Hardwood Wine Bottle & Glass Holder

 

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My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

I'm slowly moving into doing finer woodworking / crafting. It means more precision, more attention to detail, and using tools I am still a beginner with. It means going slower in the process, but creating something I'm proud of. My mom wanted me to make her a few wine bottle / wine glass holders as future Christmas gifts. I saw it as a fun opportunity to work with lots of hardwood species!

MATERIALS

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Use any material you want. I wanted variety, and I knew what tools I had on hang, so I went with five different species for my build. I had Ipe and Walnut scraps, and I purchased Maple, Mahogany, and Poplar. All wood is about 4/4 stock in thickness and 2 feet in length. 

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I didn't have a huge amount of methodology to how I ripped my strips, other than that no piece would be wider than 2" and no thinner than 1/4", and I would try to mix up the variety as much as possible. 

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Once you have all your strips cut and the surfaces are clean for gluing (should be fine coming off the table saw), mix them up how you want to and get ready for the glue up.

Nothing special here. I applied enough glue to spread out and cover all of my surfaces. Keep it flat as you clamp up, and let it dry overnight. I used an old card to spread my glue, and I do my glue ups on top of a flat piece of plywood covered in masking tape to avoid any sticking.

After your glue up dries, you can run it through the planer a few times to clean up all of your surfaces. I tried to keep the final thickness at least 1/2", but that will be based on your starting material size. Next, I cleaned up one edge of the large blank and I ripped my blank into four pieces, all 4.5" wide. 

I marked out a center hole and two holes on each end that would accept a wine bottle and wine glasses, respectively. The center of the two outside holes were 1.25" in from the outsides, and I used a 7/8" forstner bit to drill those holes. Make sure you secure your piece firmly to your surface with a clamp.

I then drilled the center hole with a 1.125" forstner bit. Once all of my holes were drilled, I use my miter saw to make two cuts, creating alternating grooves to the two wine glass holes. Pretty straight forward, just make sure you're piece is secured and you take the cuts slow. You can see in the last picture how those grooves come together. 

NOTE - If you plan to route your edges, make sure that you cut these slits wide enough so that your router bit and bearing can travel through it cleanly.

You can make these any shape you want. Pic 1 shows me using some scrap edge banding and tape to create a smooth line to cut later. Pic 2 shows me using a circle to create rounded edges. I then roughed everything out on my super awful band saw that I need to replace (Pic 3).

I then switched to my stationary belt sander in Pics 4-6 and smoothed over all of the edges, corners, and surfaces using 80 grit on the sanding disc and 120 grit on the belt. I also used new discs and belts for this - something I learned makes the world of a difference for just a few bucks!

I used a 1/4" round over bit and my palm router (Pic 1) to break all of the edges. Pic 2 shows all the edges routed and the two shapes I created from my blanks in the previous step. I then did some final belt sanding of the rounded edges (Pic 3) and some wet and dry hand sanding (Pic 4) to finish these guys off.

I cleaned my surfaces with mineral spirits and then applied thick coats of mineral oil to all the surfaces to finish them off and bring out all of the colors. They looked beautiful!

Pic 1 shows the final wine bottle / wine glass holder (or at least one version), and Pic 2 shows how it functions!

Perfect for any date night or table / kitchen counter!

TOOLS

FILM / AUDIO EQUIPMENT

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers! Zach

 

 

Concrete Charcuterie Board with Live Edge Inlay

 

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My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

This project is pure experimentation - I wasn't sure how it'd come out.

Spoiler - it was a decent success. It was my second concrete project ever, and it was a step forward in advancing my maker skill set. I guess you could chalk it up to wanting to try mixing resources with the fact that I already had most of the materials on hand.

MATERIALS
Quikrete 5000 (~1/5th of a bag) - I also recommend Quikrete Countertop Mix
Melamine (for molding)
Scrap MDF (for Log Planer sled - not necessary if you have a band saw!)
Black Silicone Sealant: http://amzn.to/2zEOLHG
Minwax Fast Drying Spray On Poly: http://amzn.to/2heLF1z
Paste Wax (Any type)
Mineral Spirits (Any type)
Screws
Masking Tape: http://amzn.to/2pygofL
Container for Mixing Concrete (Use a big bucket!)

TOOLS
RIDGID 13” Thickness Planer: http://amzn.to/2u7YrmK
RYOBI Circular Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
RYOBI Power Drill: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn with Drill Bits
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1klHw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand: http://amzn.to/2p1072e
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander: http://amzn.to/2q1Cq8k
RYOBI Glue Gun: http://amzn.to/2uLJt7V
Silcone Caulking Gun
Cake Fondant: http://amzn.to/2haxI4R
Any tools to vibrate the concrete: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
BESSEY Clamps: http://amzn.to/2oIJGVy
Hand Sanding Sponges: http://amzn.to/2oHa6pP
Level (24”): http://amzn.to/2phF3Cj
12” Speed Square: http://amzn.to/2phZUIt

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT:
Canon Rebel EOS T2i: http://amzn.to/2pwwlDI
Main Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM Lens: http://amzn.to/2zt0jKR
Secondary Lens: Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens:http://amzn.to/2pwmuhi
USCAMEL Tripod: http://amzn.to/2hbbVdg
Studio Lighting Equipment: http://amzn.to/2rtrkg0
Rode Microphone: http://amzn.to/2oIExg3
Blue Snowball Mic (VO Recording): http://amzn.to/2hd92sF

I found this old piece of firewood (Alder?) that was many years old and very dry and destined to be burned (Pics 1-2). I couldn't let that happen. Time for a fun live edge project (a first for me).

I used some scrap MDF and some wood screws to work up the simplest sled possible so that I could feed the log through my planer to start flattening (Pics 3-4). This was by no means the most efficient way to do this, but I don't have a band saw to mill lumber so this was my best option. Other options would be to just buy a small live edge slab, use a table saw jig of some type, or use a band saw if you have access to one.

I made many passes through my planer with the log in one position (I'd say 25-30) in Pic 1 to get to a nice clean flat surface in Pic 2. Then, I could flip the log over and over again, making incremental passes (Pic 3) until I was happy with the thickness of the piece, which was roughly half an inch. I wanted both sides to be very clean so I could later pick which side I liked best to be featured. Then I squared up both sides carefully (Pic 4) on the miter saw and was left with a perfect small live edge slab.

I wet and dry sanded down my piece up to 220 grit (Pic 1) and then applied a few coats of fast drying spray on Poly to my log (Pics 2-3) and sanded down to a smooth final surface. This was to water proof the slab so it wouldn't be damaged against the wet concrete. It is food safe once it dries.

Next, I pre-drilled (Pic 4) six holes, then inserted a few small screws (Pic 5), leaving me with a log that had screws in it Pic 6. These screws would serve the purpose of anchoring the log into the concrete so it was secured once the concrete cured.

I had scrap pieces of walnut from a previous build that I wanted to use as the legs (Pic 1). I routed a chamfer on the edge (Pic 2), which wasn't very clean, so I cleaned it up on the belt sander (Pic 3). Easy enough.

I then cut my pieces to length in Pic 4, a length that was based on the overall size of my molding. It is purely subjective to how you do this step. I cleaned up the sides in Pic 5 on the disk sander to create perfectly even lengths, and then applied the same poly sealant like I did to the live edge slab in Pic 6.

I then did the same anchor screw method in Pics 7-8, leaving me with two ready-legs in Pic 9. I think they look pretty cool!

Using the final size of my live edge slab (totally unique to your situation), I then cut a base and four sides for the base out of melamine to fit the slab (Pics 1-2).

Then, using hot glue (Pic 3), I built the molding. You can use screws here if you want to reuse the mold, but i find hot glue to be quicker, just as secure, and I didn't plan to reuse the mold.

Once you build your mold, take paste wax (any brand) and spread it around all of the corners of your mold (Pics 1). Then, using a caulk gun, spread black silicone sealant around all of the edges and corners of your mold (Pic 2). Using a simple cake fondant tool (Pic 3 - link to this product in Step 2), you can run the small circular end over all of your edges leaving you with really nice, rounded edges (Pic 4).

Once the sealant cures after about 30 min, you can go back and peal off all of the excess that it created (Pic 5). You are able to do this very easily due to the paste wax you spread out earlier. Once you've pulled off all the excess, go back with mineral spirits (I had a small amount in a water bottle - Pic 6) and wipe off all excess paste and clean up the mold.

Now you're ready to cast!

I used my Speed Square (Pic 1) to measure 1.25" from the bottom to serve as an indicator of how high I should pour my concrete (again, totally subjective to your own build). I also checked to make sure the ground I was working on was level (Pic 2). It wasn't, so I later shimmed my mold.

Off camera, I also covered the TOP of my slab in painters tape. That way, the concrete couldn't get on the mold incase some got underneath (Pic 3). I also gathered all my materials to cash. I mixed Quikrete 500, water, and stirred up the mix in an hold laundry detergent container (Pics 4-5) and then poured in my mold (Pic 6).

OPTIONAL  Tape down your slab to the bottom of the mold using double sided tape.

TIP 1  Use a large bucket to mix concrete all at once - I had to do this 4 times to fill my mold entirely - and I know for a fact that each pour had different consistencies in the concrete.

TIP 2  If you're looking for a very fine concrete, you should look to get Quikrete Countertop mix or use a sifter to filter out the larger rocks of the mix. I wish I had done this, but it was a learning experience nonetheless.

Once I poured my mold, I shook the mold back and forth quickly to spread things out and used a tool to vibrate the bubbles (Pic 1) - you can use anything you have for this - a sander, a multi tool, etc.

Having checked before that the ground was not level, I knew to shim up my mold 1/8" on one side to keep it level (Pic 2).

I worked up a little contraption in Pic 3 that allowed me to suspend my two legs into the concrete while it cured. Just scrap wood and hot glue - and I was very careful to check that everything was even and square. I had put in a lot of work at this point - no need to mess up now! I checked for evenness in Pic 4.

PRO TIP   Your molding tops might not be level - MINE WERE NOT. You can see in Pic 4 how the right side has two pieces of foam to prop up the contraption. If your molding is not even like mine, your legs will not sit level in the mold and will cure at a slope, So check for this levelness ahead of time.

I let the concrete cure for a full two days.

Once it did, it was rather easy to break apart the mold and pull the casting out of the concrete (Pic 1). I then pealed away the tape eagerly to reveal a very clean live edge top (Pic 2).

