Thursday, May 19, 2016

Reclaimed Wood Trellis

Part 2 of the adirondack chair will have to wait as I don't have the paint yet (but I've sanded and primed it already).

In the meantime, we did do a little mini-project over the weekend that I thought I'd share.

We built this trellis from scratch, using some old broken fence boards. I ran them through the table saw and managed to get a few long 1"x1" strips of redwood. The outer face was really worn and the wood itself was splitting from age and sun damage/neglect. We had salvaged a few of them when we had to replace some of the fence earlier. I used a few of the boards as bottom shelves in the raised bench/boxes (in the background of this picture).

Anyway, it felt really good to find a way to salvage some more of the wood rather than just let it rot away. The whole thing took less than 30 minutes, and that includes digging out the board and setting up the saw, then cutting some to length and then attaching them to the fence. Hopefully that star jasmine will take off,. Fingers crossed!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Adirondack (Pt 1)

I tried making an adirondack chair about a year ago. It was a dismal failure, but I vowed I'd try again.

I found some plans for a much sturdier chair online and set about making it in the new shedshop.

This one is made from basic 2x4s and 1x4s and doesn't require special tools or anything. Here it is, sans armrests:

It is very sturdy and taking my time with the cuts has really paid off. I decided to use the router on some of the rough edges.

Next up: prime and paint...

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Making... Miter Saw Station

It's been a few weeks since we installed the shed, and I've been busy!

First things first, I wanted a miter saw station. I've noticed that my better work comes when I can really see the cuts I'm making and lately I've been making most of my cuts on the ground. That's been leading to sloppy measurements/cuts.

So I looked at a lot of pictures of miter saw stations, benches, etc. And I watched quite a few videos. One idea is to make a small rolling cabinet with "wings" that fold up on the right and left sides to support the work piece. Mount the saw on top of that and you can roll it out of the way when you're not using it.

And I very nearly went with something like that. But in the end, I decided to make an 8 foot bench with a spot for the saw and lots of storage underneath. The bonus is that I can use it as a regular old bench too.

Here's what it looks like:

It's on wheels so I can move it around.

I'm very happy with how it came out, considering that I designed it to fit in the space I have and to use standard materials. It's difficult for me to haul around full sheets of plywood so I just bought quarter sheets and designed the structure around that. I put a 1/4" sheet of melamine on top since I had it sitting in the garage for 5 years.

One issue is that while the shelf for the saw can be moved up/down if necessary, it can't be widened without taking apart most of the right side of the bench. So, if I ever do need to get another saw, I may run into issues.

I'm happy to say that I've used it quite a bit so far and it's worked just fine.

Next time? First project!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


Aaaand here we go:

I've already started moving in... I need to build some kind of combination bench/mitre saw/router table combination next. Can't wait!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Progress Around the Yard

No pictures this time, but this turned out to be quite a productive weekend.

After much discussion, we're leaning toward a 10x10 shed, rather than the 10x12. Why? Well, because the existing cement pad is 10 feed wide. If we go over that width, I have to move twice as much of the existing irrigation/sprinkler system. Keeping it to 10x10 means that I'm done with the lawn removal AND the irrigation changes. In other words, all I need to do now is put in the (much smaller) gravel pad and we're all set.

That means I'll go order the shed this week, if everything works out.

We also planted a ton of stuff. We had a large supply of expired partial packets of seeds, so we threw in lots and lots of seeds, hoping at least some would sprout. In addition, we bought a couple small plants (mostly peppers/etc.) and planted them as well.

We pulled about 25 pounds (no, really!) of weeds and now the front yard looks somewhat respectable again.

We have a "major" issue with the pavers on the side of our house, and fixing that will take a full weekend. We'll need to remove them all, then the sand below them. Then we'll need to fill in the voids below caused when the ground cracked due to the extreme drought. Then we'll put down some good landscape fabric (which should keep the weeds down and hopefully keep the sand in place) before putting it all back in again.

Oh, and while the pavers are out, we'll remove the jungle of weeds that managed to sprout up in all the new spaces between the pavers. It's in the hottest part of the yard, so I've been coming up with some ways to beat the heat and hopefully get the rest of the family to help. It would take me way too long to do it by myself.

And... that's it! Ordering the shed this week if I can swing by the place. Can't wait!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Goodbye Old Compost Bins

Ok, moving right along to the next project! I moved the old compost to its new home and then dismantled what was left of the old bins. That area had become infested with tree roots and the scrap lumber I used to put it all together had finally begun to rot.

I had these two old plastic/rubber compost sleeves that we bought at Home Depot about 10 years ago. I tried to give them away on Freecycle, but folks weren't biting. Not sure what I'll do with them.

I've scraped out a bit more lawn since then. Unfortunately, we have a lot of rain on the way, so I may not get any of the irrigation moved for a while (I really dislike digging in the mud).