Reverse cut out Mermaid

I found some beautiful old pallet wood here on the island. It had so much texture, was very heavy and different shades of grey. Until I cut into it I had no idea what wood it was. It turned out to be red oak.
I glued four strips together side by side and then cut out a mermaid shape with my jigsaw. On the back I pin nailed strips of different widths of thin plywood that I painted and distressed in blue, turquoise and white.
I sold the piece, but the customer wanted it personalized to hang in her cottage. This piece is 37″ long x 13″ deep.
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Building a Dog Gate on the Stairs

Due to winter and no tourists around at this time of year, it has been slow at my shop. Of course I keep busy trying out things and creating new products to sell this year. I have worked on a few things at home because my house has been ignored since I bought the old house that I have converted into my workshop.
We have two small Chihuahuas that can get up the stairs to our second floor, but can’t (or won’t?) get back down. So… if we don’t put something across the staircase, they often will go up and then we have to go up and fetch them! I had a piece of plastic lattice, that was left here in the shed by the past owner, and I propped it up on the staircase. It worked sometimes, but often fell over or one of us tripped on it! So finally I decided to make a proper dog gate.
I used some leftover poplar and the scrap piece of lattice.
I used my tablesaw to cut a groove in the poplar pieces to fit the lattice.
This groove doesn’t look so good on the end and I could have left it this way. 
Because I had left the poplar pieces longer than I needed them to be (always a good idea) I thought I should make a tongue on each end of the vertical pieces that would fit into the groove of the horizontal gate pieces. This makes it stronger and it also looks much nicer, see…
So the gate was all cut to size, to fit the staircase opening, and glued together.
I painted it white and added hinges to one side and a small latch to the other. Because of the wide baseboards, I had to add a small piece of wood (seen below on the right) to allow the top hinge to be attached in line with the lower one which is on the baseboard.
I really need to paint all of the wood around and on the staircase. It is currently beige but I want it all to be white. I’d also like to take out the carpeting and change the wallpaper, but that will have to wait for another time.  
For now, the dogs stay on the main floor when we want them to.

Ice Storm Photos

A few days ago our island was hit by an ice storm. It pretty well closed down everything for the day and coated everything with a thick layer of ice. We were fortunate, but many people were without electricity for a couple days. Many tree limbs came down, including quite a few from the old maple tree in front of my shop. I took some photos which I’ll share here.

The sign by the back door of our house:
 Our pickup truck:
The shaft of our snow shovel:
The back gate at our house:

Shiplap – make your own!

Thanks to Joanna Gaines of HGTV’s “Fixer Upper,” everyone seems to want shiplap in their houses!

I’ve been making my own shiplap for many years, and it’s not difficult to do.
Put dado blades on your table saw and cut a rabbet that takes away half the thickness of your wood. Flip the wood and make a rabbet on the other long edge. If that sounds confusing, a picture is worth a thousand words: 
Your boards then overlap and can be made in any thickness and any width, depending on the use.
I used shiplap on the back of my buffet that I posted about here on my blog in 2010.
Shiplap allows wood to expand and contract with the seasons. The gaps between each board will widen during dry weather and get narrower during times of higher humidity.
Have you made your own shiplap?
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Doll Cradle

Doll Cradle 

A local woman came into my shop a few weeks ago asking if I could make a doll cradle for her granddaughter. She also brought in an old cradle that was similar, but smaller than the one she wanted. I just made the parts so that the cradle would fit the little girl’s favourite doll.

I used pine for this cradle and there are five pieces, two ends (the “headboard” is larger than the “footboard”), two sides and a bottom. 

Cradle Pieces 
The ends are attached to the sides with wood screws and then covered with wood plugs, the bottom is glued with a few finishing nails along the sides.
My customer wanted this painted so I used a good primer and then painted the cradle with a white interior semi-gloss paint.
Doll Cradle 
I hope the little recipient of this gift enjoys many hours of play with it.

O come let us adore Him




This is the second piece of wall décor I made with a Christmas hymn theme. Yesterday I showed

O Holy Night and today this one is “O come let us adore Him.”

I used 100 year old island barn board with lots of character and cut a star out of it with my jigsaw.
Because the board is so worn, (there are very deep grooves) I sanded across a 4″ section right at the bottom. This made it easier to be able to paint a white background and then paint the wording. Between the star and the song lyrics, I painted a small manger scene.
This star is lit up with LED lights which are hot-glued on the back. The battery pack sits behind the board, on a cross piece of wood.
You may notice the top of the board is at an angle, this is the way the board must have been used on the barn!
This one-of-a-kind piece measures 23″ x 11 1/2″
and is available in my shop along with all the other things you see here on the blog
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O Holy Night

I’ve been working on a few things for Christmas time. This is something I made after buying a battery powered string of lights and wanting to use it on some type of wall décor.

I glued three pieces of old grey wood together side-by-side and cut out a star with my jigsaw. The wording was hand painted and then I used hot glue to attach the tiny LED lights on the back. Two cross pieces at the top and bottom of the back help to bring the wood away from the wall to give room for the light to shine, and also space to hold the battery pack.
 It really looks better in my person, especially in a dark room, but hopefully you get the idea.



15  1/2″ x 14 1/2″ available in my shop or by contacting me
I’ll show another similar piece tomorrow.

Fixing an Old Chair

I have been working on a chair for someone who spends her summers here on Prince Edward Island. The chair belonged to her grandmother and doesn’t have “antique” value but does have sentimental value.  Apparently my customer’s previous dog didn’t know that because he chewed on the arms. Here’s one:

So I bought some maple and traced the two arms on it and then cut them out with my jigsaw. (The notch at the back is to hold a cross piece that the back of the seat rests against.)

The previous photo, as well as the next one shows the two arms back to back and stuck together with carpet tape. That helped me to get them the same shape and then I could round off the top edges on my router.

I then had to drill holes for the screws and still need to make some plugs to cover the screw heads.  What I’m working on right now is wood slats on the bottom to replace the old springs and metal straps under the seat cushion area.  Then I have to prime and paint the whole chair. The customer has decided on a bright green.    

 I’ll post more later when I get further along.