A fisherman’s Daughter

A fisherman’s Daughter

What a headline! That definitely lured in an extra 7 people into reading this post! So, one of my oldest friends and curling teammate asked me to build a boat-shelf for his daughters first birthday (he’s a fisherman)! I googled a few pictures and said sure I could do that. Turns out, I could build that and I think it turned out pretty frigging rad!

At the start I didn’t have any plans for the build but an old friend reached out and sent me a link with some (Thanks Nick). I figured this would make everything run a lot smoother. However,  I’ve never been one to follow plans. It makes me feel tied down, I dislike them! (Did I ever tell you about the time I flew to Europe for a month with just a plane ticket and no place to go!?) I’d rather figure it out on my own and make adjustments on the fly. My wife loves this about me ……………………………………………………

Anyway, after several mistakes trying to get the correct angles (I ended up fixing them with putty) it all worked out, it always does ;). I put a lot of time into this build, I’m really trying hone my skills on each project and I think this one shows a glimpse of it. Sure it’s only a shelf, but I’m sure it will be in this little girl’s bedroom for a long time to come. I hope she loves it, it might even float!

Check out the build process below!

First thing first; stuff a sheet of 1/4  plywood down into the basement and into the shop.
I ripped the sides to 10 inches. I never realized how little hair I have till I saw this picture. The sides look great though!
I labeled the shelves before I cut them. Somewhat organized but unfortunately I had the wrong degree in several cuts. I based everything off 100 degrees instead of 90 degree. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Apparently I wasn’t.  Clear as mud?
I had a really hard time getting the shelfs in. I tried to brad nail them but they wouldn’t stay so I camped and screwed them in place.
Looking Wobblier than the Sweeping Beauties (our curling team) coming home after a big Tuesday night win.
Looking like a boat.
I layed the frame on the sheet of plywood and traced the outline for the back.
Cut out my marks and it was a snug fit.


I glued and nailed the back to the frame. Put some weights on for extra support


There were a few small gaps from the angle I cut wrong. I filled it with drywall compound.


covered the screw holes.
Once everything dried, I sanded it all down flush.
I primed everything with Binn. Binn helps keeps the knots in wood from showing through.
One coat of prim.
Next I ripped a 1×4 in half.
Then I ripped that in half for the rails of the boat. I did this because it makes it much easier to bend.
I glued and nailed the rails onto the boat with all the clamps I had.
My nails were too long and went through the shelf. I pulled them out and painted over them. You can’t tell.
I used my chesil to get rid of the access glue.


I’m not even sure what this is called but it goes on the top of the shelf/boat. I routed a little chamfer along the edge.
I made this thing for rope to go in. More decorative than anything. I think my hands could use a little moisturizer. Sometimes I don’t use sand paper. I just rub them in my hands to get the wood smooth.
I used a Q-tip to clear up the glue. It’s really important to clear up as much glue as possible when you can because when you go to stain, glue turns a different color.
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Next, I glued my fingers and letters to a piece of 1/4 scrap plywood.
The letters were tricky to cut because of the size. I like having my fingers.
I spay painted them grey.


I put a clear coat on the rails. I liked the contrast with the white and natural wood!

Glued them to the side of the vessel. Every boat needs a name!
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World’s Biggest Bird House

The World’s Biggest Bird House.

Kidding. It’s not a bird house (it could be though), it’s actually a book return for Mt. Stewart Consolidated. Our school is revamping the library and a few staff got wind about my little hobby (I had a few beers at a staff function and started talking about woodworking). Four months later, I’m building my first build for the government! I was given pretty much free rein to build whatever I wanted. The library team showed me a few pictures of what they had in mind and away I went! I’ll go through a step by step process of the build because I know many of you were wondering how to build a library book return.
This build was rather time consuming (probably because I had no plans and just made it up as I went). I bought two sheets of plywood and broke them down at home. With two 4×8 sheets of plywood jammed into my 12×16 shop, the furnace running pretty heavily beside me, cords and tools littered across the floor and workbench and sawdust making it look like White Jaun (I could hardly see my slippers), it was pretty hot, stuffy quarters down there. I need to work on putting things away after I use them rather than at the end of the build. My wife would also probably appreciate it if I practiced this around the house, too.

I won’t waste any more of your time. Everyone’s here to see my photography skills. But first, I want to give a shout out to my mentor. If you’re from the Cardigan area, you likely know Mr. Roger Kelly. He’s the shop teacher at Morell High (I rotate days between Morell High and Mt. Stewart Consolidated). I typically ask him 45 837 questions a day. I honestly get to school and trouble shoot my builds or show him what I’m building. He is a big help to me. He’s probably sick of seeing my face but he continues to show me new skills and tricks, and like any good teacher, he is a patient man. He likely will never read this, as I’m not sure he knows what the internet is, but thank you Mr. Kelly! You’re a good man– I don’t care what anyone says!!

