Tag Archives: woodworking

A Small Simple Desk

The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” – Benjamin Franklin

“Measure twice, cut once, then force it to fit.”-Anonymous

If I had more time, I’d watch more woodworking or home-improvement shows, but, not enough hours in the day.— Nick Offerman

One of my goals in retirement is to build more stuff since I now have the time. For several weeks now my daughter has been talking about getting a new desk for her room. The funny thing is, when you look online for desks, they are either incredibly expensive or very cheaply made. So she asked if we could make a desk.

Of course, I didn’t have any objections and I let her design it, giving me the measurements so I could start planning. Since we were looking at doing something relatively simple, I figured it would take about two hours to cut, sand and put it together. My daughter would then paint it white.

Here are some photos of the process and where it ended up.

The only wood necessary for the small desk. Totally made out of 2 x 4’s and 1 x 4’s. L-28 inches x W-21.5 inches x H-30 inches.




First coat of paint.

The completed desk in my daughter’s room. She custom ordered a tempered glass cover for the desk.  I will update the blog once it comes in.

Homemade Necklace Holder

“That’s the thing with handmade items. They still have the person’s mark on them, and when you hold them, you feel less alone.” 
― Aimee Bender

In just three days my daughter will be heading off to college at SUNY Albany, a school about two hours from where I live. She was looking on Pinterest a few days ago and saw a necklace holder like the one you see pictured and wanted to buy it. I told her that we could easily make one and it would literally take minutes to do so.


So we went to our local hardware store (Home Depot) and bought a six-foot 1 X 4 and cut off an 18-inch piece. We then got 7/8″ cup hooks that will actually hold each of her necklaces.

After cutting the wood, I first sanded it down with some pretty coarse sandpaper and when I finished with that, I used a much finer paper to give it a really smooth finish. I thought it would have looked nice with a nice semi-dark stain with a glossy finish, but I was overruled by my daughter who wanted to paint it to match her dorm room.

Since it has been very humid the last few days, I let the paint dry for longer than I usually would. My daughter then picked the side that she wanted facing out and I drilled short pilot holes so the hooks could easily be screwed in. I’ll have to adjust some of them so they are all aligned.

The final part of the project involves my daughter putting pictures of her and some young ladies on it that she babysits. The total cost of this small project was between $7-$9 dollars. On some websites, I have seen them go for $25-$40 dollars. Wow!!!! I’m in the wrong business!




The start…

The wood has sat on my porch now for six months. Through the wet days of spring and into the hot summer, it sat and waited, each piece cut to the exact specifications that I had found after many hours of trolling the internet. As summer morphed into fall, it continued to call out to me and I felt a renewed urgency returned to just get this thing done! But procrastination, as it always seems to do, had firmly entrenched itself in every being of my soul.

But today was the start of a new day. With the help of my daughter, I was able to assemble what you see in the pictures in just a couple of hours. Tomorrow, I’ll put the remaining boards in place and the start the staining process.


It’s way to cold to work outside so the living room becomes the work area!




Almost finished.

More to come!


Tick Tock

  1. the action of delaying or postponing something.

Several months ago I bought the wood I needed to make a coffee table for our living room. I have found that completing projects like these actually calm me down, except when I keep putting them off. I downloaded the plans, cut each piece to its proper length, but have never pulled the trigger and put it together. Why is that? I wish I could give you an answer.

Since I am a teacher I do have the summers off and this should have been a signal that with that much time off I could have had it done. I remember thinking several times over the last several months that it would be cool to get it done. But I have kept putting it off even to this day. With the weather changing and daylight fading, I am running out of time to be able to get it together and then stain it to my satisfaction.

Here’s the thing-I really want to get it done. I have no doubt that it is going to look really cool once it is finished but I just can’t get it together (no pun intended) long enough to assemble it. So this weekend I am off for four days. My goal is to get this thing put together. Will the weather cooperate? I don’t know. Will it get stained? I don’t know. Will I find some excuse to not  get it done, again? I don’t know.

Anyway, as I put it together I will take pictures to show my progress as it makes it way from pieces of wood that are currently stranded on my porch to (hopefully) a magnificent coffee table.

Hand Crafted Kitchen Island

One of the other activities that I have found that promotes my inner peace is building things with wood and pallets. I don’t know what it is about it, but I have found some real satisfaction with putting something together and having a use for it. Now believe me, I am by no means a carpenter, but the whole process of figuring out what I want to do and then actually doing it is pretty cool.

When my daughter recently moved into my sons room (he is away at college), she had to take his old bed apart. Since it couldn’t be salvaged, I used the slats from the bed as the top and the lower level of the kitchen island. 4 x 4’s were used for the legs and 1 x 4’s are what surrounds the top. Of course I attached wheels so it could be moved around easily.


The island prior to being stained.



I decided to use a pretty dark stain to contrast the white walls and white cabinets in our very small kitchen. 

If you were wondering, the entire cost of this project, including the wood, stain and wheels was about $45. It took me 4 hours to sand and assemble the entire island. With that said, I did have the folks at Home Depot cut the 4 x 4’s since I don’t have anything big enough to cut wood that thick (at least not yet!).

Even if you have no aptitude for this type of activity, I strongly suggest at least trying it!!! The internet is full of smaller and easier projects that you can get started with.

Peace to everyone!!!