Sunday, December 26, 2010

Happy birthday!!!

Holy shat, it's been a long dry spell for posts!  Nearly 6 weeks?  Something like that.  Here it is, Boxing Day already!  Christmas was good at our house.  Or maybe Festivus?  Whatever the nonreligious version is, heathens that we are.  Io, Saturnalia?  Happy first day of Kwanzaa!  I should find some libations and celebrate.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Rolling Crate Cart

It's gotten colder and I'm at a loss as to how to poly the I've been letting it sit.  What a shock!  Little Boy has been wanting to do a project with me, so I pulled out the stuff to make 2 10$ ledges (11$ for me, to be more accurate) and a Vintage Crate Cart.  I didn't have any pallets to break down (still haven't worked up my nerve to ask anyone when I see them) so I checked all of my scraps and had just enough if I changed the slats...I had 3 1x4s instead of the 6 it called for, but, I DID have 2 1x3s and a 1x6, so I went with that.  It ends up being the same, height-wise, it just looks a teensy different.   I had had Orange cut down some 3/4" plywood for me yesterday.  I bought a 4x8 sheet and had 2 8" strips cut at 11 1/2".  This is just to have some '1x12' on hand that is the same size as Ana's crazy Alaskan 1x12, instead of being 1/4" narrower.  I'll use it when I don't feel like changing all the measurements in a plan to be 1/4" shorter on the cuts, or when something is going to be painted, versus stained.  I will probably end up using some of it for my Dad's table, but I'll do edge-banding on that.  SO!  Long story, slightly less long  I used the plywood for the 1x12 sides in the plan ;)

We went old school with it, so he could help as much as possible.  I used the jigsaw, and a plain hammer and nails for everything but the bottom.  It went pretty well, actually.  Neither of us had any injuries, except he wacked my thumb once.  It's not square, by about 1/3rd inch, which hurts me.  I'll live though!  He had a great time and it got the garage cleaner - I had set the stick of cleaning the garage and finding somewhere to store my wood stash (so much bigger than my yarn stash, but represents less $$$) before we could get started, and I'm glad I did!  We spent all afternoon on the crate, and never got to the ledges.

Once he went to bed, I drilled & jigsawed the handholds (SO uneven, ugh) and sanded the heck out of the whole thing.  I asked Little Boy how he wanted it finished and he said he wants paint & glitter. (I'd prefer a nice stain, maybe a stencil, and some poly)  Talking with the Husbeast tonight, he suggested a bright base colour and some large glitter bits, covered with poly or mod-podge or whatever.  He also suggested I sand down the upper corners, since LB is so clumsy these days.  So, after our playdate tomorrow morning, we'll prime it, then LB and I will head to Hobby Lobby to see what sort of decorations we can find, and Orange or Blue for some wheels!  I have a can of bright red paint in a cupboard from doing the stripes in his bedroom, hopefully that will be an approved colour (I also have a can of maybe I'll do a stencil to satisfy me, and he can glitter everywhere else).  If not, we can always check the oops paint while we're out!

Friday, November 12, 2010

One Stained Nightstand

It almost sounds like a mess-up of one-night-stand ;)  Or a really bad (or good??) one-night-stand ;)

Anyhow!  Second coat of stain went on today during preschool.  Ana is SO right when she says it's all in the finishing, for so many things.  She was talking about the Kids Storage Chair (I need to get off my hiney, buy the wood for these and start building...I know at least one kid who is getting a pair of these for Christmas!), but it really applies to anything you build.  I haven't LOVED any piece until I've finished the finishing..I don't expect to super purple puffy heart this nightstand, but I like it a heck of a lot more now ;)

 2 coats of Minwax Walnut Gelstain.  I'll give it another light sanding tonight, vacuum/tack cloth it, then do 2 poly coats in satin this weekend.  One each day, super-light sandings in between.  It should be moved into the house Sunday, and then ready for use Tuesday!

I didn't have any major Finishing Fail happen with this piece.  I used the Walnut tinted wood filler for the nail & screw holes.  On the screw holes you can kind of see the darker circle if you look for it, but it's not a huge deal.  I tried to keep them centered so they'd look like intentional design if they showed ;)

I didn't sand this to a silky-perfection before finishing.  I wanted it to go with the 'reclaimed wood' look of the headboard.  I did a decent sand with 80 grit and called it good.  I wanted some of the hammer bangs and flaws to show through the stain.
Yes yes, horribly untidy garage.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Master Bathroom Blah

Current plans for the master bathroom - do the ceiling, paint the walls Valspar's 'Sea Salt', strip & stain the vanity cabinets a java or espresso colour.  New shower curtain & rug, new towel & TP holder, new cabinet hardware. 

