Sunday, August 14, 2011

Creating a shelf

I have searched for a shelf to hang in my home office. The search has not gone well and I haven't found the right on. On Saturday we were at the antique mall in Allen and I saw several old drawers that gave me an idea.

I found two shelves that look like this one.

And a third one that was different.

I knew I had several pieces of scrap lumber that I could use to put these together. First I cut a piece of plywood for the back.

Then I ripped several pieces for shelves to put into the drawers.

Here is one of the drawers with the shelves installed.

The third shelf wound up a little different because it already had a divider down the middle of the drawer.

Next I figured out how to attach all three drawers onto the one connecting piece. Note the closest drawer has a small divider to make it different.

I tried several positions for the middle drawer trying to get it just right.

I decided to center the middle drawer between the other two drawers.
Next I put a board along the top to tie the outside two together and secure them.

Once all the pieces were secured I decided to paint everything black. As the black went on it seemed to tie everything together and it all came together.

A little more paint and it's starting to come into focus. It will take some more coats of black to finish and maybe some accent color. On the back I attached a long piece with an angle cut that will match up to a second piece mounted on the wall. More photos of the mounting to come.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

How to eat a building

Yesterday I drove down Abrams Rd in Dallas and found this happening to one of the office buildings.

This building has been around for a long time and seems to have outlived it's usefulness. I noticed two machines, much smaller then the building, making short work of bringing it to it's knees.

One machine had a long neck with small but powerful jaws. It would reach into the building and tear chunks out.

It kept nibbling away at the bones of the building.

He was digging for the big stuff.
Each time a big part came out, several others would spill out!
Parts were falling everywhere.

The smaller machine had a small neck but a big mouth and great big teeth.
This blue machine kept returning to the little machine looking for scraps.
He happily filled up the blue machine.

They worked as a team. The big machine would toss his leftovers to the little guy.
Once the blue truck had his fill he took off for some exercise.

The little machine kept picking up the scraps the big was throwing his way.
He was very choosy thou and kept picking out only the good stuff to keep for himself.

He picked thru the pile looking for just the right stuff.

He seemed to liked the dark pieces best.
The blue truck must have told his friends cuz soon others arrived.
I think the little machine was glad to get rid of the scraps he didn't like.

I went by today and they were resting, I guess they eat too much yesterday!

The blue truck was back and could do nothing but wait.
Maybe I'll go back tomorrow to see if they are up to finishing off the building.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

New again desk

We decided to move our office to the first floor at home, so I was on the hunt for a desk.  After much searching I wound up at the JOT EM DOWN store in Forney Tx.  I found a desk in my price range and after some negotiations (pointing out that it needed work) I got a 25% discount off of the asking price.  Most of their antiques come from Europe so I think this desk is some kind of European Oak.

I had to take it apart as soon as I got it home to get it into the garage, so I didn't take a good before picture.
The wood was in good shape but someone thought these handles looked good!

  It needed lots of work.  Years of finish and dirt had to come off.

I had to glue several sections back together to strengthen them.
It has two great pull out boards that create additional work surfaces. 
They are hidden under the top when they are put away and pull out over the drawers on both sides when in use.

The top had a faux leather middle piece which looked good but had black spots on it, 
It was dated 1979 so it was not original but added later,  it had to come off and will not be reused.

The drawers were an indicater that the piece was very old judging by the construction and craftsmanship.  They were dovetailed both on the front and the back of the drawers.
This is not used in newer pieces and another indicater that it is old traditional construction.
New desks may have dovetailing in the front but almost always are butt jointed in the back where most people wouldn't look.  The grain in the wood was real great.

So I started stripping and sanding all of the pieces. It took about 6 hours to get them all done.

Once the sanding was done I chose dark walnut, rub on stain.
As the stain went on and soaked into the grain on the top the texture started to come to life.

Here is a close up of the grain on the top before the finish wax was applied. 
Even here you can see the great variations in the grain that almost give it a tiger stripe effect.

