End of the Year: Projects Six and Seven

I think these are the last two projects to report on. Geez, if I could only get them all sold, I’d have both my entry hall and garage back!

The last two projects are a fall back to the Midnight Mosaic blue that I used on the two drawer antique dresser a while back. You can see it here:

Project Six: Buffet Makeover

photo 1This photo is actually flipped upside down so that you can get an idea of what it looked like. We picked it up free from Craigslist, as it had been used for a child’s art center or some such thing.

photo 4The outside was covered with sticky letters, which were quite a chore to scrape off, making sure to remove all of the adhesive.

DSCN2895I sanded the top to remove the old finishing. Trust me, I built some great muscles doing this! But under all of that was beautiful grain.
DSCN2909Again, as with all of the blue pieces, the top was stained with a natural color and sealed with three coats of polyurethane. The base was painted the Midnight Mosaic blue. The Kid did the honors of placing the brushed nickel cup pulls. I think this piece turned out exceptional.DSCN3021

Project Six: Coffee Table Makeover

The final makeover piece, a beautiful sofa table or coffee table. This was acquired in an auction some months ago. It was quite a nice piece with the exception of some peeling veneer on both sides of the drawer. I was able to repair it, but it wouldn’t hold up to re-staining, but would work with being painted.

DSCN2904Once again, Midnight Mosaic blue was the star. Not only did I much love the hue, the paint flowed nicely and adhered well. As with the other blue pieces, again the top was stained and sealed.

DSCN3014This piece did not originally have a knob or handle, but in keeping with the style, The Kid placed a single brushed nickel cup pull in the center of the drawer.

With this, I have wrapped up all of the projects that I had started. And just in time to ring in the new year!

3D-Happy-New-Year-2015May your festivities be joyous and safe! See you next year!

julie

Sanding Here, Priming There, Gluing Over There

I think that we’ve fallen into a groove. We are working on about five or six projects, and every day we do a little bit of work on each. You know how it gets, you have one project that has been strengthened and glued and now has to dry and set. So, you go to the next project and again, you get to the point where you have to stop and wait. We’ve gotten to the point that we have five or six ongoing projects and we quickly bring each one up to the same point every day.

The Kid Puts New Fronts on Drawers

Working On A Dresser

Right now, we’re working on getting everything to the priming stage. Planning has to be done to make sure that you’re not sanding on one project while you’re waiting for primer to dry on another. Sometimes it means that one project doesn’t get worked on because it is ready for a stage that will conflict with another. And for whatever reason, it seems to take more time this way. Seems, anyway.

So Many Projects In Process Makes for a Big Mess!

What A Mess!

On top of it, working on so many projects at once, the garage gets so crowded. We keep moving tables to give us access to one project, just to turn around and move it back to regain access to the first thing. And I keep tripping over the compressor cable and the extension cable threaded between the tables for the sander and the circular saw and the jig saw. I took a few minutes and swept up the tool counter of all the saw dust. Whew! Whenever I am overwhelmed, I always seem to revert to organizing or cleaning. 🙂

I did begin work on a special project. I don’t know exactly why I decided to do this, but it is something I can work on outside of the garage. Not only fun, but it is something that I think The Kid might like. He is way into MineCraft – this online gaming and building program, where everything is in 8bit graphics. He has been playing and programming ‘mods’ (don’t ask me, I don’t exactly know) for this game since its inception, I guess. Something like 5 or 6 years. Had briefly toyed with the idea of a Halloween costume, but he was too old for trick-or-treating before I thought of the idea.

This is what a pile of gun powder looks like in the game:
imagesSo, I am making him a “real” 2D version of gun powder. I think I am going to either mount it on a base and he can set it on his desk or we’ll hang it on the wall. This is it, so far:

DSCN2950And just wanted to show you, he has a tiny version of the gun powder on his key chain:

photoWell, that’s today’s update. I’m close to revealing quite a few makeovers and re-do’s. I hope you come back to see them.

julie

Working for a Livin’…

So, maybe I forgot to mention, but I am currently not working. As some of you may know (or not), I have a full time job that I usually do as a nine-to-five. I finished my contract the week before Thanksgiving, so, I have had more time than usual to work on projects.

