In this post, you’ll learn:
- About jointers
– How to use a jointer for tighter seams in your projects
If you’re just getting started with some basic woodworking projects, you may have heard about or seen a jointer. While it’s not terribly common for DIYers to own one, it’s a pretty useful tool to have in your shop. You can pick one up used fairly inexpensively or opt for a bench top model. You can see the models I recommend on our Tools Page.
Here’s a quick video I put together that demonstrates how a jointer works.
I’ve personally used my jointer sparingly, but it was vital on a few projects. If you ever want to use rough cut wood from a lumber yard instead of the local hardware store, then you’ll definitely need one.
Here are some larger shots of the reclaimed pine boards I jointed. In the first photo, you can see the joint between the two boards is fairly visible.
After a few passes through the jointer, that edge gets cleaned up enough that it’s virtually invisible. The only way you can tell where one board meets the next is by the grain pattern.
I hope this post and video helps you get a better idea of how to use this tool.
Any jointer questions?
In this post, you’ll learn all about
- Cabinet door hinges
- Cabinet drawer slides
- What you need to consider when selecting this type of hardware
After nearly a year of part time work, our home office remodel is finally finished. Stop back on Wednesday and you’ll get a close up of our newly remodeled space. In the meantime, today’s post is about cabinet hinges and drawer slides. During our recent series on cabinet building a received a few emails asking about the hardware I’ve selected so I thought I’d put together a helpful reference post to help you select the best hinges and drawer slides for your next project.
The easiest way to explain all of this is in a video. Can I talk about hinges, drawer slides and drawer boxes for 20 minutes? What do you think?
(If you can’t see the video, click on this link to be taken directly to YouTube)
Let’s recap the most important aspects of the video.
To select a hinge for your project, you first need to know what type of cabinet and cabinet door you have. Cabinets are either frameless (European) like Ikea cabinets or have face frames, which is typical for most American made cabinets. Next you’ll need to determine if the door is full overlay, partial overlay or inset. My kitchen cabinet doors are full overlay, but our office cabinet doors are inset. Generally, most kitchen cabinet doors on the market today are full overlay. Inset doors are more labor intensive and therefore are higher in cost and tend to be associated with custom and higher end cabinets. Partial overlay doors were more common in the 50’s and 60’s, but you can still occasionally catch them on some other pieces.
Once you know the cabinet type and the door type, you just need to determine if you want the hinges to be hidden or decorative.
I prefer Blum hinges since they are high quality. There is a planning tool on Blum’s website that will help you plan the doors and the hardware. I used the tool for the Clip Top Hinges with face frame.
For our home office project, I used Blum Tandem drawer slides. They install with some rear brackets and side mounting blocks. They are a little more expensive than the basic European or epoxy slides, but they work great. Blum also has a Tandem drawer planning tool on the same page as the hinge tool. The big difference between drawer slides is usually the length. You can use the planning tool to get a recommendation on the slide hardware as well as the drawer box dimensions.
I hope this video helps give you a better understanding of cabinet door hinges and drawer slides.
Let me know if you have any questions!
In today’s post, you’ll learn:
- How to make built-in cabinets
- How to make a beaded face frame
- What the build process for a cabinet looks like
After spending the better part of a week and a half painting our home office, I’m finally down to the last couple of detail jobs. Although the office isn’t officially finished quite yet, it’s done enough to take our video camera in there and film some shots of the new furniture. I also managed to film all of the important aspects of the cabinet build, so you get to see both the (mostly) finished project and the how-to’s that go along with it.
Here’s the video:
If you don’t see the video window, you can click this link to be redirected to YouTube.
Just to be clear, this isn’t a “reveal” post. Once the room is totally finished with all the bells and whistles, we’ll share a ton of photos with you.
There’s a lot to talk about after building these cabinets, but I realize the video is pretty long (~19 minutes), so I’d rather circle back with you in a follow-up post to discuss more lessons learned. For now, just check out the video. If you make it to the end, you can catch my wife and I goofing off.
Here are the router bits (affiliate links) I used in the video:
If you have any questions about anything you see in the video, or if you think I’ve totally botched it up, please fire away in the comments!
In this post, you’ll learn
- How to build shaker cabinet doors with a router
- How to inset the doors into a face frame for a high end look
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, then you’ve probably seen me write about building shaker cabinet doors before. I’ve built them for both my large built-in cabinet, the TV stand and they were the same style doors I built for our first home. Last year, I filmed one of my first how-to videos on how to make them. To date, that video has over 140,000 views and is by far my most popular. In that video, which you can see here, I primarily used a table saw to cut the tongue and groove joints for the doors. Even the center panel was machined using a table saw.
In this new version, I’m only using a router table for the tongue and groove joints and the center panel. I thought it would be worth trying something new and see what works better. I’ll probably put together a third video at some point to illustrate what combination of tools and techniques are easiest and provide the best results.
