Archive for the ‘WOODWORKING’ Category

July 24th, 2018

A Bright Idea

I saw this a while ago on one of the woodworking sites and decided that I needed to build one. It is light box with an old fashioned Edison bulb. It is a fairly simple project requiring just one piece of wood, a light socket, a dimmer and a bulb.

I made my light box out of a single piece of red oak. I purchased a 1″ thick board to have a thicker base and then planed the side pieces down to 3/4″. The dimensions are 8 3/4″ wide x 9″ tall x 5 1/2″ deep.

After cutting the base piece down to size, I marked the center of the board and drilled a 1″ hole approximately 3/4″ into the 1″ base. I drilled a 9/32″ hole through the side for the cord to go through. The socket was located on the base in order to pre-drill the mounting holes. I used 1″ screws in the porcelain socket that only protruded 1/4″ into the base so as not to interfere with the wire channel.

Here I slipped the 9/32″ drill bit into the hole for the wire in order to mark the side piece and continue the hole through the side. The box was then glued together using biscuits at the top.

The finished piece with socket and dimmer installed. I used an inline dimmer with a woven cloth covered cord. It can be purchased here: The socket can be found here:

The finish is gun stock wood stain and one coat of spray polyurethane.

December 16th, 2017

Kids Workbench

I made this kids workbench as a Christmas present for me niece. I found the plans for it here:

The bench is 24″ high at the work surface, 17 1/2″ deep and 41 3/4″ tall. It is made out of select pine 1×4 and 2×2 boards with an MDF top, shelf and pegboard. The joinery is all done with pocket screws. The finish is tung oil.

July 18th, 2017

Wine Themed Silent Auction Items

Here are some items I made for a recent silent auction at a wine tasting held for charity. Some of the items I have made before, others I made for the first time.

The wine rack from a single 1x6x6’ mahogany board from the home center. The interior cubbies are 3.5”. The finish is wood stain and two coats of tung oil.

Info on the Cork trivets is here:
Info on the Cork shadow box is here:
Info on the Wine bottle balancers is here:

May 29th, 2017

Bookshelf Made From Pine

I recently built a bookshelf for my great room after analyzing the design of various bookshelf projects on the internet. I settled on a simple interlocking board design and adapted the dimensions to fit my space.

The shelf is constructed from a total of 16 1×6 x 8ft select pine boards that were biscuited and edge glued together to make the 5 shelf boards and 3 uprights. The boards were glued together leaving a 3/4″ notch at the appropriate locations to allow the opposing boards to interlock, forming the shelf. Below are the cut dimensions for the pieces that were glued to the long board represented by the total length measurement. The 0.75″ measurements represent the gaps that were left to interlock with the perpendicular board.

Horizontal shelf board (5ea):

Overhang:  12"
Rail 1:  0.75"
Shelf:     23"
Rail 2:  0.75"
Shelf:     23"
Rail 3:  0.75"
Overhang:  12"
Total = 72.25"

Vertical shelf standard (3ea):

Overhang:  12"
Style 1: 0.75"
Shelf 1:   16"
Style 2: 0.75"
Shelf 2:   16"
Style 3: 0.75"
Shelf 3:   16"
Style 4: 0.75"
Shelf 4:   16"
Style 5: 0.75"
Floor:      4"
Total = 83.75"

In the picture below is one of the horizontal shelf boards with the biscuit slots cut, ready to be glued together.

You can never have enough clamps…

The finished boards up for a test fitting prior to painting. I cut 1″ off the front edge of the upright boards to give the shelf less of a boxy look. I also cut a notch at the bottom to allow the shelf to fit around the baseboard when flush with the wall.

The finished shelf with two coats of semi-gloss latex enamel paint.

December 14th, 2016

Coat hook rails from re-cycled flooring

After putting in some new flooring, I was left with an entire box of off-fall and reject oak floor boards. To start re-cycling them I decided to make some Coat hook rails for the office.


I surmised that they would look good using the same checkerboard end grain effect as I had previously done with a Cutting Board. So I planed down four boards to remove the finish on the top and the grooves on the bottom. I then glued the boards together in a sandwich.



I sliced the sandwich down to rough size with the table saw and then planed it to final thickness. The piece was then cut apart on the miter saw into the individual segments. While it did work out to make one using this technique, it was very difficult clamping all of the small strips of 4 cubes back together evenly before the glue started to set up. It also took a lot of sanding to the get the final piece smoothed out. I opted to make the two smaller rails without the checkerboard effect.


After drilling holes for and gluing in the store bought coat hook pegs, a spray polyurethane finished was applied. I also used pre-made oak buttons to cover the two mounting holes.


December 9th, 2015

Maple Scrap Clock

Last year I made a bunch of Bottle Openers out of Maple. The openers were cut using a jig and created a pile of little wedges as waste material.


Rather than trash them, I let them sit on my bench while I contemplated what to do with them. I floated the idea of gluing them together into a circle but I didn’t have enough pieces to make a full circle.


Above you can see all of my various calculations done in an attempt to determine how many more wedges that I would need. After almost a year sitting on the bench, I decided to finish this project by first making some more bottle openers to have more wedges and then glue them together to make a clock. The calculations went out the window and I ultimately just used enough wedges to make a circle since the new ones were slightly smaller than the originals.


