Friday, September 3, 2010

A Wandering Woodworker's Portfolio

  Well, the bullet-post idea was a bust. Once I started talking about the project, it became an entity of its own and I could not get myself to make bullet posts of that length for all my projects. To get my blog back on track, I will post all the projects I've done since I began wandering. These items all fall under the same category and I feel that I am finally beginning a new and refreshing life, meaning more blog posts.

Eric's Back Steps - Abilene, TX
  I'm embarrassed to post this one due to the poor quality of the work, but here it is anyway because this project not only challenged me, it taught me a lot of valuable lessons. I built these stairs for Eric since his original ones were stolen (Nice neighborhood, Eric, move). Using all scrap and recycled wood found in his yard, I threw together something that would work for him in an attempt to save him the embarrassment of falling out his back door.....again.

  Lessons Learned: 1) joinery is really hard to do on wood that isn't square, duh. 2) Stringers are not really optional. 3) Measure the steps for the door you are building them for, do not just take measurements of the stairs found at the front door...they are not the same.

Mom and Dad's Landscape Bridges - Benson, AZ

  When I visited Mom and Dad at their RV Resort in Benson, AZ, I was asked to design and build two landscape bridges that would span over the rock garden separating their two lots. This challenged my working knowledge of Google Sketch-up as I used it to design, layout, and plan these two bridges. My dad had a great idea of using angles instead of the arch that I had planned, so we followed that path. Sketch-up was more than helpful in helping us laying out the angles and previewing the final effect with a digital prototype. This project was awesome! It was a joy to work side-by-side with my Dad, one of my original DIY heroes. Here's my driving buddy showing off our handiwork.

Benika's Drawer Bottom's - Colorado Springs, CO

  As I drove through Colorado Springs on my way to Omaha, Benika asked if I could replace the 1/8 inch cardboard drawer bottoms in her children's dressers. So I hooked her up with some drawer bottoms made from 1/4 birch plywood. Four dressers and 18 drawer bottoms later, I hit the road and continued east.

  I didn't get a picture of the drawer bottoms but I noticed a really great shot glass shelf while touring her house that I may reproduce in the near future.

Mike's Yard Umbrella Arm - Papillion, NE

  I spent a week parked in Mike's driveway and the only thing he asked of me was to fix a broken arm on his yard umbrella. I could have gone about this a couple the existing arm, or make a new one. Although I would probably repair it now a days, since I have been gaining a lot of knowledge and experience, I decided to replace it with something stronger. So we made a trip to Home Depot, and used his portable table saw to rip the oak down to size. Using a rasp, I shaped it to fit and added a few coats of stain/poly mix. Voila....a new arm! You can see the difference in the picture below, it's the oak one, but close enough that you have to look hard to notice it.

Mark's DVD Shelves - Henderson, NC

  Mark was kind enough to let me park on his lawn in Henderson, North Carolina. As a matter of fact, this location has become a temporary "home base" of sorts. The only thing he has asked for, thus far, is a set of shelves that will allow him to put two rows of DVDs on the same bookshelf (he used to stack one row on top of the other, and the DVDs on the top row would fall as soon as one on the bottom was pulled out). I made him 5 shelves using hand planes to shape it (with my son holding the little folding work surface down). I liked the contrast in the woods used, and more importantly Mark loves them. He plans to commission larger projects from me when he buys his new house.

Yves's Civil War Bench - Hampton, VA

  This project was actually built by me during the Civil War Bench Challenge, which you can read about here. This bench was supposed to be a gift to Eric for letting me park my RV next door, but he was hesitant about taking it so I packed and brought it with me. I have another friend that wants to paint them, so I will have to make some more for her in the future. When my son saw this one in the RV he asked if I would let him paint it and since he is a budding artist, I gave him the go ahead. He enjoyed the experience and brought the bench back home with him.

Chasse's Sign - Lewiston, ME

  I found this sign while I was snooping around my sister's house in Lewiston, Maine. My parents had purchased it many years ago and it was part of their camping gear (I come from a family of gypsies). Now aged and weathered, I packed it out and brought it back to life with some sanding, finishing, and new hangers. A very quick project, but I'm proud to now have this in my possession and traveling with me in my wanderings.

Next Post - Workbench!

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