April projects

April 21st, 2013

I bought a vintage Craftsman table saw at an auction for $5 that was in pieces. I really wanted the motor for another piece of equipment. I considered putting it back together, but the legs were junk and the selling price for these old things is low. So, I decided to use the shell for a new wood project. The base for this end table is from an old chair and the top is reclaimed lumber.


I showed you this colorful bench when it was freshly painted. I should have roughed it up before putting it together, but got a little ahead of myself. Here it is after some sanding and strain.


This bench is made from a headboard I bought at an auction for $15 and another that was given to me. I painted it with some garage sale paint I bought for $1 then added some strain to age it a bit. The seat is from a couple of boards from my stash.


Here is a before paint pic.


This last bench is a commission piece for Ray, who I made the bench for in the last post. He bought the tailgate. I went to pick it up at his shop and someone was replacing the cedar enclosure around their dumpsters. Ray said the wood was going to be trashed, so I snagged enough to make this bench. Reclaimed lumber is the best and the price was right!


This end table started its life as a hog roller. For real! The idea is that you add oil to the reservoir and the pigs rub against the rollers and the oil protects their skin. I cleaned it up and added the base…and an oil finish – fitting.


Kinley painted this old wooden ladder.


Old Furniture, New Function

February 18th, 2013

I love using old pieces to make new projects. My good buddy, Ray picked up this awesome headboard and footboard at a flea market. He wanted it made into a bench. I had a seat board from an old pew in my wood collect that I thought would look great for this. Ray will clean it up and add the finishing touches.


Random Pics

November 29th, 2012

Here are some other items I made and some large barn beams that i purchased at an auction. I’ll have to think of some cool projects for that.







Unique Antique

October 26th, 2012

I had a booth at the fall Unique Antique show in Wichita this past weekend. Kelli and Kinley helped me make it look all nice. Taylor made some signs and a nice stamp that we used to make price tags.






Happy Fall!

October 24th, 2012

I’ve been busy on projects so haven’t posted for a while. I recently had booths at a flea market and at a craft/antique show. There are some pictures of finished projects on the right. Down below are some treasures and materials that I have found. I’ll post more when I have time. I’ve just downloaded a Wordpress app to my phone, so this updating process is going to be a lot easier. Enjoy!







Gravy’s Gone!

February 4th, 2012

Building with old lumber is a lot of fun and creates some interesting pieces. Acquiring the materials is more work and more entertaining than running down to the building supply store. These treasure hunts usually lead to some great stories, though.

A few weeks ago, I had breakfast with Kelli – biscuits and gravy at a local diner/flea market called The Pitstop. After breakfast, she headed to a weaving class in Wichita and I ran some errands, which included hitting an estate sale. The sale was run by a Julie, who was leaving the sale as I arrived. Some guy that I’ve never seen was running the sale. The garage had a bunch of decent wood up on several shelves and 8 old, partial church pews on the floor that were priced at $10 each. It was 12:30 on a Sat & the sale closed in 1.5 hours. When it’s that close to the end, they usually want to get rid of stuff, especially big stuff that they have to haul off. I asked what he wanted for the unpriced wood on the shelves. He wanted $20 and wouldn’t accept my offer of $10. He start telling me about the great pieces that were up on the shelf. hmmmph. I told him I would think about it and left. I ran some more errands, but couldn’t quit thinking about the lumber. I looked up Julie’s number from the sale’s ad. I sent her a text about 10 minutes after the sale closed and asked if she still had the lumber. She said yes and said she would take $20 for all of it – including all the pews. Awesome! I asked if she was still there and that I’d like to pick it up. The next text said “I’m leaving. Gravy’s gone and I’m hungry.” My thought was “Bummer!” and “That dude’s name is Gravy? Odd.” The next text said “We’re still here. Come and get it.” What the? I looked at my phone. The gravy text was from Kelli! Never found out that guy’s real name, but he’ll always be Gravy to me.

Here is my haul:


Here is some other stuff I’ve built in the past month:







Where have you been?

December 13th, 2011

Sorry that I have been so neglectful in my writing. Here are a few project pictures. Kelli has been getting involved, too. These were all made with salvaged wood. :)





More projects on the way. Have an awesome day!

Let me tell you one thing, I need 50 dollars

September 12th, 2011

… to make you holler. I get paid to ….sell the wild sink…? Wild West World sinks to be exact. Tonight I sold 2 sinks for $50 through Craig’s List. Last spring, I went to an auction and bought 5 wall mounted sinks for $1 each. They had been installed at Wild West World, which was in business for all of about 6 weeks. These things were like new and still had faucets and drains attached. It was an impulse buy and I thought I could flip them quickly. Well, I sold one in the spring for $35 and then had four taking up room in my shop. So, I re-listed them and now have two more to sell. I’ve made $80 so for, so not shabby.

