The Best Stain To Match Honey Oak Cabinets

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So for those that came here for a short, sweet and to-the-point answer for what is the best stain to match worn out Honey Oak cabinets, the answer is General Finishes Honey Maple Oil Based Wood Stain. (Yes, there is glare from a light in the shop and some motion blur as these are screenshots of the video mentioned below.)

At least that was my experience when I recently took on the task of refinishing my neighbor’s silverware drawer.

In the following video I go through the whole process of prepping, stripping, sanding and staining the drawer face. The only complaint I had from the neighbors is that the new drawer face looks about 20 years newer which, to be fair, it is now. That’s a win in my book.

Check out the video and see for yourself how close we got to a perfect match.

A Table Saw Tapering Jig That Does It All!

Making decent tapers is one of those things that most of us usually don’t need to do, but when we do it’s nice to have a dedicated jig to help us out. I recently came up with this design that is simple and easy to make and can do more than just simple tapers. And the best part is that it doesn’t require loads of fancy parts or tools to make.

Reducing the length of the jig’s fence and increasing the dimensions of the base, I’ve come up with a jig that can cut tapers on both sides of the work piece, works great as a jointer jig, and can cut those awkward shapes like pentagons. In a pinch it can also be used as a crosscut jig.

The following video goes through the build process and different ways to use it. There is also a free pdf download available if you want to make one for yourself. If you need them, I recommend these toggle clamps and knobs to complete the project.

Safety Is Our Top Priority!

Table saw safety… It’s a topic that has always caused quite a stir. Everyone has their idea on the right way to do things. We get a ton of questions/concerns on the way things are done so what better way to answer everyones questions than by making a video! It’s a long one but if you’ve ever met someone who has had a table saw accident, you KNOW you can never be over-informed.

We hope you enjoy the content and we are always open to feedback! Is there something we missed? Let us know!

My way isn't right, your way isn't wrong, but...

Obviously, everyone has their own preferences and opinions on the “right’ way to do things. When we do our shou sugi ban inspired wood burning, we tend to get a lot of messages saying things like, “you’re overdoing it” or “you can get the same result in half the time.” With that being said, we decided to do a little experiment to see if there really was a difference in the final product!

Here’s the short of it…

Essentially, what we are trying to achieve is a dramatic finish to the wood and for the grain to pop and have as much depth and character as possible. No matter which way you prefer (the quick way or the more time consuming way), the wood is lightly sanded and then burned with a propane torch. You can either do a heavy, “full char”, or a light surface burn. Now here is where you choose to either have a quick project or one that is more time consuming. With the light char, you’re pretty much done with just that. Wipe some stain on there, wipe off the excess and viola! With a heavier burn, you will need to go back and brush out the charred wood to reveal the spring wood underneath. I will say that this is messy and can take quite a while but even before you put any stain or dye on it, you will immediately see the difference in depth between the two. Lastly, add some color to it and the difference is night and day! Depending on what you are trying to achieve, either works” but they are definitely do not have the same end result.

If you would like to watch the two methods done by us to see exactly what we are talking about, we filmed our little experiment and would love your feedback! Which way do you think looks better? Tell us what you think!

Other Uses For Blue Painter’s Tape

Blue painters tape.

It’s safe to say that almost everyone has a role, or five, of blue painters tape stuffed in junk drawers and floating around the garage or in the shop. Blue tape works amazing for masking of trim and cabinetry to achieve crisp paint lines and for making stencils, but it can also be used as a massive helping hand in the wood shop. In this video we go down the list of creative ways you can put blue masking tape to use for your next project.

How to give an old mirror a face-lift with fire!

Who doesn’t like free stuff and DIY projects? It’s always tempting to pick up a piece of furniture with a “free” sign on it but most likely, the piece is old and pretty well used. Finding different ways to refinish wood and bring life back into it is something that never gets old for us. Aside from the very popular “distressed” look, one of our favorite ways to refinish wooden furniture and other decor items such as frames, is to give it a burnt wood finish. It’s an easy and unique way to add some character to a piece and it also always feels good to reuse something that will otherwise end up in the trash! Our neighbor was throwing away a large mirror that they no longer wanted and as soon as we saw it, we knew it still had a lot of life left in it! With a little work and a little love, the mirror will live in our home for years to come! This technique would work great for a nightstand or end table, or even a wooden chair. In this video, we will show you, step by step, how to achieve a patinated look with the use of a propane torch and a stain of your choice. Minimal tools, with a very rewarding outcome! Sound like fun?

We hope you find use out of this unique way to refinish and end up with a treasure that you can keep forever! Let us know what you decide to refinish and how it goes!

How to make easy hardware storage bins for your French cleat system.

Keeping a clean and organized work area is definitely one of the main keys to making successful projects. If you utilize the French cleat system in your shop, these quick and easy hardware bins will keep your screws and other hardware on hand at all times. The best part is that they’re an excellent way to use up scrap plywood that we all seem to have a hard time throwing away.

These are the hardware bins we use in the shop everyday. They are all based on three inch strips of half-inch plywood and the parts and pieces look something like this:

(2) 3” x 6” pieces for the sides

(1) 3” x 5” piece for the bottom

(1) 3” x 4-5/8” piece for the back

(1) 3” x 2” piece for the front

(1) 2-3” section of your current French cleat.

These are our dimensions, but you can adjust these sizes to fit your needs based on how much you need to fit in the bins themselves. This video will show you exactly how we assemble them and put them to use.

Give it a try and let us know how well they work for you!

This Is The Porter Cable Restorer

The Porter Cable Restorer does a fine job at removing loose debris from soft woods.

The Porter Cable Restorer does a fine job at removing loose debris from soft woods.

If you're reading this review, you most likely know what my niche is in the making world. In a nutshell I burn wood, brush off the loose soot, apply a treatment of color and make stuff with it. Here's a sample:

Sou sugi ban inspired wall treatment.

Sou sugi ban inspired wall treatment.

When I first started out I did everything by hand with hand-held brushes. It took a very long time and took quite a bit of muscle. At first it was just an experiment, so that was fine. But I soon realized that I needed something that packed a little more of a punch if I was going to get good, consistent results. Enter, the Restorer.

Now keep in mind that I am only giving my two cents as for how this tool works for me and what I do. How it works for removing paint, sanding, buffing or anything else one might use it for, I cannot say because I quite simply have not put it through those tests.

Removing soft spring wood and loose debris is no challenge with the Restorer and optional wire wheel.

Removing soft spring wood and loose debris is no challenge with the Restorer and optional wire wheel.

The Porter Cable Restorer comes with a couple of different grit sleeves and a drum when you purchase it. Again, I haven't used those. But what really got my attention, and ultimately my purchase decision, is the recent addition of stainless wire and nylon brushes to their accessory lineup. Now to be honest, the nylon brush is a bit stiff for cleaning up soot from a charred board. What I have found it very useful for though is burnishing the charred grain after using the wire wheel to do the heavy work. Burnishing the grain helps to maintain the dark brown or black color of the grain by making it easier to wipe the stain back off after I've added color.

The stainless wire and nylon brushes are a great addition.

The stainless wire and nylon brushes are a great addition.

The wire wheel, on the other hand, works great for digging down in between the hardened grain and removing the soft, scorched spring wood. This also works great for cleaning up old fence boards or "barn wood" (I'm not sure what's even considered barn wood anymore.) or adding a reclaimed look to soft woods such as cedar, hemlock, Douglas fir and pine. It takes a little experimenting to get used to the behavior traits of the Restorer. It does hop and bounce around a little bit, and I can only assume that's in part because of the length of the wire. But I also think it might be because of the weight of the machine overall. It's very light weight which causes it to float around a little. But like every other new tool, it takes a little bit to figure out exactly how it works in relationship to what you need it to do.

Wheel changing: where quick meets easy.

Wheel changing: where quick meets easy.

Wheel replacement couldn't be easier on the Restorer. You simply undo the two clasps on the wheel housing, flip the door open, pull the wheel out, throw a new one in, latch the door back down and you're back in business! It takes less than a minute to swap things out.

Although I don't have it hooked up in these pictures, the Restorer has a dust port on the rear of the machine under the handle, and it works quite well hooked up to a shop vac. I use a DeWalt cordless shop-vac when I need it and it works great. Keep in mind that for the dust collection to be effective, it needs to have the whole wheel touching the surface of the work piece. In my experience, if you're brushing two-inch pieces of wood, you don't stand much of a chance of not making a huge mess. But on wider boards it works great.

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Other notable features include an adjustable wheel speed control and a trigger lock. While the speed control isn't something that benefits me personally, the trigger lock is a life saver for long runs and greatly reduces hand fatigue. One thing to note: the Restorer is loud. I highly recommend hearing protection and of course a dust mask and safety glasses is always a great idea.

So there you go, a quick word about the Porter Cable Restorer and how it relates to what I use it for in my shop. The Restorer has a ton of different wheels available for a variety of different jobs, and they have plans for more wheels down the road. I think if you're wanting to try to achieve a raised grain look or clean up reclaimed wood, and don't want to break the bank (or your back) the Restorer is something worth looking into.

I've added a few links below so you can check out the exact items I use.

Have you used the Restorer? What is your experience with it an how well did it work for you? I'd love to hear your feedback.

Cheers!

Number One.

My first blog post.

Kind of weird when I think about it. I love to write and read, but I really don't have time for either one. I rarely read blogs myself because of, well, time restraints. And yet here I am, writing my first ever blog.

So why now? Why add yet another time consuming task to my busy schedule? Well because I figure it's a good way to get stuff off my chest and into your ears instead of my poor wife's, who is already subject to all my ranting and hair-brained ideas already. Essentially I'm just saving my marriage.

All jokes aside, I wanted to start blogging quite honestly because I want to bounce ideas off of people. I want to share projects. I want to write tool reviews. I want share my thoughts. And I want to have another form of online community other than my beloved Instagram. And to be fair, I really do just want to write more.

Now all that being said, keep in mind I don't know the rules about this type of stuff. How long is a blog post supposed to be? Is there a golden rule for "too short" or too long"? Do I now have some sort of moral blogging obligation where I have to write a certain amount of times per week? How do I convince you to come read my posts? Okay, so I think too much, but I'm sure you get the point. This is new for me, as is building a website, trying my hand at making video content, and quite frankly putting myself out there to begin with.

However, if you happen to be reading this very post, I've had a successful start to this new endeavor. I'll just work out the bugs as I go.

Hey look! My first blog post!

Cheers!

Jodee