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KIDS KITCHEN PART DEUX

Posted by Bill McBeth on

A couple of years ago the wife and I were shopping for kids kitchens, my requirements was it was well made and wouldn’t fall apart. After much shopping we found that the well built ones were going to cost around $500 from KidsCraft; with that price tag it better cook dinner for real. I knew that I could build one that look very close to those expensive models and I set out to do so and have it done before Christmas. It was completed and my girls loved it.

Fast forward a couple of years, every time we have our cousins Tony and Tina over their youngest daughter Tatum always goes directly to this play kitchen and has a blast with it; so they asked if I could build one for her Birthday in April; of course I didn’t get the final okay until about two weeks before her birthday. Normally that would be enough time, however, as it always does life got in the way and I procrastinated a bit, unfortunately I was two weeks late with it. Luckily for me her parents kept it a secret and she was quite surprised when it was delivered and presented. It didn’t take her long to have all her food, pots and pans on it and was cooking away. I always love when the items I build bring a smile to their face.

I designed the kitchen after the one I built for my girls, I made the fridge unit about half the size and only did two burners on the stove/sink unit. I used a wide variety of technologies on this build, the burners and faucet were printed on a friends 3D printer and the wings on the fridge were cut out using my wife’s Silhouette. I used 3/4” MDF and and used basic butt joints that were glued and then a few brad nails. I primed the kitchen with oil based primer, I always find that Oil based sticks better to MDF and then allows me to use any type of paint I want. The paint is a Pink latex Satin paint, once this stuff dries it produces a nice surface and can hold up to the abuse of a kid playing on it. I purchased the handles from Rockler and they really give off the 50’s style I was going for. The original design was supposed to use Electro Luminescence Wire (EL Wire) to light up the burners when the knobs were turned. I had to nix this because I was going to have to build a new circuit board to drive them the way I wanted, the burners were printed with a channel in them that the EL wire would slip into. If I build one of these again I will definitely incorporate the lights as it would look awesome.

All in all this was a good build, as with everything I build I learn a lot that I will be able to utilize on my next project.

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KIDS KITCHEN PART DEUX

Posted by Bill McBeth on

A couple of years ago the wife and I were shopping for kids kitchens, my requirements was it was well made and wouldn’t fall apart. After much shopping we found that the well built ones were going to cost around $500 from KidsCraft; with that price tag it better cook dinner for real. I knew that I could build one that look very close to those expensive models and I set out to do so and have it done before Christmas. It was completed and my girls loved it.

Fast forward a couple of years, every time we have our cousins Tony and Tina over their youngest daughter Tatum always goes directly to this play kitchen and has a blast with it; so they asked if I could build one for her Birthday in April; of course I didn’t get the final okay until about two weeks before her birthday. Normally that would be enough time, however, as it always does life got in the way and I procrastinated a bit, unfortunately I was two weeks late with it. Luckily for me her parents kept it a secret and she was quite surprised when it was delivered and presented. It didn’t take her long to have all her food, pots and pans on it and was cooking away. I always love when the items I build bring a smile to their face.

I designed the kitchen after the one I built for my girls, I made the fridge unit about half the size and only did two burners on the stove/sink unit. I used a wide variety of technologies on this build, the burners and faucet were printed on a friends 3D printer and the wings on the fridge were cut out using my wife’s Silhouette. I used 3/4” MDF and and used basic butt joints that were glued and then a few brad nails. I primed the kitchen with oil based primer, I always find that Oil based sticks better to MDF and then allows me to use any type of paint I want. The paint is a Pink latex Satin paint, once this stuff dries it produces a nice surface and can hold up to the abuse of a kid playing on it. I purchased the handles from Rockler and they really give off the 50’s style I was going for. The original design was supposed to use Electro Luminescence Wire (EL Wire) to light up the burners when the knobs were turned. I had to nix this because I was going to have to build a new circuit board to drive them the way I wanted, the burners were printed with a channel in them that the EL wire would slip into. If I build one of these again I will definitely incorporate the lights as it would look awesome.