As it turned out, making 11 more Maple bottle openers was still not enough wedges to make a circle. So I made a few more out of pine in order to have enough to finish the project.IMG_20151128_204659

Now that I had enough wedges, I set about gluing them together. To accomplish that, I put some screws through a piece of pegboard in order to hold my rubber band ‘clamps’ at the ready while I applied glue to all of the wedges.


And here is the clock starting to take shape after the glue was applied and the rubber bands put around it.


It turned out that the points of the wedges didn’t really line up to make true center point. It looks more like a pinwheel but I think it still looks pretty neat despite not being a perfect circle. The next step after letting the glue dry overnight was to sand down both sides of the clock to remove all of the glue from the surface.


I decided to add ‘dots’ to the clock in the form of 3/8″ oak dowels. I printed out this clock template and placed it on the face of the clock using a point of a nail to mark the center point of each dowel hole that needed to be drilled out.


Once the holes were drilled, I glued in the dowels.


The dowels were sanded flush and then several coats of polyshades oak satin finish were applied.


After painting the clock hands brown, I installed the clock movement.


The finished clock now adorns my kitchen wall.


October 26th, 2015

Fence Picket Plant Stand

My mom needed a plant stand to fit into a corner of her back porch. She searched for a long time to find a piece of furniture to fit in the space without success. Having recently torn down a dilapidated fence, I had a pile of old fence pickets that needed to be re-purposed or get thrown away. I decided to try and build a plant stand that would be custom sized to fit the space.


I started by finding eight pickets that were the straightest and had the fewest cracks to use as the corner pieces. I took off some of the finish with a random orbital sander since it would hard to do once the corners were assembled. I then cut some biscuit slots and glued two pickets together to form a corner piece.


I used clamps and 3D squares to hold the pieces together while the glue dried.


I then assembled the table by screwing the four corner pieces together with 1×2 stretchers at the top and bottom. The five pickets pickets along the back were secured by screwing through the stretchers into the picket with four screws each.


My mom painted the whole assembly along with the slats for the shelves. The slats were made from extra fence pickets that were cut down to size. The painted slats were then secured to the top and bottom shelves with 18 gauge brad nails.


The completed plant stand:


May 27th, 2015

Camping Cookware Storage Boxes


I recently picked up two additional pieces of camp cookware. Added to my collection are a 10″ dutch oven and a massive 20″ skillet (aka “The LumberJack”). The problem is that these items are way too big to fit in the chuck box so they needed dedicated storage boxes.


I made both of these boxes with mostly scrap materials. The skillet box is made from 1/2″ plywood that is finger jointed together. The bottom is 1/4″ birch plywood and the lid is three layers of 1/4″ birch plywood scraps that are laminated together. Inside the box there is a small divider that holds the handle securely in place during transport. There are three rare earth magnets counter sunk and super glued to the divider that hold the wing nuts for the handle. A piano hinge and two draw catches hold the lid on.


The dutch oven box is made very similar to the first box. I reinforced the corners on the inside with some Douglas fir triangles. I also added some strips of Douglas fir to hide the plywood edges on the top and oak edge banding on the front of the lid. The hinge is the cutoff piece from the first box. The draw catch and handles also match the skillet box. The finish on both boxes (outside only) is Minwax 32450 Golden Pecan spray polyurethane.



If you are looking for something to cook in your 20″ skillet for your next camping trip, be sure to try this Campfire Paella recipe courtesy of the NOSH blog.

December 24th, 2014

Bottle Openers in Maple

I made 24 of these bottle openers this year as office Christmas presents. These started out at 12 board feet of 1×2 hard maple from the home center. The finished openers are just under 6″ long and use a 1 1/4″ fender washer to catch the bottle cap. The finish is tung oil.


I tried cutting various designs in plywood before I settled on the design seen below. I clipped the corners of the blanks 5 degrees using a sled made with a piece of scrap 2×4. After cutting the first side, the scrap wedge was used to hold the blank for cutting the opposite side.


I then made a template out of a small piece of hardboard to mark the locations for drilling. The center of countersink for bottle is 1/2″ back from the edge and the countersink for the washer is 1 1/8″ back from the edge. Two small nails in the template mark the location to center the drill bit.


After the all the cutting and drilling was done, I rounded over all of the edges with my orbital sander. After allowing the tung oil finish to dry, the washers were installed with a 1/2″ stainless steel screw.




March 31st, 2014

Guitar Amp

I got a guitar a while back, but no amp to go with it. So I decided to make my own practice amp mostly using electronics parts that I had lying around. The amp cabinet is based on a vintage Fender Champ (5F1) practice amp that was introduced in the 1950’s. For my version, the cabinet is constructed from a single select pine board and joined together with finger joints. The speaker panel is 1/2″ plywood and holds a single 6″ speaker. The back panel cover pieces are 1/2″ birch plywood with edge banding on the tops. The cabinet is finished with Minwax golden pecan stain and two coats of tung oil.

The amplifier section is my implementation of the Noisy Cricket Mark II schematic from Beavis Audio. The Noisy Cricket amp is designed around an LM386 1-watt audio amplifier chip that is intended for clock radios, boom boxes, etc. The amp circuit is constructed on a small project board with only a few resistors & capacitors as support components. The three knobs control volume, gain, and tone. The switches control power and grit (distortion). The amp is powered from a 9v battery.

Here is a video demonstrating the Noisy Cricket amp:








Click this link for the picture of the plans that I found and used for this project.

Edit: It looks like the Beavis Audio site has gone away. I have put the plans for the amp circuit here.