There’s a local startup here in Kitchener called Sienci Labs that makes a microwave-sized desktop CNC router called the Mill One. I saw it at a maker faire, and got in touch with them, asking if they were willing to sponsor my channel. Instead of a sponsorship deal, they proposed that I make them some work benches for their new office space in return for a CNC router kit that I can assemble.
In this video, I make a pair of standing height 3′ x 4′ work benches from 2x4s and 3/4″ plywood. The benches collapse and can be flat packed, or transported in a small pickup truck or large sedan. All of pieces go together with 3/8″ carriage bolts, so the benches can be taken apart or assembled with a single tool.
My buddy Andrew has some Christmas-themed lawn ornaments that shine lasers onto his house, and a neighbourhood kid keeps knocking them over. He asked me to help him build some wooden shelters to protect the lasers from vandalism, and we decided to make them look sort of like gingerbread houses.
The houses are simple pine boxes with fat finger joints on the corners, and slat roofing. We painted them flat brown and accented the edges with white paint.
I had intended to get this video out before Christmas, but Christmas happened, so it’s out now. But hey, at least it’s still December.
I recently got a new job that requires me to work from home. I decided to build a custom ergonomic computer desk for my office that’s exactly the right size and shape for me to comfortably work at.
There’s an expensive antique store in town that had a fancy farmhouse style table on display that I really liked, so I decided to try to emulate it. I bought some old barn board to use as the top, glued it together, epoxied the gaps, and finished it with danish oil. The legs and frame are made from old 2x4s and 2x6s attached with mortise and tenon joinery, and finished with chalk paint.
Recently, I started working from home. I’d like to have a dedicated desk just for work stuff in my home office so that I don’t have to re-arrange my desk every time I switch back and forth between laptops.
This is as good a time as any to figure out how to make a desk, and I saw a farmhouse-style table at a local antiques store that got the creative juices flowing. In this video, I build the desk top out of 3/4″ tongue and groove upcycled pine barnboard. I glue it all together, cut it to size, do a lot of planing and sanding, round over the edges, and finish the desk with Danish Oil.
Every year in my hometown, there’s a craft beer and barbecued meat festival called RibFest, where they give out beer samples in little 5oz glasses. I’ve saved up all of the glasses from past years and in this video, I build a couple of beer paddles that each carry four of the sample glasses.
My wife bought this beautiful 1:1 scale Captain America shield replica, and we figured that it would look great hanging on the wall of our living room. I researched a couple of methods for hanging shields, but none of them gave the floating effect that I wanted, so I designed a french cleat style hanger. In this video, I show how the hanger is made.
In this video, I make a narrow painted book case out of 3/4″ plywood with 1″ wide pine face trim. The back of the bookcase is made out of pine boards that have a chamfer cut on both sides to give them a bit of visual flair.
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My brother in law had a kitchen drawer fall apart on him after years of use. The drawer was built with mitered corners, which don’t make much sense in this application, because they’re essentially butt joints. As such, every time somebody pulls the drawer open, the entire force of the action is put on the glue that holds the side and front of the drawer together. Glue is strong stuff, but the drawer box was made out of particle board, which isn’t, and over time, the joints let go.
I tackled the repair by rebuilding the drawer box out of 1/2″ MDF, using drawer joints (yes those are a thing) in place of the mitered corners on the original drawer. Here’s an image that I blatantly stole from the internet that shows the type of joinery that I’m talking about:
As you can see, the two sides of the drawer hook together with a sort of mortise and tennon joint. The uppermost board in that image would be the front of the drawer that I made, while the lowermost board would be the side. Whenever somebody pulls the drawer open, the force of the action is distributed throughout the joint, and the wood that makes it up, instead of being focused entirely on a glued butt joint.
My brother in law was really happy with the way that the drawer turned out, and I got a chance to try out some new joinery that will definitely come in handy sometime down the road.
Awhile back, I made some end tables out of a couple of old pallets that were hanging around my workshop. Unfortunately, due to an inherent flaw in the design of these tables, one of them developed a pretty serious crack after just a few months of being inside of my house:
In order to fix the crack, I had to cut the table top apart and replace the broken pieces, and then rebuild the mitered maple frame that encircles the piece. Speaking of the frame – commenters on both Reddit and YouTube helpfully pointed out that it’s actually the cause of the issues. Basically, the laminate pieces that make up the table top will expand and contract across their grain as the humidity in the room changes. The maple frame that encircles the table top holds them in place, preventing them from moving. If the forces within the table top get too strong, the wood will crack to relieve the pressure. So, stay tuned for part three of the end table saga wherein I totally rebuild the table tops? We’ll see how long they go before cracking again.
After my first couple of project videos, I got some feedback saying that I was using terms that viewers weren’t familiar with. With that in mind, I decided to make a series of videos that serve as introductory pieces to various wood working topics.
The goal is to highlight a particular tool or technique, explain its vocabulary, and why it’s useful in the shop. This is a good first shot at that concept, but I think I can improve on the idea in future videos.
Let me know if there are any terms or tools that you’d like to see in a future Woodworking Basics video.