Garden Carpentry - CoverYesterday I wrote about the discovery of an innocent-looking household project book. Taking another look, it turns out it's not so innocent as it first seemed.

The very first project in the book is to build a greenhouse. Nothing as easy as the boot scraper or bird house (that feature later on in the book) to get you started. No, it's the 10ft x 6ft (x 7ft 6in high) span-roof greenhouse.

Finished the greenhouse? Oh good! Move on to a summer house "for the small garden"!!

Anyway, back to the greenhouse. After you've finished constructing the timber frame, got it erected and fully glazed it's time for the easy bit - painting it.

How wonderful. Which colour shall we use to paint our greenhouse? We want it to be a glorious tribute in our garden of our DIY acheivements. If you're stuck for ideas the book offers this advice:

Painting. - The outside and inside of the house should be given two coats of white lead paint, and further coats at yearly intervals. A pleasing appearance can be obtained by giving the ship-lap boarding a coat of green paint.

Hmmmm. Lead paint. I'm sure there's a red flag there somewhere. Not quite sure why, though. Anyway if that's what it says to use I'm sure it's fine! I'm sure there's something wrong in using creosote-treated wood too.

Later on there's a discussion on using asbestos-cement sheeting as an alternative to wood and corrugated iron.

Cutting Asbestos-Cement Sheets. - Avoid cutting where possible by arranging the work to suit the standard sizes. For small cuts a hack saw is excellent, but it is, of course, impossible to make a long cut with the tool. Any small-toothed saw answers the purpose, but avoid using best tools for the work. The substance is harder than wood and must be handled carefully to avoid cracks.

In other words, cut it if you have to, but don't use your best tools as it'll knacker them. Nothing about the fact that the dust will eventually kill you.

Creosote, lead paint, asbestos - it's a wonder there's still anyone left alive!!

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