All the projects that don't fit neatly elsewhere

24V Power Supply

This power supply was built as a general workshop 24V unit to go alongside a 12V PSU and a variable PSU I already owned.
The build was primarily an assembly from other, largely scrap components. The power supply module was removed from a barely used piece of semiconductor processing equipment found in a scrapyard. It is a really good quality TDK Lambda module rated at 600W, so around 25A at 24V. The case was recovered from another old piece of test equipment, with panels re-made from other scrap materials
The remainder of the components; 4mm terminals, neon, LED indicator, switches etc were all recovered from other scrap or surplus equipment, the only new item being the circuit breaker.

24V Power Supply
Sept 2018

Wood Plane Restoration

I have been using for years an old Whitmore plane that had seen better days, and have finally decided I wasn’t getting good results from it, so I started looking out at the local bootfairs for a better plane or two. After a while of finding nothing, I turned up several. The two pictured here are a Record No4 (with Stanley pressure iron) and a Stanley Bailey No5. The No4 was in a pretty poor state with extensive rust and some seized bolts, the No5 was in better (usable) condition. Both have been through a process of dismantling and thorough cleaning followed by repainting. The soles have been flatted, blades sharpened, and exposed metal waxed. They have then been reassembled to make a nice useable pair of planes.
At the same boot fair, I also picked up quite a few other good vintage tools, so have Stanley No78 rebate plane yet to restore. I also found a Stanley Block plane, new and still in it’s box, which just needed a sharpen to put into use.

Record Stanely No4 No5 plane
August 2018

Hose Rack
Rack for the garden hose made from a large olde cleat that was used in the Guildford Civic Hall before it's demolition for rigging set from.
Hose Rack  Hose Rack
Jan 2018

Wheeled Trunk
I made a pair of these trunks to hold cable and hoses. Made from 12mm ply, with castors salvaged from computer racks.
Wheeled Trunk
Jan 2018

Where The Wild Things Are
Some photos of a replica staff from the film, Where the Wild Things Are, used as part of a fancy dress costume.

Max Staff  Where the Wild Things are
Jan 2018

Shoe Rack
I made this shoe rack to fit in a space behind the door in our utility room. Made from softwood strip, with broom handles for the shoes to sit on. The top is a seat.

Shoe Rack
Shoe rack in use
May 2017

Railway Lantern Restoration
I found this parrafin railway lamp at a recent autojumble, in a bit of a forlorn state. It is an Adlake lantern that would have been used as the source of light for a semaphore signal.

Adlake Lantern
The lantern in need of restoration

Adlake Lamp  Adlake Lamp
The lamp was given long soak in a citric acid solution to remove the bulk of the rust.
This also freed off the burner reservoir/ fount enabling it to be removed.
Once cleaned and dry 'Kurust' was used on all exposed bare metal and any remaining oxide.

Semaphore Lantern
The lantern was primed and painted

Tin Plate  Adlake Reservoir
The base of the fount had rusted through and wouldn't hold fluid any more.
I purchased some tin plated steel from Hindleys
Hindleys, cut an new base and soldered it in place.

Adlake Fount
The repaired fount was given a coat of grey hammered finsh paint, like the original, a new piece of wick was sourced and the burner tested.

Adlake Lamp
The lantern was re-assembled. When I bought it, the lens was missing, but as Adlake are still in business I was able to source a new lens from the USA as a replacement.
March 17

Wooden Box

A wooden storage box made from some scrap packing case plywood.
Wooden Box
March 2017

Shunting Signal/ Ground Signal/ Position Light Signal

I found this signal on ebay in Leicester for a bargain price, whilst looking for something else, so decided to give restoration a go. Probably dates from the 1960s, but I can't be sure. Manufactured by ML Engineering in Plymouth.

Shunting Signal  Ground Signal
The signal as bought

Position Light Signal  Shunting Signal
Stripped down and internal metalwork repainted

Ground Signal  Ground Signal#
Outer case cleaned up- Paint was in a remarkably good condition under the grime

Ground Signal
Shields de-rusted using a bath pf citric acid before re-painting

 Position Light Signal
The Unit re-assembled- only new parts needed were a couple of bolts

Position Light Signal  Ground Position Signal
The re-assembled Signal and powered up at night
March 2017

A linisher I restored to working order and mounted on a frame with motor after I destroyed a warco one in a few months. This one is lasting much better!
Dec 2016

