Home Desk – Drawer Framing

It is time to make my relatively sad, yet functional, desk a bit more functional and a bit less sad. That’s right, time to add some drawers, and more specifically, some drawer framing. The final desk design has three total drawers. Two drawers to the right of the chair location, and one long drawer above where I’ll sit. The drawers will be inset drawers, which I’ll go into more detail about in the next post. The first step to adding the drawers was to complete the drawer framing. I added a 1x2” stretcher from the front left leg to the front right leg of the table, using pocket holes to attach it to the leg. This provides the top of the long drawer and one of the drawers on the right. It also helps to strengthen the desk frame and provide support for the eventual top. I then added two…

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Home Desk – Frame Assembly

The table frame and legs are cut and obviously very classy. Now I can start to see the table take shape. All of the joints in the table frame assembly consist of pocket hole screws. Each of the legs will have the frame screwed into it and then I’ll add stretcher supports in the front. I marked each plywood piece of the table that I cut out to designate the pocket hole locations. This ensured that the pocket holes were on the inside of the table so that they stayed hidden. It also allowed me to drill every pocket hole right away. I couldn't wait until after the frame assembly was built because I would lose access to most edges. There is a lot of labeling on the plywood so that I make the pocket holes in the correct locations. Part of the original design called for adding “picture framing”…

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Home Desk – Table Legs and Frame

Where does one start when building a desk? Obviously you need to cut all of the wood out at some point. In this case, my desk design has the frame directly connected to the table legs. That means that starting with the table legs and frame makes the most sense.  As I mentioned last week, I took a lot of time planning out my cuts on this build. Lumber prices are high. Plus, I already have plenty of scrap wood around the house, so I try to avoid adding more. That level of planning carried through to marking out each of my cuts on the plywood for the desk frame and drawers. All of the cut lines laid out before starting the real cuts. When cutting sheets of plywood, my strategy is to use my two workbenches and a circular saw. I measure the offset of my circular saw guide…

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Work From Home Desk

One of the nice things about developing woodworking skills is that I can take on projects to improve my standard of living or comfort at home. So it makes sense that while working from home for over a year, I would make myself a desk right? Wrong. I spent the first 11 months of that time working from my couch and coffee table. Why? Who knows, I’m weird sometimes. However, I finally decided to build that “work from home desk” a few months ago. It has been a game changer. As is typical of any builds at our house, we like to spend some time thinking about the design. This allows us to make sure whatever we are building fits our style. It also makes the build process much easier. And since this desk is going to reside in our living room permanently, getting the right style was key. When…

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Outdoor Fire Table – Final Costs

I realized this morning that I never summarized the outdoor fire table final costs for everyone. I think it’s a good exercise to show what things like this cost if you’re looking to do something similar. It also shows why I like to do things myself, because I’ll try to give a comparable example of what it would have cost to buy instead of make. Let’s jump right into it in the order of the build posts that I made. I am very bad at tracking my hours working on a project, which makes detailing how long I worked on this very difficult. I’ll do my best, but understand the hours are very rough estimates. Moving forward I’d like to do a better job of tracking my hours, just in case I want to sell some of my creations and figure out a decent rate for my time worked. Design…

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Outdoor Fire Table – Final Wrap-Up

It’s the final wrap-up, duh duh do do... Seriously though, the outdoor fire table is just about complete. My last post captured the build of the wood table top. So all that remains is to put support in place for the concrete insert, add the metal table legs, put it all together and light it up. Once that is all complete there will be nothing preventing me from eating s’mores at my new outdoor fire table. First up, concrete insert supports. As you’ll see later in the post, the concrete insert actually spans from table leg to table leg. But I wanted to give it a little bit of extra support, so I added wood supports to the table top.  The supports leave room at each end for the table legs to overhang the insert gap. I used scrap 2x6” cedar to span the length of the insert and provide…

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Fire Table – Wood Table Top Assembly

This week’s post really puts it all together. That’s right, it’s all about putting together the table top for my fire table. After completing the tenons previously, there really wasn’t too much left to do for final assembly. However, one of the items left to do did require quite a bit of routing. I had to make the mortises for the table top board tenons to slot into. I’ve done this setup previously, so I have a decent process at this point. I clamp the breadboard to the edge of my workbench, level with the workbench top. I use a straightedge on the workbench that is offset to keep the router bit centered on the breadboard edge. Lastly, I measure and clamp in place end stops that get the mortise as wide as necessary without going too wide.  Routing jig, complete with cement block to hold things in place. Before…

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Fire Table – Wood Table Top Tenons

So far on the fire table, I have made a concrete insert, sealed it, and got the fire pit insert up and running. Next on the list is back to my comfort zone, the wood table top. For this table top, like the one I did for the dining table and the outdoor coffee table, I’ll be using mortise and tenon joints. I’ll have a breadboard to hold the table top boards in place and it will be connected to each board with a mortise and tenon. As I’ve done this multiple times now, making tenons is becoming quite straightforward for me. To begin, I had to rip my 2”x6” cedar boards down to 5”. This makes everything uniform, while also removing the rounded edges of the lumber. The straight edges left behind tend to give the furniture a much more finished look. I ripped each board on the table saw,…

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Fire Table – Fire Pit Insert

No mistakes to report today! Today is a post about our fire pit insert and burner setup. When I first started tackling this project, I knew there was at least one part that I couldn’t manufacture myself (yet). That part is the fire pit insert and the burner. In addition, I knew I would need to figure out the proper gas lines and fittings to run the burner from a propane tank. I am going to give you a recap of what I did. While I hope this is informative, it is not advice on how to set up your own fire pit. Gas can be dangerous and you should be cautious when working with it. There are a ton of options on the old internet for fire pit inserts. Amazon, in particular, has a crap ton of options in various sizes. However, I’m generally concerned with Amazon product quality.…

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Fire Table – Concrete Sealing

As I said in my last post, today's post is about sealing the concrete insert of our new fire table. And as I also mentioned last week, I made a mistake while sealing the concrete. But we’ll get to that. First, let’s talk about different concrete stains. There are basically four types of concrete sealers, as I found out while researching the best one for my project. The four types are penetrating, acrylic, polyurethane and epoxy. Each one of these performs the sealing in a different way. Acrylic, polyurethane and epoxy stains all build a protective film on the top of the concrete to provide protection, albeit using different chemical compounds. Penetrating sealers, typically some sort of silicon compound, provide protection by reacting chemically within the concrete. These don’t leave behind a protective film like the other stains. A key benefit of the penetrating sealers is their ability to let…

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