Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jelly Cupboard to Pie Safe. A Family Affair.

Hey Guys/Gals….  Sorry I haven’t been posting much this summer with the heat, the day job and trying to spend as much time with my son as possible this summer it’s been a little lacking in the woodworking and blogging department.  I will be back at it more when the weather starts to cool off.  In the meantime my Dad built an amazing Pie Safe for my sister and did a write up/story on it and I wanted to publish it for him.  I hope you like it.  I have a feeling I will be having him guest blog for me more so we can bring you additional content over the months. 



It’s funny how things sometimes happen. A couple months ago, Grover decided he was going to build a Jelly Cupboard (Grover is my son). Well about that time, my daughter, who works for a public library, decided she would like to have a pie safe. I thought that would be a good project, so I told her to find the plan she liked and I would give it a try. So a few days later she brought home from the library a New Yankee Workshop plan book written by Norm Abrams. I looked at the plan and thought, this could be more than I could handle. Dado’s, biscuit joinery, and so on, seemed a little much.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A little bit of woodworking a little bit of home repair and One heck of a view

This past weekend I had the opportunity to do some work for a friend.  This friend has a house on a lake that needed some repair work done to a couple of exterior doors.  After many years of weather some of the wood finally started rotting. 

First of all this was my view at 7:30am Saturday morning……

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I have to tell you it doesn’t get much better than this.  I have always been a lake guy even though I have never spent a ton of time on them and I love boats, so this view pretty much made my day.  I had to keep reminding myself that I am there to work not watch the boats go by.  So anyway…  To the work part of this…..

Take a look at the shots of the rot --


This is one of the doors. This one was the difficult one.  The one that scared me, the one that had me thinking for a few minutes what the heck did I get myself into, however after stepping back cooler heads prevailed. 







This one looks pretty bad but it was actually really easy to fix, so lets start here.

This is on a single open French door so this is the bulkhead between the door that opens and the static window/door.  The first thing we did was figure out how to separate the rotted board from the rest of the door or if we would have to build a patch.  We were able to find the seam and start to separate the bulkhead.






A little prying and she came right off.  You have to make sure not to pry to hard and damage the other side of the door.   Just take your time and go slowly.








I trimmed a board that was the same width of the bulkhead.  I just used a miter saw to cut it to size.

I attached the board using some finish nails.  I set the nails just below the surface and filled them with some caulk.  Make sure to use an exterior caulk.  One the board was attached I also ran a bead of caulk down the inside edge where the wood meets the door to seal any gaps, I did the same where the board meets the other part of the bulkhead.  One area that you want to make sure you get some caulk into is at the location of the original rot, make sure you get plenty of caulk at the bottom of the board between the board and the metal transition plate.  That way if there is ever any standing water it keeps the water from soaking into the wood as much as possible.

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This is how that door turned out.  I painted the entire door frame and doors, in addition to the new wood that was installed.






Now onto the scary door…..

So you saw the rot from above.  I made some assumptions about the construction of the door that turned out not to be totally correct. 

*******  If my friend is reading this post please just skip this section.  This totally isn’t your house…   *************


  Once I started the demolition of the rotted area it became apparent that the door was not built as we thought.  Instead of being multiple pieces the door was a single piece or it was glued together so well that we would have destroyed the entire door trying to go the original route of removing the rotted piece.  Instead of being able to just pry the piece off like the other door I ended up having to cut this section out.  There was more rotted wood than what you could see with the eye so I cut a little bigger than the rotted wood so to make sure there was no bad wood left. 

To cut this section out I used a great new tool from Dremel tools, called the Dremel Trio this was a super handy little tool. 

From this point I started rebuilding the frame.  I used several pieces of wood to build up the thickness we needed to fill the gap.

Once I had the right thickness I was able to start test fitting the piece in the hole and fine tuning everything.


Here is what the section looked like after I got the piece built up, at this point I caulked the heck out of everything to make sure it was sealed up tightly.







After Painting caulking and painting some more here is what the door looks like now. What rotted wood and hole are you talking about.  I don’t remember any rotted wood or a large gaping hole in the door. 






So here is the whole area all cleaned up and doors repaired and repainted.  I think it turned out pretty well. 


I know it looked scary at first but keep in mind there are very few things that cannot be fixed and usually they are pretty simple once you step back and take a look and think things through. 

Have a Great Day!




Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Milk Paint Revisited

I have had some great response to the Jelly cupboard from you here, Facebook and from my friends and family.  I have a couple of things to add to the last post that have come up. 

Heather asked to see some close up pics of the cupboard for a look at the grain.  I think that’s one of the great things about milk paint is that it still lets you see some of the grain. So Heather here you go I hope it helps making the decision on using milk paint. 


Here is a look at the grain running across top of the door.  You can also see the dowels that are used to hold the half lap joint together. 






Here is a shot of one of the knots on the side.  I would imagine you could add another coat and cover up the grain and knots if that’s what you are looking for.






Okay part two:

I talked with Anne the President over at The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company about some of the things I mentioned in the last post about milk paint and she gave me a few pointers on the milk paint to make it smoother and easier to paint.

Here is an excerpt from the email that she sent me the other day:

Milk paint really is a rustic, crude, lumpy old fashioned paint. Make sure to let it sit for a little while after you mix it, and you can use a kitchen rubber spatula to squeeze the paint on the edges of your container to help get the lumps out. After letting it sit a little while you can also strain it through some cheesecloth or better yet a piece of a nylon stocking or pantyhose- that works great!

Please let us know if we can be of further assistance, and thanks again.
Best Regards,
Anne Thibeau
The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Co., Inc.

I will be using here suggestions on the next go round.  I hope this helps you guys out. 

Have a Great Day!

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Woodworking Wednesdays


I hope you will take the time to add your project to the list.  Everyone loves to see your projects, especially me. 




Grab the button link from the textbox.

Have a Great Day!

Here are the Rules:
1. Select any project that you created using any type of woodworking.  If you cut, beat, sanded or just did something with wood consider that woodworking.
2. Add a link of you post to the party – This is a link to the actual post not the main page of your blog.
3. Give a description of your project so everyone knows what you are featuring.
4. Grab the button above and add a link to this party so that your readers can join in on the fun.



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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Milk Paint – You painted with milk are you nuts?

No No, we didn’t paint with milk.  That could be interesting however.  What I did do is use a great product from The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company.  This paint is something akin to what early American craftsmen would have used in painting their furniture or other household items.  Milk paint was made at home by hand typically using skim or buttermilk, and a combination of limestone and more or less anything they could find for color.  What The Old Fashioned Milk Paint Company did was create their own recipe for their reproduction furniture business.  After seeing what they were able to accomplish they started receiving requests for their paint and thus what we have today. 

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father’s Day with a few pens for Father’s Day

My friend/neighbor asked me to make some pens for her husband, father and father-in-law.  It’s always a huge honor when someone asks me to make a pen for someone else as a gift.  It on the other hand makes me very nervous as well because I am usually charging them for the pens, I don’t usually try to make much money off of them because it’s a hobby and I enjoy doing it and I have a hard time charging friends full retail for things like this.  I always fret over if the piece(s) are up to standard and up to par and if they will like them all that kind of fun stuff.  I am very pleased with the way these pens turned out.  They are very beautiful in my mind and it was almost difficult to give them up, but I did and I believe that she was pleased with the end result. 

Let me know what you think about them.

IMG_4025_1067x800The pens are made from Amboyna Burl it’s an exotic wood from several different areas in Asia.  In my opinion it is one of the most beautiful woods out there.  I would love to some day build a piece of furniture out of it.  However it is EXTREMELY expensive and it would cost an arm and a leg to even make a top to a small table but I think it would be worth it.IMG_4026_1067x800 

Now sorry for the plug but if you would like a pen for yourself or as a gift please feel free to contact me and we can discuss the options. 



Have a Great Day!


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Jelly Cupboard is Done

I took the time today and got the jelly cupboard finished.  We ended up putting chicken wire on it.  I got the handle attached so it can be opened now that the chicken wire is installed.  My wife took some time to fill the cupboard with a few things and now she is trying to figure out what color to paint the bathroom. 


Everything installed looking good, we are trying out some different ideas for the top. 








The wife filling up the cupboard.  I’m sure she will find more stuff to fill it with.








Here is what we decided on for now.  I am very pleased with the way it turned out. 






Have a Great Day!


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Jelly Cupboard and Guitar update

Well I finally decided it was time to finish the jelly cupboard.  I am almost there.  I have the main body painted the door painted and need to get the final pieces of the door cut and will have it all done.  We decided at this time we are just going to put chicken wire on the door.  I will post pics once that is done.  I used milk paint and am pretty pleased with it. 


