Progress pics on the western style doors.

Cut out the top and bottom 3/4” birch ply with the jig saw (after both my bandsaw and scroll saw blades broke). Sanded all the edges and curves on the disc and drum, then took a template router bit across it to match the second panel. I’m getting a lot more comfortable with the router.

Next step was to cut the tenons with the dado stack. Set to 1/4” and a lot of tweaking to get the tenon thickness correct.

Then I grilled some chicken and veggies.

So later on, I’ll set up the same 1/4” dado for a 3/4” deep groove on the interior of all of these pieces for the center panels. If I’m feeling adventurous, I may go over the edges with an ogee or something to make them look a little more fancy. Then it’s sanding, staining and some poly. Total cost will be around $50, I think.

The finished doors will be 3.5x2’ at their tallest point. Weird dimensions, but they should fit in the existing door frame nicely. I plan to use eye hooks and L screws to secure the doors. They probably won’t close automatically like the saloon doors in movies, but kids fingers have less chance of getting smashed that way.

Plans drawn for the next project: western style doors. Hopefully starting tomorrow night. I’ll be crossing a camp project off my list and practicing some joinery on the table saw at the same time.

Plans drawn for the next project: western style doors. Hopefully starting tomorrow night. I’ll be crossing a camp project off my list and practicing some joinery on the table saw at the same time.

Instead of making stuff in my workshop, all my time has gone into getting our rental rentable again. Here are some pics of a few of the individual projects.

Let me start by saying that I am a reluctant landlord. I’m a victim of the housing bubble and was swindled by the mortgage and banking industries, and followed the temporarily outdated advice of every previous generation that knew it was better to own than rent. So I bought a house in 2007. The market tanked 2 or 3 years later and we moved locations for personal reasons around the same time. we were underwater almost from day 1, so there was no way we could sell and move. So we kept it and moved and I became a landlord and property manager in addition to my day job. this is not a profitable rental. I need someone to rent my former home so that I can pay off my underwater mortgage long enough for the housing prices to rise to a point where I can sell it at an acceptable amount of loss. I like this house. It was our first home. We put a lot of love and money into it to make it what we wanted. Our first tenants were great. 3 years, never late and never missed a payment. Our second set of tenants weren’t like that. I had to hire a property manager, go through the whole legal thing and have them evicted. Making things even worse, they didn’t take care of the property. So once they were gone, their mess remained to be cleaned up. That’s been my night and weekend job for the past month or so, so that we can get it back on the rental market ASAP so as to not double-mortgage ourselves for too long.

First of all, there was a ton of furniture left in the property after the eviction. We took a sawzall with a wrecking blade to the couches and tossed everything off the back deck. I did my best to smash everything I threw off with the next item. 2 dressers, 4 night stands, a bunk bed and a mattress, a couch, a loveseat and a chair. (I took the 2 CRT TVs and a monitor to the recycling plant). There were also numerous trashbags filled with trash left all over the house. In every corner and under everything there were piles of trash. Empty bottles, pieces of toys, this and that. Just trash. I’m not going to even get into what was left in the kitchen. In short, after the bulk was removed, we had to have the entire house professionally cleaned. The trash collection is awesome in the neighborhood and they took everything the first week (and didn’t fine me for the bulk).

I know it’s not uncommon for tenants to treat a rental as if it’s not really their home, just as “4 walls that they live in”, so some drawing on the walls, scuffs handprints or whatever is to be expected… to a point, maybe even with some evidence that someone tried to clean up after their kids at some point. Our property required fresh paint in every room. So that’s what we did, but before that, all the walls needed to be washed and all the trim gone over with a mr clean magic eraser. All 3 bedrooms upstairs, the hallway, the stairs the living room and dining room all got a fresh coat of paint.

The closet door at the base of the steps had a hole punched in it. this happens sometimes when tenants are evicted. Much better than other things evicted tenants have been known to do, but it’s still a pain to fix. i had to get a new door, trim it to size, route out the hinges, drill holes for the new knob and install it, then paint it to match the trim.

