Saturday, January 30, 2016

Getting Organized with Tool Racks

For those of you new to this blog, just a quick overview.  I am renovating a house that is just around the corner from my house, to be used as my workshop and a small retail space where I will sell what I make.

I took down walls and turned two rooms (previously a living room and an office), into one, which is my workshop.  Beside that, is the kitchen and dining area.  I haven't shown a photo of the kitchen (I will in a future post), but this is the corner, perhaps where a dining room table would be placed when this was used as a house.

I will use the kitchen and dining area as my painting spot and also a place to keep some supplies. My thought was to put the wall mounted bins that I just posted about, as well as the bookcase that I made, in this corner.

Of course, seeing that the walls really needed painting, it made sense to paint them before attaching anything.  Because I knew once I put things on the walls, they would not get painted for a long time, if ever!

So, I put a primer on and then I painted the walls with the same Sea Foam paint that I used in the workshop (because I had some left over) on the top and Simply White on the bottom.  I did not remove casings, trim nor flooring.

I then attached the bins and my bookcase on the wall, and put my filing cabinets on the floor beneath. They hold cabinet handles, picture frames, shop tool manuals and some other odds and ends.  I also put my safe here, it came with the house.

Some of my woodworking books are in the bookcase, other books are still waiting to be sorted out.

Behind this corner is an angled wall in my workshop.  It is where I am hanging my clamps and other tools on french cleats.

I also have a pegboard for some hand tools, beside my drill press.

The window adds a lot of light into the workshop.

As you can see, I'm getting organized.  I think I need some inspirational signs above my tools racks.  I'll have to find someone to make me some ;)

I'll talk about the clamp racks in a bit more detail next time.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Wall Mounted Bins DIY

I've been spending time in my workshop opening boxes and putting away tools and supplies.  In 2010 I made wall mounted bins for my nails, screws, knobs and parts.  I wrote a blog post for a woodworking site where I post occasionally which explains the making of the bins.  Here is that post copied from there, sorry about the small font size, I could not get it to enlarge.

I found a plan in a magazine full of shop storage and tool cabinets published by Woodsmith/Shop Notes and so I decided to make my own bins.
Unfortunately I felt like one of Santa’s elves with the assembly line of parts. It seemed to take forever to make all the bins!
The plan called for sides of the bins to be made out of hardboard. At the lumber store I saw some that was pre-finished one side with white (melamine?) covering that was only a few cents more than the plain stuff.  I went with that because I figured the outsides of the bins could be white and look nice against my white walls of the (old) shop.
I would make as many bins as I could using the hardboard for the sides which were 7 3/4” for the large bins and 3 3/4” for the smaller ones. I found I could get 19 small bins and 12 large ones out of my hardboard piece.
The side pieces came from strips of hardboard ripped the length of the bins. Then I used my mitre saw to angle the pieces.

cutting the sides

For some reason I thought I was getting two mirror images for each side of one bin, but I really was getting two of the same piece. This would not matter if I had not bought the one-side finished hardboard. But, by the time I realized that I wasn’t getting a left and a right, I had cut half of them.  So I ended up with some of the larger bins sides with the inside finished white. Not the original plan! After removing my palm from my forehead I figured I would have to paint the outsides of the ones I had cut wrong. Crap.
sides cut

The next step was to cut the bottoms and backs out of 1/2” plywood. The backs for the large and small bins are the same size, the bottoms are (of course) larger on the larger bins.
back and bottom pieces
The fronts were cut from 3/4” pine, again the larger bins had larger (taller) fronts.
front pieces started

Next a rabbet was cut on the sides of the fronts. This would accept the hardboard sides, so was the width of the hardboard. Another rabbet was cut on the bottom of the front to accept the bottom 1/2” plywood. 
A dovetail bit was used to make a slot for holding a label, on the fronts of each bin. (The L shaped piece of wood, below, is just a jig to help push the front pieces through the router)
front slot

This is what I ended up with for the fronts

closeup of front piece
All pieces were sanded and then it was time for assembly. The back plywood sits on top of the bottom piece, the front sits with the rabbet over the bottom plywood. Then the side goes on over that. I used glue as well as small nails to assemble these.

assembling the parts

I had 31 of these to assemble, which took much longer than I thought it would. Please remind me in the future not to make 31 of anything.

bins bins bins

The bins hang from rails that are 1 1/2” x 1 1/2” with a rabbet in the bottom back edge to hold the bins. I made four rails at 36” long. (Plus I made a bottom rail without a rabbet)


Each rail is screwed into the wall at the joists, with 4 5/8” between them, this is important because the bins actually sit on the rail below and hook into the rail above.

I had them at my previous shop and removed the rails and boxed up the bins when we moved over a year ago.

Here they are in my new shop

I'll show more photos of the rest of my tools in their new homes in my next blog post.

I was featured for this post at DIY Vintage Chic!

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Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Chalkboard Wall

As I said in a previous post, I decided to make a chalkboard wall in the store area of my workshop house.  Actually this wall has been painted for a few months, but I needed to wait for the floor to be in before I could continue.  And the floor couldn't go in until the walls were done (because I didn't want to get paint splatters all over it)... so I finished the planked walls and the laminate floor and finally it was time to get to the chalkboard wall. It's actually a wall and a bit, because I decided to turn the corner and paint the chalkboard paint to the left of the door that leads to the workshop.

