old timer

Friday, August 8, 2014

How To Make A NW Chili - The End!

Hi guys!

So?  How are ya???  How's the weather where you are?  It's GORGEOUS here!  YAY! 

I would like to show you how to finish your NW Chili.  Remember,, this is just an idea.  You can do anything you'd like!

First,,, round up some scrap metal.  I used license plates ... of course!  I mean I have them every where around here.  The idea is to use what you have.  DON'T spend money on new stuff if you can help it.

Here's the pile of scraps I started with.

I pulled out a handful and started with these.

I turned them over and drew a leaf on them. 
OKAY!  Back off!  I can't draw!!!   LOL!
Then I used those tin snips to cut them out.

I drilled a hole in one end and added a wire like you did
when you attached your bottle to the main chain.

You will need at least 5.

Now wire them to the chain on the links above the bottles. 
We are going to want a little room between the bottles
and the cap we are going to add next.

It's looking pretty good.   At this point I bent a
few of the plates to curve them.  I wanted them
to fit around a couple bottles.

Now we want to use a cap over this that will
HIDE that mess of wire!

This is a pile of the other end of those AWESOME
crowns that sold so well at Sorticulture. 
I still LOVE those crowns.

I'm really liking this,,, but it needs
a couple more on it. 

I took a step back, then a break.  I knew what I wanted
to do to finish this.  BUT!  I was selling this and I
honestly didn't think this was the customers style.

So I tried another top.  An old metal lamp shade.

I cut a hole in the top that was just
BARELY big enough to get that chain through.
Put the chain through it.


AND ,,, it's a keeper!!!

This really is a pretty easy to make art piece.  But, it takes time, patience and good luck finding those bottles.  After finishing this blog... I'm thinking I'll make another one.  Only this time, if I can find them, I'll use clear bottles and then I'll light it up.  Think of all those colors it could be!  From reds, greens, blues, and there's always PURPLE!!!  FUN!!!

Okay!  Any questions???  Any comments???  Anyone up for trying this???  If so,,, drop me a picture!  I'd love to see what you made.  I can even share it here if you'd like!

Thanks guys!  You are the best!  Shell

Saturday, August 2, 2014

How To Make A NW Chili (Blue Bottles) Chandelier Part 2


OOPS!  Do you know what happens when you push the wrong button on BlogSpot???  It publishes it for you even when you aren't ready.  If you are reading this and it's GOOFY!  It's just me,,,, trying to wake up on a Saturday morning. 

SO???  Did you get all your bottles drilled????  YES???  Wow!  Way to go... what?  NO?  It's okay! You can keep working on them as we go along here.

Now, let's use a simple piece of wire, a metal nut or washer and a heavy duty chain to build this puppy with. 


First we need that chain ....

This is what I used.  Hanging lamp chain on
the left is thin, not as strong.  The chain on
the right is perfect.

I hung mine up to make it easier to add the bottles. 
Notice all the chain wrapped and wrapped and
wrapped around the metal?  This is going to
get very heavy.  I don't want it to fall.

Hand tools, wire and nuts.  Why nuts?  I found
them for free and you'll see soon...

Put one nut or washer on your wire, wrap
the wire around it to hold it on.

After a few tries I liked this better.  The wire
does NOT need to be finished.  This is perfect.  It helps
to balance the bottle a little nicer.  Either way works fine.

Straighten the end of your wire and push it through the
bottle - from the neck to the bottom. 
DO NOT cut the wire YET!

Now wire that to the bottom link of your chain. 
Just like you wired the nut.  I know.  The wire is too long. 
Once you thread it through the chain link ... cut it off. 
You don't want to waste too much wire.  Now wrap.

On the next link ,,, add 2 more bottles. 
We'll keep doing this all the way up the chain.
You are adding 1 bottle to each side of the chain link.
Keep adding bottles as far as you would like to go. 
30 plus bottles is a good length.

It's getting longer!!!  Keep going!
If your chain wasn't long enough ,,,
unwind a couple links.

This is getting good!

At the very top link, when you've had enough,
add 2 bottles to each link.  We want 4 bottles
at the very top.

