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.

 

 

 

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.

A New Take on the Sawhorse and Plywood Jobsite Workbench – The Multi-function Slab

Now that I’m a full-time carpenter/small business owner I work primarily out of my truck.  How you work, how organize your tools, and how you plan projects drastically changes when you go from a nice well thought out and organized shop to an F150.  The biggest loss in this transition is a sturdy workbench.  This is where the Multi-Purpose Slab comes in.

A Multi-Function Slab is a poor man’s version of the Festool MFT (or Festool Multi-Function Table).  I made mine from a 3/4 Sheet of MDF and paired it with Dewalt/Stanley Metal Adjustable Height Saw Horses (these are great sawhorses).  This combination takes up minimal real estate in the 5.5ft bed of my truck.  I would love to take my Paulk Total Station to the jobsites, but it doesn’t fit in the bed of my truck.  That’s the advantage of the Multi-function slab: it’s compact and lightweight enough to maneuver into small working locations.  The Paulk workbenches don’t share that advantage.

With adjustable height saw horses I'm able to use the MFSlab as an outfeed table
With adjustable height saw horses I’m able to use the MFSlab as an out-feed table

Isn’t this “Multi-Function Slab” just a glorified plywood and sawhorse combo?  Yes, yes it is.  The advantage is that the Plywood/MDF is planned out and layed out to make work go smoother.  That’s why you keep this instead of the typical use of scrap on sawhorses for a make shift work bench.  What makes it better is that you think out how you’re going to use a work bench and put in clamp locations and dog holes so that it becomes a valuable tool.

I modified Steve Olson’s original design to work with inexpensive Bessey F clamp rather than the expensive Festool clamps.  To do so I drilled a grid of 1 1/4 inch holes on 6 inch centers.  I then had to create a rabbit on the underside for the clamps to pop into place.  My Paulk Workbench is made from 1/2″ ply and I didn’t have a problem with the clamps on it, the thicker slab left more material to bind on.  The various handles and clamp slots I made with a can of wipe on poly.  The rectangular shape makes nice looking cutouts.

Slide5

[A note about Festool:  Just because I’m making a knock-off doesn’t mean that I think Festool tools are overpriced and not as good as the “fan-boys” claim nor do I think a professional needs the “top-of-the-line” tools to do quality work.  If/when I can justify the cost of such premium tools then I may or may not invest in top-shelf equipment such as Festool.]

Cost wise the Festool MFT 3 is $665 from Amazon.  Would I buy one?  Maybe if I ever decide to invest in the Festool ecosystem.  Now let’s add up the cost of making your own MFSlab.

  • $30 – 4ft x 8ft x 3/4in MDF sheet.  Cut to 3ft x 5ft and a second 4ft rip is left to act as a shelf
  • $80 for a pair of good adjustable height saw horses.  I can say enough good things about these Stanley/Dewalt Horses.  They are very good.
  • $24 for a four pack of the Bessey 4″ bar clamps I use.
  • $20 for painting or sealing with clear coat

That comes out to be $158 which is $507 less than the Festool MFT.  Even if you factor in what your time is worth it’s still drastically cheaper.  I painted mine to protect it.  I try to bring it into the shop overnight so it doesn’t get rained on but if and when I need to replace it, it’s inexpensive to do and only took about an hour to make.

If you’re a carpenter of have extremely limited space this is a great tool to consider adding to your arsenal.  If I was woodworking back in my college days this makes a great workbench store in an apartment or even under a bed.

 

1000 Subscribers on YouTube Tool Bag Giveaway

My YouTube channel now has over 1000 subscribers.  To say “Thank You” I am giving away a BOSTITCH BTST516155 Open Mouth Tool Bag, 16-Inch.  I use this bag for my everyday carpentry tools and keep it in my truck.  It is well built and holds all the essentials that you need quick access to on the jobsite everyday.  To enter the giveaway follow this link: https://giveaway.amazon.com/p/f87431f3f3b6327b

Thank you for your support.

 

New Video: Building a Simpler Drillpress Table

My drillpress is not much to look at.  I got it from a friend how was getting ready to move so for the price is was well worth it.  It’s an 8″ Pro-source brand (I have no idea who made it, etc).  Like every drillpress I’ve ever used the metal table is practically useless.  So I went to YouTube for inspiration on how to build a drillpress table.

WOW!  There are lot of videos!  They range from simple to complex; many with T-tracks, dados, sliding fences, and hold downs.  In my opinion the complex tables are slow to use and overly complicated, so I went the simple route.

Read more

%d bloggers like this: