erikreagan

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About erikreagan

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    Apprentice Poster

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  • Woodworking Interests
    Simple furniture, utility needs around the house and office.

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  1. Just read all the replies. So helpful! Thanks everyone. Tonight when I have some time I'll go back and answer some of the follow up questions that were posed. Thanks!
  2. Hey folks, I have a really limited understanding of finishing options to choose from. My experience thus far includes painting some wood for random projects a few years ago, and more recently just grabbing some minwax products at the home store and trying them out randomly. For today I'm specifically thinking about how I could finish a simple laptop stand made from some scraps I have. Some birch plys and a strip of curly makore. I don't want to stain the wood in this case. I just want to let the wood be itself if that makes any sense. But with that, I'm not sure what to do. Any suggestions or pointers for this uber beginner? Thanks so much!
  3. Oh, I haven't really looking into add-ons. Where do you suggest I read up more about what's out there?
  4. @trialbyfire good eye. It's 1 3/4". I think what I might do is use glue as an initial adhesion but add some overlapping braces in each direction that attach at the inside of each leg. Maybe that can help prevent the lateral movement. @wtnhighlander good point. I'll think about that as well. Thanks. I finished sanding and cleaning the top today. I won't have time to start the legs until next weekend at the soonest, so I figured I'd let the kids start playing on it. After all, my son has asked if I'm done multiple times a day since I started.
  5. I'm wondering if I need to re-think the legs. This is what I marked up in SketchUp but I'm not sure how I'd join the legs to the bottom here. Any suggestions or pointers? Thanks in advance.
  6. @ghost ah no worries. good lookin out
  7. Thanks, Chet! I've been on the fence about covering those or not since it's on the bottom. Would it be a bad idea not to?
  8. Well played. And thanks!
  9. Nice. I actually just started to give this a shot as well. It'll take some time to put together the different components from the garage. But it will definitely help me play with arrangement ideas without moving everything for every idea.
  10. Hey everyone, I'm not sure how I should format or approach these project journals since this is my first one. So I'm gonna just dump some info in here and update as I go. Let me know if there's more or less that I should be sharing (or asking) along the way! This Christmas we got a wooden train set for my son. He's really digging trains these days, but doesn't have a surface to have it set up on. My wife talked about us buying a train table, but I saw it as an opportunity to try and build something that had more than just 2 or 3 parts. This is kinda my first legit project with woodworking. I'm working from a single 3/4" sheet of Birch plywood I picked up at Home Depot. No clue if that's a good idea or not. I know close to nothing about selecting materials for a project at this point. The table will be painted all white to match my son's other bedroom furniture. The first thing I did was setup the train set on the floor and measure out what I wanted the surface to be. From there I went into SketchUp and mapped out a few ideas. My final path is the 3rd table toward the back in the image above. It seemed like the easiest one for me to build given my super beginner status here. I cut down the top and the skirts to size. Just planning to assemble with pocket holes. (Initially I wanted to miter the corners but I made a box not long ago and the miters sucked. I figured I'd work on that again on another project. For this one I didn't care too much about end grain showing.) After cutting the top to size, I did a double check that the train set would fit. So that worked out. Lastly, so far, tonight I assembled the skirts to the surface. I sanded the bottom down and cleaned it off. Then I had to call it a night to hang out with the family. Tomorrow morning I should be able to finish up the top. Then moving on to cutting the legs to size and joining those up! I'll report back after the next steps.
  11. What does this look like practically? Do you cut some key pieces first, then base additional cuts on those initial dimensions as needed?
  12. Nice variety of responses. Thanks everyone!
  13. I noticed a number of woodworkers talking about SketchUp, so I downloaded it a few days ago to check it out. I'm working on a train table for my son and figured I could pseudo-design the table and some options in SketchUp before landing on a final path forward. As a newbie to the craft, I haven't built much of anything yet so I don't have projects behind me where I didn't check out SketchUp. But I know it's only been around for a handful of years while woodworking has been around for, well, millennia. So my question is this: When and how do you choose to use SketchUp? For this train table I found it really useful to mock up some ideas digitally to decide on a final path. I stink at sketching on paper so this gave me a lot of confidence before cutting any pieces. Just that was worth the time I spent playing with it. But given I've only spent about 3-4 hours in the application, I'm sure I've hardly scratched the surface of what it can do. Thanks!
  14. Thank you! And I certainly do my best to make the most of this time. I did a little hobby switching and sold some nice non-workshop stuff to build up a budget for some initial tools. So I had a solid starting point financially. Thankfully it was a lateral move for the most part. So far, I've only used a few hundred bucks total from the bank account on tools. (Like I said, I sold some pretty nice stuff which gave me some cash on hand.)
  15. Really enjoying the variety in responses. The reasons help me think through not only this project, but aspects of future projects that I can consider. Thanks all! Yes, the table is all one color. Thanks for asking about that. Makes sense that if pieces were different colors, painting before assembling would be easier overall. And duly noted about the clamps. Thanks!