Refurbishing a Dresser into a Wine Cabinet

Back in the summer, my wife bought a dresser from a couple in Kentucky on the Longest Yard Sale for $20. The dresser wasn’t in the best shape as most of the drawers were beat up , but we decided to buy it anyway because we knew we would be able to re-purpose it into something other than a dresser.

20170114_175247

We decided to turn the dresser into a wine cabinet so I had to remove the rails from the middle of the case. I grabbed my Fein MultiMaster and cut off the tenons that attached the rails to the frame.

20170114_182131

I cleaned up the middle of the case and strengthened the case where it needed with glue and clamps.

20170114_183046

The cabinet opening was 25 1/2″ square so I designed the inside to accommodate as many wine bottles as possible. I played with different measurements until I decided on 4″ square holes to fit the wine bottles.

20170114_192909

While building a couple of grids, I test fitted them to make sure they would hold a wine bottle without falling through. I made the grids from southern yellow pine and each bar is about 3/4″ square, 12″ long with a chamfer on the front.

img_20170115_131238_044

I built the rest of the grids and tested their fit again. The cabinet would be able to hold 25 wine bottles.

img_20170115_143857_253

Since the bottom of the cabinet was now open to the floor, I added a piece of 1/4″ plywood to the base of the cabinet.

20170115_163753

And because I added the plywood to the bottom, I had to trim a 1/4″ off the bottom to all my grids. Using my panel cutter and a hand clamp, I was able to cut all the grids to the same length.

20170115_163758

After test fitting everything together, all the grids came together nicely. I installed a 1/4″ piece of plywood to the back of the grids so that the wine bottle wouldn’t fall through the back.

img_20170115_165248_517

Satisfied with the grids, I turned my attention to the drawer and glued a new piece of wood to the bottom of one side as it was damaged. The drawer wasn’t opening smoothly so this repair helped out a lot.

20170115_173721

Because the grids were freshly cut wood, I wanted to age them to match the piece, so I brushed on an apple cider vinegar and steel wool solution to darken them up.

img_20170116_165959_411

My wife painted the inside of the case black and the outside grey with milk paint to let some of the original finish show through. She then stained the top with a gel stain and applied three coats of Waterlox varnish. This cabinet is now ready for years of use under its new life.

img_20170120_171649_577

Making a Harvest Display Table

A few months ago, I built a Harvest Table for my wife to use in her booth to sell some of her antiques. You can read the blog post here. She still has that table, but she asked me to build another one for another booth she has. I went to a local antique store that sells reclaimed wood and bought a 4″ square posts and three pieces of barn wood siding. I have a picture of the wood on instagram. Unfortunately, I deleted the original photo from my phone before I uploaded it to photobucket to share here.

I started this harvest table in much the same way as the first one, turning the legs on the lathe. The major difference is that this table was turned with reclaimed birch instead of douglas fir 4×4’s that I bought at Lowe’s. Turning reclaimed lumber is probably not the smartest thing to do since you never know what the integrity of the wood is as it may snap off while on the lathe injuring you, but I thought I’d take my chances.

A couple of the pieces I wanted to turn had some nails stick stuck in the wood. I grabbed a chisel and hammer and I dug into the wood to extract all nails I could find. There were a couple of nails that were too deep to grab, so I carefully turned the leg, stopping every few strokes making sure I wasn’t near the top of the nail.

 photo 20160905_195121.jpg

While a couple of the posts had nails holes in them, the other two had old worm holes. I turned each leg the same and in the end, they were full of character. You can see the final four turned legs here.

 photo 20160905_195135.jpg

With the legs turned, I focused my attention on the top. I took the three slabs of barn wood siding and brought them together to determine how wide the top of the table could be. The boards were only 3/4″ thick and I wanted the top to be thicker, so I took some scrap OSB boards I had laying around from when I was building my shed and built a substrate for the boards.

 photo 20160904_183146.jpg

I glued and screwed the OSB to the siding gluing in the middle of the boards and screwing on the ends. The siding is so old that I figure the expansion and contraction of the wood would be very minimal. Even if they did crack, it would just add more character to the top of the table.

