Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Today I met a Genius.

So my New Year celebration this year is going to involve a Door finishing job. Being as its December and the temps are low, and the fact that I've been having a problem with finishes taking a really long time to dry in my shop, I did a little research and discovered the manufacture of my epoxy sealer offers his magical product in a cold temperature formula. Since tomarrow is New Years eve, I decided to visit the factory and pick it up in person so I could meet the time commitment. While there I got to meet the brains behind the formula and pick his brain.

Meet Steve Smith of Smith and Company. This guy has forgotten more about the formulation of varnishes and resins than I may ever know. I got the pleasure of getting an hour education on the history of varnish, the formulation of every thinning product available, as well as its proper use and so much more.

As much as I know about woodworking and finishes the more I want to learn. I am truely a student of the craft. Today was an amazing lesson.

If you're looking for the best products in wood preservation, check out Steves company at

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Whoa Im Loaded.

So here it is. Equipment placed and wired up. Damn if this thing doesn't almost look fabulous. I realized while admiring my masterpiece, that thing is never going to been seen by anyone. It's going to spend its entire life concealed in the obscured security of a hidden closet. Brilliant. All thats left now is build the faceplates..

Rack, I'd like you to meet closet.

So heres the closet where this cabinet will be living. This is the next project, I have a few plans for this as well. We'll get to that later...

Equipment Test fit.

OK time for a test fit. I grabbed the reciever and prepared for the moment of truth. Do I know how to read a tape measure? Here's a shot of the nearly completed rack with the reciever in it. It fits.


Duct the Cabinet

So now that I have the ducts in the floor to draw the cool air from, now I have to get that cool air up into the cabinet. In order to direct the cool air up in to the bottom of the cabinet. I cut a hole in the bottom of the cabinet and routed grooves into the bottom. In those grooves I inserted brushes that would reach the floor to seal up the cabinet to the floor. Check it out, works real slick.

Wait a minute, we need ducting.

Since the media equipment is sensative to heat the rack has to be well ventalated. I did a little research on this and learned the sides have to be solid and ventalation is best from the bottom so I installed vents in the closet to suck cool air from under the house.

Insert Hardware Here.

I wanted to be sure this little home built creation had all the bells and whistles of any commercial media rack so that meant hitting Guitar Rack for rack mount brackets, Piedmont Lumer for drilled angle iron that will be used for cord management and good old shelf standards to hold the equipment shelves that I made out of plywood and painted black.

Frame Built!

OK so I I still can't figure out how to insert more than one photo in a single post so Im going post happy today. Here's a shot of the framework assembled.

Media Rack takes Shape

So in the last few evenings I've been working on the media rack. I took those casings and built some framework for the rack using simple pocket screw attachements. Then I painted the inside black. While I was at it I added another thin coat to the outside to darken up that vampire finish. Once I got the panels finish on the panels they just didn't match all that well...

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

The Media Center

So I'm super excited about this weeks build. I'm actually taking some time away from client work to do a build for my own house for Christmas, a very nice change of pace. When I built the house, I was just getting finished when the morgage crisis and all the other BS of our collapsing economy hit hard. (OCt 07) I was over budget and plain out of money. We were without heat for two months, no stove for seven, ect. Needless to say the media center was very low on the proirity list. As a gift to myself, I decided to get the basic components bought to get the system working on a minimilistic basis. As with all electronics the system spec'd at the time of build was now going obsolete so buying the basic controller components I needed via eBay and end of year closeout sales saved me a ton of money. What hadn't come down in price is the cost of the freaking rack to hold it all, still over $600 just for the rack.

I decided to build one. I started with some 1x4 Lifespan Casing that got painted red for an install job. The customer changed thier mind and wanted white. Knowing it would take three or four coats to fully cover the red with white, I just bought more material to save time, so now I had this red 1x4. Hmmm..

I thought I might do something artsy and dry brushed some black over it. The result was killer. It had this vampire goth look. I liked it, so did the missus, so I started building the framework for the component rack with this...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Kreg Pocket Screw Clinic

It was awesome to see all you folks come out on such a nice day to learn about the Kreg pocket screw system. Its always flattering to see so many return attendees for my clinics, month after month.

I guess we're onto something good with these Free Carpentry Clinics.

Next year we will be another fantastic lineup of clinics. Some of last years shows will be repeated, but I have some great ideas for others I'd like to do.

