Posts from the ‘House Projects’ Category

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”. 🙂 This was also my first big project where I got to use my new shaper. 🙂

The entertainment unit is very large. It is 48″ tall, with the TV being 48 3/4″ off the floor. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 The finish is super smooth and very happy with the results.  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. 🙂 She is a huge Winnie the Pooh fan, and I knew when I showed it to her she would agree to the shelf. lol  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. 🙂

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

Solid Oak Floating Shelves

It has been quite a long time since my last update. I have been working on a few things, but didn’t find the time to update. First project I thought I would share was all of the floating shelves I have made.

I created 7 more floating oak shelves in various rooms in the house. They are solid Oak and used a combination of floating shelf supports from Lee Valley and Amazon. I preferred the Lee Valley supports because they fit on a single stud in the wall. But I bought 8 supports from Amazon for $30 compared to 2 from Lee Valley for $20, so I just added an extra bracket for support. With 2 of the Amazon brackets a 4′ shelf was still a little wobbly. But with 3 it was pretty good. I only had to use 2 from Lee Valley.

First addition was a 2nd shelf under the last one I created in our bedroom. This one was a little longer.

2nd Shelf

Next up was some shelves in the computer room that I moved downstairs. I bought a 3D printer and wanted to move it out of the way so we wouldn’t hear it as much. Especially when I left it overnight to print. So first up was some shelves to hold my little figures.

Computer Room

Next is some shelves for my Son’s room. We wanted some shelves to hold some stuffed animals so I created 2 shelves and made it into a corner shelf. It worked out nicely because I ended up putting a Nest indoor camera on it to view into his crib. 🙂

Owens Room

I had some more “junk” to display in my computer room so I opted to create 2 more solid Oak shelves. For this one I decided to leave the natural edge exposed on one of the shelves (bottom one). This was because I didn’t want to waste wood when I could use 100% of a board and have a natural edge showing on the right side. I love the way it looks.

Computer Room Shelves


I am out of floating shelf supports, so hopefully this one is the last one. 🙂 I got really good and efficient installing them though by the end. I would route a single groove down the centre for the support, then line up where the studs would be and drill the 1/2″ holes for the support rod.

Miscellaneous Projects, Oak Wood and a New Tool!

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.

Pens for Gifts

One thing that I started doing recently, was supplementing gifts with a pen or pen set to add a little extra to our gifts. Recently we gave away 3 pen sets as wedding gifts and a retirement gift. The first was a Olivewood His & Hers pen set, then a Zebrawood retirement pen set and finally a Buginga His & Hers pen set.