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amtho (3)
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out of the woodwork

Hi, I'm interested in carving wood, specifically in carving my own kitchen implements (ladles, spoons, scoops, etc.). I have no experience in woodworking whatsoever (truly... zero) and currently have no carving materials. Do you have advice about tools, books, techniques? Where do I get tools? [more inside]
posted by flyingfork on Aug 18, 2014 - 10 answers

Minimal tools for basic wood projects

I'd like to become more adept at basic wood working/carpentry skills, but I'm pretty clueless. My first project is to modify an existing wood work bench by removing a portion of the cabinets and extending a plywood countertop over the open space[1]. I don't want to spend thousands of dollars on tools, but I'm unclear what the minimal set (especially of saws) is for doing this job reasonably right. [more inside]
posted by primethyme on Aug 3, 2014 - 15 answers

Ikea Smallening

I have a new, unassembled red 2x4 Kallax. I want it to be 2x3. Could a lumberyard easily cut down the two long-pieces? [more inside]
posted by kalapierson on Jul 13, 2014 - 8 answers

Best DIY Bible/Resources?

What are the best DIY resources in 2014? I really enjoy thisoldhouse.com, but it's largely just entertainment, rather than instructional. Websites, magazines, and books are all fair game. [more inside]
posted by Admiral Haddock on May 22, 2014 - 10 answers

Will I die from carcinogenic cedar/mold dust?

Last year I replaced the cedar decking from my deck and kept the old decking, thinking it might serve for a fencing project. Now I want to use some of it to build gates for said fencing project, but first want to clean it up and make it pretty. It's mildewy and such, but nothing that a good coarse grain sandpaper won't fix. However, I'm worried that the dust created by such a project might be especially nasty. Am I taking my life into my hands power sanding 40 or 50 boards? What kinds of reasonable precautions should I take? Renting a powered full face mask is probably beyond my budget...
posted by carterk on Apr 28, 2014 - 5 answers

Seventeen thousand books, no carpentry experience, limited budget

We have a lot of books, are moving next week, and want floor to ceiling (nine feet high), wall to wall bookcases in one room of our new place. How difficult would it be for us to do this ourselves? What're our options? [more inside]
posted by history is a weapon on Jan 22, 2014 - 24 answers

Help me get a tall custom bed frame

I'm living in a tiny space. It's about the size of an RV. I'm looking for a queen-size bed frame I can put my dog's 33" tall crate under. I'd like a platform-style frame with no safety rails. I think the legs will need extra bracing, but I'd like to keep two sides open for storage. Basically, I'm looking for this without the headboard. Should I build it myself? Pay a lot and wait for months for a pre-made one? Design it myself and have someone else build it? Have someone else design and build it? [more inside]
posted by manduca on Jan 14, 2014 - 7 answers

Making furniture from reclaimed materials. Wut.

I plan to take up a new hobby: making furniture from reclaimed wood and metals. What should I read? What materials do I need? What should I know? [more inside]
posted by Mr C on Nov 29, 2013 - 11 answers

Help! I'm surrounded by books!

What kind of professional do I need to hire to build me affordable bookshelves? [more inside]
posted by cheerwine on Oct 24, 2013 - 7 answers

Google disagrees with me on what "petite women's work pants" are.

Can you recommend durable, somewhat fitted, not outrageously expensive work pants that will fit a small woman (5'0", 100 lbs, athletic build)? And by work I don't mean office-appropriate: I'm a carpenter and I spend my days at a grimy construction site. [more inside]
posted by halogen on Sep 20, 2013 - 8 answers

Best material to use for closet walls?

What should we do to the walls of the walk-in closet in our new bedroom. They are currently half concrete and half cedar (sort of). We have a carpenter coming to build the closet part (shelves, bars, etc) and need to be ready by Oct. 2. [more inside]
posted by Pax on Sep 12, 2013 - 10 answers

An IKEA hack idea grows in the Bronx

Is it possible to find someone in the Bronx, or in NYC proper, who would do a hack for me on a FÖRHÖJA cart? [more inside]
posted by droplet on Aug 29, 2013 - 5 answers

How can I build my wood/nail compost bin more strongly?

I tried to build a compost bin with wood and nails over the last week but it came out pretty badly-weak and out of true. I don't know enough to know how to do it better next time. [more inside]
posted by Kwine on Jul 2, 2013 - 22 answers

How can I buy or make a comfortable double bed for little cash?

I rent a bedroom in a shared house, and my bed belongs to the room. It sucks and I need a new one. It's a double, but I have room to go bigger if it's not a big price upgrade. The new mattress should be fairly firm, but thick enough and squishy enough that I can lie on my side comfortably. The bedframe can be very minimal, but it should also be high, a meter or more elevated for storage purposes. It must not wobble. [more inside]
posted by 4th number on Jun 5, 2013 - 21 answers

I'd like to shimmy if you'd show me how...

