I’ve taken way too many pictures of the birds visiting our feeders in between working on the never ending garage project. Pretty sure I’ve seen more variety of visitors this year than in previous years. Grabbed the fancy camera multiple times the last few days and here are just a few of the (MANY) pictures I’ve snapped. Apologies to those of you on Instagram, who will have seen most of these already.
Well, it all fit together. It’s got a lot of “character” in the way it fit together, and in the wood itself, but it looks pretty fantastic for a first go. I’ll share the good, and the areas for improvement in this post. I probably have way too many pictures, but I’m okay with that.
As I mentioned in Part I, I used two different woods, I believe them to be pine and cherry, so we’ll assume that to be the case. I originally intended to just use more of the pine, but the cherry was too pretty to pass up once our neighbors dropped it off. All four pieces of cherry are from the same board and the board was a little more dry and wonky than I really realized until I was fairly far into the process, but just soooooo pretty.
After sanding each piece and cutting the holes with the hole saw bit, I used an ancient Dremel type tool from my mom with a round sanding bit. The hole saw, and our inexperience, left some pretty rough edges. The Dremel-ish tool did a reasonable job, especially smoothing the interior of the circles.
We have a router, and a router table, and once the garage is finished, I hope to be able to set it up and work with it. I think a router roundover on these circles might be a good plan.
I used the pine for the base, under the cherry and because I thought it would be a neat contrast in the bottom holes to hold the tubes. The cherry was too pretty for stain, so I used two coats of Weatherwash Clear Maintenance Oil to give it a little help on the dryness and bring out the grain. I then used the Weatherwash Satin Varnish to seal it. Here are some before oil and after oil pictures.
I waffle between finishing before or after assembly. I opted for before this time, and it did impact one decision we made. We pondered whether it might be a good idea to use dowels to put the pieces together, and though we concluded that the cherry was probably too thin for that, the fact that I had already oiled and varnished did come up.
First step in assembly was gluing the bottom three pieces together.
You may be able to see, on the top left of the bottom picture, that the holes do not line up exactly.This is another area I need to figure out how to make better. The hole saw was really tough to line up precisely, and it jumped when the teeth first bit into the wood. When a rod tube is in there, it doesn’t show, but I’m hoping to correct this if I make another one.
We went back and forth on how to attach the sides and the top, and ways to clamp and brace. We landed on using glue with fine thread drywall screws, and used a pilot bit to drill/countersink the screw holes. This was new for me. I was so freaking nervous that the wood would split, or that I would set the screw at an angle and it would poke out the side of a board. We took turns drilling to mediate my anxiety, and guess what? I did OK.
Tim had the brilliant idea to try and dry fit the top piece before attaching the other side, which is propped up by the box in the picture above. I say brilliant, because we did need to re-position the unattached side to facilitate a better fit for the top. Fortunately, the adjustment made all four pieces sit flush with each other on one side. We determined that this side would be the front, since the uneven edge won’t be as noticeable in the back. Another stressor in attaching the top was how much the wonky sides would need to pull in. We were ready for a pop or a crack along the way, but thankfully – silence.
My foot photo-bombed the last picture, but it gives a little size comparison, as does the picture where Fargo is inspecting our work. Don’t worry, Tim already has enough rods/tubes to fill all eight spots. I think he’s pleased with his belated holiday gift…that he helped build.
It started with a beautiful morning, sun streaming through the trees, which I tried to capture. The birds were busy on the feeders. Fargo and Tim played in the snow as the sun began to set.
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.
It’s finished!!!!! I built a sofa table and it’s finished and I’m ridiculously excited about it! Tim provided support and some guidance and suggestions, but this baby was 95% me. I’ll start with a finished picture because I wouldn’t want to make you wait til the end of the post (told you I’m excited) and then back-up for some in-progress pictures.
I’m not great with decorating, but here is my first go at it. May try a few different versions of table decorations over the next few weeks.