I realized after casting that I should have taped off the sides too, but was able to clean up the sides really easily with a chisel in Pic 3. I then used some wet sand paper at 220 grit to sand down all of the surfaces and edges in Pic 4. I took my sweet time with this. The concrete wasn't fully cured, but was perfect for sanding down.

You can see in the close up of the pictures that there were bubbles and other imperfections. Three things would help prevent this:

  • Better bubble vibration to get rid of air pockets
  • Using a finder concrete mix
  • Mixing concrete all at once in a big container

Here are various photos of the final product - both overall and in detail. Many ways to improve, and I intend to do so soon!

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

 

Woodworking Up-cycle of a Tea Kettle

 

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PLEASE SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YOUTUBE CHANNEL BY CLICKING HERE.

My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

I have a gooseneck tea kettle we use for making coffee-pour overs. It works great, but it is very basic. I felt like making it a little bit better (12% to be exact). Hope you enjoy this little fun project. I obviously made mine a bit more complicated by using multiple woods, etc, but you can do it quite easily with just a single piece.

I went all out on this one, using pretty much everything I had in my arsenal to make something so simple. I'm sure there are easier ways to do it (no planer, no band saw, no router), but I did it this way. I leave it to you to figure out the best method to up-cycle your equipment!

MATERIALS
Scrap Walnut and Maple woods
TiteBond II Wood Glue: http://amzn.to/2peRFus
Mineral Oil: http://amzn.to/2p1hu2N

TOOLS
RIDGID 13” Thickness Planer: http://amzn.to/2u7YrmK
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1klHw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand: http://amzn.to/2p1072e
RYOBI Power Drill: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander: http://amzn.to/2q1Cq8k
RYOBI Band Saw: http://amzn.to/2rYzJF8
BESSEY 2.5” x 12” Clamps: http://amzn.to/2oIJGVy
Digital Caliper: http://amzn.to/2p360xg
Vice Clamp: http://amzn.to/2q1GfKO
RYOBI Drill Bit Set: http://amzn.to/2oKKWXi
RYOBI Router Set: http://amzn.to/2pwx87Z
Hand Sanding Sponges: http://amzn.to/2oHa6pP

FILM / AUDIO EQUIPMENT
Canon Rebel EOS T2i: http://amzn.to/2pwwlDI
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens: http://amzn.to/2pwmuhi
H4N Zoom Mic (VO Recording): http://amzn.to/2uMeVWL
Studio Lighting Equipment: http://amzn.to/2rtrkg0

I removed the two components I'd be replacing using just a screwdriver (Picture 1). I then traced (Picture 2) both components and took super detailed measurements just to have on hand (Picture 3) using various measuring tools (digital caliper, tape measure, etc.). These measurements were helpful in planning my scrap material search.

I had walnut and maple laying around (Picture 1). My maple was not wide enough to match my walnut, so I glued up / laminated (Picture 2) and clamped up (Picture 3) to pieces to let dry overnight.

The next day, I planed down the walnut strip to about .25" (Pictures 4 - 5) and the maple strip to about .50" (Picture 6). This was all based on a design I had in mind. If you're not gluing up anything, etc. and it is just a solid piece, you'l want to have clean scraps that will fit the size of whatever you're replacing.

Also, note the snipe in Pic 6 - still working out the kinks on my new planer.

I cut my walnut piece in half (Picture 1), as well as trimmed off the ends that had imperfections (Picture 2). Note - I kept these scraps as I figured I'd use them to help replace the lid top. More on that later.

Next, I laid out my final design - you can see how the maple strip was planed to be thicker than the two walnut strips to help make this pattern (Picture 3).I then glued up and clamped up (Pictures 4 - 5) to let my pieces dry overnight. Make sure you spread your glue evenly so everything is covered.

I took my drawings from earlier and revised them to a shape I thought was cool (Picture 1), and then cut them out (Picture 2). I transferred the design to my blank (Picture 3), and then cut out the blank using my band saw (Picture 4). Picture 5 shows the first pass at roughing it out.

I cleaned up as many surfaces as I could using my stationary belt sander (Picture 1). There were quite a few areas I couldn't get into at this point. This was just to smooth out as many rough surfaces from the band saw blade as I could.

I then used my palm router and a vice clamp to route out a profile on the underside of the handle (Picture 2). I didn't know exactly how this would come out, but the goal was to make it more ergonomic to hold as well as help better highlight the different wood species.

I cleaned up the rest of the piece, including the curves, any burn marks, and overall just rounded and smoothed over the piece (Picture 3) using some fine grit sand paper (I did this both as a wet and dry sanding to raise the grain and eliminate that issue down the road when the tea kettle got wet).

Picture 4 shows the final piece - you can see how everything was smoothed over (as best I could) and routed to make it easier to hold. Not bad right?

Again - I had no idea what this should look like, so I just experimented until I was happy.

Pictures 1, 2, 3, and 4 show a sequence of me cutting out another small blank from left over glued up wood, drilling a pilot hole, inserting a screw, and putting that screw into my drill. My goal was to create a sanding lathe type thing using a drill and my stationary bench sander as I don't have a lathe to turn.

Pictures 5 show me spinning the drill at high speed against the moving belt sander, resulting in a (mostly) round top. I thought it was a bit clunky though (Picture 6).

In Pictures 7 - 8, I took the top back to the bench sander and just smoothed out what I felt was a cool geometric shape. No real design in mind, just flattened in a pyramid shape until I thought it looked cool!

I then took the original lid piece and screwed it to one of the scrap pieces of walnut (Picture 1) that I had from earlier (remember I said to save those just incase!).

I then crept up on the circular shape of that same top using the disc sander (Picture 2), and then flattened it out and gave it a bit of a taper (Picture 3) so that it would be flat, very low profile, and fit within the lid top of my tea kettle. Picture 4 shows the final two pieces. I then glued these pieces together and let them sit overnight.

Using my vice again and a small drill bit, I drilled a bunch of holes (Picture 1) to create the larger hole that the tea kettle would slip into (Picture 2). To make this easier, I'd drill small holes, then slowly increase the drill bit size so that they'd all slowly come together to form one large hole, testing the fit in the process. The goal was to make it fit, but make it very snug.

IMAGE 39.jpg

After all was finished, I used some food safe mineral oil to finish the wood, protect is slightly, and bring out the grain. It looked great!

Then, using the hardware from the lid, I installed the new top (Picture 1) - it looks..."okay".

Then, using just pressure and friction, I forced / hammered on the new handle (Picture 2 and 3). It fits very well and doesn't require any hardware. If, for whatever reason, I eventually need to secure it more, I think I'll just use some 5 minute epoxy.

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Thanks for reading!

The above gif shows the transition. Obviously this is a small and subtle overall change, but as a woodworker / maker with a desire to do a bit more "fine" woodworking, I thought that this would be a fun project to tackle in my free time, film in a macro sort of way, as well as share with the maker community for inspiration.

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers! 
Zach

 

DIY Wooden Hair Comb

 

Thanks for checking out the full article!
Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel by clicking here.

My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

 

I always have messy hair. So in this episode, I used some scrap pieces of wood I had to make a comb - it was a fun two day simple project and the result was pretty amazing. 

Shout out to Mike at ModernBuilds for providing the template (which I modified)

MATERIALS
Scrap Hardwoods (IPE, Maple, Mahogany)
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Cutting Board Mineral Oil
Spray Adhesive

Step one was to take my scraps and cut them to length - I cut them all about 12-15 inches depending on the available materials. 

I then cleaned up everything on my stationary belt sander which had a 120 grit belt on it - this would make gluing up much easier and cleaner. 

Once I had my strips, I could glue them up and let them cure overnight. And incase I botched the project the next day, I made a back up blank as well. 

The next day, I could plane it down to my desired thickness. I eye-balled this, but it was maybe 3/8" thick. You can see the two final blanks in the second photo. 

I then cut out and glue on the template to my blank using spray adhesive. I then modified it so my comb would have a handle. 

I then went to cut out my shape. I was super ambitious and thought a coping saw in a vice would be the best route, but I gave up after about 9 seconds of sawing and getting no where and went with my newly purchases (used) bandsaw. It worked great - just take your time with it!

I then went back to my stationary belt sander to round over all of the edges and tape the bristles. Take this slow but also be forceful at the same time. Using a rafter square to press all the bristles down at the same time makes it super easy to give you a nice taper using 120 grit paper. 

I then used a strip of 120 and 220 grit to individually round over all of my bristles on each side and then fine tune all of the outside curves. Was looking good!

Last up, I applied mineral oil to finish the project and bring out the grain and color. I'm sure there are other finishes, but this worked great for my case. 

Then I was done! I tested it out and it worked great and I'm super happy with the result!

TOOLS
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander
RYOBI Band Saw
Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer
Coping Saw
Vice Clamp
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps
Tape Measure
Hand Sanding Sponges (220 and 320 Grit)
Sand Paper (120, 220, 320)

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT: 
Canon Rebel EOS T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Studio Lighting Equipment
Rode Microphone
Voice Recording

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

 

Making Ovesized Concrete Hex Nut Succulent Planters

 

Full video of this amazingly fun and versatile project is below which can be found on my Youtube Channel.

 

The initial steps for this project can be done based on your access to tools.

There is the true maker method of making your own hex nut to mold which requires a few tools that you might not have, or the more simple (and frankly, cheaper and more accessible) way of just purchasing an oversized hex nut to mold and create castings from. I'll show you how to do both as I did in the above video, and will list out the materials I used as well below:

MATERIALS
Oversized Hex Nut (More information on that below)
Scrap Piece 2 x 6 for making your own hex nut
Smooth-On Liquid Rubber for Mold Making + Mixing Bowel
Quikrete 5000 (60lb bag) + WATER
Aquaphor (for greasing molding tray)
Tupperware Container (any size that fits your needs)

SUB---HEX-DRAWING_small.gif

Incase you've never drawn a hex nut, the above gif will show you how to make your own using only a compass and straight edge. A fun trick to know!

After you have designed your hex nut from the previous step, do the following:

Clamp your piece to a secured surface and drill a large hole using a forstner bit (Picture 1). I used the biggest Forstner bit I had, which was 2.125", but if you have something smaller, no big deal.

Next, carefully cut away all sides to your piece using your miter saw (Picture 2). Safety is priority here. Secure your piece to make your cuts as best you can and take it slow.

