Masthead header

New Tools on the Horizon

Ok, I have accumulated a large variety of tools, I have my own miter saw and stand, table saw, hand saws, drills, reciprocating saws, small router and table, and circular saw and other stuff- but nothing has gotten me as excited as what I am about to buy.  My very first set of Festool tools.

I am planning on getting a track saw and an extra track so I can cut my plywood myself.  Orange is notorious for cutting my wood off square and when you start off unsquare, it is just not pretty.  I used to laugh at my dad when he was upset things were off by 1/8″ but now I am beginning to have sympathy for him.  Sorry I teased you Daddy.  I am so tired of crooked cuts and unsquare boxes.

Anyhoo- here is a video of the tracksaw in action- cannot wait to get this bad boy-

I also plan to get a Domino joiner- have you seen one of these things?- I am going to attach a video so you can see how truly awesome it is.  I will help me keep my joints square.  Domino Joiner-

I am going to get the Domino 500 (mostly because of cost, and partly because I don’t do a lot of heavy duty building)

I am also considering the router- although honestly- I already have a ryobi router that is sufficient- but Festool is such a good brand- anyone want to weigh in either way?  I can’t afford the router table right now- but is is on a wish list.

I considered the MPT 3 table- but the track saw is sufficient and I am spending enough money already- and I need a cutting table for 4×8 sheets of plywood and MDF.   The best thing about Festool is that they all run off of the same dust extraction and power cord system.  So I will be buying a dust extractor also- it won’t eliminate 100% of the sawdust but compared to the piles of sawdust I sweep up once in a blue moon and have been breathing for ages, it will be soooo much better.

I have a wish list of attachments and tools I also would like- but they will have to come later.

I will be writing an independent review of my new tools, so stay tuned- Independent because Festool is not providing the tools to me (darn it), I will be purchasing them with my hard earned money myself.


Itai’s bed

For a long time Itai and Ari shared a room, mostly because Itai didn’t want to sleep alone.  He had a twin size bed, and Ari insisted on sleeping on the floor, like literally on the carpet, but then he let us give him a mattress.  Finally I talked him into a bed and started building the boys matching beds- based on this bed from Pottery Barn


I of course looked at it and said “I could make that” thanks to Ana-White who inspired women everywhere to know they can build too!  I kind of used a plan from Ana but also winged it- my first venture outside of actual step by step plans.  It turned out awesome- even if I still haven’t found a metal piece to put at the top for magnets.

I also gave him a footboard.

This bed was incredibly easy to build- Not near as detailed as the girls beds.

I started with the 4×4 posts cut to length- I wanted it tall so I used the dimensions from PB.  I used 2×12′s for the boards- but I looked for ones that had natural lines in them, almost like a split- but they weren’t split, that was just how it was milled.  I cut them to length with my 12″ sliding miter saw and then got to staining.  I used some custom stain I had tried to match to my original kitchen cabinets but was too dark.  I then drilled pocket holes in the middle boards into the 4x4s (and I used glue for strength) I did this for both the headboard and footboard.  Next I added the side boards, I used pocket holes, glue, and corner braces from the deck building section at home depot.  I also plan on adding bolts for decorative purposes.  Next came the slats and we were done.  This pic shows both the bed and the plywood floor.  Which I am happy to say is pinned and repinned everyday- does that mean I did well?


Shortly after I built Itai’s bed- and started on Ari’s bed, then Ari said he didn’t want a bed.  And slept on a mattress on the floor until a while back when Itai decided he wanted his own room and moved into the Spare Bedroom.   And then Ari decided he wanted Itai’s bed.  So we came full circle- I only built one of these beds in the end.  I still would like to find a metal piece to put at the top but it can wait.

I would like to build the kids desks soon, but can add this to the list of things I want to build:)  It is never ending.



Kitchen remake- oh, its a doozy

Ok- so when we moved in the house we had the standard cabinets- small drawers on top and cabinet doors- here is a few pics of before.  I took these pictures in October 2011.  Can’t believe it has been that long ago.

Kitchen beforeKitchen BeforeKitchen Before

I have always disliked this style of cabinet- when you put your pans and stuff in it, when you open the door they all fall out.  They are disorganized and my husband never puts anything back the same place twice.  Not to mention that for some reason the manufacturer thinks that putting a half shelf in it makes sense- really- does this look like it makes sense?

