The other day, I was waiting for lacquer on another project to dry and had a sudden idea for something. I’ve had these big chunks of angle-iron laying around, that I bought from the recycle yard for $1 each. I’ve used a few for little wall-mounted cell phone shelves, but then I thought about adding a little lamp for a reading light. I actually already had a piece of tubing bent in this shape left-over from something else, so I added a socket with a brass cap and mounted it to the angle steel.
I left the steel unpainted and lacquered it clear to prevent rusting. I really love the look of clear-coated natural steel (if you haven’t noticed). The socket cover is solid brass. Brass and raw steel get along just fine together.
The shelf isn’t huge or roomy, it’s meant for minimal pocket stuff you’d like to keep near the bed. Like your wallet or phone. I welded two small pins down below to hang some jewelry or keys on. The lamp head swivels around on a brass fitting to allow light direction change.
The only problem is…. we don’t really NEED shelves with lamps, since we already have bedside wall lamps :( But, like I said, I had an idea and thought it would be cool so I made it anyways. If anyone happens to like this and could find it useful, check my etsy page. This will most likely make it’s way there soon.
I’m trying out a few new features on my original “potence” style lamps. I’ve made a few with these upgrades and put some up on my etsy store.
The socket is now porcelain and covered with a painted steel cap, instead of the exposed phenolic ones. I made some multifaceted handles that I think look pretty good against the smooth curves of the lamp. The socket itself is rated up to 660W which is wired with a heavier gauge cord to support brighter bulbs if desired.
The lamps reach out 62″ from the wall, which sit about in the middle of a 10′x10′ room. These are just a few inches shorter than the original ones but it saves $25 on shipping. I think that’s a pretty good compromise. I’ve also got one I made in a natural ‘raw’ steel finish that I should be putting up as soon as I have pictures of it.
We finally have doors on our closets and rods that don’t bend almost all the way to the floor. This has been one of the longest avoided projects in the house. For a good reason though, I just couldn’t decide on an affordable closet door design that would not close in the space. I finally decided on some simple slatted steel framed ones.
This is the dreadful “before” picture. See those wooden rods? They seem a little wore out.. To be fair they were under alot of stress (Roxy likes her clothes).
I made the frames out of 3/4″ x 1/8″ angle iron, welded at the mitered corners. The slats are fir utility boards from the lumber yard. The boards cost me $2.14 a piece, which were 10 feet long. I planed them down to 5/8″ thick and coated them with Ecowood.
The most time-conceiving part was drilling all the holes through the steel. Two holes in each end of each board, so that’s 208 holes. The first 4 were kind of fun, not the rest. Plus, I went back and countersunk each hole so the screw heads would be flush on the backside. It was worth it.
I used a magnet – bolted to another piece of angle iron, which I screwed to the door jamb to hold the doors in place. These magnets are STRONG, so if the door gets within about an inch, they snap shut tight.
I made some steel brackets that support the rod and a shelf above. The closet rod (3/4″ steel pipe) slips through a sleeve welded to the bracket. I drilled and tapped a 3/16″ hole in it so that I could use a small set-screw to lock the pipe in place.
The shelves are plywood boards covered in canvas. They aren’t even sewn, just folded and tacked on with black nails.
It’s basically just like wrapping a christmas present. I actually used staples for the first fold which are covered by the second one.
So there you go! Clothes hidden, and when you do open them up it looks clean and organized inside. The doors cost me $18 each in materials and a few hours of time. The slats really help keep the room feeling open and don’t draw your eye right in, the way a pair of solid doors probably would.
I’ve been trying to solve a few quick storage problems at home with a couple of hours of time after work and some simple materials. I used some steel rod and other metal profiles to make some quick racks. The magazine holder is mounted on the wall in the bathroom to help stop them from piling up on the floor. I bent some 1/4″ rod and welded it to a few pieces of flat stock to cradle a few magazines. The ends are solid Iroko that I shaped into multi-faceted knobs.
I also made a free-standing coat rack with the same ‘steel and wood’ concept. It’s not really meant to hold a ton of jackets, just lose sweaters and bags that don’t always find their way into the closet. I built it with the same structural idea as three hairpin legs leaning into each other. It’s rigid, and doesn’t have any fine points digging into the floor. The steel ball gave the leg points something to join to and remain triangular. The knobs are, once again, multi-faceted pieces of Iroko wood.
I’ve got a few small wall-mounted racks and hooks I was messing with as well. I saved a bunch of scrap pieces of steel diamond plate out of a dumpster that work pretty well for wall brackets. I’ve got quite a few so I’m considering making a few for etsy, if I find some time.
I recently added some industrial wall lamps to my etsy shop in different sizes and colors and finishes. They’re painted with industrial-grade enamels. I will be adding more lamps to the shop as I take pictures of them. If there’s any specific size or color you’re looking for, feel free to email me. Enjoy!
