I recently has solar panels installed on my home to offset the rising costs of electricity – especially in the summertime when the air conditioning bill is through the roof. In doing my own research solar, I realized this is a complex topics, and because of all the marketing out there, I thought it would be helpful to make a video about my experience. Buying (or leasing) a solar power system is basically like getting an energy-producing, money-saving appliance for your home. And just like any big investment for your house, you’ve got to be prepared to do the right kind of research in order to make sure you’re comfortable with your buying decision. After all, solar panels have a lifespan of about 25 years, so you only have one shot to get this right.
It is so satisfying to take an idea, a pile of lumber and turn it into a one-of-a-kind creation like a dining table, entertainment console or workbench. But most of the time, you’ll want to add some character to your project – perhaps make it look like it has more miles on it than it really does – and one easy way to do that is to stain it with a homemade oxidation solution made of steel wool and vinegar.
This is a really popular method of aging wood in a matter of minutes, and I made a video about it back in 2016. Since then, I received hundreds of questions about the recipe, spanning from queries about results using different wood species to troubleshooting shades that turned out different than what I showed in my video. Rather than continuing to reply to many questions with an “I don’t know”, I decided to give this video another attempt. Sit back as we dive headlong into “The Great Wood Oxidation Experiment”.
Keep scrolling to see the recipe for this oxidation solution, but if you want to get a bit of background, let’s start with asking the question…Continue reading → How To Oxidize (And Age) Wood In Minutes
In between projects, I want to connect with you by regularly answering your common questions and sharing what I’m working on. In this episode, I talk about why I started my YouTube channel, why I didn’t incorporate a flip-top design in my workbench, and cover some tips when it comes to oxidizing wood with steel wool and vinegar.
Update 2/20/19 – Thanks Tim for sending me some photos of his flip-top workbench. In his words “I made i flip top with 2×4’s electrical conduit, and mdf tops. It’s holding up fine only having a 12″ miter saw mounted to it. Very simple, very cheap.”
If any of you have some photos of your flip-top workbench, shoot them over to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll post them here for others to see.
With this being the third table I have built, I wanted to do something special to challenge my skills while producing a fixture in my home that my family could enjoy for years to come. Over the course of nearly three months, squeezing in time on weekends and evenings, I build this 68-inch round dining table. With enough room to seat eight adults, it’s complete with mortise and through tenon joinery in the base and seamless joint in the perfectly round table top. To top it off, the stain is comprised of two different colors to make the plain white pine of this table sing.
Updated 11/28/18 – After receiving some great feedback in the comments section, I have added detailed plans and a cut list for all the boards used in the basic workbench. Let me know if you need anything else.
I tirelessly searched YouTube and Pinterest for workbench designs, and after taking into account the tools I have and the types of project I work on, there were essentially three main features I needed:
- Mobility – Hauling tools in and out of a garage is tiring and it eats up time during a build. Plus, if you’re like me, your garage is not quite a full-time woodshop, so being able to store a workbench to the side is a must.
- Size – I needed a workbench that could accommodate the largest material I might find myself working with: a 4’x8′ sheet of plywood. It takes a large workbench to act as a decent out-feed table for a table saw or to provide an adequate work area when assembling larger projects.
- Modular – A good workbench should be able to change with your needs, so I designed this workbench to either be two smaller halves or one big work area. I also built-in a slot to accommodate a variety of fixed tools such as a miter saw, pocket hole jig, router table, etc.
My workshop will always need to be a garage first and woodworking shop second. To help with my lumber storage, I decided to build my own lumber rack. I searched Pinterest for ideas, but I couldn’t quite find a design that mounted to a wall while still being able to storage large sheets of plywood and long boards simultaneously.
I decided to make my own design where sheets of plywood would be stored in a large framed shelf, while sporting the traditional arm shelves for storing long boards. I also added some small cubbies for storing small cut-offs and specialty pieces of lumber. In a phrase, this lumber rack is all about boards in the front and big sheet goods in the back – head the name “Mullet-style” lumber rack.
After building a banquette in my kitchen’s nook, I needed to a table to go with it. Because of the angular shape of the banquette, I needed a table that would allow people to easily scoot around it, and that’s where the racetrack shape works perfectly. The tricky part of building a racetrack table is making large circular cuts. For woodworking novices like myself, this might seem daunting, but with a circular saw and a simple jig made of plywood, it can be done. Here’s how…