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A coffee table and some news

Well, it’s Christmas season and orders have been picking up and I’ve been getting behind!  It’s a great thing but it definitely can be overwhelming as I take on too many builds. I’ve been getting up before work in the mornings to stay on top of things. I figured if I get up two hours earlier every day, I’m gaining 14 hours of shop time a week and hopefully,  I can be very productive since everyone is sleeping. Thankfully the saws and air compressor running at 5 A.M don’t seem to wake anyone!

For this build, I was asked to build a modern farmhouse coffee table. My client (lol @ client) sent me a few pictures of what she was looking for and I just combined both pictures to build one awesome table. I think it turned out great! I definitely made a few mistakes on this one that ended up costing me hours of sanding. I will not make that mistake again.  It’s the third time I’ve made the same mistake when it comes to staining. Will it be my last? Probably not. See the build process below!

In other news, I’m still waiting to hear back about writing for a website (that still makes me laugh) but I did receive word that I will be building 50 sandwich boards for the Murphy’s Group!!! That’s a lot of sandwich boards! They would like them finished for the spring but I am a little nervous about my biggest project to date. I’m not dealing with a small order or a small amount of money. Lumber and materials are expensive, not to mention trying to factor in all the other variables when coming up with a quote (let’s hope I didn’t screw that up). For the sandwich boards, I’m using black dry erase boards that can be used with neon markers. They are much cleaner and nicer looking than chalkboards but I had a real difficult time finding a company that sold them. I ended up finding one but they are located in Cincinnati!  I’m thinking ‘How am I going to get 100 (two per board) of them across the border without paying a shit-tonne of duty on top of  sales tax!?’. After a lot of research on how I was going to get around this, the decision was made to officially make Juddy Judson Builds a business! So now the government can come after me for the $656 dollars I made in profit this year. But it is still awesome and I’m pumped to be able to do this! They must have liked the one I made for the Gahan in St. John. Hopefully it’s still standing!

So yeah, now I’m the CEO and owner of a woodworking company that probably loses money!!

 

Merry Christmas Everyone

 

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My good friend Katie couldn’t believe her eyes!!

Two for one

Two Builds, one post! It’s your lucky day! These two are definitely personal favorites. The coffee table, in my opinion, is my nicest build. I used two 8 foot oak slabs my grandfather had given my dad and then my dad gave them to me. Nothing like generations handing down wood lol. I have about 10 in my barn and decided it was time to put a few of them to use. They are rough-cut so I jointed them and put them through the planner to get them to proper thickness. This is the first time I made/used tapered legs and I think they turned out pretty awesome. I cut my legs and stretchers at 15 degrees to give it that mid-century look. (I think that is what mid-century looks like? I really have no idea, it just sounds like I know what I’m talking about.) With any wood there are going to be some flaws and knots, which there were, so I decided to cut out the knots and fill them with epoxy. This was a new skill/tool I used and it worked great. I guess that’s why I like this build so much. I wanted to build something new that challenged my skills. As a kid I use to have quotes all over my bedroom wall. One of them said “Practice without improvement is meaningless”. Maybe that implies to woodworking too!

(Check out pics below)

My next build was for the dreaded In-laws! Kidding, I love my in-laws. I hired my father-in-law as an intern for one of my first builds but he was drinking too many of my beers so I had to let him go. They are renovating a house they recently bought and asked me to build them a kitchen table. They picked up some old barn boards from Reclaimed, PEI.  Once I got all the lumber (they had to go back twice), I had to run it through the jointer to square up the faces so when I glued it up it would be a seamless fit (It wasn’t lol). We put some cool hair-pin legs on it to give it that modern look and after 8 coats of polyurethane, Bobs your uncle (or in my case, father)! I think the table turned out awesome. The color and contrast of the wood makes it look super cool!

