Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Reverse cut out Mermaid

I found some beautiful old pallet wood here on the island. It had so much texture, was very heavy and different shades of grey. Until I cut into it I had no idea what wood it was. It turned out to be red oak.

I glued four strips together side by side and then cut out a mermaid shape with my jigsaw. On the back I pin nailed strips of different widths of thin plywood that I painted and distressed in blue, turquoise and white.


I sold the piece, but the customer wanted it personalized to hang in her cottage. This piece is 37" long x 13" deep.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Making an Ottoman and using Dixie Belle Paint


We really needed an ottoman for our living room. We have been balancing a pillow on an old stool, and it was just not the right height nor nice looking!

First I measured what height I needed to make it work comfortably and then worked backwards from there using the measurements that I did know. The foam was 5" thick and from an old couch cushion. I cut it to a size of 15 1/2" wide x 14" deep, which seemed a good size to fit two outstretched legs and feet. The legs I used for the ottoman were from an old chair, I stained them a dark brown to match the legs of our chair as well as our couch. I used 1/2" plywood under the foam and another piece above the legs. I just needed to do some math to figure out how long the pine shiplap boards needed to be to cover the small wood frame that holds the ottoman top to the bottom.
   So, in other words I had to solve for x and add a bit for overhang so the top of the legs which are screwed into the bottom of the plywood, are covered 1/2" by the pine sides.

Previously I showed the shiplap I made out of pine. 
I decided to paint the pieces and some nice people at the Dixie Belle Paint Company sent me some paint samples, so I used that. This is a nice creamy mineral paint that covered my pine in only one coat. I used Blueberry, but they have many colours to choose from. 
Dixie Belle Paint 
They also sent me samples of "Seaglass," "The Gulf," and "Fluff" to experiment with. Check them out at their site HERE, they are pretty colours that I haven't had a chance to use yet.

So, to put this thing together, first I put a piece of canvas drop cloth over the foam and stapled it to a piece of plywood that I sat the foam on.

I fussed with the corners and then stapled everywhere I needed to, to keep the material on the plywood as neatly as I could. 
Then I screwed some pieces of scrap pine and poplar supports to the underside. This is just in from the edge of the cushion enough to allow the shiplap to sit against the top of the supports and not stick out from the cushion top. At each corner I put a short brace.
Then I attached a second piece of plywood to the top of the four corner braces. The pine is attached all around this to cover the sides, and the legs are screwed into the bottom of the plywood. (The following photo shows the ottoman upside down)
I painted stripes on the top, also using the blueberry Dixie Belle paint.
Here are some photos of the finished ottoman with my two Chihuahuas as models.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Building a Dog Gate on the Stairs

Due to winter and no tourists around at this time of year, it has been slow at my shop. Of course I keep busy trying out things and creating new products to sell this year. I have worked on a few things at home because my house has been ignored since I bought the old house that I have converted into my workshop.

We have two small Chihuahuas that can get up the stairs to our second floor, but can't (or won't?) get back down. So... if we don't put something across the staircase, they often will go up and then we have to go up and fetch them! I had a piece of plastic lattice, that was left here in the shed by the past owner, and I propped it up on the staircase. It worked sometimes, but often fell over or one of us tripped on it! So finally I decided to make a proper dog gate.

I used some leftover poplar and the scrap piece of lattice.

I used my tablesaw to cut a groove in the poplar pieces to fit the lattice.

This groove doesn't look so good on the end and I could have left it this way. 
Because I had left the poplar pieces longer than I needed them to be (always a good idea) I thought I should make a tongue on each end of the vertical pieces that would fit into the groove of the horizontal gate pieces. This makes it stronger and it also looks much nicer, see...

So the gate was all cut to size, to fit the staircase opening, and glued together.

I painted it white and added hinges to one side and a small latch to the other. Because of the wide baseboards, I had to add a small piece of wood (seen below on the right) to allow the top hinge to be attached in line with the lower one which is on the baseboard.

I really need to paint all of the wood around and on the staircase. It is currently beige but I want it all to be white. I'd also like to take out the carpeting and change the wallpaper, but that will have to wait for another time.  

For now, the dogs stay on the main floor when we want them to.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Ice Storm Photos

A few days ago our island was hit by an ice storm. It pretty well closed down everything for the day and coated everything with a thick layer of ice. We were fortunate, but many people were without electricity for a couple days. Many tree limbs came down, including quite a few from the old maple tree in front of my shop. I took some photos which I'll share here.

The sign by the back door of our house:
 Our pickup truck:
The shaft of our snow shovel:
The back gate at our house:


Friday, January 20, 2017

Easel for a Wedding

Last summer I was asked to make an easel to hold a pretty frame at a wedding. The mother-of-the-bride wanted something that wasn't bulky, was white, and was not distressed nor rustic.

I chose to use poplar, which is strong and takes paint well.

I didn't have a pattern, I just made a basic easel to fit the size of the frame and that would sit at the height the customer wanted it to.  It is five pieces of wood plus a chain and a hinge.

There are three legs, a top cross piece and a ledge that the frame sits on.
The back cross piece holds the front legs and has a hinge on it which allows the back leg to be folded in for easier portability.

You can see in the following picture how the crosspiece is set into grooves cut into each leg.
Here you can see the back of the ledge that has grooves cut into it, it is both glued and screwed to the legs. The back of the ledge has a screw eye that holds one end of the chain. The other end of the chain is attached to the back leg.
The bottom of the legs are cut on angles to allow them to sit flat on the floor.
The easel was painted with a primer and then three coats of white semi-gloss paint. 
Here it is holding one of my framed seahorse designs.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Shiplap - make your own!

Thanks to Joanna Gaines of HGTV's "Fixer Upper," everyone seems to want shiplap in their houses!

I've been making my own shiplap for many years, and it's not difficult to do.

Put dado blades on your table saw and cut a rabbet that takes away half the thickness of your wood. Flip the wood and make a rabbet on the other long edge. If that sounds confusing, a picture is worth a thousand words: 


Your boards then overlap and can be made in any thickness and any width, depending on the use.


I used shiplap on the back of my buffet that I posted about here on my blog in 2010.

Shiplap allows wood to expand and contract with the seasons. The gaps between each board will widen during dry weather and get narrower during times of higher humidity.

Have you made your own shiplap?

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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Carved Heart and Initials

Since this is a slow time around here I've been experimenting with some new ideas for my shop. I'll get to those some other time because I thought I should first get some Valentines related projects made and available in my etsy shop. 

I have created this from 100 year old Prince Edward Island barnboard. Each piece is cut from the original 11 1/2" wide boards with character that can only be obtained by years of weathering. I used a router to carve out the heart which is about 8" x 8" and the initials which are 1 1/2" tall and from 1" to 1 1/2" wide. Of course it is supposed to look as if initials are carved into a tree!

I think this looks small in photos, but it's 15 1/2" tall x 11 1/2" wide x 1/2" thick.

You can see the texture of this beautiful barnboard by looking at the next photo.

On the back is a hanger.


Here it is hanging in my shop with a few other items for sale.


Available through my Etsy shop 

Heart Carved Sign