Bathroom Remodel: The Last of the Supplies


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Today I got the rest of the supplies I needed to finish off the bathroom. I got a dual flush toilet, tile, a tile saw, some tile cement, and a few hand tools for handling the cement mix. It was the most expensive part of the remodel but owning the tools will allow me to tile whenever I want.

I’m planning on tiling the bathroom tomorrow (its only 50 sq. ft.) and putting in the toilet. Then through the coming week I’ll finish off the trim. The bathroom is being painted right now so that will be done.

More soon…



Bathroom Remodel: It’s always more work than you thought


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The past few weeks I have been planning and buying materials to remodel the bathroom. I’ve managed to destroy most of it and start building it back again. Although I have a ways to go I feel I have made good progress.

I’ll be thorough but brief using pictures:


Cedar, tongue and groove planks


The first tile removed. No turning back now!



The main wall of my bathroom with tile removed (that glue stunk!!)



So I covered it with spackle!


My bathroom is small (I’m standing in the bathtub for this picture) and you can see how much room that old vanity took up. Which was the reason for the remodel. Well that and pink toilet….c’mon look at it! Geez!


Custom vanity top. Made by me!


Here is a good shot for seeing how small the bathroom is. Shower curtain is on the right. Also this is a good shot of the ‘folding’ door we had on our bathroom. It was not very private at all!


Old pipes. As usual rigged by previous owner.


The copper pipes went right into the faucet! I’ve never seen that one before!


Copper pipes cut off below the old valves and removed the vanity. (Yes I’m redoing the floor…Later)


I installed 1/2″ x 3/8″ Push Straight Stop Valves by Apollo. They are Pex-like fittings for copper. No soldering, I just pushed them on. I really doubted these things but I don’t anymore, they don’t leak at all! I was shocked!


Removed the old mirror to find a secret compartment….sorta. The only thing that was in it was dust and some old screws. (geez guys, clean up a bit before sealing it up for decades)


Installing the cedar so I can get the sink back in and working quickly. This is our only bathroom so I didn’t want it to be in-usable for any length of time.




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I Installed the vanity like a shelf but it will be reinforced as I get the pedestal and shelving put in.





New vanity!


Drilled holes to install faucet and sink drain.


IT WORKS! Holy Shit! I mean of course it works. I designed this vanity to be a bit higher than most all other vanitys so I also had to do a bunch of custom plumbing. It looks a bit odd, but it works and I think its a fairly clean job.

I got a bit farther than this blog shows but I didn’t really want to show any dramatic after shots just yet. You can see in the last picture that I also put in the new door! It is a MASSIVE improvement in privacy.

This is a lot more work than I anticipated and jobs like this usually are, but I can see already how worth while this project already has been. More soon….I hope soon. Let me know what you think or if you have any good tips.


Bathroom Redesign


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I have been unsatisfied with the vanity’s/sinks they sell in stores. Recently I got tired of looking for something and instead designed my own. I’ve been working on that lately. Here are two pictures of what I’m planning to do. Obviously, I will remove the old sink and cabinet and put this long shelf across the whole wall as shown. I’ll install the new porcelain bowl and faucet. Then I’m going to build cabinetry and shelves underneath that main shelf. Starting with the pedestal shown here to cover the pipes. If you enjoy this kind of thing let me know and I will write more on this project.

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Acoustic Guitar Neck Routing Jig


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After my last guitar build I realized that I would need to make more jigs. Since I have rough cut a few necks I decided to start making neck jigs. The first of these is a jig for routing the joint where the neck meets the guitar body. Usually with a dovetail or bolt on configuration.

I used a single piece of MDF (2’x4′) to make this whole jig (and still had some left over.) However if I had to do this over again I would have used plywood. The MDF tends to not hold up when you take thickness out of it as I have done here. So I will likely be making another one of these in the future.

Previously I had purchased some neck routing templates and made this jig to accommodate those templates. They just slide into the slot I made and bolt in place for routing. I have not yet tried this jig because I need to find the right bolts to use, but I have high hopes that it will work fine.

If you want more specifics on how I built this just comment and I can help you out.

As a side note: I’ve realized a better way to cut guitar necks and am at a stand still with the current six necks I cut. While I’m hoping I can salvage the six I cut, I am also not kidding myself that they may all end up scrap. Bummer.



Vinyl Record Holder


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I’ve always collected music and I collect any type of media including CD, Vinyl, MP3, Cassette, you name it. (Yes, I like to have physical copies even though I use digital when traveling or at work.) I really enjoy looking at them while listening to them so I made this vinyl record holder so I don’t have to always lean the record on something to see it. If you have a similar need then this could be a fun and easy project for you.

Again, I had scraps from the TV Stand build and dreamt up this project to use them.

Here is what I did:

This is made from three pieces of wood. You can use any type of wood you like.

1 Front Piece (maple) measures 12-7/8″ x 1-1/2″ x 3/4″

1 Middle Piece (oak) measures 12-7/8″ x 3/4″ x 3/8″

1 Back Piece (maple) measures 12-7/8″ x 2-1/2″ x 3/4″

After I made those I sanded the pieces rather well because it is difficult to sand down in the groove where the vinyl sits once glued together. You don’t have to sand before you glue, but I would recommend it.