I also have something pretty cool in the works. It’s too good not to share with my avid readers. I’ll give you the spark notes version. I often visit websites for cool projects, inspiration and ideas for building things. One particular site had an add up saying they were hiring a contributor/blogger for their website. I didn’t really think much of it. I sent off a quick email saying I was interested along with my website and Instagram page. They got back to me saying they were interested and that I made it to the next stage of the process. So I pitched them three ideas of what I would be interested to write about. They got back to me saying they really liked them! In my head, I’m like “Shit. Could I really do this?” I would love to do this! I’m basically doing something similar, even if it is sporadic. I would love to write about other things I’m interested in. So now, I am currently on the final stage of the interview process. They asked me to write a sample article of my choice. I was in the middle of a build so I choose to do a ‘How to Build’ article.  I have a couple of weeks to complete it, so I likely won’t hear back till Christmas. Who would have thought?! I’m sure I won’t get the job, but why not? It’s important to believe in yourself; to challenged yourself! Either way, it’s a great story! I will definitely keep everyone posted. I probably just jinxed it. Shit!

 

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Shop News

Hey Guys, I’m back! It’s been a busy couple months both in the shop and in the house. My wife and I recently became parents to a beautiful baby girl, Everly Grace Judson. I want to kiss her face right off.  It’s a pretty special thing! One would think my productivity in the shop would slow down but it has stayed pretty much the same. I have a pretty incredible wife!

I’ve finished building a custom built-in bench with storage for one of my oldest pals. I had built a toy box which is basically a bench with storage so I felt like I knew what I was doing. I didn’t really. It was tricky to build it in my shop and not on site.  Their house is over 80 years old so not everything was completely square, which made it harder to get accurate measurements. I decided to build it in steps rather than all at once, just to make sure everything fit. So, in the end, it didn’t fit lol. It was pretty close though! I think it turned out pretty awesome and nothing a little caulking and paint can’t hide! They were happy with it! I think they were. I got a delicious bottle of whiskey out of it so I was happy!

In other shop news, I recently got a new logo made and bought a branding iron to burn it into my builds. Obviously, super pumped about this (if anyone wants a free tattoo, swing over)!  I also just finished building a sandwich board for the new Gahan House in St. John. I assume people will travel a great distance to see this beautiful sandwich board.  It was  pretty exciting to build something for a business that is pretty big, even if it is just a sandwich board. I was just excited they asked me!  Support local, right?! I do have a real dandy story about this build and trying to find black dry-erase boards (which are way nicer than chalk) but it’s too long for this post so I’ll leave it for next time!

I also just finished a pair of end tables. These clients (friends) are returning customers and this is the fifth thing I’ve built for them!!!! Isn’t that crazy? I am super happy with how they turned out and I even designed and sketched them up with measurements to go with them before I started! Life changing!!

Check out a few of my builds from the last few months below.

Again, I appreciate all the awesome feed back. I am just a novice woodworker but I’ll build anything even if I make mistakes. That’s how you learn.  This all just started out as a picture frame to win over my wife (worked like a charm) and now to see people/businesses actually like what I’m building only adds fuel to my obsession! Who knows, maybe I’ll make it big and Sara Fraser will interview me.

 

 

 

Pretty cool, right!
cool, right!!!
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Made for Jack Eamer
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The greatest thing I helped build 🙂
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I built four arbors over the summer. This one was for some special neighbours!
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I was in the garage working on this thing when my wife went into labour. Managed to finish it before we went to the hospital lol
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It’s a mirror.
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Big Will Holland

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nice right!!

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She’ll grow into it

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Juddy Judson Builds

A box full of dreams

Well my plan was to be almost finished of my kayak right about now! I’ve yet to start it mostly because the shop has been busy as balls. I’ve crushed out 3 wedding arbors. They turned out pretty great (if you’re asking me). I definitely have the production of that down pretty smooth. I still have to build one more but I’m taking a quick break and will likely get back to that this weekend. In between the arbors, I’ve built a gigantic shark. You can find that in Cavendish at PEI Dirt Shirt. I also built a bunch of wooden toy cars dyed in PEI dirt. They are at the PEI Dirt Shirt at Peaks Quay and I’ve been building a few things around the house. At times I have too many things on the go. The town of Stratford said it best, “Imagine that”!

I just finished a pretty cool bench for our front step (pic below). I was going to do a build process of that but I dropped my phone in the sump pump, which was full of water, unfortunately. Phones are slippy. I shouldn’t own one.

