Custom Murphy Bed Build

If you live in the Brazos Valley, and would like me to build a custom Murphy Bed for your home contact me for an estimate.

Shortly before Christmas I was commissioned to build a Murphy Bed.  Building a custom Murphy Bed is a project I have been wanting to do for a long time.  My wife and I had talked about building one for our guest/craft room, but it just never seemed to happen.  So when I got the chance to build one I jumped at the opportunity.

After some research we chose to use a professionally made hardware kit from Create-a-Bed.  There are several less expensive ways of putting a bed together but with something like this hacking together a cheap mechanism just creates problems.  By using a high quality hardware kit it saved time and therefore the client money in the end.  Also, the hardware comes with a Lifetime Warranty, which is reassuring.

This is what you get in the kit:
On each side of the Murphy Bed I built a bookcase.  Following the “Rule of thirds” each bookcase is a third of the width of the Murphy bed.  I also set the book shelves back from the face of the Murphy bed for some visual appeal.

(The “Rule of Thirds” refers to the idea that the human eye finds a 1:3 and 2:3 ratio visually appealing.  Take a look at your doors, cabinets, and dressers and you’ll see this in practice). 

We debated painting the bed white, but I’m very happy that we decided to stain it.  To add detail I made a faux door frame once again using the “rule of thirds.” to finish it up I added baseboard and crown molding.  A Murphy Bed can be taken from a ultra modern look to Victorian depending on the details you choose to add, or not add.

The Murphy Bed itself (for the full size, vertical mount) comes out from the wall 16inches, is 82inches tall, and has a width of 60inches (5ft).  Each book case is 82h x 20w x 12d.

The gas struts make raising and lowering the bed easy.  A firm tug lowers the bed and it can be closed with one finger.  My client is a very small person and had no issues raising and lowering the mechanism.

It is necessary to anchor the bed to at least 3 wall studs.  And while it is a semi-permanent addition to your home it can be partially disassembled and moved if the need ever arises.

Murphy Beds can be made to be either vertical or horizontal and are available. in Twin, Full, or Queen sizes.

Double Bunk Beds

I love building custom furniture.  However, it’s rare that I get orders for custom builds.  These bunk beds were built for Peach Creek Ranch, a wedding an event venue serving the area.

It’s no secret that I post videos to Youtube, but Youtube is also where I go to learn new skills and gather inspiration.  Jay Bates is one of the Youtube Woodworkers I really enjoy following.  His projects are well thought out, not overly complicated, and he uses materials that everyone reasonably has access to.  I used his plans for my bunkbeds.

I modified his EXCELLENT plans to squeeze a double “L” shaped bunk bed into the space available.  I was downright scarred about halfway through thinking that it wasn’t going to fit.  (I forgot to allow for the posts, and the thickness of the baseboards, but with a few modifications it all fit).

Dimensional lumber is cheap and easy to get.  I spent an hour at Home Depot digging through the pile to find the best boards.  Furniture built with 2x lumber seems “blocky” to me so I planed it all down to 1 1/4″ thick and ripped it a little narrower.  2×4’s and 2×6’s can be quite beautiful after 3 passes through a thickness planner. This made six bags full of shavings.

I tried to use my shop vac but ended up rigging a box and drop cloth up to catch all the shavings.

The ladder was very easy to make.  I used my miter saw to cut some dados and then glued and screwed the rungs to the rails.  It’s very strong.

This project was a lot of fun.  And the couple I worked for are some great people.  If you live in the Brazos Valley and would like custom furniture or built-ins made contact me.

 

 

 

$30 DIY Miter Saw Stand

My miter saw broke,  and so did the Delta Miter Saw Stand that I’ve been using for almost a year.

For most carpenters, the miter saw is an absolute necessity.  It’s a little funny since for the woodworker the table saw would be the most important stationary/bench tool.  Now that I’m in the field, it’s the miter saw that sees the most use.  Probably 3 to 1 compared to the table saw.  (I couldn’t function long without either)

The Delta stand was nice but didn’t hold up to bouncing around in my Rolling Workshop.  Neither did my Craftsman miter saw, but that’s a different post.

I replaced my saw and decided to ditch the Delta stand for my own “Shop Made” miter saw stand.  Most of the really good crown guys I’ve come across have made their own unique stands to fit their workflow and the type of work they do.  Therefore take my design with the idea of using the concept for your own needs rather than making an exact copy.

