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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It’s Electric: Return of the Electric

Alright alright, I get it, the title sucks. But this is the third and (hopefully) final chapter in the workshop electrical series (part 1 and part 2). The workshop electrical has been run and is ready to be hooked up, all that was left to do was install the exterior plugs on our house from which I will run the power. This meant putting three new circuits in the electrical box and installing multiple exterior outlets in the area of the recently fixed stucco. As always, with my electrical work I tried to plan out exactly what I wanted to do ahead of time. This meant I spent a decent amount of time in Home Depot looking at the different conduit connectors and eventually building a contraption that would fit right next to my electrical box.  I put the tape in place to protect against debris while drilling through the…

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New Skill Unlocked: Stucco

I am not sure if I have mentioned this previously, and it is probably worth discussing at some point, but we had a really old electrical panel on the house when we moved in. I mean, I’m talking original to the 1955 house old.  Definitely not safe or adequate for our needs. This panel (and a sub-panel in the kitchen) totaled 100 amps. Our new panel is 200. This was something we knew would have to be upgraded when we moved in to support the needs of a modern home (i.e. the electric car charger) so it wasn’t a surprise or a big hardship to upgrade the panel. What was slightly unexpected was the hole in our house’s stucco that was left behind when the old panel was removed. In order to support the larger panel, it was placed right next to the old location, leaving behind a missing patch…

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It’s Electric Remix

Last week I discussed running the electrical for my workshop. At the end of the post I alluded to the fact that I am running the power to the workshop in a slightly unconventional manner. The easiest way to think about it is that the power will be supplied to the workshop as if it is an RV. When an RV comes to a park, it hooks up to the park power using an extension cord connected to an exterior plug on the RV. In the same way, when I want power inside the workshop, I will hook up via an extension cord to my house power.  This strategy has one big advantage, and it is that I do not have to dig a trench or run aerial lines from the house to the workshop for power. Digging a 2 foot deep trench all the way to the workshop seems…

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