Last up, you can sand down your edges however you like. I used my stationary belt sander to get it more of a smoothed profile (Picture 3), leaving me with a final Hex Nut to cast (Picture 4). Now, I did not actually cast this one, but I am guessing it would be good to coat it in a non stick surface - maybe a Minwax Polycrylic or even just melted candle wax - so that it doesn't stick to the molding material due to the porous nature of wood.

I purchased this Hex Nut from a company called Grainger Industrial Supply. The dimensions are as such:

Height: 1 15/16"
Width: 3.375" (outside boarder)
Center Hole: 2.125"

and it cost me $18 total. Beyond using it for this project, I have used it mostly as a heavy paper weight to hold things down where a clamp doesn't work - it doesn't replace a clamp, but it does work well to a certain extent as it weighs about 3 pounds

For molding, I'm using a product called Smooth-On (Picture 1). It is a two part mixture that you mix at a 1:1 ratio and sets and hardens over about 6-8 hours.

Before molding, I rubbed my surfaces (Picture 2) with Aquaphor, hoping that it would make it easier to remove the molding after it hardened (spoiler - it did, but not as much as I thought).

I wasn't sure how much molding I'd need, so I started off by using half of the mixture in each container (Picture 3) and combining / mixing in a large bowl for 2 minutes (Picture 4).

I placed the hex nut down in the container, then poured my mixture (Picture 5). 
NOTE - I placed the metal hex nut facing UP in the container before pouring the molding; that way, once the mixture covered the nut and I removed it later on, there would be an opening at the bottom of the mold that I could then use to cast the concrete molding upside down, allowing it to have a bottom. More on that later.

I also vibrated the mold once I cast it to remove air bubbles (Picture 6).

Using pressure, finesse, and an X-Acto blade, careful remove the hex nut from the molding (Pictures 1-4).

Picture 5 shows how wonderful the molding came out!

Now, here is where it is important to cast your blank a certain way. Since we casted it facing up, we ended up with a molding that has a bottom to it. In Picture 6, I am using my X-Acto blade to remove about 1/8" of the center piece of the mold. That way, when you pour concrete in, there will be a ~1/8" space where concrete can fill the entirety of the mold in a single layer, creating a bottom to your planter. Without this, it will just be like your original metal blank.

I have never done this before, so this was trial and error. I'm using Quikrete 5000 for this project as it is about $5 for a 60lb back and was recommended from other videos I watched on the process.

In Pictures 1 - 3 I scoop out, add water, and mix the concrete till it has the consistency of pancake batter. Now, this might be trial and error for you. My advice, error on the side of less water. You really don't need as much as you think, and making it too soupy will result in weakened final moldings that break rather easily.

In Pictures 5 - 6, I pour in, push down, and vibrate out as many air bubbles as I can. As you can see in Picture 5, by cutting away that 1/8" layer in the previous step, the concrete will span the entirety of the hex mold shape and create a base layer to serve as the bottom of the molding.

Two things I want to discuss here.

First, in Picture 1, you can see a broken hex nut. This is for two reasons. One, I pulled my molding out way too early (about 12 hours). I recommend waiting (based on experience), at least 24 hours for the concrete to set and cure.

Second, as discussed in the previous step, my mix had too much water, and resulted in a weaker overall final product. I don't believe these would have ever held up regardless of how long I let them cure. To rectify this, I used a piece of chicken wire (you can really use any flexible metal like a paper clip) to create my own mini-rebar (Picture 2).

I then mixed up another batch of concrete, this time using much less water, and cast another mold, pouring about 1/3 of the mixture into the molding, adding the chicken wire (Picture 3), then pouring the rest and doing the whole "vibrate out the air bubbles" method again.

Like I said before, I let this one sit for much longer before trying to remove. About 36 hours to be exact.

Removing these from the molding was a little tricky. My advice, take it slow and hold it up to your ear when doing so. As you squeeze, pull, and flex the mold, you will hear the mold separate itself from the concrete, and slowly it will slip out. Takes about 2 minutes-ish once you get decent at it. Hex nut fresh from the molding is in Picture 1.

The bottoms / bottom corners were a bit rough, so I used some sand paper to hand sand down these edges (Picture 2) to give everything as clean of surfaces as I can. Concrete actually sands away pretty well. You can also use a stationary belt sander to do this if you fancy speeding it up - but I found it can be a little aggressive if you're not careful!

These work awesome as succulent holders, candle moldings (I did my first wax melting / custom candle making session), cool little book-ends, and probably 100 other neat things I haven't considered yet!

TOOLS For Making Your Own Hex Nut (If you have the tools...)
Compass
RYOBI Power Drill
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander
Forstner Bit (2.125”)

TOOLS for Molding / Finishing (Needed regardless)
Any tool that can vibrate (I used my RYOBI Multi-Tool)
X-Acto Blade (for trimming mold)
Cup / Mixing Apparatus for Concrete
Hand Sanding Sponges  

MY FILM / AUDIO EQUIPMENT
Canon Rebel EOS T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Studio Lighting Equipment
H4N Zoom (VO Recording)

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers! 
Zach

 

Industrial Hardware Shelves

 

THANKS FOR CHECKING OUT THE FULL ARTICLE!
I'D AlSO RECOMMEND YOU CHECK OUT MY YOUTUBE CHANNEL BY CLICKING HERE.

This was the second DIY Project I ever took on - nearly two years ago - it was low on the woodworking skill but high on the design / pre-planning skills. I wanted to share it here as I probably get the most compliments on these shelves in my apartment of anything I have built...which maybe means I built other things that were a lot less cool!

I saw a picture online (can't find that anymore) of shelves that I liked from Restoration Hardware - they were $300+. That's a big "hell no" for me. Time to build my own.

Quick tape layout for measurement. Shelves will be slightly smaller, but you get the idea.

Started off by taking a trip to Home Depot. I was working off of only one reference image I had found and with zero direction and very little building experience...I bought what I believed was exactly what I needed. I also spent a good 45 minutes in the galvanized pipe aisle testing out combinations, double checking which parts I bought...

Side Note - I can't believe I got everything in one trip from Home Depot.

Wood / Stain Materials
1 x 1" x 6" x 4' Whitewood (Cut into 2 x 15", 1 x 18")
Ash Woodstain
Toggle Bolt Screws (to mount to drywall)

Pipe Pieces (All 3/4" Galvanized)
6 x 0" (just to serve as connectors)
4 x 1"
4 x 3"
2 x 4"
2 x 7"
2 x 12"

Pipe Connectors
4 x Pipe Flanges
2 x Tips / Nipples
6 x Elbows
4 x T Pieces
5 x Pipe Connectors

Pipes Imgur PSD Diagram.jpg

Here is a grid of how everything comes together - I color coded pieces in the picture and below to help you map our and references things - all pipe pieces 3" and above are White.

Pipe Pieces (All 3/4" Galvanized)
6 x 0" (lime green)
4 x 1" (red)
4 x 3" (white)
2 x 4" (white)
2 x 7" (white)
2 x 12" (white)

Pipe Connectors
4 x Pipe Flanges (Green / Yellow)
2 x Tips / Nipples (Blue)
6 x Elbows (Teal)
4 x T Pieces (Magenta / Pink)
5 x Pipe Connectors (Orange0

You need to drill six total holes at 1" wide in order to connect everything. The best part about these pipes is you can always tighten them one extra turn incase the holes you drilled are slightly off - they tighten very well and are very sturdy.

Picture 1 is the pipe assembly of the middle section - I assembled my pieces beforehand as it was helpful in measuring out exactly where the holes needed drilling.

Picture 2 is me measuring out the two outside sections with the pipe pieces

Picture 3 shows the final drilled holes of each section.

Stain your wood whatever color(s) you want! I chose a darker ash color, but you could choose to paint, or add watery paint for hints of color and then stain - so many options! I did two coats with no pre-stain conditioner and it was all good!

I began assembling my various other pieces.

Picture 1 shows the two outside pieces (left side), and the middle piece (right side)

You can see how using the 0" pieces on the ends (Picture 2) allow you to then pass your pipes through the holes to connect things without using any glue or screws.

More Assembly. I took all of my assembled sections and inserted the wood via the holes I drilled.

Picture 1 shows the middle piece being inserted.

Picture 2 shows me combining the top outside piece to the middle one.

Picture 3 shows them fully assembled, including the pipe flange pieces I'd use to connect the piece to walls.

TOOLS
RYOBI Circular Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
RYOBI Power Drill: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
RYOBI Drill Bit Set: http://amzn.to/2oKKWXi
RYOBI Cordless Orbital Sander: http://amzn.to/2oICOaP
Tape Measure

If you want to know any materials, tools, or have any general questions answered, you can check out the second step or contact me via my website, thecuttingbored.com and I would be happy to do answer them.

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers! 
Zach

 

DIY Router Sled

 

THANKS FOR CHECKING OUT THE FULL ARTICLE! 

Full video build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools and measurements! You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here!

I have a 13" Ridgid thickness planer that is a tank. However, I can only plane up to that width, and it is unsafe to do anything end grain (in my personal opinion), so I have, for a long time, wanted to build my own jig. I chose to use MDF wood knowing that it was already very smooth, very easy to cut and rip into the right dimensions, and is quite cheap.

Also, I stand by this design - it worked incredibly well for me on my first go around and I cannot wait to use it again.

MATERIALS
2 x 2' x 4' Pieces of MDF Wood (1/2" thick)
1 5/8" Wood Screws

TOOLS
RYOBI Table Saw: http://amzn.to/2h6ZQc4
RYOBI Power Drill: http://amzn.to/2q1l5wn
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw: http://amzn.to/2q1klHw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand: http://amzn.to/2p1072e
RYOBI Plunge Router: http://amzn.to/2p15eiC
1” Dado Bit: http://amzn.to/2eR6tOO
RYOBI Drill Bit Set: http://amzn.to/2oKKWXi
BESSEY 2.5” x 12” Clamps: http://amzn.to/2oIJGVy

AUDIO / VISUAL EQUIPMENT
Canon Rebel EOS T2i: http://amzn.to/2pwwlDI
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens: http://amzn.to/2pwmuhi
Rode Microphone: http://amzn.to/2oIExg3
Studio Lighting Equipment: http://amzn.to/2rtrkg0
Adobe Premiere (Editorial): http://amzn.to/2oIXKhE

This is the full design of my build, which again, is a result of me wanting the ability to surface plane up to two feet wide. You end up with quite a bit of excess material. I purchased my MDF material at Orchard Supply Hardware in SoCal, where they sell it in 2' x 4' sections for $8 each.

