Creating a classic toy: One of my favorite shop projects is to create children’s cedar building blocks from rough Tennessee red cedar. These came about after I built my first Adirondack chairs and I had a large amount of scrap wood left over. Our first granddaughter had just been born and we decided to build a set of building blocks. Since that first set of blocks was made I’ve delivered hundreds to young children all across the country. Hearing the stories of the kids playing with these for hours and seeing the joy on their faces is what it’s all about. *DISCLOSURE: Some of the links below are affiliate links. If you chose to click through and make a purchase I will earn a commission but there is no additional cost to you. It helps compensates the business for the time spent creating these posts. THANK YOU! Start with Rough Cut Cedar These blocks start with rough 2×4 and 2×6 cedar lumber purchased from my local cedar mill. I use my Ridgid Power Tools Surface Planer to bring the wood into smooth milled lumber. Over to the SuperMax Drum Sander to sand the wood as much as possible. The goal is make sure the wood is as soon as glass. Then the wood goes into my Ridgid table saw to be milled into ¾ x ¾, 2 x 2 and ¾ x 2. Once the pieces are cut to proper width its over to the Grizzly Band saw to cut the blocks to length. I tried to do this on my sliding miter saw, but found I could not control the blocks well enough and the saw blade would cause them to either get jammed or fly across the shop and be ruined. Block Sizes These blocks come in a number of rectangle and square sizes. ¾ x ¾ x 2”, 4” and 6” ¾ x 2 x2’, 4” and 6” 1 ½ x1 ½ x1 ½ 2 x2 x 2”, 6” Final Step by Hand The last step is to take them to the Ridgid Oscillating Sander and round over the edges and corners to keep them safe. Because we handle them multiple times it gives is the opportunity to clear out any misfits and chipped blocks. Watch the process here. At one point we were coating them with a finish used for salad bowls but they were hard to dry without leaving ridges from the drying racks or drips that needed to be sanded off. It was recommended/suggested by a number of mothers that we not put anything on them. The beauty of these blocks is they hold the smell and are safe to play with. They provide hours of fun when stacking and building. I have watched the little ones learning how to pick things up grab and hold them. Available to purchase on Etsy Interested in having your own set? We have a limited amount available for Christmas 2018 with or without the hand made wooden
Be sure wood is dry. Material from a job site or floor joists that existed in a crawlspace may have high moisture content; material from a conditioned space should be dry. Wood can be dried in a kiln (ask your local lumber mill) or stored inside through the winter. If time does not permit, stack wood in a hot dry place with 1" spacers between layers. Allow to dry for a minimum of two weeks. 

After sanding, I wiped down the table to remove any dust. Then I stirred the polyurethane and brushed it on the table top, including all four sides. After the polyurethane coating dried, the table was ready to be used. I used the poly coat because the table is being used on an outdoor porch. It is a covered porch, but sometimes there is a blowing rain. I also wanted a protective coating because the table is being used for food and drinks. I didn’t want to worry about anything being spilled on the table. 

Google is probably the first place where most people would start searching for woodworking plans, but often the top results can be a mix of articles and how-to pieces that just aren’t detailed enough. Sometimes they’ll link to the plans (like we try to here at Lifehacker), but other times, they’re just showing off a cool project. There are better, more precise ways of finding what you’re looking for.
This tool is specialized for the task of making shingles. The strange name comes from the antiquated word "froward," which means "away," in reference to the direction that the tool cuts. To use it, place the froe, blade down, on the edge of a log length, then hit the top of the blade with a wooden club, forcing the froe into the log. Next, pull the handle toward you and pry off a thin slice of the log. Voilà... shingle! Since buying a box of square-edged shingles is significantly less effort than making each and every one by hand, this tool has long since passed its heyday. But it still can be used to build up the kindling pile.
Online packages also allow you to build at a convenient pace, whether you want to build one bench per week or want to try every new furniture plan available – and more importantly, the use of clear instructions will enable you to build under a comfortable environment without any pressure. That way, you do not face disappointment that you would otherwise experience if you buy hard-to-understand furniture plans or can’t find the specific project that you’re looking for. If you think that a plan outline is simple, you can find a more difficult one and begin practicing new skills and techniques. That way, you are able to build more things faster than if you bought each plan individually and had to search for it each time.
I’ve got two sets sitting under heavy books right now drying overnight. Thank you so much for this! I bought the 8 planks of wood like you said but when I put them together it was uneven so I used 3 wide and 2 small for a perfect 2ft square table. Because of the extra I have enough for another set! I’m so excited I’m just starting to get into food photography so I found your blog just in time . Thanks!!
The next important hand tool for the woodworker is an accurate tape measure. Get a retractable one that is at least 25 feet long. Any longer than that, and you start having problems getting it to roll back up. Since measurements on large scale projects can be very susceptible to even the most minute measurement variations, you’ll want to make sure the “hook” or tab at the end of the is firmly attached, with no give. When they get loose, you’ll have as much as 1/8” variation in your measurements. This can add up to some severe accuracy problems in the long run.
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When you buy the wood, look for pieces that aren’t warped, excessively longer or shorter than the others, and, if you can get lucky, don’t carry the telltale “new wood” planer marks. We purchased the most inexpensive wood that we could find. You’ll likely find them in 2- and 4-ft pieces. If you have a saw at home, you might consider getting the 4 ft pieces to decrease the cost of your project a bit.

