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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Retaining Wall – Part 1

Those of you reading out there may have noticed that I took last week off from the blog. I try to stay consistent with my posts, but with the storm two weekends ago and the power outage, I didn’t post until the middle of that week. On top of that, I began a project that has been taking up a lot of my time and making me pretty exhausted: building a new retaining wall. Our property, amongst other issues, is significantly higher than our rear neighbors. On the east side of the workshop, there is was a chain link fence that held up our entire yard (not ideal). It's kind of hard to tell here, but that chain link fence on the left is holding up about 2' of our yard. The storm which took out our tree a couple of weekends ago also took down the fence between us…

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Look Out Below

Today’s post is being written on a Tuesday, instead of the typical Sunday routine. That is because Denver, and a large portion of the front range of Colorado, experienced extremely high winds over the weekend. Our house lost power from Saturday evening until Monday morning and unfortunately, that is not all we lost. Let’s take a collective break from the dining table build this week to say a proper goodbye to a ~70 year old tree. Note the wonderful shade that the tree provided in the afternoon (and the old, terrible hoophouse). Our shade tree, while not beautiful, was an impressive elm that dominated the front landscape of our yard. On Saturday, Allyson and I had started working inside, knowing that a big storm was coming our way. We felt the wind calm and then the house was hit by winds so strong it felt like the pressure wave from…

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Journey Into Composting

Compost is considered black gold for gardners. We buy large quantities every year to try and amend our soil and make it more suitable for growing food. Compost is also a great way to get rid of food and yard scraps and “recycle” them back into good nutrients for the soil. Back in 2017, Allyson and I started our composting journey, mostly as a way to reduce our food waste. We bought a vermicompost box at that time. Vermicompost is made by putting food scraps into a bin with worms, typically red wigglers. Unfortunately, our first foray into vermicomposting resulted in a large number of fruit flies in the small apartment we were renting at the time. Luckily, we bought a home shortly after and had space to make a large compost pile outside. The vermicompost still lives on, but we put way less food in it now. This helps…

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Bathroom Upgrades – Part 2

Last week I wrote about installing a vent fan in our bathroom to help with the humidity (and smells). This week is about the chandelier that we installed. All of the wiring in our house when we moved in was ungrounded, including the lighting. I spent a couple weeks after we bought the house, but before we moved in, to run new wiring to all of the outlets with grounding. At that time I got an electrician to put in a new 200 amp service to our house and add the grounding rods. What I did not do, however, was upgrade any of the lighting. At the time I didn’t want to open up any walls or ceilings to access the wires. Honestly, the lighting circuits worked fine and there wasn’t a big rush to upgrade them.  That all changed when Allyson asked me to install a new chandelier in…

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Goal Setting – Update

Well, I figure it is about time I wrote an update regarding goals I set last fall. This feels like it is several months late, but better late than never. In that post, I laid out two different goals for myself using the SMART principles. Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time bound. I think it is fairly obvious to say that I did not meet my time-bound goals, but let’s revisit them now and see how I am doing.  Goal #1 - Weight loss My original goal was to lose weight and get down to 165-170 lbs. I specifically laid out that my goal was to lose 2lb/week until I hit 160 lbs. At that point I would try to put back on some muscle weight. Since I wrote that post about 28 weeks ago I obviously got down to 160 lbs without any problems. And it would make sense…

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