From what I can tell, Home Depot, Lowes, and other big box retailers sell sheets of 4' x 8', so it might be slightly more expensive but you can use the large amount of excess to build additional jigs or just build a larger sled if you'd like!

Picture 1 shows the cuts needed for the sled base
Picture 2 shows the cuts needed for the sled.

My design leveraged the original size of my MDF. So, if you want to design the same one, then you don't need to make any cuts. High five yourself because you just saved yourself 3 minutes.

I cut two strips from the second piece of MDF all the way through at 2.5" wide. I chose this as it would translate to me being able to plane surfaces up to that thickness. I can always cut larger strips to make the sled higher if needed for very cheap.

Next, I measured the width of the base of my router plate - this will change based on what router you have. Mine was a little over 5.5". I went ahead and added 1/4" - 1/8" to that width, and then ripped down another strip of MDF from the same piece that would later become the floor of my sled and the outside guides.

Lastly, I ripped two more strips, 3 inches wide to serve as the walls of my sled. Given that the sled itself will be about 25" wide, you'll need to rip two strips as cutting one single strip and then cutting in half will not yield you enough material (48" / 2 = 24" < 25"). #Math

To begin the assembly, I clamped a single base wall to the edge of my large base piece, making sure everything was as flush and straight as can be (Pic 1), pre drilled holes for the screws (Pic 2), then screwed in and attached the sled base wall (Pic 3).

Picture 4 shows the final result. I then repeated for my other wall and was finished with the base

NOTE - You must pre drill with MDF as it'll split very easily otherwise.

The goal of the sled is to hang over the railings of your base by the same width as your material. My sled is 24" wide, so I measured out, using scrap pieces of MDF, the exact width of the bottom of my sled. This came out to be 25' (24" sled width + 2 x 1/2" material).

I then made the cuts (Pic 2) on my Miter Saw. I then measured our the sled sides to be the exact same with as the sled bottom (Pic 3) and cut to length (Pic 4). Then, using left over pieces from cutting my sled bottom (from Pic 2), I cut two pieces at 2" wide to serve as the guides for the sled against the walls (Pic 5). I also decided to add 45° angles to the sled walls (Pic 6), which has no function, I just thought it looked better aesthetically.

Picture 7 shows all of the final cuts (sled bottom, sled sides x 2, sled guides x 2)

Clamp our Sled Wall pieces to the outside of your sled bottom piece (Pic 1). Double check that your router will fit comfortably but still tightly in between.

Pre-drill holes (Pic 2) and screw in (Pic 3) your wood screws like you did with the sled base to assemble the sled. Repeat this process for the second wall on the other side.

Finally, clamp on your guides underneath the ends of the sled base (Pic 4), pre-drill holes again (Pic 5), and screw in screws (Pic 6) to attach the guide. Repeat this process for second guide on the other side.

Double check your sled fits and slides tightly but freely on your sled base. If you are careful with measurements and make clean cuts, this shouldn't be an issue at all!

Using your Plunge Router and a Dado Bit (Pic 1), plunge your router into your sled to begin routing a groove (Pic 2). Once you have made multiple passes and cut all of the way through, you should end up with a groove (Pic 3) that you can now pass your dado bit through and surface any piece of wood, etc. that you place under the sled.

NOTE - You have the freedom to route this hole as wide as you'd like, but be careful not to do it too wide as you'll hit your sled base walls. Also, because your router will have a bit of wiggle room, you'll want to make passes with your router base plate up against both walls so the hole is clean, consistent, and slightly larger than your actual dado bit width.

Below is the full video of me using it for the first time on a set of Walnut Butcher Block Bedside Tables I was making.

I am so thrilled with how well it works, and it will work for ANY type of wood material you put underneath, all you need to do is make sure the piece is secured and shimmed properly so that you begin with as flat and stable of a surface as you can (I held it with weights, but you can look into your own solutions that work for you!).

The best part is, between the tools you need for the sled, and the materials, it will still be about half (or less) the price of a standard thickness planer, which many people can't afford and will be limited by anyways.

If you want to know any materials, tools, or have any general questions answered, you can check out the second step or contact me via my website, thecuttingbored.com and I would be happy to do answer them.

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

I put out videos every few weeks.

Cheers! 
Zach

 

Modern Bedside Tables

 

Thanks for checking out the full article!
I'd alos recommend you check out MY Youtube Channel by clicking here.

My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

MATERIALS
1 x 9" x 10' of 5/4 Walnut (Specific to my 2 x 14" x 14" Tables)
TiteBond II Wood Glue
TBD OIL
MDF Wood (For Sled)
Wood Screws (For Sled)

As I explain in the video, I had my local hardwood dealer plane both surfaces of the lumber I purchased as well as joint one edge. This cost me $15 total - and it saved me from needing to have any of that larger equipment, which, at the time of building this, I did not have (and still don't have).

So, with my material prepped and ready, I could begin by cutting my pieces. I first measured and cut my material to 15" increments on the Miter Saw, which is easy when you set up a stop on the stand. I ended with 7 15" pieces and one that was about 12 inches that I used as back up but did not need. 

Butcher blocks are made up of many strips, so the next step was to set up a width I wanted to cut my strips to (I did 1.8") on the table saw, and repeat the same cut until you have enough pieces to make your project work.

Since my pieces were 5/4 stock that had been planed, they were just a hair over 1" thick. This meant I needed 14 pieces per night stand to get a 14" x 14" size. Again - this was bespoke to me but you get the principal. The last photo shows how I divided my 28 strips into two equal sets of 14 pieces.

Next, I marked random locations for cuts to be made. Butcher blocks look like they do because they are composed of many small strips glued up, but not in a uniform fashion. So, I just freehanded this (first photo) and then made a "V" on the pieces to be able to line them back up if needed. Then, I just made repeat cuts on my Miter Saw along all of the various lines I marked (Pic 3).

Last, I could then go back and flip random pieces over, rotate, etc. to help mix up the grain variety. This step is totally optional but I recommend it for cool aesthetics!

I put masking tape over a piece of scrap wood so that I could glue up my tables on top of it and not worry about the glue sticking to the wood. I'd never done this before but it works great and I'll do it moving forward!

I laid out the strips, rotated them 90°, applied a sufficient amount of glue to all pieces (just make sure all your surfaces are covered), spread it out evenly using a paint roller for the first time, and then clamped up with even pressure to let dry over night. I repeated this for the second table as well (obviously!)

NOTE - I did do my best to keep everything flat, but my plan to flatten these properly was to use a router sled, so I didn't bother with any caul's or other methods to keep totally flat. If you have any questions about that - just shoot me a note and I can explain.

I built my own router sled that allows me to surface plane pieces up to 23.5 inches wide using a dado bit and my plunge router. It cost me about $20 to make in materials and works so well I'm going to have a hard time communicating just how well it does work!

The router sled worked so well for me that I was able to do one pass at 120 grit on my orbital sander, followed by one pass of hand sanding at 220 grit to smooth it out and then take down the sharp edges slightly.

Last up, using masking tape and a straight edge with my circular saw, I squared but both sides of each of my tables. The masking tape is to avoid tear out.

I marked in 1.5 inches on all sides, and using my rafter square, made sure everything was squared up.

I then marked circles for all of my holes, and then pre drilled all of my pilot holes using a 3/32" bit and a piece of tape to help gauge my depth drilling (don't want to drill through on these!). Then, using the hardware provided, I attached each leg one by one.

I love using Danish Oil on pieces as it cures well, protects the wood, and gives you the ability to "touch" the grain as it soaks into the wood, not on it. I did two total coats (only one is shown here), and my god did these things look awesome once I did that!

This is one of those projects where the end result is so good, you can look back and track your progress that lead to you being able to create something so refined looking. From the clean cuts to the excellent glue up to just how flat and smooth these things are, I am very proud of my work and a bit jealous that I now have to give these away to my friend.

If you want to know any materials, tools, or have any general questions answered, you can check out the second step or contact me via my website, thecuttingbored.com and I would be happy to do answer them.

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects.

TOOLS
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
RYOBI Table Saw
RYOBI Plunge Router
1” Dado Bit
RYOBI Cordless Orbital Sander
RYOBI Power Drill
RYOBI Drill Bit Set
BESSEY H Style Pipe Clamps
ROCKLER SureFoot 36” Clamps
12” Rafter Square

See ya around!

Zach

 

Simple Floating Book Shelves

 

Thanks for checking out the full article! 

Full video build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools and measurements! You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here!

We have a gallery wall in our apartment, and my fiance wanted a set of floating shelves to put her books on. Simple and cheap project, many ways to do it, and a great final result for the average DIYer

MATERIALS
1 x 1" x 8" x 8' Whitewood
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Minwax Golden Oak
1” Brad Nails
Frog Tape
Angle Bracket Hardware (your choice!)

I built these shelves two ways, with different tools, to make it easier for the average DIYer. 

Method 1
Miter Saw + Table Saw

For the project, I'm just using a 1x8 piece (8 feet long), so I measured out 11.5 inch pieces and cut them to length on my miter saw, resulting in a set of four pieces (Pic 3). I then set my table saw blade to 45° and ran each piece through the saw to give each edge a clean mitered corner. 

The reason I didn't do this all on my miter saw is that it does not cut 100% straight, which is then amplified as I do miter/beveled cut. 

Method 2
Circular Saw + Straight edge

If you only have a circular saw, you can carefully mark / measure out your lines, set your saw blade to 45°, and cut then rotate and repeat the cut to give you the exact same piece. Take your time, be careful with your measurements, and it will be great!

I used the "masking tape" method to glue these up. However, given that it was about 107° out that day, the tape wouldn't stick to my material, and although it kind of worked, it didn't really. So, after lining up the pieces on the tape and applying glue, I folded them up, and then used brad nails to hold them in place. If I could go back, I'd just clamp all four sides and the joints would be clean, strong, and not require any nails. 

As such, I did use brad nails as it expedited my process as I had limited clamps at the time of the build. 

Once it dries, you're left with a sweet looking box, like this

IMAGE 14.jpg

Next up, I sanded down the edges of the boards using an orbital sander at 80 grit followed by hand sanding at 120 - no splinters!

Last up, I stained my shelves using Minwax's Summer Oak stain - no pre-conditioner or anything. This stain in particular soaks in well, and I'm always satisfied with the result. 

