Barn wood tool caddy show-off ….

So this might just be a shameless brag post, but I had to share. 🙂 Last Winter I made a few of these caddys and they were quick, easy, rewarding and very useful! I have three of them, one for paint supplies, one for extra paper plans and drawings, and one that just looks pretty upstairs.  There are endless uses for these guys … and they are so easy to build! 

Here they are, in all of their glory. They were constructed from local barn wood, salvaged by my husband and I just a few months ago. I took 80 grit sandpaper and hit all the boards on both sides to clean some of the dirt and grime off the surface. A light touch did the trick – without taking all of that beautiful, grey, old weathered look off the wood. The table legs were cleaned and prepped also – and that will be a separate post. 🙂 

Once the wood is ready, I simply cut the bottom and sides down to the same length (checking the width, but since these were salvaged boards, I didn’t want to cut any exposed edges). The larger caddy is 16″ long, and the sides I cut somewhere between 12 and 13″ high, cutting a 45 degree angle off of each corner for a more rustic look. Then fire up the nail gun and go to town! 🙂 

The handles were pre-drilled and then glued and screwed in from the outside of the caddy. Very strong and sturdy – our football-player-sized brother sat on it and it survived. 🙂 Seriously. 

But what you really want are the pictures… so here they are! This set of two were custom made for my sister-in-law. Doesn’t she have good taste? 

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Don’t you just love how OLD they look? We rescued those table legs out of grandma’s basement and gave them new life. There’s nothing more satisfying than giving something beautiful a brand new life! 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

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Wood Crates- to stain or not to stain?

So I’ve been having this mental debate with myself for months… should I stain them? Will it really look different? is it worth the extra time and smell? Does anyone else even notice these kinds of things? Or is this just a wood-nerd thing? 🙂 

I decided that it was best just to try it out and see. I have three of our “early” crates that we built last summer, and they are definitely not the prettiest ones we’ve made. On the other hand, they have screw heads exposed and the ends are solid, so they have a very tough, rustic appeal. The problem was that they had stamps on the ends (from the lumber yard, only the slats were reclaimed wood), and some neon orange markings of some kind. Yuck! 

You’ll have to forgive me… my computer is in the shop so I don’t have a “real” before picture, but this is basically what plain, standard pine looks like in it’s natural state:

 

I took the plunge. I love the result!! 

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The ends got sanded with the palm sander until the markings were (mostly) gone. Then I applied a really heavy coat of Minwax Stain (Early American is the color, if you’re wondering). I let the stain sit on the wood while I worked over the rest of the crate – so that when I went back to wipe off the excess, there was hardly anything left to remove. What a difference it makes! 

You don’t have to seal over the stain – it’s a moisture barrier on it’s own. Just be sure to let it dry overnight (or at least 8 hours) before handling and storing things inside. 

I like them so much now they are in the living room, full of books. 🙂 

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What do you think? To stain or not to stain? 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

Rustic Coat Racks Find a Home.

I just had to share these pictures with you. After making a coat rack for the Fire Station, we made two more for one of the Fireman who is stationed there. He was kind enough to share some pictures of the coats racks in their home. I love it! 

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There’s nothing better than seeing your hard work being enjoyed by a friend, in their home. 🙂 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

 

Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

Want to buy things you’ve seen on the blog? Our shop is open!

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I’m here to tell you about our “shop.” More specifically, our “Adoption Shop.” Yes, we are actively seeking to adopt an infant (domestically)! We are so excited – in spite of the mountains of paperwork ahead. 🙂 As a means of helping to pay for our adoption, we’ve opened a shop where you can purchase things that you’ve seen here, on the blog, and all the money will go into our fund. Yep, it’s good for everyone.

So take a moment to go “like” our page! It would mean the world to us. Plus, you might find something awesome that you need… or want … and that would be awesome too.

Thanks for all your support!

~ The Woodworker’s Wife

Our Rustic Coat Rack {a Fire Station Special Request}

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I am really proud of these. This was something that grew out of a special request by my Woodworker’s Fire Station. They needed a rack for their coats in a small station, lacking storage. We had piles of barnwood. This was born. The hooks are completely unique – you’ll notice that they are made out of the same wood. You can’t find anything like this anywhere. We looked. 

 

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Because this is real, 100% reclaimed oak, these are really heavy! Our solution for hanging was to install two, set-in, key hole hangers about 16″ apart on the back. They are metal, so they can handle the weight of the rack PLUS whatever you need them to hold for you. No way these are going to fail you! 🙂 

 

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Here you can see the detail of the hook. I love that they “match” the rest of the wood. By the way, the nail holes are original to the barn wood, and the color is completely natural. All we did for the finish was three coats of high-gloss poly to really bring out the rustic beauty in the wood and keep it protected from the elements. 

 

ImageSee that shine? 🙂 Sorry for the glare  – but here you can see both of the finished racks and the real rustic beauty of the wood just the way it is. You’ll notice, too, that the one is darker than the other. That’s the character of the aged wood. Awesome, right? 

 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

 

DIY Ladder Quilt Rack!

This is one of those things that’s been on my wish list for some time… and once we got started on it, it was so quick to make! Why did I wait so long? Because there are so many good things to make… and so little time. For those of you who don’t know, quilting is my first love. I’ve been quilting for about eleven years now, and I have more than a few quilts to show for it. But where to store them? 

The only real contemporary way to display a quilt is a ladder rack. All those cutesy victorian-style things are just to, well, kitschy for me. My Woodworker has made me proud more than a few times by making quilt racks! I’ll have to share pictures of some of our “old” ones later this week … for now, here’s the newest addition! 

ImageFor those of you who are wood geeks, here are the specs:  The sides are re-claimed barn wood (as you can see), in this case Cottonwood. This is true 2″ x 4″ stock – and once we cleaned it up it ended up being about 1.5″ thick and 3″ wide. The rungs were fashioned out of 2x4s, cut in half and then rounded over on the corners for a softer look. We used a slight 1/8″ round over. Because we’re all about quality, we even cut through the sides and set in the rungs. {You can actually use this ladder as a ladder, people.} The rack is 6 feet tall, and the rungs are 18″ long. We had it together in one evening. 

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Image          Yes, I did make all of these quilts. 🙂 These are the original nail holes in the barn wood – and I LOVE the look of them. 

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This is the perfect marriage of my two favorite things – quilts and barn wood. Yep, this year is off to a good start! 

~ The Woodworker’s Wife 

 

 

Wooden Crates – home made storage!

Remember those crates we made? It was the first post on the blog… and you can see it here.  We continue to tweak and change how we put the crates together – hoping to make them more user friendly and storage capable. I think these are the best set so far!

This set of three crates were created especially for our sister for Christmas. We loved making them!

This set of three crates were created especially for our sister for Christmas. We loved making them!

The crates are constructed from pine (ends) and the slats are all reclaimed cottonwood.

The crates are constructed from pine (ends) and the slats are all reclaimed cottonwood.

We attached this star ornament just for fun. It's a piece that he cut out on the scroll saw, of course.

We attached this star ornament just for fun. It’s a piece that he cut out on the scroll saw, of course.

 

One major change between our first crates and these is that the router was used to round over the top edge of the ends, and even inside the handles. This makes for a much more comfortable grab when you go to pick them up. The cottonwood is lightweight and yet strong enough to handle loads of books! Yes, we have tested them on books. In fact, that’s what ours are loaded with. 🙂

What would you stock your crates with?

~ The Woodworker’s Wife