Circus Sign

I want an old style circus light in the sitting room above the door. It would be good for it to be removable so that it can be taken to festivals etc.

Here’s my Pintrest board…..

Here’s a video idea with cardboard….

Here’s a more wooden design…

I like the raised letters with the lights but I’d want it in a single board to lift on/off.

I’m currently wondering if I can replace the cardboard with for-sale signs to make it more durable. mount it on thick ply.

I like this font, I’m thinking that the main letters will stand out and be lit, while the flourishes will be painted in gold paint.

I’m thinking that the height, including the backing board, can’t exceed more than 310mm.

For the backing board I like the multiple rough plank look, in a matt black with a decorative frame. This can be done with ply or a solid wood.

My next step will be sourcing the lights and trialing the 3D letters. I think I’d prefer to 3D print them if possible…. another argument for me getting a 3D printer!! I can’t bend wood that tight, I don’t have the metal work skills and cardboard will be to flimsy.

I’ve ordered these lights for £6, I chose USB powered as then I can plug them into a main adaptor, battery pack or easily sort out a google home switch.

Disco Kitchen

Another slightly ridiculous project, I had some badly wired under counter lighting. The cables were hanging down and they were just irritating. So time for an upgrade.

I found this kit on AliExpress for a few quid.

As I wanted this in three separate sections rather than one continuous section I needed to cut and rewire it.

As always I decided to overcomplicate things and make it modular, so rather than simply soldering on wires, I soldered on connectors to either end and made some cutome extension cables to the correct length.

My soldering is improving…. this is an example before I slid another layer of heat shrink over the whole lot to stop the different wires separating further.

The kit came with an overly complex controller that features a lot of preset colours and fades.

The final set up….

Side Drawers

Yet another roadside find. It needs a lot of TLC but I’ve got plans.

This is the paint I’m thinking of using:

These are the handles I’m going to use:

Fixing the side panels

The first step was to fix the side panels. This was fairly straightforward as the indent was quite deep so I could just cut some 3.5mm ply to size and fit the panels over the existing sides.

The nicks and dents I was going to fill but I think I’m going to leave them as-is to let it be slightly beaten and aged.


OK so I made a stupid decision, at the moment of buying the paint I changed my mind and went for some blackboard paint. It turned out to be waaaaaaay too think and in painting it on I was losing all of the detailing on the moldings. So I removed all the paint that I had applied, let everything dry and then decided to spray the piece instead.

I had this lying around so I tried this and it looks great…. now I have to wait for more to arrive as I’d used most of it already on the Kraken Lamp and Dolls Head Lamp.

Kraken Lamp

Roadside find that I couldn’t walk past made into something I’d actually keep.

This is how I found it. I checked the wiring and all seemed fine. Tried it with a bulb and it all worked.

First step was to remove the glass, sand the surface to help the paint adhere. Then spray paint it matt black.

I missed photographing the next step for some reason! I ground the surface of the glass, with a dremel to remove the floral pattern and to frost the glass. I knew that I wanted to use a flickering bulb and they really need some extra diffusion to help the illusion of being a flame. Slow and steady is the trick with the dremel, it took me around 2 or 3 hours just to frost the glass and I only chipped one of the bent over lips when rushing at the end.

Last step was to freehand the tentacles in a black acrylic paint. With the light behind it took a couple of coats to get a constant matt black.

The photos don’t do it justice so I will try and sort a video out.


I found a broken table by the side of the road. I wasn’t planning on making a table but the base I found was cool and I obviously need more projects.

The original table top was junk but I didn’t need to do anything to the base or legs other than buy some extra bolts.

I wanted a thick heavy table top so it was off to Bristol Wood Project to have a look what reclaimed timber was available. I ended up with some scaff planks. the first thing to do was to roughly sand down the edges and then glue them into a single ‘sheet’ of wood. I’m not too bothered about having gaps and visible seams in the final piece so I’m not taking the time to square off the edges on a tablesaw or something like that.

I don’t have any clamps big enough to hold the scaff planks flat and squeeze them together so to keep them flat I built a couple of jigs out of some scrap wood.

Once the glue was on there I used a few ratchet straps to squeeze the plank together.

I added on a couple of chunks of wood and screws on the bottom for extra strength. This could probably have been skipped as the wood glue on its own should be strong enough but I have a tendency to over engineer everything so why stop now.

Once I have a stable sheet of wood its time for sanding. LOTS of sandingI started at 60 grit and went down step by step to 240 grit.

Next step was the burning!

I wasn’t trying to seal the wood, just to pick out the grain.

My assistant really enjoyed the burning.

Next step was the wood stain. I used a light oak stain with 3 coats top and bottom.

Then it was 3 coats of polyurethane top and bottom to protect the wood. I think that I need to practice this before using it again as the finish wasn’t quite as expected and I think the coats I applied were too thick.

Final steps was attaching the table to the base!