Studio711

Woodworking

Office Supply Organizers

We have a cabinet upstairs that we call the office supply cabinet. It was a mess but it had batteries, printer paper, printer ink, tape, and a whole bunch of other things in it. When I finished the dresser project, I tackled three quick organization builds in order. They were built out of scrap wood and aren’t much to look at but I get a smile on my face every time I need to grab something from that area!

Chest of Drawers

I wrote previously about the culmination of a year-long project (previous post). Now I’ve also completed the video showing some of what it took to get there. I edited that year down to about 17 minutes. Apologies for not wearing a mic during the speaking parts but hopefully it’s good enough to convey the basic idea.

This was a labor of love and I hope that it serves Elijah for many years to come. And Elijah, by no means are you required to keep this around forever, but if you decide to replace it, please let me know so I can come retrieve it!

Chest of Drawers

Most of my projects wouldn’t qualify as “fine woodworking”. I use screws to put things together and there isn’t much fancy joinery. Last fall, I set out to create an heirloom quality dresser that Elijah could theoretically keep for life.

Marc Spagnuolo is probably the godfather of YouTube woodworking videos. He’s been doing it for a long time and he offers paid videos which walk through complex projects in an incredible level of detail. For example, this project had five and a half hours of video along with a Sketchup model and cut list.

After a wallet-deflating trip to the hardwood dealer to get the supplies, I carefully set off on my adventure, and what an adventure it was. I knew it would be a challenge but it seemed like I had to learn a new skill at every step. I would hem and haw and think about it and the whole project stretched out for month and months.

But I’m happy to report that about a year later, I’ve finally finished! When I look at it, I see a hundred flaws, but I’m still proud of it. The major issue right now is that the finish I used still smells too much to put clothes inside so I’m going to let it sit for about a month to hopefully get the smell completely gone before we start using it. If it still smells then I’ll probably apply a coat of shellac to the drawers at least to seal them a bit more.

Because people have already asked how much this project cost and some have half/mostly joked about me making another one for them, let me share the rough estimates:

  • Wood: $600
  • Finish: $100
  • Drawer Pulls: $50

So we’re at $750 before any labor and it was an enormous amount of labor for a dad/husband hobbyist woodworker. I’m not building another one. This was my marathon and I’m done.

Along the way I also tried shooting some video and I’ll be editing that together. It’s not going to be any kind of viral hit, but I thought it would be fun to put it on an SD card and tape it to the back of the dresser for him to find at some point down the road.

But for now, I’m very excited to move on to new projects!

Grandpa’s Clock

Both of dad’s parents have passed away and one of the things I remember from their house was a clock made from a painted saw blade. As I remember the story, Grandpa got it the saw blade from a local painter and made the wooden part around it. After they both passed away, I was very happy to be offered that clock!

Getting it back to Washington was a story in itself. I decided to bring it home in my carry on instead of shipping it. As we took our bags through the TSA checkpoint, I got pulled aside. “Sir, do you have a saw blade in your bag?!” Me: “What? No! … Oh dear… Yes. Yes I do.” The TSA agent had to check with their boss who had to check with their boss. Finally it was decided that I could bring it onto the plane since it was artwork and the blade was firmly attached to the wood. Phew!

I proudly hung that clock on the wall in my shop for about a year even though the time was never correct. The hands would move but no matter how many times I set it, they would be randomly wrong all the time. I eventually ordered a replacement clock movement and new hands and got it repaired. Now I have the clock in my shop and it even works! I think about Grandpa and his woodworking a lot while I’m out in the shop doing similar things and now I’ll have one more (working) reminder of him.

School Auction Coasters

Back in October when I started Elijah’s dresser build, I thought for sure I’d be done in plenty of time to build something fancy for Elijah’s school auction in the spring. Nope. That dresser is the longest project I’ve ever done and I’m not anywhere close to finishing it. So I scaled down my dreams, but I think I still landed with a fun idea.

I started by gluing up a bunch of scrap pieces of random types of wood and planing them flat. Then it was off to the CNC to cut out circles. That ended up taking hours longer than I thought it would due to a comedy of errors. In retrospect I should have just cut them by hand, but I eventually ended up with 5 circles. The planned sixth one was ruined twice and it was unsalvageable.

From there I headed to work to use the laser cutter and after carefully aligning the laser with the reference marks that I made on the CNC, I engraved the Zion logo into the coasters. The walnut ones are my favorite and I think it’s especially neat how the “Since 1901” is perfectly lined up with the small strip of purpleheart.

I’ve never been to an auction like this so I don’t know if they typically have lots of small items or bigger ones, so hopefully this fits in ok with the other things that are available. I’m very interested to see a stranger attach a price tag to something that I’ve made.