So, with the expected birth of our daughter within the next few days, I decided to build a toy chest for her dolls, Ninja Turtles, G.I Joe’s or Barbies. I’ll be quite happy to fill it with whatever she loves. I built the majority of the chest from old kitchen cupboards my in-laws were tossing to the curb. There were a shit-ton of nails in them but still cheaper than buying a sheet of plywood (I really love free wood).

I think this turned out amazing!! There are a few mistakes but I’m definitely seeing an improvement in my work. My wife and I upholstered the lid, which turned out adorable! One of my favorite things I’ve built, no question. On a side note, I appreciate all the great feedback I’ve been getting from everyone. A special thanks to those who trust me to build them stuff.  I recently just turned 16 again and got a bunch of new tools for my birthday. Super pumped about that!!!! Can’t wait till Santa drops off that 20 by 20 cedar workshop. With surround sound and a 60 inch TV. A urinal would be great, too!

Check out the build process below and a few other builds

 

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a box
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a wooden box wrapped in wood
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The lid
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Primed and painted
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Chevron porch bench
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I’ve been eaten by a shark
 

 

 

Juddy Judson Builds turns 1- Shop Updates

Your day has been made. Finally another build. Well, more of an update on all the shop news. It’s hard to believe I started doing this a year ago! I’ve recently calculated my hourly wage for the year and it came in at $2.35! So obviously business has been steady the last few months with orders and to be honest some turned out nice.  I do owe a lot of credit to my good friend, Wood Filler.  He’s a real good fella. My confidence in the shop is definitely increasing and  is hovering around 32% when it comes to my skills. It’s still intimidating trying to build something new but that’s the only way to improve so I do it anyway (so wise). I could make it easier on myself and have a plan laid out but I’ve yet to tackle that demon. All the shop time has also allowed my ‘shop beers’ skills to improve over the winter months. My wife is very proud of me.

In shop news:

  • I’m going to be a Dad here real soon so I’ve had the opportunity to build a lot of things for my daughters room.
  • I’ve recently moved my shop from the basement to the garage, which is a bigger and better space. It allows me to breath properly. Sawdust doesn’t seem be in every nook and cranny of the house. My wife also can’t hear the saws running and the loud fucks as much.  My beer fridge is also located in the garage. All great reasons.
  • I’ve decided to not get a golf membership this year and put that money and time towards lumber to build a Kayak. My neighbor, Scott, lent me the plans to build one so I’m pumped to start building this. He is an awesome fella and I’m sure I’ll be calling him for help. I have a couple of orders to finish first though. One being a massive wedding arch (hopefully it doesn’t fall and take out the bride)  and a faux fire place. I built the fire place yesterday. I literally made three trips to the depot because I kept forgetting things on my list. My mind is a zoo at times and I lose my train of thought pretty regularly. (Courtney’s favorite thing about me)

 

Check out my recent builds below and stay tuned for what should be a fun adventure building a kayak. It’s been fun building my way through this learning curve.

 

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I built these two end tables and sofa tables for my sister. The dog is my other girl, Araya.
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I built this heart for my soon-to-be daughter’s room.

 

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Mid Century Makeup Desk

 

So this was a build for my wife. She wanted a new makeup desk and I love wood and her so I thought I better build her one. I wanted to build it big enough so she can get her equipment laid out, enough space for her mirror and laptop so she can watch her makeup tutorials, snapchats, Say Yes to the Dress, and MTV shows while she is getting ready. All high quality television programs.

The build was pretty time consuming for me. I think it’s because I am becoming very critical of my work and want it to be perfect, just like my wife :/.  She’s also currently growing our first child in her womb so that’s pretty special. I also may have ulterior motives for all this. It’s a work in progress but how awesome would a cedar workshop in our backyard be? Pretty incredible if you’re asking me! 

 I personally think this turned out awesome!  I actually had a plan for this build and had drawn it out with measurements properly documented. This worked out real well. I only had to make 3 extra trips back to the depot to get the materials I didn’t factor in let alone the mistakes I made. But, I think I’m improving and I may have made the jump from a Squirts wood worker to Novice.

 Check out the build below.

