Life is always about learning new things and exploring; here are some articles and videos that I’m making as I do more with scrap wood and other discarded materials.

  • The Barrel Lampshade from Pallet Wood
    We stopped to get donuts the other day and found an abandoned pallet sitting by the side of the road. While Markie went in to get tasty, sugar bombs, I grabbed a hammer and a pry bar out of the back of the rig and ripped apart the pallet to put the wood in the…
  • New Wine Box: Reclaimed Plywood
    We’ve all had that flimsy bit of old furniture… the one with the 1/8th inch sheet of plywood in the back that seems like it’s only there for looks, but when it cracks we find out it’s the thing that’s really holding the whole nightstand or dresser together. A friend asked me if I wanted…
  • The White Lamp
    I’ve been making lamps from unpainted scrap wood, but I discovered I had a lot of primed or painted wood sitting around. So, I decided I should see what a lamp would look like painted. One of the things I learned doing this project is the way different kinds of wood feel when doing exactly…
  • Sneeze Guard/Screen from an old window
    Did you know that construction waste is around 40% of what goes into the landfills?  While the lamps and melting plastic is a love of art, some of the side projects we do are keeping other kinds of waste out of the waste-stream. As the country reopens, there’s been a scrambling for sneeze guards and…
  • Using Scrap to Make Tools: New Pressing Plates from Ductwork and Plywood
    Making plastic sheets needs a big, flat press.  I don’t have a fancy press, but I am able to fashion a press out of old, used stuff.  A friend of mine works in commercial construction, and they’re doing a remodel, which means lots of old stuff on the way to the landfill. So, he snagged…
  • A Better Box of Wine
    I came back from Costco the other day with a big box of red wine. I had to agree that it’s not the most attractive thing to have on the bar, so, being someone who has a shop and makes things, I decided to build a little box for the box. First I grabbed some…
  • Prototyping
    I like the fact that I can take scrap wood and some old cups and turn them into a lamp in a day. But it really takes longer than a day when you count the design time – in my video Carpentry and Deep Math I talked about all the math, but even if it’s…
  • How Plastic Cups Become Art
    We’re steadily working through a couple years of old Starbucks iced drink cups that Markie has been collecting.  They’re generally the 16 ounce, Grande cups, and one nice thing is that they are clear with only a little bit of ink on them. The goal is to make sure you can’t tell that the lampshade…
  • Chatting about the Block Design
    Here’s a two minute chat from the front porch. From melting plastic to collecting scrap wood, to reusing lamp shades, it was awesome to see this lamp design come together
  • Floor Joist to Table Lamp
    Just before the stay at home order was issued I picked up a load of scrap wood from my friend Bruce.  He had been remodeling his house for an unusually long time, and had things he had completely forgotten about.  Mixed in with the old door, two by fours and solid two by six floor…
  • How I’m trying to survive the madness
    I’ve always had a sense of stewardship and preservation. While I love making a run to the dump as much as any guy, I’m not entirely fond of just throwing stuff away — single use plastics are the worst, but perfectly good lumber is probably the hardest for me to toss into the landfill. One…
  • From Lattice to Wall Treatment
    Here’s a quick video of me sprucing up the shop a little while getting rid of some old lattice work from the yard.
  • On Jigs and Fixtures
    One of the trickiest parts of building a thing with a whole mess of angles is getting everything in the right place. To be honest, the first couple lampshades I built were a bit, well, off. When the edge support needs to connect in exactly the right place at the bottom, it needs to start…
  • Lamp #4 is in the Wild!
    It’s been a few weeks since I got the idea to melt down old drink cups to make lampshades with scrap wood. I played with plastic, paper models, failed prototypes and finally got something I feel is “production quality.” And I’m happy to say that Lisa, the owner at Brut Wine Bar felt it was ready too!…
  • Why is it garbage?
    I believe in stewardship, that is, take care of the things and people around you. Leave the campsite cleaner than you found it, use every part of the turkey, and waste as little as possible. And I generally fail miserably at living this belief. I think I’ve planted four trees in my life, and with…
  • Building a Box from Garbage
    While there are plenty of things we can find at IKEA that are good quality, they do tend to use a lot of particle board. I like IKEA, but their furniture is great until, well, until it’s not. Something starts to crumble and then something else starts to warp and the whole thing goes kind…