I used white milk paint for the inside and green on the outside.  I also stained the top instead of painting














Okay now for the guitar.  I have let this thing mess with my head way to much and made a ton of mistakes that I probably wouldn’t have if this had been furniture.  I think I will be able to salvage it and make something of a playable guitar out of it.  I have learned a ton and it has allowed me to get over my guitar making jitters.  I will hopefully get this thing done soon.

But for now here is a picture of it in its current state









Have a Great Day!

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Friday, May 21, 2010

Hooligan Guitar Build

Okay well I finally had some more time to spend on the guitar this week.  I the neck blank glued up.  Sadly the wood moved while clamping and I have some changes to make to get everything lined back up.  Unfortunately I am at a stopping point until all my hardware comes in and then I get to route the truss rod channel, cut the neck out and start getting the neck pocket routed out.  Then it will really start to look like a guitar.  I’m super excited like a kid on Christmas only Christmas is like a week away but I know what I am getting and mom and dad told me I can’t have any of it until then. 

Oh well.  I am pretty surprised at how I am taking messing up on this build.  I am somewhat of a perfectionist but my ultimate goal for this build was to have a playable guitar.  That’s my main focus.  I would love a good finish but that’s secondary.  As long as the thing plays and I am having fun that’s what is important. 

Here are a couple of pics of the neck build.


Here is the neck glued up. 






Here you can see where I goofed up.  You can see the angle goes slightly off from side to side. 

Fortunately I can fix it.  I just need adjust the fret board placement and figure out how to get the nut set in there.




IMG_3960_1067x800Laying out the centerline and fret board outlines.  I need to layout the neck profile on there and then wait for the truss rod so I can get that taken care of. 













Have a Great Day!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hooligan Guitar Build Day 2

I was able to take some more time in the shop tonight and get the body cut from the blank.

I did have to spend some time with the hand plane bringing the blank flat.  I am super happy with the joint.  You can’t really tell where the joint is unless you look REALLY close.  I really love my hand planes.  It is a great work out.  I got everything nice and flat and to the thickness I wanted.  I was really worried about the weight when I picked up the blank but as I cut chunks off of it thing began  to really lighten up.  I think once I take a chunk out for the electronics on the back that will help even more.  I’m debating some comfort contours.  I’ll have to think about it some more. 


Here is the the blank all glued up with the cut out of the guitar from the plans.  If I had not mentioned before this guitar design is from Chris over at http://www.eguitarplans.com he has some great plans.  I have two of them and will be purchasing several more.  He has at least 3 or 4 other guitars that I want to build. 

Woodworking Wednesday’s – Show off your projects


Welcome to the 4th Woodworking Wednesday.  It has been a while since I did one of these and thought it was time to do another one and also had a request for it as well so what better time.  

I hope you will take the time to add your project to the list.

Grab the button link from the textbox.

Have a Great Day!

Here are the Rules:
1. Select any project that you created using any type of woodworking.  If you cut, beat, sanded or just did something with wood consider that woodworking.
2. Add a link of you post to the party – This is a link to the actual post not the main page of your blog.
3. Give a description of your project so everyone knows what you are featuring.
4. Grab the button above and add a link to this party so that your readers can join in on the fun.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Guitar Build: Day 1

Well I finally broke down and started the guitar build.  I took a baby step.  I got the body blank glued up.  The board was 2” thick and the guitar will end up being 1 3/4” thick, so I spent quite a bit of time planning it down in the power planer.


Here is one side of the the body.  It is going to be a 2 piece Mahogany Body.  It is great looking wood.  I am still not sure if I am going to paint it or do some kind of tint on it.  I guess I will see once I get the body cut out and sanded.  It has good enough grain that I think it will look good but it might just get painted.  Who knows.  Some of you might be wondering what the half triangle is.  It’s a carry over from building furniture it helps me orient the piece, which in this doesn’t really matter as it’s a two piece glue up and I had pretty much oriented the grain like I wanted it anyway.  It’s just habit. 



Here is the first pass through the planer.  On the side what you can’t see are some markings that show me what direction I wanted the faces to be and what ends I jointed.   






Here is the blank all glued up.  I will let it dry over the next 24 hours.  Once the blank is dry I will hand plane it down to the final thickness.  I left it slightly thicker than it needed to be so that I could hand plane it down even as my planer is only a 12” and this blank is 16" wide.  Hopefully I did a good job and the seam will not be overly obvious. 

