Try fail… try again

Future planning

Now having my electricity supply connected, it also opened up a world of other possibilities, like having a broadband connection in the future.

phone line installed ready for future broadband connection
phone line installed and ready for future broadband connection

Remote working is a thing these days, and well, this is pretty remote, so why not? No harm in trying to plan for future options. Not quite ready for broadband just yet, but it’s good to know that I now have the option in the future when I want it.

Repurposing pews

After the fun and games of the deconstruction of a space, what to put back into it? Ideally, I needed a work surface area with enough space for the kettle and combi microwave, plus some basic storage. That’s not too much to achieve is it?

repurposed pews into kitchen work unit
repurposed pews into kitchen work unit

Looking at my growing collection of reclaimed timber from the clear out so far, I thought I must be able to cobble something together out of some of the old pew timber. It didn’t need to be fancy, just a temporary thing to help me make a usable kitchen work surface.

work in progress temporary kitchen workstation
work in progress temporary kitchen workstation

With a bit of imagination, some measurements, a couple of doodles and a cup of tea, I thought this might suffice for the time being. Pew bases and sides formed into a solid worktop with storage underneath. Just need to plane the top to get rid of the brown paint then it’s sorted.

If it ain’t broke

Then it’s probably a bit overdue. Unfortunately, my fairly old electric plane decided enough was enough with the age-hardened pew timber. After just a few strokes the rubber drive belt broke.

broken drive belt on my old electric plane
a broken drive belt on my old electric plane

I wasn’t sure if they made spares for an old item like this anymore. Fortunately, they did, and after a few days wait, a new rubber drive belt arrived to allow me to finish the job I’d started. Yay for having a postal address!

temporary kitchen area up and running
temporary kitchen area up and running

Waste not

Not everything can be reused or repurposed. Some stuff was just waste that needed disposing of. With the wood, I had thought that maybe I could burn it and in the process gain a little heating at the same time. Seemed like a bit of a win-win scenario to me.

temporary wood burner installation
temporary wood burner installation

I made an opening in the already boarded-up window to run an angled section of woodburner stove flue out through. It felt like this could be a neat solution.

After a little while I had a little working woodburner set up. Happy days I thought as it was still pretty cold at the moment.

it was a cold snowy view outside
it was a cold snowy view outside

Unbeknownst to me, my idea proved to be of slightly concerned interest to the local fire brigade when they passed by and saw smoke exiting my little chimney through the boarded-up window! Especially as the building hadn’t been in use for well over a decade or more!

Fire failure

Unfortunately, there was a flaw in my otherwise cunning plan. There was too much paint on most of the scrap wood I was burning. This would end up clogging the insides of the chimney pipes, reducing the efficiency of the stove and not ultimately clearing the smoke.

wood burner heating and waste disposal
wood burner heating and waste disposal

A nice idea worth trying. Just turned out to be a bit of a failure in the long run. Lessons learnt. Looks like I’ll have to rely on hard physical work to try and keep warm at the moment.

unfortunately daytime temperatures barely got above freezing
unfortunately, daytime temperatures barely got above freezing

The daytime temperatures barely get above freezing at the moment. Not so bad when you’re physically working, but as soon as you stop, it gets in your bones real quick. Never have I had to go to bed so early just to try and get warm!

Changing fortune

Nothing lasts forever, not even the weather. It was still cold, but the snow was now gone. Funny just how quickly the landscape transforms back again from its snowy white blanket.

its a sign – a double rainbow ending
its a sign – a double rainbow ending

With the temporary kitchen area sorted, time to take on the bigger challenge of the main hall space next…

  • Tim Heeley

    Great progress Chris, even if it had glacial tendencies! The fact that you’ve got an address, power and a phone line gives you connectivity which will speed things along. It sure helps getting replacement parts. I hope you can source some clean wood for the fire.

    • Thanks Tim, appreciate the encouragement 👍🏼

      Getting some of the boring basics bits in place will definitely help in the long run.

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