Shop Time!

Table Saw

Got out of bed this morning and decided to make some sawdust.  It’s been a busy week at work (which is a real, non-sawdust-related job) and I just needed some time away from the office, so to speak.  Plus, I had just torn out a bunch of paneling inside and hung a couple sheets of drywall and needed to cut and fit a bunch of new trim pieces.


For the most part, I’m using finished hemlock for trim pieces.  I don’t do much to them, just take slabs and slather it with some stain and polyurethane and nail it to the wall.  It’s not real woodwork but it’s fairly economical — I have a whole house to trim and I don’t want to break the bank doing it.

Drill Press

However, I am going to sneak in some shaped and fitted pieces as I can.  This time, I got to make a nice windowsill out of one of my favorite hardwoods:  red oak.  It’s kind of an involved process.  I use a 1×6 to nail on top of the rough frame, but I band it with a 1×2 that I do some shaping on over the router.  The result looks like a thick plank of wood with a little cove molding across the bottom.  I attach the two pieces with wood screws hidden behind oak dowels that look like little buttons going around the band.  You can see me drilling out the holes for the dowels above.  I know, I know, I could have joined them with hand cut dovetails or run a spline down its length or tongue and groove or some other fancy pants joinery, but I simply don’t have time.  I need to get this house finished while I’m still young enough to enjoy it.

Wine bottle cork


The routed piece has some clean lines that give it a little interest.  You can see the profile on the end cap above.  That rounded cove at the base can be sanded by wrapping sandpaper around a wine bottle cork.  If you need an excuse to buy a bottle of wine, there you have it.

Window Sill

Here’s the finished windowsill fitted into place with the other trim pieces around it. They’re just pinned in place with a couple finish nails, I’ll remove them to stain and polyurethane them in the garage.  Oak takes a stain very well, accentuating the light and dark color with its alternating waves of smooth and rough grain.

Not sure if you noticed but it seems like every picture I take with the TV in the background, there’s a hockey game on.

Chop Saw

Still a lot of trim to cut and fit, and sand and stain and polyurethane and install.  Not to mention I need to get some mud on that drywall and sand it and topcoat it and primer it and paint it.  Yeah, never a shortage of things to do around here.

Down With Crappy Wood Paneling!

Now, we’ve always wanted to remove the wall between the kitchen and living area.  We’re really sick of having to run around the corner every time someone scores a hockey goal.  With the wall out of the way, we can raid the fridge and watch hockey at the same time!  And, it really opens the house up, making the tiny kitchen bigger.

And we hated the paneling.  HATED!

It wan’t even real paneling, just the cheap imitation pressed cardboard stuff.  Removing it took about 15 minutes.  Didn’t even put up a fight.  Just popped right out like it knew its time was up.  Naturally, it’s what you find behind the wall that sets the tone, and budget, of the project.


I’m not terribly sure what to make of the slanted wall area.  It’s a shadow of its former self, and I think it used to be a tepee of stone and mortar.  I think that’s about where the old wood stove used to be.  Or an open fire pit.  Or something.  No idea what they were thinking.


Now the first thing we had to do is empty out some valuable cabinet space.  There was about 24 cubic feet of storage area in those cabinets.  There is not a lot of storage here so we had to get creative.  And throw a lot of crap out, too.  But once those shelves were empty, I could proceed to demo the cabinets and get working on that wall.


The cabinets were all one piece, so it required a little surgery to separate them.


And a little brute force.


There’s about half the cabinets and most of the paneling.  Out by the trash where it belonged.


After one weekend, we’re not even close to being finished.  In addition to demo and framing and re-framing, there was a lot of electrical work that needed to get done.  There was an outlet hidden behind the cabinetry, a perfectly good outlet that no one could get to.  We used to plug in the coffee by using an extension cord that reached behind the stove.  Shameful.

Much Better

So now all the framing is complete and I have one sheet of drywall in on one side of the half wall.  There’s some more drywall to put up and quite a bit of finish trim to do, but it’s coming along.