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Blog series by Dave Rutan updated 01-26-2019 10:12 PM 40 parts 67131 reads 139 comments total

Part 1: Whirligig Wars Entry Peek

07-16-2014 09:35 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

Here’s a peek at my entry for the 2014 Whirligig Wars. I’ve got a ways to go, but I think it’s really coming together well. EDIT The finished project can be seen here.

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Part 2: Notebook(s) Holder(s)

08-25-2014 01:00 AM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

This is basically what my current project will look like. Here is is held together by gravity and friction. As I write this, one of the pair is in the final glue-up. It’s basically coming out as I imagined it. No real mistakes, but a few second trimmings and re-set ups of my TS. In case it’s not clear, this is a sort of wall mounted holder for a notebook for my daughter. It actually can hold 2 spiral bound notebooks and I’m making a pair of them per her request. Wha...

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Part 3: 1st Real Picture Frame

08-28-2014 07:43 PM by Dave Rutan | 8 comments »

Another house project. We’ve wanted to frame a large piece of my daughter’s artwork. The cost of frames is a bit higher than me making one out of an old drawer front found on the curb. I’ll be doing the matting as well—a new skill to be acquired!

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Part 4: Conference Room Table

09-02-2014 10:56 AM by Dave Rutan | 5 comments »

I may add a few photos to this as I go along because it’s going to be long. The photo above shows the edging being glued to two sides of the plywood after my initial cut to size. I’m building a nice table for the library/meeting room in our church. The library was painted and enhanced by a few dark cherry bookshelves a few years ago, so I thought I’d replace the two old folding table with something a bit nicer. After This I get to work out a chair design that is nic...

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Part 5: Table Taking Shape

09-04-2014 07:49 PM by Dave Rutan | 8 comments »

It’s starting to look like a table, even if it is upside down. While sanding the bottom edges today I learned some lessons of what NOT to do when I sand the top. I’ve attached the skirt to the top using homemade cleats(?) with over-sized holes for the screws. I should be starting the base tomorrow. (I might mention that the picnic table on which this project sits was also one of my creations. It works, but it’s a little bit too rustic to be called woodworking, more ...

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Part 6: Legs!

09-05-2014 07:01 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Today I started working on the legs for the table. The picture above will give you an idea of what they will look like. The photos below are two views of the glue up. They are not glued to the table, but will eventually be bolted to the cleats. In these photos I’m using the cleats and the 2×4s sticking out the ends as spacers. I put a bit of duct tape on them to allow a little play. We’re getting there.

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Part 7: Still Upside Down

09-09-2014 12:10 AM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

Not a thrilling photo today, but I had to get my feet back under me after the weekend. On Friday afternoon our well developed a problem. I had to call a plumber for this one. As plumber calls go, this one wasn’t that bad, though prepping for his arrival caused me to clean out a storage area of my shop and put that stuff in my shop proper. So today I worked on the legs. The only thing I need to do to the base at this point is saw some edging to hide the plywood edges and glue ...

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Part 8: Time for sanding

09-10-2014 11:40 PM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

Yesterday I cut and applied the molding that covers the edges of the plywood. The molding is of a different wood (pine) and I think the contrast between the main parts and the edges when I stain it will look better than everything being just one shade. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! So today I sanded the legs, the side braces and started sanding the top. The top looks great, so I’m pretty ecstatic about the whole project now. I may yet get to start st...

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Part 9: Staining the Table

09-17-2014 11:38 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

I saved it. Does that count for anything? I’ve been having a bit of an adventure staining the table. Aside from not handing it to a professional I know what I did wrong, I tried staining the table. Does good plywood have a project side and a non-project side? I’m using maple plywood. When I made my cuts, I made it so that the plainer side was facing out. Apparently that was my first mistake. So, After I got everything cut, glued, screwed, sanded etc. I hesitated before ...

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Part 10: Table Still Going ...

10-02-2014 09:54 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

My statement from the last blog post is still true. The table is saved. I swear the learning curve on this project is straight up. I have had such trouble putting the final finish on the table top, plus the weather, (I’m working outside under a canopy), plus other chores… I still expect to get the table delivered this weekend, although rain is predicted for Saturday! I kept getting nothing but brush strokes trying to put the final finish on. I sanded, but when I got the bru...

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Part 11: The Table has left the workshop (or) Tables and Tribulations

10-04-2014 09:00 PM by Dave Rutan | 12 comments »

I forgot to bring the actual camera with me today, so I took the above image with my phone. Tomorrow I’ll post the actual project. This table is actually going to haunt me for a bit. I thought I had fixed all the blemishes last night—CLUE-the word ‘night’. In the light of day, inside a building under 3 huge fluorescent lights. I see the flaws. I should be able to fix these in situ (that’s actually Latin, I thought it was French!)

