room wall in our house has always looked like it was trapped in the 1970’s . My parents dropped down for visit and to help with one of the many house repairs needed. As this is one of the cheaper repairs required on the house we decided to rip into it. I’d investigated under the fake wood sheeting previously and the plasterboard underneath was heavily damaged and covered in (if you can believe it) a wallpaper even uglier than the fake wood. Additionally we wanted to remove a door that was present between the lounge room and the hallway as it was damaged and we rarely use it.

Day One

We started off by ripping the fake timber pattern of the wall, this pretty much fell off and we were left with an ugly wallpapered wall. Next step was to start removing the old plaster board sheeting with the lovely wallpaper stuck to it. This was a fairly easy task with two pry bars (although three dead desiccated mice did fall on us), we also removed the door jam from the wall side of the door. This was pretty tough as the builder had used very heavy duty nails (10cm) through the jam into the house frame which is some form of Australian hardwood. After much prying with the old blacksnake(6foot crowbar) it came free:

As the doorway was slightly narrower than the hall we had to relocate the uprights that the door Jam on both sides were attached to back in line with the wall. Oddly enough the support on the hinge side of the door that the door jam had been fixed to was actually sitting on nothing…no floor boards, no joist, no bearer. Best guess we have is that the upper massive nails were holding it in place. This of course meant we had to fill a hole in the floor with a small piece of wood. Talk about building to a price :). Unfortunately I didn’t get a before photo but here’s a shot after we had patched it up and set the up right back inline with the wall(it was a right pain fitting the patch in):

After we had the above framing elements all adjusted we put up the new plasterboard on the wall using standard plasterboard nails and glue. Our house has about 2.5m ceilings so when we fitted the two 1.2m wide sheets we had to locate them fairly accurately to ensure we didn’t end up with a gap at the top or the bottom. It would seem metric modern plasterboard really isn’t designed for old houses with high ceilings. We successfully got the top and bottom sheets up and began the plastering, we also painted the lower edge were the skirting go’s to save on cutting in later on when painting. This was pretty much the end of day one’s effort (the below photo is a composite of two photo’s):

Day Two

The look of the wall didn’t change to much during day two. We started of in the morning by doing some sanding of the plaster we finished up last night and putting down the first finish coat of fine plaster in a few places. The big job or fiddly job for the day was trying to fill the gap in the ceiling and match the cornice up from lounge room to hall.

The gap in the ceiling was a problem as the hall ceiling is slightly higher than the lounge room ceiling plus we had a support beam at about the same level as the lounge room ceiling. We ended filling the gap between the support beam and the lounge ceiling with a small piece of plasterboard. Then sanded the support beam surface a little to smooth of the rough edges, finally we skimmed a layer of plaster across the whole lot. We then just made a small plaster step up from the support beam to the hall ceiling and plastered it. The end result looked okay and should look fine once all the sanding is done.

The above problem of course meant the cornice also didn’t line up, so we had to try and custom fit two small pieces of cornice between the existing/new cornice in the lounge room and the old cornice in the hall. This required a lot of fiddling and use of plaster to shape and streamline the pieces together. The result looked okay although a fair amount of sanding and shaping will need to be done tomorrow.

The remains of the day were spent sanding and plastering so as we could hopefully have the wall ready for painting, by the end of tomorrow. We also adjusted the laundry door so it opens and closes easier, although not really part of this project we were waiting for plaster to dry. Below is a picture of what the wall and door (or not door?) looks like at the end of day two:

Day Three

Very little building work today, other than tiding up some skirting board and door architrave. We spent most of the day sanding down plaster and smoothing it out ready for a coat of paint. The house of course ended up in a nice fine layer of white powdered dust from all the sanding as did I :):

Not all the painting was finished but the little bits left can be done later on. A fairly tough 3 days and I’m pretty tired, but I’m very happy with the result and the way it opens the room up, you can see the result in the below picture:

Another project down and time to move along to one of the others 🙂

Project Status

WWII Project First Release


B-tech Buildings Five


Design Victorian era City


Something Different


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