There are several local Indy makers participating in this spring virtual market. Shop from the comfort of your home by visiting the #IndyMadeMarket link above. You can head directly to my virtual shop in the link below.
It is almost Mother’s Day, and that means you can begin to think about planting things in a garden. A raised bed planter is a great way to grow vegetables or even just beautiful plants to look at. These cedar raised bed garden planters are easy to DIY.
Materials for the Raised Bed
Cedar is naturally a rot resistant material and so it makes a great choice for your garden planter. In order to build this 5′ long x 3′ wide x14.5″ tall raised bed, you will need the following items:
- (4) 1x8x8′ cedar boards
- (1) 4x4x8′ cedar post
- (48) 2″ exterior wood screws
If cedar is not available, there are other choices too such as composite decking. Pine lumber can be used but it needs to have a water resistant finish applied (before assembly) or it won’t last long. It is not recommended to use treated lumber unless this is only for a flower garden.
I used my miter saw to cut all of the pieces, but even a hand saw can make it through cedar easily. You will also need a drill and a drill bit. Cedar is a very soft wood and you want to make sure to drill pilot holes. This is so that screwing the board to the post doesn’t split the board. Depending on your choice of screws, you will need a screwdriver or whatever driving bit for your drill that matches the screw head.
There are only a few parts to this garden planter.
- (4) 3′ short boards
- (4) 5′ long boards
- (6) 14.5″ tall posts
Each of the 1x8x8′ boards gets cut once to make a 3′ short board and a 5′ long board. Cut the 4x4x8′ into the six 14.5″ long posts.
Assembly of the Raised Bed
I took the time to plane and sand off all the sharp edges on all the boards and posts but this is not necessary. Drill a pair of holes near the ends and in the middle of each board. The holes at the end should be about 2″ from all of the edges to help make sure that the cedar wood won’t split. Screw the boards to all the posts and you’re done.
This is my post about the planters on Instagram: Cedar Planter
This is my post about the planters on Facebook: Cedar Planter
When you enjoy having big gatherings, you need to have a place for everyone to sit and visit. The original bar in this basement wasn’t large enough for more than a few people, and so it was time to replace it with something new. This article details the design and build process of the new basement bar.
The existing basement bar, while better than no bar at all, never provided the homeowners the entertaining environment they desired. There was a small top, no storage, and most importantly only fit 3 maybe 4 people at once.
New Basement Bar Design
Firstly, decisions were made about the features the new bar would need.
- Seating for 8 or more with an ability to talk to more than just who is next to you
- Maintain walkway to the door that goes out to the deck
- Storage for glasses, tools, bottles of alcohol, and 12 packs of soda
- A bar rail along the top like at commercial bars/restaurants
The customers chose the above design as it met all of their criteria. People around the bar can converse with those next to them as well as across the way. There is space for 9 around the outside of the bar and the “bartender” brings the total to 10.
New Basement Bar Construction
It is time to build the vision, and the biggest challenge for this project was that the bar needed to be built off site in the shop, brought into the basement (max 3′ wide x 7′ tall pieces), and then finish the assembly. Therefore the 2×4 frame was 4 segmented pieces (two straights, the u, and the l) and the top and surfaces inside the “U” were only temporarily held in place before packing it all up.
Finished Bar Ready to Party
The customer did the finish work of staining and sealing the bar, and then it was ready for parties.
Contact and Follow
This stove top cover features a chevron pattern of various palletwood slats. Featured in the pattern are some pieces of red oak, light brown/green poplar, and white colored ash. The pallet slats are attached to a piece of plywood and has a frame of pine stained with colonial pine water based stain. Make an interior design statement while creating more counter space and protecting the surface of your ceramic stove top.
Stove Top Covers Available for Purchase
Create extra counter space and protect your glass/ceramic top with a decorative wooden stove top cover. The stove cover is available in many different stain colors. The carving can be the standard wreath with a personalized letter or something completely custom. In addition, the size can be adjusted to meet your needs. All of these features for one price.
These make great housewarming gifts, wedding gifts, or for a fifth anniversary since that is traditionally wood.
- Pine boards are use and the standard size of 30″x22″ will have 4 horizontal pieces and the two handle supports.
