Quilted maple toy box

I wanted to make one last toy box for my son. I had previously made 4 toy boxes with 2 different designs. I decided to make the curved lid design for my son as I was really happy how the toy boxes I made for my nephews turned out.

I was given some maple from my neighbour and new this is what I wanted to make from it once I got it. I knew I was going to make a toy box at some point for my Son Owen, but wanted him to be a little older when I made it for him. He is 3 now.

To further complicate the design, I wanted to use a solid wood bottom vs the plywood bottom I had used before. Solid wood isn’t used too much in drawer bottoms because it moves with the season across its width, so you have to take that into account when making the bottom. For this design I used ship lap joints. This are essentially z shaped boards where the left side of one board is overlapped by the overlapped by the right profile cutie the next board. Then as it expands and contracts it never leaves a gap right through the bottom.

The box construction was made similar to the previous toy boxes with box joints. The lid is constructed similarly as well, but I figured out what angle I needed to keep all pieces the same angle and still get the proper depth I needed once done.

For the lettering, I decided on Cherry. I really like the look of cherry, especially once it ages. I printed out the lettering and cut it out in my scroll saw. It was then face glued onto the front. I don’t put any screws or dowels to hold it on as the wood glue is more then strong enough. When Owen grows up, if he doesn’t want the lettering, I can just plane the lettering away and leave no trace of it.

Very happy with the result and love the quilting on the maple. My son won’t see this until Christmas but I am sure he will love it.

Oak End Tables

After making our new coffee table, I wanted to make matching end tables. The design was essentially the same as we are so happy with our coffee table.

I made both at the same time to try to save some time by not having to set up cuts multiple times. They went together very quickly as I knew exactly how I wanted to make it and complete the joinery.

Once complete I sprayed on the lacquer finish as it was still warm enough to apply the finish outside. Very happy with the results and the old ash coffee table and end tables I previously add are now downstairs in our rec room.

Under Bed Storage

I was watching a YouTube video on a Saturday morning from “I Like to Make Stuff”. They were making some drawers for under a bed. I thought to myself that my wife would like that. She is always running out of space for her clothes.

When my wife got home I showed her the video. She LOVED the idea. Even more when I told her she could have all 6 drawers.

We purchased the plywood for the project and got started. I figured out a general idea of how it would be laid out, but when we took the mattress and box spring off our bed I decided we would replace the metal frame, and the box spring would sit right on the plywood frame.

Once I removed the metal frame and supports, I figured out the height of the plywood which would act as a support for the bed and supports for the drawer slides. I measured and cut as I went. We store a step stool under our bed, so I had to make sure there was storage for the step stool as well. Very quickly I had the base finished.

After putting on the drawer slides and taking measurements for the drawer sizes, we put the bed back on.

I built 6 drawers quickly with my Festool Domino. It is a great tool to make joinery quickly and easily. I then milled some birch for the drawer fronts. My wife stained the drawer fronts to somewhat match our bed.

We are very happy with how this turned out. It looks awesome and has great storage. The best and unexpected outcome from this is that our bed is now very quiet. Before, every movement was met with a squeak from the bed frame and where it joins to the headboard and footboard. Now that they are separate and the frame is stationary, it is whisper quiet. It is a little firmer, but the frame alone was well worth the project for me.

Kids Picnic Table

When using our picnic table this past summer, I always thought it would be nice for my son to have a smaller table to see his food better. I had some left over 2x6s from the picnic table, cedar boards from the pizza oven and 2x4s from the garbage shed. I figured it was probably enough, or very close to enough to build a small picnic table.

Using the same general concept of the larger table, I made a smaller version around 20” wide and 4’ long. I alternated 2×6 and 2×4 boards on the seat to give a little more depth and I had the 2x6s to use. 🙂

I had enough pressure treated for the top and seats, but that was it. Luckily I had some shorter 2×4 cedars and a 2×6 cedar board. That was exactly enough for the base.

Love the look of this picnic table, but more importantly, my son loves it.

Floating Desk

Since we have found ourselves working from home, we have been moving around the house switching off from our main office setup depending on who needed it the most. We decided to set up a new office in our sons play room.

