Friday, January 13, 2017

It's raining cats and dogs!

It has been raining for days. Here in Southern California rain is such an oddity that we don't quite know what to do, do we?  
I can't get motivated to work in the cold!  But, I did get out to the garage to make this special gift for my good friend who is a cat person!  I am not a cat person, and I am allergic to them, but I do tolerate her cats.  However, I think they've made it their life goal to make me love them because in a room full of people they always come rubbing their furry bodies up against me.  Ughhh...

I found the poster (on sale at Hobby Lobby) and I made a simple pine frame (from scraps), glued it all together with the poster inserted in the dado, then realized I should have stained or painted the frame before I put it all together!  I get in such a hurry to finish things!  So, I scrounged and found some gold leaf cream and silver rub-n-buff and just rubbed that on the different parts of the frame.  

I love how it turned out!  She liked it, too - now she just has to figure out where to hang it!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cleaning up loose ends - or in my case, odd pieces!

I'm not a super clean freak, but I do like things to have a place and for them to be in their place!  That hasn't been the case in my garage in quite a while!  I cleaned up a bit before the cruise I took in December, but since then I've just pushed things around and out of my way.  I figured it was time I started putting things in order, but before I can do that I need to finish up some things I started and I need to start doing something with things I've been stockpiling!

Here're a few of the things I need to finish up or get started and finish.

First up a "New to me" dining room table.  This was given to me by my brother-in-law.  It had belonged to his now-deceased mother.  He did not want it and didn't want to try to sell it.  I did put a brief sales ad in a couple of local FB group pages, without any luck.  This was a really expensive, well built piece of furniture and I really wanted it to go to someone who could use it.  It was a bit timeworn, but nothing that you couldn't live with.  After having it sit in my garage, and having to work around it, for more than a month, I figured I might as well see if I could use it.  Now, I have a beautiful table, and I love it.  However, it's about 42" round and when opened with a leaf, it is only about 60" long.  When I have big family dinners we are quite a bit cramped around my table.  This table, without leaves, is about the size of my table with leaf.  When the two 20" leaves are added to this table it grows to 102"  -  and there are 6 matching chairs.  (They aren't my style, but they hold people!)  Since I decided to keep this table I thought I'd just do a "quick" sanding and add a new sealer.  It turned out to be not so quick a job!  I ended up sanding the top - just the top - down to bare wood.  I stained it with a Minwax stain that was a very close match to the stain on the legs.  Then, I put 7 coats of polyurethane on the top.  If I'm going to use this table, I want to leave it uncovered and not worry too much about spills and dings.

This project also involved testing and completing a survey on a new painter's tape.  I had to take pictures and send in my comments.  In exchange I got a couple of rolls of the tape.  This might be one of the surveys that actually pay me about $10.  I can't remember!!

Anyway, the table's done now and in my dining room.  That involved selling a glass-topped table I've had for about 15 years.  I was a bit nostalgic as it was loaded into the truck of the new owners!  And, then I moved my own dining room table into my kitchen area to take the place of the glass topped table.  I get to keep the table I love and the new table that I really like.

 Table with the tape - survey pics complete!

 Table stained, finished, and with both leaves (I did end up lightly sanding and sealing the leaves with two coats of poly - I won't use those on a daily basis and figured that would be good enough!)

 Glass topped table that is now in a home with 4 year old twin girls - the new owner wasn't even worried about the stains on the seat cushions!

The new table in my dining room.  

New table in use - 8 of us with room for up to 4 more!  

Another challenge:

 Hmmm, what could it be??  Well, I'm hoping it will look like an old, rustic corbel.

Not looking all that old and rustic yet, but I think it might.  My bandsaw gave out on me while I was cutting this piece.  New belts are ordered and on their way!  Hopefully, that's the only problem.

When completed, it will look something like this.  Not as tall though.  If this works out I'll go buy the size material I need to make one of these big guys!

In progress:

I was given three old chairs.  I loved the worn finish but soon discovered that parts of the chairs were not made of solid wood.  The pieces that were veneered were separating and falling apart.  The finish was just dried up and dirty.  They needed a lot of work and I wasn't sure what I'd do with them when I finished.  So, I cut the two arm chairs up!  you can see the armless chair in the back of this first picture.  I scraped off all the peeling veneer and sanded as much of it as I could get to.  Then I joined the two chairs - with a dowel at the top, blocks in two places in the back and the center front legs were screwed together.  I used pine boards for the seat of the new bench.  Once put together I used some almost empty cans of Rustoleum paint and covered it.  Final coat will be Rustoleum Hammered finished in black.  With a cushion or pillows I think it will be really pretty in an entry or on a front porch.  I'll finish the armless chair the same, and will put this set up for sale, too.  

 Glued and nailed together and adding pine boards for the seat.

It needs a light sanding and another couple of coats of paint - and it will be finished!  

Filling an order

This is a serving board - well, it will be.  This needs handles to be complete.  I've sold lots of these and last week got an order for two more.  They make great gifts!  It's about 22" long and 11" wide, stained, sealed, and with a chalkboard center.  I call it a "cheese" server.  You can put different kinds of cheese on it and, with chalk or a chalk pen, write the name of the cheese.  It really ups your style when serving cheese!  It also has a keyhole routed into the back so it can be hung when not in use.  These go for $22

For fun - and functionality!

For some reason, I have a ton of wine corks (Really, I don't know how this happened!)  A small cork trivet from my granddaughter gave me the idea for a large trivet to use on my tables when serving hot foods.  She used a glue gun to hold her corks together and that ended up not working well.  So, this trivet has a 1/4" based to which the corks are positioned with a glue gun.  Then, it's flipped over and I attach the corks with a nail gun.  When they were all attached, I covered the base with felt.  I think these will hold together and I like the idea of getting rid of the evidence!

Next up:

I'm going to be making a huge, rustic modern dining table.  I've followed a wonderfully talented woodworker (Jen Woodhouse - for quite some time and she happened to mention that she had more plans than she could build.  I offered to build something from her plans.  
If you know of anyone in the market for a very large (84" x ~45") , chunky looking table finished in probably a rustic gray/brown finish, let me know!  I think it will be beautiful.  

Possible new project:

One of my old coworkers at CPP is interested in adding a banquette to their kitchen.  Something like in the picture below.  I'll be meeting with them this week to talk about plans and decide if both of us want to move forward with this.  Could be an interesting build, and I think they would really enjoy this pretty, space-saving build.  

So, once these things are all complete, I may just get to organizing my shop!  
How about you - what organizational plans do you have going on?