Projects

Shoe Bench Build

This was a tricky one for me.

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It seemed that every board I used was from the weakest

Shoe bench made for a friend to replace flat pack failure.

part of the tree and split.  Or the cuts I made didn’t make sense even if I was using the wrong measurement systems or any other myriad of things that could go wrong.

But I finished it.

And it looks good.

And it’s solid.

My #1 rule of woodworking is to build something that will outlast me.  The #2 rule is that is has to look good.  This piece nails both of those rules.

A few months ago (far too many) a friend of mine asked me to take a look at a piece of flat pack furniture they bought that didn’t go together right and promptly broke.  They lived with a shoddy piece of furniture for 3 years at that point and finally called for help.

The flat pack was beyond help.  Everywhere the screws were supposed to pull joints together were broken, the laminate sheets were already failing and the drawers were a rough-housing away from disintegrating.  I had to be the doctor and declare the piece DOD…Dead on Design.

Flat pack either goes right or it doesn’t.  When it goes right, it’ll last maybe 5 years before it needs to be replaced, which is just perfect for our trendy culture.  When it goes wrong, it falls apart as you assemble it and you have to spend hours boxing it back up, returning it and re-assembling the new one and that is the biggest travesty.  The time wasted.

Instead, I spent a few hours and made Janie a replica of what she bought that will last beyond her lifetime…something that is lost on our current society.  Lifetime furniture.  I didn’t invent a new gadget, I didn’t find some killer app that will let Janie waste away her days mindlessly tapping at a screen but I hope I gave her something her kids and grand-kids will fight over.

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Remodeling

Bathroom Remodeling on a Whim

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Last summer, I purchased a home in a local suburb with the idea of getting an out-

of-date house, doing some work over the years and selling it when the kids got older for more than what I put into it.  What I didn’t realize, was how many rooms of the same house could smell like piss when doing renovation and not have a general piss smell throughout the whole house.

The Lady Friend and I have been discussing doing some extra work around the home instead of solely working in my dungeon workshop. I redid the floor in a couple of the closets last fall, the deck last summer and the living room prior to Thanksgiving (minus flooring).  This time, the bathroom was next up on the docket for remodeling, even if neither her nor I knew it last Thursday.

The bathroom wasn’t bad, it just screamed builder-grade, late-90’s (even though the house was built in 2004), and a desperate home-owner that hadn’t done a thing to a house in 11 years trying to salvage some resale value through sloppy updates (side note: it didn’t work).

Thankfully, they didn’t touch the bathrooms much outside of hurried paint jobs.  This is good as everything else I have fixed in the house has all been their work (my god, how do you manage to screw up laminate floor).  Unfortunately, I’ve been forced to live with a God-awful pee-yellow bathroom since June 2017.  Last weekend, that all changed.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll be detailing out my process on remodeling the bathroom, including what I did, why I did it and how much stuff I messed up (not a ton (spoiler: it’s mostly that I didn’t take enough before pictures), but it’s only a 30 square foot room).

Next up will be the extensive planning that I didn’t do.