Tag Archives: upcycle

The Ultimate Wood-fire Stove, Oven, Fireplace & Water Heater all in one!

This ones going to be a good one!

After building my cabin in the woods (on a friends property out in the country) it needed some sort of heater for those cold winter nights.  Not to dissapoint, I want to combine an open log fire with a stove and radiant-heat 2 shelf oven. Now on top  of all that, it wouldn’t be complete without a hot water heat exchanger for uninterrupted piping hot water for the outdoor shower and kitchen sink. All this free energy by simply keeping the fire going in the belly of the beast.

IMG_9291This project came to me after spotting this gem, alone and desolate on my wife’s parents property.

IMG_9290It doesn’t look like much now, but I have a keen eye for its hidden beauty and what it would later become. Saying that, Barry was happy for me to take it away.

IMG_9302It turns out to be an old vintage compressor and air cylinder used back in the old days to pressurize the house water system by purging compressed air into the water supply giving the facets and showers more water pressure.

IMG_9734IMG_9733Now back at the workshop, its time to Frankenstein this diamond in the rough and bring it back to life after years of neglect.

IMG_9743Door opening cut, top sliced level ready to attach the hot plate.

IMG_9740The old inspection hole had to be removed to take out the rubber gasket, then ground back to bare metal so I could weld her shut.

IMG_9899I decided to weld it on inside-out. It was far easier and you wont see it as i have made that the back.

2015-10-06 11.54.41_resultUsing the plasma cutter to cut out the hole for the flu/chimney.

2016-03-17 08.37.29_resultNext to start on was the heat exchanger. The circle represents the chamber diameter, so the principal behind it is the cold water will be in a tank higher than the fireplace,  the cold water will travel down the pipe with gravity, heat up in the coil and as hot water rises, will start to travel back out and up the pipe back into the bottom of the tank thus creating a gravity recirculating hot water heater!.

2016-03-17 18.45.27_resultI missed out a few photos here but here is the heat exchanger installed. The rest of the plumbing will probably be done in copper. You can also see i have started the doorway for the door and the grill.

2016-03-17 18.25.49_resultHere’s the grill.  Made from 19mm solid round bar, this thing is going to take a beating over its lifetime.  The shape has been made to match the inside of the fireplace but also fit out the door on the diagonal for when its time to clean out the ash.

2016-03-17 17.43.17_resultHere you can see the deflector plate installed to block the chimney. Getting a few tips of my mate who’s a fireplace installer, this is a necessary part of any fireplace. It basically stops the majority of the flame and more so the head flying straight out the chimney. Without it the chimney will cause a vacuum effect and be a terrible heater burning a lot of wood quickly. The plate is made from 12mm steel and allowing the flame to work its way around the plate and up the pipe.

2016-04-04 14.18.42_result2016-04-04 14.18.52_resultI had this made today, its a stainless flu adapter to go from the 139 x 6mm pipe I have coming out of the fireplace and adapting to 150mm for the stainless chimney. 150mm is a standard size in the fireplace business so making this made sense.

2016-04-04 11.36.10_resultNow on to the hot plate and side oven. The hot plate is 10mm plate, 400 wide x 1m long. The concept behind this is, when using the stove top just like at home using pots and pans, if its too hot in the centre, simply slide your cooking vessel to the right or left to the desired temperature.  Its a shit load easier that trying to control the heat/flame in the fire.  The oven is going to be run of radiant heat from the wall of the fire. It’ll have a mid shelf installed, and I plan on being able to use it for cooking roasts, stews, bread, baking bloody whatever!

Stay tuned for more progress to come!







Recycled Pallet Picnic Table

Recycling hardwood pallets I get from work is a easy, free resource of perfectly good wood.  In this post I will be making a beautiful, rustic 10 seater picnic table from otherwise would be used for firewood.  One mans junk is another mans treasure so this project will be a cheap one to build.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

photoIMG_4248Here’s a shot of the pallets I get from work.

IMG_4249After breaking them apart with a sledge hammer and crow bar, your left with this.

IMG_4264A pop up marque from bunnings and a few hours of sanding later…

IMG_4263Here’s a shot of the before and after sanding.

IMG_3908After a bit of head-scratching on size and design etc I have layed out the table top with the best bits of timber in a colour pattern i liked.

IMG_3907 IMG_3911 IMG_3912Now to add some legs


From here I never got any more photo’s of the build,  only the finished job. But from here on in you get the idea what happens next. A few more planks for the chairs, a few coats of decking oil and its done!


