Hackspace Move/Cremer Restoration

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Weekend volunteer list: Sat/Sun 27/28 April

If you can help out please add yourselves below. It's easy, it's gratifying work, and it ensures we get back our £7,000 deposit. We'll try to make sure that there's always someone around to provide guidance.

Masonry is done (just some dressing needed, and filling holes), now there's lots of painting to do, a little bit of plumbing, a seemingly infinite number of other little details, and a big cleanup when it's all done. (Note that the "what's left" list on this page may not be up to date any more. Simon sent an update on Thursday night.)

What's left

This is a list of things that need to be fixed or restored once we leave Cremer st. Please add anything you can think of, they will be struck off once we have confirmation that the work doesn't need to be done, or is completed.


Checklist for all the loos
task 23-L 23-R 24-L 24-R
All surfaces clean, including sinks
Wall plugs removed & holes filled (check carefully)
Doors scraped free of stickers
Walls all white, doors & frames all black (paint if not)
Checklists for individual loos
23-L status
Replace window done
23-R status
HIGH PRIORITY: Finish block wall done (still needs painting)
cut and cap grey pipe blocking access to quiet room hole done
Patch hole to quiet room done-needs skimming once motar set
install window above inner door (see instructions)
remove and paint inner door - use grey undercoat first, and don't forget edges done
install strike plate for inner door (spade drills and chisel are there)
replace inner door (after painting)
Add beading/doorstop/strip (whatever you call it(intumesent strip?)) for inner door done
install toilet (may be in 23-L) done
Create stand for sink out of lumber. (sink is probably stored in adjacent loo) It's quite heavy and won't be adequately supported by attaching to the wall. No, sink brackets were inside toilet cistern done
install plumbing for sink done
24-L status
inner door - replace spindle & handles
24-R status
remove stickers from toilet
clean toilet, if it still looks shit, repaint it black
Repair flush mechanism on toilets
Task Status
HIGH PRIORITY: Finish block wall between 23 and 24(see howtos -- this is hard, requires 2 people!) Done
HIGH PRIORITY: Fill square hole in unit 23 done
unit 24 -- build simple counter supported by frame made from 2x4 timber and install sink in original location, outside loo 23-L. Will need jigsaw from newspace. done
Kitchen -- remove cabinets non-destructively, we want them. done
Kitchen -- wash nasty wall and windowsills, and repaint
unit 24 -- plug/fill hole in front door where camera was done-needs sanding
hoover/clean loo floors -- this will give good impression to landlord for very little work.
outside -- make sure our balconies are clear when we're done
tidy everything up inside, remove rubbish -- junk left behind will probably be removed by landlord at our expense
unit 24 -- remove doorbot card reader and patch hole with wood, then fill edges with wood filler (brown stuff). This should be done as late as possible, but you can make the wood patch by taking reader out temporarily, and only put it in as the last step.
Remove CISA release lock from door to unit 24, remove doorbot and bell from wall above the meter
Paint remaining parts of the wall around meter and behind old payphone and where the wall has been filled at the back of the quiet room

Supplies we still need

Supplies still needed
door spindle (square rod) and 2 handles - i've got 1 handle and sq. rod from the old space hardware store
panel pins for door stop hardware store


how to repair the window

Use the wired glass (the shape should be obvious). Sand the edges with fine sandpaper first so you don't cut yourself.  I did a test fit in the window, and it's quite close, but should fit one way or the other (I think the window frame is slightly out of square).

The frame may have some gunk in it, so scrape that off first.

There is a tube of glass sealant somewhere in unit 23, so just put that in a caulk gun and run it around the edges of the frame, put the glass in, and put another layer on the inside of the glass. You can make a nice smooth line with a wet finger.

how to split breeze blocks

For irregular / thin shapes, use the big saw with the red handle, as it's already dull. Most splitting, however, can be done with the cold chisel and hammer. First,carefully go around the entire block along the line where you want it to split, only chiseling 1-2mm deep. Then keep going deeper each time and eventually it will break, leaving a nice rough surface for the mortar to stick to.

how to prepare for laying breeze blocks

  • Plan out the sizes, including mortar space, and split the blocks ahead of time. You don't want to be stuck with rapidly drying mortar and no blocks to lay.
  • Put down drop cloths/plastic sheet on either side, so the mortar doesn't go everywhere.
  • It may be worth trying to make a frame out of a sheet of wood and some planks to ensure levelness on one side, so you can place the blocks against it. Don't forget to go back and fill in the gaps in the mortar joints before it all dries. This would really help with the divider wall.

how to mix mortar for laying breeze blocks

  • WAIT! Get everything else ready first, so you have the maximum amount of time to work with it.
  • Wear gloves and a dust mask. Cement is really irritating to skin and lungs.
  • Use the white dish to measure out 1 part cement, 4 parts sand onto the large plywood sheet. Mix a little bit while dry.
  • Clean the grey bucket, and fill it part way with water. Mix in about 1/4 - 1/5 of a sachet of plasticizer.
  • Make a hole in the center of the cement/sand mix (volcano!) and pour in the water a bit at a time, folding it over, and using the saw flipped over to pull/chop it. You'll probably need to refill the grey bucket again before it's smooth enough.
  • When you can make an indentation that will hold its shape, but it is wet enough to slip off the trowel easily, then it is ready.
  • You can keep mortar covered in plastic so it will take longer to set.
  • Once the mortar starts to become difficult to work with, don't add more water, it should be thrown away.
  • Clean the shovel, and scrape off the board!

how to lay breeze blocks

  • BE CAREFUL! Take your time, and use the level to make sure everything is straight. You can't go back and fix it if it's crooked. It's harder than you'd think.
  • Lay a line of flat mortar, making sure that it is thick at the edges of the blocks, not just in the center.
  • Put lots of mortar on one side of the brick to be laid, just like the last step.
  • Carefully place the brick, keeping it in line with the rest of the wall. It must be vertically and horizontally level, as well as not twisted or offset. The most important thing is that it is not sticking out of the wall on either side or tilting side to side. To adjust, you can tap the top of the block with the butt of a hammer or the trowel.
  • Fill in any gaps. It's easier if you put the mortar on liberally and evenly in the first place.
  • For bricks at the top of the wall, or that have mortar on both sides, just do one side, then fill in the rest with the trowel or your fingers (WEAR GLOVES).
  • Scrape off excess mortar with the trowel or wood.
  • Scrape with the end of a bit of plastic drain pipe to make the nice rounded indentation in the mortar joints. Vertical joints first, then horizontal ones.
  • Clean everything off! mortar comes off with water, until it dries.

Water Stopcock locations

In unit 23, in the corner where the member boxes were. In unit 24, in cupboard next to the toilet.


  • Size of breeze blocks: 440 x 215 x 100mm
  • inter-unit doorway approx size: 1170 x 2240mm
  • new door to be installed in loo: 686 x 1981mm
  • height of ceiling in loo -- to be measured (may be uneven)
  • approx area to brick up in loo: 1000 x 2700mm
  • door frame timber: 50x100mm
  • external 23-L loo window to fix: 852 x 228mm
  • internal 23-R loo window to install: 685 x 620mm


 Breeze blocks, sand, cement, wood can come from:
 MP Building Supplies
 282 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green (google maps is wrong! actually at intersection with Old Bethnal Green Road)
 London, E2 9HA
 020 7729 1699
 Mon:	07:00 - 17:00
 Tue:	07:00 - 17:00
 Wed:	07:00 - 17:00
 Thu:	07:00 - 17:00
 Fri:	07:00 - 17:00
 Sat:	08:00 - 14:00