Shop/Garage

Well, the weather today is ugly. It’s 40 degrees and rain rain rainy. We actually had a few days of dry weather and I was enjoying the respite from MUD season and not having to wipe Fargo’s paws.

I was even able to start on replacing the rotted wooden raised bed border I tore out last Fall.

But now it’s raining and muddy and cold and it will stay this way for the next few days. Sigh. I was able to get about an hour of sanding done early, before it began. I have a new build in the works, yay for that!

It’s been pretty much GARAGE GARAGE GARAGE/SHOP around here. We insulated the ceiling, walls and garage door. We not only put up drywall, but we did mudding, taping, sanding, priming and painting. Tim had to re-do the old drywall mud/tape, which was crumbling and falling off.

That was a chore! We had to constantly shift all of our crap around to be able to access walls and ceiling, etc.


Tim hung a heater from the ceiling, which works amazingly well (our electric bill is going to be terrible since we had to run it 24/7 for the dry wall mud to set). AND...we even put up trim. Granted, it is construction grade 1x3s, unsanded and wonky in spots, but trim nonetheless.

Let’s go back to reflect on where we began with this project (when the car fit).

car garage

Worth an additional mention, that this was a huge project! I really can’t thank Tim enough for the hours and hours he put into making the garage a shop,where I can be comfortable while woodworking/building. Hopefully, he’ll be more comfortable while working on his projects too.

Here is more where we’re at now, moving everything to where it belongs…until we change our minds. It is so so much brighter!!

Fargo continued to be a motivational supervisor.

The next stressful step is figuring out the best way to organize the “shop.” As you know, the workbench and the saw and the drill press are all on wheels. I want to make good use of the wall space with the idea that the mobile units can be rolled away to the center of the shop or to the driveway. I have so many saved links and images to organizational ideas, it’s pretty ridiculous. Wish us luck!

February ’19 Wrap-Up

We are updating our kitchen and dining room lighting after almost fourteen years. Up until now, we’ve used the lights that were here when we bought the house. First up was the kitchen fan light. The others are purchased and are on the to-do list to get installed.

Here is a quick, mostly picture post to share the rest of the empty nest goings on around here.

I tried a new recipe, which we really enjoyed. We still have butternut squash to use, so I found a recipe called Butternut Squash Chickpea Coconut Curry. Really quite yummy (I also added some potato that needed to be used up).

We are making some good progress on the shop (garage)! Tim installed a heater, which we’ve had running to keep the shop comfortable and which is allowing us to do drywall work in Winter. Our electric bill was definitely on the higher side this month.

All of the new drywall is primed and painted. Unfortunately, the folks who taped/mudded the ceiling and wall adjoining the house, did not cover the tape. The tape and mud have been falling off and crumbling for years, so Tim is re-doing all of it. This is taking a lot of time, and requires constant shifting of the HUGE PILES OF STUFF. I can actually see the light at the end of the tunnel, though, which is exciting.

Same wall, next day.

Previous ceiling mud.

I got my first ever work boots a few months ago, and they are getting a workout, and I love them!

I opted for a compromise on the kiddos’ bedrooms. Although they will likely only be home once a year, I still always want them to feel like their rooms. The eldest’s has a queen sized bed (our old one) and is our default guest room. I’ve now moved sewing machines, fabric and all other related items into the youngest’s room. She is the one who sews, so it made sense. It doesn’t change the character of the space so it still feels like it’s her room.

Although I’m not doing yoga every day, I am still making sure to include it 2-3 days/week. I’ve actually been putting in some treadmill miles since the beginning of the year. It’s been a long time since I’ve been consistently logging miles 4-5 times/week. I never thought I could be even more of a “back of the packer” than I was, but it’s possible.

Fargo and I take a moment to pause now and again and reflect on our empty nest life. In this moment, we were pondering the increasing number of gray hairs we both have.

There’s so much more, but I’ll leave on a fun note. One of the many amazing woodworkers I follow on Instagram, The Awesome Orange, came up with a shirt idea that I fell in love with. I couldn’t resist getting it and I was extra excited when I found the sticker she enclosed with the shirt. Trading stickers seems to be a big thing in the woodworking community and I now have my first one.