- The boards are assembled with yellow wood glue and small nails.
- Handles are zinc with a black finish.
- Water based stain in your choice of color.
- The entire cover is finished with several coats of a water based polyurethane.
- Self adhesive felt pads are put on the back to protect your stove top surface.
Stain Colors Available
There are many stain colors to choose from for your stove top cover. The in-stock colors are: Charcoal Grey, Slate Grey, Whitewash, Walnut, Colonial Pine, Harvest Gold, Barn Red, Terracotta, and Classic Grey. Other colors can be requested. All colors are from Minwax Water Based color chart. The carving in the cover will be the natural pine (except for whitewash which gets black paint). There is the option to have the carving painted black or white for the other colors.
Because these items are made to order, making them custom is not a problem. Below are a sample of the different designs that have been made so far.
Where to Buy
You can purchase this item in my Etsy shop or at Amazon Handmade. The listing is set up for the standard options of colors and selecting the initial to carve in the wreath, but send me a message to discuss what to enter for custom requests. Those local to Indianapolis/Brownsburg/Zionsville contact me via email, Facebook, or Instagram to purchase a local pickup/delivery.
It is already February! So far it has been a busy 2017 here at JoeBcrafts.
Sign Board Production
At the tail end of 2016, I was approached by Canvas Paintings By Katie about producing the sign boards for her parties. I made some pre-production samples for the owner to review. It was decided that there would be two different sizes offered as well as two different stains. So right after Christmas I got to work on the initial order. 80 boards were produced that week. Parties started to book and it quickly became apparent that a lot more boards were going to need to be made. Throughout January I made trips to Lowes (or HomeDepot when I cleaned out Lowes of the size I needed) for lumber to maintain an inventory of finished boards ready to become signs. Once January was over, I had made 234 sign boards which was enough to stretch 90 yds on a football field. Here is a picture of the signs created at one of the parties.
My process of making the sign boards:
Items to Sell on Etsy
In addition to the large quantity of sign boards, I found some time to make some more items to sell on Etsy.
I made some new tablet and cellphone stands using various species of the wood I have milled into lumber.
Keychains of wood were also created just before Christmas.
The art canvas drying rack I built in November got filled to capacity and the owner requested another one as well as one for a friend. While at my shop they also decided that they wanted to have a rack similar to my wood sign board rack.
Project for home
Though I was busy with projects for others, I did find time to make something for my own home. At a wood sign party I experimented with using a painter’s drop cloth canvas as the medium for the vinyl stencil. It came out well and so I decided it needed to have a frame. Black Walnut was the wood of choice.
On the horizon
There are more sign boards to make, more items to make to sell on Etsy, commissioned projects, home projects, my day job, and life in general. Here’s to a busy 2017!
This Black Walnut Jewelry Box was cut out of a single piece of wood. The lid has curled slightly due to material being removed and stressed in the wood relieved. It has wooden hinges that were made from another piece of this wood with brass finish pins. The finish on the box is mineral oil and wax to give it a natural color and feel. The interior of the Black Walnut Jewelry Box is lined with a heavy black felt. This box is perfect for holding earring cards and other thin items.
It is almost Christmas 2016, and JoeBcrafts is going to give one lucky person a Christmas gift. If you are a resident of the continental US, simply like the JoeBcrafts Facebook post that this article will be referenced in. On Christmas Day I will select the winner by generating a random number and matching that to the list of likes. I will contact the winner for their address and ship the Black Walnut Jewelry Box (my daughter’s earrings not included) to them before the new year.
Check out my Etsy shop for other items I have made.
Because my shop currently is also my garage, I need all of my tools and work surfaces to be portable. I built a knock-down workbench so that I could easily setup and take down a work area. The following details what you can find in the workbench plan PDF at the end of this post.
Portable Knock-down Workbench Plan
The design uses just 2×4 lumber, some screws, and in my case a plywood top. I used new materials, but this could easily be built with reclaimed or construction lumber. The workbench consists of 5 pieces; 2 legs, 2 stretchers, and a top.
All of the parts for the legs can be cut from (5) 2x4x8′ lumber. Making the notches can be done using a bandsaw, jigsaw, or hand saw and chisel.
