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Friday, October 10, 2014

DIY Modern Slotted Bench/Console Table

Found some inspiration from a project I tripped across online and immediately thought of an excellent place in the basement to add a matching bench and console sofa table.

This bench was actually just a test as I tweaked the idea a bit before I attempted my poke at the table and it turned out pretty well, so here we go...

Time: 1 hour for assembly / 1 day for staining
Cost: $30-$50 depending on the quality of the wood
Difficulty: Easy

Tools Needed:
Hammer / Finish Nailer
Saw / Miter Saw
Countersink Bit (not needed if you have a Kreg)

Materials Needed:
Wood Glue
2" wood screws / finishing nails
Wood putty
Stain / Paint
Kreg Jig (Optional but recommended)
(10) 1x4x6' long Select Pine or better (Oak, Poplar, etc)
120 grit sandpaper

I decided on about a 60" bench, typical height for informal seating is about 18". So this allowed me to get both a seating beam and a leg section out of each 1x4.

Cut 8 of the 1x4's at 57-1/2", leaving about 14" which is perfect for our legs as they will touch up against another piece of wood, equaling about 18" total. I did a dry build of the entire bench to see which pieces went best together.

Place one of the short sections (leg) perpendicular to a large section and measure. Mine turned out to be 18-5/8", you will need 4 pieces that length to serve as leg reinforcement.

Place the reinforcement piece on top of the leg and beam on both sides

and then place another beam across...

You should be left with a few scrap pieces of wood at this point. We're now going to create our spacers which is going to make the slots and really add to the look. A 4" piece of wood is actually 3-1/2" inches so were going to create some squares that size. You will need 10 spacers 3-1/2" by 3-1/2"

Place spacers on both ends and then a beam and then spacers and then a beam, until you are out of spacers. Check each piece as you go along for splintered edges and keep the cleanest edges on the outsides, as they will be visible. You will sand the biggest offenders later so dont worry too much, and DONT ATTACH ANYTHING YET!

On top of the 2nd to last beam you will add another long leg reinforcement piece, then the last beam and then the last leg. It will become difficult to hold this by yourself so make sure you have a helper.

You should end up with this...

I jotted small numbers on the pieces just to remember their order. Now that you have a good preview, lets disassemble and get ready to do some sanding and staining. Specifically we need to sand rough edges and then stain the pieces and sides that will be the interior of the slots which will be impossible to get to later.

There are a couple of pieces that we can pre-assemble, as they will remain as a solid piece and this is the easiest time to take care of that.

First, lets assemble the outer sides...For those who have a Kreg Jig this is where we will be able to hide a couple of screws so they will not be visible from the outside of the bench. If you do not have the Kreg you can simply drill a couple of countersunk (head is below the surface) holes to hide your screws and then cover them with wood filler.

After the leg and seat support have been attached, the reinforcement leg gets glued and nailed

Now we need to paint the sides of the remaining seat supports because these will be unaccessible once assembled. You can leave a few inches on each end unpainted as they will be covered up by our spacer blocks.

On the spacer blocks, you also need to paint one of the rough edges, as that edge will also not be accessible once assembled.
Once everything is dry, you can begin to stack, nail, paint...repeat.
This pic shows the first main leg with reinforcement attached and painted.

The first item to be stacked is a long seat support, check your edges and alignments EVERY TIME!

And then a spacer, check your edges and alignments EVERY TIME

Make sure you face the painted side of the spacer towards the INSIDE of the bench.

Keep stacking and painting

For stability measure and attach a horizontal support on each side.


Paint the remaining edges

I drilled a long 3" screw from the outside edge through the legs into the spacers for more stability. You can see the hole that will be filled and stained.

This idea was also tranformed into a matching console/sofa table which is exactly the same plans just with 30" legs and 33.5" reinforcement legs...and here it is...as well as a peek at some updated basement :)

Good luck!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Media Room / Man Cave / Home Theater DVD Re-purposed Artwork

Hello all, after a year long DIY hiatus and some much needed down time from life in general, I'm back on the scene with a bunch of sleeper projects and some decor updates. Yes, I've seen that some of the pictures on older posts have been corrupted, Ill be attempting to get those sorted as time allows. Contact me if you need any before I get around to it.