Once all of the striping ,sanding and staining was done(out on the hot driveway),
I brought the parts inside to assemble and put the finish wax on. It was much cooler inside!
The modesty panel was missing so I fabricated one to replace the missing peice.
It did wonders to make the whole desk sturdier.

The new hardware, with the old antique look, that fits much better than the previous hardware.
As my mother would say "Looks Rich!"

I decided not to varnish or seal the stain, instead I applied a traditional hand rubbed wax finished.
The grain on the top is incredible and really came out when the wax was applied.

I like it so much that it will not be covered by any leather center piece.

Now that this is done the plan is to finish bringing the rest of the furniture down this weekend.

Stay tuned for more pictures of the room shortly!

Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, June 24, 2011

Today I Will Make a Difference

Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It’s OK to stumble… . I will get up. It’s OK to fail… . I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.

Today I will make a difference.

From Shaped by God (original title: On the Anvil)

Copyright (Tyndale House, 1985, 2002) Max Lucado

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Debi is away at a creative workshop for the weekend so I'm getting creative here at home. Currently we have a guest bedroom downstairs and an office upstairs. Here are some pictures:

The office.

We decided to swap the rooms so I started the process of making the change.

First I cleaned out the downstairs room.

I used the opportunity to make some decorative changes to our dining room.

Do you think Debi will like it???

I did get the carpet cleaned with a steam cleaner.

But the I got distracted and went outside to build a platform for our barbecue off the deck out back. I built the deck and the cover earlier this year.

The distraction was not a total loss because I did get the shelves cut for the closet to be installed in the new office.

I quit for the day because a close friend was in town and visiting with her was a perfect excuse to break for the day. That's where I'll pick up today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Location:Wooded Creek Ln,McKinney,United States

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Covered Patio

May in Texas is a great time of year,  the weather is usually very pleasant and the days  are stretching out to their summer time lengths.  The last two weekends were spent working on a cover for the wood platform we have in the back yard.  We had a hot tub here at one time but it is long gone and a deck is now there. 

Last summer I built the wood deck and we purchased a table and chairs for it.  You might ask...where are the table and chairs?   More on that later...  This May we have had our share of rain making up for the drought conditions we were experiencing.  Another fact about Texas in May is that it is a precursor for hot sunny days of June, July and August that are right around the corner.  We decided that the deck needed some protection from the rain and some much needed shade to allow us to enjoy it when those hot dog days of summer come our way.

I decided to use a simple gable design and top it with V groove tin.  After approval from the HOA, very necessary step, it was time to build.  I was able to put the posts in by myself, of course that's after digging four large holes to place anchors for the posts.  Jared come over and helped me get the framing done and  the tin on top.  The framing was fairly easy and I really appreciated Jared's help. The tin was the frustrating part, trying to punch pointy screws, recommended by the tin manufacturer,  through the tin while standing on the ladder and reaching over 2 feet over the sheet is not easy.  I don't know why they don't provide self taping screws! Fortunately, Jared came up with a creative way to mount the top piece as we put up the side panels so that we didn't have to climb on top to finish it up!  Mike can thank Jared for that idea because he probably would have done that job!

The end result was quite pleasing,  not bad for two weekends worth of work.  I still have some wiring to do for lights and a ceiling fan, that's why the ladder is still out.  Debi is already planning some special party lights for it.  Now back to the table we purchase for this area. the cover was going up, Debi started saying things like" maybe we should put the gliders out here".  So as the project was completed it was decided that the table and chairs would go on the patio attached to the house and the gliders would come out here.
The Patio was cleared off, swept and power washed in preparation for the new furniture.  I had these louvered doors that were purchased for another project Debi had in mind but the decision was made to use them out here.  Now they now provide great shade in the late afternoon. After all the scrubbing the area was ready for the furniture.
While it was still drying, the table was brought up and we actually had lunch out here.  It has become a very pleasant area that we really enjoy.  I will add another picture later with the full effect of the table and all of the chairs. 
Now I can kick back, relax and enjoy the rest of the summer...wrong!
Several more projects in the works...Stay tuned!