All in all this was a good build, as with everything I build I learn a lot that I will be able to utilize on my next project.

Read more


Kids Art Desk

Posted by Bill McBeth on

This project took me way to long to get done, I started on it when we moved into our new house in July of 2011 and put it on hold to due to my job and house repairs that needed to get done. The kids continue to get older and older and all three of my girls enjoy doing crafts and drawing, they had no place to store their supplies so they would end up scattered across our house. We decided, or I should say the wife decided it was time to finish the Art Desk and give it to the girls for Christmas. The art desk boasts a large work surface, a 19” roll of paper that mounts under the desk and shelves to store their coloring books and supplies. The top shelf is a 2” deep shelf to store those things that have a tendency to roll.

I had just finished up the cradle project and now had free time to work on the art desk. I already had a portion of this built, but decided that I wanted to change the design…this was the biggest mistake I have ever made. The new design was not as sturdy and when I went to attach the top to the shelves it literally fell to pieces. I was pissed and disheartened, I went storming into the house slewing curse words under my breath, all that work and the hours I spent were all just undone in 15 seconds. Some of the boards split where they were joined together and now I was going to have to start completely over. Luckily after I cooled off I decided that I could just go back to the original design I came up with, I already had most of the pieces cut and ready to be put back together. I salvaged what I could from the destruction and only ended up having to purchase a couple items to replace what broke.

Got the base of the desk back together in a day and was back on track, then the weather decided to get nice and cold as it tends to do in Nebraska in December. Luckily I have a butane heater so it didn’t stop me completely just slowed me down a bit. I continued to work on this when I had time at night after the kids went to bed, of course Christmas day was getting closer and closer and I wasn’t even close to having all the pieces done for final assembly. Now it was Christmas Eve, the desk was assembled but I didn’t have it stained. I was tying to decided if I had time to get the stain on and still have it ready for the kids in the morning. I decided to hell with it if I have to be up all night I will get it done, this is when I figured out wow shellac is really easy to work with, albeit a little on the sticky side when you are wiping on and the cloth I was using fell to pieces after a couple applications. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it wiped on and how forgiving it was to work with. This was the first time I had ever used shellac for the finish. When I was completed I wasn’t sure if the color was what I wanted it was not the amber color that i was expecting; I ended up only doing one coat just in case I wanted to give it a quick sand and put a different finish on after Christmas. After a few hours of drying the desk color darkened and grew on me. I finished it off with a 0000 steel wool.

I completed the desk around 8 pm on Christmas Eve, I had to skip the Christmas Church service to make sure I got it done. The next day when the girls came down an saw their new art desk was worth all the work I put into getting this project done…someday I may learn to procrastinate less and get these done before the day I need to deliver it.

The desk is constructed using 3/4” pine boards that were glued up at the manufacturer, I really didn’t want to use pine for the project but it was what I could afford at the time. I definitely learned a lot during this project.

Read more

Kids Art Desk

Posted by Bill McBeth on

This project took me way to long to get done, I started on it when we moved into our new house in July of 2011 and put it on hold to due to my job and house repairs that needed to get done. The kids continue to get older and older and all three of my girls enjoy doing crafts and drawing, they had no place to store their supplies so they would end up scattered across our house. We decided, or I should say the wife decided it was time to finish the Art Desk and give it to the girls for Christmas. The art desk boasts a large work surface, a 19” roll of paper that mounts under the desk and shelves to store their coloring books and supplies. The top shelf is a 2” deep shelf to store those things that have a tendency to roll.

I had just finished up the cradle project and now had free time to work on the art desk. I already had a portion of this built, but decided that I wanted to change the design…this was the biggest mistake I have ever made. The new design was not as sturdy and when I went to attach the top to the shelves it literally fell to pieces. I was pissed and disheartened, I went storming into the house slewing curse words under my breath, all that work and the hours I spent were all just undone in 15 seconds. Some of the boards split where they were joined together and now I was going to have to start completely over. Luckily after I cooled off I decided that I could just go back to the original design I came up with, I already had most of the pieces cut and ready to be put back together. I salvaged what I could from the destruction and only ended up having to purchase a couple items to replace what broke.

