Bathroom Shelves with Towel Hooks

Several weeks ago Brandi repainted her bathroom. When we were searching online for new towel racks these shelves caught her eye.

I offered to make a version of those and we had the idea to do a whitewash to match some of the other new decor around the house. We both thought the white would look really good with the deep blue color she had painted. On a shopping trip at Menards we saw this toiler paper holder, which I said could be sanded down and whitewashed to go with the shelves.

Since it was a smaller piece it would be a good test for the whitewashing techniques. I helped her out, but Brandi did most of the work and we both liked the result, especially for our first attempt. It was done by scuffing up the wood with a wire brush and then applying thinned out paint with a small chip brush. We took it back to her house and hung it up.

In the mean time, I had started on the shelves. Since we were going for a weathered whitewash look, I milled some reclaimed lumber to 1″ thick, cut everything to size, did a rough sanding, glued, and screwed.

Some of the pieces had cool characteristics to them that would look good with the whitewash. I did some testing of paint and stain to roughly apply to the wood before whitewashing. I wanted to be able to create more of a dirty/weathered look than what we ended up with for the toilet paper holder.

Going in, I thought a gray or one of the blackish stains would be the winner. We both preferred this dark walnut.

Next, we tested with a different whitewash technique, which involved pouring thinned out paint on the wood and spreading it with a scraper. The results looked really cool.

You can see the scraper at the top of the picture below. I gave the shelves a quick coat stain, since it was going to be painted over.

When Brandi saw the stained shelves in person, she loved how the grain and imperfections of the wood were highlighted, thinking it would be a nice contrast to have some wood grain in the bathroom. So she redid the toilet paper holder and we gave it two coats of spray lacquer.

We also finished the shelves with two coats of spray lacquer. Since the plan was a weathered and whitewashed look I had only done a sanding with 40 grit and you could feel the roughness of the wood. So I did 6 coats of a wipe-on poly as well, which gave things a much better feel. Then I attached the hooks for towels and we hung them up.

Notice the mini crate I posted about the other day? Not sure what she’s going to fill it with. The stained look was definitely the right decision and looks great with the towels and decorations.

Mini Decorative Crate

Doesn’t take much to make something cool out of some scrap oak. I used a mitre saw, super glue, 1/2″ pin nails, sandpaper, and spray paint.

Watch for another post this weekend to see why I made the crate.

Dog’s Toy Box

This was a very simple build I knocked out one night. I used solid wood scraps for the sides and plywood for the bottom, all 3/4″ thick. It’s about 30″ wide and 18″ deep. The height in the back is about 7″ tall and the front is about 2-1/2″.

Since this was getting painted, the quality of the wood wasn’t a concern and I didn’t need to do much sanding. I used a roundover router bit on all of the edges. I like it when I don’t have to do the finishing work. Turned out nice.

Making Things in 2020

I got burnt out in 2019, but 2020 relit my fire for making stuff.

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Once I found the spark, the rest of the year felt balanced, in terms of not doing too much and varying the types of projects. My favorites were the new home office, the Gympac, and the picnic table / benches. 2021 is off to a great start with several posts already published and others being planned. The hobby room updates will allow me to get back to electronics projects.

Making Things in 2019

I posted recaps of my making for 2017 and 2018. I thought I might be able to hit 100 making posts in 2019, but I fell well short of that. November and December of 2018 kind of burned me out. I did a bit in 2019 though…

January

February

March

 

May

June

July

Only 21 posts for the year!

Hidden Wireless Charging in my Desk

After getting a set of AirPods this year I thought it would be nice to have wireless charging at my desk. I like using the touch pad on my MacBook pro, so this mouse pad drawer doesn’t get used and I got the idea to embed a charger in it.

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I bought a cheap $10 wireless charger.

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It won’t charge very quick, but it doesn’t have to when I’m sitting there working most of the day. I figured it would be a fun project and the worst that could happen is I fail and I’m out $10. I opened up the case and there wasn’t much to it.

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Then there was only one small screw to remove and the electronics were free.

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I forgot to take any other pictures until I had put everything back together. After pulling up the top of the mouse pad, there was some foam underneath. I traced the electronics and USB cable to make a cut out in the foam. Then I used a chisel to carve out the particle board until there was a deep enough recess. I drilled a few holes for wires and the LED. I had cut the LED off of the circuit board so I could route it to the front of the drawer. I soldered on some wires to connect the LED back to the board, hot glued everything in place, and then used super glue to put the mouse pad top back on. Overall it was an ugly hack job. Over to the right is a picture of the holes and wiring underneath.

Check out this short video of the charging in action.

BTW, the mouse pad drawer has two identical halves, so if I ever decide to use a mouse again (it’s been at least 5 years since I had one), I’m good to go.

Make Your Future. Make Your Life.

Make your life. Make your job. Make your career. Make your family. Make your fantastic big sandwich. Make your axes, hatchets, tables, oversized work shelves, and a cabinet that fits perfectly in one spot. Make your workout, bike routine around the block, and health goals. Make your Thanksgiving turkey outside with the kids. Make your place a home. Make your friends. Make your time matter, and give it away. Make the three piece suit you bought from a second hand store your first project. Make your daydreams entertaining, no matter how weird, wild, and fast that slide goes. Make your first impression stick with a firm handshake, eye contact, a genuine smile, and repeat their first name. Make your slice of this world colorful where you find it gray, songful where you find it silent, warm where you find it cold, all the while remembering that in the end, it’s a rental.

Saw this on a Skull & Spade poster after watching a frame build for it.

2018 Maker Faire Detroit

Yesterday I went to Maker Faire Detroit again with my brother, since we had such a good time last year. Unfortunately we were both very disappointed because it was almost exactly the same as last year. Same vendors, same makers, same companies, same activities. Everyone’s booths were even in almost the identical locations as last year. Guess we won’t be going back next year. 😦

Walnut Bandsaw Box

My buddy Kevin told me about a local shop that sells woodworking tools, supplies, and wood so we took a ride out to Barn Door Lumber Company a few weeks ago. While looking through their scrap pile, this butcher block cutoff caught my eye. It was roughly 1.5 x 6 x 23 inches.

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I had bought a 10″ bandsaw (RIKON 10-305) not too long before and hadn’t used it yet.

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I thought it would be a fun project to chop up this piece on the table saw, glue it into a large block, and then create a bandsaw box. That’s when you create a box out of a block of wood by only making cuts with a bandsaw. Seemed like a good project to get my feet wet. My sister’s birthday was coming up so it would also make a good gift.

The first thing I did was square up the edge.

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Then I sliced 5 pieces. I’m still learning a lot and forgot to set a stop block on my sled, which would have helped with getting pieces that were exactly the same size. The order of operations and remembering little tricks like that are what I’m struggling with the most on this woodworking adventure.

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I glued each piece.

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Quickly realized I only needed glue on 4 pieces. I told myself the last two pieces would just get a really good bond. Then I clamped everything together.

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Of course I forgot to flip that last piece around so that 2 glued sides were facing each other. The glue side ended up facing out and I put 3 clamps in place before remembering. So I backed off the clamps and added a piece of parchment paper.

After squaring up an edge on the table saw I was ready for some work on the bandsaw. Or so I thought…

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After another trip to the table saw I finally had my block of wood. I was ready for the bandsaw!

I quickly found out the blade that came with the saw wasn’t up for the job because it couldn’t make the turns I wanted. I got everything cut but there were several mistakes. Learned a lot though and had fun with the project.

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