I’ve got an update for anyone who is considering purchasing the Kreg Rip Cut, and one warning for those of you have already bought it.
First the warning. Please be aware of this is you have the Rip Cut! I was using it this weekend and I had just finished a cut when I realized that the Rip Cut was preventing the blade guard from coming down to cover the blade after the cut was finished!!! I think it happened when I calibrated the red arrow because I thought it needed adjusted. I had not had this problem before when I used it. Just be aware of this because after the cut, the blade is not protected with the guard if you do the same thing. Each time you connect the Rip Cut, make sure the guard swings freely in all positions.
Now for the update to my review. In order for this to make sense, you first need to know that a rip cut is the long-ways cut (on a sheet of plywood it runs the 8′ length of the plywood). A cross cut is one that follows the width–across the 4′ side. Keep in mind that this tool is called the Rip Cut and it works beautifully for that purpose. I love this tool for that purpose–it has made cutting up a sheet of plywood so fast!!! BUT (you knew that was coming) it will not replace my homemade straight cutting jigs–at least not completely.
I need my homemade jigs in order to make a cross cut that is longer than 24″, which is the maximum span the Rip Cut can cut to. If I had thought about that for a second, I would have realized that fact I, however, didn’t think about it until I needed a 34.5″ length this weekend. Doh!
The first time I used the saw with the Rip Cut, I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to bother taking it on and off–that I would only use it when I would need it for longer periods of time. This weekend I was taking it on and off pretty regularly, and I wasn’t avoiding using the Rip Cut just because I needed to put it back on. I’m happy about that!
So there you have it. I love the Kreg Rip Cut, but if you get one, make sure your blade guard is keeping you safe!
With the holidays quickly approaching, now is probably not the ideal time to jump into a new project, but that doesn’t appear to have stopped me before! I am knee deep in a new built-in for our living room. I’m finding that I am getting quicker with all aspects of a build– finally. But I added a new feature, which always means I procrastinate completing that part. Since this cabinet and shelves will be visible from both sides, I wanted to recess the back panel by rabbeting a groove. That meant I got next to nothing done today as I avoided the garage and the router table. But first: the plans.
I made myself draw it out to scale this time. Remember that I am sometimes surprised at how my projects look when I’m done because I planned it all out on scrap paper. Not this time! (Hopefully anyway)
I started the rabbeting today and ended up using a straight bit and table with fence, rather than using a rabbet bit with a bearing. Mainly because I already had a straight bit AND I’ve already used a router table. Can you imagine how many more days I would have procrastinated throwing in using a router hand-held for the first time? Yeesh.
Remember my disclaimer: Use these plans at your own risk because I’m always changing them. I think I am already changing the 1×8 to a 1×6 for the top face frame. The plywood cuts better be right, because I’ve already got them cut out (but not assembled) for this one.
It will be interesting if I get this one done before Christmas. I think I will be done with everything but the doors, but we’ll see I’ve still got Christmas shopping to do!
On Dasher, On Dancer, On Prancer and Vixen, on Skil Saw and Kreg Jig and…oops. Kinda got side tracked from Christmas! The last few days I jumped into my next project. Let’s face it–I’m finding it difficult to find the ideal time to start and finish these projects, so I’ve got to learn to do it in less-than-ideal time frames. Like during the Christmas season–the most
stressful, uh, wonderful time of the year!
This project has been on the docket for awhile, and Hubs has been pushing for it to go to the #1 spot for several months now. I wasn’t feeling it, so I kept putting it off. I’ve done a few built-ins now, and they all kind of have the same feel to them, and I wanted this one to be a little different. I studied some of my pins for this area on my Pinterest board and wrote up some plans (coming in the next post). We’ll see how it goes. Instead of vanilla, this one may be french vanilla (Is there really a difference between those two flavors??)
Here’s the area before.
Don’t envy my bookshelf styling. I can’t really even give you a tutorial on getting the look yourselves…it’s really just a gift. A gift that my Hubs wishes I could return
Plans to come soon!
When we built our house we decided that we would do all the interior painting to save some dollars…but then decided we would paint all the walls and ceilings and hire out the trim. That was a very wise decision, because not only did we save a bunch of time (and our marriage), but we got to know our painter and he taught me two very valuable things I still use to this day.
