Saturday, December 17, 2016

Closed for the Season-Happy Holidays-Already Bored and Trying to Knit a Sock

Hi Everyone,

I came home several days ago and found that my husband and oldest son had packed up the woodshop and cleaned it out. They also closed the shop down, which I hadn't planned on doing just yet. It's also colder than Mars here right now. The upshot of this is that the shop is closed for the season so  I'm going to defer my last two projects until next year when it warms up, if it ever does.

Last night I caught myself wishing I could go out and work on something so I perused the Internet and decided to try my hand at knitting socks. I used to knit quite a bit but haven't done it in several decades. I still remember how to do basic knitting so I thought I'd give it a try.

Here's the photo:

It doesn't look promising.

But it will keep me out of everyone's hair for the time being. I'll post again when I'm done.

In the meantime, I'd like to wish you all a very happy holiday season and all my hopes for a good New Year. And thanks again for dropping by the woodshop and being my partner in all the projects here on the SWW blog.

Take care,

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Scrap Wood project-completion photos

Hi Everyone,

The coffee shelf is finished. Here are the photos:

Today all that remained was to screw on the shelves and several hooks to hang coffee cups on. The bottom shelf was placed 4 inches above the bottom edge of the back so as to allow enough room for a cup to be hooked and unhooked easily.

The top shelf was placed 5 inches below the top edge of the back. And all I did was place two screws into each end threw the back of the unit:

Next I placed the hooks evenly across the bottom and screwed them in:

And here is the final photograph. It used up more scrap wood and it produced a usable set of shelves for bags of coffee and tins of loose tea.

Ok, this project is completed. In looking at it, I can see that it could be configured in a variety of ways to fit your needs. And if you made the shelves a little narrower, it would make a nice spice rack. 

I'm not sure what my next project will be at this point. I have some bookshelves to make for some young friends which I'll do off line and then if I have time, I'll construct a camp kitchen. 

So in the meantime, I'm feeding the local critters and going inside for some hot tea.

As always, thanks for dropping by and see you all soon,

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Recipe: Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

Hi Everyone,

Well it's a pleasant November day and while I am still working on the coffee shelf, I decided that it's also good cooking weather so time for a recipe for chocolate oatmeal cookies.

I got this recipe many years ago from someone I used to work with. I've made it a zillion times and it always turns out great. It's chocolaty and chewy and it really hits the spot with a cup of hot coffee.

Here's the recipe

Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

2 cups of sugar
1/2 cup cocoa
1 stick of margarine
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup of milk

Stir these ingredients together and cook until melted.
Cook for 3 minutes after the mixture boils (rolling boil).

Remove from the heat and add 1 tsp of vanilla and 2 cups of oatmeal (quick or old fashioned).
Stir well.

Drop by heaping tablespoon full on waxed paper and let cool. 

These are really good.

See you all tomorrow,

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Scrap Wood project, continued-applying the finish

Hi Everyone,

I went down to the shop today and started applying the polyurethane to the backing of the coffee shelf unit and the shelves and this is the color it is going to wind up being:

This color is composed of Minwax wood stain  Early American and Minwax Polyshades color pecan. Mixing the two adds a red undertone to the finish that I rather like. I used the pecan color on top of Minwax wood stain color honey for a coat hanger that I built about a month a go, and that came out really really nice.

There is a guide to mixing colors on the Minwax website and you can click here to see it.

In a day or two, after I've finished applying the polyurethan, I'll screw the shelves in place, screw on some metal hooks along the bottom of the unit and the project will be completed. I'll post completion photos then.

Stay tuned,

Saturday, October 29, 2016

I'm Famous

Hi Everyone,

A while back I was contacted by Better Homes and Gardens. One of their editors saw the SWW blog and like it, and they asked me to write about woodworking for their magazine Wood Magazine. Well, the article was published and you can find it in the current issue. It's about woodworking and generosity, a subject that everyone who works with their hands, regardless of the medium, should consider.

And as usual, here's a photo of the article:

As always, stay tuned,

Friday, October 28, 2016

Scrap Wood project, continued

Good Morning All,

Well, I've finished assembling all the parts for the coffee shelf project. Today I am going to begin applying the finish. Here are the photos:

Here are the parts of the coffee shelf-the backing and the two shelves. I made all of the parts out of pine:

First of all I'm going to apply a wood sealer to the wood. This seals the surface of the pine so the stain will absorb evening across the surface. It also allows the grain of the wood to show through. If I hadn't sealed the wood, the wood would have absorbed the stain unevenly and the grain of the wood would be obscured. Here I'm working on the backing board and I've sealed both the front and the back of the board and the edges as well:

