Tag Archives: countertops

Month 1 in the Books

I’ve had my blog up for about a month. I want to thank everyone that reads it and sends comments. It has been a learning curve to learn the layout of the page, what the jargon means, and just finding followers.

At the start, I had my sisters look at the blog to see if it is user friendly. After working some of the kinks out of it, I posted it to my Facebook page. I got an immediate increase in the number of followers.  During this last month, I have been working on the garden, some projects around the house, and my full-time job of teaching and coaching. Some have asked how do you do it all?

Teaching a subject I am familiar with (Geometry) helps a lot. I show my students different things I build or have built in the past. They keep asking me why do I teach if I can build? I enjoy the thought of teaching and reaching the minds of today’s youth. I believe they need someone who enjoys the content and can actually show them the use of the content. I use an online classroom for their homework and tests, so I do not have anything really to grade.

With gardening, I work on the weekends, when given a chance. My sons love the part of digging, but once that was done, they tended to stay away from the garden. They help plant a couple of my seed cups ( http://wp.me/p8pCsM-21 ). I wanted to plant a lot of different vegetables and wanted a good crop. I was trying to find a tiller to borrow but we finally just purchased one. I am glad we did because I planted 2 more beds because my seedlings did pretty good.

During spring break, I had a chance to scavenge some 2×6’s from a local construction site. I dug some out of the dumpster and also asked the foreman if I can take some out of the trash pile next to the houses. This is where my outdoor dining table came from ( http://wp.me/p8pCsM-bD ).  I had many people comment and ask questions on this table.

This past weekend I joined many different groups on Facebook. I think this is how my blog will explode with traffic.  I am trying to find new avenues of how to broadcast my blog, find new followers, and make sure my posts are interesting.

Thank you for your time. If you enjoy reading about gardening, woodworking, survival skills, or how to create things for the house,  please follow me by entering your email on the right.

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.