From Oak Trees … to Lumber … to Projects

A couple of weeks ago, in Woodworker’s Journal eZine Issue 310, Woodworker’s Journal editor in chief Rob Johnstone wrote in his introductory editorial about a friend who’d questioned him on the viability of cutting his own lumber for a project. Rob asked eZine readers if any of them had ever chopped a tree down, turned it into lumber and built a project. Many of them had — including Herb Brodie, who shares his story here.

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Tile-Topped Coffee Table

This reader-submitted coffee table features hand-made joinery and a clever use of tile for the tabletop.

I wanted to share this project that I’m so proud of: a custom built coffee table with marble stone tiles on top.

To use stone tiles for the top of a table is a great way to give furniture a more luxurious feel without spending a lot of money. Me and my husband built this table from scratch without using any nails or screws, but instead doing a lot of chiseling and some gluing. We chose hemlock wood and stained it in red mahogany.

For the top, we used 12 x 12 inch white carrera marble tiles, which we put close together without any space savers; then we didn’t have to use grout and could create a more seamless surface.

Overall I love this technique and our coffee table is just gorgeous!

More info and pics available here:

http://christonium.com/HomeProject/building-wooden-coffee-table-with-marble-tiles

Thanks so much for your time!

Linn

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

table 4

table 2

table 3

table 5

table 1

Airplane Bed

This reader’s project incorporates some clever “interactive” functionality and plenty of storage.

A family I work with has a son who is crazy about airplanes. The mother sent me a picture of an airplane bed, and I knew I could do better. Attached are the sketchup design, a few pictures of the work in progress and the finished bed with Paulito included. I was disappointed that they added the box springs, as I had designed it for a single bunk mattress only, but I was told when Paulito goes to bed, he feels he is really flying.

It is made from hard maple, padauk, and Peruvian walnut. There is a little maple plywood and veneer, but it is mostly solid lumber with no stain or paint. I made two propellers which are easily removed. One is maple and the other is padauk and walnut. The wings pull out and form a storyteller’s seat, and the propeller really turns. There is plenty of storage in the drawers on the base.

– Joe Byron

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Paulitos Bed - SketchUp

paulitos airplane bed frame

Airplane Bed complete

Airplane  Bed in place

Down-Sized Arts & Crafts Blanket Chest

We received this photo from a reader after we ran a previous letter showing his work in our June 2011 issue, all of which are variations on the Arts & Crafts Blanket Chest featured in the April 2010 issue.

First, thanks for the credit and photos of the arts & crafts blanket chest that I built from the April 2010 issue of Woodworkers Journal. As I mentioned in my letter [which was run in the June 2011 issue], I was planning to make three more of the chests for my daughter and her two girls, theirs to be used as a ‘hope chest’. I finished the three down-sized chests yesterday, trying to make them to scale of the original version, and finished them out with the asphalt stain treatment and then waxing with tudor brown Briwax.

The chests are 18″ X 18″ X 30 1/2″ for the chest, with the tops being 32″ X 20″. As I counted, there are approximately 90 individual parts, not counting the boards individually for the tops or the bottoms or the splines, with 28 mortises and tenons. Quite an undertaking, but I am pleased with the results. Each time I assembled one of the chests I learned something that made the next one easier to assemble. Having purchased the lumber through my son-in-law in Mississippi I got better quality lumber at a better price. Each chest cost about $200.00, including hardware and finishes.

– Dewey Lackey; Brentwood, TN

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

blanket chest

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask!

Woodworking is anything but a simple craft. Every technique, finish option, tool choice or species of wood has innumerable issues related to it. “Can I cut a rabbet with a spiral bit?” “Should I try waterbased poly over rosewood?” “What’s the best size of air compressor for both fastening and spraying finish? “How do I keep end grain on a walnut blank from tearing out when I turn it?

You get the picture. Start a project or try something new and the questions surface, no matter what.

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Redwood & Mulberry Hanger

In addition to putting reclaimed lumber to good use, this reader-submitted project includes a handy tip for routing a profile on a uniquely-shaped piece of wood.

I made this last week. It’s about 18-1/2″ long. The back is redwood. The hooks are made from mulberry the city cleared from over the street and tossed in the woods here in my neighborhood. Satin poly finish on the redwood and spray laquer on the mulberry. Interestingly, the logs sitting on the concrete floor in my garage tried sprouting new stems and leaves for 5 months. Three years on it seems to have stopped.

Routing the profile on the dog-ear corners gave me cause to ponder. At only 5/16″ thick, I didn’t have a place for the guide bearing to ride and still get the profile I wanted from the bit I have. But on the router table, how would I keep the piece steady with only an inch or so against the fence? In the end I cut some scrap MDF at 45 degrees and used that as a push block against the fence and just held the two together and slid it past the bit. It worked so well I’m keeping the MDF stored under the router table.

– Dean Morrell

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

hanger 2

hanger 1

Lifeguard Chairs

It’s hard to come up with a more perfect summer project than this reader-submitted pair of lifeguard chairs.

My father and I made a pair of lifeguard chairs for a friend. We designed it to be functional and comfortable.

It has a slide out tray between the chairs and a removable umbrella stand. The seat height is 48″

– Steven Baker

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it it!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

lifeguard chair 1

lifeguard chair 2

Can Crusher

When this reader set out to build one of our plans, he had a question:

In Michigan, where I am from, we recycle most pop/beer cans, however I drink a juice supplement for bad joints every day which does not have a bottle/can deposit on them. They are 100% recyclable aluminum so I have been saving them. Unfortunately, they take up a lot of room, so I decided to build your crusher. But a ways into the project I realized the cans are a different size. Taller and smaller in diameter. The diameter doesn’t matter but I am concerned about the taller height interfering with the insertion of the can into the crusher. The cans are 1/4″ taller than a standard 12 oz. pop/beer can. Do the plans allow for enough clearance for this?

– Bob in Michigan

After hearing from one of our staff that the Can Crusher plan offers 5 inches of clearance, we were happy to hear from Bob again:

Thank you it worked!

Do you have a project that you’d like to share?  Click here to send it in!

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

Can Crusher With Can

Art Deco Humidor

While veneering is commonly used for humidors, the different veneers and other accent pieces used here provide some very unique colors and textures.

Here’s my latest humidor project, tribute to the Art Deco period.  Materials: Teal birdseye maple veneer, solid ebony accents, curly maple accents, macassar ebony veneer, 3/8″ Spanish cedar lining inside.  Weight: approx 23 lbs,  finished in lacquer.  Dimensions: 18-3/4″ x 13-1/4″ x 6-1/2″.  Capacity: approx 150 cigars (6 x 54)  Has one dovetailed tray and 1-1/2″ space underneath.

– Norberto J Macias

Do you have a project you’d like to share? Click here to send it in.

Matt Becker
Internet Production Coordinator

humidor corner

humidor top

humidor open

humidor tray