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Hardwood Sleeper Dining Table

With my love for restoring old hardwood timber, I decided to build a dining table / bench seat arrangement for home. This would soon be one of those pieces of furniture you keep for life. The thought of where these sleepers had come from in their past life, being out in the weather with years of punishing abuse from trains, and how with a bit of TLC they would soon be brought to life again.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

P1010957So, this is what i have bought-10 used sleepers. Half Ironbark and half something else. Straight up, I had them sent to a huge sawmill to be split down the middle. There’s no way i could have done this myself without a lot of effort.

IMG_2402After taking off the outer skin and docking them to length this is what i had to work with. As you can see in the background, the off-cuts i would use for a matching coffee table.

IMG_2404 IMG_2405After choosing my pieces and arranging the way they sat with the old bolt holes etc now for the gluing.

IMG_2414 IMG_2416Here we are gluing the pieces together.

Table with top offNext was the frame design. I had designed the legs for easy removal with a wider footprint for good balance.

Table TopNext was to design where to rout out the underside of the top for the frame to nest into. This was probably not necessary but I did it anyway.

IMG_2495Here is the table top with the groove cut into it for the stainless steel frame.

P1020286The frame and legs assembled.

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IMG_2485 IMG_2486The table finally sanded flat, all bolt holes have been filled with resin.

IMG_2489I put a bit of an angle on the bench seats so its not so uncomfortable to sit on.

IMG_2493 IMG_2494 IMG_2490Then the timber was oiled with tongue oil.

P1020300 The bases for the chairs ready to go on.

IMG_2580The finished table.

Sorry no recent photo has been taken with the table lately. To date the table has has brought us many good times with good company. Solid as a rock and something i will keep forever.

Thanks for reading!


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Hardwood Sleeper Coffee Table with Polished Concrete Top

Coffee tables are fun projects to build. They aren’t very big, easy to manage alone, fairly cheap to build and a good platform for your imagination.

This time I have decided to go for that industrial look with big heavy hardwood railway sleepers and a custom made polished concrete top with a wrought iron edge.

I hope you enjoy the read and don’t forget to subscribe by pressing the follow button at the bottom right of this page!

IMG_4507On the outside these sleepers look old and shitty but under the skin lies perfectly good flawless hardwood.

IMG_4523The table is held together with a stainless steel square tube frame I TIG welded together. As you can see the sleepers are back screwed to hide the fixings.

IMG_4506After cutting them to length, I arranged the sleepers in a way that shows off the beautiful ageing and patina they have. The packers are there while I screw them from the back. The finished look will be one of them floating.

IMG_4511IMG_4512After a quick scrub it was time to oil the sleepers.

IMG_4723Next was the concrete top. Well after some trial and error i have decided against concrete all together and am now going to use structural non-shrink grout. It is a shitload harder and finer. There will be no sand in it so the finish will come out more like highly polished concrete or that of polished stone. The difference the way i will be pouring this slab is i am doing it upside down. As in once its dry, the bottom molded side will be the top. In this picture the mold i have made from 18mm MDF whiteboard. The stuff your kitchen cupboards are made of. Its only temporary as long as its smooth. Remember, the inside size of the mold will be the outside of the shape you want. The depth of the mold will be the finished height of the slab.

IMG_4727 IMG_4725 IMG_4726Siv, mix and pour. If you are using non-shrink grout, mix it up pretty runny for a better finish. The water will just dry out of it anyway.

IMG_4731Once you have filled the mold, why its still wet, use a straight edge to screed off the excess giving you the desired thickness.

IMG_4734Done. Pour a slab, drink a slab.

photo 1There’s the dry slab, ready to break out of the mold.

photo 2Here is the sheet of 18mm form ply I will be using as a sub-straight under the slab. this will stop any distortion causing the slab to crack. Notice I am using a product called Hexa Birch ply. Expensive shit but it has that hexagon pattern which will help bond the two surfaces.

photo 3On goes the glue. I’m using sikaflex Pro 11fc.

photo 4This is me coating the cement top with a non porous protective film sealer. Its called siloxane. Bloody expensive shit. Was around $60P/L  from memory.

photo 5This is the finished top with the sealer dried. Notice how the water now beads off and the cement remains dry! This will be great later on for things like red wine or food spillages.


photo 4Now for the table edge/perimeter. Im going to use this 50x50x8 Steel angle. The idea is for the table top to sit inside the angle protecting the edge from hits.

photo 2The steel angle frame i whipped up, to support and protect the edge of the cement top.

IMG_4895Ok, the steel frame has since been powder coated clear (to stop it rusting and also so it feels smooth and you cant get dirty fingers by touching it.) As you can see, i had to route out the bottom of the form ply by 2mm so the top edge of the steel is flush with the top of cement top. A small miscalculation, easily fixed.IMG_4894

IMG_4897The final touches. Here i am packing out the gaps around the edge evenly, then caulk the gap with black sikaflex.

IMG_4916The finished job. !






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