I’m sure many of you are wondering how the sandwich boards are coming. Well, I have 102 frames built!! It’s taking me a little longer than I expected (who would have thought?) but the frames are together and I put a chamfer edge on them all. Class it up a bit, you know! This took a while to do. Mostly because it sounded like a heard of Buffalo were running through the house so I had to pick my times wisely, which is difficult to do when you have a baby. The tricky part is I have a smoke detector directly above my work bench. When you are using a router for 2 plus hours, the bit gets really hot and starts to burn the wood, which creates smoke, which rises, which sets off the fire alarm. There were a few times it went off and I didn’t even realize because of the noise and I had my ear protection on. The baby monitor lighting up was the key to figuring it out (my wife wasn’t home during these times). I ended up putting a fan next to me to blow the smoke away from the alarm. That worked well, just turned my lungs a little black.

As you can imagine, with 102 frames jammed into my little basement workshop things were going to get tight, real tight, real fast. With warmer weather just around the corner (I thought. My wife disagreed. She was right.), I decided it was time to move back into the garage. The move keeps getting bigger (perhaps it’s my kijiji addiction — I just bought a new trailer to tow my lumber and lawnmower around!) but I’m happy to be back in the garage with a lot more room and it just happens to be the home of my beer fridge! Win, win!

Once I moved my shop back up into the garage, I decided to hire a couple workers to help me sand the frames (I filled the fridge full of beers and whiskey to make it more enticing!) I set up 3 stations and everyone had 30 frames to sand. I thought we would easily get this done and it would be a huge help! Unfortunately, when you factor in ‘work beers‘, productivity seems to take a drastic hit. Lets say we were in the garage from 8 p.m – 3 a.m. One employee worked well for about an hour getting around 10 frames sanded but took a bathroom break around midnight and hadn’t been seen since. I found him asleep on the couch. He had mentioned that his feet were sore.  I kindly pointed out that wearing his wedding shoes perhaps wasn’t the appropriate choice of footwear. They were really nice shoes, though.

I won’t name names but my second employee managed to finished 6 frames. 6. The frames he finished were well done, it just took him 7 hours. Another gentleman showed up around 10:30 p.m with an 800 pound kitchen table he was looking to refinish. It still makes me laugh to think of him showing up with this beast of a table shoved into the back of his car. It may not have been the most productive shop that night but if you don’t have awesome friends, what do you have? I am totally grateful for their help. It was a lot of fun. I moved very, very, slowly the following day.

So, I am roughly halfway finished and am about 80 hours into this build. I still need to finish sanding them, staining, two coats of polyurethane (I bought a new spray gun to help) and get the hinges and blackboards on. I am also happy to announce that the blackboards made it across the border!! That was a big stress reliever.

Below are a few pictures of the process.

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A truck load of lumber. I ripped them all in half.
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I made them in sets of 12. I cut all the pieces to length and labeled them.

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I screwed a piece of wood to my chop-saw and used it as a stop block. This allowed all my cuts to be the exact same and I didn’t have to measure every single cut. Simply slide the board against the stop block and cut.

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Once all my cuts were done, I made this jig and screwed it into my workbench. I’d slide the boards into the open space and screw them together. I know it just looks like boards on a table but it’s not. It’s a highly complicated jig I put together in 23 seconds. I must say my critical thinking and problem solving skills (are they the same thing?!) have improved 78% since I started woodworking.
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If you look real closely, you can see what I’m talking about.
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My hand. I’m not even left handed.
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And repeat 3459 times.
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Taking the sharp edges off.
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Action shot. Still looking great. (Note the fan!)

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This is an a abrasive cleaning stick my grandfather gave to me. Once your sandpaper gets old you simple just run this against it and it gives it more life.
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A tunnel of wood
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102 frames built.
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stations ready.

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Men at work. For a short period.

So there you have it. A quick little update. Hopefully I’ll have them ready for the Jays home opener, which I have opening day tickets for!!

-Keep your chisels sharp

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