Category Archives: Projects

Life Update and Room Remodels

Wow! So much has happened in the last 2+ years I’ve been away from this blog. We’ve moved twice and have 6 grandkids now! I’m hoping I can get back to posting here, now that things are calming down again.

We moved into this house on December 23rd, 2014. Yep, two days before Christmas. There was no place for our TV and we weren’t thrilled with the plain fireplace, so we remodeled our fireplace wall to take care of both problems. Here are some pics showing what we did:

This is the way it looked when we moved in. The TV was on the hearth.
All the cables were stuffed in the back and it just looked sloppy. The black tile around the fireplace wasn’t our cup of tea either.
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Sanctuary of Knowledge

I know it’s tempting to think that the title of this post is an unveiled reference to my amazing intellect, but it’s not. Those of you who know me know that there can’t possibly be a connection. For the rest of you, sorry to let you down.

Instead, it’s the title of an awesome 1,000 piece jigsaw puzzle that my amazing bride put together. We bought it at Barnes and Noble. Here’s a picture to help you see the awesomeness…


Once the puzzle was close to being done, we started researching ways to preserve and mount it for displaying. We decided to use Sunsout Puzzle Preserver and Glue to glue the pieces together and provide a protective coating. Before applying the glue, we needed to flatten the puzzle on a hard surface. We read somewhere that a rolling pin is good to use, but we don’t have one, so we used a full bottle of wine instead. That’s actually much better because when you’re done, you get to drink the wine.

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The 3-Hour Quilting Table


Ikea Expedit Shelving Unit #202.555.90

My wife quilts a lot and we’re a little cramped for space for her to do her thing. She needs more room that she has and is always improvising to get her quilts done, all the time never complaining about the lack of room. While surfing the web one day for quilting tables with storage for her, I came across this do-it-yourself quilting table that was based on Ikea bookcases. So I spent about 3 hours one Saturday morning putting this together.

Fortunately, our local Ikea store had the shelves that I was looking for. We went with turquoise to add a splash of color in the room. They are the Expedit shelving units (we bought 2), Ikea part #202.555.90. You can see them by following this link:

Here’s a pretty exciting shot of them still in the box. It’s hard to keep the enthusiasm under control, I know. But it gets better, so keep reading. Here’s the parts list of material. Everything except the shelves was purchased at Lowe’s.

Parts List:

  • Ikea 202.255.90 Shelving Units (2)
  • 96″ x 48″ x 3/4″ Laminate Particle Board (2)
  • Heavy Duty Swivel Casters (5)
  • Melamine Adhesive Edging (2 – 25′ rolls)
  • 2″ Decking Screws
  • 2″ Angle Brackets (8)

The first step was to mount the 5 casters on the bottom sheet of particle board. I put one near each corner and one in the center. I also beveled the corners of both sheets of particle board to eliminate the sharp corners.



The next step was to mount the two shelving units onto the bottom sheet of laminate particle board. I did this using 2″ decking screws. You have to be careful where you Continue reading

Train Under Construction

I’ve begun work on this little tabletop railroad yard for the grand kids. When it’s finished, I’ll be placing it on the Ikea coffee table you see in a couple of these pictures so that the kids can get a good look at it. It’s nowhere near finished but I wanted to post a couple of pictures now. Once it’s done, I’ll be posting a more complete step-by-step blog with more pictures. For now, here’s a couple pics to give you a general idea of the layout, which is pretty simple.


This is the Ikea coffee table that the train will sit on when finished.



I mounted 2″ insulation styrofoam board onto 1/2″ birch plywood. Since it’s so small, it isn’t flimsy at all.


The cutout area will be a lake. I used Liguid Nails for Projects to glue the styrofoam to the plywood and the track to the styrofoam. I’ll provide a lot more detail on the finished blog.


The Rebirth of a Tonka Truck

imageThis is a picture of our son Jake in 1983 with his new Tonka truck we gave him on his 2nd birthday (thank you for not making any comments about the loud sofa). It (the Tonka truck, not the sofa) survived all the years of his growing up and all the abuse that a toy truck is expected to go through at the hands of an energetic boy and his friends. But it became a a little more rusty and a little more worn as each year passed. Not unlike me! Once he outgrew it, my bride decided to pack it away in hopes of giving it to our grandson one day. So it spent the rest of its days in a large trash bag tucked away in different attics, garages, and storage rooms, surviving all of our moves and all of our yard sales. Fast forward 30+ years. Our first grandson was about to turn 3, so it was time to revive a Tonka truck. This is it’s story of renewal and restoration. imageOnce we dusted it off we realized it was still in decent condition, but it needed to be more than decent if we were going to give it to Eli, so the project began in earnest. You can see from these pictures that the rust wasn’t bad and there were no serious dents or blemishes in the metal. The plastic was still in great shape too and just needed some serious cleaning. The decals were mostly wore off and the rivets holding the bed on were loose and rusted.

imageBut overall, it was in pretty good shape and was going to be fairly easy to restore. So we jumped in and started.

Step one was the disassembly. We carefully took Continue reading