A week before, me and The Kid had put the final touches on five projects. And we both took a well deserved break. In fact, we went to the movies three days in a row. And that’s unusual for us, we’re generally home based kind of people.

But, we’ve picked up several pieces and once again, we’re up to our elbows in furniture again. Let me give you a quick rundown of in-process projects:

Number One: We ran across a beautiful nine drawer dresser at a second hand shop. What I have found lately, is people want the tall chest of drawers and not the long style. But in looking at this piece, what I hoped to do was separate the single piece into two pieces.

Dresser with Dotted Lines

Also, I have been working on a little project of my own. I picked up a sweet little wood children’s desk and am transforming it into a vanity.

DSCN2852I had a mirror left over from somewhere and I am lowering the middle ‘pencil drawer’ down, to create the look of a vanity. Its been kind of fun. The whole thing needs some serious TLC, this thing has been used to almost death! But once this gets its bumps sanded out and the typical pick ombré paint style, this is going to be sweet!

Third project is this beautiful buffet. Well, it isn’t beautiful now, but it has the best bones. Some little person(s) had a great time pasting stickers and letters all over it.

photo 2I “almost” didn’t get a before picture. I had it sitting on its top to protect it from any dings or gouges just from being in the garage.

This is one of those pieces that I can envision well, and would love to keep it, but since the house really cannot take one more piece of furniture, I am going to paint it in the same colors as the little 2 drawer dresser that I did a while back:

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Number Four: DSCN2903I picked these headboards (footboards?) a while back. In fact, at one point in trying to clear the garage, I couldn’t give these away. I just had too much to do at the time, but now, with a little time, this is going to be really cool.

Number Five: DSCN2859The easiest and quickest project, this one is already done. A couple of coats of my trademark “blush pink” and this one was done.

Number Six:

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Not sure what I am going to do with this. I got this in an auction, initially thinking I would use it in my house, but now I’m not so sure. I got it into my head that I would do the blue and natural combination, but The Kid pointed out that it was in pretty condition already. I did some veneer repair and it might be possible to just strip it and then restain it. Guess time will tell.

Number Seven:

This was a quickie project, one I have wanted to do for a while. When sewing (yeah, can you believe how long its been since I had a chance to do any sewing?), I like to do scrap piecing but this always requires many trips to an iron. It would make things so much easier if I had a small ironing surface next to me.

A while back (a really long way back) I had purchased an ironing “set” – an iron storage bag, an ironing board cover and a table mat – all in the same cheerful fabric. The ironing board cover was short lived and the other two pieces went into a cabinet. Recent rummaging uncovered the table top mat and my brain immediately to the television trays that we have and how there is a whole set not being used in the basement.

Long story short:

DSCN2885And I actually carved out a little time to sew Sunday morning and it really came in handy. And if I need the space, it is still collapsible and can easy be store out of the way.

Things have been going out the front door almost faster than we can complete projects. Its great! 🙂

julie

Getting Closer to Completion (Just One More Day)!

If you’ve been following, you know that I have a small assembly line of dressers being restored/redesigned. Last night, we were able to move the cabinets into the foyer – which has now become the de facto showroom! As I was getting ready to leave for work this morning, I had to do one of those little “dances” maneuvering around them on my way out the door!

The drawers are still in the garage awaiting handles and hardware – some of the drawers need a little construction work to make them easy gliding and to fit in the cabinets. That’s The Kid’s job today. My hope is that these are all ready to be posted tonight and we can move them quickly in time for the holidays. 2014-11-20 15.18.59

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2014-11-20 15.19.07We are also doing a quick update (and cleaning ) to the dollhouse we made earlier this year… come hell or high water, this is being sold to someone for Christmas! As much as I love it, I am done with it taking up so much room in the foyer!

DSCN1929And as luck would have it, I found out this week that my employment contract runs out tomorrow. So, I will have some extra time to work on projects in between job hunting. Sigh. I really loved this job and really hate job hunting.

