Corbin's Treehouse - Corbin Dunn, Santa Cruz, CA
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The 'Woodworking' Category

Kitchen Remodel Progress

My kitchen remodel is going slow, but I finally got to the point where I could install some of the cabinets! Next up will be a concrete countertop.

Video: Alaskan mill used to make oak wood slabs!

Hey guys! In this "adventures of Corbin" episode I'm using my Alaskan Mill to make my own oak wood slabs! Check it out in case you are interested in doing it yourself, as I go over the basics on what I did. A pretty large oak tree fell down on my property last summer, and I wanted to see if I could get some usable wood of it. This is my second time using an alaskan mill, and it is a lot of hard work, but good fun. If you liked the video, subscribe! It encourages me to make more cool films.

Woodworking: Jewelry Rack

My wife requested one thing for Christmas: a custom made jewelry rack. Originally I was thinking of welding something together out of old gears and sprockets, but the power went out right when I was about to get going on it. Instead, I went outside with the chainsaw to cut up some old wood for the fireplace. One oak tree stump has been rotting nicely and was full of termites. I hacked off a quarter and noticed how beautiful the wood looked, and quickly got inspired to save the wood. I made a few slabs by hand, and then had... [read more]

Utility sink counter top: The Sculpin IPA Counter

I wanted to touch up some of the areas next to my newly remodeled bathroom, and the laundry room needed a new utility sink. The plastic piece of crap I had was junk and I couldn’t find anything that would fit in the space I need. So, I made a custom cabinet, and planned on a nice concrete counter top similar to my last one.  This time I decided to do a more complex mold: I did a 3D design in Sketchup and made a template to go off of (based on my real top). The above shot is what... [read more]

Aqua Coat water based wood finish on my utility cabinet

The next project after my bathroom vanity is a small utility sink cabinet made out of hard maple. Serendipitously I got a message from Aqua Coat asking to review their water based coating right when I had just finished putting the cabinet together. I am a big fan of water based coatings because they are eco-friendly. When you spray traditional coatings they emit VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which are bad for the environment and highly volatile. Water based coatings like Aqua Coat won’t combust, and are generally safer for the person who has to work with them. Aqua Coat sent... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity: Completed!

My bathroom vanity is complete! This is a picture before I fixed the sink on. I originally had a different more square sink, but it was simply too white. This sink is an off white basque / biscuit / almond type of color, and doesn’t stand out as much against the light green counter top. Things are now done and it is working well! That’s me in the mirror. I’ll post a walk around video soon.

Bathroom Vanity: Counter Top (part II)

Some pictures of it roughly installed:    THE SPROCKET EMBEDDED!

Bathroom vanity: counter top

The project continues with a nice counter top. I wanted to go for concrete as I’m fascinated by it, and got two concrete counter top books by Cheng and some premixed stuff from his website (more on this later) Based on the books, I built a template – but I used cardboard since I had it laying around: I built a mold based off information from the books. Sprayed some sticky stuff on it, and tossed down a bunch of aggregate that I also got from Cheng’s site. Notice the custom side inlay on the far side; a bike sprocket piece!... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity: Sanded, and starting to finish

I finished up the drawers. I used the Bessey clamps to keep things straight and tight, and also to pull close any gaps on the end: After that, some still had some tiny gaps…I mixed some sawdust and glue together and filled them with that. Then everything was sanded with 150 and 200 grit paper: And the first coat of water based polyurethane: I was having trouble getting it to spray to the thickness I wanted. I think I’ll let this first coat dry overnight and sand it down with 200 to knock off high spots.

Bathroom Vanity: Taking shape

My bathroom vanity is starting to finally look like something.  Here it is dry fitted before glue up: The process will be to put one side on The back, and then the other side: Then lastly the front can be slid on. It went together pretty well!   Front door glue up didn’t go quite as well; I had some alignment issues. I forgot that the last time I made glued together doors I had made a right angle jig to clamp them too. This had allowed me to get everything aligned and clamped straight. The main problem I had... [read more]

Bathroom Vanity Notes

These are mainly notes to myself on building my downstairs bathroom vanity (cabinet). Face frame construction was normal pocket hole screws and works well for the face and back frame (back side seen here): In the above photo, you can see the stopped groove for the bottom sheet of ½” plywood. I learned from prior projects to always stop the groove at the pocket hole screw locations. You can’t see the pocket hole screws, because they are on the back of the cabinet. The tongue will get trimmed these points. On the plans and Sketchup model I didn’t draw in... [read more]