This is how my wall looked after I put the freshly painted baseboards on:

Now, chalkboards need to be conditioned before they are used. If you don't condition a chalkboard you will always see the first thing you wrote on it.  To condition you prime the chalkboard by laying chalk on it's side and cover the whole surface:

Then you rub in the chalk with your fingers and wipe it down with a cloth:

I felt my chalkboard wall needed something else, so I made a frame for it using lumberyard 1x4s, some stain and two coats of shellac:

The corners are mitred:

And then I added a little something for fun:

So, the retail area is basically done, although I do need to make myself some type of counter to sit at, in front of the chalkboard wall.  And I need to get my creations in there!

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Sunday, January 10, 2016

Lumber Rack in Place

I can't tell you how happy I am to have my lumber rack in place in my new workshop.  I made the lumber rack for my old shop in May of 2010.  I blogged about how to make it HERE.

I had to shorten it to fit in the ceilings, so I cut some off the top of each section.  I then found the studs behind the wall.  This was a bit tricky because there is a layer of drywall and under that some horizontal slats that the drywall was attached to.  Then under those slats is a plaster wall, so a layer of plaster and slats for that.  But because the wall backs up to the basement stairs, I could find the studs by seeing where the drywall beside the stairs was attached to the studs.  I bought 5" long lag screws so that I could get through all the layers and pre-drilled to make sure I hit wood.

I took off the piece of baseboard I had recently put on so that I could sit the uprights on the floor.  Then I cut the baseboard into pieces to fit between.

I had boards all over the place, so it was good to get them on to this rack and out of my way. I still have some wood to go on here, but it's behind other things, so I haven't reached it yet!

This is how the rack looked in my old workshop after being loaded with a new purchase of pine:

 On another note, today is the second birthday of my little Chihuahua, Denver.  Officially known as "Knockout Colorado Kid," Denver is a little bundle of joy!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Floors Down in Retail Area

I have had so many people ask me if my store is ready.  Alas, it is taking much longer than I had hoped.  I am working everyday and, although it's progressing, there is still so much to do.  I will need to take stock and price my items and display them.  I have boxes and boxes of items I made in my last workshop and moved here.  I will need to organize all of that before I can even think of opening the store part of this building.

On to what I've been doing.  The walls (see how I made them here) were painted with Benjamin Moore's Simply White, in eggshell.  Getting paint between the boards I put up was quite the exercise.  I used a very small artists paint brush along with the regular paint brush I used to hand brush all the walls.  I tried using a roller, but too much of it got into the "cracks," so I switched to the brush.  It took many hours to paint, using the fine brush to get any blobs from between the boards. I did a second thin coat with the roller.  If I had to do it again, I would not just prime the boards but also paint the two finish coats of eggshell and paint the walls behind first.  (My walls were a light yellow that showed through the cracks, although I didn't think it would matter... it did!)

After painting, I started putting down the floors. They are a faux maple laminate that lock together, board by board.

It's not that difficult to do, but when you are alone and running back and forth to the mitre saw in the next room, well... all the up and down on my knees made me further realize that I am not young any more.

I had very little wastage with this flooring. The room was about 9' wide and each piece of board was 4' wide, so I started with two side-by-side (Pieces ONE and TWO) and then the next piece (THREE) was cut to fit. The remaining part of piece three then started the next row, piece FOUR was a full piece and then again I cut piece FIVE to fit.  When you work through a room this way, there are no extra pieces left over.

The main part of the room was very basic, as I said above, around the stairs and the angled wall was a little more tricky, but not so bad.  I enjoy work like this, most likely due to my mathematical mind.

After finishing the floor, I had to put in baseboards.  I had both the old baseboards from this area and some extra pieces from another room that were torn out when I took down some walls.  I primed them and used two coats of Simply White in semi-gloss and then cut to fit.  I also painted the window and door trim with the same paint, as well as the door to the workshop area.  It all looks clean and fresh, but I still have to touch up the pin-nail heads and do a little bit of caulking.

I had not shown this wall below before, this is to the left when you walk in the front door (the door you see in the photo goes to the workshop).  I am going to have a chalkboard here to be able to write some information about the store as well as greetings, sales, etc.  (More to come on this part.)

Monday, January 4, 2016

Was Your Tree Backwards?

I put up a very small lighted Christmas village for the holidays.  I must say it's really not very well done, the cotton batting "snow" is very lumpy... but I digress...

So, the other day, my husband (Eric) found an old red toy truck when he was looking through a box for something.  He showed it to me and I declared it would be just the right thing for my Christmas village, and the scale seemed to fit.

Now, being an observer of many blogs and Pinterest, etc. I saw a LOT of red toy trucks with a tree on the back, used as d├ęcor at Christmas time. It seemed to me that most of them had the tree top towards the front of the truck.  So... this is what I did.

I thought it was quite cute.

Apparently, I was wrong because Eric said I had the tree on backwards.  This was not the way to transport a tree, due to the angle of the branches, as they would catch the wind!  (Eric has been in the trucking business for about 40 years.)

I switched the tree around, even though it didn't appeal to my artistic side.

There you go, I said.  He frowned.  "Why is the tree base on top of the cab?" the trucker asked. And why is it not tied down?

I quickly grabbed the nearest elastic band and hurriedly wrapped it around the tree.

This passed inspection, except for one tiny detail.  It would need a red flag on the end (the tip of the tree) because it was hanging off the back of the truck.

Was YOUR tree backwards?

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