There was a big crowd, rocking music, and a lot of excitement over the Extreme Post-it Notes at the 3M booth at the 2018 International Builders Show. Apparently these things stick to wood, hot stuff, cold stuff, wet stuff, brick, metal, plastic pipes, ladders, stair treads, flooring, the side of a truck, copper, tools, siding, co-workers, concrete, tile, drywall, asphalt, house wrap, light fixtures, switches, cabinets, leather belts, windows…well, you get the idea. Post-it Extreme Notes will be available at major retailers beginning in March 2018.


And if you haven’t got a fancy stencil hanging around, you can still give your table a stencil-styled makeover, and it won’t take much.  To make this fun herringbone table, Shark Tails took a boring side table and taped off a herringbone design then spray painted it gold!  It adds a touch of mod glam that’s not overwhelming since it’s in a small dose. // Shark Tails
Our favorite tools that make every project easier (and safer too!) With Black Friday soon to be upon us I wanted to put together a list of 11 items under $70.00 (it was supposed to be 10, but I couldn’t decide which to leave off!) that I use on a regular basis in my wood shop. Each of these items will make great stocking stuffers, secret Santa gifts or just something you can purchase for yourself to make your shop more efficient and safer. I have personally used all these items except the tape measure. I bought that for my son-in-law who uses it on a regular basis. I find each of these items serve multiple purposes for me in the shop to keep me safe, provide my accurate measurements and give me that extra pairs of hands that I need. You can find Amazon links below that will take you directly to the item. *DISCLOSURE: The links below are affiliate links. If you chose to click through and make a purchase I will earn a commission but there is no additional cost to you. It helps compensates the business for the time spent creating these posts. THANK YOU! SAFETY FIRST GRR-RIPPER 3D Pushblock for Table Saws, Router Tables, Band Saws, and Jointers by MICROJIG – $59.00 Safety is essential in the shop and these GRR-RIPPERS keep tablesaw blades, router bits and Jointer blades away from my fingers. No shop should be without them. I Have 2 and use them daily. 3M Peltor Optime 105 Over the Head Earmuff, Ear Protectors, Hearing Protection, NRR 30 dB $19.95 Don’t let the noise of your machinery ruin your hearing. I use these while running all the tools in my shop to protect my hearing. They fit well with safety glasses and are comfortable to wear for hours. MEASURING TOOLS Kreg KMA2900 Multi-Mark Multi-Purpose Marking and Measuring Tool Model – $42.11  Great things come in small sizes. I carry this little wonder in my apron  for every project. It helps me make sure that my wood is all the same thickness when coming out of the planer. I use it to set the depth of my dado cuts. FastCap PSSR25 25 foot Lefty/Righty Measuring Tape – $9.99 This tape measure is great for someone that has issues with the smaller measurements such as 1/8, 3/8, 5/8, etc.. Left or Right handed, this item really measures up. 12 in Centerpoint Rule – $13.95 I picked this up on a whim while walking through a wood store one day and I have never regretted it. I find it hard to determine the center point of wood at times and this finds center every time without failure and with great ease. Find the full measurement on the top of the ruler and find the same number on the bottom and that is center. NO ONE EVER HAS ENOUGH CLAMPS Large Rockler Bandy Clamps, Pair  – $24.99 I could never figure out what the fuss was for these until
The Story of the Farmhouse Table with a Race Track While working my day job one of my managers came to my desk and said “I need your help”. Come to find out she ordered a farmhouse table and bench on Etsy. However the person she ordered it from fell off the face of the earth and left her without a table or her money (Etsy made good on it for her). The reason she ordered the table was because of the three legged bench. She has a young son and was concerned that he would turn over a two legged bench. This one appeared to give her the stability that she wanted. My reply, “I can help!” After seeing the picture of the table she ordered I told her to give me a few days and I could find her an alternative. So I went out to one of my trusted bloggers, Rogue Engineer and