I would LOVE to eventually build a new cabinet base, going with a standard width from Blue or Orange (I think 47" for a double sink?), buy a new top (although, I wouldn't mind saving the dough and doing a wood top with a crapton of poly.  But in spite of being a wood-lover, Husbeast is dead against this), replace the GIANT mirror with 2 smaller mirrors, build a floor-ceiling linen cabinet either right inside the door, or between the new vanity and the bog (either option would involve moving an electrical outlet).  New flooring.  I don't care what anymore, it's just ugly.  I wouldn't mind the new 'stone tile' mimic vinyl.  It looks really good, and seems to be a good choice for a budget redo.  Considering knocking into the wall to do some cubbie-shelves in between the studs (this could look nice in between the 2 mirrors).

Pipe-dreams - Replace the garden tub with a smaller jet tub.  It can fit 2, sure, but not the 4 we currently can get in there!  (Such a waste of a tub, we can't even use it, it's too big to fill!)  Put a shower in where the bog is.  Move the bog over (where my sink is), and then put in a smaller vanity, sacrificing a sink if need be or even part of my walk-in closet to make more room.  Heated stone floor.  Glass block window.

Pics from when we moved in -

Monday Monday..

Got the 3 windows upstairs washed & primed today.  Little Boy's bedroom, guest room, and the master bathroom windows.  They're all single-wide.  No rot, just flaking paint :)  Also, scrubbed/scraped/sanded/primed the peeling ceiling in the master bath.  I'm assuming the ceiling paint hasn't been done since the house was built 17 or 18 years ago.  It was flaking & peeling in random spots, so I'm not necessarily blaming humidity at this time.  Although, I've become a bit of a fan-Nazi for at least part of my shower! 

Tomorrow afternoon, I'll caulk any gaps and prime again.  They may or may not get properly painted Wednesday.  Two coats of primer should hold them through the winter!  I am so damned sick of windows.  Window painting, washing, maintenance, discovering they're rotten, trying to fit new windows into the budget, discovering the rotten part of the patio doors, even picking out a stupid blind or curtain for the kitchen sink window..anything with glass can kiss my ass at this point!

I'd rather spend Wednesday preschool time staining the nightstand!  I never got to work on it this weekend, time just ran away from me.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday Plan

More winterising and trying to get stuff off the to-do list!

Husbeast is heading to Orange or Blue to get new weather stripping for all of the doors.  Also, he will be taking care of the TP holder that's come out of the wall in the little bathroom.  Needs to be moved over half an inch or needs a new anchor, we'll see.  Need to measure and cut the 2 pieces of baseboard that go next to the vanity in there.  (No, we haven't done that yet...yes, we did the vanity last MARCH!).  Replace the furnace filter.

I'm working on Sam's bedroom window, the guest room window, and the master bath window.  If I prime the little spots today and get them washed, then I can paint them properly Sunday & Monday (during preschool) and call that whole project done until next spring when we need to start replacing some of the windows :(  I need to take down screens, store them (in the laundry room..which needs tidying.  My main motivation for that is finding all of my giant fuzzy socks).  I would like to get the nightstand stained this weekend as well.  I can poly monday or wednesday.  It's supposed to be pretty nice this coming week, in the 50s and 60s!  Makes it less painful to have a window open for the day, that's for sure.

I have too many things I want to do, yet again.  I need to stop looking at plans and ideas and things other people are doing, get MY stuff done that NEEDS doing, and then I can start fun stuff again ;)

/ETA - Got the weather stripping & TP Holder done.  The weatherstripping of the front door took FOREVER and we needed to actually remove the door to complete it.  So, that's all that got done today.  I'll start the windows tomorrow, and the bathroom baseboard.  Husbeast is on tap for the furnace filter and we realised today we need to change the main duct to be mainly downstairs.  It's COZY upstairs, and cold down here.  It's a Fall/Spring task, we just forgot ;)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Awwww, I really DO love him!

I finally powered through and got my mojo back!  Brought everything inside to the dining room, so I could crank up some tunes and get this knocked out during preschool today.  Squared it all up, added the middle shelf & supports, and threw some 2" wood screws into the end of each support to just give it some added stability.  Made it just in time to get the Little Boy from preschool!

