Little Shop, Big Dreams.

When I was a kid, my dad had a great big shop in the basement of our huge old house on the East Side of Buffalo, NY. So big I could ride my big wheel around that shop when saws weren’t buzzing. In his shop, he had a large cast iron table saw, a full size band saw, a drill press, and many more large pieces of equipment. When my dad got to working, not one of those monsters had to be moved to make a cut or drill a hole.

 

Fast forward to 2016 and enter the Ginger work shop. I have enough space to properly drill some pocket holes and lose a tape measure. That said, it doesn’t bother me one bit. What my dad taught me back in the day was to keep your shop organized and clean, and it won’t matter the size; great things can happen. Last year, as my kids got older and building things became possible, my wife so kindly gave up most of the garage in our home to this hobby. Soon, as she and her friend found pallets, and I cleaned up some boxes of old toys stored on the shelves, I had a bit more space. I quickly found new ways to store our kayaks upright and hand just about every tool that was less then 50lbs off the pallet shelves I made from their efforts.

 

In 2017, after a winter of building with the garage door closed (meaning even less space), I continued to find new ways to improve the mobility of the shop. I added a pair of Tough tBuilt sawhorses from Home Depot that can quickly be put up and taken down. I complimented that with a 48 inch by 48 inch #Gingerworkstation to place on top of those sawhorses. This coupled with the addition of a retractable extension cord for sanding and using all my mobile power tools with a cord.

 

Recently, I added the latest mobile station with lights that was written about previously and will be the new home of my Planer. As a Christian, I believe that God gives us everything that we need. I have been blessed with my space, and therefore I will be creative and use it to the best of my ability. Many folks message me and ask advice on their space. I believe the best answer is to consider a positive solution for every last inch of what you’re blessed with and then keep trying to improve it, little by little.

 

Keep an eye out this week for some new posts on the Centipede Tool I have coming in the mail.  For now, check them out here and be as amazed as I am at what it is going to do for my shop mobility!

 

Mobile Planer Stand Scrap Wood project

Every piece of equipment in my shop has to be mobile, and multi-functioning. I also enjoy using scrap wood to make cool storage and work spaces. With those things in mind, I created the mobile planer stand. This things got wheels, lights and a whole lot of space for #stickerswap fun. The plan is to store the planer underneath when not in use to give myself an additional space to work on. Below are the scrap pieces I used, as well as some links to grab the parts I did actually pay for.  This Mobile stand was created using Kreg Jig Pocket holes to join the pieces accurately and effectively.  For questions on assembly, feel free to connect with my on Instagram and Facebook both links are on my home page! Happy Building.

 

Here is a link to check out the Kreg Jig products and get started on this build.   https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

*4 pieces either 2 by 4 or 2 by 6 wood for the vertical frame.

* 3 pieces of 17 inch long 2 by 4 for the under side of the cart

* 2 pieces of 24 inch 2 by 4 also for the under side of the cart.

* 1 sheet of 1/4 plywood to cover the outside and the bottom shelf- cut into three pieces of 24 inches, by 19inches. as well as 1 piece for bottom shelf that is cut to size.

* 24 inch by 24 inch piece of 3/4 inch plywood for the top of the cart

* 4 wheels, with brakes- http://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-2-in-Soft-Rubber-Swivel-Plate-Caster-with-90-lb-Load-Rating-and-Side-Brake-49509/203661074

* LED lights- https://www.samsclub.com/sams/accent-lights-multi-color/prod19542442.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1

#GingerJar

Everything that happens inside the Ginger Work Shop, on the pages of this blog, or on my Social Media sites is about using what has been given to me to be the best influencer I can be.   That said, let’s talk about the Ginger Jar.  For a while now, I have been sure that my table saw, a blessing in itself was overdue to be upgraded.  As projects grow, opportunities arise to try new things and with that the need for better tools becomes inevitable.   As a father and husband, I couldn’t just swing for the fences and drop $500 on the saw I have landed on, the Ridgid JobSite table saw.   So, with being an influencer in the back of my mind, I decided it was time to influence my kids by letting them see me save up to get that saw.  I wanted a real tangible chance to show my kids how to earn what is important to them.  As a parent in 2017, you don’t always get real life chances to teach your kids skills that school wont.  Skills that they will need today, tomorrow and forever.  I plopped a picture of the saw on the front of a Mason Jar and put that jar in my shop.  My kids asked what it was and I told them.  Now, with every passing day they ask me how much is in there, when will you get that saw dad.  I am pretty sure they don’t care one bit about that saw, but they see how I am getting it done.  So far, in this past week there have been a number of blessings that headed my way, and into that jar.  I have a list, ill be sure to tell you all the full story of how that jar got filled.  But, for now be an influencer, don’t let the chances you have go unused.  Below is the link to the saw that I am saving for, maybe you too want to start your jar!

Privacy Garden Planter- Kreg Jig

In the early spring I was asked by a friend to solve a problem. You see, this friend lives on a corner lot, with a fairly short chain link fence. When you spend time enjoying your backyard you want some privacy. So he and his wife asked for some privacy Garden Planters. He wanted them tall enough and large enough to let he and his family enjoy a nice meal without feeling like the whole neighborhood was joining the feast.  The framing of this planter is put together entirely using the K4 Pocket hole system by Kreg jig and 2 1/2 Blue Kote screws designed for indoor/outdoor use.   This Planter was done using treated lumber, once it dries, it can be painted or stained.  If Cedar is available in your area that would be a wonderful option as well.  Using only 4- 2x4x10’s, 13- 6 foot Dog Eared fence posts, 1 piece of Lattice and some screws you can add this nice piece to your backyard oasis.   So whether its privacy or adding another spot to cultivate your green thumb, make sure to check out my plans which are sponsored by Kreg Jig at BuildSomething.com.