found the table I wanted to build. Please check out his site and follow him on social media. After getting her approval of the style and layout, we agreed on a price and some minor adjustments to the plans. She only wanted a 7 foot table and she only wanted one bench, but that bench needed a third leg. So I made the size adjustments and quoted the table. Now the “Curve” A couple of days after we agreed on the project my client called and said she had an idea on the way to work. She needed to find a way to get her son to the dinner table. “Can I add a 1½” wide by 1/8th inch deep race track around the top of the table?” After I caught my breath and recovered I gave her some alternative ideas to avoid creating a race track into what I knew was going to be a beautiful table. She was convinced this is what she wanted, so I said well, this is why we call ourselves Bayne CUSTOM Woodworking. So I agreed and then the adventure began. The Build Instead of recreating what Rogue Engineer already did I will refer you to his free plans on his site. See the link in the opening paragraph.  He will provide the materials list needed. Below I will outline the changes I made and how I built the table and bench. While not huge changes, there are some that I made to meet the client’s requests and some to add my own unique style. The plans call for a table that is 110” while I made mine to fit the client request of 84”. Because I trimmed my boards I ended up with a 40” wide top instead of a 42” wide. She wanted only one bench so I made an 80” bench with 3 legs instead of the 2 legged bench. Let me also state up front that I rarely, if ever, use pine to build anymore, but I did use it on the job because
Furnishing and decorating your patio is not an easy task – but then again, it has to be done! Your patio is obviously one of the most important rooms in your home, as you can easily turn it into your little piece of Heaven, your “safe spot” in your home where you can retreat whenever you want to ignore the world and just spend some time alone all by yourself.
Using pocket holes to attach the stool base to the stool top prevents the top from moving during seasonal changes. It’s also not a good idea to drive screws through the edge of the apron into the table top. Over time the top could crack or the top could have enough force to push or pull the joints of the base apart. Skate over to Mistakes with Wood Can Cause Your DIY Furniture to Crack to see more about how I incorrectly attached the top on the stool.
If planks are slightly cupped or twisted, have them planed at a local millwork shop or borrow a tabletop planer and tackle the job yourself. If planing yourself, first check planks for and remove nails and excess dirt*. Run planks though the planer, stripping a small amount of wood from each side as you plane. While the board is going through the planer, manually adjust the depth of the cut to compensate for irregular thickness (or twist) over the board’s length. You can hurt yourself or damage the board or planer if you do not manually adjust as you go. Keep running boards through the planer until the blade has lightly stripped each surface. Next, rip boards on a table saw to create straight edges; planks do not have to be identical in width.

And if you haven’t got a fancy stencil hanging around, you can still give your table a stencil-styled makeover, and it won’t take much.  To make this fun herringbone table, Shark Tails took a boring side table and taped off a herringbone design then spray painted it gold!  It adds a touch of mod glam that’s not overwhelming since it’s in a small dose. // Shark Tails
A super simple iPad Dock/stand made out of a single block of wood features an angled groove which gets to support the tablet device and a cut in a hole to revise access to the home button of your iPad. It’s possible to drill an access channel in the stand through which you can run a charging cable, although this mini stripped back iPad stand may have very limited functions.
Hi Mitchell – Thank you for the heads up… I thought I mentioned that in that in the post, but you’re right, I didn’t. Yes, wood expands across its width, so in order to allow for expansion/contraction there should be a small gap where the edges of the boards meet the apron. You don’t need a gap where the ends of the board meet the apron because wood doesn’t really expand/contract in this direction.