I'll be using the below hardware to hang my shelves. The hardware on the left is for mounting to drywall (anchor and screw), and the right is for attaching to the wall and the shelf. 

Then, I did the following to hang my shelves:

  • Place my shelf where I thought it would look good
  • Mark and measure out the spaces where your holes will go, using a level to make sure things...are level
  • Pre drill holes based on your screw size
  • Lightly hammer in your anchors
  • Drill in and attach your angle brackets
  • Mark the location of where your shelves will attach to the brackets
  • Pre drill holes for the screws
  • Hang up and hand screw in the screws

And then they were hung! And I put them to use!

Thanks for reading! I hope you're inspired to go build your own. Remember, you don't need much to make it happen!

TOOLS
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
RYOBI Table Saw
RYOBI Circular Saw
RYOBI Power Drill
RYOBI Cordless Orbital Sander (80 Grit)
12” Rafter Square
RYOBI Drill Bit Set
Level (24’)
Hammer
Hand Sanding Sponges (120 Grit)

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT: 
Canon Rebel EOS T2i:  
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Rode Microphone
Voice Recording
Adobe Premiere (Editorial)

LIGHTING
Studio Lighting Equipment

 I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my new Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every two weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

 

 

Double Barn Doors

 

Thanks for checking out the full article! Please Subscribe to our Youtube Channel by clicking here.

My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

My friend knew I liked to build, film, blog, and share. He wanted two barn doors, so I was off to create my first project. He gave me all of the important measurements (door height, hardware he ordered, style references for doors, and color preferences). 

MATERIALS
10 x 2" x 8" x 8' Douglas Fir (Kiln Dried)
2 x 2" x 4" x 8' Douglas Fir (Kiln Dried)
75 x 1/2" Wooden Dowels
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Frog Tape
Minwax Classic Grey
Minwax Ebony
Minwax Pre-Stain Conditioner
Barndoor Hardware

Douglas Fir lumber is rather rough, so I started off by planing all of my pieces down. Between the amount of lumber I planed and the fact that my planer is on the ground, I was actually in quite a bit of pain by the end of it. I did about 3-4 passes on each side of the lumber to bring it to a nicer, flat surface. Then, I cut all of my pieces to length. 

CUTS:
20 x 2" x 8" x 40"
10 x 2" x 8" x 40"

It might be difficult to tell from picture three, but the design of each of my doors was as such:

1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
8 x 2" x 8" x 40"
1 x 2" x 8" x 40"
1 x 2" x 8" x 40"

to make a door roughly 82" high (based on the door heigh I needed for this specific project), and it came out looking pretty sweet!

By the way, this project took me a lot longer than expected, with the obvious reason being that I literally needed to do everything twice as I was making two doors. If you're just making one door, things will move a lot faster!

After laying out all of my cuts and arranging them how I liked them, I labeled each piece so that I could put them back in order when I glued them up. 

After I labeled my pieces, I used my large T Square to mark up locations for dowels. This was actually quite easy, just make sure that your pieces are squared up before you make any markings and don't get careless and knock your pieces out of whack while you're measuring!

Then, I used my Rockler Dowel Jig to drill three dowels in each piece. These were necessary for this project given the overall weight of each door and the need for strength between each joint. This jig is quite easy to use as well - you simply line up the center line of the plexiglass with your pencilled marking, clamp it to your piece, and use the associated drill bit to drill your holes to the depth of your choosing (this will be based on the length of the fluted dowels you purchase). 

After each piece was drilled, I used frog or masking tape to tape off the ends of each of my pieces. This was more of an experiment than anything (and actually quite time consuming), but I wanted to see how much this would help me on the clean up side of things. Spoiler - it helped a lot, but probably took equal time to tape up that I would have spent cleaning up glue squeeze out. 

The next part was relatively straight forward. I lined up all of my pieces, applied a large amount of glue to both the surfaces as well as the dowel holes, hammered in my glued up fluted dowels, and then lined everything up and clamped things together to dry overnight. 

Few tips here:

  • Don't try to glue up too much at once; part of me regrets doing the whole thing at once just because of the stress it added to the project
  • I used 10' long pipes for my pipe clamps, which I figured might sag in the middle due to stress, so I used scrap pieces of wood to support it
  • Make sure you have something to clamp on top to counter the clamp stress from the bottom (I didn't have enough clamps, so I used about 150 pounds in weight which worked great. 
  • Dowels kept everything lined up well, so definitely recommend using them both for strength and for accuracy
  • Give it 12 hours to dry; this style of door is heavy and the joint need times to cure and settle

As you can see from the picture, the tape was very helpful in catching 95% of the glue squeeze out. I don't regret attempting this method at all!

I then used a flap disk and my angle grinder to simultaneously remove glue but also add a slight "saw-milled" look to the wood. It doesn't show so much in photos, but it gives the barn doors a more weathered/rustic look. I then went over those rough marks with a hand sanding block at 120 just so it would feel smooth overall to the touch. 

Using an air compressor to clean off all of your surfaces is very effective before staining. 

My buddy wanted charcoal grey doors, which Minwax does not make. So, to make this happen, I combined 3 parts Classic Grey and 1 part Ebony to make a darker mix. I used a pre-stain conditioner for these doors as well. The second picture shows the difference between non-conditioned wood (left) and conditioned wood (right). Quite the difference actually!

The conditioner process is very simple. Just apply a solid coat to all surfaces, let dry for at least 15 minutes but no longer than 2 hours, and then apply your stain. I did one coat of conditioner as recommended and then one coat of my mixed stain to all surfaces of my doors. 

Attaching barn door hardware is actually quite simple. Note, all orders will undoubtedly come with very detailed directions, measurements, and steps to install. For this article, I'll just tell you what I did specific to my hardware. 

The first picture shows the main track wheel piece. The second picture shows the components for attaching (a hex bolt, washer, and nut). My screws were not long enough to go through my doors, so the directions recommended doing a counter sink method for this. 

To do this, I did the following:

  • Based on the directions, mark the center points of your two holes (I believe mine were 1.25" and 4" from the top and 2.875" in from the sides)
  • Pre drill a 1/8" pilot hole on the side that the track pieces will go on
  • Flip the door over and drill a 1" counter sunk hole using a spade bit
  • Drill a 3/8" final hole to accompany the hex bolt
  • Drop the washer in the counter sunk hole, twist in the hex bolt using your fingers and a ratchet wrench, and tighten everything using a regular wrench on the other side. Make sure as you tighten things that your hangars stay perpendicular to the top of your door using a rafter square

Next, time to hang your tracks. My tracks came with pre-drilled holes which I recommend, but if your studs do not line up with those holes, then you'll need to drill new ones which is a bit of a hassle. Nonetheless, the last thing you want is your doors to come crashing down, so do this properly!

I located the studs in my walls, found the proper height to drill my pilot holes based on the height of my door, and drilled into my walls. I used 2 x 6' tracks for this project, and each track had four total holes to connect to the walls using a large lag bolt, a washer, and an adjustable spacer which proved very handy. The other method for hanging tracks easily and so you can avoid having to find studs each time is to use an additional piece of wood that goes in between the track and wall. This piece will be drill into all of your studs for support, and then you can simply just drill in your track based on the pre-drilled holes without needing to locate studs for each one and/or drill new holes to fit your space. I didn't have this luxury but I managed.

I recommend getting a drill bit for this, as hand cranking everything in was exhausting. Use a level to make sure everything stays parallel, and repeat the process if necessary for second track. 

Also, you'll want to install the end stops at this point before attaching your lag bolts to the walls as those will sit in between the track and your lag bolt end. 

After i had both of my tracks up, parallel, and with the stops attached on each end, I could attach my doors. You'll notice there are special locks on these doors. For the sake of this article and my sanity, I will not go into detail about the nor will I recommend using them. Barn doors aren't meant to be locked in my opinion!

Once my doors were on the tracks, I could install the door protector that prevented them from popping off their tracks if hit too hard. Simple process and very effective. There is also a floor guide that needs to be installed to help properly "plum" your doors, but this required additional epoxy that I did not have at the time so I do not have documentation of it. The reason I needed epoxy was because I could not drill into the floor. 

After that, I was finished. The build of these doors was quite fun and straight forward. Hanging complicated barn door hardware, by yourself, for the first time, and with minimal tools is quite complicated, especially when you have to do it twice but make it perfectly accurate. I look forward to doing this again in the future with a partner to help and hopefully with just one door and no complicated add ons. 

Final doors in their new home. Ignore the locks that are not quite finished (long story short, the directions suck and I drilled holes at the wrong depth, meaning that I need to find cool pieces of steal to cover the holes, which will actually look awesome when added on!

TOOLS
Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
RYOBI Cordless Orbital Sander
RYOBI Power Drill
RYOBI Drill Bit Set
ROCKLER Dowelling Jig
Rubber Mallet
MAKITA Paddle Switch 4.5” Angle Grinder
Flap Discs
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 24” Clutch Clamps
BESSEY H Style Pipe Clamps
12” Rafter Square
Level (24’)

 

DIY Wooden Beer Mug (No Lathe)

 

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My friend had two old shelves (wood species unknown at this point) that he didn't want. I thought it would be fun to convert one of them into a wooden beer mug. So I did!

MATERIALS
Hardwood of your choice (about 2-3 board feet, 4/4 stock)
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Mineral Oil

The wood I had acquired was previously finished with some type of oil, so the first steps were to remove that finish so that the wood would be returned to useable lumber and glue-able! I only removed what I needed to keep as much thickness as possible. The result was wood about .70" thick. 

Next I could rip my pieces into strips at 3.5", then cut those 3.5" strips into squares. I think I ended up cutting 9 total squares. I also cut four pieces at 4.5" long that would later become the handles. I then glued things up. 

You can see how I glued up all the squares to form the "mug" blank, and the longer pieces to form handle blanks. NOTE - I glued up two sets of handle blanks (two pieces each), incase I messed up later on. These are not four piece glued together, they are two pieces glued together, just clamped up together. I was careful to make sure the grain of my wood all ran the same direction as well for the "future mug" blank. 

The next step was to find the center using two diagonal lines, followed by using a compass to mark out two circles. Since I don't have a lathe, I can't turn this piece on the inside and outside. 

Instead, I'll be hollowing it out with a forstner bit, and rounding off the outside using various methods detailed later. My forstner bit is 2.125", so that is the size of my center circle. Then I just measured about .50" outside of that to create a parameter for the outside of the cup. 

