Monthly Archives: September 2014

A Polyshades Picture Frame

Every father loves a phone call from his son, but last week’s call from Eric out in Salt Lake City made me feel especially proud. Seems he is going to a friend’s wedding next month, but rather than pick something from the bridal registry, he bought them an original print — and asked me if I would make them a handcrafted frame. Suddenly nothing else seemed so important. I quickly cut, glued, and sanded the frame, then followed his request for a black stain and finish ….

Within a few minutes my can of Minwax® PolyShades® had given me both the black stain and a durable polyurethane finish, letting just enough of the natural grain of the wood show. The key to PolyShades®: a high quality, natural bristle brush, light strokes, and thin coats.

For more information on PolyShades® and a demonstration, watch the latest ‘Just Ask Bruce‘ video

Thanks for stopping by!

Making Lemonade

Remember the saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade”? Well, during our kitchen remodeling this past summer, some of the new cherry kitchen cabinets we ordered came looking like they had been dropped off the back of a truck. Drawers were broken, corners crushed, hinges sprung, and shelves split. The company quickly sent replacements, but had no interest in the damaged cabinets. So, I put them in the garage, started making repairs, added a particle board top, and now Leigh Ann and I have a cherry workbench for our projects. I’d say, in the end, it worked out in our favor.

(Quick Tip: look for damaged cabinets at salvage shops in your area for your workspaces.) – Bruce

A New Life For Old Wood

When I had the chance not long ago to haul away several oak boards from old beds, I never hesitated. Hundred year old boards have a unique flavor that new wood simply cannot duplicate. And I knew that with a can of Minwax® Wood Finish™ in “Gunstock” I could make a few small Arts and Crafts style tables. See how they turned out in the next picture.


The woodworking aspect really was pretty simple, as Arts and Crafts designs were meant to be. The Gunstock stain really made the grain of the century-old oak come alive. So, if you ever have the chance to gather some old wood, don’t pass it up — even if you’re not sure at the time what you might make from it!

Thanks for stopping by! Bruce

Organizing Your Collection of Clamps

You can never have too many clamps, but keeping them organized and easy to reach can be a challenge. I find inexpensive used clamps at yard sales and flea markets. My method is to mount them on a board I attached to one end of my workbench with a few wood screws. Now whenever I need to apply pressure to a freshly glued joint, I can reach for whatever size clamp I need. Give it a try!

Thanks for stopping by! Bruce.