Friday, September 26, 2014

Time to draw up some kitchen cabinets

It is finally time in the kitchen remodel to build and install the upper kitchen cabinets. These cabinets will be taller than the cabinets that we removed to take up the unused space that was between the cabinets and the ceiling. But before we start making sawdust we need to figure out where we are in the master plan. So I'm sure everyone has been at the edge of their seats keeping up with this project as it's progressed or at the very least going back to catch up on the road this build is taking. But here is a snap shot of where we are in the Kitchen.
The tile flooring, laminate flooring and fridge surround are finished and the lower cabinets have been panted. I have decided to wait on the countertops till all the cabinets are finished. I will be building three upper cabinets. The first one will be a single width cabinet to the left of where the microwave will be above the stove. The second cabinet will be a shorter double cabinet that will sit right above the microwave. The third and final cabinet will also be a double width one and be the same height as the first.
Other than making the cabinets taller than the original one that were in the kitchen there won't really be any other differences, The carcasses will be made out of 3/4 inch plywood with hardwood face frames. Now since we are painting the cabinets I will be using pine plywood and pine for the face frames. 
I will be using my Kreg K5 pocket hole jig for both the face frames and cabinet carcasses. Once they are built, painted, and hung we can actually put most of our kitchen stuff away. Our kitchen has been in a disarray for 6 months now and I think both me and  my wife (probably more her than me) are ready for things to start getting back to normal. I will make a detailed drawing up of the cabinets and write up a post, take some pictures, and hopefully get some video of the build. In the mean time if you have some time please go over to my YouTube channel and subscribe. I would hate for anyone to miss the excitement. Thanks for taking the time to stop in and check up on me and I look forward till next time. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Woodshop Confessions and then some

So since I figured out that I really have way to much spare time on my hand (not really) I am going to try to add another thing to my plate. I posted a video on YouTube the other day under the title of Woodshop Confessions. This was the first of hopefully many upcoming videos. Please watch, give a big ol' thumbs up, and subscribe. 

As I mentioned in the video I'm not sure how often I will be able to post videos but I will try to get one out as often as I can. I am not even going to try and attempt a weekly build video or even a weekly anything video. As I have time and something to share I will get it out. Now as far as the content of the videos I am going to try and provide a wide spectrum of things from builds, projects, tool reviews, stories, successes, failures, laughs, tears ... well I think you get the point. 
Now as far as why I chose the name "Woodshop Confessions" was because I want this channel to just share whats going on in my shop. Not content created for YouTube but just me my thoughts  and whatever else is going or  not going on in the shop. Hopefully with that I can get feedback from you guys/gals on whats going on in your shops. I will never profess to be an "expert" or to know all the answers but I hope that I can pass on some of the methods I use and a couples lessons I have learned over time. Because of that point I try not to take myself to seriously and I hope you don't either. I will share both the "try" and "don't try" moments with you. With that I hope you find what I provide to be a little entertaining. But the most important thing I hope to accomplish with this channel is to in some small way to inspire you get out there and build or create something. It doesn't have to be even have to be woodworking either. I think that we as humans have something within us that drives us to work with our hands and be productive. In today's job market a lot of people don't get that feedback received from taking a chunk of wood and turning it into something that has some type of form or function. 
With that I have also added a page to  my website where I am posting the SketchUp files I create for my builds. Now these are not full woodworking plans but just the SketchUp file. These will be free of charge. I will be more than happy to answer any questions about them if you send me a message. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Woodworking in America 2014