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Part 12: Don't tread on me (anymore)

10-08-2014 06:07 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

A while ago I found an appropriately sized piece of wood along the road to replace a stair tread on our basement stairs (safety police need not apply). Before I had time to seriously consider if I should just chuck it, or re-use it my daughter spirited it up into her room. The tread has about 5 coats of paint on it and I was weighing if I wanted to strip it or chuck it. So she’s asked if I could make a little shelf for her room out of it. Of course I will. I think I̵...

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Part 13: So much for the faux live edge.

10-13-2014 07:16 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

Well, I know I was considering creating a live edge on the old stair tread, but it didn’t work out. As I got to know the piece of wood, I came to realize it would just look like a badly curved edge, as if I couldn’t cut straight. So I ripped the board to width (5 in.) and sent it through my planer. I was left with a 3 foot long, 7/8 in. thick board with knots in it. So I centered the shelf (15 in) on the knots and used the rest for supports.The photo shows the pieces unsand...

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Part 14: George's Cajon

10-20-2014 03:26 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Yes, another cajon. If I keep this up, I’ll eventually be able to make one without fudging anything. Here it is in glue up. The bits of blue tape are my method of indicating which edges I had to put rabbets in. The tape comes off more easily than sanding pencil marks.

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Part 15: Cajon. Installation of the snare

10-24-2014 03:11 PM by Dave Rutan | 8 comments »

Since this cajon is all but finished, I thought I’d post something about the snare element that goes into the box. I came up with this myself, but my wife says it’s nearly identical to the professionally made cajones she’s seen. I guess I just got lucky. Without the snare, a cajone will sound basically like a base drum—boring. The snare gives it some dynamic and pizazz. The snare has to be attached to something and adjusted once installed. My cajones ha...

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Part 16: Brad Point Drill Case

10-28-2014 03:36 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

At the moment I have a guitar with a reglued bridge on my work table and since the chair is on hold until I buy some wood, I decided to do something small. I’ve had a new set of seven brad point bits for over a year and they’ve lived on my drill press table, just scattered about. Today I decided to build a wooden case for them out of scrap wood. The photo is of he glue up. I’ll be adding a hinged wooden lid to add to the ‘looks-like-a-10-year-old-made-this’...

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Part 17: Jesus Cradle

11-19-2014 12:14 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

Last year I promised my pastor that I’d make 2 manger cradles for the baby Jesus. Why two? Well, the one we have is a little rickety and our preschool borrows it to rehearse their Christmas program. That gets a little inconvenient when the display is outside. Here’s the first of 2 in glue-up.

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Part 18: Guess What I'm Making Now

11-25-2014 06:40 PM by Dave Rutan | 18 comments »

Guess what I’m making now. All the parts are shown in the photo. The only hint I’ll give is that it’s by the request of my wife and it’s NOT a shop project. Any Guesses? I should be posting this project tomorrow during our snow event. (Unless of course we lose power.) EDIT: The dowel has not been cut yet. It’s a pointed skewer, also known as a poorboy’s 3/16 in. dowel. EDIT II: It’s a tripod mount for an ipod. See the project here: [link]

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Part 19: Measure Before and After Cutting

01-05-2015 08:35 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

Making a divider insert for my daughter’s bookshelf, I measured how big it needed to be and cut the pieces on the TS. I cut interlocking slots on the router table so they would fit together. After I put the pieces together I decided to check it and… DOH! it’s an inch too short in the length! No idea* how I managed that because I definitely measured the distance between the blade and the fence. Having just written that I think I know. I think the length was my first...

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Part 20: Saved!

01-06-2015 06:09 PM by Dave Rutan | 2 comments »

It was a feature, not a flaw! I added support ends on the cubby insert and that added a total of 1 inch to the length. The project is saved! Except for the ends the project is made from fiber board which is only finished on one side. I plan on painting it to match the shelf it will live in.

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Part 21: Bird Casket

02-18-2015 08:09 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

[Finished project here] I find myself building a casket for one of our pet birds that passed yesterday. The box itself is straight forward enough, but the stumbling block I had was how to close it. While an ash urn is usually closed from the bottom, a casket closes from the top. It took me some thinking, but I finally figured out that I need to hinge the lid and create a way to fasten it shut without going overboard. I’ll be creating my own hinges from wood blocks and a length of ...

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Part 22: Those Chairs and my Clamps

04-10-2015 02:23 AM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

I decided to start cutting the parts for two of the ten chairs I plan on building to match the conference table I made last year. In the photo above you can see the parts cut out and ready for some milling, sanding and assembling. I’m also filming this process. I cut the 3 inch wide lengths out of a 1×12. As I was ripping, I encountered my first ever ‘pinch.’ The wood closed around the blade and riving knife to the point where I couldn’t even try to push it...