Occasional Table
occasional table

I made this table for my wife in afternoon whilst off on paternity leave. My wife needed a small table for a few items next to her feeding chair, so I made this from scrap items I had around in the workshop. The base is a 5kg barbell salvaged from a skip, and the acrylic top was recovered from a piece of lab equipment also pulled out of a skip. The upright is a dummy load salvaged out of a piece of test equipment bought cheaply on ebay that I'd originally intended to use as part of a lamp. The whole lot is fixed together with surplus nuts and bolts.
Nov 2016

Coffee Table
coffee table

This is a coffee table made for our living room, replacing an earlier table I made from chequer plate.
The top is an offcut of beech worktop left over from decorating our utility room. The edges were rounded over using the router and finished with french polish. The legs are made from 3/4" steel pipe, and joined with black malleable iron pipe fittings. These were cleaned down and finished with wax. The top and legs are fixed together via blocks of beech salvaged from a sofa. 
Nov 2016

Totem Sign

One of my very good friends was to get married in the waiting room of the Bluebell railway, a preserved line in Sussex. I decided that a good wedding present would be to make a sign based on the design classic of a British Railways totem with the happy couples names.

I started off by searching for details of the original signs to base my design on, and succeeded in finding some very useful scans of old BR documents on Flickr: BR Livery . Using these I was able to create some templates in CAD to help with the layout and to be able to cut stencils to use for the painting. I used Gill Sans as the font.

The sign was made from a piece of steel, rescued from the scrapyard and stiffened up with a couple of channel sections also folded from the sheet bonded to the back. A bracket was also made to enable it to be fixed to a wall.

BR Toterm
The finished sign in it's crate ready to be given to my friends

BR Totem replica  Rail Sign Blank
The blank being prepared- using templates generated in CAD- Cut to size on a guillotine, shaped with tin snips and holes drilled

Replica BR Totem  Railway Totem British
Edges folded up and channels bonded to the back to stiffen up the wings

Rail Sign Back
Channels bonded on- blank finished ready for paint

Rail Sign in Paint
The sign in the process of being painted

BR totem stencils  BR Totem LEttering
Stencils were hand cut to the design created in CAD, in Gill Sans. The letters and borders were painted in white paint.

Crated Totem
Once  I had lacquered the sign it was packed into a custom made crate

Sept 2016

Stores Size
A stores sign made for my second shed- Based loosely on cast iron British Railway signs

Stores  Stores
Letters cut from MDF, glued to a piece of ply, primed, filled and sanded. Painted and fixed in a frame

Stores  Stores
Silicone negative mould cast

stores  stores
Sign cast in marble filled polyurethane

Sanded, mounting holes drilled and painted

August 2016

Gunge Tank Foam Machine
Foam machine custom built to fit in an existing gunge tank. Air is provided by two 'secondary air pump' blowers from a BMW series 3. Tank is a 25 litre central heating header tank.
July 2016
Aircraft seat belt
One of a pair of belts made from a scrap aircraft lap belt. The leather was from a half hide I found cheaply in our local recycling centre.
May 2016

Bike brake lever coat hooks
Another set of coat hooks made from bike brake levers. This time I cut the back at an angle so they hooks sit better and  I chose to paint the handles black.

May 2016

Spanner Doorhandle
I recently made this door handle to go on the workshop door from a scrap spanner found at a boot fair and a couple of pieces of steel that had come from the scrapyard. This was my first proper project, albeit a small one using my new welder, a UK made Portamig 236, which I am very happy with. I will soon put up a new page with more 'upcycled' projects with more detail on how to make them.
May 2016
Acrylic Tank

This acrylic tank was the base of a scrap display stand, manufactured from 10mm thick acrylic, solvent welded together. I cut it down to be able to use it as a tank for games.
Mar 2016

Industrial Mixer  Slime Mixer

I purchased this mixer used from a cleaning chemical supplier and spent a bit of time cleaning, painting and refurbishing it. the main job was the replacement of a badly cracked control box.
Mar 2016

UV Light 1  UV Light
UV Lights  UV Lights

4 UV/ Blacklights lights for photography or disco use.
July 2015

Bungee Obstacle  Obstacle

An easily dismantleable version of a bungee web to use as an obstacle. Made from 32mm PVC pipe and solvent weld fittings

Mar 2015


A pair of trestles bit for use in the workshop. These replace a pair of plastic moulded trestles bought from screwfix which turned out to be rubbish, lasting less than a year.