Then I spent a good amount of time boring a hole using my power drill. Without a drill press this was a lot of work and probably took me three total Ryobi Batteries to complete. I ended up drilling about 5.5" deep. You can see in the last two photos the depth at which I dug. That is an 8.4 oz. can of soda (for reference), so the cup probably holds 10 oz total. 

This next step can be done many ways. The whole point is just to remove excess material so that it is easier to round out the outside of the mug later on with a belt sander. I chose to use an angle grinder with my ARBORTECH TURBOPlane Blade, but it can also be done as such:

  • Miter'd band saw cuts
  • Miter'd table saw cuts
  • Miter Saw cuts
  • Hand carving tools
  • All belt sanding (takes the longest)

Then, I could move to my stationary belt sander and begin rounding out the edges. I was using 120 grit sand paper at this point which wasn't course enough, so this took longer than expected. 40 or 60 grit would speed things up for you. I was pretty excited at this point with how the grain was starting to look! I also flattened one side to where the handle would eventually be glued to just to have flat clean glueable surfaces. 

Next up was shaping the handle, the design and drawing of which was completely freehanded and not based on anything but the idea that it should look and function like a handle. I then moved to sanding all faces of it, including rounding the interior and exterior edges as well as flattening the ends that would later be attached to the mug. 

I then wetted everything down and gave it one final sanding at 220 and 320 grit. I did this to both smooth it out as well raise the grain on the wood so that when it did get wet eventually, it would remain smooth. 

hen I glued my handle to my mug using Titebond II Again. Only glue here - no screws (obviously!), no joinery. Just apply a solid amount of glue, spread it out, and push and hold it firmly to the mug surface for a few seconds for it to set. Then clamp it up. 

The glue joint, if clamped and tightened properly, would be strong as hell.

he last step was two fold. 

First, I applied mineral oil to finish the cup and bring out the color and grain (looked awesome!). Second step was to take wood glue (food safe and water proof) and rub a few layers of it on the inside of the mug to help protect the interior. 

NOTE - This by no means is the only way to do this, it just made the most sense to me based on what materials I had at my apartment. I'll let you know how the glue sealant holds up...

Then I was finished! Below are final pictures of the mug! I think it is pretty awesome! Grain looks great and the directions of which it runs looks fantastic, the shape is basic but fun looking, and it functions great!

 

Box Joint Coffee Table

 

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My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

This faux box joint style is really cool in my opinion. It can be achieved with a bit of good design, focus, and precision, and has very unique results when totally finished. I had built something similar once before and learned a lot in the process, so I was excited to take on another build similar to it but with my past experience in hand. 

MATERIALS
18 x 2" x 3" Framing Lumber*
2" Finish Nails (not totally necessary)
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Dark Walnut Danish Oil
Minwax Clear Finish Polyurethane
 

*Note - This amount of material fits my specific design / dimensions

Step 1 was just to design the whole project. Below are my designs that I worked from:

Top Profile.png

This is my design looking straight down from the top.
Blue cuts are the longest pieces I'd need for my project.
Pink cuts were initially measured out, but would be contingent upon the final width of the wood as the length of the pink piece + the width of the two yellow pieces would need to add up to the length of the blue piece

This is the side profile of the table. You can see that the green leg pieces will be shorter due to the blue pieces extending to the end of the table. The Yellow pieces (not shown here), would be the length of the green pieces + the thickness of the blue piece (if that makes sense)

This is a view from the bottom of the table. The yellow and green pieces did not have a definitive length during design (but were roughly 15 and 12.5 inches, respectively). I will give my final cuts later. 

Bottom Profile with Shelf.png

This is the same view from the bottom, but now includes the bottom shelf that I added in. The brown pieces were the length of my pink pieces + one inch as I was going to be using Dados to hold them in place. more on that later. 

I planed all of my wood down - first to remove the rounded edges, then on each side to give clean surfaces for glue ups.

Removing the rounded edges can be done on a table saw as well, I just hate my table saw and would rather not work unsafely.

The second picture shows the difference between the square side you want and the awful rounded side it started with. 

Now I was selective at the store as to the quality of materials I bought, but once I had everything planed down, I took extra time to sort my wood based on the cleanest surfaces. I chose the best looking ones to surface as my table top parts since that would be the most visible. 

I had planed my wood down to a width of nearly 2.2" - a width I knew was uniform across the board. So in order to make box joints fit properly, I needed leg pieces that were 2.2" different in length as well as top pieces that were 2.2" difference on each side, for a total of 4.4". 

Thus, you can see my table top cuts on the left. I ended up basing my smaller cuts off of a final length of 40" (so 40-2.2-2.2 = 35.6"), as I planned on having my longer pieces a bit long so I could cut them down rather than need extra length I couldn't get. 

My bottom row pieces were 1" longer than the middle width of my table so they could sit comfortably in a half inch dado on each side. 

For my legs, since I went for a table height of 15", my shorter pieces needed to be 2.2' shorter than that, or 12.8" roughly. The final picture shows how I made my cuts. Now in my purchase list, I tell you to buy 18 pieces, but in reality, you can get what you need from 17, but having one back up piece is just a smart idea. 

One little tip here is to cut your 12.8" pieces slightly long so that you don't end up with pieces not quite long enough to form the box joint and reach the bottom of your table. You can always plane them down later, which I chose to do, and did, and it worked great. 

Once I had all of my cuts made, I could begin my glue ups. I did this upside down, so the final table top would be facing downwards. I alternated my pieces (photo) on top of two bar clamps and made sure the cleaner looking surface was facing downwards. 

NOTE - in this first round of glue ups, you will only glue together 13/15 of your pieces for the top. You will save your two final outside blue pieces for a second round of glue ups for later as well as the corresponding green legs.

Above is a glue up trick technique I was taught. Using a Kreg Clamp (Pic 1), I could put glue on one piece, spread it out evenly, squeeze together and line up to make sure the box joint edge went out as far as teh thickness of my leg piece (pic 3), then clamp together across the two pieces to keep them flat and flush (pic 4), and then use a 2" finish nail to hold it in place (pic 5). I then could repeat this process for each piece I glued up. The result was a pretty damn flat glue up without a lot of clean up.  

Image 13.jpg

Clean up as much glue squeeze out as you can once you clamp up everything with a wet rag - makes the finish process so much smoother (no pun intended). 

NOTE AGAIN - you'll only have 13 pieces glue up at this point (see image above). 

I then could repeat the process for my legs, alternating pieces (pic 1 and 2 - the alternating process should be relatively straight forward and fit tightly together), then my other side's legs (pic 3), and then finally my bottom table (pic 4). Again, clean away any glue squeeze out for easy finishing later on. 

Your bottom table (pic 4) will have 13 pieces glued together as well. 

Before final assembly, I finished everything. First, I belt sanded all my surfaces using 40 grit paper which flattened everything nicely.

Next, in order to take down the protrusions (remember I cut my longer pieces .5" long), I used my Turboplane and a flap disk to take them down. This can also be done with a block plane, a belt sander with rough grit, a hand held electric planer, or a flush trim saw. 

I then went over all my surfaces with 80 and 120 grit sand paper on my orbital sander. Looked great!

I then took the opportunity here to square up my leg bottoms using my T Square and a circular saw. My saw didn't cut all the way through, so I made one pass, flipped it over, and cut the other side. If your cut isn't perfect, a belt sander will flatten it out quickly. 

As I said before, I wanted to insert my bottom shelf using dado slots. To do this, I used a half inch dado bit (pic 1) and my plunge router. 

Then, I measured 9 inches down from the top on each side, then used my T Square to trace my lines (pic 2 and 3). I used the width of the wood to then trace a second line (not pictured) so I had my entire dado area marked out. 

Then, using a straight edge, my rafter square, and my router, I made multiple passes to cut out my slot. Pic 5 shows it in action, and Pic 6 shows the final dado slot, which was about .625" deep). I repeated this process on each side, being very VERY precise in all of my measurements before cutting. I had never done this before and was proud of the result. 

Doing a final fit! You can see that the dado is not 100% perfect. That is okay, as you'll be gluing on one outside layer on each side of the table next, which will cover up those imperfections. 

In this next glue up, as mentioned before, you'll add in your outside blue pieces (40.5" long) for the table top on each side, as well as your four green legs (15" long) on each corner. Lastly, you'll add in your final two pink pieces (35.6" long).

I didn't use finish nails here, just clamping pressure. I did, however, use little scrap pieces in certain areas so the clamps did not damage the wood from pressure (see pic 2, bottom middle clamp). 

You'll also note that, as I pointed out in my cuts previously, I made my 12.8" pieces a bit long, resulting in four outside leg pieces that were slightly longer than my middle legs and made for a great little leg design unintentionally. 

also used four small angle brackets with screws to secure the bottom shelf from the underside. This would help keep the top of the shelf flush with the top edge of the dado I had cut.

I applied two coats of Dark Walnut Danish oil 8 hours apart to stain the table. Once it had cured, I applied 4-5 coats of a clear satin polyurethane finish to all of my surfaces, making sure to let it dry thoroughly and sand in between each coat with wet 220 grit sand paper. I find using wet sandpaper with poly finishes helps contain the sanding mess. 

 

Power-Carved Bench

 

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MATERIALS
1 x 2" x 4" x 8' 
3 x 2" x 4" x 10'
1 x 2" x 12" x 10'
1 x 2" x 12" x 12"
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Natural Danish Oil

*Note - All wood is Kiln Dried Douglas Fir

I worked on a really fun table build a few months back in partnership with ArborTech using their ARBORTECH TURBOPlane Blade and it was a blast. They sent me a photo reference of another fun project to tackle with it, so I said why not? The coolest thing about this project is that it is held together purely with glue - no hardware is needed and the results, if done right, are stunning!

I made the following cuts from my rough lumber:

From 2 x 4's
12 x 9"
12 x 10"
4 x 13"
4 x 17"

From 2 x 12's
1 x 31"
1 x 32"
1 x 34"
1 x 50"
2 x 54"

Here is a diagram of how my cuts are broken out incase you need clarification. 

Since I would be laminating all of these pieces together, I needed clean, flat surface. 

I planed down all of my pieces as the edges were slightly rough or cupped and in order to make this type of project work, you'll want your surfaces to be as flat as possible to the glue joints are as flush as can be. 