Since these doors are also inset into the face frame, I also used this opportunity to try a new technique for setting the inset gap. In the first video, I just built the doors to the finished dimensions, which was a challenge. In this new version, I built the doors a bit larger and shaved them down to the final size. It ended up being much easier than I thought.
So here’s the video. Let me know if you have any comments or questions!
Oh and by the way, if you don’t want the doors inset and instead you just want them to be full overlay, that’s much easier. Just build the doors 1-1/2″ wider and longer than the door opening. You also won’t need to trim them once you’re done.
If you can’t see the video window, you can click this link to take you right to YouTube.
I’m relieved to finally tell you that all of the crown molding has been installed in our home office. It was a bear. Granted, I still have to putty all the nail holes, caulk the joints and paint them. I’ll save that work for the weekend. That’s not the end of the molding in the office either. Once the built-ins are completed and installed, I still have to install a final piece of wall trim and all the baseboard molding. However, that type of trim work should be considerably easier to handle.
In today’s post, I’m sharing a video tutorial I made (with Lisa as camera lady) as well as some additional info below where I discuss some of the techniques I used to get better crown molding results.
Tips for Better Crown Molding Results
1. Pre-paint your Molding. While not hugely important, getting at least one good coat of paint on the molding BEFORE you install it will allow you to only have to paint it one more time after it’s installed. That’s less time on the ladder.
2. Use Backer Blocks. In the video, I use some simple plywood backer blocks. These little blocks can be cut from scrap wood and provide the crown molding a solid surface to lay against. It makes installation SO MUCH EASIER. After this list, I’ve shared a quick tutorial on making your own backer blocks.
3. Make a Cut Guide. Before measuring and cutting any intersecting crown molding pieces, make a cut guide with a piece of scrap crown molding. The guide can have a 45 degree cut on both ends and can be used to determine if any adjustments need to be made before the actual piece is cut. You’d rather find out that your molding needs a slight adjustment before you cut through it.
4. Use a Crown Molding Jig. While I do recommend using the Bench Dog Crown Molding Jig (affiliate link), you can just as easily make your own using some scrap lumber and a couple of clamps.
5. Be Strategic with your Boards. When you walk by the office or look inside, all of the crown molding pieces that face you don’t have any miter cuts. They all are straight pieces. That’s intentional. All of the cut boards are on the sides of the boxes. That way, even if the joints aren’t perfect, almost no one will notice if they stick their head in the room. Getting the joints done right is important, but any minor mistakes will be less visible this way.
How to Make Backer Blocks for Crown Molding
1. You’ll need a carpenter’s square, a small piece of the crown molding, a paper, and a pen.
2. Arrange the crown molding inside the carpenter’s square so that both the top and bottom flats of the molding are flat against the square. This is how the crown molding will look when installed.
3. Using a pen or a pencil, trace the inside triangle made by the molding and the square.
4. You can remove the square and the molding.
5. Measure the length of the top and the length of the side, marked here as “A” and “B,” respectively.
6. Now for some math. Using a scientific calculator or an online calculator take the inverse tangent (tan raised to the -1) of A over B (A/B). If you do that math, you get 38.7 degrees or roughly 39 degrees. Now you can set your table saw angle to that value. All you need to do now is make sure you cut the board to the length of “A,” which in this case is 1″.
To make things easier on you, you can also lay that drawing on your miter saw and use the miter saw’s gauge to determine the angle of the molding. OR you can just use a protractor.
For our home office, the larger molding had a block with an angle of 36 degrees and as mentioned above, the smaller molding was 39 degrees.
I hope you found this post helpful. Even if you’re not planning any crown molding work, keep this project in mind for when you do.
Now I’d like to hear from you. Do you have any crown molding installation tips or tricks?
Hey gang! Hope everyone had a great weekend! We made some major headway on our built-in project this past weekend. I’ve got the doors finished and the plywood for the boxes all cut. All I’ve got left to do is machine the plywood with some grooves and dados and we’ll be assembling it. So far so good. I’m definitely leveraging some past cabinet experience to make this one go a little smoother.
We’ve got two videos for you this week. The first one is a quick update on the bottom cabinet face frame. I added a divider to accommodate two doors. No big deal. This was kind of a video warm up for me.
The next one will be a how-to on making shaker style inset doors. So much easier to show you how to make one than to describe it.
Get any projects done this weekend?
Hey guys! Hope everyone is enjoying the week so far. If you’re in the Northeast like us, I hope you’re surviving the worst week and a half of weather I’ve ever seen in November, ever. Terrible! Have I ever told you how much I hate the cold? I used to love it when I was a kid. Now I want to move to Florida. Is it weird that I appreciate and even envy the life-choices of our senior population at the young age of 33? Retirement? Yes, please. Florida? I’d love to.
