The threshold with no support…

On my recovery project in Apple Valley, the back door threshold was loose, and kept making a racket as we walked in and out. When I got to checking it out, I found that the subfloor underneath was rotted away and couldn’t hold it properly, AND, it was undersized.

Some threshold… won’t even hold water out!

I picked up a new threshold at the hardware store, and got the old one out to see how bad the subfloor was damaged.

That’s bad….
Very bad!

I took all the old rotted stuff out, trimmed it out very neatly at the edges with my Oscillating tool, then trimmed some new pieces to go back on the joists, which were in fine shape.

Halfway there!

I cut two pieces that would meet in the middle so I could be sure to get the ends of the board underneath the door casing without having to remove the casing; the owner was quite impressed!

Now you see the gap…
Now you (mostly) don’t!

I got it all lined up nice and neat, screwed in on both sides, and most importantly, not rotted! Last, I installed the new threshold, and adjusted it so it would fit snugly underneath the door.

Now when you close the door, it’s a snug fit with no drafts, AND, the threshold protects the siding piece underneath it, too!

The little gas block…

Every now and then I run into a problem that seems to stump a lot of folks… enter, the gas line that was too low to operate the valve:

Forever off…

I got myself a scrap of 2×4, drilled a hole through it from one side, sliced it in half, pre-drilled some screw holes, and put it all together to make this:

It’s a little higher now!

Now the gas can be turned on or off easily without having to wrestle with the line!

We’ve got gas!

No outlet? No problem!

My client was talking to me about how he’d like to have his TV in his bedroom mounted up on the wall, but doesn’t want wires hanging down all over the place. He said it couldn’t be done since there wasn’t an outlet and coax jack up high on the wall, only down low on the wall.

No outlet, no coax jack…

I told him not to worry, being familiar with the houses in this subdivision, I knew there was a lot of space in the attic, and I would just tap into the existing wires and put in some new holes! We crunched some numbers, signed some papers, and I got to work!

First I marked where he wanted the TV to be, and we left some room for putting a larger TV up later. With the ceiling being ‘popped out’ as it is, adding a larger TV wouldn’t be an issue even if we mounted the TV all the way up to the top of the wall.
Next I traced and cut my holes for my ‘old work’ boxes; one for power, and one for the coax.

The tracing for the TV mount, and the new holes for the old work boxes.

I used a fishing drill to sneak up the wall between the sheetrock and insulation, then drill a hole in the top plate of the wall, right into the attic.
Next I entered the attic, wandered over to where the drill came out, fished the romex through, and then repeated the process with the coax cable.

I went ahead and finished up my boxes in the wall first, tying my romex into the outlet and installing it into the box, the box into the wall, with the cover, and the same for the low voltage box I used for the coax. With those parts completed, I shut off the power, wandered about in the attic again, and tied the wires into the existing system.

Once I was done in the attic, I came out, cleaned up, mounted the TV, attached the box to the wall, and zip tired all the cords so they’d be out of the way.

The work all done.
The Finished project!

Project: Custom Farmhouse Headboard

This was a fun project for me, and got me back to building custom furniture; something i’ve long enjoyed doing, but haven’t had any need for it lately.

My client came to me and presented a picture of a headboard she’d seen online, asking if I could build it (of course I can build it, I can build anything!), and I modestly said I believe I can, i’ll have to reverse-engineer it to make some plans.
She did some more looking around and found another headboard she liked more, and it came with plans (so I like it more, too!)!

Once we hashed out all the details, I got to work making some space in the shop for such a large piece. I made myself a nice work table, printed out and hung up the plans for easy viewing, and got my stuff set up just the way I like it.

My whiteboard is a wonderful tool in the shop!

Next step: materials. We went to the local supply house together as there were a couple of pieces I wanted her to pick out herself, gathered up all the goodies we’d need, and got it all back into the shop with little effort.

I got to work on the project by following the plans (I LOVE well-written plans!) and getting most of my cuts done. There were a couple left for later, but the bulk of the cuts are made in step 1 for this piece.
Once I had all my cut pieces, I got them laid out and assembled, then started putting them all together. Soon enough, I had the body of the headboard, then attached the legs on each side.

I spent some time working the piece with wood filler and sandpaper, getting it all smooth and ready for the test fit. It’s a beast to move, but we got it into the bedroom and in place enough to see that it would work great in the space, and mark where I needed to add the additional brace.

Once we got it back into the shop, I added the cross brace where I wanted to attach it to the existing bed frame, put some temporary feet on it, stood it up, and got to work smoothing it out so I could prime it.

Once I was happy with the sanding, filling, and priming, I finished it up with two coats of paint, and beheld my masterpiece:

Ok, so I was actually holding a beer, but I was looking at the headboard, sooo…. yeah.
Anyway, we took the feet off, wrestled it back inside, got it in place, bolted up, and slid up against the wall. I came back about an hour later to see what had become of the piece, and found this:

I’ve got some more custom pieces to build to go with this, and i’m looking forward to getting them started in the shop. I’ll be sure to add a post for those, too, so be sure to subscribe to the blog (or to my Facebook page) and keep your fingers away from the blade!

Project: Toolroom

So here I am in a new place, with new space, but no place to work! No workbench, no tool storage, no shelves…. I was sad. So I started plotting, and made note of the 8′ x 7′ room off the garage here….

It was cluttered, a little messy, but it had potential, and, the best part, no one was concerned about me turning it into my lair… mwaahahahahaa… oh, wait, uh, I mean, a tool room. Yeah, definitely a tool room. Also, storage.

I mulled it over for a week or so, and came up with a couple of key concerns:
1) Whatever I build needs to leave the water heater accessible so it can be repaired or replaced without tearing out what I built.
2) Nothing can be built in front of the electrical panel. NFPA code says the 36″ in front of the panel must be clear at all times.
3) I need to be able to store small, medium, and large things without having to fight with them.
4) I don’t have a lot of space to start with, so i’ll need to keep things small.
With those things in mind, the plan came together very simply; shelves go on the right, and a workbench on the left.

Once i’d salvaged the materials and got everything to one place, I started by moving some crap out of the way, and building the workbench. I decided to maximize the space I DO have, and I built the workbench right out to the door trim, as big as I could go. The scrap piece of sub flooring fit perfectly there once I ripped a few inches off.

For both the shelves and workbench, I simply mounted blocking to the wall, attaching it to the studs through the sheetrock, and then setting the boards on the blocking. Once the boards were in place, I cut legs to fit each height and installed them from the bottom up.

The top shelf is maximum depth since it’s above everyone’s head, but the rest of the shelves are a little shallower to balance the depth with the space in the room. I can walk, turn, and have a second person in there comfortably without feeling claustrophobic, and the bottom shelf being even shallower allows me to have space to move taller things like buckets or tools out of my way when I need to, giving me some flexibility.

The purpose of this room is primarily for storage, but having a workbench in the space is nice to be able to make small repairs, and have a place to leave projects while they dry. Adding an oil-filled heater to the room allows me to keep it warm-ish in the winter, which means I don’t mind working in there when it’s cold outside, and my power tool batteries will appreciate the warmth, too.

All told this project took me 6 hours; 1 hour to measure and plan, 1 hour to gather the materials, and four hours to do the actual work. I provided the screws out of my stash, and I already had all the tools I needed, so my total cost out of pocket was $0.

I’m looking forward to cleaning it up, getting it organized more, and adding pegboard to the wall above the workbench. I think i’ll add some shelves above the battery shelf as well.