Tip - If you cut all of your pieces and don't necessarily plane and glue them up in the same day, make sure you store them flat and stacked to avoid cupping or bowing. Also, it is easier for me to make my cuts then plane the wood down versus planing very large pieces and maneuvering them constantly.

This next step is a little tricky but I'll try my best to explain. In order to make the back of the lounge chair on one side, you'll need to cut a series of "L" shaped pieces from your 2 x 12" pieces so that when you laminate them together and eventually carve them out, everything will flow nicely and the edge grain will transition properly to the end grain. 

To do this, I made the above cuts by measuring them out using a T square on my wood carefully and then, using just my circular saw and "plunging" it into the wood, I cut make the cuts. The cuts will extend into the corner of the "L" but that is okay as you'll carve much of this material away anyways. The above diagram shows all of the "L" cuts you'll make. 

NOTE - Do NOT cut the small part of the "L" off - your pieces should look like picture number 4 above. The width of the small part of the "L" should be 5 inches wide. 

Next were glue ups. If you watched the video, this might be a bit more clear, but I'll write it out here for full detail:

Legs
You'll end up making four total legs, each using 3 x 9", 3 x 10", 1 x 13", and 1 x17" pieces (pics 1-3) laminated together

Seat Bench
You'll make one bench seat using 1 x 50" and 2 x 54" pieces laminated together (pic 4). I recommend deep jaw clamps for this so you can make sure your middle is glued together - I used scrap hardwood instead as I don't have deep jaw clamps. 

Lounge Back Rest
You'll use the six "L" shaped pieces laminated together (pic 5). Pieces will be laminated together in order based on their length so it forms a stepping shape.

Once all four legs, your bench seat, and your lounge back rest are formed, you can laminated all of those pieces together as well to form this really cool looking "Glulam" bench. Note - I am limited on clamps, so this was 9 total glue ups over the course of a week to make sure all of my pieces were properly secured and cured over the right length of time.   

Now it was time to shape my piece down to it's final form!

To shape this piece, I am using my ARBORTECH TURBOPlane Blade which is a beast at shaping, contouring, and carving away wood. 

I marked out the rough shape I was aiming for using a sharpie (Pic 1), and then, over the course of four hours, I carved away a large chunk of material from my piece to give it a very sleek look. The TurboPlane is great at carving away wood, and as tricky or intimidating as it might sound, it is very easy to control how much or how little you take away. I carved away material on the legs, back rest, and bench top and bottom to create a flowing curved shape.  

Now, while the TurboPlane carves great, it isn't always easy to carve flat. Often, you're left with gouges, which is where Flap Discs come in handy. I used a 40 grit flap disk, which also removes a lot of material, but is much better at only removing "high points", thus helping you to flatten everything out and begin finessing the curves of your piece. I probably did this for 2 hours after carving. 

Then, it literally started snowing where I was, so I called it quits for the day. I was also pretty wiped. 

Back at home where it was sunny, I went back and removed another 5 pounds or so of material using the TurboPlane as the profile wasn't sleek enough for what I was going for. After following that up with more flap disk smoothing at 40 grit, I moved onto orbital sanding at 80 and 120 grit, followed by hand sanding at 120 and 220 grit. I also did a wet sanding at 220 as this piece was going to see a lot of weather and I wanted the grain to remain smooth if it got moist. 

By the way - how cool does picture 3 look with the edge grain transitioning to end grain?

After final sanding, I used a bit of Minwax Wood Filler to take care of a few gaps I couldn't avoid during the lamination stage and then sanded it down. It looks perfect and you'd never notice there were gaps otherwise. This felt unavoidable as Douglas Fir will undoubtedly cup a little bit in between all of these cuts, planes, and glue ups. 

Last up was finishing, and I did one thick coat of Natural Danish Oil on this piece, which helped preserve the look of the wood while also bringing out the grain. I didn't apply any sort of poly or sealant to it as it will be indoors. I will likely revisit a sealant in a few months once I see how the piece holds up as it will be in the mountains and possibly over-exposed to elements and weather shifts. 

Here is a final carousel for you to check out the transition from various stages until the final form of the bench in picture 5. 

As well as a final photos just to check out! I'll post better photos once it is in its final home. 

So stoked with how this thing came out! It is AWESOME. 

TOOLS
RYOBI Circular Saw
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer
MAKITA Paddle Switch 4.5” Angle Grinder
ARBORTECH TURBOPlane Blade
Flap Discs
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 24” Clutch Clamps
BESSEY H Style Pipe Clamps
Tape Measure
Hand Sanding Sponges (120 and 220 Grit)
3M Face Shield

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT: 
Canon Rebel EOS T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Studio Lighting Equipment
Rode Microphone
Voice Recording
Adobe Premiere (Editorial)

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my new Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every two weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

 

 

 

 

The Engagement Ring Box

 

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My full video of the build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools, materials, and measurements! 

MATERIALS
Scrap Maple and IPE Hardwoods
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Natural Danish Oil
5mm Barrel Hinges

Before I knew what materials I had, I did a bunch of rough sketches on what I thought would be a great looking box based on something I knew I could build (in secret) with the tools I had. 

I have quite a bit of scrap pieces of hardwood lying around and I knew all along that I wanted to make a special engagement ring box for when the time came to pop the question. I liked the contrast of the Maple wood I had against the IPE strips, so I got to it!

I went ahead and cut my IPE strip into two using my coping saw (each strip was about 15 inches long, which was way more material than I knew I'd need, but better to have extra).

I laminated together my two strips of Maple and IPE as such and let it dry overnight. I knew I'd eventually plane down this piece so I left the IPE wood strong to catch the snipe.

After drying overnight, I could plane it down to an appropriate thickness - which was around 2/3 of an inch. I didn't have exact end measurements in mind, but I was looking to make my final box a little over 2" in each direction, so this just seemed correct. 

I thought it would be cool to have my two dark strips come to a corner, so what I did was measure the width of my piece, then translated that width to one side of my laminated strip (second picture), then cut that strip off on my Miter Saw (fourth picture), so that one side was much thinner than the other. The thought was that when I later laminated my strips together in an end-grain fashion, they corner would be square. You'll see what I mean later. 

Next up, I set up a stop on my Miter saw and cut my piece into four smaller sections at 2.25" each. 

I also cut down my second piece of IPE into 2.75" lengths (four totally pieces) and used a bit of hand sanding to flatten out the edges in preparation for my next glue up. 

Next, I took three of my laminated cut pieces and rotated them 90 degrees, as well as insert three of my IPE strips to form the above box. You can see how it's starting to come together. 

Once I had my shape, I glued everything up at once, taking the clamping process as slow as I could to avoid any slipping, and then tightened from all angles very slowly and let dry overnight. This was about 98.7% perfect. The only way I could improve this is to do layers one at a time. 

But this was a secret project I was doing in off hours, and ain't noboby got time for that!

Once everything was dried, I used my stationary belt / disc sander to flatten all of the sides, being VERY careful to sand down everything at 90°, which was actually much more difficult than I anticipated. 

I wanted my top to have a chamfer'd edge, but I don't have a router table to pull this off. I saw a video online of someone using their plunge router upside down and just gave a few safety precautions on how to do this. I took is super slow with a 1/4" bit and the result came out great. 

Looking fresh! I wasn't sure which side I'd ultimately want to chamfer, but I am happy with the one I chose as it has a good symmetry to it. 

After routing, I sanded all of my edges down smooth with 120 and 220 grit papers, including slow passes on the chamfer'd edges. 

Next, I used a miter saw box, clamps, and a crappy hand saw to split my box along the IPE, which took forever. Halfway through, I switched to a SawZaw which went much faster but left a rough cut through. So, I took both halves and sanded them down hard against 120 grit paper, which left me with two clean cuts. 

I debated how I wanted to create my hole. Instead of purchasing a forstner bit set which I originally thought would be the easiest route, I chose to use my Plunge Router and a 1/8" Flush Trim bit to make my hole carving for the box. 

To do this, I created a simple jig that would sit tightly around all four sides of the box, held together with pocket hole screws. I was careful to keep all things flat in the process so my routing surface would be level. 

Next, I marked up where I wanted the corners of my hole to be. I chose 10mm equidistant from all sides. My whole would be near square, with 1/8" rounded corners due to the diameter of the router bit. 

Here is the router bit for reference. 

To finish the jig, I took my router and moved it to all four corners that I had measured of my box. I then marked lines at the edge of my router plate on all four sides. 

NOTE - one side of the router plate is flat, so take that into account in your measuring. When you go to actually route your hole, do not change the orientation of your router or you will mess it all up.

Once i had markings on all four sides, I could draw all four sides of my square with my rafter square, then used my nail gun to add scrap straight pieces of wood to create my router jig boarder. I had never done this before, so I took it slow and was proud at how well it turned out. 

Above is the final jig. Simple but super effective!

Then it was time to cut! In total, I did 7 total passes, plunging my bit about 1/8" - 1/4" each time and it worked fantastically. 

The second photo shows me checking my depth - all good!

I sanded down the insides, including the base and edges lightly, with 220 grit paper and I was nearly done with the build!

Hinges were somehow the most complicated part of this build. I wanted the snappy feature of a regular ring box but that was honestly hard to come by. I considered using the hardware from a cheap box, but that actually was going to be more tricky than just a simple swap. So, I chose barrel hinges after much research.

The first picture shows the barrel hinges I chose - 5mm in diameter and hard to find. No in-store retailer seemed to sell them, so I resorted to ordering through Amazon and they took about a week to show up.

I first marked areas on the outside of my box where I'd want the hinges to be. I clamped together my two halves (pic 3), marked a perpendicular line on each, then used my digital caliper to mark a center hole 3.5mm inward that I could drill. I took my sweet time with this as I didn't want to mess it up or drill too deep either way. I think I used a 3/16" bit for this - again - do it slow. The last picture is me dry fitting the pilot hole, which worked great (I also did a test run of this on a scrap piece of wood before).

In order for these hinges to work, you need to chamfer the back top edge of your bottom piece (first and second picture) at 45°. That way, after applying super glue into all of your holes (pictures 3 and 4), you can attached your top and let it dry in the close position for 20-30s (being careful not to glue anything shut!), and then actually allow your barrel hinges to open properly (final picture).

If you don't add the chamfer, the box wont' open as the hinges cannot flex.

I debated for a while on what I'd for the interior. I decided to use faux black leather mixed with packing foam that could be packed in properly to the inside hole and hold everything with friction. .

