People won't remember what you said - They won't even remember what you did - But they will always remember how you made them feel ! !

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I've moved!

I know I just started this blog....but thanks to Debbie and Jamie, I now have a website/blog. Restorations - tweaks can be done when something is new as well. 

I hope you will click over and check out my new website.  All my writings and restorations will be done on that site.  After a few months (just to give you time to get used to the new site) I'll delete this blog.

Please check out, subscribe and let me know how you like my new website.

Ron's Restorations

Exciting restorations are ahead!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Work Shop Stools

A friend of mine gave me two work shop stools to use in my shop. These stools are probably 30 years old. Obsolete? I don’t think so. Can they be shined up and updated? Yes they can!

The first step was to decide the purpose of the stools and my design.
·         Will I use the stools at the work bench or at a project on the garage floor?
·         Do I need comfort or durability?
·         Do I strip and sand the frames for painting?
·         What color should I use and what kind of paint?
·         Padded seat or no?

The decision was made to strip the stools to bare metal and remove the molded fiberglass seats. I primed the metal frames and selected some red farm implement paint for durability. I used scrap ¾ “ plywood to make a round base for the seats. My mother was kind enough to make a padded cushion out of black vinyl from some of her upholstery supplies.  I mounted a swivel under the seat cushion which allows me to sit on the padded stool from any direction. This keeps the pad from wearing down on one side.

Total expenses to redo both stools amounted to approximately $20.00. To purchase one comparable stool you will pay $60.00 or more.

New is not always better. Here we have renewed our resources, saved a bunch of money doing it and have the satisfaction and joy of creating attractive and useable tools.

Did you Know? - WD-40 can be use to protect silver from tarnishing?

Exciting restorations are ahead!


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Homemade Easel - Stronger than Store bought

My son Jamie from Jamie Jansen Photography came to me with a problem.  He needed to participate in a large bridal show in Cleveland.  He needed to display large mounted photographs.  A normal easel would not be sturdy enough and could be knocked over by the crowd.  He asked if I could help.  

I researched and designed an easel based on the above requirements. I decided to use 1x2 frames and construct it using ¼” bolts with wing nuts for easy dismantling. The 1x2 frame was built using wood from a local lumber yard. I cut the boards into 34” strips using my Dewalt 12” sliding compound mitre saw. After the wood sections were cut I ran each piece through a router with a 1/8” round over bit. This finished the edges taking away the sharp corners and eliminating the possibility of splinters. I finished each piece by lightly sanding to give a smooth surface. The holes, for inserting bolts, were bored in the widest portion of each board, using a Sears 12” drill press. The easel required six boards, two were needed for each of the three legs. Each leg was then constructed allowing them to overlap and inserting a bolt and washer on each end with the wing nut secured. At the top end of each leg, on the inside of each outer section, a 15 degree beveled cut was made. A hole was then drilled at the top to insert a 3 ½” bolt and washers. This allowed the two outside legs to attach and angle out for support.

This project stands approximately 65” tall and is 30” wide. I cut two boards 24” long which were used for the picture to rest upon. To prevent the picture from slipping off the support I routed a dado cut, using a ¼” straight bit, creating a rest for the picture frame. A hole was drilled in the center of each board. One board was placed on the front of the easel and the second board on the back of the easel. A  4” bolt was inserted to draw the boards together horizontally and so hold the picture in place. The final step in construction was to attach a chain from the front picture rest to the rear leg to provide support and hold the legs in position during use.

Jamie wanted it stained with a Minwax Ebony stain. This would provide the dark color which he wanted for his display. I finished by applying two coats of Minwax Ebony stain to get the required color.

I made two for a minimal cost of approximately $35.00.  These should last a lifetime and will be a great display piece for his studio. They are sturdy and can be folded at the joints for storage.   

I hope you have enjoyed this project. I have many more to post. If you have any projects you are currently working on or have done please send me a note. I would like to hear about it. 

Exciting restorations are ahead!!


Friday, February 3, 2012

Make It Yourself!!

While looking through my woodworking tools I have a new pipe clamp set which has a unique design.

The design provides feet for the pipe clamp to be elevated and stabilized on the countertop. This makes the work piece more accessible and tightening is made easier. It is useful when working on top of the workbench.

My assortment of tools includes an older set of 3/4" pipe clamps which I want to make compatible with a new set of 3/4" clamps. Has this problem ever happened to you? I need to create a way to make my existing clamp set into one which provides the qualities of the newer pipe clamps but without the cost.

I have scraps of 1/2" and 3/4" plywood in my workshop. I measured the dimensions of the new 3/4" clamp fixtures. Next, I transferred the measurements to the 1/2" (thinner) plywood scrap and cut out four pieces, two per pipe. A 1" O.D. hole had to be drilled, using an adjustable circle cutter drill bit, to allow the 3/4" pipe to pass through. 

