Cutting Bottles

I prepped a few beer bottles today. Possibly for some man candles down the road. I'm definitely getting better at this. I still break a few but for the most part I get decent results.

I also use some diamond sanding pads to clean up the edges. Here's the stack I made today


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone! Enjoy the day! And make 2017 the best year yet!


Barnwood Builders

Its after hours and I'm still up watching some tv. Right now I have the DIY channel on, watching episodes of Barnwood Builders. Such a fun show! It's great to see old craftsmanship appreciated! I know that what I do in the garage is nothing like what they accomplish on the show but it is really fun to watch someone who appreciates wood working the way I do. Our forefathers definitely were creative and I am so glad that people out there are working to keep those skills alive by restoring old works of wood like barns and log cabins. It is impressive to watch.


I Got Orders!

My hobby of making stuff is making me money!

I like to create because it's fun. But people have been commenting and asking for custom pieces for themselves. We haven't settled on pricing , but I'm glad just to get some traction.  I need to get to work! Pictures to follow!

good night!


Thursday's Gone

So another day down, and this is a much needed day off. Off of work, and a break from projects. Although I am doing some writing and some research.

One of the main reasons for this is that I smashed my hand at work, got a good number of stitches and a little stiffness. Although at the time I said to hell with it, grabbed some superglue, poured a healthy dose into the gaping cut, held it shut with tape, put a glove on and kept on working.

Ten hours later I realized that this was only a temporary fix, even though I do love super glue.

The doctor did a fantastic job of sewing me back together after she scolded me for waiting so long to come in.

In that light, I don't want to over do it, and I will stay away from anything too rigorous for the next few days to keep the cut clean and my hand rested.

So after some household clean up, and some tool maintenance, I am just blogging and taking it easy.

Tool tip of the day: don't worry if you totally chip up your hand plane blade, it can be ground back to a nice straight edge and resharpened. As I had to do today, once I took a peak at the blade on my block plane. Chipped in about 4 places. But back to awesome with the right maintenance.

Alright folks, Thanks again for stopping in to check out the blog. Please take a minute to leave a comment on any post that you like, if you so please. Even though I am using the Blogger platform to host this blog, I do have the commenting feature set up for any user with or without a Google profile. It should be working. If it is not, please use the contact form to the right and let me know! I will fix it ASAP!

Also, feel free to leave your own links in the comments. If you have a blog or a Pinterest or a YouTube channel with projects and ideas that you want to share, POST IT!

Thanks again , and have a great night!


Pallet Chest

Here's my first attempt at a pallet project from months ago. I never posted it, but it didn't turn out too bad

Originally this was going to be a different piece all together. But like I said, live and learn. It was an early attempt and I did not know all the tricks to working with pallets that I do now.

Here's a few things I learned, in no particular order, based on this attempt.

Choose the wood carefully. Pallets are so irregular that you can't just mix and match without some forethought. 

Buy a hand plane. Or an electric planer. Sanding takes a long time. You can really get a lot of the preliminary work knocked out in a short period of time if you plane the boards first.

A mulitool is worth its weight in gold. Those weird cuts and unforseen details, well, something like a Fein, or a SonicCrafter will make quick work of the problem.

Decide early what kind of look you want. Pallet projects can be anything you want. Rustic to fine finished. It really depends on what you want, the wood you are using and your skill level.

Staining is not as easy as it looks. Figure out a stain and an application method before hand. Test on scrap wood. I brushed on the stain, then brushed on another stain over top. Then I sanded it back down because it was just too dark. The final look really isn't bad, but I was a definite beginner in the world of wood stain before this project. Looking back I would have chose a different stain, and rubbed on with a rag to really get the look. It would have saved me a lot of time.

So even though I am not happy with the overall project, it does serve the purpose without being too much of an eyesore. It hides toys in the play room as a make shift toy box. With the lid closed, the dark color of the chest tends to hide in the room so to speak. So all in all, it is a win. Just not the win I had in mind. 

This particular box is about three feet wide and almost 2 feet deep inside to give you a frame of reference. It took wood from about 4 pallets, mixed and matched.  And that ties in with the final lesson learned: Have many pallets on hand. You never know what you will need for sure until you need it!


Pallet Trunk Chest Update

Well like I mentioned, I am less than thrilled with the results of the top of the chest.  However I would be negligent if I did not at least show the project to this point. Keep in mind this is before any final sanding , filler and stain. Either way I'm pretty sure I will change it entirely before it's done. Here you go:

Sunday is A WASH!!

Today was a disappointing day for projects, but I am going to chalk it up as a learning lesson. Not everything is going to be perfect every time. And many times, it won't be.

I finished the trunk chest, minus the hinges and some stain work, stepped away, and I was just not happy. The lid piece which has given me so much grief just did not look right.

Now, it doesn't look bad, and possibly I could finish up the chest as it sits, call it a day, and see if someone on craigslist will want that piece.

But I am going to opt for a more labor intensive option. Rebuild the lid, using a different design and with some more time and care. Just to get something that I can feel good about.

I'm pretty bummed with the way this day turned out. I had a block of time, and rushed to make the most of it.

Well, haste does in fact make waste, as I was reminded today.


So not pictures to show. The project deserves to be done right and I will put in some time tomorrow to make it so. I just want to see it look proper.

With this failure, I also have lost the wind in my sails to do anything else tonight. I don't have the creative energy for much more. and I need to just brain dump this day, and begin anew tomorrow.

