Making a log shelving unit – part 3

Please first 
part 1 and
part 2  
by clicking on the links

I need to make a cross piece for the back of the unit.  This has to be something that I can easily take on and off the ladder parts and move to different locations for craft shows or displays. 

I’m using old barn board for the shelves and just lightly sanded them and trimmed all the boards to the same length.

I decided to use another piece of barn board ripped down the middle with a bolt and nut holding the two halves together .  That way it can be stored or transported  with the two arms stacked one on top of the other and can open up like scissors when needed.

I attached the bolt and then unfolded the arms so that the width of the unit would be about 4′ as the length of my boards is about 56″. 

 I marked the angle of the floor at this point and cut the bottom of each arm at this angle and then screwed through, attaching the arms to the bottom (back) of the ladder section.

The top of the arms is screwed similarily to the top of the ladders.

The top plank was screwed into the top rungs to make the unit more solid, the others are just sitting on the rungs. It’s easy to take apart and transport. Two ladders, the folded up cross piece and five shelf boards.

Here is the finished shelving unit with some of my signs and things on it:

Linking to blog parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Blue Cricket Design

The DIY Showoff
Cottage Instincts
Under the Table and Dreaming
Tools are for Women Too
It’s So Very Cheri
Dittle Dattle
aka Design

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Making a log shelving unit – part 2

I’ve made the rungs (see part 1) so the next next step in making my shelving unit is the ladder legs or uprights.

Of course, there are four and the pieces I had ranged from just over 5′ up to over 7′.  The ends were not even and one was a bit punky, so I figured the maximum height I could use was 5′ 1″, which seemed just right for this project.

These pieces I had were mostly already peeled, but there were a few places that had some bark that I stripped with a carving knife. I also needed to clean up some little branches sticking out from the sides so I did that by using a small handsaw parallel to the logs.  After that I did some light sanding trying to leave character in the wood.  

Now to the holes in the uprights.  I decided on five shelves with a 10″ spacing between them.  Marking them wasn’t so easy because, unlike wood that has been planed and cut straight and parallel, these logs not only weren’t dead straight, but also they changed in diameter from 1 1/2″ – 2″ and had curved faces.  Wood off the jointer, planer and tablesaw is much easier to work with!

The widest diameter of each of the four pieces would be the bottom of each upright, so it would narrow at the top.  I  marked out the center of each hole for the rungs by using a long straightedge.  At first I was going to drill the holes with a spade bit but then realized that the long point on the end of that might go through the log and make a hole in the other side, which I didn’t want.  So I had to buy a new 5/8″ forstner bit to match the tenon cutter I had.  I put a piece of masking tape on the bit to give me some idea of how deep to go with the drill.  This is not precision because, as I said the logs are not straight and change in diameter.

 So, five holes were drilled in each upright and then the rungs were set in as evenly as possible.  I had some rearranging to do because not only were the uprights uneven, but so were the rungs.  I had to fight with it a bit and realized that some of the tenons will not be as far in the holes as others because of this unevenness.

I glued and clamped the rungs in the ladder legs:

Here’s the two ladders finished:

 Next post… finishing the unit by getting the planks ready and making the cross piece on the back…

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Making a log shelving unit – part 1

 I needed to make a shelving unit to hold some signs and things at a craft show I was attending a few weeks ago.  I’m just getting to posting what I came up with.

I wanted something that was easy to take in the vehicle and put together at the show and then take apart again to come home.  I also wanted to use some old logs and make it in a rustic style.

 Something like this but without all the X’s:

from: online source that I can’t find, but it cost $1518

So basically I would make two “ladders,” one for each end and then one large cross across the back to hold it from twisting.  Then I would just sit barn board planks on the ladder rungs.

I had 4 logs, or branches that were very straight and just over 5′ long and with a diameter that ranged from 1 1/2″ – 2″ .  This is what I would use for the ladder uprights, or legs.  I don’t even know what type of tree these came from.  

The rungs are to be made of maple from trees cut down a few years ago on our property and the branches were stored in my barn for future use. They are about 3/4″ – 1″ in diameter.

I will use the Lee Valley tenon cutter to shape each end of the rung. This is the same tool I used when I made my log coffee table . It is like a pencil sharpener that attaches to the end of your electric drill.  It turns very quickly and needs to be held strongly.  I cut a U shape out of a 2×4 to hold the branch and clamp both securely to my workhorse.

Then the cutter is held as horizontally as possible and pushed onto the end of the branch to cut the tenon.  I cut tenons about 1 1/4″ long.

 Since the old barn boards I have that I want to use for the shelves are about 5 3/4″ wide, I needed rungs that would leave just over that much space between the ladder uprights.  That worked out to a rung length of 8″ (which includes the tenons on both ends). 

 Next post… drilling the holes in the uprights…

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Barn Board Mirror

Looking at my upper barn door that I made a couple years ago gave me the inspiration for a mirror. I used plexiglass in the door but will use a 12″ square mirror (only $2 at our Dollar Store) for this project.

For the wood I’m using old barn board that actually came from this barn when I redid the upper loft section a few years ago.  Of course my husband thought I was nuts to keep the wood, but it had character and was 1″ thick, so I stacked it up in the loft to await the day I figured out what to use it for.  

I left all the worm holes, although I cleaned them out thoroughly.  I slightly sanded the wood to clean it up a bit, but tried not to get rid of the character.  I even left the angled bottom and top, although that’s hard to see in the photos.

The first thing I did was make a dado across the bottom of my four boards that was the thickness of the cross piece. This way the cross piece (shelf) will sit into the groove and there will be less chance of anything twisting.