Ridgid 10 Inch Miter Saw, DIY Miter saw Stand

Getting a different type of miter saw stand like this DeWalt was something I debated for a while.  In the end, it was better to make what I wanted/needed than use a commercially available stand.  The issue with the manufactured miter saw stands is that they are made as a “one-size-fits-all” product and that just doesn’t work.  They’re are too many different miter saws and a huge variance in how they are used.  Therefore making your own is the way I thing most people should go.

The stands for table saws are different in that they just hold the saw in position.  The table saw itself is all the work surface you need, other than a simple out-feed table.  Miter saw stands are asked to do a lot more.

My stand had to do several things.

  • The first was to break down into a compact package that stored easily in my trailer.  The Delta Stand took up A LOT of space.  I wanted the stand to break in to 3 pieces: The base, and two extension wings.  (I mounted a piece of plywood to the saw itself, so four if you want to be picky)
  • Ridgid Miter Saw StandThe second thing was that I wanted at least 4ft on each side of the blade to hold material.  I also wanted a large surface that I could lay a 2×12 on without it falling or tipping.  Each wing is 4ft long and this gives me almost five feet of support on each side of the blade.  That is plenty for my work.
  • The third thing is that I wanted the stand to be made from on sheet of 3/4″ plywood.  Home depot carries some nice Radita Pine 6-ply plywood that I really like for cabinets, jigs, and just about everything.  It’s $30.00 a sheet in my area.

 

I didn’t really have a design in mind when I made the stand, just a concept.  The stand definitely needs some improvements, but as far as the idea goes I think it is solid.  I’m going to keep refining and tweaking it.  One there I may show you how to build this design.  But for now I’m just sharing my “proof-of-concept” for you to use for inspiration for your own.

Also here is another DIY stand that a carpenter made to meet his needs.  It’s what inspired me to make my own.

 

Rustic Display Shelf with Adjustable Shelves

I made this display shelf for a repeat customer who has purchase several of my projects.  I used reclaimed southern yellow pine and used a vinegar/steel wool solution to age the wood.

For this project I purchased and used for the first time the KREG Shelf Pin Jig. It is a straight-forward and simple jig for small projects.  If you drill shelf pins for a living then you’ll want something different.  If you’re a DIY’er or a small-scale shop like me this is a great tool to have for occasional use.

The dimensions for this project are 4ft from the base to the top shelf.  I staggered the sides 2-4 inches above that.  It is 3ft wide and 12in deep.  The center section is 18″ wide the two sides are around 8″ wide.  I forget the exact measurements.

Installing an Umbrella Style Clothes Line.

ALTERNATE TITLE:  I did a project for my wife on the same weekend she asked me to.

My wife wanted a way to hang clothes out to dry.  She went online and found the Household Essentials 12-Line Outdoor Umbrella-Style Clothes Dryer on Amazon for only $32.00.  It’s what she wanted so it’s what she got.  If you’re unable and unwilling to dig there are also models that have a built in stand, like this one (Household Essentials 3-Arm Portable Umbrella-Style Clothes Dryer).

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August 2015 Vlog

In this month’s Vlog:

  • An update on my Coconut Oil wood handle finish
  • 10 month Review of my Craftsman 10 inch Compact Sliding Compound Miter Saw
  • An overview of my “Paulk Total Station” multi-purpose workbench and the modifications I’ve made to it.

Fixing Painting and Distressing a $50 Craigslist Dresser

I advertise furniture repairs, painting, and refinishing on Craigslist in my area.  I was contacted by a lady who wanted me to paint and distress a dresser she found on CL for $50.  She also wanted me to remove the top three drawers and install a shelf so it could be used as an entertainment center.  I seem to do a lot of these projects.

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Farmhouse Style Window Seat Dresser, From Trash

My son and I were headed home and I decided on a whim to drive through the neighborhood instead of taking the main roads.  I pulled up to a stop sign and out of the corner of my eye I saw this dresser sitting on the curb a block away.

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Two-Step Step Stool

This project was another one of those “for family” projects.  My mother-in-law just became a licensed massage therapist and rented a small office space.  If you’re in the Bryan-College Station area (TX) you should check her out.

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2013 Bathroom Remodel

During Thanksgiving week 2013 My wife, In-laws, brother-in-law, and I remodeled the bathroom in our little house.  It was in desperate need of help both in appearance and function.  Not only was it a ugly pink, uncoordinated mess but it was deteriorating.

A full gut job was in order.  By the time we were done the only things left unchanged were the cast iron tub and the toilet which has been replaced a few years before we moved in (it still had the label).

Like any remodel of a 60 year old house there were a few surprises, but thankfully no structural issues.  I’ll walk you through with pictures.

 

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