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Getting ready for Ellen’s Design Challenge

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My screws were too long. Back to the depot for more lumber.

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Nailed it.

Wood and Art

 

Merry Christmas everyone! I thought I’d share this build because it’s a little different from my previous builds and it turned out super cool! This build started when my bud, Jeremy, sent me a picture and asked if I could tackle something this like. I said of course! I mean what’s the worst that could happen? I screw it up and sell it to him anyway because I mean, he can’t say he doesn’t like it and ask for his money back! That’s not how this works. Kidding. All my builds are life time guarantee ;). He is actually my first time returning customer. I built him a rocky coffee table, which was one of my first builds. Still trying to forget about that one. I’m pretty sure they just bring it out and toss some magazines on it when they know I’m coming over. So when he sent me a picture of another build to do, I really wanted to show my craftsmanship so he’d still be friends with me. It’s basically art and a focal point of their living room, plus I couldn’t have him have two shitty builds in one room. Not a great way to build a reputation as a satisfactory woodworker or as a friend. I personally think it turned out awesome. Check out the build process below.
On a side note, my addiction for building everything and anything has been slowly taking over my life. My wife has been very, very patient with me. Thank-you.

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120 year old steakhouse coffee table

Well, this was probably the most time consuming build I’ve tackled yet. It was a lot of work but totally worth it. It started when my brother-in-law said I could have some old wooden floors from the now Sims Steakhouse. I jumped at the opportunity because I love free things (I have an old washer I picked up off the side of the street if anyone is looking for one) not to mention free wood. The floors were in terrible shape. I should have just tossed them over the bridge on the way home. But I didn’t, Johnny just happen to mention that they would make a nice coffee table and they didn’t happen to have one in their new house…. I soon after decided that I will make them a coffee table as a house warming/Christmas present. (Decided to through the Christmas present in there because we aren’t exchanging this year…… or are we???)

Cleaning up the old wood was a huge pain in the arse, not to mention the shitpile of splinters I had to remove from my body or the abuse my lungs took. I decided to rip the edges off all of them and plane them down to thickness. This is the part where I should have checked for nails and probably should have put on some sort of respirator.

There were definitely a few nails in these old floors. Probably not ideal for my saws.
So that being said, it took me a lot longer to finish it than it should have. It doesn’t help that my wife likes it One Hundred Thousand degrees in our house. So it gets a little hot working next to the furnace. The lack of windows doesn’t help the sawdust situation as it fills the air making it hard to breathe, let alone drink/finish my beers before they evaporate. (My first time writing the word wife! If you haven’t been on facebook lately,  I got married, and I might be tagged in a picture or two billion. Don’t ask me how I got so lucky!)

Overall, I think the coffee table turned out awesome! It was a lot of work but well worth it. I’m super happy I got to build this for my sister and brother-in-law. Check out the build process below.

Thanks for tuning in. Appreciate all the positive feedback Juddy Judson Builds is getting.

 

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Right from the attic of Sims

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First pass through the thickness planer
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Table top glued up.

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2 months later I finished.
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Wedding gift my grandfather gave Courtney and I. She loves it.
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Adorable Hockey Shelf I made for Jett Larter.

A table, a saw and a business opportunity

Well, it’s been well over a month since I’ve last shared a build. I’ve had a few people asking when the next post is going to be out and what I’ve been building (Imagine people asking about this). I recently made a bench and some planters. Since I’ve already built a bench, I decided not to write up another post on it. I’ll share a few pictures below. I ended up changing the design slightly and went with a different stain. It turned out pretty nice and my customers were happy! I think, they paid regardless…

I’ve also just finished an entryway table I built for our house. I think this turned out pretty nice. It was another new build and design. I had an idea of what I wanted it to look like and went for it. It actually went a lot smoother than other builds. I think maybe because I am starting to figure out what I’m doing. Not always, but I’m definitely seeing an improvement in my work. I’ll share a few pictures of the build process below.

