Dailey Woodworks


It’s Sunday, and here I sit a 6:24am fully dressed down to my shoes.  My keys, wallet, and knife are in their pockets; I’m ready to walk out the door.  I don’t have anywhere to be until church at 11am.  The little monsters sweet children get up around 8 every day.  So why?

Because I want to be productive.  My web developer, Jason at Placer Marketing, told me about an article he read about productivity and the power of getting up early.  He sent me the link and I’m convinced to give it a try.  Click here to read the article by Benjamin Hardy.

When I think back, the most productive times in my life have been when I consistency woke up early

When I think back to the most productive times in my life, they have been the seasons that I intentionally woke up early.  I remember my first job as a part-time youth minister while in college, I was so excited and driven.  The biggest perk was I had a nice office, and keys to the building.  For the first few months, I was there by 7:30, no one else was there until 8:30.  By noon I had accomplished everything I needed to do that day including many long-term goals.  My grades in college also improved thanks to my early rising and intentional planning of each day.  Eventually, the excitement wore off and I fell back into the “wake up late, rush out the door, arrive barely on time routine the majority of people live in.

Most people spend their day reacting to situations instead of anticipating them

Most people spend their day reacting to their obligations instead of anticipating them.  Yesterday was Saturday.  Saturday in my world is “work on our house day.”  There are chores do, children to play with, trash to take to the dump (We live in a rural area without curbside garbage service). I meant to start this “get up a 5am” thing yesterday but hit my alarm button as soon as I heard it and went back to sleep.

At 7:30 I was awoken by little ones hungry and ready to be awake (Saturday is my wife’s day to sleep in: she adamantly disagrees with anyone who says you should wake up before 9:00 am).  Now I was in reaction mode,  I had two hungry and fussy toddlers who had to get frustrated and loud enough to wake me from my sleep to get their needs taken care of.  I had to jump out of bed and go straight to them and start getting their breakfast and sippy cups ready.  Because I wasn’t ready to be awake this made my attitude…less than pleasant…and set my tone for the entire day.

Today will be different.  I’m already up and can anticipate and plan my morning.  My oldest gets up first then wakes up the middle-est (Yes I’m making up a new word).  If I can get him up and out the middle-est can keep sleeping for another hour.  I can have his pop-tart and cup ready and we can have some quality time first thing before getting ready for church.  I’m anticipating my day instead of reacting to it.  I’m taking back control.

Unplanned time is wasted time

Unplanned time is wasted time.  Therefore, just waking up at 5am is pointless without a plan.  So I applied Lean to my 5am wake-up time.  Lean is about continuously improving a process.  Your morning routine is a process and therefore can be improved to eliminate waste and increase productivity.

This is what my mornings were looking like:

  • Alarm goes off at 6:40. Hit snooze until 7:20
  • 7:20 rush to get dressed and out the door by 7:30, usually 8 if I’m working from home
  • 8:00 get to jobsite or shop without any real plan on what I should be doing first

As you see I’m reacting to my day:

This is my goal for what my mornings will look like now:

  • 5:00-5:15 Get up and get fully dressed.  To me, there is something psychological about being dressed and ready to go.  It’s always been a thing for me.  I’m sure there is research to validate my opinion on this (this is the internet after all…).
  • 5:15-5:30 Stretch, get moving.  From past experience I know if I get up and go straight to a desk (or couch) I will fall asleep there or just sit there in a zombie state. Stretching has tons of benefits and feels good.  I don’t exercise in this time I’m just on my feet.
  • 5:30-5:45 – Bible reading, prayer, meditation.  This is something I have neglected in my life for much too long.
  • 5:45-6:00 – Physical Activity.  My body is still fighting consciousness at this point so I do something to get the blood moving.  I got this awesome punching bag for Christmas but it’s on the back porch and I would wake the family up using it at this time.  So shadow boxing.
  • 6:00-6:15 – Plan my day, 3S (a Lean thing), make an actionable plan for self-improvement.
  • 6:15-7:00 – Computer time to blog, edit video, return business email, work on estimates, etc.  Today I’m writing this blog post.  And it’s my Sabbath so I’m not doing any real work.  This blog post is different somehow, I think because it’s more personal, so I don’t consider it work.  I’m also bleeding into my next block of time.  Also, no social media during this time.
  • 7:00-7:30 – Continued computer time, load up the trailer to head to jobsite, or start cleaning shop to start work at 8:00
  • 7:30-8:00 – Travel time to jobsite.  It takes me roughly 30mins to get to a location, and I cant really start making noise until 8:00 due to city ordinances and common courtesy.
  • 8:00 – Saw Blades spinning.  Out of respect for my neighbors, I don’t start any loud equipment until 8:00.  I have stood there with my hand on the saw and a clock at 7:59 waiting for 8:00.