Inside the cabinet

Of course Ori was away so I designed and retrofitted drawers into the cabinets- with my dad’s help of course- I drew up the cabinets as is

current configurationcurrent configurationpics

I then drew up my desired configuration:

sixty inch cabinetdesired configuration

on the depth of the drawers I had to take into consideration the gas pipe in the 45 inch cabinet:

gas pipe

My dad took a reciprocating saw to the half shelves to get them out and then we removed faceframes or added to face frames as needed.  I cannot find my pics of the actual building of the drawers. That is what happens when you blog about it so much later.  I also got fancy shmancy on my silverware drawer and made it two level with the top level that slides back (based on a drawer I saw at Lowes)

I purchased drawer fronts at Patton Cabinet Doors in Austin, they were very reasonable and cheaper than the tools I would have to buy to make recessed panel doors.  I painted them and the lower cabinets with Rustoleum Cabinet Kits in Linen.  I am so happy with them-  Everything  has a drawer assigned to it- including a drawer that is for kid plates, bowls, and silverware they can reach themselves. Again- no pics from when I completed it but I will show you how they look today.


Note the missing door- I need to redrill the door hinge holes because the holes stripped two months after reinstallation.

Note the missing door- I need to redrill the door hinge holes because the holes stripped two months after reinstallation. Also note that one of the drawer faces is too short – I have bought a replacement drawer front but haven’t installed it yet.

I also want to show off my silverware drawer.


This is the only place the rustoleum cabinet paint failed- mostly because it was no match for a 11 year old boy putting away silverware in a haphazard way, and little grubby hands.  I have plans to repaint at some point in time.  Maybe after the girls are Bat Mitzvah :)

This is the only place the rustoleum cabinet paint failed- mostly because it was no match for a boy putting away silverware in a haphazard way, and little grubby hands. I have plans to repaint at some point in time. Maybe after the girls are Bat Mitzvah:)

so what do you think-  worth the effort?  I really should take some better after photos- maybe after I reinstall that door and drawer front- and repaint the faceframe on the 30 inch cabinet.  Thanks for reading.  If anyone is interested I can do a post on how I retrofitted the cabinets with drawers.  And how I built the drawers.



Tile for the stairs

I will let you in on a little secret (two in fact).  I HATE CARPET and I have a fear of color commitment.  On this project I took the plunge and made the commitment.

My stairs have been through a few changes since our original move in date in 2008.  Originally my stairs were carpeted.  (WHY?  Really, Why?) and I spotted a post about ripping carpet off stairs and redoing the wood underneath.  Unfortunately the wood underneath were rough 2x10s.  So I had to rip those off, and I replaced the treads and risers with pine treads from Lowes.  I stained them- and forbade the kids to walk on them for a few hours- this was an epic fail because I found little girl foot prints on the stairs.  While adorable- not what I was going for but toooo late.  I lived with this for a few years.  I cannot find pictures from before- sorry- I remember having them but what can you do?

When we got a unusually large tax refund one year- I bought Brazilian Koa laminate for the front rooms, craft room, gameroom, sparebedroom, and the matching treads for the stairs.  The treads are gorgeous.  For the landing I used the laminate, and a matching stair nose.  – now I hate hate hate raised threshholds and I was going to have to do this for the stair noses and I said “No Way, Jose” and hacked it myself.  Using glass tile and cement backer board, I used 1 line of tile as a transition.  I love it and it looks beautiful.

That is where my color commitment came in- I went with a glass tile from Floor & Decor that came in aqua, grey, white,  in a mix of glass and stone.  This means I need to pull that blue in in other design elements.  I used the same tile to transition between flooring in the hall and gameroom, the hall and Itai’s room, and the hall and the craft room.  I am so glad I did- no raised threshholds to scrape across between rooms!

Okay- back to the stairs-

A year went by while I exercised my fear of laying tile on a vertical surface and I finally decided to pay someone to install it for me on the stair risers.  So happy with the finished project- it has been two years and still looks awesome.

This is the landing at the top of the stairs

This is the landing at the top of the stairs

stairssorry this pic is fuzzy- I will try to get a better pic soon.


I am always working on something

Wow- it has been forever since I posted on this blog- but I am going to try my best to do better about it as I have all kinds of projects in progress.  I will be posting a few updates on completed projects and telling you what I am up to- so stay tuned and read on! ( I will add hyperlinks)

Completed Projects since last update

Tile on Stairs

Itai’s Bed (which is now Ari’s bed)

Retrofitted drawers in Kitchen

Works in progress

Cabinets in Hall Closet

Cabinets in Work Room (formerly the front room)

Projects about to be started

New Bed for Master Bedroom (based on Embarcadero bed and night stands from Pottery Barn)

Custom Built Ins for Girl closet (ala Sawdust Girl)

Custom Built Ins for Craft Room Closet (ala Sawdust Girl)

Pantry Cabinets

New and works in progress projects are waiting on my new tools- yes- I am getting some new tools and I am ever ever ever so excited. (see post to come)






Aunt Paula - July 14, 2015 - 4:28 am

You are amazing, girl!