Articles/Blog
Not long ago me and the wife topped off the garden area with some bird houses. She likes having the birds around and hopefully with any luck we will get some birds. So, I made three bird houses and mounted them on top of 4"x4" posts. Our garden area is basically hazelnut (off-white), so everything was pre-painted by us before doing this. The houses were easy to build. They just have a 1"x2" frame... Read More

Time to add the finish layer to the bench seat. Normally, I would do this after painting but since this bench has ornate curves, that is difficult to do. Each board has been cut to fit. Otherwise, I would paint then stain the seat are and attach it after the fact. I had some #2 red oak left over from a job from years ago. I always thought oak flooring on a bench or chair would be nice. Well, here... Read More

Next, I'll build the framework for the seat. I'm using 1"x4" pine (It's what I had laying around), although this is what I'd use anyway. Since the front of the bench legs are pointing out slightly, I'll get my width measurement from the back where the legs are attached to the headboard. I can't remember off hand what my measurement was but I'll cut two boards at this length. After stapling the fi... Read More

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John R. Sherwood
John R. Sherwood
Copper Roofed Bird Houses

Not long ago me and the wife topped off the garden area with some bird houses. She likes having the birds around and hopefully with any luck we will get some birds.


So, I made three bird houses and mounted them on top of 4"x4" posts. Our garden area is basically hazelnut (off-white), so everything was pre-painted by us before doing this. The houses were easy to build. They just have a 1"x2" frame and then some old pickets (I picked up from a junk house in colorado springs), for the siding. I then topped them off with some copper I got from home depot. The copper does have a finish on it, so it won't patina for us but that's alright. Future houses will be raw copper I think.


Bed To Bench P05 Seat Build

Time to add the finish layer to the bench seat. Normally, I would do this after painting but since this bench has ornate curves, that is difficult to do. Each board has been cut to fit. Otherwise, I would paint then stain the seat are and attach it after the fact.


I had some #2 red oak left over from a job from years ago. I always thought oak flooring on a bench or chair would be nice. Well, here was my chance.


Bed To Bench P04 Seat Framework

Next, I'll build the framework for the seat. I'm using 1"x4" pine (It's what I had laying around), although this is what I'd use anyway. Since the front of the bench legs are pointing out slightly, I'll get my width measurement from the back where the legs are attached to the headboard.


I can't remember off hand what my measurement was but I'll cut two boards at this length. After stapling the first one one and into position, I'll set the other aside for right now and measure for my deep. Given these legs are a little curved on the ends I'll find a good place for my depth to end. If the legs were square or I was working with flat surfaces, placing this would be easier. For me, it's easy to imagine where this end and how it will look when done. For others, it may not be, so be afraid to hold up some pieces just to see how things will play.


Manzana Fence Rebuild

My mom, Evelyn, lives in Colorado Springs and at the turn of the year, they had 75mph winds that caused all kinds of trouble for fence owners and anybody with a roof. I was unaware of what was happening because I live 2 hours north but she called me and said, "I need help". I asked what was going on and she said her fence blew over. She then told me about the winds and all the details.


She asked if we could fix it and I said sure we could. What we decided though was to see if the homeowner's insurance would fix it. As you've probably guessed they said no and a fence builder gave her an estimate that was for part of the fence (just the parts that blew over). I can't remember exactly his quote but I knew we could do it for cheaper than that and do the whole thing, not just parts.


Zombie Kong Skull P06 Teeth

One of the cool parts of this project so far, is the teeth. After thinking about how to do this, I decided to 1"x2"'s and 2"x4"'s cut at different angles for the base size and bulk. After that, I took some other chunks of the same material, got a screwdriver, hammer and chipped away making slivers and chunks.


I then took those and stapled them to the bulk tooth in random patterns. This created a chipped, broken kind of look. While I wasn't sure how this would look when I was done, I am very happy with the look.


The next step (when I get to it), is to fill the gaps in between the teeth and where the teeth meet the jaw lines. The idea here is to fill that, then paint it to give a more seamless look.