This is my planned morning routine.  It’s not set in stone and I can change it as I see fit.  However, following my planned morning routine is set in stone in that whatever plan I set I will follow.  So far I’ve had a calm and productive morning.

Remember: Your morning routine is a process and all processes can be continuously improved.

What does your morning routine look like? What changes can you make to improve your morning productivity?

Be sure to read the article that inspired me to start this new 5am madness: You Make Or Break Your Life Between 5-7 AM by Benjamin Hardy

My Goals for Dailey Woodworks in 2018

Setting a Goal and Failing to Reach it Gets you further than Never Setting One

Well, I can tell you that the goal of having this post up by the first week of January didn’t happen.  That’s the thing with goals, just because we don’t reach them doesn’t mean we should stop trying or stop setting them.  Setting a goal, then failing to reach it often gets you further than never setting one, to begin with.

Goals are important for a full life and essential for a successful business.  When I first started a business I was asked, “What is your five-year plan?” At the time I didn’t have one but I decided to sit done and right out that plan (you can read it here).

By the End of 2020: My Five Year Plan (Update)

In fact, I just decided to re-read my five-year plan, and I’m doing pretty well.  I’m about halfway there.  My first five year plans goes to the end of 2020.

  • 15,000 Youtube Subscribers.  In review, I’d hoped to be further along than I currently am.  My growth is consistent but flat.  I’m getting close to 6k subscribers.  I need to work harder at that.
  • My Wife and I Want to Restore Old Homes.  Homeownership eluded my wife and me for a long time.  I’m proud to say that in 2017 we were able to buy our first home.  It needed and still needs a lot of work.  I’m not sure having it ready to sell in 2.5 years is still a goal I want to have.  But #achievementunlocked. It also has an awesome shop that has helped my business grow a lot.
  • I want to be a far better craftsman than I am now. I can tell you for a fact I’m much better than I was just two years ago.  I’m proud of how my skills have developed however, it’s not enough.  I am committed to continuous improvement.  There is always a new skill to learn, a better method to complete a task, and a new idea that will change everything.  Be a lifelong learner and never consider yourself to have ‘mastered’ your craft.
  • By 2020 I want to have one or two good apprentices.  This goal has proven to be especially difficult.  I’ve found one good worker (1/3) who wants to learn.  The challenge is being profitable enough to sustain an apprentice (he doesn’t want to work for free).  I am amending this goal.  I’ve found that good subcontractors and friends in the trades are better than employees.  I can hire a few good guys I’ve found to do a job and not have to stress about keeping them paid during slow times.
  • I want a bigger/better truck.  I have achieved this goal, but not in the way I had hoped.  My old, beloved, F-150 blew a head gasket. I was able to successfully use a “liquid fix” for a few months.  Then I was in an accident; a drunk pulled out in front of me.  I now have a 2013 F-150 SuperCrew with the 3.5Ecoboost and 6.5ft bed.  It’s perfect for my work.  I’m very happy with it.
  • Tools – I want all the Tools. This goal will never change.  Specifically, I want to get into the Festool ecosystem of tools.

