Category Archives: Carpentry

Playscape Part 2

Home built playscape from scavenged lumber and broken down store bought unit. My 3 year old and 4 1/2 year old told me what they wanted, and I found a way to incorporate all suggestions. It has a slide, monkey bars, rock wall, fort, swings, glider, and a mud kitchen.

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Playscape Build Pt 1

The playscape is a build that I am doing to enjoy our backyard to the fullest. The skills required to build it though is something I can use in a survival situation when a shelter is not available. Yes, I scavenged most of the wood, but concept of framing, decking, roofing, and making sure it is safe.

Enjoy the video .

Go, live your life, and enjoy your freedom.

 

Outdoor Dining Table

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Over the weekend I made a table (mostly done). My wife wanted a table for the backyard so we have a main table when hosting things at the house. The table is made to allow people to use folding lawn chairs to sit at the table without too much trouble. I will be adding a cross piece underneath, and end caps (after thought and hope it works). The tabletop is 7.5 ft long as is and 3ft wide. It stands 30 inches to the tabletop. I found various lengths of 2×6’s at the local construction site (and their dumpster) and found almost enough wood to make all the pieces. I am missing 3 6 ft boards to finish it out. I need to go around to find them in order to finish the base.

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Even though the legs and cross members are hollow, they are plenty heavy. I ripped the 2×6’s down to get rid of the imperfections on the edges and the round over edges that they come with from the mill. The wood was weathered, muddy, and dinged up but with my planer, the wood looks great! After the small amount left to finish, I will stain it. I will also will be building a bench for the table, but that will be another weekend project.

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Kitchen Refresh (2016)

During 2016, we went did a face lift on our kitchen. The home we purchased was built in 2001 and most of the materials used were builder-grade, which means it was usually the cheapest material which was breaking or coming apart. They used sheet Formica for the countertops and used floor tile for the backsplash, which we had to finally rip out the sheetrock in order to redo the backsplash.

My wife and I liked the idea of a farm style sink, so we redid the countertop with planks that would resemble a farm style table. I drilled hundreds of holes for the dowel pins to connect each slat. We added roughly 6 linear feet of counter space to the kitchen.

The area shown in the picture left was just a blank wall. This was a perfect spot for adding lower cabinets that our kitchen lacked. Now, we have plenty of counter space to collect our junk as we come in from the day. It seems like that anyways. The area just to the right of the dishwasher was empty so we added a lower cabinet for the trash can and extended the countertop all the way. Above the dishwasher was a single cupboard. We removed it because it didn’t fit the wall space well. I added floating shelves above the dishwasher as well as the buffet. In addition to the kitchen, I also built the floating shelves for both bathrooms. We think they are a nice addition to those rooms.

I will post an update to this post with the 95% completion pictures.

Carpentry- How I got started

When you are a kid, you job is to play. I far back as I can remember, I played with Legos. I built anything and everything. I followed the directions that came with the kits, and I just thought of other things (a working crane came to mind) that I thought was cool. As I grew up, I always looked for lumber to pick up and use to make forts, tree houses, and ramps to jump bikes. I sometimes found some with nails, so I reused the nails. Other times, I had to figure how to attach wood together.

My aunt’s husband had me help him to demolish old houses. My grandmother’s husband had me dig ditches for sewer lines, learn a little about electrical circuits, and I worked after my senior year of high school for a HVAC man to learn other skills of the trade before I left for college. My adopted mom’s dad passed away 8 years ago and left me his wood tools. I started learning how to use them, and my skills have increased. I am not professionally educated, but my skills are pretty good, if I can toot my own horn. I have thought about going to take cabinet building courses.

I started making easels and toy boxes for nieces and nephews for Christmas, to keep the tradition of Papa alive. I also build things now for Christmases and birthdays to show my boys, as well as nieces and nephews, that not everything has to be bought. I have built cabinets, countertops, tables, chairs, a learning tower for my sons to be on the same level as I am or my wife in the kitchen or the garage, bed frame, picture frames, and many other things.

My wife will find pictures of items on Pinterest or other sites to have my build in my spare time (laughing). I also find things I want to build. When I have that thing I need to do, I wait until the boys are asleep, and then spend 3-5 hours a night in the garage working until it is completed.

I don’t like spending money on something I can build, or think that I can build. Also, I don’t like spending money if I can keep from it. This is where I save HUGE amounts. In the city that I live, there are numerous houses under construction. I go to some, talk to a foreman to see if I can clean up some of the scrap wood. It will just go in the landfill so they typically will say yes. Now, you may have to pull nails, which I save and reuse in some projects. I will also pick up pallets, which works wonders with the things that don’t require precision or perfect wood planks. Don’t feel bad scavenging for free things. The first time or 2 will make you feel uncomfortable, but soon you will understand that you are recycling, keeping perfectly good material out of the landfill, and you are saving a massive amounts of money. Most of the time, I run the wood through a planer, turning it into furniture grade wood.