Little Creek Maple Farm

Our adventures around the homestead.

Potato & Onion Bin – Part 1


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Potato & Onion Project


So Wen put her order in for a potato, onion, and garlic bin from the wood shop.  Using Pinterest she found some inspiration from a Pin linking back to Ana Whites website, and after a few design review meeting I had my marching orders.  We decided on making 3 bins, and figured the opening for each of the bins should be 10” high by 16” wide inside dimensions and the depth of the carcass would be the width of a 1×12 piece of pine minus a 1/2” plywood back.

I started off with the cabinet carcass and took some 1×12 pine from the big box store and set up my stacked dado head cutter to cut some dados after adjusting for the depth on a piece of scrap.  I was lazy and kept all dados 3/4” wide for the shelves and the back panel.    For a little extra flair and to create faux legs I notched out the bottom of the 1×12’s.

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All the

Glue up was pretty easy after dry-fitting all the pieces together on the workbench.  With everything clamped up I double checked my measurements on the 1/2” thick plywood back panel and cut it to size.

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All of the pieces cut to size and the inside faces sanded prior to glue up below.  I glued all the 1×12 pieces together and clamped the carcass together.  After clamping I laid the carcass face down slid the plywood back in positions and squared up the cabinet and tightened down the clamps.  I screwed the back on so I could removed it later to make painting easier and I shot a few brads into the shelves from the sides for good measure.


We moved the cabinet into it’s home to test drive the proportions and I think we nailed it.

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Potato & Onion Project


Up next some pre-planning on the ventilated doors, wood frame size, and a mesh that has a little more pop then chicken wire or hardware cloth…

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February 21, 2015 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Solid Wood Edging

Sledding Down the Driveway

Today was one of those days…  I had to spend some time on clean-up duty, last Thursday’s snowstorm changed overnight to a slushy, wet, mix of precipitation, and it was just cold enough to freeze it all into a solid, crusty mess.  My driveway which I struggled so hard all winter to keep black with pavement was now a mess!  I had to hit the dump for some sand and salt to try and help break-up the crusty mess, especially with another storm forecasted to hit us this afternoon into the evening hours.  Even though I was disappointed with the condition of the driveway, the boys were loving it.  They were able to sled for quite a ways before turning the sled into the snow banks lining the drive way.

After my morning chores were complete I had some free time to do a little woodworking.  In the last installment, I was contemplating how to edge band the base cabinets and whether I was going to use some birch veneer edge banding I had on hand, or whether I was going to use some solid wood edge banding.

As you can see below, I ended up agreeing with Homestead Dad, who commented on the post, and chose solid wood edge banding.  While I was out picking up sand and salt at the dump I had picked up a 1×6 poplar board that matched the color of the cabinets that I had built pretty well.  I decided to rip the strips to 3/8” depth, because I would be gluing and nailing these to the edge of the cabinets.  I was nervous that if I went to thin, I would split the narrow strips with the 3/4” long brads I was using to attached the edging to the cabinets.

Solid Wood Edging

I ripped enough strips so I would have enough left for the drawers and doors that I will eventually be doing as well.  Installation was straight forward, I would would apply glue on the back of each piece of edging, clamp it in place, and attached it with 18 gauge, 3/4” long brads.  The solid wood edging was a little bit wider than the thickness of the plywood, so I lined the edging up flush with the inside face of the cabinet.  I figured if I needed to knock down and edge with a sander it would be easier to do it outside of the cabinet rather than inside of each cabinet.

Wood Edging Applied to Plywood Cabinet

This was a last minute change so I may need to accommodate for this added thickness when I attached the drawer slides to the drawers.  I figure it will be easier to do that than to unscrew and re attach the drawer slides to the cabinets, but we will see.

Wood Edging Applied to Base Cabinet

Hard to tell from the photo below, but I think it really cleans up that outside plywood edge and I am glad I went with the solid wood edging.  Hopefully I will be able to spend some time on the counter top tomorrow after the snow storm clean-up.

Custom Shop Base Cabinet

February 15, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 3 Comments

Garage Work Shop Storage – Custom Base Cabinets

Garage Base Cabinet

This is my first foray into making base cabinets.  It’s also some good prep for a project the wife has on my woodworking to do list.  So the back wall of my garage stall, I mean woodworking shop, has a 7’-0” section of drywall that I will be re-purposing for some cabinets.  This will also be the place where I can wedge my mobile miter saw cabinet that is currently under construction.  The goal is to have storage for some tools, additional counter top / assembly space that can also double as supports for long boards that I will be cutting on the chop saw.  As always I rough something out in sketch form on paper to get a rough idea of sizes and large cut pieces.  I am not a cabinet guy, but have seen enough pre-built cabs to take a stab at building my own.