Nail & screw holes are filled.  Waiting for that to dry, then I'm going to be a cheater!  It seems I was off by about a mm on one board for each shelf, so I'm just going to clamp a guide on and run the circular saw along the edges tonight.  Then, sanding, prestain wood conditioner, stain and poly!

You'd better love this, Husbeast ;)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Winter project addition!

I've been really stumped about what to do with our dining room.  I am SO doing this, this winter -  In white.  LOVE it!  Sadly, I think Husbeast won't, but he'll just be happy that something is getting done with that room.  I see this, plus a nice buffet/console table, and eventually a larger square table :)

Don't you also love my 500 paint test spots?  And the lameass chair rail?  I'm thinking with the wainscoting, I'll bring the height up a few inches so it comes in line with the pillars that seperate the living/dining.  We'll see.

Effing Windows!

That is one of the few really BAD things about this house that we didn't know about when we bought it.  Either the window was about to go bad, or WAS bad but you just couldn't tell quite yet.  I think they slapped a crapton of paint and epoxy over any bad spots and just crossed their fingers.  Next time we're house-hunting, I'm bringing a screwdriver and poking all of the frames to check for soft spots.

We knew the living room window and the one by the front door needed new outer panes because there was a BB hole in each (I have no idea...a local kid?  the dad?  the kid who used to live here?) biggie.  It wasn't leaking air into the house or anything.  But then we discovered the family room window had a really big rotten spot on the inside bottom corner.  Like, stick your finger through the damned frame cause it was soft and rotten :(  Contacted Pella, ordered the new window, their contractor came out THREE MONTHS LATER to install it for a gazillion took 3 appointments to get him here.  THEN to top it all off, the j-hole didn't install it correctly so when we had a bad rain storm a month later, the TOP of the frame got soaked on the inside.  At least procrastination sometimes pays off, because I hadn't painted it yet...otherwise I never would have seen the wet till it was too late :(

This summer I was poking at the other windows, and decided to scrub/prime/paint them all again..Went to get started on the one in our room and the effing bottom is totally rotten.  So, I've been ignoring it in the hopes that it would fix itself or something..I don't know?  I just couldn't deal with another 700$ window and a crappyass installation.  A bit later, I had moved on and started the first floor windows.  When we discovered the damned effing dining room window is rotten as well.  And the kitchen sink one.  And the sliding glass door.  I was so angry and baffled and 'wtf'ing I spent a few evenings googling 'window repair' and 'window maintenance' and all that...We haven't been doing anything WRONG!  That was a big concern of mine, that we were causing it.  I can't speak for the people who owned the house before us though.  Until I stumbled upon a class action lawsuit against the manufacturer for our exact model of window, made and installed during certain years (when ours were) that they leak bigtime and cause early rotting.  Fucking-A! 

Here's what I have going on in our bedroom today -

 The whole bottom piece which has the opening/closing mechanism on it has seperated from the main window piece.  You can swing out the whole window, and still have the bottom piece up flush with the frame.
I ended up brushing out any loose bits, vacuuming it with an attachment, throwing a crap ton of glue in there, and clamping it.  I just want a seal so we can get through the winter before having it replaced.  I will happily buy a replacement window, but there is NO way I'm having one of their contractors install it.   Tuesday I will prime it, wednesday I will paint it.  Then probably seal the whole danged double window with that lovely winterising plastic stuff. 

Isn't home-ownership GRAND?!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I need some mojo!

Oomph, maybe?  I've come to a complete standstill on that nightstand for the Husbeast.  Yes, we've been busy, but not SO busy I couldn't do anything with it :(  It's currently looking forlorn and lonely sitting on top of the pretend workbench I use, in the garage.  It's really so not my style that I'd started to hate it.  What I realised today is, this isn't for ME..This is for him.  HE likes it, HE wants it, it goes on HIS side of the bed ;)  So, I'll finish it in the next couple days..Cause that's how I roll, baby!  Anything for My Man (hahaha, I just spit coffee out of my nose..I couldn't keep a straight face!). 

OK!  So, I need to square it up, hit Blue for some decent self-tapping screws and a properly-sized dowel to make screw cover thingies with (This is the part I hate..I'm NOT a 'little lady working with some big tools, isn't that kyoooot!' but I can never remember the NAMES for things that I I sound like one.  When I bought some nail punch thingies, to sink them down so I could wood putty over them (see?  I can't remember!)...I asked the helper 'Where do you stock the nail-punchy-down-sinky-things?'..he laughed.  sigh.)  So yes.  I need some dowel.  To cover my countersunk screws.  Get the last shelf on, tighten everything up, trim any edges that need it, check for level and square AGAIN...then start finishing it.  The Dread Finishing.  The Dread Pirate Finishing?  hmmm.