Kickback! and the bathroom vanity cabinet

I started planing some wood down to ¾” thickness for my bathroom vanity cabinet:   As I was ripping one pice to width a small sliver came loose; there was a crack in the end of the wood, and as soon as it was free it caused some HEFTY kick back. Luckily I never have my body directly behind the wood while ripping, and the SawStop’s awesome splitter prevented it from actually kicking back. It pushed back in my hand about 5 inches. I am really happy with the SawStop.      I’m starting to get some of the pieces... [read more]

Bathroom cabinet: Free Sketchup model download!

Here is my downstairs bathroom cabinet design in Sketchup: A quick rendering:   And placed in my bathroom setup:   Download the free cabinet sketchup model: Downstairs bathroom cabinet 2015.skp    

Kitty Cabinet: Finished

I finally finished my Kitty Cabinet. I had to wait for some more Water Based Poly finish to come; I had accidentally ordered “gloss” when I really wanted “satin”, so it had to be put on hold until I got back from a vacation in Italy. I use water based finishes from Target Coatings. It looks rough in the picture, but it turned out quite nice. I put one coat of a shellac amber sealer on, followed by 4 coats of satin poly (water based). Without the doors: Doors: Kitty entrance:

Kitty Cabinet: Finishing

one coat of Target Coatings shellac (amber), lightly sanded and then one coat of their water based Polyurethene (9000). Time to order more….

Kitty Cabinet

I’m building a little cabinet to hold the kitty litter box, and some accessories. On top I plan to put the cat’s food and water bowls, to keep them out of reach of bad doggies. Download the sketch up file – Cat Box and Food area.skp I have a bunch of old redwood from my water tank. I have been drying it out for years, and I just haven’t had the right project for it. Redwood is really soft, and this stuff is partially rotten, so I’m not sure how well it will work out. Here’s how it started out:... [read more]

Bathroom Remodel Done!

I finally completed all the trim and paint in my master bathroom remodel! It looks awesome! I am happy with every bit of it. Some of the final pictures below: Left side of the sink / vanity cabinet: I custom made the cabinet; the bottom floats 2″ completely off the ground, and the top section floats 2″ off of the bottom section. The mirror is custom made by myself out of scrap cherry, and an old mirror I had laying around that I cut to size. Unfortunately, it has a small scratch on top..and I cracked some of the wood... [read more]

Bathroom Cabinets: Floating design

I want my bathroom cabinets to “float”. The top one floats 2″ in the air on top of the bottom cabinet, and the bottom cabinet floats 3″ in the air off the ground. The right hand side can be screwed into the wall, but the left side needs support. I welded up this bracket; it is bolted to the bottom and bolted to the pair of studs. It is quite sturdy! The top slips on; for testing to get the position right, I clamped the bracket to the walls, and used a brace on the right side: It is plenty... [read more]

Bathroom cabinets; drawer faces and doors

Still working on stuff. Playing with stains; left side is 1/2 cherry ply, right is cherry wood. Bottom has a maple gel stain, top has pennsylvania cherry gel stain. Cutting all the face pieces to 1 5/8″: 1/2″ wide groove in the center of the 3/4″ piece of wood: I then put a 45 on the inside, and a V groove with the router table 1/2″ from the outside: I tanned the boards outside for about ~5-10 minutes to get them a little brown before gluing up. The inside cherry ply is still a little pinker. It was tricky gluing... [read more]

Bathroom cabinets – building drawers

My woodworking project continues! I planed a bunch of maple to 5/8″ thick my drawer thickness. I went with 5/8″ instead of 3/4″, since my top drawers should appear more “dainty” as they are small. I should have done 3/4″ for my larger bottom drawers, but it is too late for that decision. I used my Leigh dovetail jig to cut the dovetails: Since these drawers are small, I used 1/4″ maple ply (with a MDF core) for the bottom. My larger drawers will have 1/2″ ply bottoms. The larger drawers I had to biscuit joint smaller pieces of wood... [read more]