I was able to drive up to Winston-Salem, NC today to stop by the Woodworking in America Convention at the Benton Convention Center. For those of you who don't know, Woodworking in America or as the crazy kids call it WIA, is a three day woodworking conference with classes and marketplace full of woodworking vendors. This event is put on every year at a different location by Popular Woodworking Magazine. Due to my work schedule and a slight shortage in excess dough (will explain a bit later), I decided just to make the two hour drive to walk around the vendor marketplace. I figured I could afford the $10 to get in the marketplace to drool over tools I couldn't afford.
It was really cool to be able to walk around and talk to the different vendors and even some of the tool makers. Now I'm not a complete power tool guy but I think we all know that I tend to gravitate a little towards them. I mean I do own a couple hand tools... well a set a chisels, two hand planes, and a few hand saws. But lets be honest, they collect more dust than they create. This place was hand tool heaven.
Now I'm not in anyway against hand tools, in fact I would really like to increase my skills with the tools of our woodworking forefathers. Its just I also enjoy being alive and well in 2014. The crazy thing about some of these hand tools is they cost as much as some power tools.
Now if one of you wonderful readers are feeling generous and would like to either donate a large sum of money or a complete collection of hand planes, chisels, and saws to me I wouldn't be upset. Now they did have some power tool vendors there but not as near as many as I thought there would be. Saw Stop was the only large power tool company there other than Bosch with their hand held power tools.
There was also a bunch of different woodworking accessory vendors present. Micro Jig was demoing their GRRRRRipper and Kreg had their new Foreman pocket hole machine up front.
Now there were several small classes and demonstrations available on the marketplace floor. The lumber yard where I purchase my wood from was there and gave a great class on how to select and purchase lumber from a mill. 
Now what I can't talk about is the line up of classes that Woodworking in America offers at this convention. One of these years I am going to sign up and attend the whole convention and take advantage of all the classes offered. This year just wasn't the year. One reason was the hefty registration fee. For the entire three days of classes registration runs $475.00 and for a single day of classes a mere $195.00. I am sure it is worth ever penny getting some instruction from some of the best woodworkers in the biz but I just couldn't justify the price or the time away from home right now. 
But even without these classes it was a great opportunity to walk around check out the tools and talk to other woodworkers. There was also several of the popular YouTube woodworkers there walking around mingling. It was kind of cool getting to meet and talk to some of them. All in all it was a good day and I was glad I got to check it out. We will have to wait and see where Woodworking in America 2015 will be... 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Always growing and improving!!!

So it's been said that I enjoy working on  improving my shop. But I'm sure that I speak for a great many men and women who have that place they call their creative space, that there is always room for improvement. For me that creative space is my garage... my shop. I am always analyzing my work flow and shop organization to make sure that it is optimum. Well optimum might be a moving target that changes from time to time. Well today my drills and its place in the shop seem to be the subject of my current improvements.

At one point in a shop setup from awhile back my single drill hung on a peg board on the wall with the charger on the workbench below it. This seemed to work and it was always handy. But then my shop started to grow and morph closer to what it is today.
With that growth I found myself the owner of not only one drill but two. This not only helped with my work flow but also gave me the chance to build a drill charging station. This small piece of shop furniture seemed to work great for quite awhile... well that is until I picked up a cordless hammer drill and an impact drill. Now with twice the drills I had storage space for I had to take action. So off to sketchup I went.
I quickly drew up a small cabinet that would hang on my french cleats with a dowel that would hold the drills and a shelf for batteries and drill bits. I had a good amount of scrap pieces of 3/4" pine plywood from previous projects so off to the shop to make some sawdust.
After a few hours I had a new home for my drills. The only issue was that the smaller drills weren't very stable balanced on the dowel and the back of the cabinet. By then next day I realized that this was going to cause issues and possibly damage my tools if they drop. Back to drawing board... or I guess to the computer to play around on SketchUp. 
This time it would be a simple cabinet with the lower shelf for the chargers, a middle shelf for the drills, and the top of the cabinet for drill bits and batteries. I made the dimensions just big enough to work without taking up any more of my limited wall space than needed. Now back to shop to slap it together. 
So now I have drill charging station 3.0 which is the fourth and probably not the final resting place of my drills. I did however decide that I wouldn't apply any finish till I made sure it was going to stick around for a little while. I think the same thing that drives us to build and create with our tools and shops also drives up to build and create for our shops and tools. The challenge is finding that balance between the two. 

You can now download the SketchUp file for the Drill Charging Station from