It has been a while since I updated my blog, so I thought I would put together one post with all of my recent projects and acquisitions.


First, we decided at the end of July that we wanted to get rid of our old fireplace. We didn’t use it at all because it made the basement too hot, and it stuck out quite a bit from the mantel, so we wanted to get something a little nicer to replace it. We shopped around and found that natural gas fireplaces are expensive! It was around $5000; in the end it still wasn’t exactly what we wanted. We decided we would get an electric fireplace, that we could use the faux-flames and just not turn on the fireplace. After arranging a service call to get the gas line disconnected, we ordered an electric fireplace from Lowes for around $800. After the fireplace was installed, I got an Oak board and made a simple frame. I then finished it and installed it. It looks awesome!

Shortly after the fireplace, I was talking to a friend about his home theatre speakers he was going to be buying. They were o sale for a great price at Monoprice. I asked him to order me a centre speaker as I never did replace the centre speaker when I re-did my speakers upstairs in the living room. The only problem, they only had in-wall speakers. I was thinking of making a MDF case for it, and paint it the same colour as the other speakers. My wife suggested making an Oak box for the speaker.  After receiving it, I constructed a box that fit the in-wall speaker snugly and securely. My wife finished the box and I installed it. I think I paid $25 for the speaker, and used scrap Oak plywood. It turned out great!


At the end of August, I came across a post on Facebook marketplace about Oak wood for sale. I inquired about it and went to have a look. After seeing it, I had to have it. I paid the asking price of $250 and had to call my father-in-law for assistance because there was a lot more then I initially thought. It took about 3 hours and 2 truck loads to load it and unload it temporarily into my shop. Very very happy that I now have Oak to use on my future projects! There is about 1400 board feet. It took about 1 1/2 weeks to put it away in various locations in my shop. I now have Oak everywhere. Anywhere there was room now has Oak. :-)I think it was split about 50-50 between 4/4 (1″) and 8/4 (2″) thick. Perhaps a little more 8/4 then 4/4, but that is fine. I could always re-saw the boards, if needed.



After I bought the Oak and got it put away, I decided to make a few pens out of the Oak as my first project. I made 4 pens and gave them to the person who sold me the Oak as a small token of my appreciation. Hopefully they like them. I just put them in their mailbox with a note.


And finally, NEW TOOL!!!

A few weeks ago I decided that sometime down the road I would like to get a shaper. A shaper is a industrial router table, which takes shaper bits and router bits. Shaper bits are heavy duty router bits that come on 3/4″, 1″ or 1 1/4″ spindles. Router bits are 1/4″ and 1/2″ in size usually.

I looked around and found that Grizzly probably had the best tool for the price. I priced it out and it would cost me about $1600 US to get the tool delivered to a freight company in Michigan, which I would then have to go pick up and bring home. I was not too keen on that as it was around 500 pounds and continued my look in Canada for an alternative. In Canada I only found more expensive models such as General International. They are great tools, but Grizzly seemed to be a popular lower-cost manufacturer, but still had good quality. I went to Elite Tools’ website, who I have bought from in the past, and found a 3HP ShopFox Shaper for sale. It was $1700. That is a great price, and I would be able to get it delivered directly to my house! It also looks exactly the same as the Grizzly model I looked at previously. I noticed that a lot of different manufacturers have similar models in different colours and slightly different features. I went to google to research the model only to find it on as well with FREE shipping!! I never bought a tool from Amazon before, but I could not pass up free shipping since it cost $100-200 to ship a tool of this size.  I added it to my cart so I can keep in there for the future. I figured I would get it in the new year.

I had the shaper in my saved items and noticed over the next few days that the price started to go down in price. From 1700 to $1600. From 1600 to 1500, etc. It made its way down to $950!. I was shocked at how low it went. I talked to my wife and explained that it is was almost 1/2 off right now, which is unheard of for new machinery. I made the purchase and had it delivered, for free, right into my shop!

That is all for now. I think my next project will be an Oak napkin holder.