 photo 20160905_161649.jpg

I added some pine edging to cover up the OSB substrate underneath the top boards. Cutting the corners is where my miter trimmer comes in handy. I love that thing!

 photo 20160905_160457.jpg

Flipping the top back over, I figured out where the legs should go. I kept the design simple by using a scrap pieces of edging that were 1 3/8″ wide and making them gauges to show me where the legs should go. Easy P-easy.

 photo 20160905_162059.jpg

Next was to make the frame of table. I grabbed a 2×12 and milled it to 3/4″ thick by 5″ wide pieces and cut them to fit between the legs.

 photo 20160905_163615.jpg

I then channeled my inner Scott Phillips of The American Woodshop and used my Kreg Pocket Hole Jig and screwed the frame to the top. I was trying to build this table as quick and as easy as possible. I wasn’t trying to win a woodworking contest with this table.

 photo 20160905_170752.jpg

I still needed to attach the legs to the frame so I drilled a pilot hole in the legs and screwed in 3/8″ hanger bolts.

 photo 20160905_175850.jpg

I then simply drilled a hole in the corner brackets, fed the bolt through the hole, and tightened it in place with a nut. As the nut tightened to the corner bracket, it drove the leg tight to both sides of the frame. Attaching the legs this way makes it possible to take them off and carry it out of my basement shop.

 photo 20160905_181837.jpg

Flipping it back over, the table was built. Super simple and super fun. I posted this picture on instagram and it has been my most liked picture, ever!

 photo 20160905_195802.jpg

The final picture is the table with an antique stain applied to it. I’m happy with the way it turned out and so is my wife.

 photo 20160906_183410.jpg

Painted Apothecary Drawer

I built this apothecary drawer for a cabinet my wife bought a few months ago. You can read the post here. My wife needed to paint the drawer and make it look old to match all the other ones.

 photo 20160521_143848.jpg

The first thing she did was take a solution of white distilled vinegar with steel wool and wiped it on the drawer so it would take on an aged look.

 photo 20160719_091145.jpg

She then painted the front with white milk paint. She built up the coats to give the front some depth since the original drawers had multiple layers of paint on them. After the paint dried, she applied some green paint to front and quickly wiped it away as there was also some green highlights showing through the white paint on the original drawers.

 photo 20160717_151258.jpg

The drawer was a little too white, so she gently applied dark wax and rubbed it in. Getting a perfect match with the colors from old drawers is really hard, but she did a really good job making the new drawer blend with the others..

 photo 20160723_174215.jpg

Here’s the drawer with the rest of the them back in the cabinet. She got lucky with the hardware as she found matching pulls from a seller on eBay. She had to replace nine of the handles because when she bought the cabinet, it came with handles of two different designs.

 photo 20160724_110358.jpg

Bentley came to see which drawer was the new one, but couldn’t figure it out. Can you?

 photo 20160724_110423.jpg

Making an Apothecary Cabinet Drawer

My wife bought an apothecary cabinet that was missing one of its drawers. I took a look at how they were built and assured her that I could make another one. The drawer was about 6 1/2″ tall x 8″ wide x 7 1/2″ deep.

 photo 20160521_132458.jpg

The drawers are made of pine so I grabbed a scrap 2 x 8 and drew a couple of lines down the edges. The side of the drawers were about 3/8″ thick, while the drawer front was 3/4″ thick.

 photo 20160521_133253.jpg

I took each piece and cut kerfs down the lengths of their edges making it much easier to rip them off at the band saw. This saves the band saw’s blade and motor as it won’t have to strain as much.

 photo 20160521_133755.jpg

After they were ripped on the band saw, I took them over to the planer and sized them up to proper thickness.

 photo 20160521_134533.jpg

I made the drawer bottom out of mostly quarter sawn pine, so it wouldn’t expand and contract as much with changes in humidity. It too was about 3/8″ thick.

 photo 20160521_135708.jpg

Focusing on the front, I cut a 3/8″ x 3/8″ rabbet on each end the same thickness as the sides of the drawer.

