December 31, 2013

New video posted!

December 20, 2013

Cut list for the 2x4 crate

I had somebody on YouTube ask for cut list for the 2x4 crate so I just added a PDF to the downloads section of my website.  You can find it here:

Just scroll down to the picture of the 2x4 crate.

November 7, 2013

Cutting dimensions for the full size ice chest cooler box

I've been practicing more in Sketchup and have learned how to add dimensions to all the parts.  I made up a .PDF with some cutting dimensions and added it under the cooler box picture in the downloads page.  Check them out and let me know what you think! 

I want to try and figure out how to make a cut list showing the boards with the pieces cut out of them but that is going to be my next big learning project.

October 13, 2013

My first sketchup of the rocking chair cradle

I mentioned in one of my VLOG's a couple of weeks ago that I am going to make a rocking chair cradle for my brother and his wife who are expecting their first child in January. I am hoping to have it completed by Christmas.  I have finished my first draft of the project in Sketchup.  I expect to be making some design changes as I mock it up but this is what I am starting out with.  I have no idea what kind of joinery I am going to use yet or if those rocker bottoms will even work.  It should be interesting...


September 29, 2013

My first bandsaw box

I've had the  bandsaw for a while now so I figured that it was finally time to make a bandsaw box.  All the bandsaw boxes out there are all curved and graceful looking so I wanted to see if I could make one all boxy with a square drawer.  I couldn't be bothered to glue anything together so I grabbed a well used and abused piece of scrap 2x4.  Here is the result.

I forgot to take any pictures while I was actually cutting it so here it is all cut up.

The first thing I did was to cut the back off.

I then cut the top and the bottom off.

September 17, 2013

Project - How to build a 5 board bench

My sister recently bought a used table on Craigslist but it only came with 3 chairs so she asked me to make her one.  Her only request was that it be 17" tall and flat black to match the other chairs.  I did some looking around on the web and found the traditional 5 board bench design.  I also found Charles Neil's video on YouTube and figured that I could build a variation on that design.  It also gave me an excuse to try out the new bandsaw. You can download a free sketchup file of this project in the downloads section of this site and you can also watch a video of me building it here:

I started by cutting the legs to rough length using my little cordless saw.  I don't feel safe cutting
pieces that long on my contractor table saw.

I then cut them to length and width on the tablesaw.

Here are all the pieces cut to size.  There is 1 extra 1x6 in this picture because I was originally
going to put a support shelf under the seat but the legs are slightly bowed and it didn't match
up when I cut the shelf straight so I decided not to use it.

September 3, 2013

New project started, a modified version of a 5 board bench!

I started a new project this weekend.  My sister asked me to make her a bench so I did some searching and decided to make a modified version of a 5 board bench.  Here are a couple pictures of it held together with clamps.  Look for a full build post coming soon!

August 23, 2013

I am so excited! Somebody made a cooler box from my free plans!

The other day I got a message from Chris Dunn on Facebook.  He sent in a picture of a small foam cooler box that he made from my plans!  He is officially the first person to build one of my projects and share the picture with me!  Good job Chris!

James Smith made this larger one based off the plans from the prototype!

August 21, 2013

The Ice Chest/Cooler box is finished!

I finished up the cooler box!  It still needs some staining but I finished it enough for the video.  I'm almost done with the video as well.  It just needs the voice overs recorded and then it will be ready to post!

August 17, 2013

The ice chest cooler box is almost done!

In the last post I had cut all the pieces to size and glued the legs and clamped the pieces up to dry.  I got pretty sick so they ended up in the clamps for about 5 days and dried out pretty good.  I took them out of the clamps and put a chamfer on all the sides that needed it.  I sanded everything to 60 grit to lessen the chance of splinters.  It was then just a matter of gluing and screwing everything together.
I love my new Craftsman router table.  I am so glad that I returned that Ryobi table.

These are for the bottom shelf so they got a chamfer all around.

Sanding is the bane of my existence....

All ready for assembly!

I started with the short end.