The following picture shows the legs and stretchers put together.
Below is a link to a PDF of the plans that contain more detail:
Whichever door that your family ends up using as the main entry, the immediate area around it becomes cluttered with shoes and other things. My sister-in-law commissioned me to build an entryway bench to help with the clutter and give them a place to sit to put on shoes or put down an infant carrier. She found an entryway bench that she liked on Pinterest. After discussing with her what features of the bench were the essence of the design, I began to plan how to execute that vision.
Entryway Bench Planning
She liked the simple look of the Pinterest bench and so I started designing around the seat and legs being connected together like a large box joint. This would make it easy to assemble but the joints would be strong. Initially I was leaning toward using 1×3 material (nominal 3/4″ thick by 2.5″ wide) but as I laid the bench out in Sketchup I decided the look was too busy. The joints looked nice, but there were simply too many boards in the seat. I then modified the pieces to be 2×4 material. I liked the overall look of this design better.
Design and Construction
The design utilizes (4) different sizes of board; (2) sizes are used for the bench seat and (2) sizes are used for the bench legs. The yellow seat pieces are 48″ long while the red seat pieces are 55″ long. The brown 18″ legs set the height of the bench. The 14.5″ leg pieces terminate under the long red bench pieces. It took (11) 2x4x8′ to build this bench.
Assembly consisted of gluing together the legs first. Each leg was glued together with an alternating short and long. A straight edge was used to keep the bottoms of each leg piece in line. After the legs dried, the seat assembly began. This was done by standing the legs up and inserting one of the central long pieces. The center short piece was then clamped to that. Once I checked that the top was flush and ends were even, I screwed the short board to the long board with 2.5″ long screws. Next I put in another long board, checked its alignment, and screwed it to the short board. I kept working my way across the seat. I did not put on the outer boards yet. When I was satisfied with the dry fit, I took the seat off the legs, applied glue to the mating surfaces and put it back together. I drove (2) screws through the last 18″ leg into the 2nd to last 55″ seat piece. The final step was to glue (no screws) the outermost 55″ seat pieces to the legs and rest of the seat.
The entire bench was sanded and then I applied (1) coat of a water based chocolate colored stain. This was a clear base stain that was custom tinted at the paint desk at Lowes. Once dry, I applied (2) light coats of a clear semi-gloss water based polyurethane. Round dome plastic feet were put on the bottom of the legs to prevent them from marring the hardwood floors.
Its New Home
Here is a picture of the entryway bench next to the back door of their home.
It has room for shoes, boots, and other items underneath. It is also a good height for sitting and can be used to load their son in his infant carrier. Here I am sitting on my creation.
I enjoy making these pieces of furniture. I take pride in being able to point at it and say “I made that.” I love that it makes the people I made it for happy.
There are a lot of parties these days that involve doing a group craft. A Wooden Sign with either free-hand or stenciled lettering has joined canvas, pottery, and wine glass painting as things for amateur artists to try. It is great that so many are willing to attempt to make art. In order to assist in these artistic and social moments, I have started producing wooden sign blanks.
Board to Wooden Sign
There are three different sizes; 20×16, 16×16, and 16×7. The sizes are similar to typical art canvases. A 1x6x10′ board will produce two of the largest signs. 8′ boards are perfect for making a pair of the medium and a trio of the smallest wooden sign. Two 1x6x10′, two 1x6x8′, and one 1x4x8′ resulted in the stack of unfinished signs in the picture below.
Individual boards are screwed together to make the overall sign. This is done by using pocket holes and screws. For hanging, there is a keyhole slot along two sides and this allows the sign to be either horizontal or vertical. The keyhole slot is cut using a router and a keyhole bit. I made a jig to make consistent slots. Sanding is the final step before applying stain.
Many different methods for building the wooden sign blanks exist. Additionally there are is a multitude of finish styles whether it be natural, stained, distressed, aged, painted, etc. The only limitation is your imagination and the ability to put the wood to work for you.
I am currently making these sign boards for a local art teacher. Feel free to contact me if you would like more information about these wooden sign boards. I also make charcuterie boards, wine racks, wine glass caddies, and several other items that I sell on Etsy. You can also see my updates on facebook.