It has been quite the summer! The family and I (including my sister-in-law and her kids) took our annual vacation the middle of June (also celebrates the end of school for my daughter). As I got back to the grind, my mom decided she needed to spend some time in the hospital. I've always said that family comes first, so I spent much of last week juggling between home, hospital, parents house, and the shop. This week, things are looking up and I will be spending as much time as possible at the shop getting caught up on orders and delivering product to customers. I am incredibly thankful that every single customer was understanding.
In terms of news from the shop, we have added a new table saw and are looking to add some paint booths. The table saw will allow us to make wider cuts on plywood more accurately and safely! The paint booths will make finishing pieces much less complicated (and keep dust from other projects away)! Below are some recently finished pieces.
Hello! It’s been quite some time since I have updated the blog. The goal moving forward is to post a couple times a week. We’ll look at design trends, projects we’re working on, and probably talk about life in general.
We have been very busy at the shop lately. I am happy to report that we have cleared our backlog of projects and are now actively looking for more commissioned pieces. You can view this last week’s builds in the gallery below. In addition to our commissioned pieces, we had some time to build some products for the general public. We chose a 5-Piece Living Room Set (Console/Sofa Table, 3 End Tables, and a Coffee Table). One of the end tables and the coffee table were stained and painted similarly to our Rustic Farmhouse Bed, and 2 end tables and the console table, were stained in a two tone finish. This set is currently for sale for $1,000. We are parting it out as well. In addition, we had an old table top laying around that had defective bread board ends. We had some time to break the glue seam and removed those. The result is a wonderful 65 inch by 36 inch table!
As far as commissioned pieces for this week, we completed an Entry Way Locker System (stained in Dark Walnut and Aqua), and completed a matching set of end tables (one was built to fit over a dog kennel).
Old is new and popular. Many customers are contacting us asking about using reclaimed wood or looking for a weathered finish.
One thing that most people don’t consider when using reclaimed/weathered wood is that chemicals and paint from many years ago is often unsafe. Unless you know who handled the cleaning process or where the wood came from, there is no way to guarantee the safety of the wood.
Another issue with using reclaimed/weathered wood is that often the boards become warped and are no longer straight. This can cause an issue when trying to use the boards to assemble furniture unless the board is run through a table saw to straighten.
A great, and often cost effective option, is to create faux reclaimed/weathered appearance.
One way that we have created a reclaimed wood look is to stain the board in a stain two shades darker than the final stain color. We then sand the wood, leaving a little of the stain color on the board. Next we wash the wood to get rid of residual sawdust from sanding. After the wood has dried, we can then place the coat of stain, followed by three to four layers of polyurethane.
The easiest way to achieve a weathered look is to simply leave the board outside. This will achieve a weathered look in about 3-4 months. If you’re short on time, you can add a “weathered wood accelerator” which will cut the weatherization time down to about 2-3 weeks.
If you’re short on time, another way to create a weathered look, is to stain the board a light gray color and leave the sanding a bit rougher. In addition, you can create a more “natural” look by using a vinegar and steel wool mixture.
Another approach, if you’re looking for a paint/stain combination is to stain the board, then paint over the top. The final step is to then sand off some of the paint. The nice thing about this technique is that you can create any level of “weathered” look.
Whether you're looking for something that looks old, or something more rustic, JL Woodworking can certainly assist you with your project.
We receive a few inquiries every week from customers looking for platform beds. Platform beds are a great way to house your mattress when you don’t have a box spring. Typically platform beds are built with wooden supports that support the mattress just as a box spring would.
There are two main types of platform beds: standard profile and low profile.
Standard Platform Bed
Standard Platform Beds typically leave the top of the mattress between 22 and 30 inches off the ground. These types of beds look exactly as a “traditional” bed frame. The only difference is that the side rails house a track which holds support beams to support the mattress. For any bed size larger than a twin, we recommend 2x4 and/or 2x6 boards be used as the mattress support, with at least one additional support rail down the middle of the bed. Because of their traditional style, Standard Platform Beds can come in many different shapes and sizes.
Low Profile Platform Beds
Low Profile Platform Beds typically leave the top of the mattress between 12 and 18 inches off the ground. These types of beds are most commonly found in more modern “loft” type spaces, or in areas where the ceiling is lower. We typically build these beds with 2x6 side rails and foot rails and then place 2x3’s running the length of the bed. From there, 1x4 support rails are placed to support the mattress. Generally speaking Low Profile Platform Beds feature a short headboard, generally no more than 36 inches tall and no footboard as there is already a foot rail.
