Inkwell Media, formerly Inkwell Design

Stuff & nonsense

As the title says, this page is for random things which take my interest. There's some landscaping, construction, wood work and stone carving.

Click the thumbnails below for expanded galleries.

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Patio build

My back garden is on a significant slope, so it needed to be terraced to create an effective patio. This turned out to be a pretty big project. I needed to excavate down about three feet to lay foundations, a lot of it through rocks and hardcore. Thankfully Tommy, my father-in-law, is pretty handy in construction and carpentry among other things, and was able to help me out with the tools and knowhow to get the job done.

Once the excavating was done and the foundations were set, the rest was relatively easy. The circular stone paving slabs are sandstone, provided by a local quarry, and the brickwork is a morterless system, intended for low retaining walls.

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Herb planter build

I overestimated the amount of bricks needed for the patio (quantity surveying is not my strong point) and had enough left to create a herb planter. The project was very similar to the patio, but on a much smaller scale, thankfully. The patio was back-breaking work.

I also had enough to make a single long step, to help with the terracing. The upper section is covered with local quartz gravel, while the lower is covered in plum slate (at my wife's suggestion). I think the contrast worked out really well, especially with some planting. The uneven pavers in the last image come from the same quarry as the patio stones.

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Barbeque build

This build and some minor landscaping around it, has more or less brought the landscaping at the rear of the house to a finish. You can see the plans (and some errors I made) in the thumbnails. The images also show the process for pouring the reinforced concete slabs. These worked out well, although I didn't use nearly enough concrete dye and ended up painting the slabs in the end.

The arch and chimney were built around a wooden form, sadly, I've lost the images of that. The door and shelf are made from pressure treated fencing, with a walnut all weather stain to finish. The hinges and latch are black cast iron, courtesy of Amazon. The side facing the patio felt very tall and imposing, so I added a small planter for a clematic and some bedding flowers.

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Sandstone Rose

Local sculptor Redmond Herrity began teaching a stone carving course at LYIT. It was something I hadn't tried before and I found it both addictive and theraputic. Our first project was to carve this stone rose.

This form is a good introduction to carving as it combines sharp edges, curves, bowls and overhangs. Sandstone is quite soft and a good stone to begin with. All the work was carried out with a single small carbide chisel and a riffler and finished with sandpaper. The riffler is a sort of curved rasp, shaped somewhat like a spoon. It's invaluable in shaping and smoothing the bowls and curves.

The eight of us who took the class finished with an exhibition at An Grianán Theater, Letterkenny. It was opened by Patsaí Dan, the King of Tory.

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Workshop Build

Tommy had given me this old school work bench a while back (on teh right). The vices were really handy, but the work surface was a bit low. I raised it about four inches — high enough to be comfortable and also to act as a feed table for the table saw. At teh same time I built the second bench on the left. Combined, they give me a good work surface and plenty of room underneath to store tools.

The cabinet is made from birch ply, a nice material to work with. It's very stable, has no voids and finishes well. The next project in here will be to get the shop vac properly plumbed in.

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Camera shelving unit

Some people know I collect old cameras. I particularly like the old rangefinders. I don't have anything too fancy — a twin lens Rolleiflex is probably the best of the collection. The lot range from 35mm slrs, through disk cameras, Brownies, rangefinders, polaroid to bellows medium format cameras.

In short, the place was getting cluttered with cameras. So I built this shelving unit to house some of them and get them out of the way. It's built from the same birch ply used in the workshop, stained black to match all the Ikea stuff in my office and finished with Polyurethane.