Making A Dent in the Project Pile

Work has had me worn out by the end of each day. Seems like I have the best of intentions but no energy to carry out the work for the blog page. But little by little, I am getting a few things done.

The first I am going to talk about is something that I really love… from the initial idea to its completion. I am really, really in love with this project.

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The conception of this little project was picking up – for free – the sewing table. A very simple design with the flip open top, a run-of-the-mill design for sewing machine tables. But it was in very nice shape and I loved the simple, elegant design.

I began by removing the top. I also removed from the front the flip down pocket from the front. A simple wipe-down of the remainder brought it back to the deep rich original finish.

dscn4731Some time ago, like over two years, I picked up some Corian countertops from CraigsList. I didn’t know what I would use them for, at the time, but I always knew that they could be transformed into something beautiful. Part of the countertops – the island piece, I believed – became the top of a beautiful cafe-style table and chairs set.

DSCN2794You’ll note that this set’s table is also sewing related! The chairs were fitted with matching Corian seats. Isn’t that adorable too?

dscn4729Well, we’ve learned – The Kid and I – that Corian can be cut, sanded and routed the same as any wood. So, I wanted to make the top for the new table from the remaining pieces. Initially, laid out in the workshop, I drew a nice little rectangle but knew that would be too boring. I recently purchased a new template for making curved edges for quilt and the paper label was lying in the recycle bin right in eye sight! I used it to draw the nice half circles around the edges and with a little fidgeting, it turned out perfectly.

dscn4730It took nearly half of the longest and widest piece of the Corian, you can see in this picture what was left as well as the reverse of the curves of the cutout piece. This sitting like this gave me the idea to use the same design to create a matching mirror. Wouldn’t this look cute in the entryway of someone’s home? Or a little place in the kitchen to dash off a recipe or keep a computer handy?

The piece was cut using a jigsaw and then routed top and bottom. I opted to keep the inside edge of the mirror pristine, I think the routing would have detracted from the edge work. It was fitted with a mirror and backed with a lightweight backing and then taped with a finish tape.

dscn4737The drawer front was connected to a larger drawer, one that was salvaged from the desk turned small cabinet (and decoupaged with Atlas maps). It was the perfect width, just needed to be cut down to a size that would fit the cabinet.

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I love that this piece was re-made without a penny being spent! Everything is remade/recycled from free materials picked up from CraigsList. I kept the tilt-out piece and just added the drawer. The Kid was crafty enough to configure a drawer tract and put it all together!

Another project finished! I’ve also worked on a couple of smaller projects at the same time… I always have to have my hands doing something! I finished cross stitching the little pillow for Mattie (hi Mattie!) to help her to remember that cubicle walls don’t have much sound protection!

Just a little pillow, about 4″ x 7″ that sits under her monitor. She picked the colors and I just happened to have the perfect fabric to use for the back.

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I also put together this little card holder for my blog cards. It is simply two drawer pulls on a scrap of really nice wood that I had leftover. I sanded the edges into nice rounds and attached the handles simply by drilling holes into the surface and sinking them into it. No gluing, no painting, no fuss! It works for either vertical or horizontal cards. Pretty neat, if I say so myself!

And last, but not least, I made yet another little shelf with storage bottles for craft items. As many of them before, this one is made from paint sticks! I love the versatility of those free pieces of wood! And I seem to always find one or six of those little jars, so I am quickly filling up the shelves.

Well, that about does it for tonight. Tomorrow we have big plans to finish the west wall of the garage… I have to remember to take before and after photos – as well as some in between.

julie

The Always ‘Almost Done’ Status

Its been a lazy kind of weekend, it seems each time that I muster up enough energy to get started, I fizzle quickly. It was all I could do to work up enough energy to sort through the third stall of the garage. Trying to identify everything that could possibly be either discarded or thrown away. Then what was left was organized such that it is each piece is easily reached and I did a mental checklist of the projects left and their relative level of effort required to finish.

The countertops don't look nearly as blue as they are!The project that is currently under way – has been under way for some time – is the kitchen table and chairs. I don’t know if you recall, but months ago, The Kid and I picked up some Corian countertops from the friendliest woman via Craigslist. She had gotten the counters from her dad (I think she said) and she had hoped to use them for an outdoor kitchen but her husband had put his foot down and wanted them gone from the backyard. Of course, I couldn’t resist, even though I didn’t have a particular project in mind. I love it when something happens that makes it worth the gas and time to pick it up.

One of the pieces of Corian that was included, was a squarish piece that had edges, it appears to have been used for an island. And it just so happened that I had been on the receiving end of an antique sewing machine and table. I wanted to use the base for something, I love the character that comes with things that were manufactured or built in the previous century. And the square base sat perfectly onto the frame.

To be complete, however, I had to have chairs to go along with it. And they had to be similar in style. After watching CraigsList for some time, even scouring the For Sale listings, I saw the ad in the FREE section. There were four of them, although two were broken and needed repair. But I thought that perhaps two chairs were enough given that it was a small table, perhaps to be used in a breakfast nook.

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So far, I’ve been able to get the base of the table painted, as well as the chairs. To give the chairs a little more heft, I filled the tubular legs with sand. By using both broken chair, we were able to actually to get one good chair. So this table set with have three chairs.

2014-11-02 14.29.03Next up, today, we cut the rough shape of the chair seats from another piece of Corian. I had heard and read that Corian would cut just like wood, using the same tools and methods.

2014-11-02 14.29.08I was nervous but The Kid helped out and used the circular saw to cut the patterns I drew. I took a piece of Corian scrap and worked it with the band saw and the belt sander and to my amazement, it did exactly what it should. It did take a little more time (and patience) but in the end the normal tools worked.

So, next up is to finish the chair seats and then attach them to the table. We also have most of the table assembled, we’re going to mount pieces of wood to the base and then bolt the base to the wood we’ve attached to the bottom of the table. This one is soon to be completed.

photoOkay, I’ve been writing while watching some old scary movies via Netflix and we’ve just started “House on Haunted Hill”, the original with Vincent Price, so I need to publish and turn my attention to The Kid and the movie.

Come back soon to see the completed work!

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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