Maybe I will have time to work on the foyer “chandelier” project that I have been designing. I promise to share all the details and steps and the wonderful online company that I have discovered that is enabling me to do this project!

julie

We’re Making Headway; Pink, Pink, Pink, Pink and Blue

With everything pre-sanded, fixed, glued and primed, we jumped right into painting today. The Kid wielded the roller and worked on the five pink cabinets, while I got to do the five colors of pink on the drawers. I also, as a side project, painted one cabinet a dark blue – called Midnight Mosaic – and staining, then poly’ing the new wood top.

First, we set up tables and then organized the drawers by their order in the cabinets. Since all but one is going to be painted in the pink ombré style, it would help to keep the drawers organized.

2014-11-17 17.12.19The cabinets are sitting around the edge and we’re including that little toy box chest thing.

2014-11-17 17.12.31In the other stall of the garage is the antique dresser that we made a replacement top for. The top is being stained while the base cabinet is going to be midnight mosaic blue. I love the way this is turning out.

Here is the dresser primed:

2014-11-16 16.00.42And here it is with three coats of paint.

2014-11-17 17.12.48It looks a little purplish, but I think its just the lighting. I will take the after photos in sunlight, and the color should look more like it really does.

2014-11-16 16.02.01Here’s the top: it has one coat of oak stain and three (so far) coats of polyurethane. A light sanding between each coat will make the poly nearly invincible and will last a long time.

Once again, I started in on most of these projects before acquiring the before photos. I’m going to hunt through my emails to see if I have any from the original CraigsList ads.

Hopefully the final paint and polish will go on these cabinets tomorrow or the day following. I still have to chose hardware for all if as well.

I hear a rumor that it supposed to snow again tonight. Sigh… winter has come with a flourish and I don’t mind telling you that I am not happy about it.

julie

Sewing Room Update: Finally Finished!

2014-10-27 19.52.50Well, I say “finished” but is anything ever really finished?

So, way back I showed you the new cabinet added to my sewing room. Because it came with a plain front – rather than the beadboard finish that is on every other cabinet in the room – I attempted to change the doors on this new cabinet to match.

At first, we tried to use the thin sheets you can get from any hardware or big box store.

First we cut them to size for each panel:

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Then we slathered on the glue, placed the beadboard and then weighted it down with whatever we had in the garage. You can see we used paint cans, a small anvil – even boxes of Diet Coke.

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2014-10-12 13.38.30After leaving it overnight, I came out the next morning to find that the glue hadn’t ‘stuck’ to the door panel, only the beadboard. Back to square one.

I did some investigating and ran across a wallpaper that looked like beadboard. It couldn’t hurt to try, right? I ordered one roll and waited. It finally came and attempt number two was started.

Since I wasn’t using much, I opted for premixed wallpaper paste. Using a four inch roller, I slathered it on heavy.

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Rolled the wallpaper on top and smoothed with my hands. Then using a sharp blade, I cut the piece to size using the edges of the trim.

2014-10-22 18.36.30Wiped up any excess paste…

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…did all three panels the same way…

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And here’s how it looked. Left it to dry overnight and went to sleep with my fingers crossed.

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Here is both doors (three panels):

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Came out the next morning and it looked great! Yay! However, as I kept looking at them, I felt like something wasn’t quite right. The bounding trim was very glossy but the paper had a matte finish. I thought I would just set them up and spray paint them glossy white.

Good idea, except the paper never really dried. It was just sort of sticky. In a room where dust and material fragments and threads would be everywhere, I knew this wouldn’t be good. I opted to spray it with a glossy clear sealant. Now, there was a chance here that this would only make things worse and not resolve the issue. But I figured I could just stick The Kid in the truck and point him in the direction of IKEA and get him to buy replacement doors. It was worth a try.

And it worked! Next morning the stickiness was gone and the doors were all shiny! Next step, installation.

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Doesn’t it look like we bought it that way? I love this idea and may be looking for more ways to use this!

A couple more pics of the new cabinet and some of the other changes as a result:

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Added some more “buttons” and one still not up yet:

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New shelf along the ceiling line… those boxes hold so much! I have completed quilt squares and lots and lots of cut pieces just waiting to be turned into more quilts.

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Had to turn the button board vertical to fit. Had to move some other pieces, like the tack board, to another part of the room. Added some new things as well to the mix, such as this “puzzle box” of sewing attachments made by Singer in the early part of the 20th century.

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Here is where the tack board went. The top is a photo of The Kid when we had just adopted our puppy.

