Feeling Proud

My end table is completely done now! Over the course of 7 months, it took me 67 hours, but someone with experience (and who’s not a perfectionist) could definitely build more quickly. I was finally able to pay for my materials, and those cost about $50. It was $85 for the course, and I also paid for another year at the club, which was about $50 too. Add to that a bit more for a couple of things like glue, and I’ve spent almost $200 for wood hobby club, but I think it was totally worth it!

The club is closed for the summer ’cause it gets too hot in there. Everyone will be out enjoying the good weather instead and I’ll be busy building the shell of the house. Come winter or next spring, hopefully I’ll be back in the club building my custom kitchen cabinets and storage solutions 🙂

Here it is, all sealed, cured, and filled with many tiny-house-related things:

My energy usage monitor, papers from wood hobby, my wood hobby membership card, and an empty photo album I plan to fill with pictures of the process of building the end table.

All my tiny house books and the little box that holds my purple wind chime.

All my tiny house books and the little box that holds my purple wind chime.

I added foam to the corners of the door, so now it closes much more quietly.

I added foam to the corners of the door, so now it closes much more quietly.

I love it!

I love it!

Tiny house videos and all my papers related to the tiny house.

And on top, tiny house videos and all my papers related to the tiny house.


Sanded and Sealed

I’ve spent the last week finishing my end table. I decided not to stain it, partly because I like the light colour of the pine, and partly because I was too impatient (and lazy) to do the extra step. Luckily, my mum had left-over sealer from her projects, so I just used that:

It's $50 a can!

It’s $50 a can!

One afternoon, my mum helped me prep the end table. I sanded edges and scratches while she used some wood filler and scrap wood to fill in some gaps in the raised panel door. I’m so glad she did that part; I would get way too frustrated with that sort of thing. Then, learning from Mum’s experience sanding and sealing her 8+ pieces, I used our air compressor to blow out all the sawdust and I wiped the whole thing down with a microfiber cloth. Then I applied sealer to half of my upside-down end table and drawer. After work, I flipped them over and did the other half. I repeated those steps for the second coat, but sanding took longer because I sanded every inch of the end table by hand instead of just doing touch-ups. Then I did the same for the third coat, except I skipped sanding and applying a third coat to most of the interior of the drawer space. It was a pain to reach into, and the brush was slightly too long to easily apply the sealer in the tight space. My mum and I hacked off the end of the brush’s handle with a hand saw to make it fit at all. The second coat is still smooth, and it will be protected on the inside.

It’s a good idea to let the sealer cure for about a week before putting anything on it, so I can’t use it yet. It doesn’t look much different, but here it is!

The beautiful top that I made!

The beautiful top that I made!

It took me about another twelve and a half hours to do the sanding and three coats of sealer. I still don’t have a total for how much the materials cost, because only certain people at the wood hobby club deal with the money, and they’re never there when I go in. I’ll post more pictures when I put stuff in the end table and hopefully I’ll have paid by then.

WHC: Week 21


Just kidding, I still need to stain, sand, and seal it. But I took my end table home tonight!

I went into the club today and one of the instructors was finally there. He helped me do the math to get my drawer front to line up.

It took me an hour and a half to:

– do the measurements to line up my drawer front

– counter-sink six holes into the back of the front of my drawer

– try to put my drawer knob on

– find out that the screw was too long, even though my drawer front isn’t as thin as my door

– grind the screw down (I used the grinder all by myself!)

– attach the knob

– drill a very shallow hole in my drawer for the head of the screw for the knob to fit into (I used the drill press!)

Then I attached my drawer front. It was noticeably crooked. I adjusted it. Still crooked. 3rd try: “Is that crooked the other way now?” Nope, it was perfect. Going by eye can be deceiving.

Then I took my drawer out and marked my top to have a 3/4″ overhang on three sides. With the end table upside down, I screwed the top on. Finally, the instructor helped me put the back on using brads and a brad nailer (that was a bit scary).

It weighs 22 pounds and it took 6 months, approximately 55 hours (so far), and 23 trips to the club:



La-dee-da-da :)

La-dee-da-da 🙂

WHC: Week 20

After sleeping in a little, I went to wood hobby club today. I keep hoping each time I go that I’ll finally get to take it home, but nope. It’s still not finished after 4 hours at the club. The time goes by quickly though.

Today I attached the drawer slides to the inside of the end table. The drawer did end up tight at the back, but that means it won’t slide out while I’m carrying it, and it also means you can’t slam it, so it worked out.

