Repairing and Making Furniture

There are times when keeping your house in shape you might be called upon for making and repairing furniture. This could be anything from fixing a broken chair to making a table, or even trying to make a set of cupboards or anything else around the house made with wood products.table


If you happen to have a chair where the rungs have pulled out of place, then this can be  an easy fix with some carpenters glue. Most of these wood glues take two to three hours to set up, but I usually leave them clamped up over night. Also before gluing be sure to clean out where they mate back together so you have fresh wood for the glue.


Another project to try if anyone is interested in making a table for the kitchen or living room. It is not to difficult to do, first thing is to buy some pine two by sixes. You will need eleven or twelve of these eight feet long. I made my first table top five feet six inches long by thirty two and a half inches wide, which is six two by sixes glued together. A two by six bought at the hardware store is actually an inch and a half by five and a half inches, and this will make a very solid table.table

Dowels and Pins

When gluing together I used wood dowels three inches long by half inch in diameter, and about six to each piece of two by six. You will need a level surface to line them up on, and before drilling holes for the wood dowels check that the grain of wood  on ends of two by sixes are opposite of each other, as there is less chance of warping in the future this way. After drilling the first board I use small metal pins that are designed for the size of the wood dowel holes. Insert these in the predrilled holes then press next two by six against first one and you will have your marks to drill next wood dowel holes perfectly aligned.Repairing Pins Dowels


After all holes are drilled then insert the wood dowels and apply wood glue, and press all six pieces together. I personally use pipe clamps but there are many different kinds on the market today for this type of job. You will also need C clamps to hold the two by sixes level on your gluing platform as you apply pressure to the pipe clamps. I usually leave this clamped together for a couple days before removing them. It will be ready in less time then this as the glue bottles recommend two to three hours but I always leave a longer time so less chance of problems.clamps wood dowels

Table Top

After removing the table top from the clamps then it is time to start sanding to get a smooth finish to the wood. I usually start sanding with an eighty paper then work up to a finer sand paper, something like a two hundred to finish. In also rounded the corners, just because I thought it looked better. The legs are four two by sixes glued together and can be cut later to any design you like. I made them twenty seven inches long and put two feet rest with felt on them to protect the floor. For this I made pieces seven inches long by two and a quarter wide by one inch thick. Then after everything is sanded it can be finished with a varathane or whatever your choice is , as there are also many different products on the market for this.

The Table Legs

Attach the foot rests to bottom of legs with a couple screws, then the legs are screwed to bottom of table top by attaching a one and a half by two by fourteen inch long piece to top of legs with four bolts. Then screw through this into table top with five or six screws. Legs are then joined together by a length of two by six cut down to three and a half inches wide, narrowed at the ends and held in place with two wood wedges. My table has stood up to wear for twenty five years or more with zero maintenance.


Other furniture can be made also,  from bookcases to magazine holders or end tables for your couches. Also make yourself a bar counter using the same methods as the table top, just cut to size. For book shelves you can use one by ten pine, some wood screws, sand the pieces before putting together. Then finish up with varathane. I have used a latex varathane on some projects and it seems to stand the test of time quite well, plus is easy to apply, dries fast between coats, and brushes clean with water.

Magazine Holder

To put together a magazine holder also use one by ten pine and a one inch wood dowel fifteen and a quarter inches long for the handle. Make the bottom, sides, and ends, and put together with wood screws, varathane and its ready to use. There are many different designs for this, I just copied one that was an antique my mom used to have.magazine stand,

Wood Projects

Most of these projects can be bought at stores, but they will not be of the same quality if you make them yourself. Plus having something made by your own hands is always a good reward in itself. I usually use pine because its very easy to work with and takes less time to sand and finish then many of the hard woods like oak or maple. In my case the floors in the house are pine so I try to keep things matched up.

If you have any other ideas just leave a comment, its always appreciated.


Tools For Home Repairs


When it comes to buying tools for home repairs your going to need quite a few. I will give an opinion on some that I have found very useful, and a few of the better quality ones that I have come across over the years.

