Where Have I Been?

Looking at the post previous to this it seems that I’ve been absent for 2 months. I figured I’d share why. Avid readers may notice some changes in site layout. All the creative writing pages have been condensed into 1 page. Movie reviews will no longer be on a separate page, but instead included right here on the main feed. A new page has been added, simply titled Podcast.  This has been one of my new projects taking up a chunk of my time. The podcast is titled Passion Project and it is an exploration of what people love. There are 4 epiosodes out with the 5th arriving this week. Topics our guests have covered include sound design, photography, content creation, and Nintendo, with Jazz guitar soon to follow. Pop over to that page and check it out. 

Another project which has taken up a lot of my time is woodworking. I know this isn’t my typical area (the website isn’t called Wood For Weirdos) but I figured I’d share what projects I’ve been up to incase anyone is interested. 

In the past couple months I’ve done 3 wood working projects. The first was a custom picture frame I made from old shelves I had around the house. I needed the frame for a puzzle. 

Not sure the type of wood. Used a table saw and a mitre box for the cuts. To fasten the pieces together I drilled holes for dowels, hit it with some glue, and hammered it all together. I hit it with a coat of gray wash stain and rubbed some of it off to give it a slight rustic look.  No bevels because I didn’t want any of the puzzle images covered. The puzzle sits within the the frame, held in place with a backing.

Using that same old shelf, I made an address sign with a planter box for my house. One of the old numbers fell off so I figured I’d take the opportunity to create something new and different. 

This piece was a bit easier to make, and the process went smoother now that I had some practice. I used a kreg jig and screws to fasten the parallel back pieces together, and to secure the frame of the planter to the back. This was my first experience with a kreg jig, but I found it simple to use and helpful. Once those pieces were settled, I used some glue and finishing nail to secure the face of the planter to the frame. Once all the wood filler settled, I sanded everything and gave it all a coat of dark stain. After that, I spayed it down with spar urethane. For the numbers I followed the directions on the packaging. The hardware for the float mount was a tad longer than the wood was thick (should have checked that before), but I made it work. To hang, I used heavy duty, outdoor 3M strips, and haven't had any issues. Grabbed a few small plants and popped them in there. I got the basic design idea from Shanty 2 Chic, but modified it to work for me.

My last project was a mantel for my fireplace. The previous owners painted the wall and the centered fireplace all a chocolate brown. Which was fine, but it needed an update. Along with changing the wall color and using a separate color on the fireplace, I decided to create a new mantel because the old was…well, old. I headed to the internet for ideas and came across Addicted 2 Decorating. Again, I used a modified version of the design to fit my fireplace and style. Unfortunately, I didn't think to take a before picture (aside from the old mantel) until after the project was in progress. Here are some photos of the mantel in various stages.

Top left was the original mantel. I was going to refinish it, but the sanding process proved more arduous than anticipated. Top center was the wood I picked up from Home Depot. Nothing special—3 cheap pieces long enough to create the new mantel. Top center shows the completed frame of the mantel during the assembling process. The frame was made of two side pieces topped with the face and nailed in place. Again, I used a table saw for all the cuts. Those pieces, and all the others, were attached using finishing nails. Once the "u" shape was settled I measured and cut pieces to fill in the sides—essentially making a lidless box. After all the glue and wood filler was dry, I sanded the entire thing using an electric hand sander using 60, 120, then 400 grit sandpaper to make it as smooth as possible. To give a solid piece of wood look, I covered both ends with a sheet of wood veneer to hide the seems; I sanded that as well to look more concise. The bottom left picture was the mantel stained. I did two coats with the same stain I used for the address planter because it matched preexisting shelves around the fireplace. After the stain, I did two coats of polyurethane. That was it! I used the system already in place from the old mantel to mount this one. You can see the finished product in the last two pictures.

Overall these projects were a fun learning experience. Each one presented new challenges, and opportunities to practice techniques I learned along the way. Although it has always interested me, I've never done any woodworking before, so this was a completely new experience. I don't have any new projects lined up, but I definitely have more ideas.

That being said, expect more classic Words For Weirdos content coming soon and regularly. Passion Project is roughly a third of the way through the first season, so keep a look out for new episodes every two weeks. Let me know what you think of the projects below, and head over to Apple Podcasts to rate, review, and subscribe to Passion Project. Thanks for reading, and Keep on Creepin'.