Garage Base Cabinet Plan

The boxes will be relatively simple plywood boxes with two drawers at the top and a pair of doors below the drawers.  The cabinets will have 2×4 pressure treated bases that I will eventually cover up with a 4” vinyl base to clean up the look. I started with the PT bases.  I made them slightly less than the width of the cabinets, and 3-1/2” shorter than the depth of the cabinets to create a toe kick.

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After the bases were complete I rough cut the sides, bases, and some rails out of the 3/4” poplar plywood I had previously purchased.  I rough cut the 8’ sheets of plywood on my saw horses with a 4’ straight edge.  I would end up with sheets of plywood that are 25”-30” in length by 48” in width which are much easier to handle by yourself on the table saw.  I then cut all the sheets to final dimension on my table saw.  With everything sized, I turned my attention on the rabbets that I planned to make on the sides.  If you refer to the sketch above I have a rabbet on the bottom of each side and on the back of each side.

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I set the saw up wit a stacked dado head set, and clamped a sacrificial fence on my saw’s fence and we were ready to rabbet.  The rabbets where all 3/8” deep by 3/4” wide. to receive the plywood.

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With the rabbets cut it was time for some assembly.  For times sake I chose to glue and nail the boxes with brads.  I stood the sides of the cabinets up on what would be the front edge of the cabinet, stood the bottom of the cabinet up in the rabbets and laid the rails across the back of the cabinets, and fastened everything together after gluing and clamping.  I attached the 2×4 bases and had to do a quick mock-up.

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The back of these cabinets will be about 6-7” off of the face of the drywall wall.  This is to allow for a future dust collection system to be piped in the back.  Additionally lets me use the miter saw while the front of the miter saw cabinets is flush with the face of the new base cabinets.  Eventually the Miter Saw Cabinet will get poplar doors and drawer fronts to match the base cabinets.

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After playing around with dimensions, I decided on the depth of the drawers and glued and nailed the front rails and divider for the two drawers, because of the huge pain it was to install the drawer slides after the fact on the Miter Saw Cabinet, I decided to install the slides now before the top rail and the counter tops are installed.

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The slides were a piece of cake.  I use a 1/2” thick piece of plywood laid front to back to use as a spacer for the slides.  When I am ready to install the drawers in the future I will use a 1/4” thick spacer.  The slides are set about a 1/16” back from the front edge of the cabinets and attached to the sides with three screws.


With the drawer slides installed on both cabinets I nailed the top rails in place and was ready to level and install the base cabinets in their final location.


I had to remove my adjustable shelving that was on this wall and install some ladder frames to space the cabinets 7”+/- off the back wall.  Eventually there will be some removable filler panels on the sides and the front middle area where my miter saw will go.  All the cabinets were shimmed, leveled, and fastened in space.  In my next window of free time, I will probably focus on either the counter top or the cabinet drawers and doors.  I am still on the fence on whether I should edge band the plywood with veneer tape or some solid wood edging…


February 12, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , | 5 Comments

Drawers for the Miter Saw Stand


Since I am in between projects and I still had some scrap wood and hardware from  leftover projects I figured I would put around the garage this weekend and spend some more time on my shop fixtures and cabinets.

I had a big open space below the miter saw stand that I threw together in one of my previous posts and I wasn’t sure what to do with it until now.  I decided on two side by side drawers with an open space below that will house an old plastic recycling bin that I will use for small pieces of scrap and cut-offs.  First off this project is not meant to be pretty, more like a practical, Frankenstein of functionality.  That being said I had to set about installing a basic framework that could support the sliding rails for the drawers.  Since this hasn’t been planned ahead of time, and the miter saw is currently in use I am field modifying this cabinet which is a little bit of a pain, working on the ground.

The first step was to cut a piece of 2x blocking that I had screwed a 1/2” plywood divider two.  The 2x blocking is then screwed to the underside of the counter top.

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As you can see below this divider, provides two equal sections for my new drawers and will provide supports for the drawer rails.  I am going with 7” high drawers which will give me a 6” deep drawer on the inside after I put in a 1/2” thick plywood bottom.  That means the height of my divider that I am using is 7-3/4” high.  This will hope fully give me a 1/4” clearance from the bottom of the drawer and 1/2” clearance from the top of the drawer.

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The next step was to attached a stretcher piece or plywood rail at the front and back of the drawer openings.  These rails are about 3” wide pieces of plywood will laterally support the middle divider.  They will also provide a reference point for installation of the drawer slides.

