How To

My bed frame comes to life in Latvia

Armands Podoļskis, a reader from Latvia who saw my bed frame article and watched the videos where I showed how I made it, wrote to me recently:

I would like to thank you very much for your videos of how to make bed frame. They were very useful. I used them to make bed myself. I’m from Latvia, EU country. This is great that you can share something valuable and others can use it in the other side of the world 🙂

You’re welcome Armands, I’m glad I could help!

With his permission, here are a couple of photos of his bed frame.

If you’d like to make a bed like this one, feel free to do so. Read through my original article and watch the two videos I posted in it as well. (Just don’t ask me for the plans and exact dimensions of every part, because I lost them during some renovation work.) It’s easy, inexpensive, a lot of fun and you’ll end up with a very sturdy bed!

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How To, Video Log

The cat house – part 9

More than two years after publishing parts 1-8, here’s the final installment in this series, which recaps the features of the cat house I’ve designed and built and describes some improvements that I’ve made to my original design, after testing it through two winters.

We now have four cats (Sasha, Zuzu, Tira and Bubu), as opposed to the original two kittens (Mitzi and Trixie) which you saw in the other videos. Mitzi and Trixie now live with my grandmother in Maramures.

So, what improvements have I made?

  • Installed shingles on the roof
  • Built an upper level so the cats can really stretch out while they’re inside
  • Re-did the wall through which the cats enter the house
  • Drilled some aeration holes in the walls
  • Removed a pet door which I’d installed at the entrance, for the same reason I drilled the aeration holes, which is to introduce enough air flow in the house and eliminate the moisture that used to gather on the inside walls
  • Built an add-on lobby which creates an ante-room on the porch and becomes useful during cold weather

Hope you enjoy this final video and it inspires you to build a nice cat house or dog house for your pets!

Here are the other eight videos in the series:

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How To

Custom-built bathroom shelves

This summer, I built a few custom shelves for our bathroom, and only now got around to writing about them.

There’s a certain quality, a character, to objects made by hand, that you just won’t find in mass-produced items. There’s also the fact that if you make something yourself, to the exact measurements of the place where you want to put it, you won’t be able to find a better fit anywhere else, no matter how many stores you visit. And there’s also the little matter of money — chances are, it’ll cost more to buy it than it will to make it yourself.

In my case, I already had the wood lying around from other projects, and I had the tools and other materials as well, so all I needed was some time. I’d estimate the total time used up for this project at around 10-12 hours, spread over several days.

There’s a quick video you can watch, where I talk about how I made the shelves. It’s going to be useful if you want to undertake this project yourself.

I hope this (along with some of my other projects) helps inspire you to create something instead of buying it. There’s nothing wrong with buying something that’s well-made, but most of the stuff you find in stores today is made in a third-world country, with third-world standards, out of cheap materials, and will likely break in a few months. That’s not good enough for me, and I hope it’s not good enough for you, either.

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Video Log

Burning embers in our fireplace

We have a wood-burning stove in the room where I do my work, and on cold or rainy days, I’ll light a fire and turn around to watch it from time to time. It’s calming, and those of us who sit in front of the computer all day long need to take some time every now and then and focus on other things.

I thought it’d be fun to show it to you, so I made a video of burning embers (the glowing, red remains of the burnt wood) as they slowly disintegrate.

Tell me, after watching it, don’t you feel more relaxed?

I thought so.

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How To

Making the custom bed frame

Last summer, I made a custom king size bed frame for our bedroom, out of solid wood. I held off on writing about it until now, nine months later, because I wanted to make sure the end result was solid and worth writing about. We’ve been sleeping on it ever since, and there’s nothing wrong with it, so yes, I can heartily recommend it.

I was fed up with the laminates and particle board garbage they call furniture these days, and I wanted to build something that would last, out of a quality, sustainable material like wood. I chose pine, because it was softer and easier for me to work with. Although I’ve also built a custom cat house for our three cats, I’m no expert carpenter. I just like to work with wood. It’s a wonderful material.

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