Drill pocket holes from the outer boards to the inner board. Drilling the holes before adding screws prevents the boards from cracking. To create the holes, measure along the sides of the center board. Mark it about every 7 in (18 cm). You will need to use a very long drill bit, about 3 in (7.6 cm) wide, called a pocket hole drill bit. Drill at an angle down through the side boards and into the side of the center board every 7 in (18 cm).[4]

The Story of the Farmhouse Table with a Race Track While working my day job one of my managers came to my desk and said “I need your help”. Come to find out she ordered a farmhouse table and bench on Etsy. However the person she ordered it from fell off the face of the earth and left her without a table or her money (Etsy made good on it for her). The reason she ordered the table was because of the three legged bench. She has a young son and was concerned that he would turn over a two legged bench. This one appeared to give her the stability that she wanted. My reply, “I can help!” After seeing the picture of the table she ordered I told her to give me a few days and I could find her an alternative. So I went out to one of my trusted bloggers, Rogue Engineer and found the table I wanted to build. Please check out his site and follow him on social media. After getting her approval of the style and layout, we agreed on a price and some minor adjustments to the plans. She only wanted a 7 foot table and she only wanted one bench, but that bench needed a third leg. So I made the size adjustments and quoted the table. Now the “Curve” A couple of days after we agreed on the project my client called and said she had an idea on the way to work. She needed to find a way to get her son to the dinner table. “Can I add a 1½” wide by 1/8th inch deep race track around the top of the table?” After I caught my breath and recovered I gave her some alternative ideas to avoid creating a race track into what I knew was going to be a beautiful table. She was convinced this is what she wanted, so I said well, this is why we call ourselves Bayne CUSTOM Woodworking. So I agreed and then the adventure began. The Build Instead of recreating what Rogue Engineer already did I will refer you to his free plans on his site. See the link in the opening paragraph.  He will provide the materials list needed. Below I will outline the changes I made and how I built the table and bench. While not huge changes, there are some that I made to meet the client’s requests and some to add my own unique style. The plans call for a table that is 110” while I made mine to fit the client request of 84”. Because I trimmed my boards I ended up with a 40” wide top instead of a 42” wide. She wanted only one bench so I made an 80” bench with 3 legs instead of the 2 legged bench. Let me also state up front that I rarely, if ever, use pine to build anymore, but I did use it on the job because
This DIY has a bit of a backstory: In my basement workshop—as a byproduct of about a half dozen previous projects—I’d managed to accumulate a small mountain of scrap wood. Though the pieces varied in size, most were 2×4 boards. For weeks, I pondered the question of how to use them. There wasn’t enough material to build anything substantial, but at the same time, this was much more wood than I would feel comfortable chucking or committing to kindling. I suddenly seized on the idea of turning those leftover boards into a rustic tabletop, but then I let the project momentum slow to a creep, and in the blink of an eye another few weeks had gone zooming by. Things finally came to a head one day when I was scanning the local giveaway listings. There, I discovered that one of my neighbors was trying to get rid of an old metal garden table. Upon seeing the pictures, I knew immediately that this would be a great table to top with the scrap wood surface I’d been planning to make with all those 2x4s!
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.
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For all of your wood cabinetry and joinery tools and supplies, Infinity Cutting Tools has got you covered. We offer joinery tools and accessories for making box joints, finger joints, pocket holes, dowel joinery, dovetails, and mortise-and-tenon joinery. When it comes to installing cabinet hardware like knobs, pulls, and hinges, check out our cabinet hardware installation solutions.
Because we were putting our new table cover over our existing table, we needed a rim that would hold it in place that was made of 1x2's. The 1x2's are an inch and half wide so adding two of those adds three inches overall to the length and width. I also added an extra 1/8" overall to both the length and the width so that there was a gap underneath so that the table could easily come on and off.
Using pocket holes to attach the stool base to the stool top prevents the top from moving during seasonal changes. It’s also not a good idea to drive screws through the edge of the apron into the table top. Over time the top could crack or the top could have enough force to push or pull the joints of the base apart. Skate over to Mistakes with Wood Can Cause Your DIY Furniture to Crack to see more about how I incorrectly attached the top on the stool.
Diablo's 3 piece Adjustable Cabinet Router Bit Set Diablo's 3 piece Adjustable Cabinet Router Bit Set features a rail and stile bit set and a Double Shear raised panel bit. Featuring TiCo carbide with titanium these bits provide a long cutting life and ultra-fine finish. Perma-Shield Diablo's high performance coating reduces friction and build-up on the bits. The ...  More + Product Details Close
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