Dining Table Build – Tabletop Glue Up

In this week’s iteration of the dining table build, the tabletop glue up! Last week was all about routing each of the 19 individual boards to have tenons on each of their ends. In an effort that was probably the most time consuming part of the entire dining table build, I had to route 76 different sides of the boards. A repetitive task that I was happy to be done with and on to the next thing. In order to turn 19 individual 2x5” boards into a 95” long table, I needed to glue and then screw them together with pocket hole joints. To begin, I once again got into an assembly line groove and drilled 5 pocket holes into one side of each individual board. I varied the pocket hole locations across boards so that the joints would be offset in final assembly. After drilling the pocket holes I…

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Dining Table Build – Routing for Days

We have come to the most time consuming part of the dining table build. Routing. In order to create the mortise and tenon joints I outlined last week to deal with seasonal wood movement, I had to route every board used in the table top. I decided to start with making the tenons. This meant routing 19 boards on both sides, and in order to create a ½” tenon in the middle of the 1 ½” board, I had to route ½” from each side. If you’re following along and doing the math with me, that means routing away ½” of wood from 76 different sides.  To further complicate matters, each tenon had to be 2 ½” long, which meant taking 4 different passes with a ¾” wide router. Long story short, this meant an absurd amount of routing was required to create all of the tenons. Full disclosure, I…

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Dining Table Build – Seasonal Wood Movement

When planning out this new dining room table build, I really had no idea what I was doing. That’s probably an understatement. Luckily, about a week after finalizing the design, I went skiing with a friend of mine who is a great woodworker. Also, remember friends? Those people you got to see outside of your house back in the day? Good times. This friend, Brooks, really changed the route of the design and probably saved the table from a cracked and warped short-lived life. While on a chairlift and over lunch, Brooks explained to me the key to woodworking, which is wood movement. I had done zero planning for wood movement, meaning that as the wood expanded and contracted with temperature and humidity changes, it would probably crack and fail. But during that conversation we figured out a path forward to account for wood movement in my design. Yet another…

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Dining Table Build – Let Her Rip!

Last week, I laid out the design of a dining room table that I built for a couple of friends who just bought a home out here in Colorado. This week I’ll start walking through each of the steps I went through to build the table. Now, this table design is very large, about 4’ x 8’. A quick google search for tables that size shows that many, if not most, cost over $1000. Pretty significant. Because this is my first time building anything significant, and because they’re my good friends, they’ll be getting the table for the cost of the supplies. Even with that keeping costs down, this much wood can get expensive, so I decided to build the table out of douglas-fir lumber. While douglas-fir lumber is fairly cheap and readily available at your big box home improvement store, it does present a couple issues. Number one is…

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Dining Table Build – The Design

A few months ago, my friend asked me to help him build a dining room table for the new house that he and his wife bought in Colorado. I’m not going to lie, it was both terrifying and exciting. Terrifying, because I had never built anything that required close to the amount of skill required for a flat, square dining table. Exciting, because it was a chance to dive headfirst into something I believed I would really enjoy. Obviously, the first step was to design the table to fit their needs.  They love to spend time with family and wanted a table for everyone to gather around. In this case, everyone is 8-12 people, so we decided on a very large table. Approximately 4’ x 8’. After determining the size, we needed a design. They sent me a few examples for sale that they liked, and then I sketched out…

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Bathroom Upgrades – Part 1

It is currently about 20°F here in Denver with snow in the forecast several days this week. Obviously, we’ve all been inside much more than normal lately with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, but this weather means no garden or workshop time today. With that being the case, I decided it’s appropriate to discuss a recent indoor project that Allyson and I completed. Our house was built in the 1950s. Because of the age of our house, it did not include a bathroom vent fan when we moved in. Typically, older homes weren’t sealed very well (we can attest to that), which meant that moisture inside the home dried out without many mold issues. Modern homes are sealed much better, which dramatically improves their insulation, but can cause problems with moisture inside the house. That is why almost all homes built in the last 20 years include bathroom vent fans that…

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Collapsible Sawhorses

Fun fact, collapsible can be spelled collapsable. Which might explain why both spellings look incorrect to me. Ah English, so simple and straightforward. Fun facts aside, today I want to talk about a quick and simple DIY build that I completed several weekends ago. Sawhorses are a must for most people doing DIY around the house, and I am ashamed that it took me almost 2 years in our house to build my own. I finally decided that working off of the ground was too much of a pain in the back (literally). Step one of getting up off of the ground was this sawhorse build. Step two will be building an actual workbench for my workshop.  There are a ton of Youtube videos out there giving instructions on how to build your own sawhorses. I decided to follow the plans from Woodworking for Mere Mortals. Steve Ramsey runs this…

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New Laminate Flooring

Several months ago, I was finally able to complete a key component of the new workshop: installing the laminate flooring.  There are quite a few options for workshop flooring, none of which are perfect. Wood, engineered wood, vinyl, laminate, OSB/plywood, and epoxy just to mention a few. All of them had their own drawbacks. Wood or engineered hardwood would (solid tongue twister) most likely run into issues in an unconditioned workspace such as mine. Epoxy is harder to install than the click-and-lock vinyl or laminate options. OSB/plywood doesn’t look great and would likely require a sealant of some sort to prevent tear out. I took the pros and cons into consideration for all of the options and ended up deciding between vinyl and laminate. Both options would work for my needs in the small workshop. Both would be decently appealing if we sold the house, as they are decent looking…

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Shiplap Ceiling

Joanna Gaines would be so proud of us. I didn’t even know what shiplap was until I got hooked on watching Fixer Upper and now I have spent several weekends installing it in the new workshop. For those of you who don’t know what it is, I’m proud of you for never seeing HGTV, and also, here’s a great example of it. Photo Credit: https://abeautifulmess.com/2016/02/so-you-want-to-diy-a-shiplap-wall.html Shiplap was commonly used as exterior siding for barns and similar structures in harsh climates, as the overlap on the edges allowed for good weather proofing and movement in temperature extremes. Now, everybody and their mom is putting it in their house for a farmhouse look. Allyson and I are jumping on this train with the workshop ceiling, as it is a perfect fit for the modern farmhouse design Allyson is putting together for the workshop. Our workshop during the summer. It's missing some trim,…

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Workshop Drywall

On the path towards reaching my workshop goals, I needed to make some serious progress on the interior of the shop. As I’ve said before, this will be used year round (if it is ever finished), and so I have taken care to insulate it appropriately. I started by insulating in between the floor joists before installing the sub-floor, and recently I finished insulating the walls with standard fiberglass insulation. Hanging insulation is a technically easy task, just cut the insulation to size using a razor blade and then use a staple gun to attach the edges of the insulation to the studs. However, that sentence does not truly capture how hot and itchy the task was, even when wearing long sleeves/pants and a face mask.  Insulating in progress After stapling everything in place I was able to appreciate the accomplishment, and I know I’ll appreciate it in the upcoming…

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