Blog

It’s been a while.

Hey everyone. It’s been a while. How have you been? Me? I’m doing pretty great. I am really good at not sitting still. Maybe that’s why it has taken me so long to sit down and write another post. I guess that’s what this post will be about. What have I been doing? I’ve been building a lot of different things lately. I don’t have one particular build to write about so I will show you what I’ve been doing. Hold on tight and we’ll go through 450 pictures.

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I built a bookcase.

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A bed for Big Max.
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We (I) decided to renovate our basement.
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So Everly painted.
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I take quality pictures.
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She did a pretty good job. She definitely needs improvement cutting -in but that’s how we learn. I made her scrub the baseboards clean.
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I cut some maple strips for the wall.
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I put some glue on the back. It’s actually called No More Nails..
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I glued them to the wall.
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It wasn’t me.

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I built a cabinet for under the Television
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I think this turned out pretty cool. It might not be for everyone but that’s okay. I like it.

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Everly built a Jewelry Box.

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Another coffee table. This one is actually for sale. I just decided this right now.

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I finished off Everly’s bedroom with another bedside table.
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Another bedside table.

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I think this turned out beautiful. I built the bed too.
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More bookcases.

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I decided I should build Tucker and Everly a treehouse. So that’s what I did.

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I Built it at night.

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Treehouse views
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Shop views.

 

 

If you are reading this. you made it to the end. Great job! That’s kind of where I am. Business has been steady. I need to install the bookcases. I am starting a pool building this week and another set of bunk beds which need to be completed by early July. After that we are going to start to build a TINY HOME!!!!!! I am really excited to start this build. I just have a bunch of shit to get done first. I’ll document the Tiny Home build just in case you want to follow along. It’s going to be awesome. I might even draw up some plans and follow them. First time for everything, right!! Or I’ll probably just wing it. I hope you are all doing awesome.

Take care and be kind.

Brett

The Baseball Bat

Hey everyone. This one is a little different. Many, many moons ago, I wrote a short children’s book and last year I rewrote it and submitted it into a literacy competition.  And guess what? It didn’t make the cut.  But that’s okay! I thought I’d share it on here and maybe your kids could read it and tell me what they like and didn’t like so I can improve it.  As writers, we are always drafting and improving our work and thinking to ourselves “What can I do to make it better? Am I using enough juicy words? Should I be more descriptive? Am I showing rather than telling?”. If they wanted to send me an email with their thoughts and critiques, that would be awesome! I think it has potential but I need some serious help. I can’t wait to get some advice from the audience it’s directed to.

Thanks everyone.

My email is brett.judson@gmail.com

 

 

 

The Baseball Bat

Malcolm Brett Judson

 

 

My older brother, Tuck, was the greatest baseball player I had ever seen. He could run and throw better than anyone in this town, county or world if you asked me! But, holy smokes, could Tuck crush a baseball with his lucky old beat-up baseball bat! And this bat was old. The grip was hanging on with a piece of old hockey tape. Sometimes, he’d swing so hard the top would pop off. But that didn’t matter. Tuck’s swing was smooth and more powerful than the world’s highest waterfall. He could hit a baseball over the moon! I watched his every move. I dreamed of one day being as good as my big brother. He was my hero.

I played for the Southport Southpaws, and we were one of the best teams in the league. I had made the team by the skin of my teeth (and I was missing four), so I didn’t get to play very much. I’d spend much of the game sitting on the bench munching on my favourite barbecue flavoured sunflower seeds and chasing foul balls into the thick forests filled with spider webs and thorns.

It made me really sad that I didn’t get to play very much. It felt just like that time my best friend, Stevie, moved away. But that didn’t stop me from dreaming of being the best player in all the land! I wanted to show everyone that I could be as good as my brother and maybe someday, I’d be even better!

I decided I needed to work extra hard to achieve my goals. I asked Tuck if he would give me some extra pointers. He really was the greatest brother. He saw how badly I wanted this. He took me to the ballpark every day to practice. Even the rainy ones. Tuck and I would bike to the ballpark to practice swinging and throwing. Sometimes we’d stay until the sun went to sleep and the moon woke up. He even took me to watch my favourite team, the Toronto Blue Jays, play after we finished practice!

With all the extra practice, I was slowly starting to notice some improvements. I was fouling balls off where I use to miss them entirely. “Am I getting better?” I thought to myself. I still wasn’t getting a chance to play in many games, though. This made me angry, like getting stung by a million bees. I wanted to just run away. When I did get a chance to play, I would get so nervous I would strike out. My hands and face would sweat so much it felt like I just got out of a swimming pool and like I was trying to pick up a baseball bat soaked in ten-thousand pounds of butter. This made me feel very discouraged, and I would get down on myself.

Even with all my hard work and determination, I still wasn’t proving to my team that I was any good. I wanted to pack up my glove and cleats, put them into a duffel bag and find the biggest bridge, over the biggest river and chuck them over, but Tuck wouldn’t let me. When I didn’t want to practice, it was Tuck who would drag me to the field. Pitch after pitch. Swing after swing. He kept telling me, “Hard work makes dreams come true”. He was older than me so I guess I just had to believe him.

The nights were getting cooler and summer was coming to an end and so was our season. We were in the playoffs now, fighting for the championship. It wasn’t until our last game that Tuck took me aside and gave me his old beat-up baseball bat. He told me that if I believed in the power of the bat, that I would hit a home run. I didn’t believe him, but he never let me use his bat before. I was just happy to touch it, but I could barely hit a foul ball. How would I ever hit one over the fence?