 photo 20160521_140219.jpg

I then used my little Record plow plane and planed a 1/4″ groove down the sides and front boards that started about 7/16″ up from the bottom. This way the 3/8″ thick bottom will not rub as the drawer is being pulled in and out. You can do this step on the table saw, but I really enjoy using this little sucker.

 photo 20160521_140912.jpg

I cut a 3/8″ dado on each side of the drawer side so that the drawer back would fit nice and snug.

 photo 20160521_141719.jpg

Using my Stanley No 140 rabbet block plane, I chamfered three sides of the drawer bottom to fit inside the 1/4″ groove I plowed with my plow plane.

 photo 20160521_142406.jpg

Dry fitting the piece, I made sure everything fit properly and was square. The extra length of the drawer bottom and top of the back was quickly trimmed off at the table saw.

 photo 20160521_142850.jpg

Once everything fit well, I glued the sides and back and pinned the drawer with 18 gauge brad nails. I didn’t use any glue on the bottom as I want it to move with changes in humidity.

 photo 20160521_143848.jpg

After about an hour, I ended up with a nice little drawer for my wife’s apothecary cabinet. I’ll have to use vinegar and steel wool to age the pine. My wife will probably repaint the entire piece so the drawer front will match all the others.

 photo 20160521_145607.jpg

 

Harvest Table

A few moths ago my wife, Anita, and I picked up some old barn wood flooring in Dayton to be used for a harvest table she wanted me to build for her booth. While the wood sat in the basement, she kept looking for the right legs to use for the table. In the end, she opted for me to make some out of Douglas Fir 4×4’s I could buy from Lowe’s. She searched Pinterest for a leg she liked and printed off a picture so I could make it.

 photo ebay 014.jpg

I looked at the picture and started to turn something like it on the lathe. I kept the top of the leg similar to the picture, but changed the bottom to be a bit more simpler. After a few tweaks, I was happy with the end result. Now the challenge was to make three more legs that matched this one.

 photo ebay 017.jpg

I used a piece of scrap wood and marked every major location where there was a bead or valley in the board. I then used calipers to measure those increments and carefully tried to copy them to the next turning.

 photo ebay 019.jpg

After several minutes of careful turning, my second leg looked very similar to the first one on top. Even if the legs weren’t exactly the same, it was fine as they would be far enough away from one another that your eye wouldn’t be able to see the difference.

 photo ebay 023.jpg

If you’ve never turned Douglas Fir, I highly recommend it. It sucks..sucks bad. The crap chips like crazy even with sharp turning tools. Fortunately since the harvest table was suppose to look old, the chips wouldn’t be a big deal.

 photo ebay 022.jpg

After a couple of hours, I turned four legs that sort of looked like one another. The final step was to put them back on the lathe and use my parting tool to cut them at all the same length which was 30″ tall.

 photo ebay 026.jpg

The simplest part about building the harvest table was actually building it. I simply screwed the skirt onto the legs using 2″ screws. I didn’t even bother plugging the holes.

 photo ebay 028.jpg

I used cleats and pocket hole screws to keep the sides from bowing. I then attached the top onto the cleats using 1 1/4″ screws. Super simple.

 photo ebay 029.jpg

This was the table before sanding the grime off the boards.

 photo ebay 031.jpg

This is the table after a couple coats of white milk paint.

 photo blog 002_8.jpg

As you can see, once sanded, the milk paint gives the table a nice worn look. Even though this table breaks three of the seven deadly sins of woodworking, it works for it’s intended purpose. Just don’t expect to see it in a woodworking magazine anytime soon. All that matters is that Anita is very happy with it and finally has the harvest table she has always wanted.

 photo blog 003_10.jpg

Bathroom Cabinet

My wife, Anita, came to me a couple of months ago saying she wanted a new bathroom cabinet. I made one when we remodeled the bathroom nine years ago, but for some reason, I made it rather narrow and too deep. It was only 24″ wide by 18″ deep. The cabinet worked, just not that well. Anita loves going to Ikea so when she came home with a brochure of a cabinet she saw in their showroom, I looked at it. It was a Hemnes cabinet for $329.00. I immediately thought to myself “that’s basically a box with doors. I can make a box with doors for a lot less than $329.00”. That’s the downside of marrying a woodworker. We always want to make a piece of furniture rather than buy it. The good thing, is we usually can make it for a lot less and customize the dimensions to fit our needs.

HEMNES Cabinet with panel/glass door IKEA Solid wood has a natural feel.

I convinced Anita that I could make the cabinet quick enough that she wouldn’t have to wait six months for it to be completed. I also told her I could make it 32″ wide as opposed to 36″ so the cabinet wouldn’t cover up part of our heat register in the bathroom. A few days later, we went to Home Depot and bought a  1/2″ thick of birch plywood for about $50.00. I cut the sheet down for 11 1/4″ wide to be used for all the parts. Once I got the sides cut, I routed a couple of 1/2″ wide dadoes in the sides for the bottom and middle shelf of the cabinet. I then used a jig made from peg board to bore the shelf pin holes on each side.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I cut the bottom and middle shelf to size and stapled them to the sides with my 1/4″ pneumatic stapler. Because I was going to apply 1/4″ thick x 2″ wide trim around the sides of the cabinet to act as a faux frame and panel, I wasn’t concerned about the driver marks in the wood made from the stapler.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Next, I glued the 1/4″ x 2″ wood trim to the sides. Because I still needed to put a 3/4″ face frame  on the front, the trim on the front side of the cabinet was only 1 1/4″ wide, not 2″. You can see in the picture how the trim on the right (the back) is wider than the trim on the left (the front).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Next I glued the 3/4″ face frame to the carcass. I used pocket hole joinery to attach the stiles to the rails. This was a super easy cabinet to build.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I added glue block to the inside top of the cabinet where I could screw the top to the carcass.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

I wrote a post a few weeks ago where I described how I stretched a board to size after I cut a board too short. You can read it here. This is the board for the top of the cabinet being glued up after it was stretched.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

In the end, we decided not to add doors to the cabinet, but instead use baskets with open shelving. The woven baskets give the piece more character rather than having an entirely white cabinet with doors that would cover up the bottom shelves. We now have more room in the bathroom as the cabinet is only 12″ deep and is a lot more stylish.

20170820_213154

Revamped Dining Room Table and Chairs

As promised, I decided to throw up some before and after pictures of the dining room table and chairs my wife and I have been working on for the past few months. As you can see, the $10 chairs Anita picked up at a thrift store weren’t that attractive, but she saw the potential in them.

 photo chairs.jpg

A little bit of chisel work, paint and new fabric brought them from the ’70’s into the new millennium. Anita picked out the fabric at IKEA in order to save some money so the chairs end up being super cheap.

 photo chairs3.jpg

My farmhouse table I made twelve years ago was a massive beast, but it served it’s purpose. After replacing the top with 2×10’s and reducing the width of the table, it fit better in the room.

 photo 20150713_192149.jpg

In the end, the chairs and table look great with the decor of the room. I’m not sure if the Windsor chairs at the ends of the table will stay, but for now they provide extra seating for when we have company over (which is never).

 photo table_1.jpg

Revamping Ugly Dining Chairs

The remodeling of our dining room continues. This time with new chairs. My wife was never that fond of the Windsor chairs I made about twelve years ago, so she bought four french style caned back chairs at a local thrift store for $10.00 each. They were in good shape, the only issue with them was that they had an ugly ass imitation claw bubble design thing on the front legs. Honestly, I have no idea what they were suppose to be or how they made the chair look more formal, but they were ugly.

 photo 20150524_110441.jpg

My wife Anita and I both agreed they had to go so I took out my low angle block plane and some files and I shaved away the bubbles on all four sides of the front legs. Since Anita was going to paint the chairs, it wasn’t a big deal that the original finish was removed exposing the bare wood.

 photo 20150523_215818.jpg

After Anita painted the chairs white, I made a template for the seats with 1/4″ hard board. I simply traced around the chair with the hard board on top and cut it out on my band saw. I had to pay attention to the two notches in the back of the chair seat so that when Anita put fabric on the seat, they would still fit.

 photo 20150822_171934.jpg

I didn’t have scrap 3/4″ plywood lying around in my shop, but I did have the original oak plywood top from my dining table I revamped last month. I removed some of the extra plywood around the edges where it thickened up the top and laid out my seat pattern on the board. I then used my jig saw to cut the seats out.

 photo 20150822_173649.jpg

After a little fiddling, the seats fit well to the chair frames.

 photo 20150822_184445.jpg

The rest of the work was in Anita’s hands. She used the seat bottom to trace around the batting for the chair and cut it using a pair of sharp scissors.

 photo 20150822_184924.jpg

 photo 20150823_105217.jpg

Then she started to staple the fabric on with upholstery staples. She used a Senco pneumatic stapler to make the job go much quicker.

 photo 20150823_121400.jpg

Here is one of the chairs finished. I have to admit, it looks a lot better than the Windsor chairs I made a few years ago. Once she finishes all four chairs, I’ll post some pictures that show the revamped chairs along with the revamped table together as a set.

 photo 20150823_123327.jpg

Revamping a Dining Table

About twelve years ago I built a dining table from the plans out of Woodsmith magazine. While it served it’s purpose, it wasn’t exactly the nicest thing in the house. I made the top out of a piece of low-grade oak plywood that I bought at Home Depot. Not only that, but the table was huge being 44″ wide. My wife Anita asked if I could make a new one, or at least make a new top that was more in style. We decided that making a new top out of southern yellow pine and try weathering it making it look aged.

 photo 20150713_192149.jpg

The easy part was buying four 2 x 10’s, ripping them 9″ wide by six feet long and gluing them together. After they were glued, I planed the tops of the boards straight removing all the mill marks in the process.

 photo 20150713_181813.jpg

After the top was planed and sanded with 150 grit sandpaper, Anita applied mixture of steel wool and apple cider vinegar onto the boards to tone down the yellowness of the southern yellow pine.

 photo blog 002_4.jpg

We thought it would be a good idea to stain the top while it was already on the table. I removed the original top of the table and flipped over the base onto the new top to decide how much I would need to cut the sides down.

 photo blog 004_6.jpg

After messing around with the legs for a few minutes, I decide that the sides should be 24″ wide.

 photo blog 005_6.jpg

I cut the sides to 24″ and rerouted the dado on both boards for the corner brackets. I then used pocket screws to re-attach the sides to the legs.

 photo blog 006_2.jpg

Using metal corner brackets, I simply attached the top to the base. The new top made the table look more like a farm table.

 photo blog 008_1.jpg

Anita then stained the table with Special Walnut, then Classic Gray stain from Minwax.

 photo 1437251379798.jpg

Once dry, she applied hemp oil and gave the top a good waxing. She then painted the base with grey chalk paint. When done, it looked like a completely different table.

 photo 20150724_171103.jpg

A close up the table you can see how the southern yellow pine took on a deep rich tone. You can also see how the original black paint shows through the grey paint after Anita sanded the base a little bit. This has been one of those projects we should have done years ago.

 photo 20150724_171113.jpg

Updating a Hallway

The past few days, Anita and I have been working on finishing up the dining room and hallway. After I struggled to throw up the crown molding, attaching chair rail felt like childs play. The trickiest part was coping both ends at the end of the hallway.

 photo hallway1.jpg

After the chair rail was nailed up, I attached the rectangular boxes I made with my molding planes. Then Anita caulked and painted everything white on the bottom, and a light grey on top. She bought a custom rug from Pottery Barn that fits the hallway nicely. Now she plans on hanging some pictures on the wall and get a new light fixture to spruce things up. This was a cheap and easy way to make a hallway look more elegant.

 photo hallway2.jpg

Here is a close up of the faux wainscoting boxes I made. They add quite a bit of detail to the walls.

 photo hallway3.jpg