Deck cooler

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Who wants a plain old igloo cooler sitting on your deck, when you can have this instead? Not me!

I have seen many cooler modifications on Pinterst and YouTube, and by far the best one I have seen is from beachbumlivin, his video is really good and well put together. I got the basic idea for construction  from his video. I used pallets for the insets, shelf, and top lid. The rest of the wood I picked up at our local re-purpose shop for a descent price,  the cooler I already had so the only cost was hinges, bottle opener, and plumbing supplies. This was a really fun project to build, I had fun playing with different staining techniques. I used shoe polish for a good portion of the pre-stain, adding the polish gives a very aged look once a normal wood stain is applied over the shoe polish. For the rest of the shades of wood stain, I just used what I had already in my personal stock. 


When I plumed in the faucet, I decided to run it directly through the frame of the box. This ensures some stability to the hook up. My biggest concern was the plumbing, the last thing I wanted was myself or a drunk friend slapping off the faucet, so the way I did it makes for a solid connection and eliminates my concern.  The panels I just cut different sized wood pieces to fit in a mosaic pattern and stained them in random ways, the same for the side and back panels.  

The lid fits down completely, so the cooler is water tight. Even though I made this with reclaimed wood, I feel that the panels give it a classy look that I was very pleased with.

I hope this project inspires you to spruce up a old cooler that I'm sure you have laying around. As always thanks for checking out the page and have fun creating.

Celtic mash paddle

Saturday, May 3, 2014

This was a project I did a while back and am just now getting around to posting pictures of it. This project was a lot of fun, for one I have never dabbled in wood carving before and it gave me a reason to try my hand at making mosaic pins. So a Mash paddle is a tool used in brewing beer (is basically a big stir stick) I wanted to play around with a carving project and this gave me that opportunity. Typically a mash paddle is pretty basic, but whats the fun in being basic when you got skills right!

Because this was my first attempt at carving I used a softer wood (poplar) which I would have rather used oak or maple, but finding maple in Florida is damn near impossible. This paddle is more decoration than functional. Like I said I was looking more at the carving aspect that the practicality of the piece, but the next one I do will be oak.

I started out by laying down a pattern on a 3/4 board, then used a jigsaw to cut out the body of the paddle.

 Once the body was cut out, I drilled holes in each negative space on the knot section of the paddle. Then using a copping saw I cut out each negative space. This part takes a while so don't get frustrated.

After a rough sanding to clean up the edges and crevices, next is time to break out the chisels. Now I would not recommend using carpenters chisels but if that's all you got I'm sure you can pull it off with some fineness and patient. What I would recommend are carving chisels, you will have more versatility than you will with a straight edge chisel.

To get the affect that the wood is knotted, I dug down a 1/4 inch or so on the parts that would give it a uniformed weaved affect. It sounds more difficult than it is, the hardest part of doing a Celtic knot is making sure its consistent.

After I was satisfied with the knot work I carved a Scottish thistle in the handle, and because this is not a functional piece I used a not food grade stain. If this was a functional paddle I would have used a butcher block stain that is food grade or I would have just used mineral oil.  

I was really happy with the final product and would defiantly make another. As always I hope you enjoyed the post, if you have any feedback feel free to leave a comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can!

Remember, all that makes a person an expert in a craft is practice!


Rustic Lamp

Hey guys, so this past semester I attended a three dimensional design class, and the finial project was to take a item or items that have one purpose and turn them into some thing useful... so I made a lamp out of copper tubing and fittings.

I am still trying to be mindful that I have a blog, and I have a few projects I have done recently that I didn't take any pictures of, sorry!

The body of the lamp is copper tubing and fittings, and the base is a piece of fire wood I had in my wood stack. I cut the log in to a block on a band saw then used a chisel to distress the block to look cracked and aged. For a stain I used brown and black shoe polish in random spots, then blended the two with Danish oil, the color turned out nice.  

As for the cord, I wanted a vintage looking cord. I know you can buy vintage lamp cords online but I just took two pieces of wire and twisted the using my cordless drill. Using a drill to twist wire or rope is a fast and easy way to get a consistent wrap throughout the length of  wire/rope.

Finally, with keeping the rustic/vintage look I picked up a Edison bulb from Lowes. This project was Fairly easy, I soldered all the fittings in place and if you have never done this before its not as hard as you might think. All you need is a plumbers torch, solder, and some flux. Copper heats really fast so each fitting only takes about 30 seconds to do. Another thing to remember when soldering something like this, is this lamp is not going to hold water nor are most of us professional plumbers, these joints don't have to be perfect. If you get solder everywhere it's nothing a file and wire brush cant fix. 

If anyone wants to make something similar to this, let me know and I'll try to make up another one for a tutorial. Or if you might have a question about soldering fittings or wiring up a lamp leave me a comment and I'll promptly return a comment.

Remember if you do attempt any kind of soldering, plumbing or electrical you are dealing with extreme heat sources, so be mindful of your surroundings and your extremities!!! Burns happen often.

As always thanks for checking the blog out and keep coming back!

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