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Sep 30, 2018

Fixing Up a Vintage Workmate Portable Workbench

workmate workbench

I am grateful to have a dedicated workshop in our basement. It's a great place to both work on projects, and store tools and materials. And while my shop time is super important, there are a few things even more precious to me. Like my family.

So, I'm interested in learning more about some smaller wood projects that I can do in the evenings during family time. Projects like carving, whittling, and other non-furniture making projects that I can do while we watch a movie or reading time in the common areas.

So, I hit up Craigslist, and found this older model Workmate for a mere $10. And, in an afternoon, I turned it into a portable space to get creative and start making some chips... no noise or sawdust required.

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Aug 24, 2018

How to: Easy Wooden Mountain Wall Art

Cover photo

Several months ago, I moved offices at my job. I threw up a couple pictures of the family and brought all my documents into my new space. And that's how it's been since. Fast forward six month,s and my walls are still barren.  I travel a little bit for work and I spend a lot of time at my client’s offices, so I don’t always notice how empty the walls look.  Finally, my office administrator walked into my office and told me that it was time to hang something up to make my office look a little more personable. 

Most of the people in my office have artwork that was bought online or a stock photo of a beautiful scenery, but that’s not really my style. I wasn’t sure what I wanted, but I knew I wanted to build it myself and make it unique.  So, I searched Pinterest and finally found something that I thought had a nice professional but masculine look that fit my style. 

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Aug 10, 2018

How To: Rebind a Vintage Paperback Book

diy book binding

I love reading. It's a passion and a pastime, a comfort when I'm stressed out, and a total compulsion—ask my wife and she'll confirm that if there's written material anywhere in my vicinity, I'll scan it. I read books from the bookstore and the library, I read articles on my phone, I print out PDFs of friends' screenplays for annotated reviews.

I also really enjoy buying vintage books, especially while traveling. My trade of choice is artisan printing, particularly in letterpress, so I love examining the craft that goes into these old books.

Most books come to me in decent condition, but every once in a while I'll come across one in a Charlie Brown Christmas tree state. Today I finally sat down to work on this 70-year-old German paperback, and I'd like to share my DIY book binding process with you.

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Sep 13, 2016

Clean Out Your Scrap Pile with These 10 DIY Project Ideas

Wood Pile

I am a total scrap hoarder. Whether it's wood, metal or other trinkets, I can't help but think to myself that one day I will use some of these. From time to time, I search the depths of Pinterest to find some really good uses for all the junk I collect. Because if I don't I might not have a workshop to work in anymore!

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Sep 11, 2016

How to: Turn a Cassette Boombox into a Guitar Amp

created at: 09/12/2016Old tape players are abundant, and cheap. Many have solid speaker sets, perfect period styling and design, and handle-equipped portability.  So, what to do with 'em? Play music through them! Oh, tossed your mixtape collection in the late 00s? Then, I guess you gotta make that music yourself.    

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Sep 01, 2016

How to: Make this Rustic Storage Box From an Old Pallet

A rustic storage box is frankly good for just about anything. Storing tools, carrying picnic supplies, or even piling up in a corner for decoration, you can do just about anything with them. And if you build them with enough quality and intention you can always sell them if they're in your way (honestly, I once saw legitimately janky old crates being sold in Brooklyn for $45 apiece).   

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Aug 31, 2016

Make This: A Metalworking Anvil from a Piece of Upcycled Train Track

Anvil FinishedIf you're getting serious about working with metal, an anvil is an essential part of the shop. Here's how to use an old piece of train track to make your own.   

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Aug 30, 2016

This 2016 "Shed of the Year" is Made from 90% Recycled Material and It is Amazing

So the first thing to know is that, yes, there is such a thing as the Shed of the Year. It's a (literal) giant crown of an award for the best shed in the UK given during the final episode of Channel 4's Amazing Spaces Shed of the Year. This year's finale had a record-breaking 2,825 entries and 12,292 public votes, and was described as, "nail-biting" and I can honestly understand why...   

