Friday, July 22, 2011

Mud Room Addition




Here are some image of a small Mud Room addition. This is taking an exterior porch area and enclosing it into the back hallway of the house to create a Mud Room. This room will have a bench with cabinets above for storage on one side and cabinets enclosing a freezer and a broom closet type of cabinet on the opposite wall. I will try to get images of the interior when it is finish if there is enough room to take pictures. The new room is approximately 9' x 4'

New Stair Railing


This is a set of Lockers that was built in what was the laundry room of the house. The washer and the dryer were moved to another location and these were built in their place. I also built a Pantry cabinet unit in a nook across from the Lockers, but there really wasn't enough room to get a picture of that.


This is a set of Bookcases that were built in an existing den. The house had recently been sold and the new Home Owner contacted me to build more Book Cases in the den as she has TONS of books. I had built the original Book Cases a few years ago, and I always enjoy adding to the things that I have previously done.

New Kitchen Cabinets

This is an overview of a Kitchen that I installed. The Cabinets are Kitchen Jewels and the drawing for the Hood is here: Hood Drawing. Unfortunately I didn't take any before pictures.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Warning! Flood Alert!

Almost every day for the past couple of weeks the weather application on my phone has been sending me Flood Alert Warnings. Yes, it is spring in Indianapolis and we are getting those 'April showers to bring May flowers'. But, don't forget that this is the most dangerous time for your basement. As the rains bombard us it fills up the water table and can make your sump pump work overtime and then some. It's a very wise idea to make sure that you have a back up pump and a backup power supply as well. I have done a few basement repairs over the years due to the seasonal flooding. Don't let it happen to you. However, if you would like to remodel your basement despite the rains, and because you have your sump pumps working at their best the basement is a great place to make improvements in your home. The following is a quick image of some wainscoting that I completed in just such a basement remodel:

Bathroom Addition

While primarily an interior trim carpenter, I also do some framing. These are a couple of images of framing work for the addition of a bathroom to an upstairs in the Carmel Area. I was contracted to do both the framing and the finishing work for this project by Frank Cosmas of  F.C.C. Developement. I have done work for this company for many years. Frank always seems to have a project for me that is both challenging and a learning experience. These types of projects give one a great sense of satisfaction with a job well done. Because of the limited size of the areas created with this project I only have images of the framing going in.

Bathroom Update

Here is a quick image of a bathroom update. This update included new fixtures, new vanity (purchased by client), new built in medicine cabinet, new crown mould, new window and door casings, and new tile by Mark Pardekooper of PardeKooper Flooring LLC. I also replaced most of the doors in the house for a more updated feel. The house is in the Castleton area of Indianapolis. Credit for the image goes to Mark Pardekooper.

Mantle Rebuild

This client owns a home on the North Side of Indianapolis and wanted to update their mantle. The following images are a before, mid-process, and after pictures of the mantle. This was a referral from Mark Pardekooper of Pardekooper Flooring LLC who did the tile work on the mantle in the final image.

Click to enlarge:

Final Image by Mark Pardekooper.

Hearing Protection + Glasses = Crooked

Eye protection is usually the first thing we think about when using power tools, both at home and in the shop. This is a reminder that protecting your hearing can be just as important. You don't need to use full headphone style protection as ear plugs work wonders and are quite cheap. They will also allow you to wear your eye protection evenly and not annoyingly crooked as mine are here.

Winter Deck

Early Winter in 2010 provided to be a good time to build a deck. The weather was very mild with just enough moisture accumulation to make digging post holes not too much of a troubling process. This deck was built for the same client that I built the Yard Screens for. The screens were actually built this spring and built to match this deck. The discerning eye will notice that the screens use the same balusters as the deck railing and that the 'OG' on the end of the underside deck beam matches the 'OG' on the top of the Yard Screens. Sometimes on larger projects it's nice to have a helping hand, wether for help with the labor or the expertise that they bring to the project. Charley Campbell was just such a help with this project, providing both.

Click on an image to see it larger:

Above is the original site drawing for the deck. The finished deck retained the original shape but the step down to the existing deck was eliminated when it was decided to not use the existing deck.


These are the concept drawings for the railing and eight foot privacy screens that were going to be built into the west end of the deck. It was decided that the screens wouldn't be needed and became the basis of the idea for the Yard Screens.

The main support beams are finished in the first image. The joists are done in the second and the decking is starting to be laid while the posts for the rail are being set.


Three views of the finished deck with some snowy footprints.

Hood Design

Here is a Drawing for a Kitchen Hood for a recent client. I still need to get pictures of the completed kitchen.

Cincinnati Kitchen Remodel

Working in a different city can be challenging. It's not that the work is any different, it's that your resources are no longer right at your finger tips. In the construction industry we rely on people that we know will do a good job. Being in a different city suddenly cuts you off from those resources and makes you look at things a little differently. It also makes you do more of the work yourself and rely less on others. I was fortunate to have a place to stay and some contractors willing to make the drive out to get the job accomplished. Two such resources were Kitchen Jewels who built and delivered the cabinets and Olympia Stone who manufactured and installed the granite counter tops. These are two of my favorite contractors for cabinets and tops, and I highly recommend them. The tile work was done by Mark Pardekooper of Pardekooper Flooring, LLC. Mark has always done an excellent job anytime that a client has needed tile work done as well as giving me great leads for new clients. I consider Mark a valuable resource and a friend. He gets the highest of my recommendations.

The following are some before and after pictures. After 25 years in the industry it is still a wonderful thing to be able to see the transformations that take place when remodeling.

Please click on an image to see it larger.





Full Wall Wainscot Paneling

This is a wall of paneling I installed in a condominium in the Broadripple area. The attached drawing was provided by the client. The image is of the raw wood paneling and taken before I had a cell phone with a decent camera. It is amazing how quickly technology advances, yet woodworking remains relatively similar thru the ages.

Basement Bar

This is a Basement Bar that I designed for a client of a builder I was working with. At the time I was the managing partner for Phi Cabinet Design. The cabinets were built by Kitchen Jewels and I highly recommend them for any custom Kitchen, Bath, or Bar needs. I still have a good working relationship with them and believe that they produce a superior product at a very competitive price. The installation was done in about a day with myself and my employee at the time. The cabinets are Cherry with 'Vintage' Stain and a 'Chocolate' glaze. This wood/color combination was always a hit, and one of my favorites.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Yard Screens

             Concept Drawing

    Front on View

Side View

Kitchen Cabinet Concept Drawing

Doug's Magic Wood Sauce

Here is an old formula that is both a wood finish and a great cure for blemishes on many kinds of wood finishes, including polyurethane and lacquer. I use it to treat scratches on hardwood floors, and furniture to make them virtually disappear. A scratch, scuff, or scrape is usually a mar in the surface of the finish that is on top of the wood. A deep scratch will mar the actual wood itself. The blemish on the finish usually shows up as a lighter area as the finish slightly detaches from the wood. What this 'sauce' does is to make this lighter area that is opaque turn more translucent and help to hide the blemish. On deep scratches it will also darken the marred wood slightly, further helping to hide the affected area. Test this on a small portion of the area first to determine if this is the fix that you want to go with.

The Recipe:

1 Part pure Tung Oil - This is a naturally produced oil that hardens over time similar to
   polyurethane. **
1 Part Turpentine - This is a natural solvent made from Pine.
1 Part Polyurethane - A man made product that is often used as a sole Top Coat finish.
   Spar varnish can also be used here, but limits the amount of time that this can be

Mix all ingredients in a new container. Empty 'paint cans' can be purchased at the paint counter of your local hardware store. Use a soft, clean rag to liberally apply the 'sauce' to the affected area, working it in till the blemish is reduced. After a few minutes use a fresh clean rag to wipe off any excess from the blemish and the surrounding areas. It should be dry in 24 hours. A second coat can be applied if needed.

This 'sauce' will soak into the exposed wood and surrounding finish as it dries. Applying more coats will build up the layer. In this manner it can be used as a finish coat on raw or sanded wood. I have used it to re-finish dining room tables, the trick being to use the fresh clean rag to wipe up any excess before it begins to dry (usually within about 5 or 10 minutes). Be sure to light sand between coats with 180 - 220 grit sandpaper after it is dry and before the next coat.

** This works best with pure Tung Oil. The 'Tung Oil Finishes' sold at the big box stores doesn't work as well as these have many other ingredients in the product. I suspect that Boiled Linseed Oil would also work in place of the Tung Oil, however, I have not actually tested this to be sure. I use Tung Oil often on my own projects and prefer the finished color to Boiled Linseed Oil, which is a bit more yellow in finish. Also note that Linseed Oil that is not boiled does not dry to a hard finish.