Monday, December 28, 2009

Time is flying.

Wow, I cannot believe how fast time is moving. I have had very little activity in the shop since my last post. I did make two more cutting boards for family, and another large cribbage board for a friend. Now that I am unemployed once again and the Christmas rush has passed I should be able to make some progress again. Please stick around and check in, I am hoping to spend at least a few hours in the shop each day.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Table Done! On to the next project

Well, we completed the dining room table for Ruth's parents Saturday morning. Good thing, because we were heading there in the afternoon for her dad's (Bob) 60th birthday party. We had the top, legs and skirting stained and finished by Friday night, and did all of the assembly Saturday morning. Here are some pictures for your viewing pleasure!

Here the skirting is on, and the new slides are ready to be put on.

Here we have the slides installed and lined up, also one of the leaves are in place and the aligners are screwed more leaf to go.

The last step to assembly is to attach the refinished legs that were on their old table.

All put together!

Here it is...all ready to go. This tabletop was made out of 5/4 quartersawn red oak. Quartersawn lumber is much more stable because the grain runs perpendicular to the face instead of parallel such as flat, or rift sawn lumber. This means that as humidity changes with the season, the wood will expand horizontally instead of vertically, meaning no warping or cupping along the width of the table. Instead of the table getting warped or crooked, it will simply just get slightly narrower, or wider with humidity changes.

Using quartersawn wood adds great stability to any project, but the best part, is that the grain patterns usually posses a great "fleck" pattern, almost like tiger stripes, as seen here. The whole table had great amounts of fleck...I loved it!

The finishing technique was a five part process that we had never done before.

Step 1-Minwax Early American Stain
Step 2-Heavy coat of Minwax Tung Oil
Step-3-another heavy coat of Tung Oil
Step4-Heavy coat of Minwax Glossy Polyurethane
Step 5-Heavy coat of Minwax Paste Wax

The stain is well..for color. The tung oil is a very easy wipe on finish that cures to a very hard glossy layer that is very durable and soaks into the wood pores. Two coats of tung oil ensure that anything spilled will not get into the wood and damage it. The polyurethane above that seals the pores of the wood to ensure that any hot or cold item placed on the surface will not pull the moisture to the surface and leave a nasty hazy ring on the tabletop. The paste wax is wiped on the top really heavy, allowed to dry, then vigorously wiped off to leave a shiny hand rubbed look(just like a car wax). The paste wax is an extra barrier for moisture, and offers extra scratch resistance. The paste wax can be re-applied at anytime to restore the nice luster to the table.

Moving on from here:
Today I started building the doors for the wardrobe I need to update. Tomorrow I head to Hartford to have them planed down and to pick up the sheet of plywood I need to make the shelves. I am hoping to have this done by the end of the week, but we will see how that goes.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Progress some major progress was made on the dining room table for Ruth's parents. We have the top and the leaves all made up and shaped up. Tomorrow we take the router to it, to make a nice profile on the edge. The new slides, and aligner plates are on order and should be in yet this week. Hoping to have it done soon! Then it is on to finishing up the shelf and doors for the wardrobe. Thank god, because I am so behind it is not even funny.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Still around

Well...I am still alive. It has been a-while since I have posted, once again. I have been working lots of hours in my regular job, and have not found allot of time to be in the shop. I am working on a few things, and it will be picking up here shortly. Stay tuned for some updates.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Same Old

Same old, same old around the shop. Trying to get as much done in the shop as I can. A few more projects have come in, and trying to budget the time. Nothing picture worthy at the moment. Check back, hopefully I have some pictures to show you soon.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Progress Report

Well, tonight I got a few more projects completed. I finished another step-stool, this one is going to my sister-in-law and hubby for the chilluns. I also finished the cutting board, it is soaking in mineral oil right now.
As of now, the tabletop has hit a small obstacle. I took it to KM Hardwoods to get planed to final thickness....and well, their planer is 2 inches smaller than I was told it was. Now I am searching out a place with a planer at least 26" wide. I do not want to wait until school is in so I can have my old shop teacher run it for me. So, I have been calling around looking for a place that is not 100 miles away.

Phil and Sue...I will be getting to your armoire doors and shelves soon!