Whether you choose to purchase a Standard Platform Bed or a Low Profile Platform Bed, we always recommend customers look at sites such as Pinterest to find a style and color of a bed. From there, you can always contact us for a quote!
Farmhouse Tables are incredibly popular right now due to their versatility and nearly unlimited customizations. While the legs, shape, and tops can be configured differently, there are a few basic styles:
Harvest Farmhouse Tables generally feature four free standing legs, a skirt, and a square/rectangular top. The legs may be square or turned. Generally speaking these tables are 48 inches or larger and at least 32 inches wide. The tops are generally made from 2 by material, with Fir being the most popular. The boards used for the top can be “squared” – meaning the rounded edges are trimmed off – or left with rounded edges for a more traditional farmhouse table look. The base of the table (legs and skirt) are often painted white and distressed, or stained to match the top. The top can feature breadboard ends (perpendicular board on each end of the table) for a more formal look. Harvest tables can also be used in exterior spaces. Just be sure to leave between 1/8” and ¼” between the boards of the top for expansion/contraction due to water and temperature.
There are a couple of types of Pedestal Base Farmhouse Tables.
X-Base Farmhouse Tables feature two (or more) pedestals on each end of the table. In some fashion, there are “legs” that form an “X”. Much like the Harvest Farmhouse Table, they are generally 48 inches or larger with tops made from 2 by material, with Fir again being the most popular top. Boards used for the top can be squared or rounded. The pedestal is most often stained, but it can also be painted. Unlike the harvest table, these pedestals are generally painted black or a darker color. In climates such as ours, X-Base Tables can be used outside, however pressure treated wood should be used wherever the table touches the ground.
Wide Pedestal Tables feature one wide stand on each end of the table. If you want a singular pedestal, the table is generally smaller than 42 inches, with double pedestals (most popular), the table is larger than 48 inches, but no larger than 8 feet. Generally if this type of table is made to be over 8 feet, a third pedestal is incorporated. Table tops are generally made from Fir, and the boards can be squared for a more formal look, or left rounded. The table top and pedestal is often stained to match. This type of table does not do well outdoors as there is limited support for the top.
Round Farmhouse Tables are relatively new. The tables often feature a wide main base with angled supports to help support the top of the table. Round Farmhouse Tables are generally 36-48 inches and intended to be used in smaller spaces. Similar to the Harvest and Pedestal Base tables, the tops are generally made from 2 by material, with Fir being the most popular top. Round tables can also feature a more “ornate” top with various designs being incorporated in to it. The base can be painted or stained.
No matter what your décor taste is, a Farmhouse Table can bring warmth to any home. Interested in a table? Contact JL Woodworking for our own customized quote.
Greetings from us at JL Woodworking! A lot has been happening at the shop over the last few months!
Last September we moved from our location in my parent’s garage in Verona, to my mother-in-law’s garage in Stoughton. One of the things I gave up when we moved to Stoughton was having a house with a garage. I knew it would make building custom furniture pieces difficult, but in the long run, it would be the right decision for us.
My mother-in-law was providing a secure place to store our tools, electricity, and some space for projects close to home. As someone who has spent considerable amounts of time working out of a garage, the biggest drawback is that you spend more time putting things away/getting things out than you actually spend on crafting custom furniture pieces. In addition, you're exposed to the elements - cold, rain, snow, wind, and when you start to craft more frequently, you quickly run out of space for projects in the garage, which means you start working on sawhorses in the driveway. We quickly found that this wouldn't be a long-term solution. So almost immediately after moving the business to Stoughton, I started looking for a workspace that could accommodate our growth.
Back in December (three months after moving to Stoughton), we agreed to move in to a brand new space in the Stoughton Business Park North. The 1,300 square foot space, provides us an office (with air conditioning), bathroom, and tall ceilings! While we were originally scheduled to move in on March 1st, the cold snap we had pushed us back by a month.
It has made quite a difference from working out of a garage! At first, we had to get used to building in regular clothes again! With us working in a garage in the middle of winter, it wasn’t uncommon to build in coveralls, sweatshirts and wearing cold weather work gloves. And speaking of cold weather, it’s also nice to not be at the mercy of Mother Nature. Now if it’s raining, snowing, really windy, or late at night, we can still work on producing the best possible custom cabinets, furniture, and home decor for our customers. With the new location, we are covered 24/7/365. In addition, with the location being in an industrial park versus residential neighborhood, we can (and have been) working late in to the night.
Check back here for more updates on our projects, process, and some cool design ideas!