I’m in clean-up mode. I moved here about 18 months ago and started furnishing my house and shop with treasures from auctions, estate sales, garage sales, and Craig’s List. Maximum bang-for-the-buck was always the goal with an eye for the ability to resell for a profit later on as I needed to upgrade. Projects with character that needed some restoring were always fun to buy. I had a big shop to store stuff. I was frugal. I was creative. I could see potential.  I had a problem!!! I’m running out of room! I’m not a hoarder. Everything I own is for sell and I won’t have a panic attack if you try to throw away a Sonic cup. That’s proof, right?  I just love me the good deal and have figured out some fun tricks along the way.

Auctions are best. You need at least two people interested in an item to get a decent price. Get less than two and it’s bargain time. Auctions are just fun entertainment. Even if you don’t bid, it’s worth attending for the pie. Garage sales and estate sales have a completely different dynamic. Most garage sales are trying to clear out stuff they don’t want. Usually, the best time to go is right when they open to get first pass at what they marked too cheap or right before they are ready to close. At the end, they have that “I don’t want to carry this heavy SOB back into the house” attitude and are usually ready to bargain. Estate sales are different. They are usually run by professionals who have a system: day one – price it high & sell to the collectors who have to have something (Tip: don’t be a collector and don’t ever “need” anything!), day two is markdown day – 25-50% off. They probably make most of their money on day 1 & 2. Day three is liquidation day – 50-75% off with an “I need to get rid of what’s left” attitude. The later it gets in the day, the heavier that stuff starts to look to these exhausted, professional estate sale geriatrics. Bargain time! Craig’s List is a great place to sell. There are pretty decent prices happening there. When you see a great bargain, you better call fast because a bargain doesn’t last on something so accessible.

So, now you can see why there is a problem…it’s just good fun. The problem is I started running out of room and have too many “projects.” I read a blog about a couple who started a quest to sell all of their crap, pay off their debt, buy an RV, and travel the country. Well, I can’t travel the country in an RV, but it did inspire me to start downsizing. I’ve read about people who have reduced their possessions to 100 items. I can’t do that. (start adding up the stuff in one room and you figure out real quick how much crap you have!) Now I’m on a kick to sell stuff I don’t need or fix the “projects” that I have.

I started the sell off with a utility bed trailer that I bought last winter from Craig’s List for $230. I was going to use it for my remodel business, but am not doing that anymore. I listed it for $600 and had someone school me on the fine art of playing hardball. The guy talked me down to $400. I worked hard to get him to pay more, but that guy was tough. In the end, I was happy to make $170 profit on the deal and get it out of my driveway.

On the same day, I went to an estate sale where they had a sweet Craftsman 6″ jointer, priced at $85, marked down from $115. It was near the end of the day. The guy running the sale told me that all the stuff had belonged to his wife’s uncle. He had a shop in the basement. The jointer was a beast that they had to dismantle to carry up the stairs. He even jokingly told me that it doubled as a piece of fitness equipment because it was so heavy. I smelled blood. I offered him $50. He took it and he was glad to have it gone. Now it waits patiently in my garage for a future “project.” The cycle continues.

The Heat is On!

July 31st, 2011

…on the street, inside your head, on every beat. And in my house. My biggest, recent work on my house was getting a broken air conditioner fixed. Not fun, but I can see why the thing just gave up. With a month of 100+ days, that sucker has been running almost non-stop. I love the summer, but i’m looking forward to fall.

My oldest daughter is really into art. A recent purchase I made was a small wire feed welder. We are going to use it to make some art “projects.” Should be fun. Waiting for some cooler temps, though. We are considering starting an Etsy store. Anyone have any experience or suggestions with that.

Put me in coach, I’m ready to play!

June 30th, 2011

I haven’t done any remodeling to the teepee in forever. My life is currently revolving around work, mowing, coaching softball, being a dad, and dating @illek. All stuff that I love, except the mowing. I cannot, however, let June slip away without a single blog post. BTW, Happy Birthday, sis!

Since this is a blog about before and after, I figured I would show an after pic and share a story. Last year, we started a new softball team from scratch. We had three girls who were getting a lot of bench time on a competitive team. The other seven girls all came from recreation level teams and wanted to play more competitively. In the beginning, we were pretty raw. We lost a few players along the way and added a few more. We have had a lot of fun and improved nicely. Here we are, a year and half later, and we won our last two tournaments. This is a picture of us, The Stix. :)