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. 🙂

Wooden Signs

My brother wanted to get some signs made for his camp/cottage. He asked if I had something to make signs, which I do. I never used it before this time, but I purchased a Sign making set for my router a couple years back. I planned on making a sign that said “Arcade” for my arcade I was building, but found a metal one that looked nice and used it instead.


Setting up and using the jig was surprisingly easy. We made 2 signs out of cedar and then used a blowtorch to scorch the wood to make the letters black. After sanding away the scorched wood from the non-letter part, it looked very nice. 🙂

Outdoor Swing Set

We recently adopted a child and I wanted to build a swing set in the back yard. Since I already had made the frame previously for our bench swing, this one was very easy to build.

I bought pressure treated 4x4s for the frame and brace, and 2x   2″x6″x10′ pieces for the top support. I glued them together with a good water proof glue, then drilled holes for the swing set clips.  I used 6″ structure screws to connect the 4x4s and the 2×6 header. In the future I plan to add a slide so I didn’t add any side-to-side bracing right now.

After installing the 2 swings I opted to switch out the rope for chains for a stronger support.

It only took a few hours from start to finish. Very happy with the results and my son loves it as well!

Swing Set

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 Amazon.ca 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.

Oak & Ash Plant Stand

One item on our to do list for a while has been a plant stand for a living room. I’ve seen some stands that leaned up against the wall and really liked it. I measured the space in our living room where it would go and set out trying to get the appropriate angles for the stand.

The stand is made out of white ash with oak plywood, very similar to other projects we have at our house. I put an inch and a quarter piece of Ash around each plywood to give a lip so the pots can’t slide off.

I wanted each shelf to go directly back to the wall so the pots could not fall off the back. After getting some test pieces cut I realized that the bottom shelf was too deep and did not look right. The bottom two shelves are approximately 14″ deep and the top approximately 6″ deep.

After it was assembled and sanded my wife stained the wood with the same colour of stain we’ve used on other projects.

For this project I wanted to try out my new HVLP spray gun my wife bought me for my birthday. It is the Fuji semi-pro 2 HVLP spray system. I’ve done some research online and decided my first attempt was going to be spraying lacquer. Using the spray gun was very fun and I am very happy with the results. I am not a huge fan of brushing on finish so I see myself using this for most if not all projects going forward. I wouldn’t mind trying out different finishes to see how they spray though.

After it was finished I brought it into the living room and screwed it onto the wall from underneath using pocket holes. It is very secure. We found some coloured pots at Home Depot and decided to switch all of our plans to that style of pots.

We are very happy to have this project completed and we love the way it looks and the extra space from not having our plants all over the living room but in one stand.

Book Shelves for our Office

A project that has been on my to-do list for a while now has been a pair of book shelves for our Office. We had a wall cabinet made out of oak left downstairs when we bought the house and we moved it into our Office a few years ago. It looked pretty bare on the wall and thought some book shelves on each side would look nice.

I previously built a large cabinet for our hallway by our back door to store some outdoor equipment and misc. items. It was basically a book shelf with doors, so I thought I would do the same for these book shelves. I bought some Oak plywood for the case and had some Ash hardwood on hand to use for the face frame since Ask looks very similar to Oak.

I had an issue where I could not store 1 container in my entry way cabinet so I thought I would try out adjustable shelving for these book cases. That way I could always adjust the height in the future. I bought a Kreg shelf pin jig and was very happy with the result. I bought a second one to attach to the first after I was done because I thought it would be easier if I didn’t have to keep on moving the jig as much. I plan on using it again on my mitre saw station whenever I get back to it to complete the shelves and drawers.

One thing that is great about making adjustable shelving instead of fixed shelves is that it is significantly lighter. I only had to put a top, middle and bottom shelf in place to hold it together so I was able to move these around by myself and didn’t need to get help to bring it around when finishing or installing.

I did some test pieces to see how dark our regular stain would look compared to the existing cabinet. It was a little darker, but we thought we would still go with that stain. (The picture actually makes it look significantly darker, but that it not the case)

When installing the book shelves I decided to mount them on the wall over the baseboard trim instead of building a base for it to sit on. Since it is made very sturdy out of plywood and solid wood I had no concerns mounting the book shelves over the base board on the wall. that way it will be easy to clean underneath in the future.

Very happy with the results and how rewarding it is to have a custom made cabinet that fits the space perfectly.


Digital Picture Frame

I had an old monitor lying around the house and decided I would make a 2nd digital picture frame for downstairs. I used another Raspberry Pi and configured it the same as my previous digital picture frame and mounted the LCD to the wall. It is very nice to have and have since changed it to display my security cameras so I can see who it at my door, or in my yard without leaving the basement. 🙂 I created a script where I can easily change between the two with my iPad, but it mostly stays on my security cameras.

I bought some Oak casing and created a simple picture frame to hide some of the LCD bezel. I then used some Oak plywood left over from a couple of book cases I am currently working on to wrap the sides and bottom to complete the look. Very happy with the way it turned out.