The shims that let our our table slide open for leaves are broken, so the table is split in half. If I could just get these little wooden pieces replaced, our table would be like new! So how do I get them replaced? [more inside]
posted by Tehhund on May 20, 2013 - 10 answers

That last 1/8"

How do you drill a 3/8" hole into a 1/2" hole having the same center without a drill press? [more inside]
posted by gauche on Apr 22, 2013 - 16 answers

Why do metal shavings stick to the eye?

My understanding is that things like sand or sawdust wash out of the eye easily but things like metal shavings especially steel shavings tend to stick to the eye and wont wash out. Why is this?
posted by john123357 on Apr 21, 2013 - 7 answers

Help me find a stud.

I'm having trouble finding wall studs in my apartment. [more inside]
posted by ursus_comiter on Mar 13, 2013 - 10 answers

Carpentry 101: Help me upcycle my chairs

Looking for how-to guide to replace seat and back of metal framed chairs. [more inside]
posted by sconbie on Feb 18, 2013 - 5 answers

What type of plywood should I use for cabinets?

What grade and variety of plywood should I buy for hidden, inside cabinet carcasses? [more inside]
posted by jacob on Nov 14, 2012 - 7 answers

What would a woodchuck build with all this wood?

Usable scrap wood left over from a home project. What can I build with it? [more inside]
posted by chrisfromthelc on May 21, 2012 - 10 answers

Is my big plywood box really a $10K project?

How much should this cost? I am moving into a new loft and decided that I wanted to carve out a sleeping and storage area in a container of sorts. So I managed to talk an architect into designing something awesome for me. It can be seen here. We've been very challenged in finding a carpenter that can build it within the budget I have. In fact, quotes are coming in 2 or 3 times what I was planning to spend. [more inside]
posted by ursonate on Apr 13, 2012 - 32 answers

Help me not be dispurpleheartened?

Tell me how to work a chunk of purpleheart wood. [more inside]
posted by taltalim on Apr 11, 2012 - 6 answers

High quality woodworking videos?

Please recommend me more high quality woodworking video content! [more inside]
posted by fonzie on Mar 26, 2012 - 7 answers

Fine woodworking without a full shop, advice?

I want to do some fine woodworking to build a portfolio to apply for jobs in furniture shops. But I don't have a fully equipped shop to do this in, what kind of projects should I be looking to do and what tools do I need? [more inside]
posted by Bengston on Mar 14, 2012 - 20 answers

Ikea cabinets or custom built-in?

Should we go with Ikea cabinets or plywood custom built units in our remodel? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Mar 7, 2012 - 22 answers

Novice woodworker dad needs a woodworking-related birthday gift

Help me buy my accomplished novice woodworker father a related gift! [more inside]
posted by ImproviseOrDie on Mar 4, 2012 - 22 answers

Ron Swanson me.

I have decided that I want to start doing some basic woodworking, but I have absolutely no clue what I'm doing. Where to get started? [more inside]
posted by synecdoche on Jan 14, 2012 - 26 answers

Who can cut a 4'x2' sheet of wood to custom, simple shape.

I need to get a piece of 1" thick, 48"x24" wood cut to a simple pattern. The supplier should accept credit cards and be able to ship. Where can I email this pattern to and have the work done? [more inside]
posted by lalochezia on Nov 28, 2011 - 15 answers

Am I crazy to try to build some built-in shelves?

I would like to build some built in shelves in my house. I have basic carpentry experience, and I have built basic shelves before. Would I be making a big mistake to try this? How much might I expect to pay a carpenter to do this? [more inside]
posted by OmieWise on Nov 15, 2011 - 16 answers

replacing tile window sills

We had the aluminum windows replaced in our 1968 brick veneer rambler. The replacement windows are vinyl. In the process we had the storm windows and ceramic tile sills ripped out. Now the original framing and drywall is exposed. What is the best way to finish the sills? [more inside]
posted by mecran01 on Oct 9, 2011 - 4 answers

Choosing wood for a shelf

I want to build a shelf like this. I have no idea how to build a shelf like that. I am a complete noob and really dumb questions are inside. [more inside]
posted by dobbs on Sep 19, 2011 - 11 answers

How to re-attach a table leg?

How can a carpentry klutz like me re-attach a table leg? [more inside]
posted by limon on Jul 3, 2011 - 7 answers

Help me build a batbox (or choose a kit)

A friend's niece is turning four and loves bats. I would like to build a batbox with her. I have little to no carpentry experience myself and am leaning towards getting a pre-cut kit. Do you have any suggested kits I should use (or worthy organizations selling them)? If we wanted to decorate the batbox, what should we use that would be safe for the bats? [more inside]
posted by schroedinger on Jun 27, 2011 - 2 answers

What are some small woodworking/carpentry projects that help increase your skill level.