Feb 2015

Firework Rocket Firing Rack

10 way basic rocket firing rack made from scrap timber salvaged from a theatrical set, and using tubes cut from electrical conduit. The legs are removable to allow easy storage. We use this for our annual Guy Fawkes Night firework display.

Nov 2014

Edwards Guillotine  Guillotine Spring

3ft Edwards guillotine rescued from a scrapyard a few years back. It was missing a couple of parts including the springs. I've repaired this with springs salvaged from a commercial dishwasher, also in the scrapyard.

Nov 2014


Inverter unit built from a module I pulled out of a scrap conveyor belt system. All parts other than the socket were, scrap, surplus or secondhand. Built to run a 3 phase pillar drill.

Dec 2013

Giant Egg Timer

Giant egg timer built for a games day. Timer is made from two litre drinks bottles joined with a small plastic pipe fitting in their caps. Sand is sieved block paving sand, all mounted in a frame made from routed 18mm ply, MDF and broom handles.

July 2013

Bike Coat Hooks  Wooden Coat Hooks

Two coat racks made from used weimann bike brake levers. One is affixed to an aluminium bar. The Levers are fixed using cap head screws into tapped holes in the bar. The other uses a piece of beech salvaged from an old sofa and routed on the edges The only significant change needed to the levers was to remove the tabs on the clamp side. All parts used were scrap materials.
Mar 2013


Flower vase made from a scrap carbon dioxide fire extinguisher. Simply cut in half and painted with matt army green spray paint (RAL 6031). The stenciled design is made using an interlocking stencil kit.
Mar 2013

Desk Lamp

This lamp was used by my late grandad, but had been languishing in his shed. I have cleaned it up and fitted a new lamp holder and fabric covered flex, giving it a new lease of life.

Mar 2013

To Infinity

Framed poster, now residing in my utility room. The poster is letterpress printed using antique wood type, bought from a long disused printers near Telford. The print is made onto a section of Ordnance Survey map. I printed a very small run of these.

Feb 2013

Restored Cabinet

Printers cabinet containing my collection of wood type. This is a real hotch-potch of drawers, with the carcass looking like it was made by the printer. All drawers were cleaned and re-french-polished.

Feb 2013

Where The Wild Things Are Staff

Staff made as part of a max costume from "Where the Wild Things Are". Based on the film version. Made from a length of dowel, door knob on one end and stainless steel bathroom cup.

Jan 2013

Steam Punk Lamp  Steam Punk Lamp

Steampunk inspired lamp. Base is a gym stand salvaged from a skip many years ago. Base pipe salvaged from a scrap yard. The remainder of the fittings were new, 3/4" BSP malleable fittings. The lot was aged by rusting using salty water and then coated with metal lacquer to seal it. The mains cable is covered with a bootlace, and at present the unit is dimmed with a variac, but I intend to put together a suitable dimmer.

Jan 2012

Firing Box  Firing Box
Firing Box

This control unit was built particularly to control a couple of confetti cannons I have built. The intention is that the unit can be used to control any low voltage units. It consist of a box that used to contain a gunsight, fitted out with a number of switches salvaged from surplus or scrap equipment.

An aircraft circuit breaker and XLR socket along with key switch allow the unit to be isolated and protected.
Nov 2011


Set of stocks built from scrap timber. Pin hinges used to secure legs to make it simple to collapse down for storage.

Tombstone  Tombstone 2

Tombstones were made for a Cub Scout Funday Haunted house.

They were made from scrap Styrofoam rescued from some packing cases. The shapes were sketched out onto sheets of newspaper, and then transferred to the foam. The outline was cut using a hotwire cutter freehand. The text was created by using a hotwire foam 'engraving tool' to melt the incised letters through metal interlocking stencils. Other decoration was created freehand using the engraving tool.

Once the shape was finalised, the whole tombstone was roughed up with very course (80 grit) sandpaper to take off all the corners. The stone was then painted with two coats of light grey acrylic paint.

Detailing was carried out with slightly watered down black paint in the text and other grooves. The final touch was to spatter the stones with black acrylic watered down heavily and flicked from a paint brush. The paint finish looks acceptable from a distance, but doesn't stand up to close scrutiny

Exploratorium Table Tops  Butterfly Box

Examples of some of the projects I worked on whilst at the Exploratorium- Table tops for exhibits to be fixed to and a butterfly display box

(C) M.Pantrey 2009-2018