Another Skeleton Bone Tutorial

So, I had great luck with my other bone (for my 1st one). I thought I'd make another one. I decided to change the theme of it. Last time it was more or less a "been the woods, decomposing for awhile" bone. This time I thought I'd a "just been removed bone". Something that still has tendons/muscle attached.


My supply list has changed as my process has changed. When I was doing the last one, I was making a mental list on what I could use that would be better/easier to work with.


Skeleton Bone Tutorial

Hello, this is my Human Bone Tutorial.


Before I begin, I watched a few different tutorials online to get a basic idea of how to do this. I only needed a basic idea because this kind of thing is really driven by imagination.


Long Mont Velo Build P08 Bike Shelves

The very last part of the Long Mont Velo Build was to build some bike shelves for Paul. He wanted a couple of shelves to display some of his bikes. Instead of building something typical, I thought I'd try something a little different and if it didn't work our, I could always fall back on typical shelves.


First, I had to glue some 2"x12" pine boards together with dowel rods. A few days later they were ready to build upon. I came up with a pattern and traced that onto my boards and cut them out with a jig saw. I got out the router and cleaned up the edges and gave them a nice finish.


Bed To Bench P03 Prep For Build

Now is the fun part, although it's all fun. It's time for the build, Now that everything is stripped and sanded, I can cut the headboard in half and turn the pieces 90° to create our bench.


Since the legs are curved I have to pay attention to where half way is. With square legs it's easy, but since these are curved it's a little different. So, using a couple of squares I'll be able to find the center. After setting up the squares with some clamps to hold them, I'll measure between them to find the center. On each side of my center line, I'll mark 1/8" because my blade is 1/8" wide. If you make a line and cut on either side, you'll find your foot board half is a 1/8" too short. So, to counteract this, Mark a 1/16" on each side of your center line and cut down the center.


Bed To Bench P02 Sanding

Part 02 is the removing the finish and sanding it down. As you noticed I've removed the inserts. I will sand them down separately but I will re-install them afterward.


What I've liked so far about this thing is that it had the original screws holding them inserts in. I like that and I always (if possible) try to use and keep the original hardware on things. It has character and I think that everytime a piece is lost, the piece loses it's character a little bit.


Bed To Bench P01 Introduction

I picked up an antique 1940's (according to the lady) bed frame. I saw it on-line advertised in an estate sale. What I liked is that it was cheap, I think I paid about $75 for it and great lines. The height was also an eye grabber for me. After seeing it in person I immediately thought about making it into a bench as I had never done a bed frame to bench conversion. The only issue with this is that the buyer may need a larger entry way, as this thing is pretty tall.


So, first things first, I'll strip this thing down and then sand it down. Since, I am probably painting it so I won't strip it all the way down to bare wood, although that'd be the best thing to do if re-staining it. After that, I'll cut the foot board in half and turn them 90°. That gives me the depth of the seat and the headboard gives me the width. I've got some old #2 red oak hardwood flooring left over from a job about a million years ago and I'll use that on the seat top. I won't paint that, but more than likely stain it, maybe ebony.


Long Mont Velo Build P07 Flooring

Yesterday was the most exhausting day I have ever had I think. I installed 1000sq' of laminate hard wood floor. I didn't plan on doing the floors as Paul was going to stain the floor. He decided to only stain the back work/storage area and then install hardwood flooring over the rest. I like doing hardwood floor, although I'm not excited about laminate flooring as I am a real hardwood floor guy. However, if done right, this floor always looks nice and is a lot cheaper than the real deal.


I didn't shoot to get this done in one day, but I did. It took me 12 hrs of going non stop (only stopped for lunch) to do it. Paul's shop is about a 30 min drive and I had things to do the next day and didn't want to leave it for basically 3 days as Paul was trying to get moved in. So, i sucked it up and got it done. What helped is not having any issues during install. Everything went great.


Long Mont Velo Build P06 Work Benches

Today was a break from the normal as far as a build goes. Being is how this is a bike shop, Paul needed two work benches built for working/repairing bikes. He asked me if I could build these for him and I said you bet.