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Aug 15, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Streaming Music Speaker from a Vintage Radio

There's no better way to say: I freaking love projects like this. Reddit user mxmln23 used the case from a stylish vintage radio, and did some clever hacking that allows it to become a wireless speaker that can stream from Spotify, Google Music, SoundCloud music player, Apple Airtunes, web radio stations, and Last.FM.  

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Jul 26, 2016

Weekday Project: Make a Cedar Bench in Less Than 2 Hours

Weekday Projet: Make a Cedar Bench in Less Than 2 Hours

I recently lost a beloved church pew to several years of rot and water damage. Totally my fault, I didn't seal it properly. But, that's ok! It gives me a reason to build something new! On top of that, I thought I'd challenge myself.

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Jun 13, 2016

DIY Idea: Make Vintage Suitcase Shelves

These vintage suitcase shelves were created by Ki Naussauer, a designer known for her commitment to flea market pieces and upcycling. This wall is from her actual living room, which means: she made them herself, and you can too. Here's how it'd go:    

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Jun 09, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Rustic State Map Wall Art from a Broken Pallet

Busted Up Pallet One of the great things about living in Northern California is the wide open spaces. There are so many great places to hike, climb, swim, and just enjoy in the expansive outdoors up here. Only a true Northern California resident can really understand how frustrating it is when people tell me how Northern California is San Francisco and then right above that is Oregon. Nope, there are hundreds of miles between SF and the border, and that expanse is my home.

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Apr 28, 2016

How to: Make a Portable Stereo from an Old Toolbox

created at: 03/25/2013

Chicago-based artist and designer Artpentry, maker of the "Gentleman's Boombox" - a stereo/speaker combo built inside a vintage suitcase - turns his outfitting skills to another type of popular case: the toolbox.   

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Mar 08, 2016

Forget Tiny Homes -- How About A Renovated Airplane?

created at: 03/08/2016

We've written before about the tiny house movement, especially people who have opted to live in the minimalist spaces that have mobility, but this is whole new take on the lifestyle. Bruce Campbell (not this guy) of Oregon, has lived in a renovated Boeing 727 for over 15 years and is now looking build another in Japan...   

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Mar 07, 2016

How to: Turn a Vintage Wooden Box into an Upcycled Bicycle Crate

Have you ever stumbled across an old wooden crate at your local flea market and wondered "what can I do with that"?  Here's one option - turn it into a unique and functional accessory for your around-the-town cycling.

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Mar 07, 2016

7 DIY Projects For Your Old Books

If there's a category of things I constantly have too many of, it's books. Stacks on stacks on stacks. I have to purposefully keep myself from entering used book stores since I know I already have literal piles of books at home begging to be read, not to mention stacks of books I've already read that I don't intend to hold on to. If you're past the book lamp or clock, here are 7 next-level DIY projects for those books ready to be recycled.   

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Mar 02, 2016

How to: Make a Six-Pack Craft Caddy or Project Organizer

Maker and craft book author Shawn Gascoyne-Bowman came up with this clever way to keep track of those various projects-in-process: create a reusable "caddy" from a bulked-up six-pack beer carrier.   

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Feb 29, 2016

How to: Make a DIY Daily Travel Tech Organizer from an Old Book

In our elementary school days, packing your bag was easy: books, folders, pencil, lunch bag, done. But, as grown-ups, especially for those who work in a non-traditional office setting, making sure you have all the goodies you need for the day or a work trip can be tough - do you have all the right power and syncing cables

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Feb 26, 2016

How to: Update Your Old Speakers by Simply Replacing the Foam

created at: 02/18/2014

A fine pair of audio speakers is a common sight at a secondhand store, but, of course, there's a reason the original donor got rid of them. Perhaps it was a failure in the wiring (easily fixable), a distaste for the 80s faux wood laminate case work (um...paintable?), but most likely, it's a simple aging 

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Feb 24, 2016

Home Gym DIY: How to Rehab Your Rusty Weights

WeightsLooking to stock up that home gym with some used weights? Here are a few tips to rehab a set of rusty, used dumbbells into something that fits right into that garage workout space.  

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