How to make log slice wall art from the Lumberjack Room

February 6th, 2015

*** This tutorial linked to the Cricut Design Star Contest. The project girl is a top 5 finalist. Check the room out and vote for her here ***

Hi, It’s me, Mr Project again, hot on the heels of my last post, bringing you another AMAZING tutorial. Okay, not a tutorial per-se, but rather a glimpse into the fun I had making some log slice wall art for my wonderful wife, The Project Girl.

Click here to PIN this project

theprojectgirl-lumberjack-room-trunk

When we set out to do the lumberjack room I knew I’d be signing up for a few unique woodworking projects. If you haven’t yet, check out my walkthrough on how I went about building the lumberjack bunk beds. I even threw in some free plans and tips on how to build something similar.

Step 1 – Plan of attack

Logs are funny things. They’re usually pretty round, heavy and unwieldy and I had no idea how on earth I was going to get some logs and how I was going to cut them after I got them. We were looking for something around 16-24 inches in diameter that we could cut into slices or “cookies” as they’re sometimes called in woodworking. A friend of mine recently renovated their home inside and out, and fortunately, I was able to bum a few logs off him, with the condition that I make something for him. The logs I got are about 22 inches in diameter, so I’d need to get a chainsaw big enough to handle slicing through those beauties.

Step 2 – Procure Chainsaw

I then made a few phone calls and borrowed a monster chainsaw with a long enough bar on the front that could slice through those logs. Okay, it’s a monster to me, because chainsaws are, well, terrifying at first until you get the hang of it, and cut your face off. I kid.

Always wear face/eye/ear protection!

Step 3 – Cut Logs

Maneuvering and cutting the logs was fun. Fortunately, when we were building the canyon view house, I built a dolly to move the massive cabinets for our kitchen as I was building them. I used that to flop down the heavy logs and haul them on to the driveway where I’d do all my cutting.  The project girl wanted slices that were about 2 inches thick, so after some eyeballing, I measured out and cut three slices to use in our project. Now, here’s the challenging part, cutting a log is somewhat easy, but flattening the slice of wood took a little craftiness.

theprojectgirl-chainsawing

Step 4 – Flatten Cookies

Using a router and a GIANT router bit called a surface planing bit (You can find one here on Amazon and if you click this link, you’ll be supporting more projects by The Project Girl!), I flattened out the cookies one by one.

theprojectgirl-router-plane

What you see in the photo is what’s called a router sled. The idea is simple, and you can find out more of the technical side of how to make one here. Basically it’s a carriage and guides that allow you to slide a router back and forth over a piece of wood on a parallel plane, so that the bit flattens the side of wood you’re working with, This is SUPER useful when you’re working with big or awkwardly shaped pieces of lumber.

theprojectgirl-router-plane-2

Step 5 – Bake

After cutting and surfacing the cookies, it was time to bake them. burning the wood with fire makes the grain show up improving the look of the slice. I’ve always been intrigued by Japanese wood burning as a finishing technique, so I decided to give it a try…. Kind of. I don’t have pics of me doing this because it was hella hot and noisy as I was using a roofing torch (You can find them online here). I placed the cookie on something non flammable and torched it so that the front was semi-burned. It’s pretty quick if you’re using a roofing torch, but be careful. it is crazy hot and a little nerve racking to light. You’ll also need a propane tank to get the party started if you decide to burn your wood.

theprojectgirl-shou-sugi-ban

You could use a smaller butane torch, like I did for the edges, but on the front flat surface, it’s better to have a big flame to cover a larger area so that things don’t end up too splotchy.

Step 6 – Finish

I finished the cookies in the same way I finished the bunkbeds (see post for products and technique). After the finish dried, I was a little concerned about stabilizing the cookie, so I glued a piece of MDF I cut out to match the shape of the log on the back, so that even if it did split, It would stay together. I use this awesome Pro 200 Glue Gun from Adtech for all my projects and it was perfect for applying industrial strength hot glue to the back of the log.

Step 7 – Apply graphics and Hang Cookie

Next, I installed a small keyhole plate for hanging. You can find one here through this amazon link. To install it, I needed to drill a small hole and just screw in the plate. If you want the log flush on the wall, you could route a recess for the plate in the back of the wood like I did and mount that way. A little more technically challenging, but will get you flush on the wall.

theprojectgirl-log-back

With all that done, Jen completed the artwork and cut it out on the Cricut Explore. I don’t have a picture or video of it cutting, but here’s a shot of the file that The Project Girl created to be cut. She cut it out of regular Cricut white vinyl, and then applied it usingCricut Transfer Tape.

theprojectgirl-log-seal

It really all came together and it fits in the room perfectly!

theprojectgirl-lumberjack-room-trunk

If you like the project, vote for The Project Girl by clicking this link. It only takes a few seconds!

