Sunday, January 18, 2009

Carved DVD Tower

Overview: This was a really fun project for me. It was my first custom piece of furniture. I actually got all of the wood (It is actually particle board) from a previous employer who was going to throw it all away. I thought for sure I could use it somehow so I asked him if I could have it. This was the result. From the pictures you can only see one side. I made it double deep so when I build a turn table for it you will be able to rotate the whole tower and place DVDs on the opposite side.

My friend, Barry ( designed this carving on his computer. I painted the whole tower black first and then carved out the picture. This was actually really fun and easier to carve than real wood because there are no grain patterns in particle board.

Coffee Table Magazine Holder

Overview: This project took a little more time than I had previously thought but it turned out really well. I could only use my hand saw because it was too late at night to use my miter saw outside and I don't have a garage yet. I didn't want to drive to my friends wood shop to use his table saw and sander either because it is 30 minutes away. This design was pure inspiration. Every month we receive a Church magazine that I want to have handy to read while I am on our couch. You may be asking yourselves "Why didn't you put them on the actual coffee table?" That is actually what we tried doing but very soon after placing them on the table, we would but many other items on there too making the table really cluttered. My wife in frustration would then clean off the whole table and put the magazines across the room. Then I would move them back to the table and the whole process would start over. I wanted something that would look nice and be functional. Please do not think that I messed up a nice coffee table. Ours is from Walmart and it was $30 so I did not feel bad in the least bit drilling into it and giving it an "upgrade." After I had finished the project I was ecstatic to see how well it turned out coming from my mind. Again this project was pure inspiration.

Start out by ripping a 2 x 4 down the middle into two equal pieces.

Then you want to cut off an angle piece from the tops of both pieces like so.

I then used a 1/2 inch drill bit to drill the four holes. Make sure that your drill is straight up and down while you are drilling because if not, it will be very difficult to place your dowel rods in later. I then took them outside and spray painted them black.

Time Saving Tip: Place the two pieces of wood on top of each other, clamp them together making sure that they are flush. Proceed to drill your holes. This makes it so that you only have to drill two holes instead of four and they will also be exactly equal in distances from the end. Again make sure that your drill is straight up and down while you are drilling.

I then pre-drilled holes for my screws to attach my 2 x 4 pieces to the coffee table. I didn't want the wood to split but one piece still did as you can see in the picture. I used four L-brackets in total and spray painted those as well. I also used 2 inch long screws to attach the pieces to the legs and the table itself.

Once your side pieces are attached, measure the distances and cut a dowel rod to length and spray paint that also.

I am most proud of this piece below. I needed some cloth and I asked my wife for some but "No way" was the result. She had nothing for me but suggested that I cut up an old T-Shirt or something that I have in storage. She is brilliant. I found an old sweater that I got for free from a college football game that I had not worn in four years. Even then, I had only worn the sweater three times. I then tried to cut out a nice rectangle and sewed the edges. Yes, I do know the basics to sewing due to my mother teaching me when I was younger. She was a great teacher but I was a bad student as you can see. The top and bottom are stitched close so as to make sides but I sewed the left and right sides with a dowel rod in there to make sure the loops were big enough to have the rod slide through them. To my surprise it all worked out.

Then you slide the dowel rods in through the holes and place the loop in the fabric onto the dowel rod.

Pictured below are the magazines and a folder with a cloth covering surrounding it for protection laying in the magazine holder.

Overall I only paid for the dowel rod and one can of spray paint. Everything else came from scraps.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Making of a Cinnamon Roll

Overview: I do owe a great deal of thanks to my wife for taking the time to take most of these pictures for me. My hands were dirty thus rendering me unable to use the camera. If I even tried, it would be bad news for me.

Lime Light: I would like to thank my best friends Mom Cindy for teaching me how to make this recipe. She really expanded my horizons with this one.

Time Saving Tip: Coat dough with a lot of flour so that it does not stick to your hands. Once it does, it is very difficult to get it off.

Helpful Video:

If you would like to know how to make Orange Rolls instead click here.

Cream of Chicken Potato Soup

Overview: This is a great recipe for a nice bowl of warm soup on a cold day especially.

Lime Light: I would like to thank the mystery man that gave me this recipe. I was on the job site one day when they served us some lunch. This was the main dish and it was so delicious. After I ate my portion, with all of the tough construction guys around, I asked the host of the meal for the recipe. I kinda felt weird asking for a recipe around all of these macho guys but hey, this food is worth it!

Now since I got this recipe from a man that made it for 15 - 20 people I will give you both versions: for 15 - 20 people or for 4 - 6 people. This is a pretty easy recipe so you can adjust the amounts to serve the amount you need.

15 - 20 People:

Begin by warming up on the stove:
1 Can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup

In a separate pot add to boiling water:
4 - 5 Pounds of red potatoes cut into chunks

Cook these for 10 minutes

After 10 minutes add:
1 1/2 Cups chopped celery

Boil the potatoes and celery combined for another 10 minutes

Turn the heat to medium and strain out the water
Add: the warmed canned creams
3 Tablespoons butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 Gallon of milk

Be very careful not to scorch the milk ! It is very easy to do this so continue stirring until the soup is warm to the taste and serve.

4-6 People:

The only things that is different that I have tried is to add fewer potatoes and less milk.
Try 1 - 2 pounds of red potatoes that are cut into chunks.
Pour in 1 Quart of milk and see how it tastes.
If it needs more add 1 more Quart of milk.

For more people add more milk and more potatoes. If it gets to be more than 20 I would add in another can of Cream of Mushroom and another can of Cream of Chicken to make 2 cans of each.


Bathroom Tile Job




DVD Shelf for Parents