Monday, 15 May 2017

Half-barrel Planter for our Palm Tree...

We've quite a large Trachycarpus Fortunei palm which used to reside in a ceramic planter, but the roots had outgrown the space and it had become potbound.  In addition, the planter was not very wide at the base, with the result that the palm would frequently blow over in strong winds.

To give the roots more room to grow, and to provide a much more stable platform against high winds, we decided to put the palm into a half barrel.

The local garden centre sells old oak half barrels for £25, but I found an old knackered one for a fiver that had been used as a mini-pond for goldfish.   

as purchased ...

The bottom of the barrel was hanging out and needed refitting and some reinforcement, but the rest of the treatment we gave the barrel we would also have done even if we'd bought one in better condition.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Converting an old Pine Bedstead to an Electric Bed ...

We have a very solid old pine bed frame, 1,500 mm (5') wide which in the UK is generally called 'kingsize' although in the US I believe it would be a queen.

For various health & comfort reasons, we were looking at replacing it with an electric bed of the same size, with independently adjustable mechanisms, i.e. basically two 2' 6" frames fixed side-by-side.  Such beds are common enough these days and readily available to buy new, and they start at around £600 and go on all the way up to several thousand.  

However, we couldn't find a suitable version with an open base that stands well clear of the floor on four legs in the same way our existing bed does, and which allows us to store all sorts of crap under there.   In addition, all the other furniture in the bedroom is quite substantial and also made from pine, so a modern lightweight fabric-covered bed base just wouldn't feel right in there.

Therefore, I decided to convert our own pine bedstead to electrically-adjustable operation rather than buying a new bed version in a different style.  

There are one or two European vendors I found that sell the articulating slatted assemblies on their own, complete with the actuators and controllers etc but without the rest of the bed frame.   One place stocks them at around £225 each ex-VAT, i.e. £590 in total including £50 delivery.  Allowing £150 each for two new mattresses would have brought the total to around £900, so still around the price of a new mid-range version.

However, I managed instead to find a used electric bed base to use as a 'donor' for the conversion, at £225.  By stripping the mechanisms off this old bed base, we would save nearly four hundred quid.

the donor bed delivered ...