The bathroom door was also off its lower hinges. The upper was held on my molly bolts. Yes, molly bolts inside a hollow door bolted to the hinge. So I had to cut through those to remove the door. Once down, I found a “screw holes” the size of my pinky finger to fill. I did this with toothpicks and wood glue then flush cut after it dried and reinstalled with course threaded screws. Seems to be holding up fine now.

The front screen door, installed less than 12 months previously was torn off its hinges and the mitered corner was broken. Most people see this as a 100% loss and replacement required. After examining it, I found that there was no damage to the glass, frame or hinge other than the mitered corner being separated. I figured I may be able to salvage it with some L shaped corner brackets and auto piercing screws. i did this, then reinstalled the door, as well as a new pneumatic closer and wind chain so that the “wind” would not damage the door again as it was said to have done previously. Probably saved about $150 on that job, after replacement parts.

The previous tenants had a cat and the urine smell never went away despite numerous enzymatic cleanings and neutralizers. I actually had to remove the tiles under the stairs and bleach everything several times. It’s finally back to “acceptable” as far as basements go. This is a “finished” basement, but I wouldn’t really call it living space. More of a storage area. It has also flooded with every heavy rain from a leaking foundation. I think I’ve finally knocked that out with expanding foam and a penetrating self leveling caulk. Time will tell, bit everything was dry in yesterday’s rain.

There were some boards missing from the floor near the back door since the previous owners put in the deck and sliding door. My FIL had a few matching spares that he found somewhere, so we finished off that long forgotten project.

All of the light bulbs were out. well, almost. Every other fixture had maybe 1 working bulb in it. I don’t know if they took them when they left or actually managed to break or burn out every bulb in the 6ish months they lived there. Not a huge deal, but seriously? Who goes through that many light bulbs in 6 months? Likewise, all the smoke alarms were disassembled. You’d think with kids in the house, you’d want to wake up if there was a fire and save their lives? Who knows. I’m not a parent. But incase my next tenants are (and to pass inspection) I replaced all the batteries and reassembled them.

The kitchen pendant lights were broken and/or not working. I didn’t feel like continually having to replace the halogens, so I replaced them all with spotlights and regular bulbs. I did not repair the under cabinet lights. Most of them work, but whenever they all stop, they’re either gone or I’ll switch to some extremely inexpensive solution. No more halogens. Sorry. Tenants just don’t take care of nice things, so I’m not providing them anymore.

The kitchen faucet was slow. No idea why since all other water pressure is great. I took the pull out nozzle apart, cleaned it out and found various “old pipe” crap stuck in it. no surprise, the neighborhood has old pipes. I can’t imagine what is stuck in the bottom of the water heater and how inefficient it is. fingers crossed that holds out a while.

Speaking of faucets, the basement faucet was pretty well shot. it’s a utility tub and the faucet has a sort of snap ring and O ring combo to hold it in place. The snap ring had deteriorated to its breaking point and the whole thing popped off while I was trying to clean up the cat smell. So I had to replace that whole assembly.

Still in the plumbing world, in the upstairs bathroom, The toilet flange bolts were loose and the tank was rocking, so we had to take everything apart and redo it. The bathroom sink pop up drain stopper was removed (no idea why) so I had to reattach that. Thankfully all the parts were still there. The tub was stopped up, so we snaked it. it’s always been slow, but it was close to stopped.

Replaced all the blinds, spackled all the picture holes… There are probably a few other things I am forgetting, but it’s been a solid month of work. Redonkulous that I had to do it. redonkulous that people take so little care of something that you’ve entrusted to them. That they are legally obligated to pay for and take care of. That they care so little about the consequences. That they can’t act like adults. That they are responsible for children what their children are learning from them.

On to better things and better people.

Today is a Big Dog day.

