Maker, Woodworking

I Turned One Desk into Two End Tables

I got this old desk for free. Once I got it home, I realized it was too big to fit anywhere in our house, so I left it under a tarp in my shop.

A year later, I was cleaning up my shop and found a giant desk under a tarp.  I decided to either get rid of it or cut it up and turn it into end tables, and my wife cast the tie-breaking vote for end tables.

I unscrewed the desktop and cut the base of the desk in half. Because there were only two legs on the rear of the desk, each end table needed a new leg on the back corner. I made the legs out of walnut:

Each leg has a quarter-inch mortise cut into two different sides to accept the panels from the back and side of the table.  They are also tapered, about 3/16″ over the bottom seven inches of each side of each leg (taper not yet cut in the picture above).

The bottom panel of the left section of the desk was in rough shape.

I replaced the rail in front by cutting a new one out of maple:

I also made a new tenon for the top stile out of red oak.

I cut up the desktop to fit each table, glued strips of red oak to the cut sides, and then sanded and restained them. I used a mix of Varethane’s Ebony and Kona stains (black and very dark brown), which worked especially well on the new legs, which match the color of the old legs almost exactly.  The oak didn’t stain match as well; I wish I had had some walnut long enough to make veneer out of, but I only had enough to make the legs.

The left section of the desk had a typewriter lift in it. It was neat, but we couldn’t find a reason to keep it.

I replaced it with just a static shelf cut out of the remaining portion of the desktop.  I can still re-attach the typewriter lift if we find a use for it.

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Beekeeping, Life, Maker, Woodworking

I’ve Got Bees!

Previously, I posted about about having hives. Not content to stop there, I have filled the hives with bees!

I bought three nucs from the Oregon Bee Store and moved them into my hives on a dreary Saturday.

(After taking this picture, I added another five empty frames to fill the rest of the space.)

The nucs were positively buzzing. The bees had built some burr comb on the side of the box and had already started filling it with nectar.

The store was out of entrance feeders, so I built three myself, using this Instructable. I used scrap poplar and the same aluminum flashing that I used for the hive lids.

(I’m experimenting with the bucket and some floating hardware cloth for providing water to the hives.)

A week later, during my first hive inspection, the bees had started drawing comb on the new frames I had installed and were bringing lots of yellow and orange pollen back to the hive.  Check out those bees’ knees! I think they are the bees’ knees.

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CNC, Maker, Woodworking

I Built a Custom Closet System

My daughter’s closet was just a 4′ x 5′ space with two hanging bars and a shelf, which was not an efficient use of the space. If I had taken a “before” picture of this project, you would be able to see that, but I didn’t take any pictures until I had ripped out the shelf and started installing the supports for the custom organization system, which you can see here:

I also didn’t take any pictures of the construction process, so you’ll have to trust me that it happened.

The finished system comprises seven separate cabinets: two sets of drawers, two corner units, and three shelving units with adjustable shelves.  Everything is made of melamine with edge banding, except for the drawer faces, which are poplar and plywood.

For the corner units, I made the shelves with a rounded inner edge, which I think is pretty snazzy.

If you think the empty closet looks good, you should see it full! And now you will!

The hanging rod on the right is adjustable, since it is attached to the bottom of the adjustable shelf.

This project took 58 hours of work over about three weeks (plus half an hour two months later to finally install the moulding).

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Maker, Woodworking

Turning Billy Bookcase into William Bookcase

Years ago, when we were young and poor, my wife and I bought a Billy Bookcase from Ikea. It looked like this:

Now that we are sophisticated wealthy adults, we wanted — no, needed — something classier. So, I painted Billy, gave him a face frame, and added moulding to the top and bottom. I made the moulding myself using a roundover bit, a cove bit, and some strategic tablesaw cuts. I also replaced the waxed cardboard that was acting as the back of the bookshelf with some lauan plywood.

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Christmas, CNC, Maker, Woodworking

Secret Santa 2018: Japan in Maple and Walnut

For my workplace Secret Santa gift exchange this Christmas (you know, the one that very recently took place), my recipient was a Japanese citizen who likes to hike, so I made him a 3-D topographic map of Japan out of maple and walnut.

The steps to build it were pretty simple, so I won’t caption all the photos, but basically, I glued up a walnut panel, carved Japan out of maple with my CNC router, and then magically conjoined them. Tada in Japanese!

 

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Maker, Woodworking

I Built a Bed That Is Also a Playhouse and a Slide and a Dresser and a Bookshelf

My five-year-old daughter saw my wife browsing Pinterest, and long story short, I ended up building this bed/playhouse/slide/dresser/bookcase for her room:

I planned it out in SketchUp. It’s an original design inspired by a number of beds online, and the slide is based on The Wood Whisperer’s bunk bed slide. (My SketchUp file is available here.)

The stairs have built-in drawers, so they double as a dresser.

The bottom three drawers don’t run the full depth of the stairs, so there’s space at the back for books and baskets.

There’s another bookshelf built into the space underneath the slide. One side is accessible from inside the playhouse…

…and the other side is accessible from under the slide.

The slide is made of melamine, the structural portion of the bed is poplar, and most everything else is MDF.  The cedar shingles were left over from my Infinity Wishing Well project.

From start to finish (although not including the time to design it), this project took 107 hours over two months — well worth it, considering my daughter will spend at least 3,000 hours using it every year.

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