I started by dado cutting four 4"x4" posts that were 32" high. In these dado cuts I installed the 2"x4"s I had cut. Once installed, this gives a nice solid feel, takes out any wobble you may have and keeps things nice and sqaure. The dado cuts take awhile to do if you are using a single blade, but they are well worth it in the long run.


Long Mont Velo Build P05 Trim

Today was another easy day and one of my favorites. I installed the door trim and the counter top trim today. Paul is going with a rubber base around the perimeter, So, I didn't need to do that. Paul will be painting the trim himself that is why he didn't elect to pre paint it before install.


The better your framing is with regards to sqaure and plumb, the better your trim will turn out. You'll already be fighting litlle small details like a 32nd on an inch. Make it easier on yourself and take you're time framing and hanging/finishing drywall. You will be glad you did. Besides some 45's, this was a pretty straight forward job.


Long Mont Velo Build P04 Paint

Today was an easy day. I like/enjoy painting. Set up time/Tear down time for this job almost took longer than the job did. I ended up doing three coats on this. All turned out pretty good with nice lines and a clean look.


Long Mont Velo Build P03 Drywall

Today's update is after the drywall is hung, finished, and textured. This took a little time. Hanging drywall for me is always pretty quick, its the finishing part that I wait on. It isn't difficult but I have to wait for it to dry. I can get all seams finished off with usually no more than 3 coats. So, thats three days of dry time. I did these 2 and a half coats in the mornings that way it had the remainder of the day and the night to dry.


I sand in between each coat. Normally, I sand by hand but this time I used my cordless sander to do the job. I went back doing it by hand for some the finer details. Things went faster naturally, but also put more dust in the air. If you have a mask and dont mind getting dust all over? Give it a try. The last step here was the texture. Paul elected to match the texture he already had which is a orange peel knock down texture.


Long Mont Velo Build P02 Framing

This project begins with some standard framing @ 16" on center. You'll notice that i did a small room (fitting room) with a 2' 0" door. This leads to a 5' high wall, which then goes into a customer service counter with wheelchair access.


I used a Hilti Gun to attach the bottom plates to the floor. I did this every 16" in an alternate pattern (in between them) from the studs. For the customer service counter, I did a 42" wall that drops into a 36" high wall. Part of the counter had to be wheel chair accessible which is 36" high.


Long Mont Velo Build P01 Introduction

Paul Andersen (my wife's cousin actually), is a pretty serious bike rider. What happens when you are serious about something? Well, at some point you open you're own shop/store.


Ultimately, this was the road that Paul and his wife Trudee would take in their lives together. That is where I come in. They asked me to do the build for their shop/store. I said yes without hesitation, of course. The build will include a fitting room, customer service counter area, storage shelves, work benches, and what ever else Paul can think of. I will be doing the whole build for them which incldues framing, drywall, texture, paint, work benches, custom floating bike shelves, and odd/ends.


Zombie Kong Skull P05 Drywall Mud

This post covers the 1st layer of drywall mud. I went to Home Depot and bought a 5 gallon container of drywall mud. This thing will take several coats to cover and then more to form different features. I got the 1st coat on and filled in 3/4 of the surface. A 2nd coat should get it completely covered.


Just so you know I used the entire bucket of this stuff and will have to get more tomorrow or next I go to Home Depot. The downside with using drywall mud or all purpose mud (basically), is that by the time I am done, this thing will have some weight to it. I'm guessing it will weigh about 75lbs maybe more. I will weigh it when I am done.


Zombie Kong Skull P04 Chicken Wire

This post covers the chicken wire. The chicken wire is to further define features and to further form the kong skull. I applied this using my air stapler, using 1/2" staples.


Since chicken wire is bendable, it can be formed to further define features. If you look in the picture below (#05), you can see how the chicken wire further defines the top of the nose.


Zombie Kong Skull P03 Padding

This post covers the padding. I added padding for a few reasons. It takes up bulk and stops my mud from falling out (backer). This is padding from couch that kept for something just like this. It was about 2' by 2' square.


Using this for bulk around the eyes and nose, helps define certain areas of the skull. To apply the padding I used my air staple gun. For areas that were to tight to get the gun into I used 3m adhesive spray.