All the projects that don't fit neatly elsewhere
boot rack made as a Christmas present for my sister in law. Made from
oak- the frame was a salvage piece, and the pegs brand new.
Finished Welly Rack
Parts Before Assembly
Made Dec 2023
Custom Steel Pegs
Steel pegs made for pinning straw bales together for a Scouting event.
These were cut to length using 36" bolt cutters and bent from 8mm mild
Custom Long Steel Pegs
Built June 2022
We needed some 'treasure' for
our messy games day. These 'gold nuggets' started life as gravel which
were then painted first with black spray paint, followed by gold spray
paint and finished off with clear varnish.
Built Aug 2021
Messy Pirates Sign
Finished Messy Pirates Sign
our annual messy games day, Messtival, this sign was constructed of
various offcusts of timber and a basic plastic skull bought on ebay.
The bones were made from some thick chipboard,cut on the bandsaw and with roundovers made on the router.
signs were offcuts of pine, again cut on the bandsaw and details carved
with gouges. Lettering was created by cutting stencils on the vinyl
cuttter and then applying paint.
All the timber was distressed by
'flame ageing', lightly charing the wood with a gas blowtorch. A very
quick pass over, lightly burns the grain pattern. Once a stain has been
applied it looks somewhat aged.
The bones and skull were aged by dry
brushing with a combination of dark colour acrylics along with a bit of
yellow on the teeth, and the skull mounted on the post.
Flame Ageing the Wood
Built April 2021
12V Power Supply
12V power supply built from a lighting transformer and other salvaged
parts to power up the colour light railway signal.
12V AC Power Supply
Built Mar 21
Printers Mitre Trimmer Restoration
is a mitre trimmer intended for trimming printing type, rules and
borders to precise lengths and to cut angles for mitring. This was very
dirty and stiff but complete with light surface rust when I obtained
it. It therefore didn't need a lot of work to bring it back to usable
condition and mount it on an offcut of oak as a base. Last thing was to
resharpen the blade- it now cuts really well.
Built Mar 2021
Poster produced in two stages by creating lino print and then over printing with darker green using vintage wood type.
Lino & Wood Type
Print Spacing material
Built Feb 21
daughter loves writing and illustrating short stories. I made these for
her from copier paper and coloured card for the covers.
Made Jan 21
A basic rack built as a christmas present for friends.
Wellington Boot Rack
Built Jan 21
built this shallow pool for use in some of our messy games. Initially
it was intended to be used as part of an obstacle- able to be used to
hold gunge under a net, but also has been used for making paint angels. The material is a heavyweight PVC cloth, cut
from an old marquee side found at the local recycling centre. This was
glued up, leaving pockets down each side and at the ends to insert pool
noodles. Pool noodles were glued together at the ends
to form corners.
adhesive is similar to that used for manufacture and repair of
inflatable boats- in this case Bondrite P1002 PU PVC/ABS adhesive.
The Pool in Use- Making Paint Angels
Pool Noodles To Form Structure
Play Control Panel
is a panel I recently made for my daughters for make believe play- It
was a rocket, a train, an aeroplane and a theatre lighting desk in the
first couple of days. The large panel came out of a scrap aircraft
pitot-static calibration unit. Most parts were stripped down as they
were largely pneumatic, and replaced with switches, knobs and other
pieces, mostly salvaged from other equipment, from my junk stores. A
second panel was made from scratch as I wanted to add a joystick. This
started life as a 19" rack panel from the scrapyard which happened to
be in a very similar colour, to which I added some switches and a
joystick from a scrapped arcade machine.
All of this is mounted in a sloping box made from scrap ply and hardwood strips and painted black.
found a Nasa sticker to adorn the front, and will probably add a few
more labels, especially on the smaller panel. I'll probably also wire
it up to have some functions.
Play Control Panel
Repainted sign originally made for our wedding. Painted in red UV reactive/ flourescent paint. Sign approximately 1m tall.
Sign for the workshop made from Yellow EVA floor mat and scrap ply
Backdrops for a party made out of black weed fabric splatter painted with UV reactive flourescent paint.
friend was having a wild west themed birthday party- this seemed to be
an ideal oppurtunity to try out some leatherwork and make a holster. As
this was my first attempt at serious leatherwork (other than a belt) it
doesn't hold up to close scrutiny but is functional and I learnt a lot.
The leather came from the local recycling centre a coupke of years ago
and had been sat on the shelf waiting for a suitable project. The gun
is a large Gonher toy cap gun.
I created the pattern from scratch using thin card, based of images of wild west era holsters.
July 2019Digging Box
I built this simple box for our eldest daughter to use for digging in the garden. It's built with scrap timber bought from Northamptonshire Wood Recycling
and uses a cut down loft cold tank as the container. When not in use
it's covered with a lid made from polycarbonate conservatory roofing.
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.
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.
I made a pair of these trunks to hold cable and hoses. Made from 12mm ply, with castors salvaged from computer racks.
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.
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 in use
A wooden storage box made from some scrap packing case plywood.
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.
This is a coffee table made for our living room, replacing an earlier table I made from chequer plate.
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.
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.
The finished sign in it's crate ready to be given to my friends
The blank being prepared- using templates generated in CAD- Cut to size on a guillotine, shaped with tin snips and holes drilled
Edges folded up and channels bonded to the back to stiffen up the wings
Channels bonded on- blank finished ready for paint
The sign in the process of being painted
Stencils were hand cut to the design created in CAD, in Gill Sans. The letters and borders were painted in white paint.
Once I had lacquered the sign it was packed into a custom made crate
A stores sign made for my second shed- Based loosely on cast iron British Railway signs
Letters cut from MDF, glued to a piece of ply, primed, filled and sanded. Painted and fixed in a frame
Silicone negative mould cast
Sign cast in marble filled polyurethane
Sanded, mounting holes drilled and painted
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
4 UV/ Blacklights lights for photography or disco use.
An easily dismantleable version of a bungee web to use as an obstacle. Made from 32mm PVC pipe and solvent weld fittings
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Set of stocks built from scrap timber. Pin hinges used to secure legs to make it simple to collapse down for storage.
Tombstones were made for a Cub Scout Funday Haunted house.
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.
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.
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
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 2009-2023