Friday, June 20, 2014

My Fabulous Workshop (that I'm leaving!)

I've written a bit about the building of my workshop, but really haven't shown any inside photos.

My husband and I built a 40' x 40' garage for both of us. The whole building has in-floor heat which is wonderful to work in, especially in Northern Ontario winters. The cement floor keeps the building cool in the summer as well, which is a bonus.

My side of the building is half at 20' wide x 40' deep and was designed by me as a woodworking workshop. My workshop is the right hand side of this photo:

Because of the type of woodworking I do, and the way I work, the positioning of the tools was done in an efficient way for me to work.  

Doorway 2 is the middle door from the garage side of the building. I buy rough wood and bring it in through this doorway and to the left on to the lumber rack.  When I am going to make something I take the wood first to the mitre saw, then to the jointer, the planer and the tablesaw.  This keeps me working in a counter-clockwise manner through the shop.  It works for me!

 Doorway 1 is the door to the front finishing room.  I do most of my painting in there as well as designing and sometimes gluing.  I keep my woodworking books in the front room as well as small hand tools. This is my front room:

And this is the larger workshop room:

As I've previously posted, my house and workshop is for sale.  I really don't think I'll ever have anything this wonderful... it's a dream workshop.

I will be sharing my work space at this blog party, you can see other bloggers creative spaces here:
Where Bloggers Create

Thursday, May 29, 2014

A Big Change

A big change has started here for us.  My husband and I have decided to move and start a new life in a different place.

Eric is in a very stressful job and has already suffered a heart attack a few years ago at the young age of 54. Last fall he was transferred to working out of an office 5 hours away from here.  That meant leaving Sunday or Monday and returning Friday or Saturday.  He basically was only home on the weekends. A few months ago he handed in his resignation.  Today is his last day at work.

Our house is for sale, including, of course, my beautiful workshop.  It will be difficult to leave, since we made it for me, to my specifications and it is a dream workshop. (I will do a post on the interior soon, which I really haven't shown)

 But it's time for a change.

Tomorrow we leave for a trip to Prince Edward Island to look at houses and properties there. We are hoping for a quieter lifestyle. Eric will look for a job that will have less stress. I will continue my woodworking in some form.

No, we don't come from PEI, nor have any relatives or friends there. My 20 year old daughter will move with us. My sons are at university in different cities in Ontario.

Last year we went to Prince Edward Island and loved it. These are two photos I took:

I will write about my adventures, new place (we have to get ours sold first), and renovations we take on.

following my heart...

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

My Adirondack Chair

Holy crap... a whole month has gone by since my "Outhouse Signs" post. (Pun intended)

This is a post about something I started and never finished until recently.  I am prone to do that.

Over FOUR years ago I made my husband an Adirondack chair with his favourite hockey team emblem painted on it.  He likes the Montreal Canadiens.

I blogged about his chair and how I made it, in December 2009.

Now, the plan was that the second chair I was making at the same time, was for myself and would have the Toronto Maple Leafs logo on it.  I have been a Leaf fan since I was a teenager... and they still haven't won a Stanley Cup!

My thought was, that I would paint my chair white with the blue logo on it. Since the team is so lousy, I had second thoughts and figured my chair would look nice sitting outside my shop with some flowers painted on it instead.  My husband disagreed and insisted I go with the Leaf logo.  Being the good wife that I am, I painted the Toronto Maple Leafs team logo on my chair.

 Here's both our chairs, sitting outside my workshop:

Monday, April 28, 2014

Outhouse Signs

I often get orders from appearing at local Craft Sales or Farmers' Markets.  People see my work and like it, but want their own wording, colours and fonts.  That is okay with me (except I'd like to reduce some of my stock!).

This order came from someone who needed two signs on the outhouses at the local Cross Country Ski Club. These are made from pallet wood and distressed to look old.

The font is large and clear, black on white, to show up from a distance.  I went to find them the other day and here they are on the cute little red outhouses!

I enjoy making the signs, but even more to be able to see the results.

Monday, April 21, 2014


Q: What is better than a Chihuahua?

A: TWO Chihuahuas!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Adding a Beam - Part 2

Last time I wrote about making a beam for the ceiling which you can read here and left it at this point:

My beam is made like this, with the bottom piece having tongues on each edge which sit in grooves in the side pieces. So the next thing I did was put grooves in all the side pieces and made rabbets on the bottom pieces, which left the tongues to go into the grooves.

The next job was to stain all the pieces:

I glued just one side piece to the bottom piece, this would allow me (actually my husband) to wire up the lights easier than trying to do it with a completed beam.

Here you can see that the beam is just an L shape for now with the front (side piece) off.  I screwed the back side piece into the 2 x 2s. This way the wiring is inside and cut to the proper lengths for each of the four pot lights.

The pot lights were then wired in place and could be checked to see that they worked properly before sealing up the beam:

The front side piece was then screwed in to the 2 x 2s at the top (after this photo was taken I painted the screws a brown that left them pretty much invisible):

and also glued and clamped along the bottom:

Here's the finished dovetail, which I actually put more dark stain around so that the shape of the dovetail would show up better:



This turned out just as I pictured it in my head before I started, so I am pleased with it.  The pot lights are also on a dimmer switch and they give a nice ambience to the room.

Hopefully this tutorial can help someone else out who is wanting to do something similar.

Sharing at:
Common Ground
DIY Vintage Chic
Funky Junk Interiors
Knick of Time

I was featured at:

DIY Vintage Chic

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Adding a Beam to the Ceiling

Our basement needed new paint and flooring and a few minor renovations.  In our large "living room" or "rec room" I wanted to put up a beam with lights in it.  Here is what I was dealing with:

Ceiling right side

Ceiling left side

 My original plan was to put a wood beam up against the bulkhead (lower) portion that contains some ducting.  Because of the two vents in the ceiling, I realized that would be impossible without a lot of tearing out, so I decided to put the beam below the bulkhead instead.

The total length, just under 16', was far too long to put one piece of wood, so there had to be joints in the beam.  Instead of just straight joints I realized I could highlight the joint and make it look like a dovetail, so I made two joints along the length of the beam like this.

The beam would be hollow and allow four pot lights to be put inside.  I decided to make it like this, with plywood sides and bottom, and 2x2's to screw the box sides to.

I used basic plywood which I cut into strips.  I drew out a dovetail on the end of my side pieces and cut with a jigsaw.

I then laid the cut piece over another to cut the piece that the dovetail would fit into.

This is how they would look joined together:

I measured out to find where the holes needed to be for the pot lights and cut those out of my bottom pieces:

I screwed the 2x2 pieces to the ceiling after finding wood studs behind.  My husband set up the electrical wiring so that it came out where the end of the beam would be. You can see those wires hanging down at the bottom of this photo. This runs from two switch boxes, one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the opposite far end of the beam.

I'll post the finished results next time, stay tuned! Here's the link

Sharing at:
My Repurposed Life