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Here is an older shot of the cabinets along the back wall and turning up to the window. You can sort of make out the beadboard fronts.

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Okay, now that this is done… I need to turn my attention to the third stall of the garage. It is where my sports car needs to be housed during what we expect to be a pretty snowy winter. I need to get the STUFF either done or out of there. I really just want to play in my sewing room… I just bought that new embroidery machine and can’t wait to get started. But first things first.

Julie

Organizing More of the Garage

I find sometimes that if I have too much to do, I tend to find a reason to organize. This weekend, I was frustrated by trying to find the right hardware to finish my sewing room updates and overwhelmed by how much I had to do, I instead opted to tackle organizing the front five cabinets of my garage. I even just jumped on it so quickly that I was nearly completed before I realized that I hadn’t taken any “before” photos. Sigh. Trust me when I say these cabinets were a mess and this really had been a long time in coming.

When we moved into the house over ten years ago, I spent the first year making the house exactly as I wanted it. And that included cabinets from here to Sunday to keep things neat and organized. The garage was no exception. But time takes its toll and before you know it, things are a mess again.

I will just show you the “after” shots. We (me and The Kid) added shelves and additional organizers. Total cost about $200.

DSCN2746These are the existing cabinets… they run across the entire back of the garage. We had them installed by California Closets when we first arrived. There is nothing better than having cabinets with doors, so when everything isn’t perfect you can just hide it from the world!

 

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The first cabinet got the most in the makeover. New organizers for nuts, bolts, screws, nails… all those little pieces of hardware necessary to build, assemble and fix.

DSCN2749Second cabinet… luckily the rags and paint cloths were already in a fairly neat pile in the drawers. The upper cabinet was rearranged, moving most of the nuts and bolts from this cabinet to the next. I re-used some of the old organizers here and left untouched the scoundrel piece that started it all: that little drawer unit in the bottom cabinet.

 

DSCN2751Another cabinet without much updating. The one thing I did do was add additional shelves to all the cabinets… that is the most amazing trick to organizing that I know.

DSCN2752Another trick is to throw out stuff you know you will never use. Or collect what is still useful and donate it to your favorite thrift store or give it away on CraigsList.

DSCN2753This cabinet isn’t my stuff… this is plumbing supplies that belong to the resident plumber. Rather than try to do too much here, I simply removed anything that wasn’t plumbing supplies and added the third shelf. If nothing else, it looks more organized!

Lastly, I did actually do some work on one small project. I have four very large and spindly plants that need to be re-potted and provided with some nutrients and fertilizers. To get started I bought a very large clay pot and saucer and primed them and then painted them red. Once I allow them to “cure”, I will transplant all those plants into that pot. And get healthier, I hope.

DSCN2755But in doing the painting, I realized that I am really in need of “paint booth”. Somewhere that I can always paint, and not worry about the painting floating beyond that space and landing on things that it shouldn’t land on. I learned that lesson a very expensive way, when painting a large project – somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 cans of white spray paint – that a large portion had landed and coated my sports car, also parked on the other half of the garage. It cost me almost $400 to get that taken care of. I am a bit more careful to never have my car in the garage while painting, but it needs to go further than that. A temporary “wall” of cardboard was put up to help, but there needs a more solid way to deal with it.

Soon, I will be undertaking that project. In one short afternoon, I think I have figured out how to use PVC piping and connectors to hang either heavy duty plastic or canvas to form a small paint booth. When not in use, I will simply push the curtains back to opposite corners. I am pretty good when it comes to planning. Cross your fingers that it works like it should.

julie

Going Nowhere Fast!

I swear, the more confident you are about something, the more likely that it will soon become undone.

I titled my last post, “entering the final stretch” just in time to have a major monkey wrench thrown into the mix. I bought a 1″x8″ piece of pine 10 feet long and gave it 3 coats of polyurethane after routing a nice round edge. We had it attached as the backsplash to the butcher block top but due to not having exacting finish with our DIY wall, it was a little bit wavy. So we opted to put caulk in the small gap, just to keep things like screws and drill bits from rolling to the edge and down behind the cabinets. The built-ins aren’t exactly made to get behind or move easily, so I opted for filling in that space instead to prevent just such a need.

