Wood Movement

Over the past few months, I’ve been making these Ohio signs and selling them in my wife’s booth. They’re a simple thing to make. Just cut the wood in the shape of Ohio, then glue and staple the pieces to a plywood back. Originally I used old pallet wood to make the signs, but the past few batches I made them with old fence boards.

20180110_090136-2.jpg

Last week, when I was helping my wife move things around in her booth, she told me that some of the signs had warped. Worried, I grabbed a few of the signs to look at them. Because we had such a hard cold spell, the antique store was kicking up heat to stay warm. Apparently, the dry heat sucked all the moisture from the signs making them bend up. Even the top of an old bench my wife was selling warped.

20180110_090148.jpg

When examining the sign, I realized I made two rookie mistakes. The first mistake I made was that I painted the wrong side of the fence board. I should have fastened the wood crown-down so that the board wouldn’t warp upward. The second mistake I made was that when I fastened the boards on the plywood, I spread glue all over the plywood back making the wood unable to expand and contract. Embarrassing to admit I know. When I first made these signs, I made them from old pallet wood that was a lot narrower than the wide fence board I used here. I thought my wood was dry enough to make them in the same process, but I was sorely mistaken.

20180110_090235.jpg

Wanting to fix the sign, I ripped apart the plywood back and removed all the staples from the wood.

20180110_090628.jpg

After cleaning the back of the pieces, I saw how the widest board on the sign was warping in conjunction with the others.

20180110_091652.jpg

I decided to shave off the high spot in the middle with my scrub plane so the warping wouldn’t be as noticeable when I remade the sign.

20180114_125852.jpg

Then, instead of spreading glue all over the plywood back, I laid a bead of glue down the center of each piece of wood so the wood could move. I then attached the plywood back to the pieces with 1/4″ crown 5/8″ long staples.

20180114_130102.jpg

With everything back together, I was happy how the sign laid flat again. I really don’t mind if the boards warp a little bit. After all, the sign is supposed to look old and rustic. I just don’t want the whole thing to curl.

20180114_130219.jpg

Advertisements

Inexpensive Window Trim

The windows in our house aren’t much to talk about. Just 36″ square vinyl windows in a typical ranch. I’m not sure how old they are as I know they aren’t original to the house, but were here when I bought it fifteen years ago. My wife, Anita, wanted to jazz them up a bit and give them some character, so she asked me to make trim to go around them.

20170312_105920

The first thing we did, was to take out the marble sill, which was the hardest part. Sometimes they get stuck inside the frame, so I had brake them apart in order for them to come loose. If I was lucky, I could cut the sealant around the sill and jimmy it loose.

20170312_105942

I made a new sill out of 7/8″ thick maple. I tried to get rift sawn material so it wouldn’t warp too bad. I cut notches on both sides of the sill so it would stick out on the wall so the 1×4’s could lay on top of it.

20170312_123610

We wanted the header to have character so we took a 1×6 of pine and attached a 1×2 on the top. We then laid a cove molding on the 1×6.

20170312_1235571

Using my small miter box, I was able to cut the tiny pieces of cove for the ends.

20170318_122351

I then took a piece of pine 1/2″ thick and used my block plane to shape the corners and ends to create a bullnose. I pinned everything together  with my 18 gauge pneumatic nailer to complete the header.

img_20170312_142516_891

Back at the window, I measured, cut, and nailed the rest of the pieces to the wall using a 15 gauge finish nailer. I trimmed the maple sill so that there would be a 3/4″ overhang to sides on both ends.

img_20170312_202015_986

Here’s the close up of the header nailed to the wall. The 1/2″ thick bullnose hangs over 1/2″ on both sides of the frame.