Over the years Im sure we've all collected a bunch of DVDs and their respective boxes and have displayed (or hidden) them in one way or another. In recent years Ive been gearing up for an all digital media library server. So basically from any TV on my home network I can stream movies/music/photos that Ive uploaded onto the server.

For all of the DVDs that Ive purchased in the past, I found a multi-disc jukebox from Sony that can literally store hundreds of discs in one machine...its a blessing. So after loading the player with all of my movies, I was looking at all of the empty boxes and had a great idea to display them in the basement where the newly developed entertainment area (which will be unveiled shortly) is coming together.

And tah-dah

A 24" x 36" frame from anywhere is the exact dimensions which allow you to showcase a 5x5 grid of dvd inserts/covers for a very nice media area piece of artwork. They can be attached with a glue stick or spray adhesive. People love it and actually stare at it for like 15 min reading all of the covers.

Friday, March 14, 2014

DIY Tub Surround Tile Accent Row

We’ve been seeing a lot of tile accents in bathrooms lately and think it’s a clever and inexpensive way to add a little detail and oomph for those of us who have the standard ceramics installed. The master bath will be getting a full spa-like treatment, so we had to give this bath some love so it wouldnt feel left out and add to the upgrades we completed already.

We went with a grey/charcoal/black-ish mosaic to match the updated decor. It is a high-contrast blend with the white grout & tiles and adds some major pop and looks great next to the wall color.

Time: 2 hours for tile removal + tiling/grouting (2 days)
Cost: $30-$75 depending on accent tile
Difficulty: Easy, but cautious

Tools Needed:
Multi Oscillating tool with scraping blade (optional)
Painters tape
Grout Float
Notched Trowel

Materials Needed:
Accent tiles
Tile Adhesive/Mastic
Joint tape for wet surfaces (typically used for shower corner/drywall joints)

First step is to protect your tub, so you can either lay a piece of plywood over it to protect it from falling tile (yes, it will) or to simply tape a tarp around the edge of the tub.

For anyone who has tiled before and have used a pre-mixed grout product, you have witnessed just how brittle and dry that mixture is. The mastic and grout used by professionals is mixed dry with water and creates a substantially more difficult product to remove.

The first step is to use your Multi Oscillating tool (easiest, fastest method) to remove the top and bottom  grout lines from the tiles you want to take out. Others have suggested simply using a screwdriver or chisel  and tapping along the grout line. That will work but will take forever.

Use this tool to carefully scrape through the grout lines. Ive found that using it at a 45 degree angle works best. There will be some play and jumping around of the blade so always angle the tool slightly towards the tile were going to remove, so if it does jump it wont scrape the good tile that will be left behind. TAKE YOUR TIME!

Youll basically end up with something that looks like this...

The idea is to loosen the grout edges to help ease the tension holding on to the tile and to ease adjoining tiles from the stress as youre pulling on the ones you want to remove. The tiles used are standard 6" ceramic generic tiles, so they are easy and cheap to replace if a mistake is made.

We first slid the multi tool under the edging tile so we could get to the inner ones, and then replaced it since having our accent row ending exposed at the wall might look a little weird, so we took the safe route and wanted a clean finish on the end.

To remove them all you essentially, remove grout edges, run the multi tool underneath the edge of the tile to loosen the mastic(glue) holding it on the wall, and then use your chisel to tap and pry the tile from the wall.

What is behind the tile is drywall so you will make holes/indents in it while prying if youre not careful. Its not the end of the world, but should certainly be avoided if possible. The bare wall will be protected later with water barrier tape and the grout will be sealed in the last step, so dont worry.

We've found that if the tile doesnt seem to want to pry off easily, we would simply smash it with the corner edge of the hammer and then pry off the smaller pieces. Fast and effective.

You can utilize the hammer method solely, that will require no power tools, just a chisel/pry bar and some elbow grease.

Once your tiles have been removed, you can optionally use a paint scraper to remove any mastic left from the previous job, spead your mastic and lay tile--constantly reviewing alignment and edges.


p.s. any misaligned tiles you see in the photo have been fixed :-)