Unfortunately, what we thought was tan grout turned out to be ‘liquid nails’ and suffice it to say, that it was nearly impossible to get rid of. Each time we would wipe a little, it seemed to just get everywhere. We ended up removing the backsplash and having to actually sand down about a third of the butcher block top including nearly all of the extension piece to get rid of this stuff. Talk about going backwards! Of course, then it had to have the four coats of poly re-applied and that all just takes time. So, what did we accomplish in a week? Absolutely nothing!

But we made up for that today. The backsplash has been reattached, the lighting has been installed and is even on a dimmer switch and the shelf has been installed. We put up hardware on the pegboard to hang all the yard tools and reorganized project pieces. I sorted through about half of the existing cabinets and reorganized tools and equipment and materials. On top of that, I cleared out a huge pile of ‘stuff’ that has been accumulating and gave it away on CraigsList.

FREE STUFFI always seem to have more plans and projects queued up than I have time and money and space! But isn’t that always how it goes? When the opportunity for materials and furniture are presented, you just figure you will make time. But after moving it around about 3 to 6 times, I can be quite ruthless and just put my foot down and chuck a bunch of things that I know that I will never have the time to complete. Sometimes it seemed like a good idea at the time… know what I mean?

Between me and The Kid, we are just beat! Time to put up our feet and do a whole ‘lot of nothing.

I’d really love to be done with this thing tomorrow and be able to take our “after” photos. I had no idea when we started this that it would take this much time and effort! Maybe it is just old age catching up with me.

Okay, now let’s just hope some good stuff has been uploaded to Netflix. I don’t plan on moving much in the next few hours.

P.S. I once had an asian person (Chinese I think) tell me that my name in their language would be JU meaning standing or staying in one place and LEE, meaning quickly; making my name literally mean ‘going nowhere fast’. Ha! I love it!

Entering the final stretch…

I had no idea that this project was going to take this long. It seems that this particular project has just had the wrong timing, what with two new jobs and everything else that has been going on.

I’ve had The Kid doing the coats of polyurethane on the work surface and the very last coat went on last night. Okay, so I know that the extension doesn’t exactly match, but it is close enough considering that it will be getting dinged, dirty and resides in the garage! I am more happy that it is done.

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So, the butcher block top that was given to us is on the right and my 30″ extension on the left. This photo was taken when both had been sanded down to raw wood.

DSCN2574A closer look and you can see that the raw wood doesn’t even match. Again, I am okay with it even though it would have been much cooler if I had actually gotten closer to matching, but what are you gonna do?

You may have noticed the two holes drilled on either end towards the wall. Well, this is my system of getting rid of saw dust. Under the holes and behind the cabinets, I have tall plastic trash cans that will catch the saw dust. Once done working, simply sweep everything towards the holes. The trash cans can be reached on either end for dumping or what we’re likely to do is when the cans are getting full, we’ll just stick the end of the shop-vac into the holes and viola!

DSCN2577So, four coats of polyurethane and the pieces are becoming quite beautiful. But most importantly, the surfaces will be hard for all future work.

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The picture above shows two coats, the one below is with the fourth and final coat. Once we get the tools spread out over it, you’ll hardly notice the difference in woods.

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As you can see, I have kept collecting carpets (yes, free from CraigsList) for the garage floors. I occasionally will run out to the garage for something and I really hate having to stop and put on shoes. And it is easier to convince the kid to vacuum rather than sweep. Like rugs of the past, when I drop paint or stain on them, I simply roll them up and throw them away.

I am still working on a project that will house my extremely large collection of embroidery thread. I am also working on a thread that celebrates paint stir sticks and all the wonderful things that can be made from them.

Simply gluing them side to side creates a wonderfully thin piece of wood which has a nice wood grain… you can see it in the picture below:

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I created a template and then used to it draw the cutting lines for the drawer dividers. Luckily for me, it was The Kid’s job to make all those cuts! I will write a post from beginning to end on this storage cabinet that started life as a small desk. I love looking at something and seeing something different.