Fly Fishing Rod Tube Holder (Hopefully): Part I

Back in November, I decided that a great woodworking Hanukkah/Christmas gift for Tim, would be a fishing rod tube holder. I looked all over the internet for ideas and “how to” instructions, without much luck. I finally found someone’s blog post from 2011 that included an option I liked and some basic instructions. Here is a picture:

I bought the 2x4s, I had the 2x6s, and I had some 1×12 pieces someone gave me that I thought would work well for the bottom. In order to make this the most useful for Tim, I did ruin the surprise and talk it over with him. We decided that it would only need two rows vs three. That was the first of what would be multiple deviations from the original plan.

This build required 3″ holes, quite a few of them. I researched using a hole saw bit vs a forstner bit and the general consensus seemed to be hole saw. Besides the holes in the 2x4s, I planned to drill holes in one sheet of 1×12, then glue/nail it to a solid sheet for a sturdy bottom. I bought a hole saw bit at Ace, attached it to the drill press, and decided to try it out.

Let’s just say, using a hole saw bit is not my favorite. We have an ancient, hand-me-down drill press which gets the job done, but is not user friendly. I had used it many times with a forstner bit, but was definitely unprepared for how the hole saw bit would grab and turn the piece of wood when it touched. (I had to copy this picture from my Instagram because I lost the original when my phone imploded). After drilling the first hole, I opted to add a clamp and recruit Tim to help. It was a thick piece of wood, and none of us were happy…the drill press, the bit, me. You can see in the picture that the wood just stuck to the teeth, and it actually burned the wood in spots.

One of our good friends/neighbors heard what I was working on and thought it was a neat idea and something he might want to build as well. In talking with him and with Tim, the next alteration would be replacing the 2×4 legs with 2x2s. A few days later, our friend brought a bunch of boards from a garage clean out, all different types of wood, including one we believe to be cherry.

The next alteration in the build was to use the “cherry” (using quotes because I’m just not positive that’s what it is) board and have one flat row of four and four, to mimic the bottom. In addition, our friend said I should really have taller holes on the bottom for the tubes to sit in so that they wouldn’t slip out sideways. This led to the idea of drilling holes in another cherry piece in order to layer it over the pine board on the bottom.

After getting this board finished, the project sat for quite a while, repeatedly getting pushed to the bottom of the list. Flash forward to this past weekend, and a rare sunny day. Tim and I rolled the drill press out, and after a little trial and error, and some oil on the drill press, we were able to get a decent rhythm going.

We still had some tear out, but once the drill press lever moved more smoothly, it was less. Also, the “cherry” boards, though harder wood, aren’t as thick as the pine, which helped.

As Tim got a good look at the “cherry” wood, which is really pretty, he decided on the final alteration to this build. He wants two flat pieces of board on either side, instead of the 2x4s or the 2x2s. The board is a little wonky in spots ( you can see it a bit in the picture below), and it is on the dry side, so we’ll see how this all goes. Note the blue sky in this picture…the RARE blue sky…and Tim, prepping for more Winter weather.

Hey, if this actually works out, maybe I’ll find someone who can help me post plans for it that I can share.

Sofa/Console Table: Part II

After a few days of Spring, the Winter weather has returned to Central PA. We made the most of the post-polar vortex reprieve and got much of the drywall up in the garage.I loved being able to get outside early enough that we could watch the tail end of the sunrise.

The whole back wall is now done and only a third of a sheet is left to do by the garage door.

The console/sofa table has been an experience. It will apparently take three parts to really share the experience of making it. Part II is focused on how much harder it was to get the pieces of wood lined up in the herringbone pattern than I anticipated. First, Fargo and I got the round 1 sanding done, and I didn’t even have a coat on!

Once the sanding was completed, I had some interesting hours. It was all fun and games when I was just laying the pieces of wood out to make sure I cut enough. Actually lining them up so that the centers didn’t travel off to one side of the plywood or the other was a different story.

I used clamps on two pieces in the middle. I then lined the rest of the boards in place above and below. It was so frustrating that I had to walk away for a bit and come back to it. It would definitely have been easier if I had just cut the angle on the center edges and lined them up on the middle line. This way, not only did I need to line it up even from both edges, but the tilt had to be correct as well.