What are my Goals for 2018?

  1. Save 10% of gross income (10% profit). My net profit for 2018 was only $866.  That means I only took in $866 more dollars than I spent on materials, tools, payroll, and theft taxes.  Sure, I invested a lot of money into the right tools, paid down a lot of business debt etc.  But that’s such a sad little number for a business.  My simple solution? When I get a deposit 10% straight off the top goes into savings, period.  That will also give me a buffer against downturns, illness, and equipment failures.
  2. Operate my business debt free. I achieved this goal this week.  Thanks in a large part to goal one.  I’ve been setting aside money off the top and aggressively paying down business-related expenses.  I’m now working on building up enough working capital to take on any job without “floating” (using lines of credit while working a job and paying it off when paid for that job).
  3. Online passive business income 50% of Salary.  Did you know that my website and youtube channel earns money? Youtube pays me to run ads alongside my business and I often use Amazon Affiliate links for products I recommend.  This brought in a nice little extra but didn’t take off until I started selling woodworking plans on Etsy.  This has exploded my passive income streams and allowing me to really grow and invest in the business.  Notice I’m not saying gross income.  I’m saying my salary.
  4. Sell 10 dog kennels a month. Dog kennels are one of those accidental businesses that fell into my lap.  I’m making about 2-3 a month currently.  I’m working with my web guy to get a store up and running with the goal of selling 10 a month.  The will allow me to focus my business more on custom woodworking.
  5. Specialize in custom woodworking, remodeling, and cabinetry work. Hey, look! One goal works toward the next.  I want to do less “handyman work.”  The handyman work got me to where I’m at today, but I don’t enjoy it like I do the cabinetry and woodworking.  I’m no longer actively offering “handyman services” or advertising them to new customers.  What I’ve decided to do is to offer my hourly handyman services to current and established customers.  The idea is to provide this service to people with whom I’ve already formed a relationship with.

My Shop

One of the most valuable things that is helping me achieve my goals is my shop.  One of the reasons my wife and I bought the house we did was because of the shop space available.  Just to rent a space like this in my area would end up costing more than our current Mortgage payment.  That’s a big deal.  I’m continuously improving this space and making it better every day.

Here is the tour:


I’m convinced: setting goals and failing to meet them gets you further than never setting goals to begin with.  I’m going to work hard to achieve my goals this year, and if I don’t meet all of them it’s OK.  For example, if I only manage to make a 5% profit instead of 10% that is still better than the 1% profit I make this year.  If I only sell 6 kennels a month instead of 10, that’s still double of what I’m currently doing.

continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection – mark twain

What are your goals for 2018?

Plans for our Large Double Dog Kennel Are Now Available

custom wood double dog kennel plan - size large

We’ve been working hard to make these plans easy to understand and follow.  If you already purchased the medium plans and would like a copy of the large plans, send us an email with your order number and we will send you a free copy of the large plans.

You can purchase the plans from our Etsy Store by Clicking Here

My Favorite Lean Improvement So Far – Organized Work Truck

My Truck is my mobile office.  I spend a lot of time there.  It has also devolved into a filthy disorganized mess.  You don’t realize how much clutter and disorganization stress you out until you decide to fix it and feel the burden lift from your shoulders when everything is in its place and there is a place for everything.

The key to making improvements is to label everything so that it is easy to put things back and know if something is off.  Too many times we will clean stuff up only for it to be the same mess a week later because we don’t actively create easy ways to sustain this change.


I have to give credit for this hashtag to Warren, one of my youtube subscribers.

What is Lean?

Lean Manufacturing is based off the Toyota Production System that emphasizes continuous improvement and eliminating waste through every single aspect of the production process to provide the best product at the best possible price to your customer’s

I’ve adopted the Paul Aker’s (CEO of FastCap) version of lean which is summed up “Fix What Bugs You.”  By fixing what bugs me, my disorganized truck, my work is more enjoyable, it’s easier, and I can do it faster.  My mind is now freed from stressing about “where’s my tape measure?” “Where’s my clipboard?” and is now able to better focus on my client’s needs because I’m not stressed trying to find what I need for an estimate.