Bathroom Cabinets – bottom piece

Tongue and groove practice; I have a height matched set. Note to self: Put the little rubber grommet inside the chuck. Place it on my table, and push the cutter into it until it bottoms out against the grommet. Then I can mount it in the router and it is always at the same height. Cut it with the “good face” down. Have the height set so there is a larger area on the bottom (slightly of, as seen here in the picture): Here’s a trick I came up with for cutting a straight edge on plywood. The two sides... [read more]

Bathroom Cabinets

Well, my bathroom remodel is coming along bit by bit. I got a new cabinet saw to help with things. I went with the Saw Stop brand saw, which cost a ton, but will potentially save a finger if I accidentally touch the blade. Most all my wood I purchased from Aura Hardwoods in San Jose. They have pretty decent prices, and a friendly staff. Although you sometimes have to ask for the good wood in the back. I was rifling through a bunch of pretty poor looking cherry plywood sheets trying to find a good one when a guy... [read more]

Shop Tour

How about a tour of my garage shop? Grinder: Work desk and tools hanging on the wall: The fan in the window is used to exhaust fumes from welding and other things: Nuts, bolts and Bengal cat: JET drill press: Metal stock: MATCO welder (I bought it used) and oxy-acetylne setup behind it to the left: Grizzly G0555 wood bandsaw. Works well for the small shop, although a few times I have wanted a wider throat. Grizzly 8″ jointer; I bought a good large jointer, but I have only used it a few times so far: The dust collection system... [read more]

Fireplace Mantel

Our house in Aptos needed a new fireplace mantel. The prior owner had taken out the mantel and insert, so I needed something that looked nice. There was a huge area that needed to be surrounded by something, and I couldn’t just paint it in, as the paint would be really hard to match. Here’s a “before” picture taken with my iPhone: After taking some dimensions, I whipped out Sketchup and did some work with various designs that I liked and came up with this: I constructed the mantel out of two sandwich bread pieces of 3/4 MDF, with some... [read more]

Shoe Rack

Louise and I need a shoe rack that looks nice. I decided to design something pretty in Sketchup. Here is what I came up with while on vacation: The vertical side pieces have a slight curve to them, and the bottom pieces have a slight arch. I’m planning on using cherry for the outside, and staining the outer pieces slightly darker than the inside sheet pieces (which will be 1/2″ cherry ply). The shelves will be 3/4″ maple. The overall size will be 52″ tall by 28″ wide by 16″ deep. Download the Sketchup file (coming soon, email me to... [read more]

Project Hutchinson: Upstairs Built-ins

Here’s the big pile of maple and poplar that I got for the project: Building the face frame was super fast and easy to do with pocket jointery:

Project Hutchinson: Tablesaw outfeed table

I wanted to start work on my built in dressers for the upstairs, but first I needed an out feed table for the tablesaw. I wanted something that doubled as a work space, and added some additional storage. I also wanted a built-in sanding table, but I decided to do that another day. So, using some pocket hole joints, old 2x4s and 2x6s ripped clean and glued together, I made a really rock solid outfeed table. The top is two pieces of 3/4″ MDF glued and screwed together, with counter top stuff on the top to protect it and add... [read more]

The next big project…

….built-in “knee wall” dressers for the upstairs! Here’s a couple of pictures from SketchUp. I will give anyone the models, if they are interested in seeing how I designed them. I purchased a bunch of wood from aura hardwoods yesterday, and I’m hoping to start building tonight!

Wedding Boxes

I recently went to the weddings of a few of my friends. Last weekend Tom and Nancy had a “Wedding Camp” celebration, and two weeks ago Andy and Irene got married in their barn. Both weddings were amazing, and Louise and I were very happy to be there with our friends. In the pursuit of avoiding standard gifts, I decided to employ my woodworking skills and make them some boxes out of “nice” wood. Here’s some pictures of the building process. I used cocobolo wood for the top; it is an exotic hardwood. I try to avoid exotic woods for... [read more]

Woodshop – Dust collection

I’ve been working on my “Woodshop” (aka: the garage) in preparation for some larger projects (in particular, kitchen cabinets). Jason Beaver, who works with me at Apple, clued me into how bad it is to breath wood dust. So, I ended up getting a dust collector. Here’s a picture of my current layout before I began work on the dust collector: Grinder stand: The dust collector — I purchased the Grizzly G1030 3 HP Dust Collector. I wanted something that could move a lot of air, and supported 6 inch ducting, which is better for moving fine dust away from... [read more]

(c) 2008-2017 Corbin Dunn

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