Thursday, May 29, 2014

It's Just a Lumber Shed, More Space in the Shop

We've all heard the phrase "less is more" and when one is re-organzing a cluttered space I'm sure this is true, but sometimes nothing will do but more space.

A couple of years ago, in an effort to de-clutter my shop and make it a more productive environment I rented some storage space and hauled several years of accumulated lumber and other odd and assorted things to this space. My intention was to get this stuff out of my way so that I could finish the interior walls of my shop and lay down a new floor. The floor is done the walls are still waiting.

Recently I've started to do more actual woodworking in my shop. The realization that all those projects I was putting off until I was caught up and had more time were never going to be done unless I made some time for woodworking now.

But now most of my lumber is at another location a 15 minute drive away. This of course would not do and frankly it made no sense to continue pay to store materials that I wanted to use and would only do so if they were closer at hand.

An addition to my shop for lumber storage seemed to be the answer but frankly I didn't have a lot of time to devote to such a project. If it was going to be done it would have to be done in a very timely in a weekend.

The back of the shop was the best location for the addition

 Fortunately this past weekend was Memorial Day weekend and it was a long weekend. Julie and I devised a plan. My eldest son Daniel would fly in from Vermont on Friday evening and my good friend Jeff Matilsky volunteered to drive up from Gainesville, Florida. They both thought the idea of building a structure in a weekend sounded like a fun challenge.

The week before, I worked to finish up a "Brute" shooting board plane that was well into process. Once the plane was completed and shipped I turned my attention to preparing for the shop addition project.

When you cut into the siding you're committed

Most of Thursday was spent procuring and transporting materials.

Thursday evening I removed the old air conditioning unit and window. Then I cut out what would  become the doorway between the old space and the new.

On Friday Jeff and I installed the floor frame ledger, the rim joist and all the floor joist. We then attached wire mesh to the underside of the joist and laid in fiberglass insulation between the framing members. When Daniel arrived later that evening we laid down the subfloor and nailed it in place.

left to right, Jeff Matilsky, Daniel and myself

By Saturday evening we had built and raised the outside wall (siding installed) and cut and installed all the rafters. We also framed one of the ends walls before we quit for the day.

On Monday morning we were installing the roof shingles. At this time I realized that I was totally spent. I had nothing left. Fortunately my sons Daniel and Marc took it upon themselves to finish roofing the lumber shed. I have wonderful children and in this case my boys really came thru. Thanks to Jeff Matilsky and my sons we met our goal for the weekend. The lumber shed was dried in. Of course Julie kept us well fed and hydrated. This was a critical part of making the project a success.

There is still a good bit of work to do to the addition but at this point I can take it at a more leisurely pace. After some clean up on Tuesday morning I was able to go back to plane making by the afternoon.


Sunday, May 4, 2014

Kitchen Island Finished.......Maybe

The kitchen island project  featured in an earlier post is finally finished and in use in the kitchen. We will most probably will add a lower shelf but the priority at this point is a couple of counter stools so that we can sit at the island to perform tasks and possibly enjoy breakfast in the kitchen.

As someone that has never been all that fascinated with turning, I have found myself doing quite a lot of it lately. Knobs for planes and parts for many Shaker style stools I've been making. However I did not turn the legs for this project.

 Given what I would have paid for maple large enough for turning these legs and considering the time it would have taken, I opted to purchase these legs from Matt Burak at They produce wonderful, nicely detailed legs and frankly there are just other woodworking projects I would rather spend my woodworking time pursuing.

 I turned a shooting board plane knob from Italian Olive this past week and working that material was a memorable woodworking experience. I guess I'm starting to enjoy turning after all. Did I mention that I like working with olive wood? The other knob pictured above is from a piece of Desert Ironwood Burl with a bit of burl sapwood included. It wasn't as enjoyable to turn but the result was pleasing.

I have friends from the North side of Atlanta that make their way down here to visit several times a year. We've established a tradition of me making an apple pie to celebrate their visits. They have deemed this new addition to the kitchen as my "Pie Bench". Works for me.

Having spices in an upper cabinet was a royal PITA. You pretty much had to take half of everything out to find the ones needed for a given recipe. With the spices in the drawer of the island access is easy and quick. I was proud that my dovetails fit up quite well and I like the contrast with the red drawer front.

I made pizza last night and rolled out the pizza crust on the island work surface. The height was great for this task, just a bit over 35".

Now, about those stools, one down and one to go,