The Principles of Lean

Lean can be applied to absolutely any area of your life:  From how you get dressed in the morning to how you prepare your taxes.  By applying Lean principles I’ve knocked 3hrs off the production process of my dog kennels (12hrs to 9hrs) and know I can cut it down to six all while improving the quality of my work.  Here’s the gist of Lean:

  • Eliminate All Wastefulness From Your Life and Work – There have been books written on this, but to keep it simple: 90% OF EVERYTHING YOU DO IS WASTE.  Stop it!
  • Continuously Improve by Fixing What Bugs YouPaul Akers of Fastcap calls on his employees to make one 2-Second improvement to their job every day.  Think through how you do things, fix that one irking thing, next time it will be faster and more enjoyable.
  • One Piece Flow – This is the hardest to accept.  We thing batch work is faster. We’ve been told batch work is faster.  However, every study and comparison shows that doing one complete task at a time is faster in almost every situation.
  • 3S – Sweep, Sort, Standardize – This is really the backbone of Lean.  You have to clean up, eliminate your waste, and standardize it so that it stays that way
    • Sweep – Clean up – I when through my truck, pulled everything out, wiped everything down, and vacuumed it out.
    • Sort – What is necessary? what is waste? I then figured out what do I need in the truck, what should be in the toolbox? What should be in the shop? What needs to be in the trash? There is no value in organizing your waste. Purge!
    • Standardize – Implement processes, controls, and habits that make your hard work of Sweeping and Sorting stick.  Also think through how you used items, where they need to be, and how much of them you need.

Imagine if Congress would just halfway apply lean…

The Before and After of My Truck

For those curious, this is a 2013 Ford F150 SuperCrew Texas Edition with the 3.5 Ecoboost Ecobeast engine and 6.5ft bed.  I need to do an article on why a 4-door half ton truck is almost the perfect vehicle.


I’ve only had my truck like this for a couple of days and I love it.  It’s easy to find what I need and more importantly, it is easy to put it back in its place.  I’m already seeing more improvements to make it my “Mobile Office.”   One thing I did learn is that mailing labels don’t stay stuck to plastic, so I switched to white duct tape.

Product Affiliate Links:

What improvements are you making? #AllThingsLean2018


New Lower Prices on Dog Kennels for 2018

That’s right! We’re lowering our prices on all of our custom Dog kennels for 2018.  Our goal is to be the best value on Custom Wooden Indoor Dog Crates in the US.

Here’s how we’re able to lower our prices this year: Kaizen – continuous improvement

We have been working hard to improve everything we do at Dailey Woodworks. The biggest thing we are improving is our workflow.  We are optimizing our production flow to cut production times without sacrificing quality.  If anything our quality is improving as well.  By continuously improving we are able to save time, and by saving time we are able to provide a better value to you our customers.

Here Are Our Updated Prices

  • Single Large Dog Kennel – $850 Now $763
  • Double Medium Dog Kennel – $929 Now $827
  • Double Large Dog Kennel – $1039  Now $952


Get Organized in 2018 – Make Your Life Easier!

Source: Pinterest

It’s midnight.  You groggily stumble to the pantry, in need of a midnight snack.  You make it to the pantry, flip on the light and are temporarily blinded by the light.  You need cereal. Not just any cereal you need your special bedtime cereal.  You look, you dig, you move 14 different things.  Because of course, your cereal has been buried in the back of the pantry.  You reach for it…only to find that it’s empty.

As you plan out the murder of your wife, child, roommate for eating the last of your cereal then putting the empty box back the truth hits you…

You don’t have to live this way! You can make the change! You can hire Dailey Woodworks to custom design a hyper-organized pantry that will be so easy to use this scenario will never happen again! 