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Last quick update… Some time ago, I had purchased these wonderful cabinet knobs. I almost forgot about them as they did travel all the way from China. They arrived last night and so I had The Kid replace the knobs on the upper cabinets of my computer work office… and if you didn’t know it before, you will now: I am a huge Mac fanatic. This is just the icing on that revalation!
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A overall shot of the computer room… you almost can’t see the shapes of the knobs, but trust me, they are there. 🙂

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Okay, so that’s it for today. This weekend will be spent completing the garage project and getting it all in a post before I head back to work on Monday. I hope you’ll come back and see the grand unveiling!

julie

 

Garage Remodel: Workshop

As you may know, I have been putting in a lot of time and effort to making my garage a better place to work and be able to park my vehicles inside. I have started a new job and it seems that a lot of my time and thinking are spent there and not at home and in the garage.

We did quite a bit of work this weekend, but still not finished. DSCN2562From this photo, you can see that I was able to get at least one car into the garage. We’re smack dab in the middle of tornado season and I just finished paying off my little sports car, so I was happy to have it garaged.

DSCN2563I did pick up the grey cupboards and got them installed, along with the butcher block counter that came from a free work table. I loved the countertop, but didn’t want the open space below, it was much too easy for things to just get jammed in there and look messy and dirty and filled with saw dust.

The top wasn’t long enough to cover both cabinets, so I made an extension. I cute 2 x 2’s into 30″ segments and glue and screw them together. Then I used a concoction of glue and saw dust to fill into the spaces left from the slightly rounded edges of 2 x 2’s and let them dry. The pieces all assembled were a tad too shallow to match up with the existing countertop, so I glue the pieces to a sheet of 3/8’s luan, which actually stabilizes it as well. I bought another tool that I’ve been wanting, a belt sander, to make the job of smoothing it all a tad easier.

DSCN2564The piece was laid end-to-end with the butcher block and then glued. The entire top was bolted to the lower cabinet and inset to keep a smooth surface. I opted to cut off the corner as I could easily envision bumping it with my hip every single time I came into the garage. 🙂

This week, The Kid has been tasked with sanding the existing butcher block top down to bare wood and then I will put a few coats of polyurethane to give it a nice hard surface that should endure. And it should look pretty sharp too. I am hoping that by the end of next weekend, this will be completed.

DSCN2572At the right end of the work surface is a 10 foot high storage. The space not easily accessed holds less used items and the center I made into a paint station. The paint rollers are stored on a dowel placed end to end inside the cabinet and one cubby hole below holds brushes of all kinds and roller pads. The lower cabinet will house the shop vac and all of its accessories as well as some other materials that just are unsightly. Still room at this point to use to store tools and materials.

At the right of the photo in the smaller garage stall are two (free) shelving units, one holds tools boxes and the other holds the one gallon paint cans. The quart cans, the sample jars and spray paint are all house in one of the existing cabinets the line the back of the the garage.

DSCN2571At the end of the white shelving units are a little workstation. I picked up this smaller sized cabinets I picked up free from CraigsList a year or so ago. On top is a piece of salvaged Corian countertop and then collected drawers are utilized to create storage for much used materials, like sandpaper for the sanders.

DSCN2570This is a quick shot of the third stall, currently packed with projects and more materials. Once again, from CraigsList, I got the carpet squares free and it pretty much carpeted this side of the garage. It will serve as a nicer place to showcase finished items and they can be parked on once winter comes. Heck of a mess, right? I know it is driving me crazy to not have more organization here!

I did manage to get the dead trees in front of the house replaced as well. Hopefully these will fare better than the previous ones, I even used Miracle Grow potting mix to plant them.

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The Kid has been working on his own project as well, this is going to be a metal forge. A couple of weekends ago, he and I walked along the train track near the silos downtown and picked up pieces of coal that had escaped from the coal cars. We ended the night getting what we needed, but was escorted off the premises by two of Kansas City’s finest. I guess that trespassing around large train cars is bad or maybe dangerous… but I guess I can understand it from the railroad’s point of view.

Once The Kid has made some progress, I will let him do a guest blog post to explain what he is making and how to do it. Again, for him it is good skills to have and to know that it isn’t something that he would want to do for a living. I keep telling him that he is better off working with his head than his hands and his back.

Just as soon as this garage project is done, I will have photos up here. Thanks for hanging in there with me!

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