Thursday, June 25, 2015

Make a Planter from a Discarded Weber Grill

IMG_4283 It all started when I decided to tidy up the clutter of junk that had accumulated behind my garage. One piece that I came across was an old 18 inch Weber grilling kettle. The legs were gone and the receptacles that hold the legs on had rusted off. The grates were gone and the metal clips that hold the grates were bent or broken. Clearly, the kettle would never be used for a grill again. Then an idea invaded my thoughts. I could use it as a planter. All I would need would be some wooden legs. The vent holes in the bottom would help with drainage.

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To hold the kettle I collected up some short pieces of 2X6 all about 7 inches long and cut a 22.5 degree angle on each end. When 8 of these are fitted together in a circle they make an octagon with a center that is a perfect size to drop in the kettle. It was then just a matter of making some short legs with 2X4s. A little paint and some casters on the legs completed the project.



For planting, I put a piece of garden fabric over the vent holes in the bottom to keep the dirt from falling out. Then I added several handfuls of wood chips to help with drainage. Along the sides of the planter I added some Styrofoam insulation pieces to help keep the plant roots from getting too hot. A metal container generally does not work well as a planter without some sort of insulation. After that it was just a matter of filling the container with potting soil and putting in some plants.

I only had a few plants on hand to put in the planter. I will want to add a few more to fill out the space. You can see my finished product at the top of this page. It is sitting next to the matching chair that I made a while back.

I invite you to visit my curios store where you will find a number of unique items for sale.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Vintage Teakwood Cutting Boards


You will find these fine old vintage teak cutting boards in the Sirocco’s Curios on-line store. Shortly after the Second World War my uncle opened a small diner serving hamburgers and other comfort food of the period. These 12 X 12 X 2.5 inch heavy cutting boards were in use in his restaurant. While the boards show some scuffs and dings, they are perfectly usable and will look good in any kitchen. Teakwood is the ultimate wood for cutting boards.

Monday, October 13, 2014

It’s all about Ear Cuffs


Ear cuffs were popular in ancient times but in modern times they cycle through periods of popularity and they are currently retuning to popularity.

An ear cuff is an ear adornment that fits onto the upper portion of the ear. There are two main varieties of cuffs. One kind is held in place by the ear cartilage and can be as simple as a small circular clip or one that covers the whole of the ear. The second one is a formed stiff wire that fits over the ear and hangs down behind the ear. Both kinds are embellished with precious metals or gemstones.

An advantage of an ear cuff is no piercing is required and you do not have a weight tugging on your ear lobe. You only wear one ear cuff. It is not like they are earrings.

You can find a nice selection of feather adorned ear cuffs at the Modtoast store. Check them out. Click on ear cuff to find the cuffs or click on Modtoast to enter the front door of the store where you will find a whole variety of unique fashions.


Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Collecting Cigarette Lighters


Cigarette lighters continue to be a sought after collectible. According to Kovel’s, cigarette lighters continue to be  among the top 20 searches on their website. Cigarettes became popular in the late 1800s and along with them came matches and then lighters. The most common lighters made today are of the disposable kind. But even those in various odd shapes are collectible. In addition to the lighter shown here, I have a number of novelty lighters in my ecrater store that might fit your collectible needs. I invite you to take a look. I will be adding more lighters in the coming weeks so be sure to stop back.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Rustic Bench From Scrap Lumber

IMG_3707Pictured at the left is  a comfortable outdoor bench I built from scrap lumber. The bench is quite comfortable to sit on and I have begun to make a slight dent the pile of scrap wood that I have accumulated.

There is always a certain amount of leftover material from the various construction projects that take place around my home. It seems there are always short pieces of 2X4s or an odd shaped piece of plywood that has no use in the project. Most people dispose of such scrap in some rational way but I have always had the nagging thought “you never know when you might need a short piece of 2X4 or an odd shaped piece of plywood.” So, I tend to save all the scrap and pile it up on one of the back lots. Over the years the tangle of boards has accumulated. I not only have a huge pile of such scrap, but I have several of them.

Here is a photo of one of the piles. It is not the biggest one but it is the one most visible. Weeds have grown up around the other piles making them difficult to see let alone actually find them. I suppose I should find a way to dispose of all that scrap wood but there is always that nagging thought that keeps coming back. It is my dilemma. IMG_3704

The bench is of simple construction. I just made two rectangular frames for the end pieces (short pieces of 2X4s) and then nailed boards across (an odd shaped piece of plywood) for the seat. I added some braces and made a simple backrest. Although simple, it took a lot of time to make. That is because most of the lumber was twisted or warped. I guess that is why it was in the scrap heap to begin with. But that’s OK. Most of my wood working projects end up being mostly wood putty anyway.

I decided to paint the bench. Under my work bench I found some opaque brown oil paint that I used to paint the old cabin some 15 years ago. The old cabin isn’t here anymore. It burned down a while back. But I still have the paint. The paint seemed to be OK but I had to stir it for 45 minutes to get the solids back into suspension. After years of going through freezing and thawing cycles the solids had settled to the bottom to form a thick, stiff mud.

You might notice the red paint on the borders of the bench. That is just some of my foolishness. I had about two fingers of red paint in a quart can and I wanted to use it up. So I painted the edges. I thought it might give the bench a little more character. Now when I look at it, it looks like it’s smiling at me.

The bench is actually quite comfortable. My plan is to make a few more benches and place them along the walking trail that leads through the woods. I walk the trail every so often but knowing there is are benches every so often for me to sit and rest will make the walking more enjoyable.

I hope you will take the time to look at some of my other handiwork at my store “Really Cool Jewelry for Men.”



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Fire King Milk Glass


Milk glass is a type of white opaque glass that originated in the late 1500s in Venice. It can be made into dinnerware, vases, bottles and a variety of adornments. In the 1920s it was associated with prosperity and wealthy American culture. Some of the highest quality milk glass was produced during that time period. But during the depression era the glass was considered to be of lesser quality. Various forms of the glass are still produced today and milk glass items have become a very sought after collectible item. According to Kovels, “milk glass” was a most searched search term in 2013.

Modern milk glass is somewhat different than the old glass. One such milk glass was produced by Anchor Hocking in the 1940s.They produced a low expansion borosilicate glass perfect for use in the oven. It was named “Fire King.” It is a bit more translucent and less opaque. Fire King is also a very collectible product. Besides Anchor Hocking some popular manufactures of milk glass are Fenton, Imperial, and Indiana. There are several others.

I have several pieces of Fire King and other milk glass for sale in my ecrater curios store, Sirocco’s Curios. It is always fun to stop in a take a look around.


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Wrist Watches for Men and Women


I enjoy working with watches. Recently, I acquired a quantity of pre-owned and new watches. The photo shows a pile of used watches but I also have large boxes of new in-the-box wrist watches. There are some excellent watches in the lot. Some need minor repair like a new battery or a pin that holds the strap on. I will be adding these watches to the Sirocco’s Curios store over the next several days. Take a look at this fine Waltham men’s wrist watch.