All joking aside, it’d be pretty sweet if your pantry looked like this. Wouldn’t it?

We can help you design a pantry or closet system that is beautiful and functional.  Make time in 2018 to fix that closet that always bugs you.  We’ve even created a Pinterest Board with some great and beautiful ideas.

A dream pantry not in the budget? Don’t overlook cost-effective solutions.

If you have metal track shelving you may want to keep it. It’s very strong and adjustable to your needs, but the wire shelving is ugly. Upgrade it with simple plywood shelves. Better looking and stronger.


Get things off the floor. This garage shelving system gave this family half of their garage back. Hooks hold ladders, shovels, and bikes within easy reach.


Install adjustable shelving in your cabinets to allow for space savings and flexibility. We can modify your current cabinets with pullouts, trays, and extra shelves.

Your imagination is the only limit.  Contact Us today to schedule a free estimate.

PS – We have loads of fun organizing things…

Everything in its place and a place for everything

Reclaimed Staircase

Rustic Pine Staircase, Reclaimed Pine Staircase and Handrails

I love projects like this! We took a boring and unsafe staircase and made it beautiful and safe.  Using clear southern yellow pine for the treads and reclaimed pine beams and lumber we created a unique rustic staircase that suits this barndominium.

Unfinished OSB Staircase

Like most staircases, this one started with OSB.  If you have an ugly staircase, don’t worry, it can be transformed into something that suits your home and style.

You’ll notice that this staircase does not have any kind of handrail or safety rail.  It was quite unsettling at the top which is about 14ft.  A proper handrail that meets code is essential for safety and ease of use.

This is the outside or barn area so there was really no need to do what we did here.  A simple handrail would have been fine.  However, we are slowly taking this area and polishing it up to look like the beautiful rustic home on the inside.  I think we succeeded.

For the treads and landings, we used clear Southern Yellow Pine.  Using Clear Pine for the stair treads vs Knotty Pine stair treads costs more but yields a better result.  Clear pipe lumber is more stable than knotty pine so there will be less chance of splits, warps, cupping, or twisting later on.

DIY Rustic Pine Stair Treads for a Farmhouse Staircase in a barndominium
Clear Southern Yellow Pine Stair Treads

The handrails are made with reclaimed lumber.  The story behind the lumber is really cool.  The barndominium is built on land that has been on this family for generations and is near what amounts to a little ghost town outside of Caldwell, Texas.  In this community there once was a store.  The store belonged to my client’s grandmother.  Many years after the store was closed it was torn down and much of the lumber was saved.  This is the lumber we used for the handrails.

rustic farmhouse staircase with reclaimed lumber handrails
Handrails made from reclaimed pine

To hold the posts in place we cut a half-lap joint in the wood so that it could sit partly on the treads and be connected to the sides with lag bolts.  This makes for an incredibly strong post that won’t be going anywhere.

Once everything was installed we sanded everything and started the finishing process.

The prep for finishing is always time-consuming but is the key to a great looking finish.  We spend about 4-5 hours filling nail holes and sanding everything up to 220 grit.  After thoroughly cleaning off the dust we started from the top and worked our way to the bottom staining all the treads with English Chestnut by Minwax.

Sealing the treads was the same process of starting from the top and working our way to the bottom.  We did two coats of Minwax Polyurethane for Floors. I absolutely recommend going with the oil-based formula.  You’ll need mineral spirits to clean it up but an oil-based polyurethane will hold up longer than a water-based polyacrylic.

Here are the finished treads with the risers done

The final step was to build a safety gate for the top landing.  My client’s children and grandchildren come to visit and keeping the grandbabies safe is crucial.  We built these gates out of reclaimed lumber in the same way we build our custom barn doors.


This was a great project and the second I have done for this great clients.  We built a Murphy Bed for her last her and we have several more improvement to make to this barndominium in the future.