20170323_203246

After filling the nail holes with putty, Anita caulked, primed, and painted the window trim. We did both windows in our bedroom the same way. The next step is to frame around the closet, paint the room, get a new headboard, new blinds, ceiling fan, rug, etc… I don’t know, ask Anita, she’s the designer. haha

Building a Shed Part XI

We’ve been building this shed for over a year now. Between the cold of the winter and the heat of the summer, this has been the biggest project I have ever taken on. The past few weeks, we’ve been preparing the shed for paint.

 photo IMG_20160925_104425.jpg

I sanded the body of the shed with 80 grit sand paper with my random orbital sander. This allowed me to take off the glaze from the mill when the wood was being processed.

 photo 20160925_123326.jpg

The doors and corbels were sanded to 150 grit because we were planning on staining these elements. I filled the nail holes with some outdoor wood putty as I wanted the doors to have a finished look without a bunch of nails holes in them.

 photo 20160925_123301.jpg

My wife, Anita, went to Ace Hardware and bought Aura paint and primer by Benjamin Moore. This paint isn’t cheap at $70 a gallon, but we wanted to make sure the shed had the best finish on it so we wouldn’t have to repaint it every other year.

 photo 20160925_123338.jpg

With two coats of primer on it, we let the shed sit for a few days before we applied the top coats.

 photo 20160927_161607.jpg

The body was painted with two coats of Galveston Gray.

 photo IMG_20161002_134906.jpg

The shed was starting to look really nice. The top trim and the windows would be painted with Iron Mountain.

 photo IMG_20161002_164602.jpg

We picked Cedar Bark stain from Sherwin Williams for the doors and corbels. The shed is nearly done, but I still need to make a trellis over the side window and build a small deck underneath the doors. Getting real close.

 photo IMG_20161015_150738.jpg

Revamping Ugly Dining Chairs

The remodeling of our dining room continues. This time with new chairs. My wife was never that fond of the Windsor chairs I made about twelve years ago, so she bought four french style caned back chairs at a local thrift store for $10.00 each. They were in good shape, the only issue with them was that they had an ugly ass imitation claw bubble design thing on the front legs. Honestly, I have no idea what they were suppose to be or how they made the chair look more formal, but they were ugly.

 photo 20150524_110441.jpg

My wife Anita and I both agreed they had to go so I took out my low angle block plane and some files and I shaved away the bubbles on all four sides of the front legs. Since Anita was going to paint the chairs, it wasn’t a big deal that the original finish was removed exposing the bare wood.

 photo 20150523_215818.jpg

After Anita painted the chairs white, I made a template for the seats with 1/4″ hard board. I simply traced around the chair with the hard board on top and cut it out on my band saw. I had to pay attention to the two notches in the back of the chair seat so that when Anita put fabric on the seat, they would still fit.

 photo 20150822_171934.jpg

I didn’t have scrap 3/4″ plywood lying around in my shop, but I did have the original oak plywood top from my dining table I revamped last month. I removed some of the extra plywood around the edges where it thickened up the top and laid out my seat pattern on the board. I then used my jig saw to cut the seats out.

 photo 20150822_173649.jpg

After a little fiddling, the seats fit well to the chair frames.

 photo 20150822_184445.jpg

The rest of the work was in Anita’s hands. She used the seat bottom to trace around the batting for the chair and cut it using a pair of sharp scissors.

 photo 20150822_184924.jpg

 photo 20150823_105217.jpg

Then she started to staple the fabric on with upholstery staples. She used a Senco pneumatic stapler to make the job go much quicker.

 photo 20150823_121400.jpg

Here is one of the chairs finished. I have to admit, it looks a lot better than the Windsor chairs I made a few years ago. Once she finishes all four chairs, I’ll post some pictures that show the revamped chairs along with the revamped table together as a set.

 photo 20150823_123327.jpg

Updating a Hallway

The past few days, Anita and I have been working on finishing up the dining room and hallway. After I struggled to throw up the crown molding, attaching chair rail felt like childs play. The trickiest part was coping both ends at the end of the hallway.

 photo hallway1.jpg

After the chair rail was nailed up, I attached the rectangular boxes I made with my molding planes. Then Anita caulked and painted everything white on the bottom, and a light grey on top. She bought a custom rug from Pottery Barn that fits the hallway nicely. Now she plans on hanging some pictures on the wall and get a new light fixture to spruce things up. This was a cheap and easy way to make a hallway look more elegant.

 photo hallway2.jpg

Here is a close up of the faux wainscoting boxes I made. They add quite a bit of detail to the walls.

 photo hallway3.jpg

Empire Wine Bar

 A few months ago my wife bought a dresser from a local auction company. When we picked it up, we noticed that the bottom drawer was so badly damaged that is was not worth repairing. Plus the drawers were only 10″ deep which doesn’t really fit with today’s needs. So, we decided that we would turn it into a wine cabinet.

