Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Holiday gifts

Just a short post on a couple of things that were just darned fun to make.  I don't know how useful they'll be, but I loved how they looked!  So, lots of people on my gift list received one of these in one form or another.  (and I kept one for myself and I love it - I didn't think I'd use it, but I do.  In fact, I want one for work and for my bedroom, too - you haven't guessed what "it" is yet have you??)

And, before I show them to you, this is how they started out!  Slabs of cedar!  On my last trip to see logger daughter and SIL, logger SIL sent me home with a trunk load of cedar cut just for me!  The cedar would have made the car smell really good, but all it did was mask the awful smell of the oak that he also cut just for me!  I'm thankful for the oak, but all I can say is that is stinks to high heaven when it's wet!!  Thank goodness I had the cedar, too.

Love the live edge on this piece.  I don't know why it's called a live edge - the tree is dead.  

I don't have a planer, so I had to work with smaller pieces of wood.  And, in some cases I had to sand the heck out of the material to get a somewhat flat base.

Okay, here's what I made - ta da!
Do you know what they are???
Cell phone, tablet, Ipad stands!

This is just a teaser - I have to download/upload pictures for this gift.  Camper granddaughter's dad calls it the "walk in closet".

And, this was an experiment.  The knife block for Logger daughter and SIL.  He has some special knives that he uses when he's cutting his bucks.  He hides them so that they don't get put away with the other knives - says it will dull the blade!  So, I figured that he might like to have more space to store all the knives.  I used several blocks of cedar, ripped and "planed" on the table saw, joined with 1/4 inch hardwood pieces.
The front piece is just plain 4x4 fir - and even that was a bit big to get the angle right.  

 But, it works, and there is space for lots of knives!

And, that's what I did on my Christmas vacation!
I hope you did something  that brought you peace and pleasure.  

Put your feet up - there's plenty of room!

Happy New Year!  I had a wonderful holiday break from work.  Two entire weeks to do anything I wanted to do - I didn't do much, but I didn't do anything that I didn't want to do, either!

And, despite the fact that I'm struggling with tendinitis / tennis elbow, I did manage to work in the garage.  And just look at this monster - I'll tell you, the Docs don't seem to do anything small!

This table is based on a popular Pottery Barn model (see it here).  The PB model is much smaller and even though it's on sale right now, it still costs twice as much as this one.

The legs on this table were the most expensive part to purchase.  I ordered them on-line from Osborne Wood Products.  They have a great web site, and their service was exceptional.  I received email notifications from the time I ordered them until after I'd received them.  AND, they called to make sure that the finished product was received and was up to my standards! "Uh, yes, sure - What I know about quality materials would fit in a thimble, but, thank you very much for the call!"  When I finally opened the box, I was convinced that the quality is exceptional.  They're just pine, but oh boy, were they pretty!  You can see them here in their natural state.

So, the process was pretty straight forward.  
The table top is 48" x 48" (or as close as this measurement-impaired person could get it!) with a 1 1/2" overhang on each side.
Cut the aprons to size, join the legs to form the base, add the plywood bottom shelf.  So far, so good!

Then, I built the top.  I used pocket holes and glue to join the 2x6 material 
(I trimmed the sides of the 2x6's so some of the rounded edge was removed - made for a tighter fit.)
Then, because maybe one day a little doc might be climbing all over this table I added some additional support down the middle of the large expanse.  Later, I added support under where the "breadboard" ends met the boards joined for the top.  But, you can't see that support here.  

Again, so far, so good. (Really, just okay, but the Docs will be reading this and I'd rather not go into what I had to do to make this work - they may never notice!)

 So, it's together and ready to stain.  I followed the directions found on Ana-White and Shanty-2-Chic for the finish they were hoping for.  I used the same color stain and everything - but it was looking really dark. Uh-oh.

And, when I asked the docs, they agreed - it was much darker than the picture we were working from.
Could I get it down a "notch or two"??  Huh, mom, huh??  
I tried.  No luck.  So, I suggested that we try the same type of finish as the dining room table, and they both agreed.  They liked that finish, after all, so why not?  This would be a bit different because the base stain color was darker.  I just followed the same steps:  Conditioner, stain with Dark Walnut, stain with Weathered oak, paint (rag on, wipe off), stain with a mixture of Special Walnut and Weathered Oak, polyurethane

Dark Walnut applied and sanded


Weathered oak applied and sanded.


White washed and sanded

Stained with Special Walnut and Weathered oak combined, and sanded.

1st coat of polyurethane applied and sanded.

Ready for pick up!
Let's look at this again - just 'cause I'm so happy they like it!

I just love all the texture and divets in the wood and the variation in the stain.  They might need to be careful where they set their cups, but, it's really pretty straight and flat - I think it'll be okay.
Who knew you could turn out solid furniture with plain old 2x fir material
(and some really pretty legs!)??