THEN!  I need to get cracking on this -

My Dad recently bought a condo in warm city to retire to (gooo, Dad!) and he bought this little table for one of the rooms.  It is a dark stain and matches the recliner-ey thing he bought.  He would also like one in a lighter stain for a different room, but they didn't sell them.  I think it looks pretty simple and quite probably a good first project to try out pocket screws on!  I've been poking around, looking for supports similar to the ones shown, but havent' found anything yet.  He's also getting me some proper measurements so I can start wood shopping and plan making.  I hope this happens soon, since we've decided to drive up for one last 'Family is all together' Thanksgiving (or as Little Boy says - Frenchgiving).  I could bring it up then.  Ah, but if I were clever then I wouldn't finish it in time and he'd have to stop over for a night on his way to move to the condo in January!

Finally, once those 2 are done, I can start the Balin Console Table for the dining room!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Sunday II

I've made progress on the nightstand.  I'm not loving it, though.  The third shelf is supposed to be about 6 inches below the top.  I haven't put it on yet, because I'm just not pleased.  It looks like a lameass sawhorse or something.  I'm tempted to take the legs off, and make them at more of an angle as the Husbeast originally suggested.

But, enough of it today.  We're off to the library before we owe them giant fines like someone I know ;)  I will mull on the leg placement/angle and maybe work on it after Little Boy is abed.

Sunday stuff

Let's see...I didn't have any coughing craziness last night, so I'm calling this cold 99% gone!  I started on the nightstand yesterday.  I really had a heck of a time with the 10 degree angle cuts on the leg bottoms & tops.  Finally just clamped my metal protractor-square-combo to the wood and used it as a guide and they turned out fab.  I need to always use a cutting guide, I think.  It makes cuts so much easier and they turn out so well.  I had previously only been using one for larger cuts (like the top of the console table), but when I don't use one they get all wobbly and lame and not square.  Which then affects the actual assembling and I end up going insane.  Speaking of crappy cuts, I am incapable of actually cutting each board to the same size.  The shelves are a 1x6, a 1x4, and a 1x6 all next to eachother.  Cut at 28 inches.  I'd get 2 done at exactly 28, then the third is 28" and 1mm.  I'm thinking when it comes time to do the shelves, I'll lay them out, square them up, and then trim the edge again, using a guide this time.  So annoyed.

So, these nightstands are based on the Truss Shelves.  I'm using 1x4s for the legs and a mix of 1x4 and 1x6 for the shelves.  I think it would have looked nice to have a similar top, where the legs extend, but Husbeast didn't like that and wanted it flush.  I'm cool with that, whatever.  I'm doing 1 right now as a test, and if it turns out well I'll make the other.  I'm using glue & nails to get the legs & supports together, then I'll pop a screw at the end of each support for added sturdiness, once I make sure it's all square.  One tricky bit I need to keep in mind is getting the shelves on.  I need to do the top shelf first, as the second shelf isn't spaced evenly (another decision of his..I like symmetry and he wanted it uneven) and it's too close to the top shelf for it to be comfortable hammering from the bottom.

Here's where I am -
Not very exciting, is it?  One front leg, one back leg, 2 supports.  All of my other cuts are done (minus the last minute trimming, sigh).  I'll be doing walnut gel stain to match the headboard.

Fridge update -

SO pleased with this purchase!  Can't wait to do the stove & dishwasher as well.  I'm planning on 5 months from now, but knowing me, I'll end up waiting till next october.  Which is *fine.  It gives us more time to pick out tile and do the floor ;)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Oooh, I suck.

Well, colds suck.  I always make too many plans for myself.  It's like my plan-making skills are still stuck in the pre-child days and never account for how much of a time-suck kids are :)

So, still sick :(  It wouldn't be bad except as soon as I lay down at night it's hack hack hack cough hack hack all.night.long.  So, I'm tiiiired.  Husbeast is tiiiired.  Little Boy somehow sleeps through it when he comes into our bed, I have no idea idea how.

This weekend, I got ONE window painted, and a fridge bought.  That's it, from the list.

I can't take the sickness anymore, so I'm heading to Blue this morning to pick up a crapton of wood for 2 projects.  Going to get cracking on the side table my Dad wants me to knock-off one he bought (he wants it lighter for a different room), and knock up one of the nightstands Husbeast has 'designed'.