Bed-side short lamp in ‘Machinery Gray’ enamel.
Some of them are weathered for a more aged look with acid and other distress methods. I basically let them slide around in the back of my truck or laid them in the yard and periodically sprayed them with acid.
I also have a few potence style lamps in 62″ long with new socket covers and multi-faceted handles. Coming soon, very soon….
The bedroom loft looks much different than it did a week ago. We went back and forth on different types of flooring but I kind of figured I’d have to make my own to be able to afford what we wanted. When we finally decided on what look we wanted, we set out to make our own wide plank flooring. It cost $1.25/ sqft including the floor finish.
I bought 1x12x16′s of pine from a local lumber yard. We used pine on our downstairs floors and they have held up pretty well. The boards come out to 3/4″ thick, 12″ wide and 16′ long. I ran a tongue-and-groove on them through a shaper and while I was at it, I added a 1/8″ x 1/8″ reveal to give the planks a defined joint. The first few boards were fine, the other 60 were slightly back-breaking. You can pay the lumber yard to run the tongue and groove for you, if you don’t have your own shaper.
Here’s a before of what the floors looked like. See, originally we painted them white, then we painted them sage green…. but after painting the ceiling and walls white, we wanted to get a little grain back into the room. Not to mention, these were really only sub floors so they were never very level or suitable for finished flooring.
I borrowed a flooring nailer from a friend to nail the boards down which worked great, especially compared to a regular finish nailer like I used downstairs. The flooring nailer has a rest that rides right on the edge of the tongue and fires a cleat at an angle as you smack it with a mallet. It draws the boards up nicely. After all the boards were laid I used a flooring buffer (you can rent them at home depot) with a black stripping pad to just sort of clean up the shoe prints and round the edges of the joints. I sprayed windex on the floor as I buffed it to help with the cleaning. We didn’t really want the boards sanded since we wanted a kind of weathered look so the buffing pad really did the trick.
This is the cool part, I used a wood treatment called ecowood treatment which is pretty reasonable and does something amazing to wood. It sort of instantly weathers the color of the boards and seals it all at once. It comes as a powder that you mix with water and then apply with a brush or mop. It’s not a stain at all and does nothing to your hands or skin. I mopped it on the floors with a floor cleaner pad and did the joints with a foam corner brush by hand. Going off of the product description, I bought the 5-gallon pack but could have definitely gotten by with the one gallon. I barely used any really.
I used Bona commercial HD Extra Matte for the floor finish. It’s pretty easy to apply. You pour a portion on the floor and use an applicator pad to mop it on evenly, overlapping each run slightly to keep a wet edge. We bought two gallons which was enough to apply two coats over the entire floor. It dries supprisingly fast so you have to work kind of fast. It was stressful at first but we got the hang of it.
And these are the floors after the finish dried! Look how amazing the finish made the grain look. Even though we didn’t sand the boards the floor is completely smooth and level. $1.25/sqft for solid wood extra wide plank flooring that we are very happy with. It totally changed the look and feel of the room. So much, that I kind of want to redo the downstairs now….
I realize I haven’t done a post in….. a while. I have not given up or stopped working, I’ve just been really busy. Between helping Roxy plan the wedding, helping my dad move his shop, working on the house, trying to figure out the floor- I haven’t spent much time on the computer. I just haven’t really had anything that I felt blog-worthy. This is mainly because I’m really bad about taking pictures, which you probably already know if you’ve seen my other posts. I’m usually pretty good about at least taking pics with my phone though, so here are some random instagram pics of what I’ve been up to.
I promise I have more things coming up that I can’t wait to share. Like…. the upstairs remodel, and the wedding altar, and more lamps and furniture. I also have a “DIY plaster wall” tutorial in mind. See, I’ve at least got lots of projects started. I haven’t just been sitting around watching Friday Night Lights.
BTW, if you didn’t already know, Apartment Therapy is doing “The Homies” blog nomination thing for different blog categories. You can go on there an vote for your favorite ones, LOTS of good blogs on there. I did notice that onefortythree is actually listed in the best DIY blog category and I really appreciated that a few people actually remembered me and took time to vote for OFT. I’m serious, thank you guys.
So, for a while now I’ve been thinking of painting the ceiling, walls and all of the beams in the house white. We originally painted the ceiling in the kitchen and dining room white and the living room brown. Why did I paint it brown? We planned on leaving the interior walls as logs so for contrast, I painted the ceiling brown. But, after being financially rejected by the bank for having a log cabin that was “too different” for the neighborhood, we plastered and brick veneered much of the inside walls. After that, I started wishing I’d have not painted the ceiling and beams. Stripping the paint was beyond even my obsessive behavior, so next idea? White.