Having only nights and weekends to work in the shop kind of sucks, but progress is being made. My list starts to get shorter, then fortunately it fills right up again. Its a good thing, I just wish I had more time to be out there.

Ruth sanding the cutting board to a glass like smoothness.

The step-stool stained up and ready for a coat of poly tomorrow.

Cutting board soaking up the oil.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Back to the shop

I had the day off of work today, so I made some headway in the shop. The table top is all glued up, and I have another cutting board in the clamps as well.

Here is one of the leaves for the tabletop in the clamps.

Here is one half of the table top. The glue will be scraped off by Ruth tomorrow. When I get home from work we will head to Hartford to my hardwood dealer for some mill work. These panels are 26 inches wide, and luckily they have a planer and a sander that will accommodate these panels. While I am there I will be picking up some oak for a the doors that go on the wardrobe. It is a long drive for mill work, but I can make allot of trips with the 5 grand it would cost for the planer I want.

Yet another cutting board before the first glue up.

Hopefully I will have pictures of some nice pretty tabletop pieces.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

100 FINDS!!

We reached our first milestone in Geocaching today...we found our 100th cache. It really is not a big number, as we have seen people online that have over 10,000 finds, but it is our first notable milestone. We chose a challenging cache that was recommended by a well known husband and wife team from our area. This cache was located in Kaukauna. We started the morning with only 84 finds, so we planned 16 plus caches so we could get to this specific one for number 100. When we pulled up to the area we noticed that where the cache was supposed to be was actually in the middle of a baseball field. Hmmmmm...we were told this was going to be a challenge, but how the hell do you hide an ammo can in the middle of a baseball field....we instantly knew this cache had to be under us! Sure enough, we did some lookind around and found a culvert concealed in a nearby woods. Well good thing we had the mag-lite with us, cuz we were going to need it. Check out the pictures!!

Here is our entrance!!


260 Feet from the entrance....not as easy as it sounds, the culvert was only 5' tall, so we were crouched the whole way. Not only that, there was water flowing so we had to waddle the whole way with our feet 3 feet apart, or walk in the water on the super slippery scum bottom. If it was easy everyone would do it, and it would not be such a great cache for number 100.

Next up....# 200!!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Back at it

It felt good to be back in the shop today, I have been sick with a sinus infection since Monday. Today I got three projects started. The oak tabletop, doors for an armoire, and another cutting board. The shop always looks like a bomb went off...but just wait till all three of these projects are going full swing.

Tonight Ruth and I did 6 more geocaches in the Brandon area. We try to take some time a couple nights a week to squeak a few in, it is allot of fun, good exercise, and we see some cool sights. We hope to soon reach our first milestone of 100 finds.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Still Alive

Hey...yes I am still alive. I have been busy working my normal job, and have been spending some time in the shop. Ruth and I have been doing some GeoCaching and what not.
This week begins some serious shop time, we have some projects that need to get done, and I want to get to it. So keep checking in on the progress, hopefully I keep the updates a little more up-to-date.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Back to Work

I am one of the fortunate few who were called back to work after being let go due to the economy. I started back on Monday, so it has been a pretty busy week. I have also been spending some time in the shop working on an entertainment center. Nothing picture worthy yet, but I will be posting some pictures soon.
We have also been doing a little bit of geocaching when we have a little spare time. Just like last year my Mother and I will be doing a Mother/Son fun weekend, instead of four wheeling like last year, she has requested that we go geocaching. We will be heading up to Minocqua for a whole weekend of caching and relaxing. We are heading up the morning of Saturday the 27th, and heading home Monday afternoon. When we get home that Monday, Ruth and I head right for Miller Park for another Brewer game against the Mets.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Little Late.

Here are a few more pictures from our trip, not a bunch, but still trying to save some off of our laptop. The hard drive did fail, but we will be able to save some of the pictures.

This was a common view throughout the trip.

Fish Creek falls in Steamboat Springs Colorado. About 280 feet from top to bottom. I loved it...check out the video below.

Lots of snow in the rockies. Most of it melted within the day and a half we were there. It was almost 80 one day, and a little rain mixed in made it melt fast.