Since it is a playroom, we wanted to keep it small, but also protect it from, flying projectiles. We can’t exactly tell him to not have fun in his playroom. 😃

I had previously build 2 floating book shelves. This desk would go between the 2. The first problem was that the book shelves are only 11” deep; too small for a monitor, keyboard and mouse. So it would need to be about 24” from the wall. Having it extend 24” from the bookcase would make the corners by the bookshelves cramped. My solution would be to curve outwards to 24”, then back down to 11”. I figured if I cut a strip of oak 1/4” thick, I could bend it around the corners. I started with 2 3/4” pieces of oak plywood to give a bit of bulk to the desk since it will only be supported on the back and a small portion of the sides. With some water to soften the wood fibres, glue, lots of luck and every clamp I own, I managed to glue the solid oak piece to the plywood.

The next issue was to protect against flying projectiles. We purchased a 32” curved LCD monitor and I didn’t want to see it broken in the first week! I built a quick monitor stand to hide the keyboard and mouse when not in use, then a oak panel to protect the monitor.

My wife is very happy with the results. The bent oak turned out better then I hoped, and it tucks away nicely.

Garbage and recycling shed

Our city recently switched to rolling garbage and recycling containers. They are great, but take up quite a bit of room in our garage… my workshop.

I have unsuccessfully tried to move them outside previously, but I succeeded in convincing my wife to move them outside after an exceptionally smelly garbage week. Our plan was to build a storage shed for them.

We first looked for a store bought version, but our recycling bin is rather large and most wouldn’t fit. We found one for $650! I thought I could do it much cheaper and better construction.

I used pressure treated 2x4s and fence boards for this task. It took me around 2 days to construct everything. I made the frame inside my workshop and moved it to the backyard for assembly and attaching the fence boards.

The top opens for placing the garbage and recycling inside the bins, then the front for removal of the bins in garbage day. The lid is a bit heavy to hold while you put the garbage in, so I attached 2 pieces of wood to swing up and hold the lid open. Very happy with the results. Now I just have to rig up some bungee cords to open the lid when I open the top of the shed. 😃

Rolling pantry storage

We have a small pantry off of our kitchen that we store baking supplies and some cereal boxes. The bottom shelf, which is quite deep, is a pain to get to. I have to get down in my hands and knees to get something unless it is in the very front.

I had plans to build a rolling cart for that bottom shelf, and with the left over plywood from the entryway bench it would go together super quick!

I used some side mounted wheels I bought years ago for a shop project. They would be perfect for this use because they do not add much height to the box. I made the box as wide and deep as I could taking into account the sliding door for the pantry.

This only took 2 or 3 evenings to complete and was finished with left over spray lacquer. It is so much easier now to roll out the cart and select what we need!

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Entryway bench with storage

My wife wanted a place to store all of our Son’s outdoor clothing. She had bought 6 11” cube storage containers to use in the project. I found a piece online that had storage below and above and she approved.

This was a relatively quick project as most is plywood. Plywood projects, while not as rewarding as a solid wood project, five an instant satisfaction because they go so quickly since they only need to be cut to final dimensions. I used my Festool Domino for the joinery. That machine was very expensive, but makes joinery go a lot quicker when you are not trying to be fancy. 😃

I created the boxes for the bottom and top, with a piece of plywood connecting them in between. To finish it off, I milled up some oak for the edging, coat hook and bench. I made it the same height as the cabinet beside it, but perhaps I should have made it a foot, or so, shorter.

Since our entranceway has a darker wood stain, we stained it to match. My wife stained it and I sprayed on the finish.

Welcome sign

Next up on my to do list was a welcome sign for the front entrance. Since the pandemic started, we have seen these painted pine welcome signs pop up all over the place.

To be different, I used ash and routed the welcome letters in. I had an ash board mostly finished and just had to sand it. Once done, I attached a template to follow that my wife printed off with a font she liked. Since my letter routing jig only routes horizontally, I had to route it by hand.

Once routes I spray painted the letters black and then did one final sanding before putting on an outdoor safe finish. We attached it to the front of our home directly to the brick. Very happy with this quick project.

A “Look what I made” sign

While browsing Facebook posts, I saw a wooden artwork display board in the background of someone’s post. They had their child’s artwork displayed on a board that said, “Look what I made”. My wife and I liked the idea, so I got to work.

The woodworking part was easy, I had milled up an oak board for the coffee table I just finished, but didn’t need it. I then traced the phrase from a stencil set I had. Instead of painting the letters as I saw in the original, I decided to break out my wood burning iron. Pyrography has always interested me, but I don’t do it often. I finished the project with spray lacquer, which seemed to darken the wood quite a bit. Since it is a stand alone project, I didn’t mind.

Overall we were very happy with this quick project. I attached some smaller clothes pins on a string and hung it up on the wall in our dining room.