What are some small woodworking/carpentry projects that help increase your skill level. [more inside]
posted by ShootTheMoon on Jun 20, 2011 - 16 answers

Lumber / Carpentry Filter - Should I use cedar on this project? Is my carpenter right?

Lumber / Carpentry Filter - Should I use cedar on this fence project? Is my carpenter right about the design? [more inside]
posted by Mid on May 30, 2011 - 18 answers

Who here works in the trades?

Any tradespeople out there? I'm trying to narrow down what trade I'd like to go into & have a bunch of questions. [more inside]
posted by mingo_clambake on May 28, 2011 - 6 answers

Windows for Dummies. No, the glass kind.

My house needs new windows. I do not want the traditional window salesman vinyl. Every home renovation board seems to be geared to step 17 (this brand, this thing) in the process. And every window sales place feels scamtastic. What's step 1 to getting the windows I need? [more inside]
posted by Gucky on Apr 30, 2011 - 13 answers

Help me find a wider selection of PVC moulding..

PVC moulding options? [more inside]
posted by Glendale on Apr 13, 2011 - 1 answer

How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck had a gift certificate?

Got a $400 gift certificate to spend at Lie-Nielsen heirloom woodworks. I'm a beginner luthier (solid body electrics) and furniture maker. What are the essential basic hand tools for a hobbiest? [more inside]
posted by spicynuts on Apr 5, 2011 - 11 answers

Mitre Saw Projects

I just got a steal of a deal on ebay for a precision mitre hand saw. What cool projects can I do with it?
posted by srboisvert on Jan 20, 2011 - 10 answers

Would Like to Chuck Wood

What is the best path towards becoming a competent woodworker? I would ultimately love to build myself built-in book shelving, a bar, or a deck. I am not looking to build fine furniture. The problem is I don't have a clue about woodworking. Where do I start without embarrassing or mauling myself?
posted by jasondigitized on Nov 5, 2010 - 17 answers

Antique Carpentry Charts Online?

Looking for online resources for old carpentry formulas/charts from way back in history that look like astrological illustrations. [more inside]
posted by sciurus on Aug 13, 2010 - 3 answers

How to do woodworking when you live in an apartment?

Is there anywhere you can rent space to do woodworking in Los Angeles? [more inside]
posted by thehandsomecamel on Aug 7, 2010 - 7 answers

Off-the-shelf door replacement - easy?

Can I replace a 28-inch-wide interior (closet) door with a new one off the shelf at Lowe's or Home Depot, with no carpentry required? Or would I need to rout out the hinge areas and align the knob with the existing hit plate? [more inside]
posted by amtho on Jul 25, 2010 - 11 answers

box building for cheap dummies

I sort of have a box addiction. I collect cardboard boxes for shipping boardgames, or that's what I tell myself, but sometimes I just collect them. I am not a meth user, but probably have a hoarding gene. So I want to make some simple wooden boxes using simple tools to rebox a few favorite games. I have a jig saw, hand saw, drill, circular saw and a few other cheap tools, like a plastic mitre box. The boxes don't have to be examples of fine wordworking, just functional and not too crude. I'm looking for resources on how to do this without dropping hundreds of dollars on antique planes or tools.
posted by mecran01 on Jul 24, 2010 - 11 answers

Help me find someone to cut unfinished wood in the Boston area!

Where can I have wood (pine boards and plywood) accurately cut for furniture-building in the Boston area? [more inside]
posted by HeKilledKennedy on Jul 6, 2010 - 8 answers

Has anyone already designed a litter box cabinet/platform for human accessibility?

Best practices for setting up an accessible litter box cabinet that's easy to maintain for an elderly or disabled person? [more inside]
posted by amtho on May 12, 2010 - 8 answers

Who should get the job painting my house?

I'm having my 200 year old house in New England repainted, and some significant carpentry work done, mainly to replace wood that has rotted. I have narrowed several bids for this job down to two. How do I decide which bid to accept? This is a very big job, is going to cost a significant amount of money (five figures), and will have a very large impact on the value and integrity of the house, especially if its done wrong. The job is complicated by flaking, alligatory lead paint on many parts of the house, which will require special handling. [more inside]
posted by mneekadon on May 5, 2010 - 19 answers

What is my wife actually responsible for in this mess?

EthicalBarteringFilter: what should my wife do after a simple but significant labor-for-labor swap took left turn after left turn and wound up getting freaky? [more inside]
posted by mindsound on Apr 23, 2010 - 28 answers

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