Posts from the ‘House Projects’ Category

Mobile Kitchen Island/Recycle Bin

In a quest to Oakify every piece of my house, we decided it would be nice to have some extra counter space and a place to hide our recycling. After some measuring, we decided on a simple 16×20 mobile island, but would mainly stay stationary.

We decided to order a piece of granite for the top. We always wanted a granite counter top in our kitchen. We went and picked out a piece from cut offs a local counter top dealer had. It was $250, which was a little steep for me, but we still went through with the purchase.

Since it is mobile, I wanted the back to be solid oak as well. Since it is a fairly small project, Milling the lumber only took a day to do.

Since it is on the smaller side, it can be a bit tipsy if you are not careful. To help we installed a latch to hold it up against the wall when not in use.

Overall we are very happy with the results. The bottom is a pull out drawer for our recycling and the top is an extra drawer for our kitchen utensils. I did learn a couple things from this cabinet. I’m not a huge fan of granite countertops. And cheap drawer slides suck, and I had to buy better ones after installing.

Cutting Board

We recently had a wedding for a relative on my wife’s side of the family and keeping with tradition I attached the gift to a heavy block of wood. πŸ˜ƒ

The cutting board is made from hard maple and purpleheart. I’ve made 2 previously but tried a new design this time. My neighbour was nice enough to let me use his drum sander for the first pass of sanding, which reduced my hand sanding greatly. He also just finished making some cutting boards, so he still had his router table set up to make the handles on the side as well. 😁 Treated with mineral oil to protect the wood.

Cup Holder

We use small Dixie cups in the washroom but I found small cups when browsing the mall one day. I decided to make an Oak cup holder that we could mount beside our mirror.

This project went very quickly. I started off wanting to use a 1/2″ piece of oak I had left over from a project a long time ago, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to mount it. I had a small 1 1/2″ thick off cut from the entertainment unit that would work though, and it would allow me to use some extra floating shelf supports. I drilled in 4 3″ holes, and sanded using my oscillating spindle sander. That saved a lot of time drilling the round holes.

I rounded over the edges and put a small chamfer on the 3″ holes to let water drip down if they ever got wet.

I drilled the blind shelf support holes, sanded, and applied finish by hand. I love my sprayer to apply the finish, but didn’t want to take it out for such a small project. I kind of regret it though because it is so much better!

Overall, I am very happy with this quick and easy project!

Oak Entertainment Unit/Fireplace Mantel

After the Oak bookcase was complete, I started the next weekend on an oak entertainment unit/fireplace mantel. The design process for this started at the beginning of this year. We knew we wanted to build one, and we knew we wanted a fireplace in that location for ambiance. After looking around and watching for year-end clearance sales on electric fireplace inserts, we stumbled upon a clearance sale on a fairly large electric fireplace. It was a floor model that we managed to get for around $120. It was a bit higher, but missing the remote and mounting bracket, so I got another $50-75 off the clearance price. When I got home I found out my Logitech Harmony remote supported the fireplace, so no need to look for a remote!

Now that I had the electric fireplace dimensions, I can finalize my design. Originally I had planned on 2 top shelves and no cabinet underneath, but the larger size of the fireplace meant I had to make some changes. Overall I am very happy with my new design. This was also an excuse to upgrade my entertainment unit. Over the course of a few months we bought a new TV, sub woofer and home theatre receiver. Each piece being measured to make sure it will fit.

Early on in the build process I noticed that things were getting HEAVY. This unit spans the entire wall, which means a lot of oak, which also means a lot of weight. I decided to alter my design again and build the unit using break-down fasteners so I can take it apart to move it into the house. In the end, I left the main internals together and took off the back, top and sides for moving it into the house. It JUST fit through the door as we have a tight corner leading into the living room.

I tried to copy the overall design of the bookcase and added 30 degree bevels on the top and bottom, as well as use 1 1/2″ oak for the top, sides and bottom.

This was also the first time I got to make frame and panel cabinet doors! After a couple hours of set up and test pieces I carefully made my doors. Carefully because I didn’t have any extra pieces milled for “oopsies”. πŸ™‚ This was also my first big project where I got to use my new shaper. πŸ™‚

The entertainment unit is very large. It is 48″ tall, with the TV being 48 3/4″ off the floor. πŸ™‚ It is also around 70″ wide. This is the largest project I have made to date. I had a lot of fun making it, but didn’t enjoy the 3-4 days of sanding I needed to do before finishing.

Finish was sprayed on as with the bookcase.

I am very happy with the finished product. I estimate that I spent around 90 hours making this. It weighs almost 200 pounds.


Oak Bookcase

Finally, a real project that isn’t a shelf. πŸ™‚ We had a painted bookcase that acts as a room separator between our dining room and living room that I wanted to replace with an oak one. The painted one chipped very easily, and with our son running around more and more, I knew it was only time before it got chipped again.

I wanted to build it out of solid oak, no plywood. Especially the back since that is what most likely would be dinged in the future. I made the case out of 1 1/2″ oak, and the shelves out of 3/4″ oak. Very much like the original. I even replicated the top of the bookcase with the bevelled edges, which we liked. The back was made very much like a kitchen cabinet door. It is floating in an opening to help with expansion and contraction of wood over the course of the seasons.


The finish was applied using my HVLP spray gun. I love that thing. πŸ™‚ The finish is super smooth and very happy with the results.Β  Installation went fairly easily since I made sure the dimensions of the oak bookcase were only slightly bigger then the original to help with not having to repaint that section. I reused the existing trim, which is also used in the living room/dining room.


Next up, an oak entertainment unit for our living room.

Oak Shelves

In our quest to replace every shelf in our house with Oak, I added 2 more to the list.


The first is an Oak shelf in the entryway. We had a glass shelf here, which was sagging a bit. Since our house is full of oak, especially the entryway, I knew this would be a nice addition.


The next is a shelf in our kitchen/dining room, which now holds a Pooh telephone. I wanted to put a shelf here to hold our phone. My wife was hesitant, so I knew what I had to do. I went onto eBay and found an old Winnie the Pooh phone. πŸ™‚ She is a huge Winnie the Pooh fan, and I knew when I showed it to her she would agree to the shelf. lolΒ  I rounded over the shelf to match the radius of the Pooh phone. It is very weird having a corded phone without caller id though. πŸ™‚

Computer Room Desk

As I mentioned in my previous post, I bought a new 3D Printer and wanted to move it downstairs to keep the noise to a minimum. They are not loud, but since some prints take 12 hours, or more to print, I thought I would move the computer room downstairs and build a large desk.

The desk is made up of 2 x 3/4″ pieces of Oak Plywood wrapped in solid Oak Wood for a total of 1 1/2″ thick. It is almost 11′ long and made into a single piece. There are no sides, only braces on either side and the middle to support the top. I then added a 3′ piece to make a “L” shape to hold our printers.

To support the middle of the desk better, and to provide better storage, I made a cabinet of 4 x 6″ high drawers (14″ wide x 20″ deep). The cabinet is Oak plywood wrapped in solid oak. The drawers are all solid oak. I was going to make dovetail drawers, but ended up doing box joints again like I did on the toy boxes for my nephews. I planned on putting drawer fronts on, but I like the look of the box joints. So I will leave it for now.

Computer Desk