Made at 173: Simple Shelf for the Kitchen

March 28, 2019


Sometimes I post old projects just for posterity - this is one of those posts so please bear with me.  When we first bought 173 back in '97, one of the first things we did was paint the kitchen, of course it really needed much more than that but back then there just wasn't the money.  But I had gotten a Craftsman router and I was dying to use it.


And when we moved in we inherited a small collection of old metal shelf brackets.  So I chose these two...


And because the kitchen table is hunter green...


After sanding the daylights out of those old brackets, I used the old Krylon...


 to paint them hunter green to match the table...


Then came the fun part!  Mind you, not only was this the first time using my router, it was my first time using any router!  When I was a kid I watched my dad use a router tons of times, but you know how it is - when you're a kid you don't pay much attention - mind caught up in thinking about the other kids at the school playground, wondering what inning it was!  Anyway, after a couple practice passes on a piece of scrap wood I gave it a go!  This was quite a few year ago so there's no action pictures, but here's how it turned out:


Sure, it wasn't the finest piece of wood, and as you can see about midway in the lines got a little wavy but geeze, I sure was proud!  I don't remember the color of the stain, but it turned out a decent color and didn't clash with the tabletop.  This is how it looked back about '98 or '99:


And here it is after the 2018 kitchen re-do:


And a bonus shot...


I know, lots of writing for such a simple little project, but isn't that the fun of having a blog?

Made at 173: Accent Table

March 24, 2019


A couple weeks ago I finished the build of the little accent table for the upstairs hallway...


Then it was a matter of putting on the finish.  Here's a picture of the table that was my inspiration for this little project:


I have no idea where I found that picture so if you recognize it please let me know so I can give proper credit.  Anyway, I had to make some alterations to my plan.  I really wanted to have the back legs look like this but I just couldn't cut them to look half way decent.  I mean, they were so bad I didn't even take a picture.  I really need to get a band saw!  But I didn't want those legs to be just plain slats, so I laid out where the shelves would go and figured where I could place some holes...


...then used my Forstner bits to drill some holes of different sizes, just for interest.


Anyway, after the build was complete I prepped all three legs with some wood conditioner...


Then I stained them using my stain formula mix of two stains... 2 parts General Finishes Antique Walnut to 1 part Georgian Cherry that I finally figured out when I stained the dining room built-in baseboards and put on four coats of amber shellac.  


Then, using paints I already had on hand, I painted the shelves.


And here it is in the hallway:


Let's get a closer look...


The 173 was just a lucky find at some home store but I think it works. and here's a shot of how those flanges worked out as supports:


I now it's different, but different is what we wanted.  That end of the hallway has always felt a little off, so this will give it some interest. And the colors tie in with the sconce and the painting...


 I know the table design isn't for everyone, and it's taking a little getting used to myself, but it sure was fun to build!

Made at 173: Upstairs Hallway Table - part 1

March 4, 2019


So, the class I'm in is winding up and I have a couple days off work so I wanted to get in the workshop and do something.  One thing I've been wanting to do is make an accent table for the end of the upstairs hallway.  Here's where we left of in October:


It's really difficult to get a good picture up there, but you get the idea.  The problem with that spot is that there are two doorways at the end of the hallway so whatever piece was to go there certainly could't be particularly big, otherwise you'r have to squeeze by whenever you went into a room.  I don't like that idea, so I had to come up with a solution.  I decided to make the table top in a half-round shape.  Lowes sells some round boards for making end-tables and the like, but they were too thick, which would throw things out of scale at the cramped end of the hallway.  So I figured I'd have to do something I've never done - cut my own circles.  I started with one of these boards from Lowes:


From there, I watched a bunch of videos on how to calculate circle dimensions, arcs, etc.  To be honest, it got way too complicated for me - quickly!  So I searched around for something to use as a template.  Trash can lids were too big, 5 gallon buckets were too small, then I found the perfect thing:


That's right kids - the laundry basket!  Laugh if you will but it worked!  Of course it took a little trial-and-error:


Then I used the old saber saw to cut them out:


Then I clamped the all together and sanded them to the pencil line so they were all the same size...


After that I cut out the notches for the rear legs.


I laid out the legs for a little design idea.  I didn't want just straight boards, 


But I don't have the tools to get too creative...so I decided to go with various size holes cut on the drill press using my Forstner bits:


Then it was time to fix some knot holes and do some sanding...


This is by no means an ad, but I've used this Elmer's product a couple times and it works great!  Just thought I'd throw that out there in case anyone was considering it.  Then I thought I needed some piece of hardware to support the front of the table with the dowel.  Oh, I haven't really told you about the design yet, but read on - it'll all make sense soon!   I found some brass flanges at Lowes and thought I'd put a hole in the side to use a set screw:


The cool thing was, this was my first real opportunity to use one of the drill press vises I made back in January:


Again, this will all make sense in a few minutes.  Then is was back to the drill press to pre-drill holes in the back of the rear legs.  Mostly I did this on the drill press so the holes would be straight, making it easier to assemble the pieces.


Then came assembly.  Not too difficult, but to make sure everything was properly aligned, level and plumb took some time and extensive use of my invaluable Workmates.


This is where those flanges came into play.  The design of the table was that, instead of two legs in the front, there would be just one dowel running down through each shelf, supporting each with these flanges.  Here you can see the set screws I used...


From the outside you can't see the screws, just brass flanges:


And here's the table - unfinished:


I have it taped for painting, but here's a shot of the table in what will soon be its new home:


Now, sanding, priming, painting!

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