Got the base of the desk back together in a day and was back on track, then the weather decided to get nice and cold as it tends to do in Nebraska in December. Luckily I have a butane heater so it didn’t stop me completely just slowed me down a bit. I continued to work on this when I had time at night after the kids went to bed, of course Christmas day was getting closer and closer and I wasn’t even close to having all the pieces done for final assembly. Now it was Christmas Eve, the desk was assembled but I didn’t have it stained. I was tying to decided if I had time to get the stain on and still have it ready for the kids in the morning. I decided to hell with it if I have to be up all night I will get it done, this is when I figured out wow shellac is really easy to work with, albeit a little on the sticky side when you are wiping on and the cloth I was using fell to pieces after a couple applications. I was pleasantly surprised on how easy it wiped on and how forgiving it was to work with. This was the first time I had ever used shellac for the finish. When I was completed I wasn’t sure if the color was what I wanted it was not the amber color that i was expecting; I ended up only doing one coat just in case I wanted to give it a quick sand and put a different finish on after Christmas. After a few hours of drying the desk color darkened and grew on me. I finished it off with a 0000 steel wool.

I completed the desk around 8 pm on Christmas Eve, I had to skip the Christmas Church service to make sure I got it done. The next day when the girls came down an saw their new art desk was worth all the work I put into getting this project done…someday I may learn to procrastinate less and get these done before the day I need to deliver it.

The desk is constructed using 3/4” pine boards that were glued up at the manufacturer, I really didn’t want to use pine for the project but it was what I could afford at the time. I definitely learned a lot during this project.

Read more


Mad Dash....Baby Cradle Refinish

Posted by Bill McBeth on

Let me set the scene for you, it was 4th of July 2013, I am having a 4th of July get together and my friends Doug and Lacey are pregnant with their first child. Over the course of the night we drank (Doug and I) and enjoyed the fireworks, BBQ and good conversation. At some point in the evening the conversation turned to the refinishing Lacey’s childhood cradle, it had been in storage at her parents house since she was a baby. Obviously I said yes, however, each drink after saying yes must have slowly erased it from my mind, amazing how beer can do that sometimes.

Fast forward a few months to late September, Lacey is just shy of a month away from having their baby, Doug comes to my desk.

“Bill, did you say you would refinish the cradle for Lacey?” I just gave him a blank stare.

“Uhhhh I don’t recall, when did we discuss this?”

“4th of July”

At this point I remember the amount of beer we went through and answered him with the honest answer, “I don’t remember, crap bring it in”

So around around the first week of October the cradle was delivered to me. It had over 30 spindles, missing parts and was not very sturdy. I began the disassembly process immediately. Luckily the spindles were not glued in very well and I was able to wiggle each and every one out. I then began the laborious task of sanding down each and every piece.

During this process family events got in the way and my 89 year old grandmother had a stroke and never recovered. Several trips from Omaha, NE to Columbia, MO to assist my Mother and Grandfather as well as say my goodbyes to my grandmother has now put this project way behind. She Passed away October 25. I now had less than two weeks to get the cradle done and about 40 hours of work to finish it. By this time the weather had started to turn cold and my garage shop was averaging 45° F. Every night I spent from 6pm to 10 pm working on this cradle, the mad dash to finish this project before the baby is born was on….

I started staining the larger pieces leaving the spindles for last, because if push came to shove I could have purchased new spindles instead of using the originals.

As you can see from the pictures the stain looks nice…NOT this was supposed to be a Dark Espresso and I obviously didn’t stir the stain well enough to get the correct pigment. Luckily a light sanding was all I needed to correct this issue, after I vigorously stirred the Stain.