1. Blue painters tape is A.W.E.S.O.M.E. I don’t know how I ever lived without it. That may be a slight exaggeration–I can live without it, but it is still pretty fantastic. I have got a pretty steady hand when I am trimming a room, but nothing can match the crisp line you get with painter’s tape around all moulding. One word of warning, however: I tried using it on my ceiling once, and it pulled up the paint on the ceiling (It was not fresh paint). I have no idea why, but it did. I now trim at the ceiling with a steady hand and no tape.
2. Stu, our painter, taught me that if you are painting with any sheen other than flat, you must keep a wet edge until you come to a corner or end. When you start a wall, you need to keep going on that wall for its whole surface corner to corner, top to bottom because if you don’t, the sheen will be uneven. In other words, don’t put your roller extension on and paint the entire top part of the room, take off the extension, and roll the rest of the room–stick to one wall at a time. Here’ s a picture example from my house where for some reason we painted a portion of the wall and left part for another time. I think it was because of having to paint by the ceiling on the stairs.
Not a great picture since it was really low light, but you can see to the right of the door, how it shows the edge we let dry before finishing painting that wall. Same paint, same sheen (eggshell).
I also make sure that I do all the cutting-in, trim painting first and then roll, and roll as close to the ceiling and other edges as I can. Don’t worry about a wet edge from the cutting in. I haven’t noticed sheen differences from any of that in my other rooms, and little things like that generally are blaring, thorns-in-my-side if they show up All of this applies to any painting you do–a cabinet side will show sheen differences too.This will mean that any touch-ups you do in a room with paint besides flat, will show up in sheen differences also, unfortunately. So keep anything like that as small as you can–don’t use a paintbrush when a Q-tip will work.
I hope these tips help you achieve a professional looking paint job in your home!
If all I had done was add a hutch to a desk, then the reveal post would have come about much sooner. But before I could add the hutch, I had to paint the desk:
I didn’t sand the desk down. I bought some bonding primer at Lowes (hope I don’t regret not getting the Sherwin Williams version I’ve heard others use–I was already at Lowes and got lazy…). I also skipped the polycrylic topcoat I’m fond of using and bought a semi-gloss finish in the paint instead. I didn’t get the really smooth finish I’ve come to love, but I did get done with the project a little quicker, which I also love.
Repair a chair. Paint the chair. Recover the chair seat. Spray the chair bright pink. Discover bright pink doesn’t work. Repaint chair white.
And spray paint the handles and horizontal metal inserts a nice, brushed nickel.
But now it is all done and in her room! Here’s a before photo to refresh your memory about how the room looked, well…before! I didn’t purposely take such awful before shots, I wanted the Hubs to take the desk down so I could paint it, but I needed before photos…and it was at night. Flash photos + no natural light =no good
I love the brushed nickle spray paint! Look at the difference in the hardware.
It’s coming along in there. I’m working on a couple more projects for her room right now that I’m hoping to have done by the weekend. Now that I’ve said that out loud it’ll get jinxed somehow
Here are all the posts in the series:
You might notice that the drawers in the plans didn’t make it into the hutch. That is a sore spot for me at the moment, since I did some incorrect math in my head…I was dreading going out in that garage in the cold, I procrastinated for a few days over the long weekend, finally went out and got it done, took it up to her room, and discovered they weren’t going to work as is. Sigh.
If you’re ever in need of feeling better about how your own projects are going, you know you can always depend on me for a mistake or two!
**This project (and all my plywood projects on here to date) are made using PureBond Plywood because I’m concerned about the air quality in my home.
You know, I could wear a black turtleneck every day of the winter and be quite content. I have never looked at myself in a picture and wondered what I was thinking when I’m wearing a black turtleneck in the snapshot. It’s timeless. It’s classic. It’s flattering. It may be boring, but it’s a sure bet–and I love those kind.
You may be wondering whatever this has to do with DIY. Well, white is also classic, and I had Pip’s desk chair all painted up and ready to go, in classic white, when I began to worry it might be a little dull. There was quite a bit of white going on in there with all her furniture, and now the desk and hutch. I fretted that putting a white chair in front of it all would not have the punch I thought the room needed.
I was wrong. I shoulda stayed with the sure bet.
Do you know how easy it is to spray paint a chair this size? Wayyyyy too easy–if it were harder I would have pondered about it a little while before skipping outside to transform the color before it got too dark to see. I’ve thought longer and harder about what I’m going to wear in the morning when my black turtleneck is dirty.