 Here you can see the dado across all the boards:

and here is the cross piece/shelf sitting in the dado:

I left about 1/8″ spacing between the boards and screwed them in from the back:

 In order to frame the mirror I cut up some barn board into 1″ square pieces with 45 deg. ends and long enough to frame the mirror.
I took off the thickness of the mirror plus about 1/16″ from the inside edge of the frame, this way the mirror sits half under the frame.  
These are the four frame pieces:

I screwed on a top 1″ x 1″ cross piece from the back as well as the mirror frame:

 This is a very heavy piece, it measures 23 1/4″  across and is 30″ tall.

 I’m showing this at the following parties:

Knick of Time

Under the Table and Dreaming 
Cottage Instincts
Blue Cricket Design
It’s So Very Cheri

Tools are for Women Too

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Log Coffee Table from Maple with Floating Barn Board Top

I finally decided to use some maple logs that I had kept from when we cleared space in our wooded area for our garage/workshop.

I read books by both Doug Stowe and Daniel Mack about working with logs and bought a tenon cutter from Lee Valley. (A tenon cutter is like a huge pencil sharpener that is driven by a drill.) I found some old 1” thick barn board, complete with bug holes, for the top.

The legs are from logs that are a diameter of 2 1/4” – 2 1/2” and cut at 15” long. I used two horizontal rungs between the side legs. Mine are about 1 3/4” – 1 1/2” diameter and 14” long including the tenons.

Joining the two sets of legs and between the rungs is a 1” diameter cross piece of 27 1/2”.
I’m not sure what to call the pieces but I think it will be obvious from the photos as to what I am referring to.

There are then two short 1” diameter pieces that go vertically from the top rungs and will hold the top in a floating manner.

Here’s another view:

A hole is cut right through the top to receive the tenons of the small pieces. My top is old barn board (three pieces glued together) with a partial live edge.

I used about 4 coats of tung oil over the whole table, which for some reason is hard to take a good photo of!

Showing this at the following parties:

Blue Cricket Design
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Mustard Seed Creations
Funky Junk Interiors
Sawdust and Paper Scraps

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Tool Tote from old Barn boards

Here’s a tool tote that I made out of old used 1″ thick barn wood.

You can make them any size, I went by the size of the wood plank I had which was about 6″ wide and ripped it in half (cut the piece down the middle) and then into 16″ long pieces for the sides and 8″ for the ends. 

I put my bottom piece inside the “box” made by the sides and ends.  Therefore I wanted something thinner than 1″ so I put a barn board in my planer to thin it down to 5/8″ thick. Since my piece wasn’t wide enough I glued three pieces together to make the width for the bottom, which was about 8″ x 14″  (you could use a piece of plywood for this step).

The handle is then cut out of another piece to the length that will fit between the ends as you see here. Of course the handle piece needs to be wider so that it sticks up higher than the sides, mine was the width of the original board about 6″ (it sits on top of the bottom piece) and was 14″ long because the ends are 1″ thick and the sides are 16″. 

My sides are 2 1/4″ high inside the box so the handle piece is slanted down to the height of the sides using a jigsaw.   The handle cutout is made by using a 1 1/4″ hole cutting drill bit, as I did here but you could also make a hole with your drill and then use a jigsaw to cut the handle shape about 4″ long.

I also used thinner pieces for the two inner dividers, since 1″ thick takes up a lot of the interior of the tote. The bottom of the handle is notched out to accept the width of the divider pieces and half their depth.  The divider pieces are notched at the top, the width of the handle and half their own depth.  This way they link together, as you can see by the photo.

This is not fine woodworking, it’s supposed to look old, weathered and used so I just nailed the sides to the ends and the sides to the dividers.  I also nailed the handle piece to the ends and nailed the bottom up through the handle piece and the dividers.

When you cut the old boards you will get fresh looking lighter coloured ends of wood.  To make this look as old as the rest of the wood, soak a fine steel wool pad overnight in about 1/2 cup of vinegar (leave the top off the container). The next day add a bit of water, maybe 1/4 cup in the container, and test it by wiping or brushing on a scrap piece of wood.  Leave it to dry for at least a couple hours to see the colour it will make the wood as it does darken over time.  If too dark, add a bit more water and try again on scrap until you get the look you want. You can get quite realistic old looking wood by doing this.

I’m not sure if I want to put some letters on the side of the tote?

I’m linking to the great parties at:
Funky Junk Interiors
The Shabby Chic Cottage
Blue Cricket Design
Making the World Cuter
Sumo’s Sweet Stuff 
 and Cottage Instincts

Everything I make is for sale, so if you see something you like, please contact me.

Tea-light candle holder

I decided to make my friend a tea-light holder out of worn barn wood for Christmas.  She has a beautiful country farm house and this will fit in with her decor.
I found a piece of wood in my shop about 3 3/4″ wide and an inch thick.  I cut a piece about 16″ long.
Then I cut two pieces about 1″ wide from the same board for “feet.”
I gathered up my tea-lights and traced their circular base centered on the wood so that I could fit 5 candles along the width.
The circles were cut out with my little trim router, to a depth of about 1/2 that of the metal base of the candle. (You could use a drill press with a forstner bit, but I didn’t have the right size for that, so “I did it my way!”)
I used my table saw to cut out notches for the feet. I ran it by a few times until it was the correct width.
(You could use a dado blade, but I was too lazy to set it up, so “I did it my way!”)
I glued in the feet and gave the whole thing a touch-up sanding only since I want this to remain rustic looking.
I hope she likes it!