Some Of The Basic Tools

Start out with the usual hammers, best get a couple of them as they seem to have a tendency to walk away. Then buy yourself some screwdrivers, and you will need just about every kind and size that’s made. You will also need a good tape measure, most of them don’t last even if there expensive or cheap, but that could be just me and the rough use I put them through.hammers screwdrivers tape

Cordless Drills

A cordless drill is a must and an excellent do it yourself tool. There is many makes of these, some better then others, so if you do your homework before buying one its a good idea. Personally I recommend twenty volt drills as they seem to be strong enough for most things, and the battery stays charged longer then the smaller ones. Right now I am using twenty volt Mastercraft which is ok. Also think Makita, Dewalt, Bosch, and Milwaukee are some of the better ones.battery drills

Electric Sanders

An electrical orbital sander is also a must for tools along with a belt sander. I find the orbital sanders are good for finishing off to give a smooth finish, while the belt sander will level off rough wood much faster and even remove old paint. There are many makes of these on the market so is your choice of what to buy. A little hint is that I have gone through four lesser name brand belt sanders to one Makita orbital sander, so something to think about.electric sanders

Circular Saws

Another must have tool for the do it yourself is a circular saw. I have used quite a few different ones through out my life, and at the present time am using a Makita seven and one quarter inch. This saw I have had in use for over twenty years, and last year was the first I had to change the brushes in it , has been an amazing saw.circular saw

Smaller Tools

A few smaller tools you will probably need are a stapler, putty knife, square and level. The speed square is handy for cutting lumber as you can lay it across the piece and line your saw up against it for a square cut. Smaller and in a triangle shape I find it easier to work with then the larger squares, but is good to have both. As levels go is best to have a four foot , and a two foot one, the more expensive ones will last longer. Another good item is a stud finder used for locating two by fours or two by sixes behind the gyprock on your walls if you wont to hang pictures or what ever.levels square stapler


Other things you should have around the home is a good stepladder, great for painting those eight foot walls. I also use a multifunctional ladder. These can be used for getting at hard to reach places like over a set of stairs, and can be even adjusted to sit on the different stair levels, plus it extends out to thirteen feet so is a very versatile ladder. Along with these you might wont a step stool. There are different ones, some three step, four step and two step also, and the ones with wider space for the feet are more comfortable if standing on them for a length of time. There also handy  for paint jobs where you are unable to squeeze a ladder in, and being lighter then a ladder easier to move around.

Pliers And Other Things

Some other tools that are helpful for around the place include tin snips and needle nose pliers, which I use sometimes on taps in bathrooms and kitchens. Also a can of spray lube helps when trying to remove stubborn tap fixtures, and some faucets are held on with hex screws that require a set of allen keys. Also a utility knife is a must have when removing silicone from around tubs or other places, and also for cutting 2015 march5 010

Dust Mask, Chisels, Chalk Line

Another tool you might need is a dust mask, if you happen to do some sanding, wood or gyprock. Wood chisels are also a great buy  and can be used for adjusting door latches or where the hinge fits. They have multiple uses as I often use them to clean off old gaskets on motorcycle parts. Just keep a good file around for keeping them sharp. You probably wont a chalk line, a great tool for marking gyprock before cutting.chisels chalkline


Next if your doing any gardening around the place, a shovel is a must. The round mouth and a square nose are a good buy. I find the square nose shovel excellent for removing old shingles when a roof job is needed.


Another tool that works well is a Multi-Crafter. It will cut metal and wood, and also do fine sanding. I find this tool very handy as it gets into places other tools will not reach. If laying a floating floor or installing hardwood floors this tool will cut away under door jambs instead of having to use a handsaw. Also can be used for cutting out on gyprock where electrical plugs will go, does a really good job.multi-crafter

Home Project Tools

There is probably no end to the tools you can buy and need for keeping your home in shape, and doing different jobs around the place. as you keep working on projects  around the house you might wont  a table saw, miter cut off saw, reciprocating saw, jigsaw saw, band saw and others. The  list seems to just keep growing, anyway I wish everyone the best of luck on there tools for home repairs, and the many projects  to keep the place looking good.saws


If you have any comments or new ideas just leave a message.


How to Build a Deck


At sometime or another you might wont to know how to build a deck onto your home. I think just about every deck will have its own unique design, and just where you would like to build it onto your home.decks for improving home value

Wood for Deck

Most wood used for this project are two by sixes treated and four by four post also treated. The decking can be two by sixes treated also, but have seen different sizes used for this. The four by four post can be put onto concrete deck blocks that are designed for the post to sit in. Some places may require  post holes dug and cemented with a bolt sticking out of cement so a special metal bracket can be attached to keep post well anchored. I have also put up  decks made from all cedar but that can be very expensive.wood for decks

Attaching a Ledger Board

The first thing is to install a ledger board against the house using a two by six for this. Take siding off the house where you wont it installed and mark the right height and level for where deck is to sit. This can be attached with half inch bolts or lag screws four to six inches long, just making sure they go into solid house structure. Best to drill holes first as it makes life easier. One other thing to remember is to install the two by sixes with the crown of the board up, and this also applies to the other joists you will be using.

