Monthly Archives: June 2015

Taking a Challenge

I love a challenge, such as what could I make from this small pile of antique, salvaged pieces of oak?

My wife Leigh Ann reminded me that we needed a small Arts and Crafts end table, so I started by cutting out four legs, and the stretchers between the legs, plus gluing pieces for the top — all simple, straight cuts.

Next came some sanding, and gluing the legs and stretchers ….

And the easiest part of all:  using the new Minwax® Wood Finishing Cloths (“Chestnut”) to apply both water-based stain and finish on the same pre-moistened cloth.

There are eight of the pre-moistened cloths inside each re-sealable package of Wood Finishing Cloths, and I only needed three to complete my small end table. After applying the stain and finish, I used a clean rag to remove any excess, and to erase the swirl marks you can see on the lower shelf.

A few hours later the table was dry — and already inside our family room, ready for Leigh Ann to decorate.

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


A Small Storage Box

Not every project has to be a big project. Last week I needed a small storage box that had to be a specific size to fit my available space. Rather than spend hours searching stores for a plastic bin, I quickly cut some half-inch birch plywood I had on hand and nailed together this simple box.

After a quick, light sanding and wiping off the dust, I reached for a can of Minwax® Clear Brushing Lacquer, which I knew would dry very quickly, and would give my storage box all of the protection it would need.

I love how the clear Lacquer brings out the grain and natural color of the wood! After the first coat dried, I sanded it lightly with #220-grit sandpaper and brushed on a final coat.

I added this old copper pull I had in my workshop to complete my storage box, which looks better than a plastic tub and certainly will last years longer!

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!



Classic Design, New Chair

I love antiques, but that doesn’t mean I won’t pass up a bargain on a recent reproduction, like this slightly-used oak Arts and Crafts Morris chair Leigh Ann and I spotted at a local thrift shop. The finish was slightly worn, but I knew how to handle that problem.

First we put it up on our workbench, which seems logical, but for those of you still working on the floor of your garage, trust me:  a sturdy workbench makes every project easier, more enjoyable, and more successful.

Speaking of easier, the Minwax® Wood Finish™ Stain Markers with their felt tips make fixing those annoying nicks and dings simple and fast.

So how to protect and restore a worn finish? With a fine synthetic pad dipped in Minwax® Paste Finishing Wax, then gently rubbed over and into the existing finish.

In just a few minutes the Paste Finishing Wax will have begun to harden. And here is where a clean soft cloth is better than a paper towel, for a good buffing will make the Paste Finishing Wax simply glow like a cherished antique. Which leaves only one question….

Which of my office assistants will get first dibs on the chair? (Looks like Percy won.)

Until next time,

Thanks for stopping by!


Re-purposing an Antique Mailbox

When my son Eric showed an interest in an old post office mailbox we spotted in a Salt Lake City antiques shop, I remembered that I had an old mailbox door stuck away in my workshop. With his birthday just days away, I quickly went to work on it.

Using just one oak board, I cut out the pieces for my box, using the antique mailbox door to determine the measurements.

Since I generally work alone in my garage, I rely on an assortment of clamps to help in the assembly of my projects, such as gluing together Eric’s post office box.

Time was a critical factor in this birthday project, so I reached for a fast drying clear finish — Minwax® Clear Aerosol Lacquer. It instantly brought out the natural beauty of the oak, provided the wood with all the protection it would need, and dried quickly.

As planned, the mailbox door slipped snugly into place, where I secured it with just two small wood screws on the inside of the oak box. But in case you are wondering . . . .

This oak box is also designed for Eric to use as a small storage space for letters, keys, or maybe money for the pizza delivery guy!

Until next time,

Measure twice, saw once!

Thanks –