Friday, October 31, 2014

Busy Busy

I've been pretty busy this week. The band saw just won't adjust right and it's a puzzler. All the parts work properly but it may need new tires or a new blade, not sure but we'll figure it out eventually. I finished the build of the coffee table. It just needs sanded and finished. I may wait on the finish to see if there are any takers and then they can customize the finish to their liking.

I purchased a block planer and I've been planing the sides of some pallet boards for another project. It's a bit of work, especially on the arms but it will make for a better finished look to have them fit together properly.

I got a last minute request from my cousin this week as well. He needed a little church steeple built to use at his church. Two hours Thursday and a few hours Friday morning and it was done. So on Halloween I was building a church. Not really what I expected lol. I'm hopefully gonna have some pics of it in use later on. The lighting is pretty bad in the garage but it was painted white and the doors black. In the back of the middle picture you can see my nephew who actually hangs out in the shop with me more than anyone else.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


It's almost Halloween and I wish I could show you the best Halloween build we ever did but there are no pictures of it and it was disassembled pretty much after that Halloween. We had a party one year and made a little haunted house on our back patio out of large sheets of black plastic that my dad got from his work. We lit it with a strobe light and had a fog machine as well. On the inside were your typical put your hand in the bowl type stuff but I wanted a coffin. My dad helped me put together a coffin with a false bottom. I would lay inside and I could lift the bottom up and the top open at the same time and sit up and scare people but when they lifted the lid the coffin was empty and they couldn't tell the bottom lifted up at all. I thought it was awesome but we didn't need a coffin laying around or have the space to store it afterwards, so we just used the boards for various other projects.  

I also remember another Halloween when my grandpa had given us a microphone and speaker system. I'm not sure if it was all assembled when we got it, but they were about the size of drive in theater speakers. My dad got the idea to stick a speaker in a dummy we made and then we could hide inside the house where we could see the kids through our kitchen window. We would wait until they said thank you or something then say you're welcome through the microphone. This was some pretty impressive stuff back then. We didn't really have this kind of stuff around unless you wanted to spend a bunch of money on it. It scared a ton of kids that year and we got a lot of fun out of it.

This year I only have a few decorations that my son wanted to put out and we carved a pumpkin but I'm sure as he gets older we'll come up with some equally fun Halloween builds. In the mean time my dad has been fixing my band saw. I was hoping I could just cut out the broken piece and replace it with the new piece but the new piece wasn't made for my exact saw and even though it fits, it still needed some fabrication. I bought a piece for a Powermatic band saw because that brand is pretty pricey and rightfully so. As I was hoping this meant the new piece I got was much stronger than the old one and with the new fabrication by my dad, it's not likely to break again. If I really misused it I could probably break it but it would probably be the remaining old part that breaks and not this new part. Because this has been such a wordy post I'll throw in a picture of the new piece. On the right you can see where the old piece broke and the bits of it left over after we cut it off of the rest of the part we needed to reuse.

Friday, October 24, 2014


It's been a few days and I've been working on a few different projects. My coffee table that will be for sale is nearly to the finish stage. I've been putting it off because it just isn't as fun to work on as other projects but I got the supplies I needed so I have to be a grown up and work on the projects for profit as well *sigh*. I will be buying a block plane though because the bin that goes under the coffee table is a bit too tall and planing it down will be the easiest way to fix that. The second picture shows the bit of overlap between the table and the bin that rolls underneath.

I'm waiting on a part for the "new" band saw. Here it is in current state. I've been cleaning some of the rust off as well while I wait.

I finished a small box that will hold some of the little ninja turtles my son is getting for Christmas. I'll paint it in a ninja turtle theme. He fell in love with the small "half shell hero" turtles which is great for me because it means everything I make for them can be smaller. I hope to build a miniature sewer lair for them based on a huge ninja turtle toy that was made for the full size action figures. He's been asking for it for the last two Christmases. Because it was about $200 last year and $100 this year and looks like a huge piece of junk, I figured this solution would last longer and not take up precious space in his room.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Band saws

I've been pretty busy the last couple of days. I said goodbye to the band saw I had for a short time. There was just no fixing it this time. Luckily my wonderful cousin had a band saw to give me. I've been looking it over and getting it ready to use. The bottom wheel's tire is a little worn but I don't think it will give me any trouble. The tensioning and alignment of the top wheel is giving me trouble so I think I'll have to bring in the big guns (aka my dad). 

I got the cabinets and table from my parents house put in. It was originally my grandma's sewing/craft table built for her by my grandpa. It's working out great. I love having the closed storage to keep things somewhat dust free. It's currently housing small cutting tools on one side and sanding tools on the other. I also love having the miter saw up off the floor. It's a huge improvement and I think I'll add some cutting extensions that I can put away when not in use. The vacuum system is still in the works but I'm making progress.

