Jobs Blog

Swing frame

One of my customers bought a swing but needed a swingset to hang it from. I built it out of 4×4 pressure treated posts and 7 inch lagbolts. It is large, heavy, and seems to be okay without being fixed to the ground.

Floating Fireplace Mantle

Ron and Aimee had a beautiful piece of pine that they wanted to attach above their fireplace. I offered to stick it on top of a couple of angle brackets, but they wanted a cleaner look, so they ordered some brackets on Amazon and hired me to attach them.

I screwed into the brick and drilled holes in the back of the mantle. After I slid it all the way on, I couldn’t get it back off…luckily it was in the right place!

Furnace Room drywall with 22 cutouts

About a month ago, Tim asked me to quote on a drywall ceiling. Normally I don’t do them but this was a strange one. To make a second suite legal, the city requires drywall to separate the two suites. This was the last step in the process for his house. The furnace room was the only room that did not have this (basically a firestop of sorts). However it was a little messy with hot water heating pipes all over the place.


The ceiling was not huge, less than 2 sheets of drywall, but it had to be dropped a little bit to accommodate some pipes that were running along the joists. The lights had to be dropped as well. The pieces went in like a jigsaw puzzle, I was VERY careful with screw placement, I had to crawl sideways under some pipes to access one corner…it was a day’s work to board and tape around 22 cutouts, and then a couple hours the next day to do a second coat of mud.


My customer was OK with me leaving it rough and I was quite happy to skip the sanding step as it would have been a huge mess. Hoping he passes inspection.

Door casings and brick wall

V and J just bought a condo and hired me to replace the baseboards. I estimated 2 days plus materials, sight unseen. However, once they got possession they decided to keep the ones they had (fancy type!) and change the door casings instead. They went with a pillar style casing and an ornamental top rail (I really don’t know what it’s called, all I know is the product code is 5000UL at Blackwood). 🙂 We also added casings to the closets and one window. 13 units and 2 tubes of caulking later, I was ready for the next project.

They had also purchased 3 sheets of brick facing, and asked me to help them put it up as a feature wall. I have worked with this stuff before, and know a few of its idiosyncrasies, but had not installed it in a house before. Because the sheets can expand/contract with weather changes (and therefore buckle), there are particular installation instructions; however they are not really practical either, so the challenge is to find a medium that looks good and hopefully won’t bulge next summer. We screwed them to the wall to avoid future removal damage and butted them tight to each other. I left a small gap at the top and bottom for expansion and caulked it later. I cut out holes for plugs etc. Despite levelling pretty carefully, there was a larger gap near the ceiling as we moved to the left…which I was able to fill, but it wasn’t great. I did the best I could and don’t think anyone could do much better…and learned it’s tough to perfectly place 96 square feet of bricks on a wall!


Secret Garden set build

I’ve set aside a few weeks for another theatre set for Gallery 7. This time it is for the musical, The Secret Garden. Here are just a few snapshots of a large and somewhat intricate set. I am enjoying building it, but not sure I will have enough time to get everything built nicely. I do have a volunteer assistant carpenter this time, which is helpful! I have worked with the set designer on two other shows – Peter and Joseph, and find his designs creative and well-planned.

I have been able to re-purpose quite a bit of material as well. For example, the steps pictured below were stored from last year’s production of Joseph and although they needed some modification, it was a great way to re-use them.

Custom Cabinets

I made three cabinets for John and Lore. They had a certain space to fill, plus some cabinet doors that John found and painted. Based on the doors and the space I came up with a drawing and built the boxes. John helped me install them, then we put the doors on and some crown moulding to finish them off. Luckily he was able to caulk, fill, and paint everything himself for a nice finish.