Friday, February 10, 2017

Making an Ottoman and using Dixie Belle Paint

 
 

We really needed an ottoman for our living room. We have been balancing a pillow on an old stool, and it was just not the right height nor nice looking!

First I measured what height I needed to make it work comfortably and then worked backwards from there using the measurements that I did know. The foam was 5" thick and from an old couch cushion. I cut it to a size of 15 1/2" wide x 14" deep, which seemed a good size to fit two outstretched legs and feet. The legs I used for the ottoman were from an old chair, I stained them a dark brown to match the legs of our chair as well as our couch. I used 1/2" plywood under the foam and another piece above the legs. I just needed to do some math to figure out how long the pine shiplap boards needed to be to cover the small wood frame that holds the ottoman top to the bottom.
   So, in other words I had to solve for x and add a bit for overhang so the top of the legs which are screwed into the bottom of the plywood, are covered 1/2" by the pine sides.

 
Previously I showed the shiplap I made out of pine. 
 
I decided to paint the pieces and some nice people at the Dixie Belle Paint Company sent me some paint samples, so I used that. This is a nice creamy mineral paint that covered my pine in only one coat. I used Blueberry, but they have many colours to choose from. 
Dixie Belle Paint 
They also sent me samples of "Seaglass," "The Gulf," and "Fluff" to experiment with. Check them out at their site HERE, they are pretty colours that I haven't had a chance to use yet.

So, to put this thing together, first I put a piece of canvas drop cloth over the foam and stapled it to a piece of plywood that I sat the foam on.
 

I fussed with the corners and then stapled everywhere I needed to, to keep the material on the plywood as neatly as I could. 
Then I screwed some pieces of scrap pine and poplar supports to the underside. This is just in from the edge of the cushion enough to allow the shiplap to sit against the top of the supports and not stick out from the cushion top. At each corner I put a short brace.
 
Then I attached a second piece of plywood to the top of the four corner braces. The pine is attached all around this to cover the sides, and the legs are screwed into the bottom of the plywood. (The following photo shows the ottoman upside down)
 
I painted stripes on the top, also using the blueberry Dixie Belle paint.
 
 
Here are some photos of the finished ottoman with my two Chihuahuas as models.
 
 
 
 

 
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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Building a Dog Gate on the Stairs

 
Due to winter and no tourists around at this time of year, it has been slow at my shop. Of course I keep busy trying out things and creating new products to sell this year. I have worked on a few things at home because my house has been ignored since I bought the old house that I have converted into my workshop.

We have two small Chihuahuas that can get up the stairs to our second floor, but can't (or won't?) get back down. So... if we don't put something across the staircase, they often will go up and then we have to go up and fetch them! I had a piece of plastic lattice, that was left here in the shed by the past owner, and I propped it up on the staircase. It worked sometimes, but often fell over or one of us tripped on it! So finally I decided to make a proper dog gate.

I used some leftover poplar and the scrap piece of lattice.
 

I used my tablesaw to cut a groove in the poplar pieces to fit the lattice.
 



This groove doesn't look so good on the end and I could have left it this way. 
 
Because I had left the poplar pieces longer than I needed them to be (always a good idea) I thought I should make a tongue on each end of the vertical pieces that would fit into the groove of the horizontal gate pieces. This makes it stronger and it also looks much nicer, see...

 
So the gate was all cut to size, to fit the staircase opening, and glued together.

 
I painted it white and added hinges to one side and a small latch to the other. Because of the wide baseboards, I had to add a small piece of wood (seen below on the right) to allow the top hinge to be attached in line with the lower one which is on the baseboard.
 

 
I really need to paint all of the wood around and on the staircase. It is currently beige but I want it all to be white. I'd also like to take out the carpeting and change the wallpaper, but that will have to wait for another time.  

For now, the dogs stay on the main floor when we want them to.