After cutting out the plywood pieces and drilling the holes I mounted two pieces to each pipe. Now I have two used older pipe clamps which I can use in tandem with the new pipe clamp set. This project took me approximately one hour to complete and I saved myself approximately $20.00 plus the cost of driving to the store and shopping. 

This is an example of using resources already available and having the satisfaction of creating something useful on your own. You too can do this! I would be interested to hear from you on similar projects you have worked on. The final and last step will be to paint these pieces so dirt and glue can be easily washed off. 

I hope you have fun around the shop too!

Exciting restorations are ahead!


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cool Tool!

I am on the lookout for tools which are useful in the shop or around the house. I don’t look at tools that duplicate those I already have. I consider that a waste of time, money and space.

While Debbie’s parents were visiting during the holidays, her dad watched me repair a cord and use a tool that has been helpful for a long time.  Since he thought it was cool, I purchased it for his Christmas present.  It is a Craftsman mini premium folding lock-back utility knife offered by Sears. It’s small, useful and easy to carry.  It combines the usefulness of being compact but also the qualities of a pen knife or larger utility knife. It is small and light allowing it to be carried in your pant pocket or on your key chain. The blades are replaceable and readily accessible at Sears and most hardware stores.

Debbie’s father was so excited to receive this gift, that I wondered if I should have gotten him two of them. He has called me several times just to say thank you and let me know how handy it has proven to be. The neat thing about the tool is it functions well and serves its purpose superbly. Additionally, being a lock-back knife makes it not only safe but durable.   With wooden inlaid handles and for just $8.99 I recommend this tool for your toolbox.

You can trust me.  I will never recommend a tool that I have not personally used.  Recommendations will only be made when the design or use of a product is as good for my toolbox as it will be for yours.   

Unfortunately for us our Amazon link won’t work for this tool.  However, you can purchase it at the following link.  I am in the process of setting up an affiliate program with Sears. 

Guys….let your wife read this blog and maybe you’ll find this great little tool wrapped up for Valentines.

Exciting restorations are ahead!




Thursday, January 19, 2012

Restoring broken wheel chairs

I am involved in volunteer work with Wheels of Hope in Canton, Ohio. Restoring used items can become a ministry.  Taking broken and used items, restoring them for use and giving them away is a nobel and Godly thing to do.

Wheels of Hope is a non-profit, faith -based mobility provider of free wheel chairs through distributions in developing nations. In addition to wheel chairs they provide walking aides (ie: crutches, collapsible walkers and rollators) and durable medical equipment (such as much needed bedside commodes).

Their strategy is to collect used or discarded medical equipment and refurbish or recycle the medical equipment they receive. Once the equipment is refurbished it is distributed through established agencies who share a similar statement of faith and equipping vision for the country.

They began in 1988 with missionaries to Guatemeala, Mark and Sandy Richard. Joni Erickson Tada of Joni and Friends later became involved in 1993. Today, Patrick Rimke leads the organization furthering the outreach to those countries and people in need.

How exciting to see and be involved in the rebuilding of wheel chairs and other equipment to meet the needs of others less fortunate. My jaw dropped when I toured the large donated warehouse full of broken parts and equipment in process of restoration.  I quickly signed on to donate a little time to help in their work.  If you have any old medical equipment I hope you will consider donating it to this organization or some other organization in your area.

Look closely at this picture and you will see me.  I was helping to load a container headed for Thailland on January 9th.  We loaded 111 wheel chairs.

Exciting Restorations are ahead!


Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy New Year!

Each of us have new goals and aspirations for the coming year.  I am excited to share my talents and time with you through this blog.  Many of us have children still at home or we are empty nesters who are still giving our older children help when needed.

I have found it is not the new things that always give me pleasure or the most use.  Instead, I find tools or machines I already have often provide comfort or ease of use and only need a little help to become productive once more.  When I refurbish a tool or product to that "like new" condition there are several advantages.  1) It saves me time and money.  2) I already know how to put the item to use.  3) I have the joy and satisfaction of recreating a dependable and useful device or machine.

My father was an Iowa farmer.  It was at his side that I learned the pride of taking care of what I had.  I still remember his instructions, "Always maintain the machinery and it will last a long time.  Use the tools for the purpose they were designed and don't ram around."  My favorite personal quote is, "If you take care of it, it will take care of you."

As the year unfolds we each are looking for ways to draw in our belts and cut our costs.  We can use the tools and resources which God has given us to make our lives exciting and fulfilling.  That involves taking care of what we have.

This blog is dedicated to show how you can use your talents and tools to make a difference in your home and life.  I plan to walk you through different project I have completed and start you on your own projects.  I have had fun completing my own projects and I've learned a lot along the way.  I hope you can use my experiences and that we will both enjoy happy and productive days ahead!

Exciting restorations are ahead!