The first thing I needed to do was take out the drawers and remove the frame that held them. It was a pretty easy process as the drawer runners were simply screwed in place.

I knew the part that held the wine bottles would need a cabinet of some sort so I glued 1/4″ panels to the inside to create a box. I also had to add boards to the bottom of the cabinet to support the bottom of the interior.

After much thought about how many wine bottles I wanted the cabinet to hold, I drew numerous options of the interior. I wanted the grids to go at 45 degrees and hold the maximum amount of bottles yet fit the opening of the cabinet. At first I designed the cabinet opening to hold nothing but wine bottles but after several drawings, I finally decided to make one half hold wine bottles with 4 1/2″ openings and the other half a shelf.

I built a divider down the middle and attached it with pocket hole screws. I installed plugs in the pocket holes and sanded them flush.

The fun part was making the grids. I made them from 3/4″ poplar and custom fitted each piece inside the box. The grids are attached together with dado’s and were painted brown before they were glued in.

I kept the girds shy of the face of the cabinet so that I could glue sapele on top of the poplar. Sapele is a poor mans mahogany which is what the dresser was made from. When stained, the sapele, mahogany and the painted poplar will blend together nicely.

After the interior was done, my wife painted the outside with chalk paint. She took the time to tape off the area that is stained and applied two coats of paint. After the paint dried, she rubbed some of it off to distress it, then added a dark brown glaze over the details of the piece to get in the cracks and appear old.

I applied four coats of General Finishes Arm-R-Seal oil & urathane topcoat to the top, the front of the drawers, and the grids to give the cabinet a nice sheen. We dragged it upstairs from the basement which was a big pain in the ass as it weighs nearly 200 lbs and decorated it in our dining room.

You can see how the distressing looks. The idea is to make the cabinet look old which is exactly what it is. After the glaze dries, Anita applied a light wax over the piece to protect the paint.

The design of the inside of the cabinet came out well. The grids hold eight bottles of wine and all of our various glasses. So far one of the drawers stores our wine bottle opener. Unfortunately, the other drawer will probably end up as a junk drawer.

The Empire dresser spent its first 150 years as a dresser. Now it will spend the next 150 years as a wine cabinet. Not a bad 300 year life if you ask me.

French Style Bookcase

My French style bookcase is painted and done. It turned out really well. My wife loves it which is all that really matters. I decided that I will build a few more and have my wife paint them with different colors to see if we can sell them on Craigslist. I posted these pictures on Facebook with a little bit of a description and an asking price of $450.00 which is cheap considering hand-made bookcases sell for over a $1000 in furniture stores. I’ll see if I get any offers on Facebook but even if I don’t, I won’t let it be a deterrent from building more because I feel that people will really like these bookcases.

The bookcase measures 59″ Long x 16″ Wide x 34 1/2″ High and is made from poplar. My wife did an excellent job painting it with two coats of semi-gloss black latex paint and a primer underneath. It’s turned out really well but I’m considering painting the next ones with a lacquer paint for durability. I’ll have one black, one white and one black with white stencil, or vice versa, whatever my wife decides to do.

The side shot shows the detail of the crown molding that I cut with an old molding plane and the cross bars that hold the case together. The crossbars are strong but make the whole bookcase light. The crossbars also imitate the sides of the Eiffel Tower which puts it in the French Style.

This morning my wife and I decided to fancy up bookcase by decorating it. We searched all over our home for trinkets and stuff to stick on the shelves. I used a picture of a bookcase from a furniture catalog to act as a guide on how to decorate it. After we were done, my wife didn’t want to put the stuff back from where we got them since the bookcase looked so nice.

Hopefully I’ll get good feedback from my friends on Facebook. Maybe I’ll even get an order or two.