I also have some pretty exciting news:

1. The wedding is still a go for next week. So that’s pretty unreal.

2. I’m sure you’ve all heard of the famous PEI Dirt Shirt! (The original, not the shitty knockoffs) Well, you will be able to find Juddy Judson Builds at their three locations, Spring 2017!!! Peaks Quay, Cavendish, and Summerside.  The owners are awesome people and the story behind the Dirt Shirt itself is incredible, not to mention motivating. I’m obviously pumped to have this opportunity.  Who would have thought you’d be able to find my builds in a real store? Certainly not me! To celebrate I went out and bought myself a new saw with the money I made from previous builds. I still owe $300 on my home Depot card, though. It would have probably been easier/faster to collect bottles on the side of the road but I’m learning and it’s become pretty therapeutic. A win-win.

I’m going to be building benches, wooden PEI’s, toys and whatever else I can master. I’ve been building prototypes and working out some design details (sounds so professional!). I’ll be trying to dye most builds in PEI dirt to go with the dirt shirt theme. I’m also going be building picture frames and collaborating with a local photographer and friend, Patrick Keefe. The guy takes awesome pictures from all across the Island. Check him out on Instagram @altnortheast.

It’s been an exciting year for Juddy Judson Builds. Special thanks again to everyone who supports what I’m doing. It’s been a lot of fun! I just ordered business cards and put another ordered in for Juddy Judson Builds t-shirts. There has also been some discussion of building a new shop detached from the house. I can already picture how cool this shop is going to be. Still in negotiations, though. I’ll bring this up further once my finance becomes my wife and signs off on the marriage!

Big shoutout to my pal Ryan Keliher in the completion of his book. Check it out ryankeliher.wordpress.com

Thanks again for reading!

-Measure twice, cut once then force it to fit-

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Batter up

 

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A white washed table for 10

I’m usually a pretty modest guy  but I must say this build turned out pretty unreal if you’re asking me! I was pretty nervous to even attempt this build when my longtime friend asked me to build this for her family  as they are moving into a beautiful new home. A kitchen table is usually the focal point of any house and to have my name attached to such an important piece of furniture definitely made me hesitate and question my woodworking abilities. You know, what happens if this thing turns out wobblier than the Sweeping Beauties leaving Hunters after a big Tuesday night win? (Sweeping Beauties are an up and coming curling team. #Brierin2) So I felt some pressure to do an unreal job. The table was huge, coming in at 9 feet by 4 feet with a 6 foot bench, so they couldn’t exactly hide this in the backroom if they didn’t like it. Plus we are dealing with cost of material as well. These things kept me up a few nights before I started the build. That and I couldn’t believe Jojo picked Jordan…lol

I went to the hardware store with a rough idea of how I wanted to build it. No set plans of course. My apprentice also came with me (more on that later). We ended up running into a lumber distributor and started asking him some questions about his wood. He ended up suggesting going a different route with the table and pointed us in the right direction. I’m certainly glad we ran into him. Good fella. It made the build run a lot smoother than it may have gone!

Overall I think this was the most challenging build I’ve tackled yet. That being said, I had some help and guidance throughout the process. My dad suggested using pocket holes instead of using the biscuit joiner to attach the top. I’m sure glad he did because the pocket holes are so much easier! Saved me a lot of time. I also had an apprentice for the first half of the build. It just so happens he has been my summer roommate the last two summers so it was an easy transition. It was my first time having one but he kept the coffees hot and the beers within an arms reach. So special thanks to Patrick Dwyer. In all honestly, I’ve learned a great deal from Pat. He is a pretty great woodworker and not a bad guy. Having him around made the build go smoother, faster and a lot of fun. It was a pleasure having you in my shop!

Thanks again to Kerri and Chris for trusting me with this build. Courtney, for loving sawdust all over the house  and those who take the time to read this. If anyone is looking for table, feel free to contact me. My prices would beat Hashem’s if he sold or made kitchen tables! Pictures below of the build in sequence.

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Ready for pocket holes, glue and clamps

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my work station collapsed. Threw my body under the table to save my work mid sand.
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underside
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I made the legs and used dowels. Mostly because I thought they would look cool.
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Again, I wanted to make sure this thing was rock solid so I used two bolts for each leg. 
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Sanded the guts out of it. 
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Ready for the white wash stain!
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White washed compete
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Picture ready for the Guardian…