Happy New Year 2023

It’s been a while since I posted anything and so I’ve decided that this post will be about ongoing projects, new projects, as well as why I’ve left Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and where I’ve gone (if anywhere).

One of the main reasons that I’ve not been making progress on my furniture restoration projects is that we’ve been remodeling our house. I’ll probably have some before and after pictures up here eventually.

First, the Small Elm Stand. This one is foremost on my mind because I’m so close to finishing. It’s in good shape right now and I just need to finish the glue up, start coloring, and shellac and wax.

So close to being finished!

I have eight or nine projects waiting in the wings that I’ll talk about individually as I get closer to starting them. They include three Art Deco pieces that I think will be amazing and two oak dressers.

Aside from the upcoming projects, I am letting anyone know who stumbles on the website that I’m not on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. This is not for my privacy or security, but for the privacy and security of anyone who uses this website. I don’t use SEO or any tracking tools apart from my website security, and having any links or plugins related to Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter would negate that privacy. I do not assist Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google, or Apple (or any other corporate entity) in their tracking of any visitors to my website.

That said, I am using Mastodon and will be posting about my projects, as well as my wife’s projects, on there and linking back here. If you are interested in following me or my wife there our handles are:



We are both getting started with Mastodon, so our feeds are not very interesting yet, but as we get further into it we will have some content there that is not here.

That’s it for now. My next post will likely be project related.

Small elm bedside stand, Part 4

Ok, so it’s been a while since I’ve made any progress on the stand, but I have a very good excuse…and that’s a bald-faced lie. I have been working on our home remodel, but I’ve also started a few other projects so I’ve just been pretty distracted.

I decided to replace the bottom because the previous bottom (which was also a replacement) was too warped to fix.

This is the previous bottom, which was also a replacement. It was a nice thick piece of pine, but it twisted and warped so badly that I wasn’t even tempted to try to fix or straighten it.

I had some nice pine that I’m using for another project. The pieces were too narrow so I joined them and cut them to length.

The new piece was too thick so I got the scrub plane out and took off about 3mm (1/8th inch) from the face, then flattened and smoothed the face.

Using my scrub plane.
And following up to smooth the face.

I dry fit the bottom into the grooves in the legs and clamped it up to make sure the bottom was not too wide or deep.

After some tweaking. Shaved down the edges and sides so it fits snuggly but has room to expand. In this case the bottom will expand to the sides.

I’m pretty happy with the bottom and I’m ready to start glueing up the carcase. That will be in the next post.

Small elm bookshelf

Sometimes you reach a point where you feel you’ve lost all forward momentum and are stagnating. You might have a half dozen (or more) projects staring you in the face but you can’t seem to make any progress. You blame distractions, your day job, the home remodel, and any number of other possible excuses, but really you’ve hit one of your valleys.

In my case, I needed a quick win. A little project that I could get finished relatively quickly so I could then use that dopamine rush to carry me through to the rest of my projects.

And this small bookshelf was the perfect project for that.

An elm bookshelf that needs a bit of help.
The top shelf had most of the stain and finish worn off and some fairly deep scratches.
The second shelf had a paint stain and also had the stain and finish worn off.
The bottom two shelves were in the best shape.

I started by taking it all apart, which was pretty quick and easy. There were screws holding the piece together and then dowels that ran along the sides. The dowels slid out quite easily, and then the legs/stiles unscrewed from the shelves.

Elm grain is some of the most beautiful of all woods in my opinion.
The feathery look makes the experience tactile. You just have to touch it.

Once I had it apart I stripped each piece. I don’t normally strip a piece I’m working on because you lose the color and patina that many people look for in antiques. In this case, I decided to strip it because the majority of the surfaces were in bad shape and had already lost their patina and color.

I then assessed the pieces and decided that every surface needed to be sanded to get past the damage. And again, I normally don’t sand a piece I’m restoring but in this case it was already so far gone that sanding was necessary. And I’m glad I did because as I got past all of the damage and discoloration I reached some beautiful grain.

After stripping and sanding I cleaned everything with alcohol and instead of shellac, I used pure tung oil with citrus solvent. Normally I’ll use shellac, and then wax to match the color of the repaired parts and sections to the original. In this case, there was no original surface remaining so I went with

The bookshelf after 2 coats of tung oil.

***Edit. This is the second version of this post because I had to restore the website from a backup and lost the 2nd half of this post.

I was going to keep this piece in the shop for a bit longer because there is some color variation that I could even out with a couple coats of dark wax, but I needed this project as a quick win. I needed it for the dopamine rush that I can use to continue on with my other projects. Plus we really needed a bookshelf for all of our cookbooks.

The top shelf looking good with its beautiful grain.
The second shelf with no more paint stain. Also showing its beautiful feathery grain.

My next post will probably be on the small elm stand.