I got to run some heavey equipment while in steamboat, DIG THIS was the name of the place, and the main reason we headed to Steamboat Springs. Was a blast! I ran a dozer and a track-hoe. Video below of me running the dozer.

Enjoying the falls.

The falls were cool...can you spot the fisherman?...we did not notice him until we were about to leave.

Driving over the pile I scraped up....I wanted to fly over but the guy kept saying slow and easy...I guess he knew more about me than I thought. I don't think I could afford that dozer I went slow.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Pictures from our journey.

I thought I would post some pictures of our trip so far. My laptop decided to completely crash on our first night. Will not even open up just says it does not find an operating system. A bunch of the pictures of our trip up, and the badlands were on there...hopefully I can get them back. So, I am at the days inn in Cheyenne Wyoming on the public computer. Enjoy some pictures of Mt. Rushmore and some parts of Nebraska and Wyoming.
Devil's Tower in Wyoming...Near Mt. Rushmore.

Crazyhorse mid project.

Cool angle of Mt. Rushmore

Profile view of our first president

Up close and personal

Some of the longest trains I have ever seen.
I would post some more, but there is a very anxious teenage girl fidgeting behind me that looks like she is going through twitter withdrawal. More to come as our trip continues. Tomorrow we are headed to Steamboat Springs Colorado.
Stay tuned. We did have to buy another memory card just to hold all of our pictures....since I do not have a laptop to off-load onto...damn it.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Completed projects and a new hobby.

Well, both the bookcase, and the step stools have been completed and delivered to the customers. Both projects really turned out great, and we are glad to have some shop space back. Since we are leaving for vacation on Saturday, we will have a busy week trying to get four projects for Mike and Mary completed before we leave. Should be do-able, and it will make our time off a little more enjoyable.

Here is the completed bookcase, excuse the spots on the camera lens.

For the adjustable shelves we used these brass inserts. The shelf support pins just slide in, and there is no room for them to slop around. They not only dress it up a little, they keep the holes from getting chewed up over the years by moving the shelves up and down. This is the first time I have ever used them, and from now on it is the only way to go.

Here are the two steps I made for another customer. Ruth's sister is needing one as well, I think I will use this design for hers as well. The customer supplied her own lumber that her husband cut with his portable mill. These have oak sides, aspen top step and kick board, and cherry bottom steps. They look cool. She will be painting a Disney picture on the top step of each one.

Our New Hobby

For many years I have heard about people doing the hobby of GeoCaching, a week ago Ruth and I tried it out for ourselves. To explain it the easy way, Geocaching is basically a scavenger hunt using a hand held GPS. On the website you can find hundreds and hundreds of these goechaches in your local area. You find the ones that appeal to you, get the coordinates and head out to find it. Most of them take you to a piece of public land with great scenery, or historic importance. We are amazed by how many great things there are to see that we never knew existed. Once you find it you sign a log book, trade items, and log it online to say that you did, or did not find it. Lots of fun...hiking with a goal. Check it out.

We found this guy about 10 feet from one of the geocaches we were looking for. Rocky here was awake, but did not even move a muscle with us so close...not sure if that is good or bad.

This is the sign posted at a piece of land close to us. Ruth and I actually placed our first Geocache for other people to find. It has been found twice already, the first time was early the morning after we placed it. here is the link to our exact have to be signed in to see the actual coordinates, but you will get the idea. CHIRKO MULTICACHE

We will be posting many more pictures in the future of our finds. Check it out next week, we plan on finding a few caches while we are out on vacation, we will post pictures throughout the week from our hotel rooms.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Deer, Cleaning, Cutting Board, and Bookcase

Well, some major progress has been made in the shop as two projects have been completed. The bookcase and the cutting board have been finished. Check out some of the pictures.

The deer were out on Saturday at high noon...this picture was taken right out of the shop window, and no zoom was used. They get more and more courageous.

Back to business...Here is Ruth cleaning out the canister filter for the dust collector...dirty job, but it keeps the shop super clean, and makes much less work in the long run.

Here is the completed cutting board. Instead of wiping on the mineral oil countless times we decided to invest in a container and a few bottles of mineral oil. We just let this one soak over night, then I just put the board on Ruth's nice pampered chef cooling rack while still in the container to let the oil drain off. Wipe it clean a few times and it turns out perfect.

