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.

Oak Coffee Table

Next up in our quest to convert all our furniture to solid Oak was a coffee table. I have made a coffee table previously for the living room, but the stain on that table is better suited for our basement. We also wanted a coffee table that matched our recent pieces of living room furniture with no stain, the 1 1/2″ thick oak sides and top and a 30 degree chamfer on the top. On a personal lazy note, I wanted this table to be 4″ above the ground so our Roomba could go under it and clean under the table for me. 🙂


The bottom shelf was attached with a sliding dovetail joint to give a nice look from the front/back. The top was attached with a few loose tenons on each side with the middle one glued in to keep the top on.


We are very happy with this table. There is a lot of storage under the top without a drawer, which works out well with the bins we use for our son’s toys. We found we didn’t use the previous drawers, so omitted them from this design.

Picnic Table

Now that we are cooking outside so much, I thought a picnic table would be a good idea. I looked for a plan, but ended up using the picnic table in a This Old House YouTube video.

I made the whole picnic table out of pressure treated lumber so I do not have to do any maintenance on it. The top is 8 feet long, and a little over 3 feet wide.

Very happy with this outdoor project and looking forward to many years of enjoying this!

Outdoor Pizza Oven!

Last fall, I came across a video on YouTube about an outdoor wood fire pizza oven. It looked so cool. You can cook more than pizza in it, but they are generally sold as pizza ovens.

We decided to buy one over the winter, but waited until March to order one. These ovens are HEAVY and I did not want to move it more then I have to.

We needed a cover for the pizza oven, so I started researching wooden stands. I found a design I liked and modified it for the space we have.

I made a 4’x6’ stand with a small concrete counter top attached. The base is made with 2×6 pressure treated to support the weight. I liked the idea of it being 100% cedar on the exterior, so I used cedar shingles for the roof! The concrete countertop was made with some red concrete dye so it blended in with the look of the cedar. The doors underneath is used for wood for the oven.

This brick oven is amazing and we love everything we have had in it so far!

First pizza!
Cooking a beef roast with some applewood!

Shop Heater!

Usually over the winter is when I wind down my woodworking because it is so cold in my garage workshop. It is partially insulated and attached to our home, but not regularly heated. To fix this, we added blown in insulation to the attic space and a new natural gas garage heater! We originally planned this for next year, but the price of the heater was a lot lower then we thought, so we decided to splurge.

I now have a 35,000 BTU natural gas heater to keep the temperature a comfortable level all the time. Instead of hovering around 0 degrees Celsius, I now keep it around 12 degrees and bump it up before I go in. I had to take down some shelving for proper clearance, so I have some cleanup to do. Overall, I am very happy with this new addition.

Behind the couch Oak Outlet Thingy

In our Living Room, we don’t have a convenient place to plug-in our laptops or phones/tablets when sitting on the couch. Like any well planned outlet location, it is behind the couch. 🙁

Fast forward to one weekend when browsing r/Woodworking on reddit, I found someone who made a small 4-6″ sofa table. I thought that could be a great way to get some outlet space by our couch.

I purchased 3 outlet/USB combo boxes on Amazon that plug into an outlet. I milled up 2 oak boards for the project and gave the top the same 45 degree chamfer profile as the bookcase and entertainment unit I just build. Not many people will notice it, but it is a nice way to have everything blend together.

The unit is screwed to the wall with some small 90 degree angle brackets so it won’t move when someone sits on the couch. We love this piece and adds something that has been missing from our living room. USB charging ports! 😂

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. 😃

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”. 🙂 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.