Our game wasn’t going so well. We were losing 6-3 in the bottom of the 9th.  Coach Jones finally put me in, thinking that’s all she wrote. They had their best fireballer pitching. He was as tall as the dugout and looked more like a parent than a kid. But what do you know! With two outs, we had three straight base hits to load the bases, and I was due up.

I could feel the jitters running through my body as I dusted off my brother’s old beat-up bat and headed to the plate. I remember what he told me. I believed in the bat but more importantly, I believed in myself. I thought at that moment that I was the greatest baseball player in all the land!

When I stepped up to the plate, I didn’t have to imagine that I was The Sultan of Swat, The Behemoth of Bust, The Caliph of Clout, The Great Bambino. The legend, Babe. I just believed in ME! My name is Everly, and I am the greatest of them all! I wasn’t scared or nervous as I glared back at the pitcher.

I settled into the batter’s box, kicking up dirt with my cleats. I waited patiently for the pitch. The first one came in, and I swung that old bat with all my might….…SMACK! I hit the ball square in the teeth, and I just stood there and watched the ball soar as high as the clouds. The crowd was so still that I could hear the baseball fall to the ground, on the other side of the fence.

I had done it! I just hit a GRAND SLAM that won the game for us! The Championship was ours. It was the greatest moment of my life! My teammates jumped and cheered for me in excitement as I ran across the bases. I scanned the stands in excitement looking for one person, my brother. I finally found him, leaning against the bleachers on his bike, as he smiled and waved to me.

Tuck was the first person waiting for me after the game. “You had it in you this whole time,” Tuck said. “You just had to believe in yourself and never give up, no matter what obstacles you faced. You’re my hero!”, Tuck said.  My cheeks nearly burst my smile was so big. I thought to myself “That’s what I’ll do. I’ll never give up on anything. Not in baseball, school or life!”

 

A Library

Hey everyone. I hope your year is off to a great start.  Well, this was a big build. I started this wall-to-wall library with a wine rack and barn doors in November. I finished it at the end of December. It took me another month to sit down and write about it. I did blow my back out somewhere in there, too, so we can blame it on that.

As it turns out, it took me 10 times longer to build than I had originally thought. Imagine that. I do know that I hate painting. There were a ton of nooks and crannies in these shelves and it was a serious pain in my webbed toe (I dropped the paint can on it). I also got side tracked and my daughter and I built a club house (totally worth it, see last post), and then I went back to it. I tend to do that. For example, I am building a bed at the moment and last Saturday morning, the sun was just waking up, Everly was having her tea and cheerios, I was having my coffee and we were chatting about life. She was laughing about a monster in her tea and then came up with a great idea that she would like to paint. One thing lead to another and shortly after, we were at the paint store and were about to start renovating our basement. She wanted to paint the wall and build a TV unit. So that’s what we did/are doing. I’ll do a post later on that. It looks super killer..

Anyway, where was I.. oh right. So yeah, the library. I’m not sure what you want to call it but some people may call it ADHD. I do finish things I start (sometimes)… just don’t ask my wife about the 19 things around the house that I started and have yet to finish. Man, shes patient.

Lets just jump into my amazing photography and I’ll show you how I did it.

 

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I was late to the party with my camera and I already had one built. I am just ripping down all my pieces here.
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This groove fits the back panel.
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Serious about wood working.
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I clamped most pieces together so I knew they were the exact same size before I cut them.
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And then I cut.
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I used a spacer block to make sure the shelves were equally spaced.

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The back is in two pieces. I used a flush cut bit on my router to trim out any mistakes. It was difficult to slide the back panel in by myself.
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I face-framed the shelf fronts so you wouldn’t see the plywood edges.
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Then I softened all the edges with my router. If you are wondering what kind of camera I use it’s a Cannon Rebel with a tripod. I don’t have a professional photographer snapping pictures of me woodworking, but that’s not a bad idea!

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Next, I started to paint. I bough a fairly good paint gun to help me with this. It was a learning curve getting the hang of it.
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My little bud loves coming out to the shop with me.
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I glued and brad-nailed the face-frame on.
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Then I had to hammer in a million nail holes.

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I forgot to remove one of the stickers before I painted it. Son of a whore.
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Oh, hey there, tripod. I didn’t see you there.

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I started to work on the wine rack.

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Oh, somewhere in the middle, Everly and I built a balance beam.
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I think I also built another bookshelf, too.

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Wine rack together.

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Once I had mostly everything done I started on the doors.

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One door down.
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My buddy, Colin, has a CNC machine so he cut these out for me and I finished them for my class. Cute, right?! I also did this somewhere in the middle of the build. No wonder it took so long.
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Again, another project stuck in the middle somewhere.
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When I was building the second door, I forgot to switch out the nails I was using and they were obviously a little too long…
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Break time. Oh, I also built a rink in there somewhere.

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Back to painting.

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These were once my running shoes. Never ran once.

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Hey Dad. Hat’s a little small.
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Doors are hung.
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Library installed.
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Okay, there you have it. A custom built library. I am pretty happy with how they turned out. The installation of the doors could have gone a little better but we are always learning and that’s really important to me. The delivery of the bookshelves could have been a movie. One of the book shelves fell off my trailer when we were bringing the first one in. The back got all smashed up. Lucky it wasn’t a hard fix but it wasn’t overly smart.  I was really lucky to build these for two awesome new neighbours. I hope they like them as much as we like them.

So right now I’ve got a couple things on the go. I’ll post more about them later but I’m just really digging the adventure my hobby has taken me on. My goal is to become a master craftsman and the only way to achieve any goal is to work hard at it and don’t give up. That’s what I’ll do.

Thanks for tuning in.

Brett