This was donated to be auctioned off at a benefit held this weekend for a local family friend who has cancer. The board did sell, but I am not sure for how much. The event was a great time, and was a huge success, many people attended.

Here is a picture of the bookcase coming Ruth is clamping on one of the side rails. Anyone who does woodworking knows that no matter how many clamps you never have enough...I could use a few dozen more!

Here is the top and bottom for the case clamped up and almost ready for final assembly.

Case all put together...just some final sanding, a good wipe down, then time for stain!!

Speaking of it is. Jacobean is the color the customer wanted for this piece...a great dark stain.

Stay tuned as many many more things will be happening in the next couple weeks before we head west. Next on the list is the oak tabletop...then the sure to be challenging gun cabinet.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Two Nights in a Row !?!?!

Today I did get a little progress done on the bookcase, nothing really noticeable but progress was made. I also got another cutting board in the clamps today too.

Here are the two sides of the bookcase. It does not look like much, but setting up all of the holes, and the dado's take some time.

Cutting board in the clamps.

Here is a simple lumber rack I put up a few days ago. This is not for bulk storage, but to let the lumber for the current project "acclimate" to the shop. This way the lumber can sit a few days in the shop climate and do all of its "moving" before I mill it square. Has been nice clearing up some shop space.

Hopefully by the end of the day tomorrow the bookcase will start to resemble a bookcase, and the cutting board will be almost done as well.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

No Pictures Necessary

As I am sitting here watching the Yankee/Red Sox game with the laptop....well....on my lap, I realize it has been a while since I have posted on the old blog. I have been super, super busy in the shop lately, basically starting a bunch of projects. I have step-stools, a bookcase, a gun cabinet and two cutting boards all in progress right now. The shop looks like a bomb went off, but things are definitely happening. Nothing that really makes an interesting picture. I will post some pictures when I have a little more progress done on each project.

On a lighter note, Ruth and I were asked today if we would like to go to the Mt. Rushmore/Badlands area in a few weeks for a week. We will be going with her parents. So, we will be doing that. I have never been out there, but all of them have, so it should be fun for us to get away.

Stay I really do plan on posting more, really....I mean it this time!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009


It has been a very busy week, not only working on projects but preparing for projects. We will be starting 3 very large projects next week. The table top, a large bookcase, and finally the gun-cabinet for my brother. So this coming week will be spent planning, getting lumber, getting tools and supplies, and cleaning the shop! Here are a few pictures of things we did this last week.

I quickly made this little table for my mom to put her printer on at work.

Ruth's parents dropped of the table last Saturday, so we spent a few days stripping the finish off of the old legs. Here you can see how well it actually worked, I was impressed with the results.

The stipper had to be applied in two coats. The first coat would take the bulk of the finish off, and some of the color. The second coat would really get into the pores, and with a little light brushing with a brass brush we could really get it cleaned up nice...followed by a light sanding.

Here are the legs all ready to go.

On Friday we went to Pickett to pick up this awesome pile of lumber from my Dad's cousin. He had it cut, milled and kiln dried 8 years ago, and never found a use for the wood he did not use for trim in his house. There is about 180 b/f (board feet) of 4/4 (1"thick) & 5/4 (1-1/4" thick) white oak here. About $500 dollars worth of wood, and I just drove away with it!

Another view of the take!

Ruth and I have been playing allot of cribbage in the shop while waiting for stripper to work, and whenever we have a down momemnt. She has been whipping my butt by the way. We decided to make a dedicated shop cribbage board. Of course it cannot just be any old cribbage board, we have to turn it up a notch or two. This baby is 9" X 27" made out of a solid piece of oak. The drill press would not reach the center row of holes, so I had to do it will my centering block and hand held drill as seen above.

Here is Ruth burning in a line for every five points.

Tracing the perfect 29 hand so that can be burned in as well...she is the artistic one, I could never do this as well as she does.

Here is the finished board with a coat of poly on it. We used Brewers colors to paint the pegs, and the score-keeping area at the base of the board. We will have many years of playing on this board, and I might even win a few.

Stay updated, I plan on posting my progress a few times this week, like I said not much will be actually done this week, mostly planning and setup, but there is always something to work on.