Hopefully an update about the new fridge later :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weekend Plans - 10/15

So, I need to not build anything this weekend.  If I'm a good girl I will go buy some lumber on monday.  I need to make headway on

  • getting the rest of the windows painted (interior)
  • somehow jury-rig a repair to the bottom of the master bedroom window
  • Get the lawn mowed and tidied up for fall/winter
  • Buy a new fridge ;)
  • Get Husbeast to start putting up new, properly-sized weather stripping on the exterior doors
That sounds like enough...too much probably.  Let's see how much we can get done!  I'd like to see the number of windows in the To-Do list to the right go down, since I can conceivably use the circular saw while bundled up warm, but I can't see painting a frozen window or leaving a window open long enough for it to dry in the winter here!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This might just be the cold meds talking..

But, since I've been getting my DIY on lately, I really feel we COULD tackle replacing the ugly old vinyl flooring with delicious lovely tile on the first level ourselves.  Do the entry/hall/bathroom first, then the kitchen.  But, maybe we should do the kitchen first?  Because then we don't have tears over the whole toilet portion?  and having to remove that danged vanity?  Hmmm.  It wouldn't be till spring, because I'd like to get more confident with saw, square cuts, etc.  But I can totally see this!  The hard part, IMO, for us as a couple is picking out tile we both like ;)

Also, I want to strip and restain darker the 2 stairs at the foot of the staircase, and the handrail.  They're so 1990's right now.  Paint the laundry room cabinets white.  Restain both the upstairs bathroom vanities.  Tile the bathrooms up there (maybe that's a good first tiling project?  Re-do the master bath floor.  We could even put that heated flooring stuff in, ooooh posh!).  I feel so overwelmed at times with this house.  Especially the master bath - it could use a total reboot.  Put a stand-alone shower in where the toilet is, move the toilet over to where my sink is, put in a new (much smaller) double sink vanity in, and then replace the giant garden tub of unhappiness with a better-sized tub.  I'm torn on the whole jetted tub thing.  It sounds great, but if you like bubble bath it isn't very practical.  Plus, I've heard horror stories of how old dead-skin infested water sits in the pipes until you use it again.  Or clean really well.  Which, as you know, isn't what I'm known for.  New tubs are like a gajillion dollars I can't see that happening.  I need to just update what we have and live with it, even if I always have to use Little Boys real-sized bathtub if I want a soak. 

WHY do none of the DIY shows ever come to the midwest?!  (not counting damned Chicago...curse you, Chi-Town!)  I should amend my statement to be 'come to the smaller towns in the middle of nowhere in the midwest?!'.  I can make good soundbites, I would wear makeup and something other than workout pants!  We could be charming!  Bastards.

OK, ok...back to the tiling.  I'm wanting something in a medium toned brown (shocker!) and set at a diagonal.  I also like the dark mixed slate, but that kind of feels 5 years ago.  As opposed to my lovely vinyl which feels 20 years ago.

Time for more cold meds, and hopefully 9 hours of sleep.  I need to buy some lumber friday, during preschool!  I have a crazy Husbeast-designed nightstand prototype to build!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Simple, Cheap & Easy Console Table finished!

Finally moved it into the house last night.  The poly on top still has 24 hours more of curing time before I can set anything on it.  I'll likely play it safe and wait another 72 ;)  I went through too much agro with the finish to ruin it at the last minute! 

So, the finish!  As you know, I had a heck of an issue with the wood filler not taking stain.  I tried 500 different things and finally decided it was just time to throw in the towel and paint it with black satin paint (2 coats over primer).  I did the base, but decided to try staining the top, since I hadn't tried that part yet.  I used the walnut gel stain and it took wonderfully!  Then, I did 2 coats of Jacobean, and one last coat of Walnut, since it seemed to be lacking something.  Did one coat of poly on the underside and sides, and 2 coats on the topm with a swipe of 320 grit between coats (not because I think anything over 220 is necessary, it's just what I had on hand!).

So, this is the new home for it.  That picture is moving away, and I'm putting up a large black-framed mirror there (once I finish making the frame smaller this weekend, then it needs painting since it's the old mirror from the half bath redo).  I have some crafty seasonal decor for it as well, that I stole from YHL, but as I said it can't go on till later this week!

