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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Cheap Wood For The Win!

Last week I introduced the design for new compost bins to replace our old ones. While I was excited to get much better compost bins, the old ones were free and the new ones are not. Sad. Not only was I going to buy wood for the new bins, I also had to get cedar, a more expensive wood than conventional pine. To help mitigate the costs, finding cheap wood was a must. And that is where the discount wood bin in any big box hardware store comes in handy! This wonderful bin is full of wood that is up to 70% off full price! The downside of course is that the wood is normally pretty terrible. Most pieces are warped, cracked, or discolored in some way. On top of that, it’s a limited selection of wood that the store has decided to mark down. Depending on what project you’re…

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New Year 2021

Welcome to the new year 2021! It’s been a long week over here in our house, so I don’t have a long post prepared this week. And I’m sure we’ve all heard plenty about saying goodbye to 2020 and hello to a wonderful 2021. This past year has obviously been difficult for everyone in different ways, and I truly hope that this next year will be better for everyone. There are a couple of vaccines now available, and I, along with all of you, look forward to the day that those vaccines allow us to spend time with loved ones safely. Until then, let’s continue to look out for each other by wearing masks and limiting our risky activity. It feels like America is at an important point in our history. It feels silly to even have to say this, but we need to reject fascism and authoritarianism. We need…

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Outdoor Sectional – Part II

After last week's post on design, it is time for the fun stuff! Cutting long pieces of wood into shorter pieces of wood and then attaching them to one another! This week we get into the actual building of the outdoor sectional for our front porch.  To begin, I had to build two different rectangular boxes with supports that would serve as the long and short seating areas on the outdoor sectional. I’ve learned over the course of other projects that a key to building rectangles square (that’s not confusing at all) is to make sure the sides are exactly the same length. It makes assembling with square corners much easier. To achieve that for the seating areas, I used my new miter saw stand and a stop block to cut every support exactly the same length. The new miter saw stand has been an amazing addition to my shop!…

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French Cleat – Sandpaper Storage

Another week, another new french cleat storage system. With all of the woodworking projects that I’m building and planning, I have collected a large collection of sandpaper. The majority of it is circular sheets for an orbital sander, but there are also rectangular sheets for hand sanding. All of that sandpaper has been taking up too much space in my toolbox, so I was excited to store it more efficiently. As an added bonus, this sandpaper storage system allowed me to practice box making skills for the first time. The design consists of a rectangular box with one open side. I used ½” plywood for the box. Within the box are multiple shelves to hold the different grit levels of sandpaper.  To join each side of the box together, I used half lap joints. In order create the joints I had to use a router and guide. They were used…

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French Cleat Storage – Clamp Holder

Last week I described how I built a new french cleat storage system for my workshop. One of the main selling points of a french cleat system is the ability to build custom storage holders specific to my needs. My first custom storage system is a clamp holder. Prior to this, I didn’t really have a great place to store my clamps. They were stored in my garage on a few nails. Not exactly an ideal system, especially because most of my building work occurs in the workshop. With the french cleat system, it was extremely easy to rectify that situation. The design of these clamp holders is fairly straight forward. It consists of 4 right triangles attached to a rectangular backing. I cut the points off of the triangles to soften the edges and make them a bit safer as I’m moving around the workshop. I measured my clamps…

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The Little Things – Organized Workshop

This was a very busy weekend for projects. I was able to finish up a raspberry trellis for our backyard garden. This took most of Saturday morning. After that I spent the rest of the weekend working on the last bit of trim for the workshop. I just finished getting it hung up about 1 hour ago. It still needs to be painted, but it looks great!  Posts on both of those projects will be coming in the next couple weeks, but I wanted to write a quick post before calling it a weekend. I’ve been trying hard to keep my super small (10’ x 12’) workshop organized. This means that at the end of a project or weekend of work I take enough time to vacuum up all of the sawdust, sweep the floor clean, and put all of my tools and workbenches away where they belong. It can…

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Rolling Miter Saw Stand

It’s the second edition of Weekend BuildsTM! Last time on the program, I built an assembly table for the workshop. This week, it’s all about a rolling miter saw stand. My workshop is only 10’ x 12’, so I need to keep everything as compact and organized as possible. Not something that I would call one of my strengths, but I’ll give it my best effort. I’m hopeful that the miter saw stand will help me out a bit in this regard. I began by measuring out the dimensions of my miter saw. I focused on the height and width of the saw, along with how much space the full swivel of the saw took up. Based on those measurements, I went with a 23” x 25” stand. Once the measurements were made, it was time to cut everything to size. I had a bunch of random scraps of plywood…

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Dining Table Build – Breadboard Pins

Back to back weeks writing about the dining table build, crazy! This week is all about drilling the holes used to pin the breadboard in place. Once again using my favorite diagram, the pins are used to hold the breadboard tight against edge of the table, while allowing the wood to expand and contract along the length. Source: https://www.woodcraft.com/blog_entries/breadboard-ends All of the pins go through both the breadboard and tenons on the table top. The middle pin hole is sized exactly the same as the pin, locking that point in place. Then the rest of the holes are elongated along the length of the breadboard. This allows the table itself to expand and contract separately from the breadboard. In order to drill the holes for the pins, I had to first attach both breadboards to the table top. This was not an easy process. Unfortunately, across 8 feet the breadboard…

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Retaining Wall – Part 2

https://giphy.com/gifs/britney-spears-oops-i-did-it-again-FjWEXNradAzYY Source: https://giphy.com/gifs/britney-spears-oops-i-did-it-again-FjWEXNradAzYY I missed another blog post again last week. I’m not proud of it and there’s no real excuses this time. Back on track this week with the final part of the retaining wall installation.  After removing the old chain link fence and digging the trench for the new retaining wall, I could get down to the actual wall install. I made sure to dig the trench to about 8” below grade prior to installing the first row of 6” x 6” x 8’ timbers. With ~2” of gravel as a base for leveling and stability, that meant that the first row of timbers would be completely buried in the end. This helps make the base of the wall secure for the long run. Another key piece of installing the first row of timbers was to make sure that they were level. Behind the wall a perforated tube…

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