There’s the inspiration culprit in the form of a bike helmet laying in front of the chair. I had a lot of spray paint leftover after I sprayed over top of the Barbie decal that Pip wasn’t liking anymore, and it was the right color. Just the wrong choice. Pip’s desk is a lady, and putting that chair in front of it was like looking at Princess Diana in a suit with a pink boa. It just didn’t go!
I’ll have the desk and hutch reveal soon…after I repair the results of my temporary lapse from the safe bet.
What about you? Make any rash DIY decisions you almost instantly regretted??
I was so honored to be asked to review Ana White’s new book The Handbuilt Home. I have made no secret of the fact that I think Ana White is phenomenal in my past posts. Read on to find out more about her first book!
If you want to build your own furniture but you are frustrated with the lack of resources available to learn how, you are waiting for Ana White. If you want to build furniture that you covet in the stores, but can’t stomach shelling out the cash for it, you are waiting for Ana White. If you’ve always had a feeling you could do it yourself, but got stumped when the books for beginners called for dadoes, rabbets, and biscuits, you are waiting for Ana White. Lucky for you, Ana White has written a beautiful book called The Handbuilt Home and she’s going to help you create furniture that will make you stand back and say, “I can’t believe I made that!” I know she can do it for you–she’s already done that for me.
The book starts off with a “Getting Started” section and herein lies the first of Ana’s strengths. She builds furniture with a minimum of tools, which is less intimidating for the beginner–and cheaper. She tells you what you absolutely need and what is just nice to have. Nothing more, nothing less. She began with the basics and bought more of the “nice to have” as she went along. You can too.
Following her tool recommendations is a section on materials where she discusses what beginners need to know about wood and boards, and working with sheet goods such as plywood and mdf. Then she moves on to fasteners–giving the reader recommendations of what to keep on hand for nails and screws as well as information about both. She includes an overview of finishing supplies, which can make or break your project, so they are very important. To finish off the section she talks about hardware supplies such as drawer glides, wheels, and knobs and handles, that give the finishing touch to a project.
Chapter 2 covers Basic Techniques, which include understanding the plans, tips for cutting your boards and sheet goods, and advice on angled and curved cuts. She then covers the building process, from marking joints to checking for square. Finally she touches on finishing your project by filling in the holes, sanding, and then applying a paint or stain. She never talks above the beginner’s head so you won’t get lost in here, and you’ll be ready to get started when you are inspired by the rest of the book!
Next is the eye candy. I love every single project in this book. Every. One. Ana gives you very specific and easy to follow directions for every project for all areas of your home: entryway, family room, dining room, kitchen & bath, office & craft room, bedroom, children’s room, and outdoor furnishings. No complicated, “exploded view” diagrams that seem so popular in woodworking magazines and books–each step has an accompanying diagram so you can visually see what is happening. The Lego Coffee Table might be getting added to my to-do list because we are in need of a table in our front room…and I covet plan #26 the Armoire. I don’t have a spot for it, but I might have to build it anyway.
The projects are marked with icons that identify them as starter, beginner, intermediate, and advanced. She also gives approximate time frames for completion, and cost: less than $50, less than $100, and more than $100.
Some of the projects were built by people other than Ana, which is a nice chance to get to know some other talented bloggers who are building out there. I recommend checking out their blogs as well as visiting Ana-White.com to learn even more.
If you go to Ana’s book on Amazon, you’ll see one person gave the book a 3 star review, based on the fact that it was geared so heavily on beginner projects. I’m puzzled by this, because that is where Ana was aiming with this book. I personally don’t have a problem with beautiful furniture that is more simple in its assembly and I am no longer a beginner. At the same time, Ana responds to the review by saying she hopes to produce another book aimed to the more experienced woodworker. If her second book is anything like her first, it will be wonderful!
I was standing in my daughter’s room tonight, waiting to tuck her in and looking around at the changes that have happened in there–her bed, her built-in cabinets, her nightstand, her closet organizer–and it hit me that I’m the one who built her room. I made it all! If you check out the brag post area of Ana’s site, you’ll see many others who are thinking the same thing: “I can’t believe I made that!”. We were all waiting for Ana White and we’re so glad we found her. You will be too–take a look at The Handbuilt Home and start on your own DIY journey with Ana as your guide.