Jobs Blog

Sign work – ATC

Abbotsford Tutoring Center asked me to do some commercial sign work and a few things inside their commercial property as well. The main thing was to change the lightbox sign. I saved them about $400 by removing the plexi, scraping off the old vinyl, and applying the new vinyl myself. However it does not look quite as good as a brand new sign.

Besides the light box, there was also some window frosting that needed to be replaced. I ordered circular cutouts with the new logo and replaced them.

Inside there was a bit of work too – 3 large whiteboards, some lightbulbs, and take off the old sign inside/repair the wall/paint and replace it with a new one:

I ordered all my sign materials from Bourquin Printers, who make excellent product; any mistakes in design or application are mine, not theirs.

Set Build-The Magician’s Nephew

Gallery 7 Theatre’s production of The Magician’s Nephew opens tonight, and tickets are available here.

As per usual, I was the construction manager for this show. Director is Gabriel Kirkley, and Set design is by Jeff Kiers. As this show takes us through different locales including the present day, 19th century London, and the creation of the world of Narnia, the set is not uber-realistic but more symbolic.

I try not to give too much away with my photos, but here are a few of the process. The main set item was crates – lots of them. There are 12 2×2 crates (quite large!), 6 weight-bearing cardboard boxes, and 6 small crates. Then there was a large tree with a screen, and some other bits and pieces. The thing that took the most time was making a lamppost and a tree grow up out of the stage. To do this, I made an elevator and a trap door.

One other thing I made was a pair of articulating wings for the flying horse. I will post that video here later.

Wheelchair ramp

Abbey Medical contracted me to build a ramp for an ICBC client.

Wheelchair ramps need to have a maximum slope of 1:12, and as the deck was 20 inches higher than the ground, that calls for a 20 foot ramp. They also needed a ramp from the front door to the deck, which was another 7 feet.

I pre-cut the plywood at my shop and gave it 3 coats of porch paint with some anti-slip sand thrown on the second coat.

Then I built for a day and a half. It was nice to have a reasonably solid foundation to work with.

Set Design – Miracle Worker

I was asked to design the set for TWU’s fall production of The Miracle Worker.

It was a new experience in that I didn’t have to build the set this time. It was kind of nice! It was a challenging set to work with…but the team made it work well.

The play is running at Trinity Western University until Nov. 5.

I borrowed a pump and refurbished it a little so that it worked.

Fireplace Shiplap and Mantel

Carol wanted to change the look of her fireplace area. It wasn’t built well originally – the wall probably had to be pushed out during fireplace installation for clearance reasons? Anyway she just wanted a cleaner look. So first we got rid of the existing mantel.

There was some discussion as to how to apply ship-lap. I preferred a frame on the angled walls but we ended up going with mitred corners. I used 1/4″ D grade fir plywood, cut in 8-inch strips and painted, and brad-nailed on the studs. It took several hours to install it!

Lastly I built a mantel out of plywood and painted it.

8×12 storage closet

A company recently hired me to build a sealed room inside a barn. It is for storing old paperwork.


The materials cost over $1000, basically for studs and plywood. I saw a mouse in the barn so made sure to seal up any voids nice and tight. I attached one wall to the existing wall/rafters and went from there. It was a day’s work plus.


Kitchen cabinet Paint & Reno

Pomi called me more than a year ago to ask about doing something for her kitchen… finally we were able to sit down and go over some options. She decided to paint her existing cabinets rather than go new, because she likes the old style that are generally roomier and more efficient for space than modern cabinets. Here are some pictures that chronicle the journey over a year in the making:

The old cabinets were in decent shape but a few hinges were bent, and the finish had worn over many years. I fixed the missing cabinet over the fridge and ‘added’ to the one beside the sink. Then I took off the upper cabinet doors and painted inside the upper cabinets.

Then I sanded the doors and started painting them. I sprayed them with cabinet paint. I also made some sliding drawers for the lower cabinets.

The doors got installed. Pomi spray painted her original hinges and handles and they went back on. (I prefer to use the original hinges because the new ones these days seem to be a lot flimsier.)

Before we started on the lower cabinets, Pomi had to choose a countertop, and a sink. She wanted to move the sink to center on the window, which meant getting out the cabinet stretcher and adding a few inches to the left of the cabinet.

A little bit more painting…

And done! (the countertop is Quartz and was done by Black Pearl)

There is still a new dishwasher to get, backsplash to tile, painting to do, but I think others will do that. There is also another small folding bar cabinet to make, but that will take some design work…

10×20 Gazebo, awning

Debbie asked for a “gazebo” for her upper porch, except with the roof only tilting away from the house. So I built 2 10×10 frames out of 2x4s, joined in the middle with a single post, and put them up on her deck. Then I spray painted galvanized roofing and screwed it on. It provides shade in the summer and keeps off the rain the rest of the year. It is freestanding, but there’s not much room to move it around!

It cost a decent amount but probably a bit less than buying two gazebos.

Then she wanted a similar awning for a different unprotected exterior door on another deck.

I built it in a similar fashion, but used 2×2 fir instead of 2x4s. And attached it to the house a little bit.

Kitchen island cabinet

Carol asked for a quote for a custom island. Here is the drawing we came up with together:

Construction was plywood with MDF drawer fronts. Drawer hardware was Grass Dynapro soft close. I glued carpet on the bottom so the island could be moved easily. Cabinet paint was sprayed to give a smooth finish.

Countertop was installed by Clearbrook Countertops the next day.