My only other building note I forgot to add in the original post - Like someone mentioned in the comments on the plans, none of the 1x12s here are actually 11 1/2 inches wide.  They're all 11 1/4, so I adjusted the cross pieces to be 9 3/4 inches instead of the 10 it called for.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Headboard installed, Corner no longer Cacktastic

We *finally brought the headboard upstairs this morning!  This whole time I've been secretly worried that it would be the wrong size.  It's perfect!  I love it, I'm so pleased!  Now I just need to get some nightstands built from the Husbeast's drawing!  What he drew was very similar (albeit much smaller!) to Ana's Truss Bookshelves plan.  So I'll be modding that and we'll see how it goes.  I'm thinking of replacing the 2x4s with 1x4s, and using a mix of 1x6s and 1x4s for the shelves to bring it more in line with the headboard.  I wouldn't mind doing some bright/colourful ones, but he's still anti-painted-wood so we'll go matchy-match with the headboard.

Such a sad sad bed -

But wait!  It's suddenly a HAPPY bed!  (and a bit rumpled...and lacking in the pillow area)

So, there it is!  And those danged presswood 20$ 4-drawer dressers we bought at MEIJER 6 years ago and are doubling as nightstands.  With very very badly mismatched lamps.  I like not matching, but these take it too far!

So, after the bed was all set up, Little Boy decided it was the best play place in the entire house...Which allowed me to make some headway on the Corner O' Cack!

It's no longer dooooom-filled!

Here's the rest of the room, taken from the doorway to the hall and the doorway to the master bath -

We inherited the border with the house.  I need to get rid of it, but it's not quite seering my eyes yet.  Paint as well..I'm so sick of a whole cream house.  But, if I had my way the whole house would be shades of beige, so how is that really any better?  So, I'm thinking, move the bed in front of the window, replace the dressers with proper nightstands (dressers can then go into each closet as they're still useful, just ugly).  Possibly build the proper truss bookshelves they're based on, put them in the Corner O' Former Cack.  Maybe try a couple display shelves somewhere else (I quite like Ana's new 10$ shelves..Love the idea of them filled with frames all the same colour, and family pictures from over the years).   We have some artwork that needs hanging as well, but nothing WHIZ BANG POW, just normal :)  Also, need a bedskirt.

I'll be back tomorrow with a Finished Finishing post for the console table!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Finishing Update

The Husbeast took Little Boy to Lowe's this morning for a Build & Grow clinic - if they have them in your area, take advantage of them!  They're great!  LB is 3.5 and with some help is able to do every project so far.  Plus, it's free and fun!  He has his little builder's apron they give them and after completing each project they get a patch to be sewn on.  So cute!

While they were gone I primed the base of the Console Table.  3 hours, it took!  Holy moly, I find that shocking.  If I weren't keeping the top stained I would have just used spray primer.   I'm debating spray poly for the base...or should I just use a satin finish paint and only poly the stained part?  I have no idea.  maybe I should seal up the top and spray paint the base?  It's too hard to choose!  Also, I am fine with a black base, but part of me wants to do it red or lime green or purple or something more interesting than basic black!  I'll be putting one last coat of stain on the ends and then giving everything till tomorrow to dry while I figure out how I want to do the base.

Here's where it is today -

And, in the interest of full disclosure about my Corner O' Cack, I took a pic of it yesterday -

Horrifying.  Just in time for Halloween!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Finishing Fail Part Two

So!  As a follow-up to today's earlier post, I didn't get any laundry put away or the Corner worked on(crappy housekeeper, remember?).  The kitchen DID get cleaned but then dirtied again..sigh.

The great news is that the top stained great!  This totally made my day.  I got so excited I took some pictures of basically nothing.  There're no splodges or anything, and I need to put 2 more coats of stain on, then prime & paint the base and polycoat the whole thing.  With drying times, I'll be lucky if it's done by this time next week.

But, that just gives me a whole week to be a slackass work on other projects!  Silver linings, people!

Finishing Fail

Remember that wood filler from the headboard?  The one I poked into the gaps, that took stain really well but was going to bite me on the ass later?  Yeeeeah...It's so later.

Sanded the hell out of the console, bought some Jacobean stain(regular.  doesn't come in gel), coated the table really well with pre-stain conditioner (I don't always learn ALL my lessons, but I definitely learned this one!) and started staining.

So unhappy!  What did I do wrong?  Was it not dry enough?  It was at least 4 hours, maybe even overnight (I can't recall now...I'm already blocking the anguish) that the wood filler sat there.  I put conditioner on it, I sanded it, I did everything the SAME as the headboard and it took the stain like a champ on that!  The only difference is I used a gel on the headboard.  So, I sanded a spot back to bare (conditioned it again, just in case) and tried using the gel. 