I also installed a paper towel holder to the right of the scroll saw and finishing shelves. It's come in very handy in this location. I put a cable above the shop as well and zip tied the extension cord to some shower curtain hooks to run along the cable. It didn't work as well as I'd hope and there is still a bunch of extension cord left on the floor so I'll either double it up or come up with another solution because I don't know if I even care for the cord this way.

I whipped out a little project for my younger sister to hold her blow dryer, straightener, and curling iron. I added another hole for future use or to hold a hair brush. She couldn't wait for me to paint it so it's pretty rough because I was in a hurry to cut the holes but it's sanded smooth and should be no problem. We tested it and it works great as well so I installed it for her yesterday.

I did realize upon finishing it that I had used up my rare exotic ostrich wood. Oh well it was in the scrap pile with everything else so it will be used.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Pallet Clock

I got my grandma's old craft table that my grandfather built for her into my shop now but I'm still working on organizing before I take any pictures. I'm also working on the two stage vacuum which is rather boring right now so I thought I'd just post another past project. 

When my depression and anxiety were really bad I didn't like being alone with my son because I thought I might panic and not be able to take care of him. I usually got through by going to my older sister's house across the street. My church however offered to have people come over who could sit with me. I deeply appreciated the offer, but because I didn't know them all that well it just made me anxious to think of them coming over. So even though I didn't take them up on it, it still stuck with me that there were people willing to do that for me who barely knew me. When I finally started forcing myself to work on projects, it helped to do little ones that I could finish in a day. I came across a clock design that said "and 5,6,7,8" in other words a dancers clock. I knew right away I wanted to make it for one of those people who offered to come over because she was a dancer. I had a lot of pallet wood and so I ordered a little clock kit and waited for it to come in.  I decided on a square shape because it was the shape of the pallet wood and I thought it was a little more interesting than the typical circle clock. I recessed some of the back of the clock to insert the clock mechanism as there isn't a lot of distance between the battery part of the clock kit and the nut that goes on the front to hold it together. Then I did some snooping on Pinterest to see if I could find her favorite color and found she had quite a few pins with mint colored items. So roughly painted a coat of white and used some number stickers then freehanded the word "and". I painted a mint color over that and peeled off the numbers before it dried. Then I sanded lightly to distress the paint, added the clock kit and a hanger and it was done. I liked the way it turned out and so did she.

a shot of the back workings

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Entertainment Center

I've been in a bit of a funk the last couple days. It happens every so often so I'm just waiting till it passes but it means I don't really have a drive to work on anything. So today I thought I'd just showcase a project on which the the first phase is finished. This is my entertainment center. I've had the design in my head since we bought our house and I fell in love with the one they had in the model. It's made as cost effective as I could and still needs a lot of work. The plan is to put two bookcases on either side of the tv and a top all the way across the two. The tv is slightly higher now and I wish it could be even more so but for comfortable viewing it just didn't seem like a good idea.

I can't seem to find a pic of the desk part but it's to the right of the entertainment center. Here's a few more of some of the construction and close ups. I also plan on ripping the painted plywood tops off and adding stained wood instead. In person the tops just don't look right and I think matching the mantel will really look better.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pallet Project

I haven't worked in the shop much in the last couple days but the other day my little sister asked if we could do a project out of pallet wood. I happened to have just enough left, but I'm always getting more. So I said sure as long as she learned to do it. So our older sister watched the kids for us and off we went. It was really fun showing someone how to use the different saws safely and also a little technique. She was a natural and did a great job. We mostly used a jigsaw to cut the pieces and a scroll saw for some of the smaller curves. Then we tacked all the pieces together with a nail gun. So here's our half day project. I think it really turned out great. In the second picture you can see the other part of the french cleat we made to hang it. A french cleat is basically a board cut down the middle at a 45 degree angle. One piece is attached to the wall and another to the back of the item you want to hang then they just fit together. This method of hanging something is really simple and holds a lot of weight.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Shop Vac

The bracelets from the last post didn't happen. I screwed up some measurements and managed to get one wooden cuff that barely fits my son out of the whole thing. Then I couldn't find the magnets I was gonna use to put them together so I kind of gave up on that one till I can locate those dang magnets. 

I did buy a shop vac. After some research I decided to purchase the bucket max. It's basically a vacuum that attaches to a bucket. For around 24 bucks this worked for me. I'll be getting another bucket to create a cyclone dust collector to catch most of the dust before it even hits the vacuum. I'll most likely put them both on a rolling platform as well and create some hook ups for the tools.

