First Project

Submitted by curmudgeon on Tue, 05/07/2013 - 18:13

It all started with my daughter asking me if maybe I could cut the wood so she could assemble it. I looked over the plans and thought to myself that there was no way that I could pass up the fun of building this for my grandchildren. Then I got to thinking that if I built it really nice then my kids could pass it along between them over time.

I like to overdo things sometimes so I chose a nice red oak hardwood to make this a durable project that could survive multiple families of use. Hopefully the urethane finish will preserve the good looks of the red oak grain. While I have done plenty of home improvement carpentry I never built such a nice finished project so this was something new and fun to build. I made lots of little mistakes along the way that fastidious woodworkers would notice but my customer is really happy with it and that is all that matters.

This was the first time that I used the Kreg jig system and I must say that it was amazing. I glued and screwed everything together nice and tight. The Kreg plugs were a great finishing touch to keep little fingers out of sharp edged holes and also made the project look a little more professional. The plugs added some cost and did use up some extra sandpaper for the random orbit sander but it was worth it in appearance. Routing all the edges with an 1/8” round-over bit and adding a little laser engraved insert (you gotta brag!) made the last finishing touches before stain and clear coat.

The little dude was clearly happy with his new found reach and mom has been using that to put him to work. He is having so much fun that he has no idea how hard he is working in the kitchen!

Built from Plan(s)
Estimated Cost
$120
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Red Oak
Finish Used
Minwax English Chestnut 233 stain (hand applied with t-shirt rag). Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane Clear Gloss (three coats brushed on using china bristle brush). Before staining all surfaces were sanded using 50, 80, 120 and 220 grit sandpaper in a random orbit sander. Some of the sanding was done before final assembly to avoid sanding into inside corners.
Recommended Skill Level
Beginner

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