Now you can really see the difference between the colors. Crisis adverted…now onto those pesky spindles. Luckily I was able to chuck them up in my lathe which made the sanding time much faster.

Spindles were all sanded and I was now able to start the assembly of the cradle for staining. I now only had a few days to get this done and everyday I came into work I had to make sure Doug was sitting at his desk.

I was now in the final stretch of this project and the baby had not come yet. It was November 4th and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. One final coat to finish this cradle and 24 hours to dry and harden. I delivered the Cradle on November 5th a mere day before they welcome Hannah into this world. She slept in this cradle for 6 weeks before they upgraded her to her Crib. I wish I had an action shot! I learned a lot of lessons from this project, i used Minwax Polyshades Espresso. This was my first endeavor using a stain that has to be brushed on. Overall I was quite happy with the results and so were Doug and Lacey. Thanks for taking the time to view this blog and I hope you had some good laughs. On to the next project.

Read more

Mad Dash....Baby Cradle Refinish

Posted by Bill McBeth on

Let me set the scene for you, it was 4th of July 2013, I am having a 4th of July get together and my friends Doug and Lacey are pregnant with their first child. Over the course of the night we drank (Doug and I) and enjoyed the fireworks, BBQ and good conversation. At some point in the evening the conversation turned to the refinishing Lacey’s childhood cradle, it had been in storage at her parents house since she was a baby. Obviously I said yes, however, each drink after saying yes must have slowly erased it from my mind, amazing how beer can do that sometimes.

Fast forward a few months to late September, Lacey is just shy of a month away from having their baby, Doug comes to my desk.

“Bill, did you say you would refinish the cradle for Lacey?” I just gave him a blank stare.

“Uhhhh I don’t recall, when did we discuss this?”

“4th of July”

At this point I remember the amount of beer we went through and answered him with the honest answer, “I don’t remember, crap bring it in”

So around around the first week of October the cradle was delivered to me. It had over 30 spindles, missing parts and was not very sturdy. I began the disassembly process immediately. Luckily the spindles were not glued in very well and I was able to wiggle each and every one out. I then began the laborious task of sanding down each and every piece.

During this process family events got in the way and my 89 year old grandmother had a stroke and never recovered. Several trips from Omaha, NE to Columbia, MO to assist my Mother and Grandfather as well as say my goodbyes to my grandmother has now put this project way behind. She Passed away October 25. I now had less than two weeks to get the cradle done and about 40 hours of work to finish it. By this time the weather had started to turn cold and my garage shop was averaging 45° F. Every night I spent from 6pm to 10 pm working on this cradle, the mad dash to finish this project before the baby is born was on….

I started staining the larger pieces leaving the spindles for last, because if push came to shove I could have purchased new spindles instead of using the originals.

As you can see from the pictures the stain looks nice…NOT this was supposed to be a Dark Espresso and I obviously didn’t stir the stain well enough to get the correct pigment. Luckily a light sanding was all I needed to correct this issue, after I vigorously stirred the Stain.

Now you can really see the difference between the colors. Crisis adverted…now onto those pesky spindles. Luckily I was able to chuck them up in my lathe which made the sanding time much faster.

Spindles were all sanded and I was now able to start the assembly of the cradle for staining. I now only had a few days to get this done and everyday I came into work I had to make sure Doug was sitting at his desk.

I was now in the final stretch of this project and the baby had not come yet. It was November 4th and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. One final coat to finish this cradle and 24 hours to dry and harden. I delivered the Cradle on November 5th a mere day before they welcome Hannah into this world. She slept in this cradle for 6 weeks before they upgraded her to her Crib. I wish I had an action shot! I learned a lot of lessons from this project, i used Minwax Polyshades Espresso. This was my first endeavor using a stain that has to be brushed on. Overall I was quite happy with the results and so were Doug and Lacey. Thanks for taking the time to view this blog and I hope you had some good laughs. On to the next project.

Read more