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The rear rail can be seen well in the photo below.

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With the openings complete I could not take some final measurements and get to work on the drawers.  I have some full extension heavy duty 16” drawer slides that I was going to use for a project that never materialized, so I figured I would put them to use here.  The slides tell you what width to make your drawer  based on the opening you are working with.  For example my slides call for a drawer width that is 1-1/16” less that the drawer opening.  I have 13-1/4” wide openings so my drawers will be 12-3/16” wide.  The length of the slide is 16” but I am going to make the drawers slightly longer, because I have room in the cabinet, so my drawers will be 18” long.  With all of the sizes determined and the 1/2” plywood I will be using ripped to 7” wide and cut to length I switched out my standard saw blade for my dado set.

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I will be rabbeting the drawer sides and either gluing and nailing or gluing and screwing the sides to the fronts.  I will be cutting a 1/4” deep by 1/2” wide rabbet in the sides.  I ran a few test pieces to get the depth and the with set perfectly before running the drawer sides through.

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With all the rabbets run, it was now time to reset the saw to run a dado for the drawer bottoms.  I wanted heavier duty drawers so I decided to use 1/2” plywood for the drawer bottoms.  This also saves me having to reset the dado stack for a different thickness drawer bottom.  I kept the depth of the dado at 1/4” and simply adjusted the fence so that the dado would be about 1/2” from the bottom of the drawer sides. Because I am using slightly weathered scrap plywood I noticed the plywood was a little bigger than the dado I cut.  To get the plywood bottoms to fit, I simply adjusted the fence a smidge until I could easily slip a piece of plywood into the dado with no issues.

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After repeating the process for all eight drawer pieces I did a little mock-up to see how close I came to my drawer width of 12-3/16” and I was right on.  Now o decide on screws or brads to join the drawer sides to the fronts and backs…

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January 5, 2014 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , | 2 Comments

Painting Frames


In addition to the many other holiday tasks on the agenda my brother had asked if I could crank out some picture frames for some paintings that he was going to be giving as Christmas gifts this season.  With a basic idea of what works and a blank canvas that he had given me I set out to mass produce a couple frames out of pine and one out of some cherry that I had laying around.

The frame profile was pretty generic, I simply copied a store bought picture frame in the house.  I used some 1×4 pine that I ripped down to 1-1/2” widths.  I chose the wider pine because I could buy clearer lengths with fewer knots and imperfections.  It takes a little less than 8’-0” of frame materials to make one frame so approximately two 16” x20 paintings can be made from one 1x4x 8’-0” long.  One 8’ eastern white pine 1×4 at my local home center runs $5.83, so for $3 dollars worth of wood you can frame up a painting pretty economically.

From the photo below you can see the profile of the frame.  All I did was take a 1/4” by 1-1/4” rabbet out of the frame.  I did this because I noticed a fair amount of variance in the canvases that my brother had, so this 1/4” deep rabbet would allow me to oversize the picture frames and allow some play (~1/8”) within the frame itself.  I also felt that this basic frame did not detract from real focal point which is the artwork itself.

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After milling up four 8’ lengths of picture frame material to the profile above, I then took my time to make one picture frame which I would use as a template for the other three frames.  I cut each piece of the frame to length with miter joints and assembled the frame dry in my band clamp.  This allowed me to confirm that the canvas would indeed fit within the frame with about an 1/8” of play in all directions.

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It’s a little hard to tell in the photo below, but there is a little more than a 1/16” gap all the way around the inside of the frame.


With the canvas loosely laid in the frame I marked the top of the canvas and cut some slots with my biscuit cutter.  These slots are going to be used for some with some metal clips to mount the canvas to the frame.

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Below is the only photo I had of the clips, but you could really use anything to secure the painting to the frame.  I happened to have a whole bunch of these leftover clips from the raised panels I salvaged awhile back so I decided to re-purpose them.

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With the frames complete it was time to sand and finish them.

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Black and natural were the finishes selected.  The artist decided that black suited his deconstructed lobster best.


We went with a slightly darker Poly shades stain on the cherry frame which gave it a richer brown color, and hit it with a little Johnson Paste wax.

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Finally my brother surprised me with a painting of our very own, the wife thinks it would make the best blueprint of a future sugar shack.  The painting was complete with “Little Creek Maple Farm” at the front entry and on one of the sap buckets.

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I can’t wait to see what my brother paints next!

December 27, 2013 Posted by | Woodworking | , , , , , | 2 Comments


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