Then I put on the front and back.

I like this one much better with the bottom shelf.

The lid is all glued up and clamped overnight.

August 8, 2013

Ice Chest/Cooler box update

Well, I've been under the weather for the last few days and haven't done much with the cooler box build.  I got all the pieces cut to length and then ripped to width last Friday.  While I was ripping them I noticed that they were still very wet so I clamped them together and left them on my workbench to dry.  I tried to go out once a day and rotate the middle boards to the outside.  2 days ago I went ahead and took them all out of the clamps and spread them across the bench to finish drying.  I went out last night and glued up the legs so that I could start sanding all the pieces today.  While I was laying out all the pieces for the legs I noticed that they were really rocking up and down on the bench but they didn't seem that warped. I took a closer look and discovered that the hardboard top of my bench seemed to have sucked up a bunch of that extra moisture and warped between all the screws holding it down!  This was totally unexpected!  I live in Southern California so I'm hoping that it will dry out in the next few days on it's own.  If not then I will just go down and buy another $5 piece of hardboard and replace it.

You can also watch my VLOGS about the project here:

Here are all the pieces cut down to size but still very very wet

We sawdust went everywhere

I clamped them all together to try and avoid some of the warping and twisting

I unclamped them to let them finish drying out

The hardboard top on my workbench found some of that moisture!

It's hard to see in this pictures but it is pretty much warped between all the screws.

July 31, 2013

I'm starting a new project tomorrow...

And by a new project I mean that I am building an old project but in a bigger size.  I am making another Ice Chest/Cooler box but this time with a full-size ice chest with a drain.  You can see the original prototype build here:

I found a good size ice chest on sale at Target the other day and plan on making this new cooler box for my Father's for his birthday.  This one will be bigger than the old one, have handles on the sides, a drain spigot, a bottom shelf, and a bottle opener mounted to the front.  I also plan on sanding and staining this one.

It's a little bigger than I had planned on using but you can't beat it for $22.09

I had a devil of a time finding one without wheels that had a drain plug.

The handle hardware should come right off using those screws

Same for the rear hinges

July 23, 2013

Looking for my next project

I just got the good news that my brother's wife is pregnant and they are expecting at the beginning of January.  I've been looking for a good time to make a rocking chair cradle and this looks like it.  It's going to be a big project but I don't plan on starting it for a couple of months.  In the mean time I would like to start working on something but I have no ideas right now.  I've thought about making a bread box but I have no space to put one in.  My wife wants some shelves in the playroom but that is going to be an expensive project and I'm not sure that I want to put the money into it right now.

What projects is everybody working on right now?  Please post them down in the comment section.

July 14, 2013

The Lego Travel case is done!

I finished the Lego case on Friday morning and we gave it to my son on Saturday afternoon at his birthday party.  He likes it very much.  As always, I learned a lot from this project and I look forward to my next one.

July 11, 2013

I have a question about proper terminology

I made a little vinyl logo for my son's lego case saying "handcrafted by Donald LeBlanc".  I posted a video on Keek about it and another user brought up a good question.  I used power tools to make the case and a vinyl cutting machine for the lettering.  Is it really considered hand crafted?  If that is not the proper term then what is?  I am leaning towards "custom made".

July 10, 2013

Quick update on the Lego travel case

I was gone most of last week on vacation so I didn't get to work on the case much but I got a lot done the last couple of days.  I stopped by Rockler and picked up 2 hinges, 2 clasps, and a handle for it.  I go them all in bronze because that was the only color that I could find all the pieces in.  I would have preferred the aged nickel but oh well.  The outside of the case has 3 coats of Danish oil and now 2 coats of Polyurethane.  The inside tray has 2 coats of Danish oil that needs 1 more day of drying time.  It will then get 2 coats of poly as well.  I trimmed the Lego plates down to fit the inside of the case and have some self adhesive sheets of felt for the insides of the case and the bottom of the tray.  Everything should be ready for my son's party on Saturday.  If all goes according to plan I should have a video out on Monday for the project.