Red oak letter and key rack
I came across this letter and key rack in Issue #32 of Woodsmith and decided to make it the gift project for Christmas 2005. It seemed like a fairly simple “weekend” project and something that most anyone could use. Now, if I only made one of these racks, it would have indeed been a weekend […]

Letter and Key Rack

Insulated dog house 4
The “Sparky 1” This dog house features an insulated floor, roof, and walls, a removable roof for ease of cleaning, a cedar deck with roof, and solid construction throughout. It was made from common construction materials – including recycled cedar boards from an old deck, T1-11 exterior grade plywood, and 2″x3″ pine framing lumber. The […]

Insulated Dog House

Oak carpet trim
Here is an idea for capping off the carpeting at the top of a stairway so it won’t fray or get in the way. When the carpet guy installed the carpeting on our basement stairs, he finished by wrapping the carpeting over the top step and tacking it to a strip of oak. This worked […]

Oak Carpet Trim

Cedar bird house 2
This past winter I was poking around for a challenging woodworking project. Something different from anything I had done before. Something involving unusual joinery and/or cutting techniques. Something that would expand my repertoire of woodworking skills. Something I could make multiple copies of to give out as gifts, thereby incurring the good will of friends […]

Cedar Bird Houses

Bathroom vanity shelf almost doubles storage capacity
Here is an easy to build storage shelf that utilizes the wasted space inside a bathroom vanity cabinet. I’m talking about that space below the sink basin and above where all the bathroom supplies pile up on the bottom of the cabinet. The shelf assembles in place and can be made from scraps you probably […]

Bathroom Vanity Under Sink Shelf

Swiss lake marquetry scene
Looking for a little diversion from a typical woodworking project? Well, why not give marquetry a shot? If you’re not familiar with this ancient art, marquetry is all about creating a design or picture using wood veneers of varying colors and grain patterns. For example, a nature scene might use sycamore for the sky, holly […]

Getting Started in Marquetry

Joiner's mallets
A wooden joiner’s mallet is a very useful shop tool for project assembly, chiseling, inserting dowels, and general purpose pounding operations. Compared to a conventional metal hammer, it is less damaging to wood or metal surfaces, especially if the faces of the mallet are covered with leather. The relatively large face of a typical wooden mallet spreads the […]

Joiner’s Mallets

Restored garden bench 18
We bought this garden bench about 15 years ago from the local Lowes home improvement store.  It held up fairly well for about 10 years but inevitably the oak slats on it started to rot and break apart. The finish also disintegrated over time (yes, I didn’t maintain it) and the bench took on a gray, […]

Restoring a Garden Bench

My dad added a porch to our house back in the 1970’s and I must say he did a pretty good job overall. Especially for someone who wasn’t a professional builder or carpenter. However, there was one critical flaw in the construction: the main sill plate running across the front of the porch was made […]

When Wood Goes Bad

Sleepy cat lounging on cat tree 1
After adopting a kitten from the local animal shelter, we decided to build a “cat tree” for the young mischief maker. I did a bit of Googling and came across what seemed to be a decent set of plans at  For only $10, they offer plans for six different cat trees, all available as downloadable […]

Cat Tree