In other news, we bought a car. We picked up a Jetta from a local dealer and we’re digging it. Sweet ride. We ended up buying a regular gas engine and skipping the TDI, but I have to admit, that diesel engine was tempting. I actually made a video that illustrates the basic nerd enhanced analysis I performed to see if the fuel savings from diesel vs gas would be worth the extra sticker price. Alas, it wasn’t even close. If you’ve never used Excel before and want to pick up some basic skills or just see how to figure out your own gas mileage, then check out the video. Or if you just want to hear a nerd rant on about his daily commute, check. it. out.
I thought I would miss my Grand Cherokee a little by now. Definitely not. I went from 15/20 mpg to 24/32 mpg. Big fan. Big fan.
I’m hoping to finish up the painting on our garage shoe rack, but I’m not holding my breath. This weather cycle is “spray paint in the garage” prohibitive. Bummer. Lisa and I are planning some serious work over the Christmas break, so soon after we finish up that shelf, I’ll be back to planning mode. We’re still trying to figure out if we want to work on the office or maybe start finishing the basement. We’ll see.
What are you all working on at the moment?
I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! Lisa and I are mostly kicking it old school in our pajamas most of the week. We’re not trying to go too crazy with the upgrades around here, but we have been getting quite a lot of our grand plan done and we can’t wait to share it with everyone.
BUT, for now it’s my turn to list my favorite Christmas songs. Especially since we’re still listening to ‘em around the clock. On Wednesday, Lisa listed her’s. I tried writing this post late last week, but I just too tired from all the shopping and gorging myself with holiday food. So here goes..
1. Please Come Home for Christmas – The Eagles
John: I have to say, I’m totally relieved that this song is sung by the Eagles and not just Don Henley. I was worried that my musical interests are something out of a 1980’s VH1 special.
Lisa: I like this song. Nothing smart to say about it.
2. That Spirit of Christmas – Ray Charles
John: Best song from the greatest Christmas movie ever made.
Lisa: I’m pretty sure when James Caan asks Buddy the Elf to sing in his office is the best song from the greatest Christmas movie ever.
John: There is no way Will Farrell sings a better Christmas song than Ray Charles. Not possible.
Lisa: I’ll give you that. But Elf is still the best movie ever.
3. Blue Christmas – Elvis
Lisa: Whoa! I’m shocked. Almost speechless.
Lisa: Awesome song by and awesome-est singer.
4. Oh Holy Night – Josh Groban
Lisa: Again, a very nice pick, I’m impressed.
John: Excellent song. Nothing really funny here. Wait, why are you impressed? What kind of Christmas music did you think I listen to?
Lisa: I dunno… Mariah Carey?
5. All I Want for Christmas – Mariah Carey
John: Nah, just kidding. No way!
5. Burl Ives – Holly Jolly Christmas
John: A timeless classic.
Lisa: I like it too! I’m impressed with your picks.
John: While I’m mildly offended that you think I have terrible taste, I’m happy that we agree.
Thanks for stopping by! What are your favorite Christmas songs? Are you still listening to them even though we’re past Christmas?
The last week or so has been crazy busy. On top of the regular Christmas run-around, Lisa and I have been furiously busy with our grand plans; add to that a last-minute work trip to San Diego. So bear with us as we try to squeeze in a couple quality posts between now and Christmas!!
This past weekend, we were able to finish painting our added trim and finally started painting the beige!! Not gonna lie, it looks awesome! Most importantly, Lisa LOVES it. Pheww! If she’s happy = I’m happy.
First the trim: after two coats of semi-gloss paint on the actual trim piece and three coats of paint on the wall between the trim and the crown molding, it looks pretty decent. The in-between part is still not quite as glossy as the wood, so we may revisit this once all the beige is on and maybe UP the glossy level for that small section. TBD.
Now for the beige. We prepped and painted the morning room and we’re really happy with everything…. the level of shade, the paint quality, the overall look, you name it! Although, I definitely could have done a cleaner job cutting in the ceiling. I used a crappy brush and now I’m going to go back and clean it up with my Purdy brush later this week. Oh well!
Here’s a photo of that room before we painted it.
Even more fun than painting is the new time lapse video we shot!! I setup the camera and recorded me painting the morning room from painter’s tape to finish! Check it out below. I’m no Steven Spielberg, but it was a lot of fun to shoot. See if you can catch Lisa goofing off!! If you blink, you miss it!
Pretty cool ay? Later this week, we’ll have the after photos from the morning room. All I have right now is the photos from the movie.
Plus, before Christmas… Lisa and I are listing our favorite Christmas songs! Not guaranteed to be free from Elf quotes, but I’ll try to keep them at a minimum. Anyone else doing any holiday home improvements?
Hey! Thanks for stopping by. We're Lisa and John and this is our DIY and Home Improvement blog. Feel free to browse our DIY project gallery or our latest posts. You can read more here.
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