I'm pouring a Crown and coke, and calling it a night.

Saturday Update

Tonight was a tough one. Trying to get to work on the pallet trunk chest was just a non starter.

Not to say I didn't get some progress done. In fact, I did basically finish the chest, minus the final sanding and trim, and the stain. OH and the hardware for hinges and what not. So I guess the truth is, I finished the wood working portion. I just have to go clean it up.

I felt rushed, because I also put in a long day at work, came home, got the family settled and then headed out to the mancave, aka the garage, only to suffer from numerous interruptions. I hastily threw together the rest of the pieces needed on the chest, and began my final cuts. I broke one board after it was set. I cut too deep on another. All in all, I messed up.

So the challenge now is to do the true DIY thing and fix what I have in front of me.

The professional might scrap the project and rebuild it correctly. I think I can do enough sanding, carving and planing to hide the mistakes. So that's the route I am taking. Ill let you know how it comes out. Truthfully, I am not all mad. I used some really old pallet wood for the rest of it. But once I planed the boards down and scraped off the weathered outer layer of wood, the board underneath was something special. I think that alone will make up for the mistakes I made.

So that was tonight. I have my work cut out for me on my day off tomorrow. So expect some pictures soon. And you know what? The worst thing is not even that bad. Because I am learning all the time. The next project will come out even better. And the next. And you know I don't intend to stop making stuff.

On my way home from work I passed by some of the big box stores and drove my truck around back.  Filled my truck bed with new pallets to add to my stash. There are more projects in my future now. I have the material! I just need to make the time!

Now, on a not so great note: I did film two videos. Unboxing some new tools. But I currently don't have access to those because they are on my Ipad. And I am working off my computer at the moment.

However, I already began the editing in iMovie in order to put those two short videos together, and will be posting them on the blog soon.

So what else? I am just ranting, with no real objective in mind but to update on the project front.

I did use my new hand plane. It was not too bad. I'm still a fan of the bench plane, so keep that in mind if you are shopping for your first hand plane. Its not a bad size and shape for most beginner projects. And like I mentioned, once I ran the plane over some of those old boards, the beautiful wood underneath came through with the grains popping and the color shining. I am more than satisfied. Some good sanding will finish it up nice. All is well on that front.

Besides building my projects, which admittedly take much longer than they should, I have been writing. I have two other blogs that I am working on. Both of them I use the free platform from Blogger. I don't care if they get readers and I don't care if they get views. The real reason I have those pages up is for me to continue to work on ideas and work on my creativity. Like I told my son today. Do ONE idea each day. Doesn't matter if it sucks. Because You don't have to show anyone. But if you do one a day, eventually you will have that one great idea. And that could be your golden ticket.

It's akin to walking a hundred miles. It all starts with a step. Followed by another. Eventually you make it. But not without putting in the work first.

So like Malcom Gladwell said, ten thousand hours here we come!

I'm putting in the work. And at a minimum, I hope that by reading this blog you can be inspired to put that work in too.

Because you may have that great idea somewhere inside. That perfect project, or that masterpiece. But if you never start, we will never get to enjoy it.

So please keep creating!

I'm going to take a breather and finish tonight's drink: Sweetwater IPA. Not a bad beer for a Saturday!

Thanks for stopping by!


The Best Time To Write

Trying to maximize the creative potential of the mind is a challenge that I have not totally mastered.

I am fascinated by the work ethic of successful artists from all genres, because of the process by which they create. Through many podcasts, blogs and other media, I feel I've learned a few things.

For some of the ones I admire most I can see their process unfold through their art.

Doesn't matter if it's stand up comedy, music, or fine arts. What I can see and what I feel comes through their art is hours of work before the final product is on display.

They've spent hours writing or creating before we get to see the result. And I'm sure they have thrown out more work than they have finished.

It's part of what I found in my own efforts too. Not everything is perfect the first time around. But the real work is in the rough drafts of the project before the masterpiece is made.

This blog is not just a hobby or a venue to showcase my projects. I mean, yes, it is those things too. But it's also a medium for me to work on my own creativity by writing and forcing my mind to create.

So when is the best time to write? For me it's always been very very late at night. With some peace and quiet and my mind open.

What do you think is the best time for you to do creative work?


First Woodburning Attempt

I'm not totally happy with this but it was my first try. It is far from perfect but I'll keep practicing


December Update!

This is another slow week for my projects, because life happens. But that doesn't mean I want to neglect the blog.

We've finally entered into December, which is officially holiday season. I know Christmas kind of swallows up the other holidays with its commercialism but it certainly doesn't have to be.

Gift giving and holiday decorating doesn't mean spending lots of money. My take is that the best part of the holiday is the creativity. The special recipes, the crafts, the thoughtfulness that goes into the gifts we give.

So making something to give away should really carry more value than purchasing something expensive to give right?

So I want to take advantage of the next few weeks to put some work together to give away. Of course I'll be sharing it here on the blog. As always, I'd love to hear the feedback, and if you like it, please click one of the share buttons below!

So here is a short list of some of the stuff that I will be posting soon:

An unboxing video of my new wood burner

An unboxing video of a new handplane

The next phase in the pallet trunk chest

A new rustic variation of a pallet trunk

A video description of cleaning a pallet for using in projects,

And most likely many more!

I'm really behind on my beer reviews and I apologize! Today I'm on Gatorade and water thanks to the flu, but that won't last forever!

Thanks for stopping by!