Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The new TV cabinet

It's not all the way done, but it's mostly there. I still have to finish a shelf inside, and pretty up the outside a bit, but it's done enough to use and not sit in the kitchen, so yay!
This was what it looked like when we picked it up.
It was brown and brass, and smelled like old. But it was a good size and $80 and made out of wood instead of pressboard, so it was good.
I learned a lot doing this project. I learned all about different grits of sandpaper, and how to strip off varnish. I also learned about polyurethane and sanding between coats and how you really should let it cure etc etc. It takes a lot of work to strip an old cabinet down and stain it to look like something new! I learned how to install a drawer, and how you have to be exact in your measuring so it will work. I also learned about wood glue, shims, and using a 1" spade bit on the drill. All sorts of learning going on over here!
John did most of the chemical stripping. I did most of the sanding (Rowan helped a tiny bit) and I did all of the staining. I'm still considering what to do to the outside to pretty it up. It came out a darker green than I originally thought it would, but I think it looks awesome. So here it is - the outside of it anyway, with the new TV on top.
I moved the handles so they are in a more normal place for doors that swing out, and used new hardware for that. I also spray painted the brass trim on the bottom black, to match the new handles. It's hard to see on film against the dark green. You'll have to trust me on that.
Here's the whole TV corner
No, we still don't have baseboards. Yes, that floor project was a long time ago. We're managing just fine without them so far. 
The DVD player is shallow, but wide. Too wide to fit in the cabinet. But I had those black shelves that we got from Ikea last summer when I was doing the bathroom. They said brown/black in the store, and looked brown there, but looked black once I got them home. So I stuck them in the closet until now. I planned on using one for the Antenna anyway, so using one for the DVD player went well. I will probably paint or sharpie or whatever the supports so they're black, too.
I think it came out pretty nice! And it doesn't smell like old anymore. The new green stain took care of that. I still love the little legs, and that it's a pretty solid piece of furniture. Yay! And I'm so glad it's over.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The big present

My friend, Jamie, was selling her ipod touch, so Rowan got a really good big present for turning ten.
I thought it would be more fun to draw out the suspense and wrapped it in a series of boxes. I had to stop at five because I ran out of birthday paper and had to use Christmas paper for the last one.
His reaction was awesome.
Don't worry, we took video, too. But it takes a while to upload to youtube. I also took the camera to his birthday party at the bowling alley, but left the memory card in the computer! But Jenn had her small camera with her, so I got to take pictures anyway. You'll just have to wait until Monday afternoon for those. Once I have them all up, I'll post a link so you can see all his birthday pictures in one spot.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Refinishing project

I forgot to take a picture before I got started, so I yanked this one off the craigslist ad.
No idea what the end product will be like, but I'm sanding. It all starts with sanding anyway.
I smell like old furniture now.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Hey batter batter!

They don't chatter out in the field. I have no idea why, but they don't.
Here they are, though. This is the Indians - Rowan's baseball team for the spring 2012 season.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Can I build it? Yes I can!

I've been wanting raised garden beds for ages. AGES. But they're expensive! The cheapest I've seen for a kit was $60, and that's for a 4x4 bed. Insane!

Last year I had the grand idea to use old pallets to build them. But then we had a tornado. It turned out to be a good thing, though, because I learned that pallets might not be such a hot idea. They have all those chemicals on the wood to keep it from rotting and getting eaten by bugs and such.

Then, I found Ana White. She's awesome. She's a lady in Alaska to decided to try building her own stuff, and it really works! So I decided to try it out for myself, and planned on building the raised cedar garden beds out of fence pickets.
In fact, the cedar pickets were on sale last week. WIN!

I took two of the pickets to John at work, and he used the table saw to rip them into the thin strips I needed. Then he brought the chop saw home and I measured while he cut the rest of the things that needed cutting. After all of that I was left with a pile of pieces of wood.
It would have been intimidating, but it kind of resembled what I would get out of the box from Ikea. And I've done that loads of times. So there.

I learned pretty quickly that the clamp we have is not adequate for the job. In fact, it was worse than useless because when I tried to use it, it made things worse. So I gave up on that and used a system of my own devising, where I used other boards to support things and just stood on the stuff while I drilled. I also figured out that it was much easier to move along doing things assembly line style.
Progress. Glue + screws = boards stuck together.
Eleri was not happy with this whole process. She's going through an afraid of everything time right now - in fact, she just had her first wake up crying nightmare last night - and the drill was a scary beast. So she didn't stay outside with me for long. That made things take much longer than I'd planned, because I'd drill a couple of holes, and then go in to check on her and see what she was up to. And it was HOT out there, so only my excitement of making something got me back out into that sun.
Looky though! The joins look just like they're supposed to!
I had one problem where I put the screw too close to the edge and the wood splintered, so I had to put a new screw in, but other than that, it went surprisingly well.  It's giving me confidence to tackle that window seat idea. 
I built one and then had to come in for good for today. It's HOT out there, did I say that? Cause it is. And I figure I should wait and have the boys help me put the other one together. The sides are all constructed - in fact that's it above in the picture of the join. The sides just aren't screwed together and the trim isn't on yet.
It could look better if I had used a counter sink bit so the screws would be hidden, and put putty over them, and all that jazz. But this is garden beds for outside. I'm okay with the screws showing. We don't have a counter sink bit anyway. 
But now I have all these ideas. Things I've wanted, like mudroom type storage lockers, that are way too expensive to buy - I could make them! Me and Ana White.