Let's add the leaves and a top! On the next post when I'm awake and I've got my act together,,, OKAY!  A little bit better!  :)


Friday, August 1, 2014

How To Make A NW Chili (Blue Bottles) Chandelier Part 1

Hi guys!

So ,,, I was asked to make someone something I didn't want to make.  Been there, done that and once was enough.  Why?  I don't know.  There are things I make where once is enough for me.  This is one of them.

So ,,, I figured this might be a good time for a "quick" tutorial.  HA!  Quick.  This takes a lot of time and blue bottles.  OR whatever color bottles you would like and can get.  You could use glass flower vases, long skinny glasses or anything glass with some flare, color and or texture to it. 

Please realize,,, this is only to give you an idea.  It's not some thing you have to make exactly like this.  This started due to a small string of chili peppers, maybe 5 inches long, I made years ago from glass rods.  I saw them back in May, next thing I knew I was making a bigger string of them ...  just a little differently. 

From these ...

to these.

I saw that small string of red glass chili's and I thought of the blue bottles in the yard.  Why not???  So... here we go!  

35 to 40 blue bottles
3 to 10 feet of heavy duty chain
Wire - brass or steel
Metal washers or nuts - small enough to go inside your glass
License plates or other metal for leaves
Metal bowl or lamp cover to cover the top of your chili's  

Glass drill bit
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutters
Lineman pliers (or some thing on this idea)     

FIRST:  Round up at least 35 bottles or pieces of glass.  I started with 37 and after breakage... I had 33. 

dirty bottles ready to use

put your bottles in water to soak for 30 to 45 minutes

make sure you "drown" the bottles

no bottle butts up in the air

fill them FULL of water, we want them
completely submerged and covered

while you wait, it's a good time to clean them out

get that bottle brush all the way in there
and clean this puppy out!

now it's time to pull off the labels
and wash these with soap

So... how do you get those stinkin' labels off???  EEK!  Everyone has their way.... mine,,, well...I turn on the hot water in the sink.  I pull the label up by the corner a little bit.  Set that spot under the running hot water.  Pull slowly and evenly.  Most labels will come off in one sweet pull!!!  NOT always though.  The idea is you soaked the labels for a while.  It got them a little softer than they want to be.  NOW, you've put them under hot water and the glue is softer.  It's soft enough to pull up with a little pressure.  Go SLOW!!!  Don't rush this and it will go much quicker.
If you leave these in water too long... the labels will split.  There is a top layer of very fine "hard" plastic and a layer of glued down plastic.  How do I know???  Remember that big tub full of bottles you saw earlier???  YEP!  I put the bottles in on Friday, then Sunday night I went out to work on them.  I couldn't believe what a GIANT mistake that was. 
Let's just say:  There are 3 labels on each bottle.  When you do 33 bottles that's about 100 labels.  When most split in half,,, that's almost 200 labels and they don't play well with others.  What a mess!!!
Once the labels are off,,, WASH!
Time to drill holes in your glass.
when I drill holes in bottles I use a 5 gallon bucket

and a dremel

with a glass bit ... sorry!  this one is OLD!

DO NOT MIX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Now that I've said that ... I'll show you how I do this.

When ever I drill holes in glass I use a special drill bit I get at my local stained glass shop.  First, they cost a small fortune!!!  $25 ... so follow this please! 

These bits are metal bits covered in diamond dust.  The dust is held there with a high temperature glue.  If you get the drill bit too hot, the dust comes off.  Your bit is now BAD.  Water keeps your bit cool.  Water keeps your bit in good shape!!!

I use a bucket of water so I can dunk the bottle in the water, pull it up and drill, dunk, drill ... over and over.

the bottom of the bottle gives you a well to hold the water

Start your drill at a slight angle.  This keeps your bit from skipping around on the glass.  It needs a place to BITE into the glass.  Stand the bit up and with light pressure ... drill!  Remember to "water" your drill spot.

now ,,, get to work!  see you in a couple days.  I want to see that pile of bottles with holes in them!



Sunday, July 27, 2014

So You Want to Build a Birdhouse, Need a Little Help???


How was your weekend???  Mine was awesome.  As you will see, I had company and he helped me build a birdhouse.

Check this out!!!

My 6 year old helper!

Let's make a birdhouse you can mount on a fence, wall or tree...