Today is a Big Dog day.

saltandsteel:

“There is no substitute for hard work." - T. Edison
Salt&Steel

Too many people confuse “hard work” with “working hard”. There is something to be said about using only hand tools. It’s traditional and admirable, but one can’t deny that there is a time and place for power tools, just as there is an appropriate time for hand tools. Those proponents of the “handmade” local artisan culture that has sprung up with the advent of internet marketing should recognize that their elitist attitude towards those who choose to diversify their work practices by enhancing their skill set with power tools are effectively discriminating against those with a similar affinity for craft and workmanship, but who practice it in a different manner. Let’s all be open minded towards the craftsmanship of others, even if they don’t use Japanese chisels or vintage hand planes.

saltandsteel:

There is no substitute for hard work." - T. Edison

Too many people confuse “hard work” with “working hard”.

There is something to be said about using only hand tools. It’s traditional and admirable, but one can’t deny that there is a time and place for power tools, just as there is an appropriate time for hand tools.

Those proponents of the “handmade” local artisan culture that has sprung up with the advent of internet marketing should recognize that their elitist attitude towards those who choose to diversify their work practices by enhancing their skill set with power tools are effectively discriminating against those with a similar affinity for craft and workmanship, but who practice it in a different manner.

Let’s all be open minded towards the craftsmanship of others, even if they don’t use Japanese chisels or vintage hand planes.

(via orcamesh)

here’s the latest with the table saw router wing. progress has been really slow, sorry. i got about 30 minutes of work in this week since the rental property is back on the market and needed (/still needs) some work. 

i’ll be cutting some channels with the router for the 5/16 bolts to attach the wing to the tablesaw, but didn’t feel that ambitious. so i decided to just drill the holes that the 5/16 bolts will go through. the challenge is that they have to be perfectly parallel with the table surface, or else when tightened, it’ll shift the level of the router wing out of sync with the table saw surface. 

i picked up a super huge 5/16 drill bit to drill the deep holes that i’ll need for the bolts. the whole idea here is to have a lot of MDF surface for the bolts to grab on to. i had this drill guide for another project, so i decided to give it a try. it’s not great, but probably better than freehand. there is a picture of the drill setup with gigantic bit and an action shot. 

next step, when i get a few hours will be to route out the channels for the bolts/nuts, then install the bolts/nuts and attach the wing to the table saw. 

the main challenge (which is causing me to route out channels for the bolts) is that i can’t find a long enough 5/16 flat head machine screw. i guess i could order one, but i hate paying more in shipping than the actual item costs. 

bl77:

Engineers vice finds a new home.

My Engineers vice has sat neglected on the garage floor awaiting me to mount it on my workbench. It is only used occasionally, so I decided to attach it to a jig that can easily be attached and removed from bench. I made use of the dog holes I have in the bench, using dowl pegs to locate the vice. I then secure it with a screw through the jig and into the front apron of the bench.

I need to do exactly this with an unsecured vice.

(via orcamesh)

janimalia:

Interesting Mechanisms

I love this in a way that I cannot describe.

(via orcamesh)

Here’s the latest on the router table extension. Trimmed the wooden frame to fit the reduced width of the table top. Then cut a nice piece of 3/4” MDF to go inside. Drilled out the 4 corners and rough cut the waste out with a jigsaw, then went back over it with my behemoth 2” flush trim bit on the router. Looks great and I think it’s coming along nicely.

The 3/4” MDF does add a bit more heft to the table, hopefully that’s not a problem. since the whole point of the extra layer is something for the bolts to hold on to, I realized after I finished that I could have simply cut 2 strips and put them on either side. Would have saved time materials and weight. But overall, I’m happy with my work and I had fun in the shop.

woodworkerted:

orcinus24x5:

Toolbox porn!

Awesome!

Nice set, but a little too clean for me. Looks like someone got $1000 for their birthday and went shopping at Home Depot.