I measured the width of my interior (pic 1), cut my material to width (pic 3), rolled it up and super glued it into a cylinder (pic 4), then repeated the process of measuring, cutting, and rolling up the faux leather around my foam piece and securing with super glue (pics 4-6).

Picture 6 shows the two completed sushi-roll looking pieces.

I finished my box with Tung Oil, with the final oil box in the second picture. Then, I could insert my two sushi roll pads and use a pointed edge (scissors in my case) to push down and flatten out to make it look nice.

All done! So happy seeing weeks of small work come together in a few final pictures. 

She said yes!

Loved every minute of working on this project!

TOOLS
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander
RYOBI Saw Zaw
RYOBI Plunge Router
RYOBI Router Set (1/4" Champfer Bit)
12” Rafter Square
Digital Caliper
Hand Sanding Sponges (120 and 220 Grit)

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT: 
Canon Rebel EOS T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Rode Microphone
Voice Recording
Adobe Premiere (Editorial)

As always, thank you for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my new Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every two weeks.

Cheers!

Zach

 

Two2x4Challenge: Squatty Potty

 

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Full video build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools and measurements!
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The guys over at the Modern Maker Podcast put out a challenge to the online woodworking community to build something cool / unique / funny (all the above) using only two 2x4s. I thought it would be a unique opportunity to do an end grain project but also make something silly. Thus, I made a squatty potty! I chose to use redwood 2x4s for my project as they are a bit nicer overall in quality and I knew that I could achieve a cool end result with this species. 

MATERIALS
2 x 2"x4"x8' Redwood Lumber
Loctite Adhesive
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Steel Wool (0000)
White Vinegar
Water
Wax Paper
Scrap Melamine

My inspiration for this project was an End Grain Side Table project that Johnny over at Crafted Workshop created. Now, I obviously wasn't going to be using hardwoods and such, but I wanted a similar vibe of a 3D cutting board that had pieces of all different lengths cascading downward, almost like an upside down city skyline. 

As stated earlier, the entire project must use 2x4s as the main component of the project. So I got to work! I think I spent $15 on the pieces (about $6 more than I'd have spent on really crappy Douglas Fir lumber). 

I began by ripping the rounded edges off one side of each of my pieces of lumber - about 1/8" width to be exact. I then followed that up by ripping my pieces into four total strips that were 1.375" wide. I hate my table saw. 

I then used my planer to remove about 1/16" of width from each side of my pieces total to make all four of my pieces completely square and flat. Worked great!

Now that I had all of my strips set, I could rip them to length. I needed 60 total pieces, including four legs, so I started by just ripping off a small piece to square up the edges.

I did a quick sketch in Illustrator of my design, showing roughly what it would look like from the top (left) and the front (right). I ended up making my legs a little bit longer and making the third row have five pieces instead of four. But this was mostly to confirm how many pieces I'd need based on the general dimensions of my toilet and the material I had available. 

I set a stop and cut four pieces to 9", which would be the height of my legs. I researched and found that there were two sizes of squatty potties - one 7", and one for advanced poopers at 9". I'm definitely advanced. 

After I cut my legs, I was left with about 348" of total length. Now, I needed 56 more pieces, meaning that they could all average 6.2" and I would have enough material for the project. Knowing this, I chose to cut 16 pieces at 3, 4, 5, and 6", which left me material to cut a few pieces at 7" (because why not) and then one spare 9" piece incase I destroyed a leg. 

Before gluing anything up, I spent some time laying out the final shape of my piece, rearranging pieces so no two heights were next to each other and confirming my design was good to go. That way, when I went to glue things up, I could grab one piece after another without figuring out / delaying the glue up. This worked out great!

I had found a method where something build something actually very similar to this (although theres was an art piece) where they used Loctite Construction Adhesive as it was weatherproof and supposedly would set well without clamps. Since this was both a silly / fun project and I was looking to do my glue up all at once, I chose to experiment with this method. 

To do the glue up, I used a scrap piece of melamine as a flat surface, then created a right angle corner using my straight edge clamp and a scrap piece of wood and a clamp. That way, I could start in one corner, work my way from left to right, and have a flat surface and corner to push things into and squeeze out gaps manually. I also used wax paper to make the clean up easier. And, one by one, I'd spread a bit of the adhesive to both sides of my pieces, stick it on the board, squeeze together and check for squareness, and move on to the next piece.  

After letting the adhesive cure overnight, I could finish the project the next day. As you can see from the first picture, there were gaps in my glue up from using this method. I expected it once I felt the consistency of the adhesive, but was still a little annoyed. But hey, this is what experiments are for. Overall, the piece was strong and robust, but I knew I had to fix my poor experimental craftsmanship. I mean the stuff doesn't even dry clear!!

I chose to use saw dust from the redwood I had kept when I ripped my pieces on the table saw. Before doing that, I cleaned up all the adhesive that had squeezed out so my surfaces were clean. 

Using wood glue and shavings, I applied a liberal amount of glue to all of my cracks and then cover all of them in shavings. This worked like title grout, and works pretty well! It is always better in my opinion to use shavings and glue if possible (and shavings of the same wood species) as it fills the gaps better and actually will take a bit of stain if that is your final plan). 

I also recommend you don't pre mix your solution and then fill in the gaps. It is easier to apply glue then cover in shavings - just faster and more efficient with your time. You can see the third picture right after applying - WHAT GAPS??

Next was clean up. I used my stationary sander to clean up the larger surfaces, followed by belt sanding and orbital sanding at 80 grit which flattened everything quite well, then finished off with hand sanding at 120, including the edges, so that there were no sharp features to where bare feet might go. Was starting to look pretty cool!

thought it would be cool to use an oxidized solution to finish this project given that I was using redwood. I had done this method once before on the same species and I knew how cool of an effect it had on the red parts of the wood, essentially turning it black. Knowing that this was all end grain, I knew it would turn out even cooler!

To make the solution, mix three pieces of 0000 Steel Wool with one gallon of water and one gallon of white vinegar in a big 5 gallon tub with a lid. Let the solution sit for one week - it will dissolve the steel wool over that time period, leaving a very disgusting and smelling solution that will rapidly age wood if applied to the surface.  I recommend using gloves for this process, or in my case, a spray bottle, so you don't get the smelly solution on your hands. 

I recommend using gloves for this process, or in my case, a spray bottle, so you don't get the smelly solution on your hands. The spray bottle was great for this project as well because there were so many odd surfaces to cover on the bottom that it was basically the only way to get to all of them quickly. 

You can see in the third picture the difference before and after. The solution works right away, and will dry and age the wood rapidly over the course of the next day (depending on your drying temps!). 

Few final photos for you! REALLY cool how this stuff reacts. As much as this was a partially failed experiment the final product was totally salvageable and I'm quite excited about it. 

A fun challenge overall!

TOOLS
RYOBI 10 in. Sliding Compound Miter Saw
RYOBI Miter Saw Stand
RYOBI Cordless Orbital Sander
RYOBI Belt Sander
RYOBI Stationary Bench Sander
RYOBI Battery Pack
HITACHI Table Saw
Wen 12.5” Thickness Planer
5-Gallon 4.5 Peak HP Wet Dry Vacuum
Bora 50” Straight Edge Clamp Guide
Tape Measure
12” Rafter Square
BESSEY Economy 2.5” x 12” Clutch Clamps
Digital Caliper
Hand Sanding Sponges (120 Grit)
Extension Cord

FILM / EDIT EQUIPMENT:
Canon Rebel EOS T2i
Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II Lens
Rode Microphone
Voice Recording
Adobe Premiere (Editorial)

Thanks for reading! I would be so grateful if you could please subscribe to my Youtube Channel for future projects. I put out videos every other week.

Cheers!

Zach

 

 

 

 

End Grain Coffee Pour Over Station

 

Thanks for checking out the full article! 

Full video build is below, followed by detailed instructions with tools and measurements!
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This was such a great little project. Scrap hardwood is not easy to come by and is quite pricy when bought, so I wanted to make the most of it. I had the concept for an end grain cutting board project influenced by Homemade-Modern's coffee pour over station design a few months back. Not having the proper tools to do it or the materials, I shelved it until I knew I was ready / skilled enough to pull it off. The time is now!

MATERIALS
African Mahogany Hardwood (About 3 BF of 4/4 Stock at 8.5" long)
TiteBond II Wood Glue
Mineral Oil
Galvanized Pipe (see details below!)
Wood Screws

I started by ripping all of my wood into strips at 1.375" on my Miter Saw with the grain. A table saw works better for this if you're looking to do many cuts, but a Miter Saw with a stop was efficient for the number of cuts I made. 

Next, I grouped my strips into sets of six and laminated them together. My one regret here is not mixing up the pieces into more of a pattern based on the various looks of the end grain. Next time! 

Make sure you use lots of glue and a credit card make it very easy to spread and cover all of the surfaces. 

I then clamped all my sets of 6 to dry overnight. I lined up the ends as much as I could and used a mallet and a scrap piece to keep everything very flat (or as much as I could!)

The next day, I ran my pieces through the planer. The manual recommends to not plane anything shorter than 12 inches, but the key should be to not plane anything shorter than the distance between the two rollers of your planer. Otherwise, it will get caught and I honestly couldn't tell you what kinds of things might happen then. If I had to guess, a black hole will open up and the earth will collapse on itself. So tread lightly. My pieces ere 8.5 inches, so I was set to plane and it all came out great. I then square up the sizes of each piece in preparation for ripping strips again. 

I ripped 25 total strips at 1.5" from my 5 pieces, meaning I could get two boards (one with 12 strips, one with 13).

I laid out my pieces on my clamps, flipped a few pieces to mix up the end grain pattern, and then rotated them 90° in preparation for my end grain glue up. 

Same recommendation as before. Use ample glue, spread it well to cover all of your surfaces, square up your edges with scrap pieces or a mallet, and clamp slowly to avoid slipping. Also, you should clamp from the top to avoid bowing, and you can go back after 10 minutes and wipe off excess glue with a wet rag. 

As hard as I tried, this didn't quite glue up flat. I think my surface was uneven to start. You live and you learn. 

Now there is a ton of controversy in the woodworking community about planing end grain. This being my first project and just unsure of all of the consequences, I chose to use my stationary belt sander to flatten everything. It took quite a bit of time, but worked well and left me with a smooth flat finish on both faces and all of the sides.