Then I scuffed the areas to be glued and glued them together. It sounds counter-productive but scuffing the gluing faces helps the glue grab the wood fibers and get a stronger glue joint.

Use at least 3 clamps, one on each end and one at the center, but it wouldn’t hurt to put on 5 or more!

Clean up any glue squeeze out and let it set up for 24 hours. (You don’t have to do 24 hours but it’s an old habit of mine. That’s how I do it.)

Twenty-four hours later I took it out of the clamps. Cleaned up any excess glue and sanded down to 600 grit. (Again, you don’t have to go that far but it’s something I like to do.)

Finally, put on the finish of your choice. For this I used Watco Natural oil. Easily found in hardware stores.



Small Wooden Box


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There were a few scrap pieces (oak and maple) laying around after the TV Stand build. So I designed this box.

Pretty simple design, I just cut the sides to lengths I wanted. Cut 45 degree chamfers on the sides where they meet and then used the table saw to cut an insert for the bottom piece.

Then I had to resaw a piece thin enough to fit in the bottom insert I just cut. I used a framing clamp to clamp the box together but I didn’t bother putting glue in the bottom piece joint.

Finally I cut a lid and used a router to rabbet joint so it fit down in the box slightly.

The pictures shown here aren’t final. I still need to sand and finish it, but the wood working part is done.

*UPDATE: The final picture shows the box with a Watco Natural finish.


Replacing Blades on Craftsman 12″ Planer


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This past week I changed the blades on my planer (Craftsman 21722) and decided to share a few lessons I’ve learned about it.

Tip* If your machine (planer or not) makes A LOT of noise when cutting it’s very likely your blades need changed or sharpened. My planer was making such a noise so I looked into getting new blades. While looking for new blades online I found that my planer has reversible blades (as most do.) So I canceled the blades from my cart and went to the shop to flip the existing blades around.

There are procedures in the owner’s manual on how to do this. If you lost the owner’s manual there might be instructions placed on a sticker right on your machine. And if that fails I’ll tell you what I did with mine.

Disclaimer* That doesn’t mean I’m right or that you should do the same thing I did. Try this at your own risk.

First, I unplugged the planer, raised the deck as high as it would go and  layed the planer on its side so I could see in. When looking in you will see the blades and a bunch of screws with allen wrench heads holding them in. I loosened all of these but did not take them all the way out. My planer had two (2) blades, yours may be different so be careful! The blades are typically guided in place by a magnet or alignment pins or both so be aware of this when removing the blades. Secondly there are holes in the middle of the blade so you don’t have to fiddle around with lining it up perfectly. Take extreme caution when handling these blades, they are incredibly sharp! You also do not want to drop them or pry on them because you could damage the blade. The smallest dent or nick in the blade can really screw up the finish it leaves on your wood!

Lastly, I flipped the blades to the new side and tightened the allen heads. I stood the machine back up-right, lowered the deck back down to a reasonable height, stood clear of the machine and turned it on as a test. Once I saw it was working correctly I ran a piece of scrap wood through. I could not believe how quiet it was and what a great finish it left! Hopefully this info will help you!

Built-In Bookshelf


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A friend of mine has a large amount of books in a rather small space. I visit quite often and took notice to this problem. One day in passing I mentioned that I could build him a big bookshelf on his one ‘big’ wall. A week or two went by and he said you know that’s a good idea, lets do it. So, I drafted up a plan, wrote a bill of materials and off to the hardware store went.

The design was for nine (9) 2″x 12″x 8′ pine boards. Eight were shelves and the ninth was an end piece. Then we got two (2) shelf hangers per board, screws and paint. I took the shelves to my garage because it was the only place big enough to lay out all the boards and paint them at once. I gave each board two coats of black paint on all sides and let them dry a day.

That weekend I took the boards over to my friends house and started cutting them to length. (You might be able to see only the ‘end walls’ of his house are flat so each board was custom cut to fit the contour of that wall/ceiling.) Luckily he had moved all his books and his old bookshelves out of the way, saving me a heap of time and effort. We started with the bottom shelf and worked up to the top, leveling them as we went. Finally put the end board up to give it a built in look. I’m really happy with how this turned out and it really helped give his books a home.

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TV Stand: Complete!


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Hey everyone, I just finished the TV Stand!

I ended up putting on two coats of Formby’s Tung Oil (low gloss). I just rubbed it on with an old cotton shirt and let each coat dry 24 hours before doing the other coat. No sanding was done during/between coats. To my surprise the finish went straight on and did not make the wood any less smooth. Which is great because I had that wood feeling smooth as silk!

It has its blemishes and mistakes but I am very happy with how it turned out! I’ll just turn those mistakes into successes on the next build.

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These pictures show the original idea, the old sagging TV stand, two images show the TV stand finished but without Tung oil and the other two show it complete.
Midnight approves!