Once I FINALLY got to the point where it was as centered as possible, I tightly clamped the two middle pieces in order to permanently affix them in place and use them as a guide. I actually flipped the board over, nailed those two pieces from the bottom, crossed my fingers and began the glue-up process.

As an extra measure to secure the herringbone pieces to the plywood, I nailed all of them to the board from the back. I honestly have no idea if that was a good idea, or not, but I was just too nervous they would fall off.

Now that all but the smallest pieces are attached, I’m hoping to use the circular saw today (once temps get into the 20s) to trim the herringbone pieces to the size of the plywood. I’ll then use the scraps for the remaining open spots. Hoping the circular saw and I get along well.

In between, I’m still doing yoga (and Fargo is still fighting me for the mat), and I’m still stopping to take some pictures (mostly from indoors). Had a pileated woodpecker stop by the back yard.

I’m ready to get the final sanding on the table done and start staining it. I submitted my table project to the Weatherwash Brand Ambassador program and it was accepted, which I’m pretty excited about. They sent me the Oaked Stain, White Maintenance Oil and Satin Varnish for free to use on the table in exchange for some social media postings and pictures to help with their company promotion. Given that I started using their products for the bed and nightstands and how much I love the results, it’s super cool to be working with them on the table.

Okay, wish me luck!

A Smattering of Stuff

Quick unrelated note: It seems that my pictures are appearing sideways on some platforms. I am working to fix it and in the meantime, I apologize.

Hello! Hoping 2019 is treating you well so far. Due to weather and the ongoing garage insulation project, I’ve been working on a smattering of stuff. It’s all good, and I am getting some small things done, but I know what my next project will be and I’m super anxious to get started on it. I definitely need Mother Nature to cooperate a bit more.

I’m trying to expand the food repertoire a little and cooked a new recipe from Pinch of Yum, Vegetarian Swedish Meatballs. It was amazing. I loved it and ate way too much, and wanted there to be way more leftovers than there were. Somehow I didn’t end up with as much sauce as I think I should have, so will make more next time.

Did I mention that I LOVED THIS DISH?!?!?

An exciting shop related item is that I bought a random orbital sander. I opted for corded vs adding to my cordless collection for two reasons. When I picked up the RIDGID cordless sander, it was heavy. Once I added the battery, it would have been WAY heavy. I didn’t think I would be able to manage it for an extended period of time. Once I made that decision, I tried the grips of the corded sanders. I have pretty small hands, so it matters. I chose the DEWALT because the grip was the best and they have a great reputation.

I follow Gator Finishing on Instagram and really enjoy their feed, so decided to support them with my first sandpaper disc purchase.

Since we built the lumber storage rack, it has been used as a quick repository. We’ve tossed many (mostly smaller) pieces of wood in there along the way, and the disorganization shows. I decided to use some of the wicked weather condition time to try to inventory and organize the cart. I did a post on Instagram asking any woodworkers out there how specific they were with inventory, but only received a few responses.

After I pulled all of the smaller pieces out, I actually measured and logged most of them. Maybe that’s weird. I did figure out that I have a bunch of the wood for my next bigger build already, which is fun.

Two final items. Our headboard, and part of Tim, were featured in a Weatherwash ad. I was ridiculously excited.

And last, I’ve been taking part in the Yoga With Adriene 30 Day Dedicate program. It was a recommendation from the youngest, and randomly echoed by a few other friends. I have really enjoyed it, more than I ever would have thought. Fargo has been doing way better than me in his stretching and relaxation though.

Happy 2019!

Writing a blog post has been on the to-do list for way too long. Although I’ve spent time watching woodworking youtube and Instagram videos, I’ve really kept pretty busy with projects that pushed the blog further and further down the list. Today seems like a good day to cross “blog post” off the list…til I add it back on there tomorrow.

The kiddos were just home for a week+ visit, which was so very wonderful. It was a year since they had been home, and it will likely be a year til their next trip back, so we all tried hard to appreciate squeezing each other. Hopefully we’ll see them somewhere on the West Coast during the year. Saying goodbye NEVER gets easier and I’ve allowed myself a few sad days since they left. We kept forgetting to take a really nice family picture while they were here, so here are our “smile through the tears” goodbye airport selfies.