I also attached the pieces that I’ll screw down my top with. I did one piece, then realized there wasn’t enough room even for the teeny tiny screwdriver to screw up into the piece. I took it off, screwed the screws almost all the way into my pre-drilled, counter-sunk holes, then screwed it into place on the end table and did the same with the other side.

The two pieces along the inside of the end table are screwed into the project from the side, then there are three screws on each side ready to be screwed into the top.

One of the club guys who has helped me before gave me enough 1/4″ plywood for the back of my end table, so I cut that to size, but didn’t attach it.

I did, however, attach my door! The opening for my door is actually a little wider at the top, which means when you line up the hinges, the door ends up noticeably crooked. To fix that, with help, I added a couple of thin pieces of wood (shims) between the top hinge and my project, which straightened my door perfectly.

The shims are pretty much invisible after I chiseled off the excess around the hinge.

Before I put on my door though, I added the knob for it. I had to pre-drill a hole because the screw that came with the knob is thick and has no point. Then when I tried to put the knob on, I realized that because my door ended up so thin, the screw was too long. The guys at the club used a grinder to make the screw shorter.

One for my door, one for my drawer.

My door has a knob! And hinges! And it’s straight!

Now I just have to attach my drawer front and add its knob (that I already drilled a hole for), screw down the top, and tack on the back! The wood hobby club was closed this past Tuesday, which I why I went in today, but hopefully it will be open this Tuesday. With a few more hours at the club, I’ll be able to take my project home, just in time for my 19th birthday!

Today's progress.

Today’s progress.

WHC: Extra Hours

This weekend I spent nine hours total at the club, four hours on Saturday that I already posted about, and five hours on Sunday. Normally the club isn’t open on Sunday, but some regulars have keys and go in on their own time. On Saturday, the two women there said they’d be in on Sunday, so my mum and I went in mid-day and worked for several hours, and then we all took a break. The women with the keys came back at 6 so my mum and I went in again.

The first time around, I couldn’t do much because I didn’t have a counter-sink drill bit. Turns out, the one I used yesterday wasn’t the club’s. The guy running the club gave me his to use. Apparently, the club has half a dozen drills, but no counter-sink bits. So I spent a few hours marking my pieces where I needed to drill, and fiddling around. I was frustrated with how little I could do without the bit, but it turned out well. While I was fiddling around with all my pieces, I realized that my drawer is loose. Somehow, even though my drawer is the right size, my end table ended up wider than it was supposed to. So it was kind of lucky that I didn’t have the drill bit, otherwise I might not have discovered the problem. I would’ve been doubly discouraged, having gotten little done and having found a problem, but I found a solution quickly. I had rescued two thin scraps of wood from the waste bin the day before to use between my project and clamps (to protect my end table from dents). They just happened be long enough and fill the gaps on either side of my drawer almost perfectly!

We left the shop for the afternoon then returned later. In between I bought a drill bit, after looking through both my new set and my dad’s tool box and not finding one. On the way to the club, Mum pointed out that the bit was too long, and I panicked a little. All the stores were closed; it was too late to try to get another one. Then we noticed that the length is adjustable 😛

My mum wants to get her shelves done by a certain date, and I’m excited to take my end table home as soon as possible, so we didn’t mind the overtime at the wood hobby club. Time flew by faster than I would’ve liked; I didn’t get a ton done. But I did learn and practice a lot. It’s time-consuming to do so many new things in a row that you’ve never done before. There’s trial and error, and I spent a bit too much time staring at my project worrying about screwing up. I also thought too hard about what the logical next step was. Without the instructors, I was winging it, especially with the order of the steps. The only thing I actually got done was attach the wood pieces for my drawer slides. I sanded the back quarter of those pieces before attaching them because my drawer was a bit tight at the back.

I adjusted my drill bit to the right length, practiced once, and then hesitantly, awkwardly tried to drill into my project. The bit slipped, but didn’t hurt my project thankfully. I tightened the bit, then did a ton of practice holes before going near my project again. Then I drilled holes through my pieces and screwed them in by hand. I also drilled holes in the thin pieces so they won’t split when I attach them. I spent a lot of time practicing with the new bit, test-fitting my drawer, and lining up my wood pieces, the thin pieces, and the drawer slides. And I took a bunch of pictures!

Getting an idea of what it will look like.

Getting an idea of what it will look like.

See that skinny piece?

See that skinny piece?

It rolls! It's not attached yet though.

It rolls! It’s not attached yet though.

The very first contents of my very first self-built drawer!

The very first contents of my very first self-built drawer!

And there's my drawer front, needing a knob.

And there’s my drawer front, needing a knob.

My scrap pile.

My scrap pile.

Practicing with my new drill-bit.

Practicing with my new drill bit.

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