Perimeter Joists

Next is to put up the perimeter joists for the deck, then once up you can level and make it square. Always measure the diagonals from ends of ledger board to make deck square with house. The perimeter joists will attach to the four by four post that are set on your cement blocks, using bolts to connect post to ledger boards. Make sure to have post on the four corners  as these will be part of the railing later. Most people set the post about six feet apart but can be closer depending on size of deck, and also post set where ever center of deck is, once again depending on size of and supports for deck

Post For Deck

Other post for your railing  should be attached now before you put in joists. These can be six feet apart up to a maximum of eight feet, but the six foot span will make a stronger railing. I usually attach the post to the inside of the perimeter joist leaving the full thickness of four inches. Have seen some with a notch cut out so post sits on top of joist. but this only leaves two inches of wood holding post so personally I prefer the solid four inches. There are metal brackets that attach to the perimeter boards and the four by four post sit in these and screwed into place making them extremely strong for the railing. It may cost a few dollars more but is safer and stronger with the metal brackets.four by four post used for decks

Floor Joists

Next you wont to attach the treated two by sixes floor joists. These are put every sixteen inches so you can mark the ledger board and the outside perimeter the same. For these there are also metal face mount joist hangers, usually around a dollar a piece and work very well. Have seen these nailed on but I prefer screws in case there is a little adjusting to do later, makes it much easier. Don’t forget to put the crown of joists up as you install them.ledger board and floor joist for how to build a deck


After joists are all installed then you can start putting on the two by six flooring, beginning at the outside perimeter joist and working towards the house. Cut out for  the post and I usually leave an inch overhang at the outside perimeter board, but that’s up to you as some like it even. You can space the two by six flooring using eight or ten penny nails, anywhere from one eighth to one quarter inch gap. I usually just cut three or four  pieces of wood the right thickness for the space, or use some stir sticks for paint. I find this works better then nails for  spacing because often the two by sixes are not perfectly straight and need to be adjusted, and with pressure the nail spacers will sink into the wood  where with the wider wood spacers will not. When your flooring  gets closer to the house check for both sides being even in case spacing needs to be adjusted or you have to rip a two by six.two by six decking for how to build a deck

Attaching Flooring

To attach the flooring I use three inch decking screws. Most people screw the floor down by going through the two by sixes into the joists, is fast and easy. Another way if your deck is three or more feet off the ground is screwing the flooring on from the under side, going from an angle through the joist into the flooring, and drilling a pilot hole first. Its a little harder to do but your flooring has no holes screwed in the top of it, and does look real good when finished, plus less chance of rot in the future. Have done three or four decks like this plus a few porches, customers were very pleased with the look.screws for how to build a deck

Deck Railing

The next part of the process is to add the railing and any more post that you might need. Railing is usually three feet high wit the post extending about another ten inches above that. If your deck is five feet ten inches above ground  then railing should be placed at a height of forty two inches. The bottom two by four rail can be set at two to four inches above deck floor, and the vertical pieces for the railing have no more then a four inch gap between them. They are often made out of two by two treated lumber sawed on an angle at top. These are the leveled and screwed into place.railing for deck


If your plans call for stairs then you will need a couple post set onto the perimeter board of the deck Attach these with metal brackets designed to give the post a solid mounting. Every deck will be different so one of the easy ways to calculate the two by twelve stringers for length rise and thread is to use one of the stair calculators on the internet. There are a few excellent ones out there. Just give the height of your floor on deck from the ground or cement base your stringers will sit on, and the rise which is the height of step. Most have a rise between seven to eight inches, and the angle of stringers is usually between thirty five to forty two degrees. One of the most common rises on stairs is seven to seven and a half inches, and you can use two by sixes for the threads. If the steps are over thirty six inches wide you will require three stringers.stairs for deck

Railings For Stairs

If you are adding railings to the stairs, then two more four by four post are required at the bottom. These can be anchored into cement and attached with metal fasteners for strength. These can also be attached to the inside of the stringers by adding a two by six across stringers at back of post, plus a short piece of four by four on the sides of post. All pieces are then bolted together and metal fasteners also used, These have to be extremely solid so take the time to do it right. Add the two by fours between post for railing cutting the angles at top and bottom, then add the verticals with once again no more then four inch spacing. A handrail can also be added after inside the stair railing for getting a better grip.deck stairs

Post Caps

For the post around the deck  you can add solar LED light caps for them. There are many different types of post caps out there so is just what ever you happen to prefer.


If anyone would like to leave a comment or have some new ideas on decks, its always appreciated.