This is what it looks like at present. I used Minwax wood sealer for this and I'm going to use Minwax stain and polyurethane for the rest of the finish. I like their products as they are simple to apply and I always get good results. Note: always used finishing products from the same manufacturer. Not all finishes are compatible with one another and you can wind up with a finish that won't dry. Then you have the unhappy experience of removing it and starting all over again. Meh:

And I also sealed the shelves. I am going to go and get a cup of coffee and let this absorb into the wood for about 15 minutes. When I come back I'll apply the stain:

Ok, I'm back. Here you can see the stain going on the backing. I used Early American wood stain for this as it results in a medium brown color. I think it will provide a good contrast to the coffee bags and coffee cups that I plan to display here. If it doesn't look very appealing I can always deepen the color by adding another layer of stain or I can also use a colored varnish over it to change the color. Or I can just use a clear polyurethane too:

Here are the shelves in the same color:

The last thing I did was stain a small piece of scrap lumber from this project. This allows me to experiment a bit before I do the final finishing. Another good reason to keep scrap lumber:

I'm going to leave all this to dry and tomorrow I'll do a little experimenting.

Just a reminder: if you live in a cold climate like I do, it's a good idea to begin moving wood glue, batteries, varnishes, etc, into a warmer part of your shop. Cold temps are not good for those kinds of products.

Ok, see you all tomorrow.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Scrap Wood Project, continued

Hi Everyone,
I'm back-I apologize for the delay in working on this project but I've been a bit under the weather. I'm much better now so it's back to work.

When last we met I was working on a coffee shelving project out of some of the scrap wood in my shop. I worked on it more this morning and here are some photos of where I am right now with it:

To recap: I made the back of this unit out of some ship lap pine left over from a previous project. I love this stuff. The tongue and grove edges make laminating this together a snap:

The bottom shelf

The unit is going to have a top and bottom shelf to hold coffee bags, hot chocolate containers, a coffee grinder, etc. The bottom shelf will be attached 4 inches away from the bottom edge. This will give me enough room to attach some hooks for coffee mugs:

To assemble the shelf-first I screwed a 2x4 block to each of the ends of the shelf with the cut face facing outward:

This is what it looks like assembled:

 Next I attached a 3/4" x 1 1/2" strip to the edge of the shelf with some glue and a screw on each end:

The top shelf
The top shelf will be attached 5 inches below the top of the unit:

And I assembled the top shelf in the same manner as the bottom shelf with a small rail attached to the 2x4 blocks:

Here you can see I attached the rail with a spot of glue and a finishing nail instead of a screw:

 And this is what it looks like assembled:

Here I've just placed the top shelf on top of the ship lap backing. It doesn't look like much now but it will look different when I've finished it:

I've brought all the glued up parts inside as it's getting cold outside and I want the glue to dry out completely. When that's done I'll attach the shelves to the backing and then seal and stain the wood.

Stay tuned

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Scrap Wood Projects, continued

Hi Everyone,

I've been busy since we last met, making some housewares that we need around here and using up the scrap wood monster, which lurks in all wood shops, in the process.

Here's what I've made thus far:

A stand for a large IPad out of some poplar shelving scrap:

A router shelf out of some scrap pine from the bed project:

And a wall rack for my never ending pile of bedside books:

And I am proud to say I've made a good sized dent in the wood pile.

Now that the holidays are coming up, I'm going to make a coffee bar out of some tongue and groove pine and a leftover 2x4 and some 1x4 pine as a present for someone special.

Here we go:

This is going to be a very simple rack for bags of coffee, the coffee grinder, and some coffee mugs out of scrap pine. I have an 8 foot long tongue and groove plank along with a 2x4 and some 1x4 common pine for this.

I made the backing for the rack out of the tongue and groove plank:

Here is a side shot of the tongue and groove. This feature is milled into the edges of pine boards and when the planks are assembled there are multiple grooves in the resulting rack backing. You can see how these fit together:

In this photo you can see the backing. I'm going to glue and clamp it together a little later on. The planks for the backing are 22" long. I've also cut the shelves for this. The top one will be 22" long and the bottom one was initially 22" long too but I will be cutting it a little shorter in the next couple of photographs:

I took another section of 1x4 pine, cut it 22 inches long and then ripped it into 2 1 3/4" wide strips:

I took one of the strips and cut off the corners and those will be glued down to the remaining 22" long strip. This will be attached to the bottom shelf:

I then cut the 2x4 into 2-3 1/2" blocks:

This is how I was going to assemble the bottom shelf initially but I changed my mind and decided to cut the bottom shelf down to 19" and fit it in between the 2x4 blocks. I think this will look a little better this way:

And this is what the bottom shelf will look like when it's assembled:

This is the underside of the bottom shelf:

I'm going to stop and eat some lunch. I'll be back a little later on.