Okay, in the last post, I had made it as far as the assembling the table top. Took advantage of a nice day between polar vortex and snow/ice storm to get moving on next steps. Trimming it down to size was interesting and super stressful. I started with the table top upside down, so I could follow the plywood, but the circular saw blade was rubbing on the plywood and the track was catching on the nail heads. This is one of the times Tim had to really talk it through to help me figure it out. THANK YOU, TIM!!
Flipped it over, marked the plywood edges on the sides of the herringbone pieces and lined up the track.
Once I was finished with the circular saw, which I’m slowly getting better at using, I cut/glued the remaining small pieces. Before I added the frame around the outside of the table top, and attached it to the base, I sanded it again and stained it first. I used the Oaked Stain from Weatherwash, and had planned to use the White Maintenance Oil, but loved the stain color so much I opted to go with the clear oil. Due to the crazy weather, and the state of the garage, I moved everything to the basement where the lighting is not optimal.
So pretty! I added the Clear Maintenance Oil, which deepened the colors. Oiled sections on the right in the picture below.
I will say, once again, that I’m not sure I understand assembly before staining. I realize it’s nice to know if it’s going to look good/correct once it’s all together, but it sure makes finishing a supreme pain. I used a teeny tiny brush to reach in between the bottom shelf slats. Pretty sure I’m going to go back to finishing all of the pieces first for the next project, even if it’s wrong.
The Shanty-2-Chic plans I followed for the base called for wheels on the bottom. Tim and I weren’t interested in wheels, so we did some internet searching and came up with an alternative. We love how these look as part of the finished piece (thank goodness).
Here is a picture from the other direction with a good view of the feet.
Well, that was probably more than you wanted to know about my first table build. Maybe it should have been a 4 part post. I learned so darn much through this process and I can’t wait to try it all out again, and to use what I’ve learned on new projects. Thanks for following along on this journey with me!
Oh, and something super fun happened when I posted on Instagram yesterday! I tagged Brandi at Eternal Harvest Decor in my comments to thank her for inspiring me to try a herringbone table top and for her youtube instructional video and she posted my table in her stories!
This is illustrative of the support I’ve seen in the Instagram woodworking community. On top of this, the amazing comments I’ve received from you all on Instagram and Facebook make me feel grateful and I appreciate it.
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!
The weather here is really putting a damper on projects I want to work on. Between the rain, ice, snow, wind and blasts of arctic temperatures, getting any driveway workshop time is tough.
Believe me, even if it’s 20 degrees out, if it’s dry and calm, I’m out there freezing my fingers and toes off.
The garage is totally torn apart with the insulation/drywall installation, so no room to do any work in there. The rest of the drywall won’t happen until we have a dry truck bed to buy more. On the up side, insulation is 99% completed and it already feels way more tolerable, especially without the drafts.
I’m pretty pleased that I got it done, and even though it’s far from perfect, I did most of it myself.
Besides that, I’ve taken some pictures on the fancy camera that I’ll share because they show the beauty of this weather.
If you are looking at this post on a phone or tablet, you may still be seeing rotated pictures. They are all showing up correct on the computer. Bizarro.
Although my “making stuff with wood” journey began at the end of 2017, it really became a passion in 2018. I thought it would be fun to do a recap of what Tim and I made in the past year. He helped a ton in the beginning, and any time I asked for assistance/guidance after that. I did more and more on my own as the year went on. I linked to the posts where I talked more in depth about each.
Go big or go home I guess as we sure started with a big one…workbench:
Next up…miter saw cart:
We combined a few plans and added our own touches to a lumber storage cart:
No sense starting small with the non workshop projects either…queen bed frame:
And corbel lights to match:
I did some smaller projects along the way, some from plans and some that I put together on my own (with varying degrees of success). Most were decorated with some wood burned designs:
Finished up with nightstands, also to match the bed, for which I was chosen as a Weatherwash Ambassador (I submitted a project proposal and it was accepted). It was super freaking exciting as I have used Weatherwash on almost everything here.
I can’t wait to tell you all about the upcoming furniture/house/woodcraft projects and to take you along on my learning journey…once the shop (garage) is done.
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.
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.