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Part 23: Chairs and a 2x4 Xylophone Experiment

04-21-2015 08:15 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

[Above] I’m still slowly working on the first two of ten chairs I’ll be building. ‘ll blame the filming for slowing me down. One of the backs has a flaw in it, chip out from my router and I’m trying to fix it with sawdust and glue. three tries so far. he photo shows the two chairs nested one n the other (a feature!) and the two backs. A third back is in the bending clamp. I also now have some data on materials: From 2 1”x12”x8’ I can get th...

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Part 24: Repairing the Gilligig

05-22-2015 10:51 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

The whirligig that I made for my daughter has proved to be a high maintenance toy. It’s my fault really, because I thought I could get away with using normal everyday plywood for the wings. Well, they delaminated and ended up not working, looking very funny and then the brass shaft broke. What you see in the photo is actually the wreckage of the third set of wings I’ve made. This time I’m going to use pressure treated solid lumber for the wings and that should fix tha...

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Part 25: Two at Once

06-10-2015 05:35 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

In this photo you can see the two things I’m currently working on. On the left, I’m re-habbing my very first whirligig. The paint needs refreshing and I’ve replaced the bow arm of the fiddler. On the right there are 4 coasters that fit together like a jigsaw puzzle to become a trivet. (I’m also painting our old rusty wheelbarrow, but that’s outside.) No big shakes.

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Part 26: The Catch of the Day

08-20-2015 08:25 PM by Dave Rutan | 8 comments »

I’m doing some glue ups for a few small projects using all the wedges I cut from the chair legs.

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Part 27: Irons in the Fire

09-21-2015 07:31 PM by Dave Rutan | 6 comments »

How many projects in progress can you find in this photo? I’ll post the answer later.

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Part 28: Next Step?

03-05-2016 12:10 AM by Dave Rutan | 3 comments »

Forgive the photo from my phone (though it IS right side up!) I’m on the fence as to what to do with this project and am seeking suggestions. The letters are not glued on yet. 1) I’m thinking of either gluing the letters on as shown and finishing the piece with spray lacquer. I hesitate because I think the woods used will pretty much all look the same. 2) My other thought is to paint everything black, sand the faces of the frame and the letters and then glue the lette...

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Part 29: Gotta be a better way?

03-14-2016 04:16 PM by Dave Rutan | 4 comments »

Somewhere in this jumble of clamps you will see a small live edge picture frame. I think I’ll be making a jig to clamp these as have 5 more to make.

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Part 30: Playing with Marbles

04-04-2016 03:28 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

Just got the basic parts cut for a marble automata ala Steve Good. I guess it’s supposed to be a scroll saw project, but to me it’s easier with the big old saw.

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Part 31: Charging Station

05-11-2016 08:12 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

A peek at where I’m at. Not glued yet. It’s posing for this shot using shallow dadoes and 2 clamps.

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Part 32: Any Guesses?

06-18-2016 01:23 PM by Dave Rutan | 13 comments »

I should have this project complete in a day or two. Anyone want to guess what it is? The finished project is here! [link]

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Part 33: Bathroom shelf rehab

06-29-2016 01:23 AM by Dave Rutan | 6 comments »

I think I’ve been using this particular series function wrong. I’m going to try it this way and see how it goes. This is a rehab of a shelf I built way back when. Follow along if you like, by watching this post. When I’m done I’ll post it as a finished project with appropriate details. We are currently freshening up our bathroom which gave me the opportunity to remove this shelf and give it some TLC. [Above] This gives you an idea of where I’m s...

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Part 34: Triangle desk

09-08-2016 07:02 PM by Dave Rutan | 7 comments »

Just to assure both of my fans that I’m still around, I’m posting this peek of what I’m currently working on. It’s that standing desk that I mentioned in a previous blog entry. It will sit on the corner of a desk top, thus it’s triangular. The ribs you see are to allow adjustability in case the user breaks their lleg and has to sit instead of stand. I guess it would also work if they used a high stool. If you look on the left side of the picture you can s...

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Part 35: Glue-up du jour

05-23-2017 01:15 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

Oh no! Dave might post a project soon!

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Part 36: Picture frame glue-up

05-29-2017 06:23 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

Project to follow soon.

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Part 37: A very special experimental clamp

06-20-2017 09:41 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

And tomorrow I’ll post this after I get a photo of it in action.

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Part 38: Probably pretty boring

06-28-2017 12:55 PM by Dave Rutan | 0 comments »

I’ll likely post this later today or tomorrow.

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Part 39: I can hardly contain myself!

07-11-2017 07:07 PM by Dave Rutan | 6 comments »

A box, but what’s it for? See the finished project here [link]

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Part 40: Drawers

01-26-2019 10:12 PM by Dave Rutan | 1 comment »

Okay, it’s a shop project, but it’s for where I work. I should have it done by Monday. I’m happy to learn my table saw and router still work.

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