No joy.  Lots of anti-joy.  I did 5 or 6 different things over the space of 3 days trying to get this to work.  So, I'm going to paint it!  Screw you, stain!  Black is the new black!

But first, I'm going to try staining the top.  Because I'm a glutton for punishment and angst.  Plus, I worked HARD to make sure I had no nail holes in that top, so it would stain perfectly!  Also, I think it would look fab with a black satin base and a deep stained top :)

We have a lot going on today (non preschool day) so I'll see when I can fit it in.  Little Boy likes to pretend to drive my car, so maybe I'll toss him in there while I stain?  We've been to the gym already, need to get some laundry put away, work on my Corner o' Cack in the bedroom, clean the kitchen, go to a playdate (he's been begging since 6:30 this morning if it's time yet..not till 3!) and pick up some groceries.  All I WANT to do is the playdate and the stain!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Simple, Cheap and Easy Console Table

Simple and cheap...yes.  MOSTLY easy.  Well, building it was easy-ish.  Would have been easier with a good workbench or a partner for parts of it.  I had a lot of scrap lumber from the headboard, so my shopping list was small. Except for the CIRCULAR SAW I bought myself!!  Go go Team Nine Fingers!  I also paid extra for the 'select' 1x12 for the top, since I was going to stain rather than paint - Husbeast has a disdain of painted wood.  How he survives our house is beyond me - all trim and doors are painted white.  Well, except the exterior of the front door which went from sickly-mauve to near-Tardis blue this summer (gods, it made me want to build a Tardis garden shed sooo badly.  I could position it in the back corner of the yard so it would hide the giant cable box..and be beautiful.  With a remote to flick the light on at night...oh, even better - a light-sensing switch that turns it on automagically!)(and then maybe David Tennant would pop out of it at random intervals.  Yes, I'm still stuck on the 10th Dr.)

Ok, back to the table!  here's what I ended up with after the building stage -
Nice, no?  I know!  Here's what I did differently and other thoughts on the build -
  •  I combined steps 3 & 6 into step 3.  Why not add the top side support at the same time as the bottom one?
  • Step 4, the stretcher, was BRUTAL with one person and no tricked out crazycool workbench or clamping system or SOMETHING..a nailgun?  I have no idea.  Whatever I needed, I didn't have it.  I got grey hair doing that step.
  • Step 5 was the part where I really took a critical eye/hand over the legs and stretcher and picked which side was the front.  I wanted to avoid any nail holes on the front/top as much as I could.  It's good to choose sides - I am not Switzerland!
  • Now, to avoid nail holes on top and any need to use wood filler where it will be most visible, I did steps 9 & 10 a bit different.  I nailed the breadboard pieces (from 10) to the ends of the base top (step 9), nailing from underneath using 1 1/4" nails (and glue of course..always assume glue!).  THEN I completed step 9, nailing it to the legs and apron, as directed in Ana's plan. 
  • The last step, 11 - I nailed from underneath as well, glue & 1 1/4" nails, clamped really well, edges flush.
  • Circular Saw - LOVE!  BLUV!  So much.  Scary though.  Loud!  The first time I fired it up I had Husbeast and Little Boy out there (at a safe distance) to watch me hopefully not cut my fingers off and gouge it into my thigh or something.  (I reminded Husbeast to call 911 instead of 999 FROM THE HOUSE PHONE, not his cell, just in case)  I had some scrap 2x4 I was cutting and LB kept saying how Mommy Has A Loud Circle Monster.  He spent the next few days randomly obsessing over it.  We really stressed how dangerous they can be so I fielded a lot of questions about losing fingers and why can't they grow back.  He really thinks I'm stupid or something because he always replied to my 'No, they don't grow back' with kind of an eye-roll-sneery-smile-shrug and 'YEAH they CAN!'.  One thing I found really helpful cutting the 1x12 was to nail on a piece of scrap 1x2 as a saw guide I could just butt the foot up against to get a really super square cut.
Finishing is going to be a whole 'nother post because it's really doing my head in.  I have stood in the garage with this damned table and actually asked it - 'Are you taking the Mickey?  Are you extracting the urine?!!!'

