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Woodworking

 

Woodworking is a very rewarding activity that can produce furniture, cabinets and other items that can be made a part of your home with pride.  The results of my woodworking activity are shown in the photos below.

When creating with wood I strive to avoid any nail holes or other imperfections that would mar the appearance of the final product.  Major joints, such as table legs, are made with tenon and mortise joinery.  Joints with less exposure to stress use biscuit joinery.  

The key to a fine piece of woodwork is the finish.  I do some initial sanding before the piece is assembled then a final sanding after it is assembled.  Much of this is done with a random orbit sander.  When two pieces of wood do not match perfectly (one protrudes above the other) I use a cabinet scraper to create a flat even surface prior to sanding.  If a smooth, pore free surface is required, a filler is applied and sanded smooth.  

After sanding is complete the surface receives two or three applications of stain to achieve the desired colour.  Stain is applied with a cloth covered pad or cheese cloth.  Multiple coats of polyurethane are a  applied to seal and protect the wood surface.  Once the polyurethane is dry I go over the surface lightly with a  scraper then by hand with 220 grit or finer sandpaper, steel wool and if a very fine, smooth finish is required, pumice and rottenstone.  The surface then receives a coat of paste wax and is puffed.

The results:

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China cabinets                  Fireplace                              Coffee table

Kitchen

I completely remodeled our kitchen making maximum use of all available space and including features to make it as functional as possible.

We started by installing a pocket door between the dining Room and kitchen.   This allows the kitchen to be closed off while we are dining.  The wiring and plumbing that had to be moved to accommodate the pocket door resulted in the decision to replace all of the wiring in the kitchen to eliminate the existing aluminum wire.

A convection/microwave with a range vent was installed over the stove.  This was vented outside.

New cabinets were built to replace the existing ones.  Some of the features included in the cabinets are:

  • All drawers are on full extension sliders so the entire contents of the drawer is visible

  • There are no doors/shelves in the lower cabinets.  There is one lazy-suzan and 21 drawers.  The cutlery drawer has a two level insert, the top slides back to reveal stuff in the lower tray.

  • The narrow unit next to the microwave is a pull-out spice rack.

  • The narrow unit next to the stove is used to hang frying pans.  It pulls out on sliders to allow easy access.

  • Four lower drawers are deep enough to hold cooking pots.

  • The sink has a normal size sink on each side and a small one in the center which has the garberater installed below it.  Cutting boards were made out of the countertop material to fit into the large sinks. 

  • There are two pullout  units below the sink.  One is for the trash container, the other for cleaning stuff, tea towels, etc.  There are two flip out units in front of the sink for small, frequently used things.

  • The unit above the fridge contains dividers and is used to store baking pans, cutting boards and other large flat items.

  • The pantry, next to the fridge is a double unit construction.  The lower unit is a pull-out shelf used to contain recycling containers.  The top contains adjustable shelves to accommodate various items.  The lower shelf pulls out to allow easy access to heavier appliances.  

  • Shelves in upper cabinets are adjustable.  All doors are on European style hinges.

  • A vacuum dustpan, connected to the central vac, was installed in the kick plate under the side of the pantry.  When the floor is swept the sweepings are pushed up to this unit, it is turned on and everything disappears.  

  • Ethernet (data) cables were run from my office to the kitchen and basement to provide internet access from anywhere in the house.

           

Pocket door       Main counter         Stove                    Pantry

Front Entrance

The original front entrance of our house was small and poorly lit.  To fix this we moved the front door out to incorporate the external front porch that existed and removed the wall that formally contained the front door.  As well, we opened up the stair well and installed an oak banister.

                                   

    Original                   New front                 Hallway              Entrance interior               Staircase