I’m glad I finally took the step and started the build.  I have a long way to go and a lot to do.  Once I have the blank cut out I will start on the neck blank and get that going.  I have lots of parts to order over the next little while.  I figure it will probably a couple of months to build this.  I want to take my time and do this as best I can. 


I hope you will follow along as I build my first guitar. 

Have a Great Day!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Shop Block so I got a new tool

So the last couple of days I have had what I consider shop block.  My mental state has just not been in the game the last couple of days.  I think part of it is that I am scared to start this Guitar Build.  It’s all new to me and that scares me.  I don’t like the unknown.  I seem to go through this each time I undertake a new type of woodworking.  I’ll spend the next few days finding excuses not to start the project and then another few days looking into more detail thinking I am prepping my self.  I guess this is my process.  I know this about myself and I accept it but at the same time this is such a huge project for me I am even more scared at this point.  I have high expectations and want to have this turn out well but at the same time I am realistic and know that it will not be the “perfect” guitar.  I have to get my mind right.  I’m getting close.  That’s part of the reason I spent some much time cleaning up the shop and also will continue to clean up.  I really want to have things very organized so that I can focus on the guitar and building it.  Also when I have shop block I will take on smaller projects to reassure myself that I do have some skills and it helps me realize that what ever that current project and form of woodworking is that I started in the same spot as I am now with guitars and know that I will improve with each one that I build.


Anyway….  Now onto the new tool.  I have been turning for a couple years and thought I would eventually upgrade to a larger lathe well that day was today.  I found a killer deal on a Harbor Freight Lathe for $85 and couldn’t pass it down.  It is lightly used and should be a lot of fun. 



Maybe playing with this will help me to get my Shop Block taken care of. 

Have you ever experienced shop block.  If so let me know how you over came it?


Have a Great Day!

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Monday, May 3, 2010

First steps to a healthier shop

This weekend I took one of the first steps to a healthier shop.  I found a shop air purifier on Craigslist for $20. IMG_3914_1024x768 I have been looking at them on and off for a while and they can range from $100 to $300 or more so it’s been one of those things that I put on my get to list.  Well for $20 if it works half way decently it’s worth the money.  Now I just need to get it mounted to the ceiling so that it can do it’s job.  Maybe tomorrow night.  Tonight I spent the majority of the evening cleaning the shop and it’s still looks horrible.  I am going to spend the next several days trying to get things cleaned up and reorganized. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Jelly Cupboard Update 2

I had a little more time to work on the Jelly Cupboard and was able to get the door hung.

IMG_3912_1024x768 IMG_3913_1024x768

I need to put some cross braces on and get the punch tin done.  Throw on some Milk paint and I am done.  I am looking forward to completing this.  It’s probably one of the more complex projects I have taken on so far.  Then we will be on to the WIWW build.  Hoping to go get the wood for that tomorrow.  Once that’s complete I will be focusing on the guitar build for a little while.

Should be interesting.  I am thinking I am going to do a little video of that as well.  Who knows, with this being my first one and not being sure of my ability.  I honestly feel a little crazy taking on such a project at this point in my woodworking journey, but I have come to the realization lately that there are sometimes you have to stop trying to learn and spend time doing.  I also find that in that doing I tend to learn significantly more than I would have just reading about it and really if you don’t start the project you can never know if you can accomplish it and learn and become better.  My only worry is that it will play like crap.  I care what it looks like but I would rather have a good/great playing guitar out of my first one than one that plays like crap and looks great.  If it looks like crap I can fix that.  If it plays like crap I can fix that to I will just be a little more disappointed in my abilities.

I guess my take away from this for you is that if you want to do something and supposed “Talent”, “Skill” or worry that you are getting ready to screw up some beautiful Mahogany and Maple are standing in your way.  Kick them over, bust up in that joint like you own the place and get to work.  A master craftsman didn’t become a master craftsman by sitting and looking at books, videos or the internet all day, he became a master craftsman by doing it.  It doesn’t matter if that Craftsman taught himself, went to school or learned it from a friend or family member he/she ultimately had to put tool to wood and make something.  So lets get out there and build something. 

Have a Great Day!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Jelly Cupboard Build Update

Now that I have had some time in the shop I started working on the Jelly Cupboard Build again.  I need to get that out of the shop so I can get reorganized and cleaned up to start the WIWW nightstand/beach house nightstand. 

I thought I would post a few pics of that I was able to get done tonight. 



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