02 Jun

Built-in Shelves Finished

Finished the built-in shelves a while ago but forgot to post a pic and details since last post on the process. [The trouble with digital media storage is that it is easy to forget what pictures you have on the card.]

I framed the exterior of the shelves with stained ¼” x 2″ poplar lumber purchased at Lowes. The stain was the same red hickory used on the mirror frame followed by sealing with satin polyurethane. Cutting the angles was a bit difficult but the obscurities of my college trig class finally came in handy.

The back-splash is an easy to use product from Improvements (#337192, $27)—aluminum metal wall tiles. They are advertised as “will not crack, chip, or stain” and easy to install. The later—I can confirm—installation was so simple!

Each box of tiles contains 48 4 x 4 tiles and double adhesive foam for affixing  the tiles. The tiles come in almond, aluminum, black, white, chrome or copper and in triangle shaped to spice up your design.

13 Dec

Camping in Style

Silver Tears CampersThis is not a terribly rustic way to go into the woods, but it is very cool. A craftsman in Roanoke, VA, came up with this  gorgeous teardrop pull-behind camper that is nostalgic and luxurious at the same time.

Take one look at this baby and you’ll see that this camper’s daddy was a furniture maker and designer. The form is the same as the classics of the 40’s but the exterior is mahogany and ash, giving a “woodie” persona. The interior appointments maintain the family character and make camping anything but roughin’ it. The base cost of one of these babies? Just $16,500.

Check out their web site at Silver Tears Campers.

30 Dec

Birdhouse Plan

Finally, I took the time to write down/draw the plan I used to make birdhouses that I posted here some time ago. I made another house from standard pine lumber leftovers and made this drawing. It is based on 3/4″ thick lumber, so you may have to adjust if you use something thicker or thinner. One thing absent from the drawing is a 6″ x 1 1/2″ piece of aluminum flashing that I nailed to the top of the roof to cover the gap between the sides of the roof.

I used pine this time, but I prefer using cedar or something more weather resistant. If you use pine, paint or stain it the exterior with a good exterior oil-based enamel or penetrating oil–preferably a penetrating oil. If you can use cedar, then no finish is necessary.

Unfortunately, I gave the birdhouse away as a gift before I remembered to take a picture of it. But it was similar to these.
Download birdhouse plan

03 Nov

Writhing Wood

Bruce, at Redwood Bench and Table Co. in Mitchell, Oregon sent me the coolest picture of twisted western juniper. I had never seen wood like this. I guess it grows this way. Bruce says he removes the bark with a pressure washer. That method appeals to me as my normal method is very low-tech—a  pocket knife and some elbow grease.

Western Juniper

Western Juniper

If you are interested in purchasing some of this writhing wood, I bet Bruce can fix you up. You can contact him at 541.462.3232. Check out their web site to see some really cool beds, lamps, and tables.

18 Dec

For the Birds

I think my muse has returned. Busyness is the enemy of creativity. After an extremely hectic summer and fall things have slowed down to where my mind wanders to making things. This week I saw a pile of wood scraps and a broken shutter as what they could become. So I made a birdhouse for a friend as a housewarming present. The roof is made of the shutter slats–which were the perfect size and shape for overlapping roofing. The sides are made from cedar siding scraps—this I like because it should help the birdies with their parasites. Bugs do not like cedar, nor does fungus. The shell adornment was a souvenir of a trip to the coast and the aluminum flashing used to seal the top was purchased from a home improvement store for a weather proofing project around the house. This was a pretty quick and easy project and it made a fine gift for my friend’s new home. I intend to make a couple more as gifts.

Green Birdhouse

Here is a second birdhouse I built as a gift. I am going to post a measured drawing here as well so you can knock one out at home. All you need is some wood, a saw, hammer, drill, and nails.