Check out the build process below. Again, thanks for the support! The blog has just surpassed 11,000 hits. I’m not really too sure what that all means but I do think that’s a lot. So I’ll keep the builds coming, Stay tuned!

First things first, I marked where I needed to break down my sheets of plywood.
Cut to length.
Cut to width.
Boom, you have two sides. I clamped both sheets together while making these cuts so they would be the exact same.
Pre-drilled pilot holes so the wood wouldn’t split.
Glued and screwed.
Taking shape
Support brace.
Attaching the top I counter sunk the screws in one side. I put tape on the bit to prevent me from drilling too deep. (I drilled too far). The other side flips up.
I screwed the roof down then plugged the holes with dowels.
I cut these off with a flush trim saw.
I attached a piano hinge on the other side of the roof.
Screwed up here, (literally) but nothing glue and sawdust can’t fix!!
Two doors will go on the back for easier access to get the books out.
For the books to slide in. I drilled 4 (pretty) symmetrical holes so my jig saw blade would fit in.
like so.
Now you have a book slide.
I trimmed it in to prevent splinters.


I trimmed it all around the perimeter. I originally stained the roof grey but I didn’t like the contrast.
So I sanded it all off and went with a walnut.
Next, I printed off my letters for the front. I glued them to pieces of wood and cut them out.
The E broke. I just glued it back together.
A little paint and you can’t even tell!
Hired a model to showcase the build. She immediately shit her pants in excitement.

A couple builds

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone’s year is off to a great start! It’s been tough not having a bottle of baileys in my coffee every morning. It was a good run.

Shop orders have been piling up. I finished up a barn door, floating shelves and a coffee bar/table. I was pretty happy with how they turned out and they were both returning customers, which is important to me. However, I did have my first complaint!!! Not really a complaint, but one of the drawer slides on a set of end tables I built isn’t working properly. I know which one it is too because I lost my shit installing it.. several times. I have no problem fixing it and I’m glad it was brought up. Everything I build is 100% guaranteed. If it breaks, I’ll fix it.  But, I’m never building anything for them again…. Kidding, they are my top customers.

For my next builds I have:

  1. A pretty big order of 50 sandwich boards to complete for the spring. Each one takes me a little over two hours to complete. Let’s say it will take me 100 + hours. My plan is to work 4:45 am – 6:45 am and again 6-8 pm. If I can finish 10 a week, I’d be pretty happy. Hopefully I will have everything finished by the end of March! I have a lot of work ahead of me.
  2.  One of the schools I work at (I work at two) asked me to build them a library book return. I’m going to build it basically like a tiny house where the roof opens up to return the books. It should work. I think.
  3. I’m building a boat shaped bookshelf and kids table with chairs for my curling teammate.
  4. I’ve also been getting my materials ready to tackle my kayak! I’ve kayaked twice in my life so I figured I should invest countless hours and a fair bit of money instead of finding one on Kijiji. I’m addicted and have been finding a few things on there. I’m basically the king of Kijiji (I’m serious). I also thought it was a good idea to build two kayaks. Can’t go drinking beers in a kayak by yourself. That’s no fun!

I’m getting anxiety just writing about the things on my build list. As always, check out a few of my latest builds and a glimpse of the process below. I’ve been trying to work on my photography skills, which isn’t going awesome but I’ll get there! (see last post if you don’t know why)

Well that’s it. First post of the New Year! I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m excited to see what treasures they find on Oak Island and which lucky girl wins Arie’s heart on the Bachelor. My moneys on Bekah. All great things to look forward to! Have a great weekend everyone!

Meet my hired hand. Shawn Doogs Meals MacDougall. He’s a tremendous friend/cousin and growing up I wasn’t allowed to go anywhere or do anything unless he was also going. He may have been the mature one… maybe. Anyway I hired him to sand his own order. Didn’t pay him.
He has a great work ethic
Deep in thought
I made these little brackets for the shelf to sit on.


First drink at the new coffee/bar.
In its new home
How to build- A barn door: Build a frame 2 inches bigger than your door opening
Buy tongue and grove boards. Glue and screw them to frame.
Use a circular saw to cut the boards to fit frame
Clamp them to frame
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Stain the door and you’re finished. Congratulations, you just built a barn door!
Floating shelfs



This is the bracket you screw into the wall and simply slide the shelf onto it.
Little bit of stain and a lot of booze and you have yourself a bar.