Right now in the shop I have a ton of pre-finish work going on for customers buying doors. I was thinking that a clinic on finishing doors might be a good one to do. Alot of folks are u[pgrading and replacing doors and there's alot to know about finishing them.

Check back here for a tutorial I'm working on.

Thanks again everyone!


Monday, August 3, 2009

Wainscot Clinic

I want to thank those of you who gave up such a beautiful Saturday to attend my latest carpenty clinic. It was another great crowds and again, I appreciate your participation very much. The fact that so many of you guys keep coming every month really makes me feel like you are getting something from them. It's great to be able to share my expertise with so many enthusiastic people. It was a good time, I hope you all build at least one of the featured details!

See you next month when we use mouldings to build small projects like floating bookshelves and flat screen TV frames.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Tomarrow we install doors!

Tomarrow we'll be installing doors. Our monthly Carpentry Clinic series has been well recieved. We get tons of folks coming out to learn little tidbits about home improvement and some contractors too looking to pick up a trick or two. Tomarrow we're focusing on interior doors. Starting at 10:30 we'll go through the tools and products we use to install pre-hung doors, do an install, build a custom header then have a free BBQ lunch at Noon. The second half starts at 1:00 and covers the installation of a new interior slab into an existing jamb, a popular upgrade that we get alot of questions about.

I look forward to seeing you all there tomarrow!


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I’ve got a sneak peak for those of you that subscribe to this blog. I’ve got a sweet little jig I came up with that makes pre-finishing doors a breeze. No more wrestling with a heavy door to get to the other side or ruining the side you just finished by turning it over to early. I came up with a rotisserie type thing that the editors from the Journal of Light Construction liked so much they decided to put it in their magazine. You get to see it before it comes out!

Check it out here:

Monday, May 18, 2009

This photo was from the last time I took out the Toyota.. Ended up on the lid and scaring the ladies to death..
So the trip North was a good one. Got a little father on this beast of a detail, which is actually a little farther than this pic shows, I just forgot to to take a new pic so Im using something from a few weeks ago since you haven't seen it yet anyway. I'll get some new stuff next week. Other exciting developments include the removal of the ugly tempory counters which you can see in this photo. They are now gone and replaced with a really neat desk thing I bought from the HomeDepot design center when they went out of business. (yay!)

While up North I got my rock crawler truck uncovered and cleaned up for the annual Prather Brothers Off road Poker Run pre runner party. Super fun times in the woods with hillbilly folk of all ages. What was really amazing was the cabin in the woods where the whole event starts from. It was built by hand from trees taken right off the property. The Prathers actually set up a portable lumber mill and cut every piece of wood they used to build this awesome cabin in the woods. Needless to say being a builder and overall wood-type guy, I was really impressed. Sorry I didn't get any photos, maybe next time. Check out the photo at the top for the last time I took it out..

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Here we go

So this is it, the first entry. Wow, I've arrived. Should I start with a recent history, or just current events? Do I bring you up to speed or simply assume that if you are reading this it's because I begged you to do so as a condition of your support for my existance. Hmmm.

A little of both. First a little bitty bio:

Has Been - World Champ type aging Gen-Xer . All the usual that goes with it. Starting to control the reckless abandon, accepting responsiblity, growing up, ect. Aging now into a pretty respectalbe family/business man who has taken a penchant to building most what ever I want. This comes in handy as the family business is selling ..wait for it..yes..building materials. Go figure. As a result of an obsessive compulsive reaction to things I'm interesed in I've amassed a random assortment of shortcuts and solutions to many things building. All kinds of stuff, homes, furniture, trade show booths, guns, cars, boats, ect. Haven't built a plane but I will. Enough about that and back to the why of this blog. So, I started doing these "Carpentry Clinics" and this is where this whole blog thing is going. (I guess I haven't completely outgrown the shameless self promotion. ) I'm going to post up info on my shows and projects and basically just shamelessly promote myself and the family business.

Current Events.

The last Carpentry Clinic was a real success, got a bunch of people to come and pulled the whole thing off like I actually knew what I was doing. I was a little overwhelmed by the response to be quite honest. Thaks to all of you folks that came and checked it out, it was real encouraging to realize that there were prople actually interested in learning what I was teaching. So the response was so good, I made a schedule for the year! The next one is on wainscoting and will be on June 6th. We'll be doing a free BBQ lunch again and look forward to another great event.