 

To check out my all of the products that Kreg Jig has to offer including the K4 system head to  https://www.kregtool.com/store/c13/kreg-jigsreg/

 

 

To check out my Build plans, head here

https://www.buildsomething.com/plans/PF7D8AEFFB1999389/Garden-Planter-

 

 

 

 

Router magic

When I get new tools, the first thing I do is watch endless YouTube videos by guys like Adam at LazyGuyDIY and Zach over at Southern Ginger Workshop to figure out what sort of cool things I can do with them. One of the most recent adds to my tool collection is a Compact Router, which I like to use for making signs. So, why not share the fun and give you all some tips on using your shiny new compact Router. Go grab yourself a 1/8 inch by 3/8 inch Carbide Straight Router bit at Home Depot for about 18 bucks (plus tax) and let’s get carving!

 

1. Insert the bit so you have about 1/4 inch in depth for cut.

2. Print a sweet image on your everyday, handy-dandy printer.

3. Glue the image onto your surface using Titebond wood glue, let sit a few hours, preferably overnight. (leaving it sit will allow the glue to fully set, thus avoiding parts of your image from ripping off)

4. Using your compact router with your bit already set, trace the image with your router, counter clockwise to keep it nice and clean (as always, make sure to use your favorite goggles for protection).

5. After you have finished routing out your image, use 60 grit sand paper (I prefer Gator Finishing) to remove the remaining glue and paper.

6. Clean out the image using a small chisel.

7. Grab a handy can of black/dark colored spray paint and spray the image.

8. Once the paint is dry, remove the excess paint on the surface with 60 grit sand paper.

9. Once you have sanded the sign, stain, paint, or finish it to your desired preference!

 

*Bonus step: Tag @GingerWoodWorks in a post with your finished product so I can check out your efforts!

Sponges Aren’t Just For Dishes Anymore

Raise your hand if you are sick of cutting sandpaper to fit your sanding block, or a 2 x 4 that you’ve fashioned into a DIY sanding block. The struggle we all have is that the paper rips after about three seconds. Enter sanding sponges. I use the Gator Finishing line myself. Mostly because they hold up longer, offer a protective coating which stands up to the heat of sanding, and they don’t offer those silly honeycomb shapes that another nameless brand patented. Speaking of that honeycomb shape, I prefer my sanding to be even and seamless, which you get with Gator sponges. They have an angled edge which is helpful in reaching those tough spots deep in the corner. One of my favorite uses of the sponges are for smaller, more delicate projects that lend themselves to more careful sanding. I have been working on a custom display box that presented me with the need for Gator sponges. I didn’t think going at it with a beastly orbital sander was going to leave my piece happily smooth. If you have seen these sponges in any of my pictures or Instagram stories and are wondering where to pick them up, I will end the blog with some places you can find them. As always, if you are not certain about where you can find these products or wish they were available in your area, make sure to send Gator Finishing a message on Instagram!

 

Happy Sanding.

 

Gator Finishing products are available at:

Walmart
Ace Hardware
Lowes

No Tool Snobbery to see here……

Last summer, while my project list picked up, I quickly learned I was bringing a plastic spoon to a knife fight.  I know I am not the only one who started a project ill-prepared with quality tools. The tools I had gotten when I moved into my first house in 2007 were no longer relevant, and barely useful. Over the course of last summer I spent more time waiting for batteries to charge then I did building.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because over this past year I have been blessed to add many tools to my shop, including many Ridgid tools.  I personally love how tough the Ridgid tool brand is, the Lifetime Service Agreement, and of course…..the color. That said, one thing you wont find here at Ginger Woodworks is Tool Snobbery.

We all started somewhere and there is a place for every tool. When I talk tools, I will find the positive. It may be the value, it could be the sale, and it could just be the quality. In every product you have ever used, there are good encounters and bad encounters. There will be more posts on specific tools that I like, ones that I recommend even, but you wont find me knocking brands here. Many of us are married to brands, sometimes its because we love them and sometimes because the battery cost is as much as a car payment.

My advice – you do you. Buy the best tools that you can afford and always get the one you need for the latest project before the one you want because it looks cool.  I’ve used a lot of brands in my shop, and I can say that they work for their intended purpose.  Not all tools are made for the pro job site and not all tools need to be.  Each of us is building, making, and creating something different.  Keep that in mind and be excited about your new tool purchase.

Hardwork…..How do your kids see it?

Ask yourself, what do my kids think hard work is?  This is a question I was pondering last summer.  When dad heads off to work, do they really know I work hard, or do they assume I do because I told them so.  As a social worker by trade, not many of the social ills I face on the daily can or do come home with me.  This inevitably leaves me at a loss when trying to educate my kids on what it is to work hard.   Then, one day last spring, I got this crazy idea to build the kids a playhouse for our backyard.  This playhouse had to be big and the kids had to help.  So, after searching online for some plans and pictures, and locating a gently used slide we were off!  After two weeks of cutting, drilling, screwing, and basically waiting for my NiCad batteries to charge we had a playhouse!  What happened next was the real treat; my kids wanted more.  Not more Playhouses, but more builds.  So, we set off on some new projects, and one by one their zest for what dad would come up with next was reaching a fiery pitch.  Each project brought lessons on hard work, precision, dedication and even money management.   Each project also turned this regular Ginger dad into a super hero.  I started hearing things like “dad can build that” or “dad can fix that”.  Its then when I realized, that not only did my kids get to make memories on a cool playhouse, but they were learning first hand with their own eyes what hard work was.  Hard work no longer meant that dad was away from them, rather it meant that we earned what we built with our sweat, smashed fingers, and splinters.