If you live in the Brazos Valley we are happy to help you with your next carpentry, remodeling, or home improvement project.  We serve Bryan, College Station, Caldwell, Snook, Somerville and surrounding areas.  CONTACT US today to schedule a free estimate.

Want to see how we did it? Watch Below

Tell us what you think in the comments below.

Merry Christmas From Dailey Woodworks

My Family and I would like to wish you and yours a very merry Christmas.  It’s my customers and subscribers that enables me to provide for my family while doing what I love.

Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  Born in a stable, raised as a carpenter, lived as a teacher, despised by the religious, crucified by the Romans, Son of God, atoning sacrifice for my sins and your sins, raised from the dead, seated at the right hand of God, King of Kings and Lord of Lords whom one day every knee will bow.  Our example for living and our Savior for eternity.

Merry Christmas!

A Space Saving Folding Workbench – Perfect for Cramped Garages

Murphy Table, Folding Workbench,

This folding workbench is a great addition to any garage or craft area with limited space.  In its folded position, it only takes up 6″ deep of floor space.  When set up, it’s a rock solid 32″ deep workbench ready for your next DIY project.  The best part is you can build it on a Saturday for less than $100.00!

Purchase the Plans to Build Your Own at My Etsy Store

I was hired by a nice couple in College Station to help organize their garage.  They asked if I could install shelving and also build a folding workbench like they’ve seen on Pinterest.  I’m a carpenter who loves building unique woodworking projects, so I get really excited whenever I get a call that starts with “Hey, I found this thing on Pinterest; can you built it?”.

Fold up craft tableI drew up what they wanted in SketchUp. SketchUp is such a valuable tool for woodworkers, carpenters, and remodelers.  Being able to build and modify custom cabinetry or woodworking projects digitally gives your customers a much better finished product and allows you, the contractor, to more accurately price a job.


I finished the workbench top with two coats of Minwax Polyurethane for Floors.  This product is very durable and makes a great top coat for high use areas like wood counter tops, work benches, tables, and…um…floors.

Watch the Youtube Video to See How It’s Made


This Fold Down Craft Table is great for the garage or can be jazzed up for a craft room or sewing room.  The uses for this are endless at pegboard like we did and it can serve as a space saving leather working table, Potting Bench, Jewelry Making Table, etc. The uses for this are only limited by your imagination.

To Purchase the Plans to Build Your Own Click Here!


Staining and Sealing Your Woodworking Project is Easier Than You Think!

Many DIYers are happy to paint their projects but freeze when they think about staining it.  Will it look right? Will I ruin it? Where do I start?  Hear is the truth: Staining and sealing your own furniture is easier than painting.  Even if you’ve never attempted to apply stain or apply wipe-on-poly yourself you will get great results if you follow the steps in this Youtube Video.

SEE! So easy only a politician could mess it up!

Here’s the steps and the products I used to finish this Rustic Style Barn Door. 

  1. Always sand your project up to 220 grit: Sand paper I use: Mirka 5-Inch 8-Hole Dustless Hook-and-Loop Sanding Disks
  2. Clean off all the dust with a slightly damp lint free cloth
  3. Apply stain. I like using a brush to get the stain in all the nooks then wipe the extra off with a lint free cloth. The Stain I used on this project is Provincial by Minwax:
  4. 4) Once Dry you will apply a least two coats of Minwax Wipe on Poly, I like Satin:

Now I like to use old based stains and finishes. The results are consistently better than with water based stains and polyurethanes.  If you’re finishing your Wooden Dog Kennel don’t worry once dry it is completely safe.  In fact polyurethane is food safe when fully cured, but I still wouldn’t eat it. Because we’re using oil based products you’ll also want some nitrile gloves and Paint Thinner/Mineral Spirits for clean up.

Here’s a Front Door I refinished following this same process but using exterior grade Spar Urethane.

Not quite up to doing it yourself? Well if you’re in the Brazos Valley Area CONTACT ME and I’ll be happy to help make your home look amazing.

If you have any questions or comments leave them below.

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