TheProjectGirl-60-Katie Dudley Photography

 

How to design and build the lumberjack bedroom bunk beds + FREE PLANS

February 3rd, 2015

Hi everyone! Mr. Project here. I don’t usually post here, in fact, I usually just work in the background or on the sidelines. You could say I’m something of the 6th man or mascot of the project girl. She’s the REAL awesome here. You can check out the other post I wrote about how to get started building kitchen cabinets.

Jen Allyson got invited to remake a room for the circuit design space star contest and she came up with the idea to re-do the boys room at our home (you can find a tour of the room here) And you can VOTE for the room (it only takes 2 seconds) here.

TheProjectGirl-66-Katie Dudley Photography

Jen knew that she wanted unique bunk beds in the room, she put together a basic sketch of her idea and then created a line drawing in adobe illustrator. I used that to create a 3D rendering of the design in Google Sketchup, so that I could make sure all my dimensions were correct and figure out the construction of the beds.

theprojectgirl-bed-sketch

You can download the free bunkbed plan in Sketchup HERE  – you’ll need a free copy of Google Sketchup to open them

There were a few things we wanted to accomplish with the bunk beds including –

1. Create something unique and interesting looking

2. Create a reading space for the boys

3. Make everything “knock down” so we can take the beds with us if we ever decided to move, while at the same time . . .

4. Make it look build in, and custom.

Step 1 – Create your plans.

Read the rest of this entry »

Boy’s Jack & Jack urban style bathroom

July 1st, 2014

The boys jack &  jill (jack?) bathroom has been one of my favorite rooms in the house. I love how the room feels stylized and unique. My favorite part of designing bathrooms is the opportunity to take standard components – sink, toilet, mirror, light, counter/cabinet, and spin them into something not standard at all. I wanted the space to have an urban sort of feel with the glass bricked subway tile – see my Style/Buying Guide for this room to get more details about design and sourcing. And then I just wanted to keep everything simple and clean.

bathroom-side

We happened upon these submarine medicine cabinets at the Restoration Hardware outlet, they were 70% off which still made them a splurge, but totally worth it for the style they bring to the room. The 3×6 glass brick tile is from BuildDirect and we used a snow white grout.

I also wanted a floating countertop with no cabinets in this bathroom. Mr. Project used a slab of butcher block from Ikea and mitered the edge to give it a 6″ face and make the countertop feel like a 6″ solid piece of butcher block. So far I’m loving no drawers and cabinets. The boys usually have a hamper under the countertop, and all their toiletries are stored in the medicine cabinets. The towels are stored on a train rack in the shower/toilet room.

submarine-medicine-cabinet

The cute anchor washcloth is from West Elm, and the striped handtowels, and glass jars are from Pottery Barn (both discontinued).

The square sinks are from Overstock, and the faucets are Hansgrohe. For the barn lights, I went with these gorgeous Barn Light Electric sconces in barn red – I like BLE lights because you can choose which neck and which shade you want, as well as the color.

barn-light-bathroom

Here is the shower/toilet room. We used a 4×12 white subway tile and then a 4×6 glass subway tile to create an accent strip and tie it to the sink area. One day I’ll get a shower curtain, but for now it’s just baths for the boys here.

subway-tile-shower

To make the shower look more finished we mitered the tile on the top corner and had it laid vertically down each of the sides. THis works really well with a 4×12 tile because the proportion is long and skinny.

subway-tile

At the last minute, we decided to order more tile and do a wainscot of tile on the walls surrounding the toilet. We have two little boys, so any protection from stray pee is a good idea. For the cap piece, instead of using expensive specialty tile, we used a 1×5 piece of wood trim and covered it with some edged molding and a 2″ trim strip on the top to make a ledge. You get the same type of feel as a tile topper but for a tiny fraction of the price. You can also make the ledge a bit deeper and place photos/art on the ledge. I may still do this with my 2″ ledge, but I’ll have to secure the frames  to make it work.

subway-tile-glass

For the floor tile we went with a 12×24 black porcelain full-body tile from BuildDirect (currently not available). The black is solid throughout the tile so if it chips or has an exposed edge you don’t see white.

black-tile

We used this same tile in our laundry and pantry and I love it.

So that’s the boy’s bathroom! I love showing this bathroom to visitors, it always gets a great reaction. There are still a few things to do in here – shower curtain, bath mats, red stools to reach the sinks, towel hooks etc.,  but we’re just taking it little by little around here!

Post post notes:

*More updates coming soon, so keep checking back. For daily updates subscribe to my Instagram and Facebook feeds. 

*To see past updates – view my Canyon View House Category.

*If you have any questions, I’d love to answer them, just leave a comment!

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