Reclaimed Wood-Look Headboard - King Size

I've always hated spending a ton of money on rooms we 'never use' (ha ha, not like THAT!  Seriously though, most of our time spent in the bedroom is sleeping if you think about it), so I've never really pushed for REAL bedroom furniture.  We've always just had a bed frame - as in the kind that supports your box spring & mattress, not a proper real headboard, etc.  Various 5-10$ cheapo tables for nightstands over the years, now using the crappy presswood 4-drawer dressers we bought 6 years ago when we moved to CU.  Which are still our only dressers - used for socks, underthings, bathing suits and pyjamas that don't hang.

I couldn't see spending a couple-few grand on furniture we'd rarely ever SEE when there are so many many other things I'd rather spend the money on!  Like new tile, or new carpet upstairs, or new appliances I'll never buy ;)  Heck, even converting the old wood burning fireplace to a sealed gas log would be higher on the list than bedroom furniture!  So, when I found Ana White it was like a dream come true, SO no pun intended!  The plans!  The beauty!  The sheer cheapitude!  Most are Pottery Barn or other 'high end' knock-offs, which I LOVE but holy crap...800$ for a headboard?  I'd rather build the knockoff!

Off to the hardware store for lumber & nails I went!  I picked a mix of select pine, and 'whiteboard' which is just angry/sad pine.  I wanted knots and a bit of warping and some interest.  I didn't want it to be perfection.

75$ later, here's what I had loaded in my husband's car -

About an hour later, I had a decent start -

I have GOT to build a workbench!  A wobbly table and a short small bench were dreadful on my back, and annoying to work with.  Slightly better than the floor, I suppose.  Only just.

I was able to get it done spaced over a couple days, because The Husbeast was off work that week, so child-minding duties were shoved off on him ;)

Things I learned, did differently, or wish I had done -
  • It's hella-hard to get a square cut with a jigsaw
  • This size calls for a support beam to be added at the end to the middle of the back, vertically.  I wish I had added it in the beginning.  It would have made clamping and getting the edges tight a lot easier.  I ended up with a few gaps which I finally shoved copious amounts of wood filler into, before staining (this will come back to piss me off later, but not in the way you might expect).
  • I didn't make the outside of the legs/sides flush with the front.  I looked at it both ways, and I liked the detail and depth it gave having it flush to the back
  • I would be tempted to re-jig the plans if I ever made another.  It would change the height, but I'm ok with that.  I found that starting at the top with a 1x4, which is then finally trimmed front & back with a 1x4 just made a giant lame bit.  I'd probably start with a 1x6, trimmed front & back with a 1x4, to give it some added interest.
  • Be SUPER ANAL with your pre-stain wood conditioner (a total must working with pine if you're staining)
  • I hate using a sponge/pad to apply stain, even gel stain.  After the first coat I used a brush and was SO much happier.  Also, the gloves they sold me were crap.  I went through a 10 pack in the space of one staining coat.  I ended up with dirty zombie hands.  Bought a pack of 30 blue Playtex gloves for 2$ at walmart and I have yet to have my finger poke through, or rip it in half getting it on my hand.
Proof that wood conditioner is key -

And finally, a pic of the finished headboard...Not yet installed ;)  We'll drag it upstairs realsoonnow!

It's soooooo beeeeautiful!  I love it!  LOVE.

/ETA - holy cow we have a crazy dirty garage!  Also, I WILL post a pic when we finally get it upstairs...really, I promise.  I just need to somehow sort through and put away the Pile O Cack that is on my side of the room.  I swear, there's a bag from last christmas with the contents of our stockings in there.  Sorry Santa!

Stream of consciousness first post!

Hello!  I wanted to start a blog chronicling various DIY projects I have going on.  I've recently gotten into building wood furniture, thanks to Ana White & Knock-Off Wood.  We've been in this house for 2.5 years and while it's not OLD, it's not brand-spanking new perfection either.  We've ripped out the first floor half bath vanity, painted and put in a new vanity/sink/faucet.  Decorated our son's room when he upgraded from a toddler bed to real furniture.  Made a nice guest room.  Replaced the kitchen faucet.  Replaced some windows (not us, we paid for that!).  Have a TON of stuff I WANT to do, but very little that we MUST do.  The house is livable as it is, it's just not super pretty :)  It doesn't help that I am a total cheapskate.  Good example of this is we've had the money in savings for over a year to buy new kitchen appliances, but I just can'!   I mean, there's nothing physically WRONG with the fridge...It's just 19 years old, ugly, and we hate it...But it works!  So, I'm loathe to replace them, even though I scowl at them all daily. 

I will be back later with posts about the things we've already done, the things I'm planning soon, and the pipe-dream-someday plans!