Tag Archives: Carpentry

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.

 

Adding YouTube to the Blog

As I am venturing into keeping a digital interactive journal, I am creating a YouTube channel as well. Just as with the blog, I believe I can share any knowledge with the few or the masses, depending how the Welcome To Freedom brand will grow. I have all sorts of ideas and concepts, I just need to get started.

As far as my blog, I am 2 months into it, 24 posts (before this one), and 270 followers. I have had fun doing this, and planning on keeping the blog up and going and growing the blog. On Facebook, most of the shares I do receive are good feedbacks. After all, feedback is something that fuels a blog. I believe that “Food Storage: Prepper Style” has had the most conversation on Facebook, but I would like more feedback or comments on the blog. Why? So everyone who has access to it (on facebook -all groups, WordPress, and Twitter).  The most viewed  was my “Outdoor Dining Table.” I had some good comments on it, but mostly people looked at it and liked.

How many people read the current and don’t visit the rest of the posts?

I believe most get bored going through and reading posts. With a YouTube Video Blog, I can post to wider audience and entertain while presenting my information.

I have some ideas for posts and you will see them as the do come. I am learning how to edit video, so my videos to YouTube will catch people’s eyes. I will have multiple channels on YouTube. The first one will be for uploading videos of my family. The second will be for this blog. I thought about leaving them together, but I want to be able to allow people searching for Welcome to Freedom material versus videos of my family.

Well, let me know what you would like to see or hear about. Please comment on the blog and follow.

Go, live life and enjoy your freedom.

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.

Dinner Table Build

 

My wife wanted a round table to go in our newly refreshed kitchen. My wife wanted a table that would match our countertops without taking too much room in the kitchen. I scavenged wood from new home work sites. I always ask if I can take wood, which most will say yes.

The base was ripped down from 2×8’s. The pedestal was made from 4 2×8’s ripped down and screwed together. I braced the hollow center with square discs to keep it rigid.

The top was ripped down from 2×6’s and attached with wooden dowels and TiteBond III. I use this glue anytime I am gluing up projects to keep from having multiple glue bottles opened, even if waterproof glue is not needed. I used a circular saw to rough cut the top. Then set up a jig on the table saw to finish the round top. The top measures 42″.  I could buy a 3 foot roundtop or a 4 foot roundtop from our local Lowes Home Improvement, but it was either too small or too big. 42″ is just right. I used a planer to smooth out the rough surface of each board. I then used 80, 120, and 220 grit sandpaper to get it to a dining room table to a quality finish. I later stained it with dark walnut and put a polyurethane coat on it. The base is white-washed. I may go back and just paint it white to match our cabinets.

For my first furniture grade table, I think it turned out quite beautiful. Leave a comment on what you think.

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.

Welcome

Many times we look out and see the world is flying by us. Why? What is causing us to keep from living life? Is it school? Work? Bills? Family? Illness? Injury? Many of today’s conveniences are our shackles. I am a victim of that, as many of you.

My life was not always picturesque. When I was around 7 yrs old, my birth mother was diagnosed with cancer, and passed away at age of 9. I lived with family members, bouncing around from house to house. I lived with my grandparents and my room was in an old trailer house behind the main house that did not have working utilities whatsoever. There were times when there was snow on the ground, but I still had to sleep out there. The windows were screwed shut so I couldn’t open them in the heat of the summer, which it would get 100 degrees or better.

Some seasons during my childhood, I did not know if I would have plenty to eat, or even a roof over my head. I told my family I was staying at a friend’s house but just stayed in the local neighborhood tree house. That was not safe, but I was able to escape. I would go to friends’ houses close to a meal so maybe I would be able to have a good meal that day. My family tried to provide, and most of the time they did. I tell you these things to give you a background in my life, not to feel sorry for me. I don’t. All the experiences have shaped me into the person I am today. I was adopted at age 13, but my adopted parents separated when I was 17, and eventually divorced years later.

In my 20’s, I tried to show the world I had money (well, had a job) and bought expensive things. I paid for most of them but some were on credit. New cars were my kryptonite. When I was in high school, my cars were even below the classification of a junker. Most of them had a supply of water and oil in the back to top off before each trip, regardless if it was 5 or 50 miles. One car caught fire, twice. Another car I had to make sure I could pull out of my parking spot because no reverse. I was embarrassed by my vehicles.

Needless to say, I was the typical person, buying more than I needed. I wanted to impress with what I could buy but maybe not what I could afford. I thought I could do it all, still think that to some degree today. It wasn’t until 2008 when the market crashed, work was slow, and I was in a job I did not like and did not pay. I needed to change, but still wanted my lifestyle. I picked up handy man and lawn maintenance jobs in order to make ends meet. It was during this time I racked up a lot of debt.

I went back to school to get extra classes under my belt so I could get a teaching job. Yes, another poor-timing life change because massive budget cuts in schools left me to take a job in a place far from the world my wife and I knew. Through 6 years of teaching, I see the collapse of education. The “I show up to class so I should pass” attitude, the laziness that exists in students that is reinforced by the parents, and the addiction to technology the students have today. I still love the thought of purity of teaching, but the bastardization of the school system leaves many teachers second guessing their commitment.

Good things have happened as well. I could not ask for 2 better sons (4 and 2 yrs) and a loving wife. I am learning to garden (teaching the boys where I can), improving my carpentry skills, and trying to prepare for the unknown. This is what this blog is about, taking the things I am learning, and sharing with those that are like-minded. The ways that we can have some self-sustainability so that we are not dependent on society.  Work a little harder, strive for what is simpler, and live life to the fullest. Not to go off grid but could if I had to.

I can’t help thinking bad things can and will happen. They have happened before, happening in other parts of the world, and it is just a matter of time that they will happen in our own little world. This is an experiment to see if someone can learn how to gain sustainability. Gardening, carpentry, homesteading, and all the other abilities one needs in order to gain freedom. This experiment is not just to prepare for the worst, but also to fund trips to enjoy life, by visiting God’s wonders, nature, and what man has built for our enjoyment. If I can give those reading this a some insight to achieving freedom, that is what I am trying to do. This is not for everyone, but it is working for me and my family. Along the way, I will have co-authors helping with helpful hints and advice about certain things.