I woke up this morning to my husband cleaning the garage (miracle of miracles). So the garage is a lot more organized and dust free even before I brought the vacuum home. My work benches still need help because he can't really mess with that stuff or I won't know where anything is (well more so than I already do)

I also helped with a pretty neat project most of the day yesterday but can't post it yet so look forward to that soon.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Table Saw

This morning I glued up some boards to make a few bracelets later. I'll leave that for another post.

Then I went over to my parents house to cut a board because that's where my table saw lived. I got this saw for Christmas when I was maybe sixteen or seventeen. When I moved out of the house into apartments obviously I left the saw at my parents house. My dad used it a lot and I usually needed my dad's help on the project I was using it for anyway, so there it stayed. But I realized I will now probably use it all the time so I brought it back home and squeezed it into my half of the garage. I need to do a bunch of rearranging again because I can't get into my tool box that I'd like to put up at table height anyway.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Little wooden scoop

Yesterday I made this little wooden scoop. I got this idea from Patrick at Patrick's workshop so if you'd like to see a video of the process here it is: Patrick's band saw scoop

It started out as this, just a spare piece of 2x2

Then I cut it in half

I had planned on cutting the curve on my scroll saw but it was just to much wood for the saw to work efficiently, so this is measuring the max height of the scroll saw.

This is the piece cut down to work on the scroll saw but again it wasn't gonna happen. I'd love to have cut a bigger one on my bandsaw but right now it's down again and even if it wasn't the blade has too much flex to cut any type of tight inside curve. I think because it's an old blade because I can't adjust the tension any tighter.

Then I drew the inside curve using what circular shape I had on hand.

I finally decided I'd have to cut it by hand with my coping saw.


Then I marked where I was going to glue the inside piece to the back of the curved piece to create the handle. I marked it so I could sand the rest smooth but avoid that part so it fit tighter when I glued it. I also sanded the inside plane that my pencil is touching because these areas will be hard to sand after I glue it together.

At this point my phone ran out of memory to take more pictures and I didn't want to stop so basically I glued it like the picture above. Then I would recommend cutting the curves and sanding it but because my saws weren't working i just used a belt sander clamped to the table to create the curves and my disc sander for the rest. Before applying finish this is how it looked. I placed some chap stick for scale. 

Here it is after a few coats of spray finish. It kind of bugged me that the saw wasn't working to cut it because I could have made a bigger one instead but this one is kind of cute anyway.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Shop Tour

Well I haven't been able to work in the garage much that last couple days because I've had appointments and I'm also trying to avoid the bad air a little to help with allergies. I'm gonna keep it real here and show you some pics of the shop as they are now. It's very unorganized so I decided to try and work on an organizational project every day until the whole bad air hit. I failed photography in high school so the pictures will always be the best that I can do, sorry.

This is my main work bench it's just made from a hollow core door and 2x4's so I have to be careful not to punch through the door when I'm working here. This is where my small bandsaw lives for now. I got this from my uncle along with some other tools, some of which were originally my grandfathers.

Here we have an electric bike that I can't find the charger to so that I can sell it because it's really in the way. I might hang it from the ceiling though. You can also see a table back there that holds my scroll saw and disc sander that I also got from my uncle. I'm hoping to get my grandma's old craft table to replace the plastic table since the weight of the tools are already warping it. There's a small wood rack on the wall that I made from 2x4's

More of the same area. You can see the start of a box that will be the storage drawer for one of the coffee tables I'm building. Various mess of things on the ground. I have plans to hang the extension cord from the ceiling using a cable and shower curtain hooks. The really tall standing item is part of a bench I'm making from my mom's old headboard that she got as a wedding present and didn't really want to part with.

This is the other side of the garage mostly not my woodworking things. the big black thing is the back of the bench that I'm making for my mom. It's been primed at this point but not painted its finished color. You can see my husband's duck hunting paraphernalia hanging from the ceiling. I've almost hit my head on those wheels numerous times and once for real. 

Another shot of the workbench. The pegboard is mostly unused because the clips that came with the hooks to keep them attached to the pegboard don't actually work and therefore the hooks sometimes fall off when I grab a tool.

My first organizational project, I made an insert for the handle of my saw and attached it to the wall so that my saw would have a permanent home.

Second day organizational project I made this shelf out of scrap boards to hold my finish products. It's already full and I have more products still, so it looks like another shelf will be needed in the future.

Third day organizational project. I was feeling lazy on this day so I grabbed an old paper towel holder we had bought at a bird show when we had our parrots. The front side is the female Eclectus parrot. Our female that we had was named Elly, and on the back side (not shown) is the green male of the species. Our male was named Gus. The parrots have since gone to live with friends and doing well there. I'd rather have a paper towel holder attached to the wall and off the workbench so someday I might just pick up a cheap one at the dollar store to replace this one.