Jobs Blog

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.

Wainscot border

Rick and Elma have some beautiful wallpaper, but it had a few cat scratches in the lower extremities so they decided to cover it with wainscot. It took me a day to paste it together above the baseboard and add a chair rail on top. I also provided the outside corners. It was only done in two rooms (front room and hall).

They provided the materials and were going to paint it afterwards.

Below are some before/during/after pictures.

1×2 and plywood shelves

I enjoy making “rough” but sturdy shelves. They go pretty quick, they don’t have to look great because generally they are for storage, and not in a sitting room.

First a 1×2 gets screwed to the wall horizontally, on studs.

Then, a shelf is screwed to that rail.

A front piece is glued and screwed to keep it from bowing too much.

Vertical pieces are screwed to the corners to level everything up.


Stairwell railing demo

Max and E. were wanting some nicer railings in their townhouse. They had someone lined up for that, but needed the old ones taken out. They were the “wall and glass” type. Lots of staples, nails, drywall… Eventually I got it all out, patched the walls in a few places, and the railings fellow took over and as far as I know did a wonderful job.

Tempting Providence – Table

My latest set build for Gallery 7 Theatre is for a play called Tempting Providence. It is a simple play, the type that tells the story without too many bells and whistles. It is about a nurse in Newfoundland in the 1920’s. Part of the set includes a custom table. Here are some pictures of the process!

I recycled some boards for the top from plays such as Joseph, Wrinkle in Time, and (I think) The Hiding Place.

The play runs January 24-February 9, 2020 at Abbotsford Arts Addition. Tickets at House of James.

update January 30:
The play is doing well and many shows are sold out! Here is a picture of the almost-finished set as we were putting spatter/clear coat on the stage. Note the table in the foreground 😉

Rotten exterior door frame

Mrs. D. contacted me about a basement door that had been rotting. Her husband had started the job but not got around to finishing it. He had cut out much of the rotten wood in the frame, removed some brick mouldings, and purchased new ones. I brought almost every tool I have to cut out some more rotten parts, replaced them with fresh primed fir, and replaced the mouldings. There was also a phantom screen that had fallen off at some point. It was a bit tricky to re-install but I think it will stay!

It is definitely not one of my more beautiful jobs but it should weather the winter just fine.

Baseboards-by foot or by hour?

I recently installed baseboards in a couple of rooms (installed and caulked but not painted). They were on carpet, and the customer bought them and pre-painted them. I priced by the hour (150 feet took about 8 hours but that includes two transition strips too), and based on that I would say that if you are looking for pricing by the linear foot it would be $2/ft. I still prefer to charge by the hour, because it’s the corners that take the most time!


fancy pine shelves

Sandee had some leftover pine glue boards and I was tasked to make shelves out of them. More than just slabs, they were to have some details and a little protective dowel on the front. I whipped off 4 – 2 straight and 2 corner shelves. They took about 2 hours each. (For finishing I didn’t spend too much time on them, just a basic sanding and one coat of lacquer.) Fun carpentry!

Vertical Vinyl Siding

S and A were looking for a new look on their garage. They had done quite a lot of work on it over the years but it needed siding now. They ordered the materials and I came and figured out what to do:

Remove old soffit
Install new black soffit (all four sides)
Install horizontal siding on the top
Install fascia/belly boards (2×10) top and bottom
drip cap…
Window and door trim…
and finally the siding itself! I had never used vertical vinyl siding before, but it was kind of fun. (The customer did the 2 difficult sides behind the trees, thankfully)

Then they wanted a pergola. The dimensions given were: “Not too small, and not too big.” Luckily I found something close! It looks so good!