Typically we select projects that can be built
and stained/painted in the same day (albeit a long day). In the past we have
built Tie and Belt Racks, Birdhouses, and Newspaper and Magazine baskets.
Normally we both build the same thing to expedite the process and to better
share in the building process (on the fly acquired knowledge, tool jig settings,
This year, my son and I decided to build
different woodworking projects. My son built a simple paper towel rack and I
built a small step stool.
|The paper towel rack
consisted of two sideboards with rounded front edges and 1” holes through
their centers. The two sideboards were attached via a backboard that spaced
the sideboards for the standard width of a paper towel roll. A 7/8th
inch dowel, that extended beyond the ends of the sideboards by two inches,
and that was slightly milled out in the sections that lined up with the two
sideboard holes, completed the project. The sideboards and backboard were
constructed using Maple.
My small step stool, consisted of a top board
that was 12” x 10”. Actually the top board was initially constructed of two
sections of 5.5” x 0.75” Maple boards that were glued together, planed, sanded,
and then routed along the top edge.
The top board then rested on two legs, again
made out of Maple, that were 8” in length and 5.5” tall. Using a coffee can lid
I traced out curves on the underside of each leg, as well as on the ends of
them, to jazz up their appearance.
The legs were then sanded and attached to the
top board via 1.25” screws that were countersunk into the top board.
I then added a 1.0” x 0.75” x 9.5” brace board
that sat between the two legs and flush up against the underside of the top
board. This added some extra rigidity to the stool. Again, I counter sunk a
single 1.25” screw into each leg to secure the brace between the legs. Note: I
also used woodworking glue on all pieces for added strength.
I then plugged all the holes with some glue and
pre-fab’d wood plugs, let them dry for an hour, and then sanded them flush.
Finally, we both added a coat of Walnut stain
and some wax to our projects and we ready for this year’s Yankee Swap.
So if you too are looking for some simple
woodworking projects to do for this Christmas, consider the projects outlined
above. Within 6-8 hours you too can have some fairly nice looking presents to
handout to the family.
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