Monday, October 17, 2016

Junk Wood Project: Wood Wallet

I still have plenty of junk wood, so it's time for a new project:  Wood Wallets!

About 2 years ago I made a few wallets (more like card holders) out of 1/4" plywood.  But these wallets do not hold up well to being in someone's back pocket.

So I searched the web for some good ideas, and I found a lot.  The wallets I liked the most seemed to be 2 separate pieces of wood held together with an elastic band.

I drew out a template in Adobe Illustrator...

...and printed it.

The wood I'll use is leftover wood that had already been planed...but I need it to be thinner.

At the time I was making these I did not own a band saw to cut the wood to be thinner, so instead I thinned the wood with my surface planer until it was about 3/8" thick.

Next I cut out my templates and attached them to the pieces of wood using some spray mount.

Then I began cutting out the shapes with my table jigsaw jig.

I smoothed out the edges with my tabletop disc sander...

...then I put all of the pieces in a vice together, and began shaping the edges with files and sandpaper so they would match one another.

To remove the paper and adhesive I used some lacquer thinner.

Before I stain the wood, I wanted to make sure this wallet would hold up well/work once the elastic was added.  So I found a leftover strip of elastic and cut it to size.

I then used a lot of Krazy glue to attach the 2 ends.

Once dry I put it around the wallet.

The elastic keeps the 2 pieces of wood tightly together, while still being able to insert or remove credit cards.

The elastic also holds cards or money on the outside.

I put a total of 8 cards in and it held up fine.  So now I can proceed with...


After the stain was dry I applied some clear coat.

And I'm done!

This is a pretty simple build and took me almost no time at all to make it.

As per my norm, I don't carry a lot of cash, but I did happen to have one dollar bill to fold up and place on the outside.

The elastic is tight enough to hold everything inside, but also loose enough for me to easy pry it open to remove or add cards.

I then made a second wallet shortly after, this time making the notches on the side rounded.

This also turned out quite nicely.

So there you have it!  A simple wood wallet made out of scrap!

Thanks for reading!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Junk Wood Project: Wood Stools

A while back I made a bunch of stools out of scrap material.  Some of these stools I gave away and some I kept.  My favorite stool is pictured below.

I don't quite know why I love this 2-step stool so much.  It's very nice looking despite all the gouges and scratches I originally applied to it.  So I decided to make another one, this time using some junk wood I picked up recently (for free).

For the sides and supports I'll be using the pieces seen above and below.  These are about 3/4" thick.  The wood pictured below is in good condition, whereas the wood above is definitely weather-worn and warped.

For the steps I'll be using this large piece of wood which looked like it was once a 2x8 stud.

To make this new stool similar to the old one, I made a template out of scrap plywood I had.

The warped/weathered board is large enough for me to cut both sides from...

...but it needs some work first.

So I cut the pieces of 3/4" wood into smaller, more manageable strips.

I cut all the edges to be square, and then ran the pieces through the surface planer to get all the boards to be flat and the same thickness.

It took a while, but I once all was said and done, I had some very nice looking, usable wood.

While the surface planer was plugged in, I began to plane the large 2x10.

It took many passes through the planer before I had a nice level surface on both sides.

I then put the 2x10 aside and decided to work on the 34" boards.  I glued all the boards together and clamped them up.

When the glue dried I used a sharp chisel to remove the dry glue that seeped out.

Next I used a marker to draw out my template onto the wood.

I then began to cut out the shapes with the jigsaw.  While cutting, one of the pieces broke, so I had to add more glue and clamps to keep it together.

While that was drying, I squared the edges of the 2x10 on the table saw.

Then I cut the pieces to length on the miter saw.

I then gave the edges a champer by using a plane on the edges.

Once both sides were done, I sanded all the surfaces and edges.

Then I cut some of the supports needed with the leftover wood.

I temporarily assembled the sides and supports with glue and brad nails.

Then I glued on the 2 steps.  The steps should stick out a little past the sides, but it looks like I either made the supports too long, or the steps too short - but I'm fine with it.

I didn't have any nails long enough to go through the steps, so I used some weights to hold them down until the glue dried.

Once everything was dry I used some deck screws to reinforce all the joints and steps.

There were a few cracks/breaks due to the screws, but I left it as is.  With the wood steps full of beautiful cracks and imperfections, these breaks will only add to the look.

Next I used some more leftover wood to create a lip on the front step - which was attached with glue and nails.

I trimmed the wood using my very awesome Japanese Razorsaw that my friend Brad got me (thanks Brad!)

And I think this stool is done with construction.  It just needs...

...a little sanding...

...some stain...

...and a few layers of clear coat.

The final result is a very nice looking 2-step stool!

I think I still like the older stool better, but this new stool is also quite awesome.

They're purposely not identical, but both beautiful.

And there you have it!  Another project using free junk wood!

A week later I decided to make yet another stool with scrap wood.  This time I used plywood for the sides.  I glued them up...

...and using my template I cut them out.

Then I cut some more of the scrap wood from the first stool build...

...and connected the sides.

For the steps I'll use 2 MDF boards which had a piece of this plywood laminated on the top.  The edges had also already been routed with a roundover.

The top step is one whole piece of MDF/plywood.  The bottom step needed to be trimmed to fit.

I decided to use the trimmed-off piece on the back.

Then I stained.

I used what was left of my gold spray paint to dab on gold - mostly to the edges of the steps.

When the stain and spray paint were all dry, I added polyurethane.

And I have another stool!

I spent zero dollars on these project, replying solely on what I had on hand in my workshop.  I realize that not everybody has all the tools that I do for reworking discarded wood, but I strongly feel that you can accomplish the same results with inexpensive hand tools such as a back saw, coping saw, block plane, sandpaper and a hammer and nails.  Don't forget wood glue!  And hold on to those scrap pieces of wood!
Thanks for reading!