Find some wood.  These are old fence boards.

This birdhouse will be good for smaller birds.  That's what I have all over my neighborhood.  These boards are 5 1/2" wide.

I used 2 different sized boards.  The wider for the
front and back.  The smaller for the sides.

We are going to cut the front and back tops
into a 90* angle or some thing like that. 
As long as it's close... I'm happy.

You can use the yellow tool in the last picture
or use a saw with a way to cut at an angle.

Remember one BIG thing... birds don't care if this is perfect.  They just want a place to live safely.

I took one of each sized fence boards to make this.  I cut both ends of the wide board into points with my table saw.

Then I cut one end 9" long from the point to
the edge.  This will be the front of the
house.  I cut the other one 15" long.

You don't have to make yours that exact measurement.  Any where close is fine.... I PROMISE!  I don't worry about measurements like I should. 

Now I place the thinner board next to the
side walls of the front (shorter) piece.

At this point, you don't have to measure the sides.  Just lay your thinner piece next to the wall of the front piece.  Mark it just a little bit shorter than the length of that wall.  If it is 5" mark your piece at 4 7/8".  It's okay if you miss that by a 1/4"... it won't matter.  DON'T worry!  It just can't be too long.  That will get in your way.

After you cut your sides you should have
some thing that looks like this.  4 parts.

Sorry this is so fuzzy.  Mark 2 or 3 spots on each
side of your pointed pieces. 

We are going to pre-drill the holes.

Usually at this point I figure out where I want the hole for the birds entrance and a hole for the perch.  BUT, I had help.  Enough said.

We placed nails in our pre-drilled holes and went to
add them to the sides.  This is when I remembered to
add the big hole for the birds entrance.  I pulled the
nails out of the front piece and we started again.

OOPS!  Forgot to drill the holes for the opening and the perch ... ready???

Mark your front board about 4" or so from the bottom. 
Close to the middle is good enough.
NOW:  Here's a big secret.  Okay,,, it's just a simple way to drill those big entrance holes.

What you see is a 1 1/4" hole drill bit.
When you drill through your board 
DO NOT go all the way through. 

I adjust the bit so when I lower it as far as it will go, it still can't go all the way through my boards.  This will make it so much easier for you to get that wood hole piece out of your bit.

This is what you should see.

Turn your board over.  Place the bit inside your
larger bit in the hole,,, then turn on your
drill and finish the hole.

When you finish drilling and pull your bit up ... this is what you should see.  The wood you want to remove
hanging out of your bit.  Twist and pull and it's out! 

Your hole may not be perfectly clean.  See the little
ridge.  The birds don't care.  If you do,
a round wood file will take that out.

We want to use an old wood peg from a wool spinning wheel for the perch.  First, measure the piece you need to add to the birdhouse.  I would be lost without this drill gage.  I use it for nearly every piece of art I make.

Put the piece inside the hole.  Now you know
what size hole to drill.

Place that hole an inch or so below the opening.  Now, nail front and back of your house to the sides.

Add a little wood glue to the peg and the hole. 
Add to house. 

You are almost done.  I promise.  We need to add a bottom and roof.

The piece I used for the bottom was in the scrap bucket
ready to be thrown in the recycle bin.  It's close enough.
  I didn't cut it, measure it or anything.  I "had help" so
we nailed this on.  Usually I would use screws on the
bottom to make cleaning it out easier later.

My help loved this license plate, so we bent it over the
edge of the table saw, drilled a couple holes down each
side and screwed it onto the tops of the points of the
front and back pieces.

We added a little bit of metal decoration and
2 nails on the long piece.

My helper nailed his finished piece onto the fence
where I can see it from my kitchen window.
Because we used metal for the roof, we are going to leave this in the shade.  If it was in the sun, it would be WAY to hot for most birds.  One way to fix this so you can use it in the sun... just add wood under the metal.  That will make a nice barrier from the heat. 
He's very happy and proud of his work.


This piece would take me 10 to 15 minutes to make. 
Mostly because of the lack of measuring and the
way I drill out the opening.  Both big time savers.

He did a great job for his first of many to come.

I hope I've given you a few ideas on how to make a birdhouse quick and easy.  If you have any questions,,, YES!  Any questions, drop me a note!  Shell