When your kiddos live on the other side of the country, and you only see them three times/year, it’s hard. 2018 is when it really hit me that they’re not coming back. I’ve been blogging about empty nest for three years, but this is the year it really hit me, hard. They love where they live, they love the people who surround them. Unfortunately, where they live is not a place where Tim and I could ever see ourselves living. A lot of the past year (and probably the next few years) will be spent trying to figure out what this means for us.

I am proud of myself for the fact that through this tough realization, I was able to keep moving forward with my Hobby Adventures. Under the “better late than never” category, I found woodworking. I love it! If you’ve followed along here, you’ll know that with Tim’s help/knowledge, youtube/Instagram tutorials and inspiration, websites like Shanty-2-Chic, Ana White, Rogue Engineer, and more, there is a new workbench, miter saw cart, lumber storage cart, bed, nightstands, corbel lights, and more in the house.

This new found passion has led to the garage insulation project. Yesterday, we finished the ceiling insulation which was a HUGE accomplishment. We even managed to do it in one day!! Tim was amazing with how he maneuvered around in that tight space, something I tried to do and had small space anxiety.

I was in my protective gear the entire time.

The garage door insulation is done.

And one of two exterior walls.

Unfortunately, everything we moved is along the remaining wall, so it will take time to clear it all away and finish. Then we still need to mud/tape and organize EVERYTHING. After yesterday’s accomplishment though, I’m feeling really excited about it all. Can’t wait to finish because (as previously mentioned) I want to make SO MANY THINGS!!

Lots of changes are happening in 2019 which I’m really excited about. I will definitely try hard to take you along on this journey of learning. Thank you to everyone, especially my family and friends, who have supported me with words and actions, along the way.

Happy New Year to all, and best wishes for a happy and healthy 2019. Hoping we all have a year of fun, adventure, opportunity, achievement and education.

Nightstand Love

As I mentioned in a prior post, I built two nightstands. I built them mostly by myself, once Tim helped me get started.I am really proud of myself and I learned a lot through these builds. I used Ana White’s Mini Farmhouse Bedside Table plan with some modifications.

Some of this is repeat from the previous nightstand post, so feel free to skip if you read that one. I used 1×6 tongue and groove for the tops because this is what we used on the headboard and I wanted it to match. We used 1×8 tongue and groove, smooth side up, for the bottom shelves. If you viewed the original plan, you would see that there was a board set in between the horizontal supports. I just didn’t think that it would match the look I wanted. I probably could have used the jig saw on the originally called for shelf boards to set them on top of the horizontal supports, like I did with the the tongue and groove, but I’m really happy with it this way.

I used the same Weatherwash PINED stain, Clear Maintenance Oil, and Flat Varnish that I used on the bed frame. The color is beautiful. The second one came out richer/darker, which could be from using a new can of stain, or variations in the wood we purchased. I love them both!

Here are some finished pictures I took with the fancy camera.

The only thing I’m pondering about doing differently with my next build, is staining before assembling. Even having a tiny brush nearby didn’t make me feel like I could get stain into all of the joint areas. This may be because not all of my joints are dead on. So, assuming I improve in that area, it wouldn’t be an issue in the future. I think I’ll try it anyway.

 

Insulating the Shop…I Mean, the Garage…(with bonus ice storm pics)

We’re doing it! We’re really doing it!! Besides being darn close to breaking the record for wettest year ever, Mother Nature pretty much skipped Fall and went right to Winter. It’s been way too cold to do much work in the shop (we’ll just go with “shop” even though it’s really a garage, okay?). After much research, and thanks to Tim’s support, we are hoping that adding insulation will provide more uses/opportunities for the shop space.

In all honesty, the biggest hurdle for this whole project is the overwhelming amount of crap we have stored out there. It’s just been the repository for the “I don’t know where else to put this” stuff. It really is time to sort through it all anyway, but wowza, it’s a big job. There’s not just stuff on the ground around the perimeter, but on shelves on the walls, on shelving units, and on random nails everywhere.