The white contrasts well with the brick wall downstairs. The upstairs plastered wall near the bed, we painted dark gray. The industrial lamp found a home near the bed, and it works perfectly. I almost painted the A/C ducting too before Roxy said she wanted them left steel. I’m really glad I did now.
BTW, these are the steel railings I was talking about a few months ago. I made them out of steel channel and tubing, I just need to attach the rest of the wood hand-railing. I’m thinking of changing the risers and treads to plywood.
When we originally bought the house, the previous owner had run orange plastic sprinkler pipes which were to be ‘boxed’ in with drywall. I tore that out and installed steel exposed sprinkler pipes. The only drawback was that I was not allowed to install them, had to pay a licensed company because of fire code (this went against all instincts), but it turned out great. I especially love the red wire baskets.
These string lights are from home depot, which I attached to steel cable strung across the beams suspended over our bed.
The worst part of the project was just masking off EVERYTHING. Floors, walls, furniture and ourselves with jumpsuits. Of course, I didn’t take any pictures of the prep-work or process, I’m terrible. That’s not going to stop me from sharing the end result though. Just imagine the entire house draped in plastic sheeting. Roxy came home thinking I was going to needle her in the neck and show her murder victim pictures (Dexter reference). Anyways, we really love the white and the house looks and feels entirely different. The next step should be the upstairs wood flooring, which I’m going to fabricate myself. Stay tuned for more madness.
Industrial lights like the scissor lamp and jielde are the reason I started making lamps. I actually made a shabby version of the scissor lamp about 5 years ago using aluminum bar (since I couldn’t weld) and a task light from home depot. After making the potence lamps and other things, I decided to try and make the style of lamp I’ve always wanted. An industrial, mounted, weathered task light. The kind I would look at on ebay, but could never afford. Since Roxy could use a reading light, I decided it was a good excuse to make the lamp. This is what I came up with.
It’s mechanics are pretty similar to the potence lamp I made, except no handle was needed since the shade is down low enough to reach by hand. The cable supports the 5′ long neck, preventing it from slacking or bouncing around. The lamp shade, I left raw steel and did not bother to remove any rust. The cloth-covered cord has a toggle switch mounted down far enough to reach from a chair or sofa. The head swivels around for directing the light where you want it.
Roxy wanted color, and I wanted an industrial look so I went with “Old Cat Yellow”. I distressed it by scuffing the paint flat and dropping scrap pieces of steel, bolts, and tools on top of it. I also dragged it around the ground and sprayed it with Sulfuric acid to speed up rusting.
This one’s for Roxy and I but I’ve already got a few more in the works, mostly because I want to mess around and experiment with different colors and styles. So, you might be seeing some of these on etsy pretty soon. Here’s to a new year of more stuff to be made. Happy New Year!
I wanted to do some kind of “update” on the geodesic dollhouse I’m doing for the I’m A Giant challenge since it’s been quite a while since I’ve even mentioned it. I was way behind and probably wasn’t going to make the deadline, but apparently I wasn’t the only one and it was extended. I just wanted to let you guys know, I’m still in this thing…..
We wanted this dollhouse to be as real as it could be and since I’ve always wanted concrete floors, we decided to do it on the dollhouse. I stapled down 1/4″ mesh for the “rebar grid” to avoid the floor from cracking and to hold it down to the sub-floor. I used anchoring cement for the concrete since it has no gravel and it’s very strong. I mixed it pretty wet so it would self level. Worked like a charm. The kitchen counter tops are concrete as well!
For the rest of the floor, we used 1/8″ cherry that we ripped into strips. We used two different widths and random length pieces. We left very slight gaps between some of the boards for authenticity, right?
After the wood floor was all glued down and the concrete was dry, we sanded it and sprayed a coat of sealer over the whole thing. Didn’t want it too shiny, just sealed.
I bought some tiny plaster bricks online for the wall down the center of the house. We glued them on both sides of a piece of Masonite and grouted them with mortar, surprisingly easy and very life-like. We cut up small pieces of veneer into little wood shingles. We’re gluing them into strips that I can later cut into the triangles for the outside of the roof.
I’m in the process of prepping the ceiling for paint which is alot like prepping a real house. I had to prime, sand, caulk and skim coat the inside multiple times to get the joints and panels looking clean. I’m considering painting the hexagons and pentagons two subtly different shades of white to accentuate the geodesic look of the ceiling, same goes for the wood shake roof, two different species of wood. Anyways, as I’m posting this, there’s already alot more I’ve done. You can check out my instagram feed for more updated pictures on the dollhouse challenge, along with MANY photos of our cat, and dogs. I’ll make sure to make the new deadline for this challenge, which is February 2nd from what I understand. I can’t wait to see everyone’s finished houses and the one’s that I’ve seen so far, are amazing.