Friday, August 19, 2016

Making the Bed-It's Done-Completion Photos

Hi Everyone,

Well the bed is finished and today was the day I moved it and assembled it for my young friend who needs it.

The bed is quite heavy so I disassembled it into the mattress frame, the headboard, and the footboard and then I enlisted my son Critter and good buddy Elary to help move it in their vehicles for the 5 minute drive to their place. Once there we got all the parts and the tools to re-assemble it upstairs into their apartment.

It took the 3 of us about an 1 1/2hrs to assemble it as the room it went into was small and cramped but we made it. We screwed the mattress framework into the metal 2x4 brackets and that was that. It was finished.

Here is the bed with the mattress, some nifty red sheets, and a new red comforter:

The leg in the photo belongs to Critter.

And with this, this bed project is completed. Many thanks to Elary, Critter, and Jim the Engineer in helping out with this project.

What's next: well, it's time to clean out and organize the wood shop as it's a gigantic mess right now. Once that's finished, I have a couple of Christmas projects to do and you'll get a front row seat in the wood shop as I tackle these two projects.

As always thanks for hanging around the woodshop with me. And remember, there's almost always something going on here at Selkie Wood Works. Just grab some coffee and put your feet up and away we go!


Monday, August 15, 2016

Making the Bed-framework finished

Hi Everyone,

Well, I've finished the mattress frame and this part of the bed went well. Here are the photos:

The first thing I did was to screw the facing boards onto the 2x4s:

Then I began cutting and installing the slats. I used 1x3 pine for this:

The end slats along with several more that I evenly placed along the 2x4 rails are doubly screwed into place. This is to make the frame very rigid and to keep the frame from scissoring when I disassemble the bed in a couple of days when it's time to move it:

Here is a photo of the slats that have double screws in them:

Now for the rest of the slats-the person I'm making this for only has a mattress-no box spring so there will need to be a lot of slats to ensure that the mattress stays in place and not have a "lumpy" feel to  it when it's laid on. The slat positions in the photo would be fine for a box spring but it's probably not enough for just a mattress so I added more slats to the frame (see next photo):

Here is the same section of the frame but with an additional slat. I did this for the entire frame:

And this is the completed framework. This might be overkill but I don't want the bed to be uncomfortable. This also helps to strengthen the framework:

And with this the construction of the bed is completed.

I'm going to eat some lunch and then go down and do a little more staining and then apply polyurethane to the bed. It will need several coats. When that's finished it will be time to take it apart and move it to the person who will be receiving it.

Stay tuned,


Friday, August 12, 2016

Making the Bed continued-Working on the Mattress Frame

Hi Everyone,

Well, I went and picked up some extra lumber that I forgot to purchase when I began the project:

Time to get to work-let's get started!

I decided to fit the frame to this bed exactly so it fits the foot and head boards and to minimize any movement in the corner joints. So the first thing I did was screw the two 2x4s in place (and helping out today is Jim Woodcock-I'm recovering from a rib injury and it would probably take me forever to finish this alone. And he's an engineer and can make stuff fit perfectly). These will be the basis of the frame and also give me a platform for putting the frame together.

Here's the photos:

The bed frame and indeed the entire structure needs to be square so we began by squaring the head and foot boards with the floor. For this a carpenter's square is required:

Next we checked to make sure the 2x4 rails were squared up to the head and foot boards:

Then I screwed the 2x4s in place-note the bed rocks a little from head to foot at this point:

And this is what the structure looks like:


Next, the plans call for a 1x6x75" pine board to placed over the long face of the 2x4 rail. This acts to hold the mattress in place and it will eventually be screwed to the legs of the foot and head boards to help stiffen the mattress frame joints. In the photograph you can see one of the 1x6s clamped in place:

Now the screws that I used to attach the 2x4 to the bracket protrude slightly and would push the end of the 1x6 away from the surface of the bracket so I'm going to drill a small hole through the 1x6. In order to get the placement of the hole correct, I clamped the board in place and gave it a whack with a mallet and created a small indentation which will allow me to drill the hole exactly:

To avoid tear out, we clamped the 1x6 to a piece of scrap lumber and I drilled the hole with 1/2" forstner bit:

And I got a nice clean hole:

And here is the board in place and ready to be screwed to the 2x4:

I'm going to stop for today and pick up with this tomorrow. I'll attach both face boards and then cut the slats and screw and glue them in place. At that point the construction will be finished and all that will be left is applying the finish and then disassembling it and transporting it to my young friend's home for assembly and finish photographs.

Stay tuned-almost finished,