We already replaced the side door (in picture above) a few weeks ago, because that had been on the list even before the insulation decision. At this point, we’re not investing in a new garage door, so we’ll add insulation to the existing door. You can also see above, that there is already drywall on the ceiling. On the plus side, less drywall to worry about, on the minus side, we need to crawl up above it and add insulation from the top. It’s not a big space to move around in.

It took a few hours, but we cleared off about 15 feet of wall, got a few rolls of insulation and got started.

Once again, I was ridiculously excited that I was doing this myself. Tim helped later after he got a few more things on his list done, but I jumped right in solo. It took way less time to put the insulation up than it did to clear the wall space.

As soon as weather and time permit, we’ll get wall board for this section and put up shelves. The plan is to organize as we move stuff over and then work on opening up the next section. We have another third of this wall, the back wall, around the garage door, and the ceiling to go. Tim uses the garage space for a lot of projects as well. I really think we’ll both benefit from this undertaking, with the added bonus of cleaning out more stuff we forgot we had and don’t need.

I have a random add on to this post. Last Saturday, we had a freezing rain event and I was able to get a few pretty cool shots with the fancy camera.

Very glad we were home and indoors for this weather. It’s super pretty to look at…from inside the house.

Nightstands So Far

Hi all. Been keeping super busy here. I’m building nightstands, painting the basement, trying to be a little creative on my own by using scrap wood to make decorative, rustic trays and centerpiece boxes. I have been so inspired by the makers/woodworkers I follow on Instagram. Although I have a mile long list of things I want to make, I’m feeling pretty good about the productivity level, and I’m never without something to work on.

I have one nightstand assembled, thanks to help from Tim. I think Fargo approves.

We used the same tongue and groove for the top that we used for the headboard. We thought that would tie it all together nicely.

One of the most challenging parts for me, was to cut the bottom shelf out around the legs. I didn’t think the original design for the shelf really fit the look I am going for, so I used upside down, wider tongue and groove. Out came the jigsaw, and…

Not too shabby, eh? SQUEEEEEE!!!!!

The other challenging part was building that drawer. It was a first drawer build for Tim too, but we figured it out together. I know it’s repetitive, but I was ridiculously excited when the drawer fit well.

I’m working on the second nightstand now. I’ve done all of the assembly work so far on the second one SOLO! I’m really proud of this, it’s a huge step.  I employed the use of clamps along the way.

Lots of pocket holes in this build, so I’m loving the Kreg Jig! You can see the Weatherwash in the background, which I also love. This morning I used PINED on the first nightstand in order to match the bed. It’s way too windy to move the miter saw into the driveway and finish building the second one, so I figured I’d stain the first. I’ll have an updated post with the rest of the nightstand pictures soon. I’ll also have a post with the assorted other items I’ve been putting together.

I’ll leave you with Fargo The Terrible, keeping me company while I build. Good thing I make sure he has a comfy place to rest.

Corbel Lights To Match the Bed

I definitely have a few favorite furniture project sites at this point. A few months ago, I was scrolling through project ideas and I saw the Corbel Sconce Light by Shanty-2-Chic.Tim and I agreed that these would be a great compliment to the new bed frame. Have I mentioned that WE BUILT A BED?!?

I started with leftover 2x4s, ordered the lights and cages online, and found bulbs at Lowes.

In order to match the bed, I used the same Weatherwash PINED Aging Stain, Clear Maintenance Oil and Satin Varnish that is on the bed. I really love love love the way the wood looks after using this combination. It’s also pretty darn fast and easy. On the left is the wood just after applying the stain, on the right is after drying for an hour.

Using Tim’s ideas, we made a few changes. We used a router for the first time and made a (too large but workable) channel in the back of the upright piece. Instead of the cord being in front of that piece, it would go up the back and be less prominent.

That led to drilling a hole just on top of the perpendicular piece to bring the cord through, instead of it laying over the top. What we didn’t think of, until assembly, was that Tim had to detach the cord from the light in order to feed it through the hole, then re-attach it.

It was worth that extra step. We love how they turned out!

The cost estimate from Shanty-2-Chic is $25/each. Using leftover pieces of wood helped, but that estimate is a little low depending on the light bulbs you choose. We went with the “vintage” looking bulbs, which were $10/bulb. This raised our total cost to closer to $30.