Ralph's Latest Posts

Jenga – for big kids

| December 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

Jenga for Big Kids.

This set is for big kids and is great for parties. This is very simple to make.
Made from 2 x 4s and I applied Johnson’s Paste Wax on each of the 63 pieces to make it easier for them to slide out.
With 63 pieces of wood, you end with a stack 31 1/2 inches high. The pieces are stacked by 3s for each row and end up with 21 rows.


8 – 2 x 4s (actual dimensions of 2 x4 is 1 1/2″ x 3 1/5″)
sandpaper 220 grit
Johnson’s Paste Wax (yellow can)

Miter saw or circular saw
Orbital sander or sanding block
Trim Router with 1/8″ round over bit or you can use a sanding block round over each of the 4 edges on all 63 pieces.

The build is very easy. Just very repetitive. Make sure when you purchase you 2 x4’s from the home store or you favorite lumber yard that you check each one. You want to have straight boards and make sure there are no chips or tear outs in the boards.

Each piece is 10 1/2″s long. I would suggest putting a stop block on you miter saw. This will help speed up the process of cutting all the pieces so you do not have stop and measure every time.


Once all the pieces are cut, sand all the pieces with 220 grit and then use a trim router or sanding block to round over all the edges. Once this is completed, I applied one coat of paste wax to each piece.

Completed set. 63 pieces in all. Here you get sense of the size of the set. 31 1/2 Inches tall.

IMG_0491 IMG_0493 IMG_0494

Music and woodworking

| December 3, 2015 | 0 Comments

Music and Woodworking

Do they go together? Sure they do just like a mortise and tenon.

I have read a lot of different woodworking blogs and websites and I really do not recall anyone really mentioning music while they are out in the shop other then a few times the Wood Whisperer when Marc talked about his wireless headphones. Which are by the way very cool and I need to get a pair. As side note, check out the Wood Whisperer, Marc has a great site and a lot awesome videos. I can only wish I had the time and the resources for my site to be as informative as Marc’s.

I listen to a lot different types of music while out in the shop. Depending what task I am doing at the time will dictate the genre of music I am listening to.

For example if I am putting some sort of finish on the project I just completed, I will usually listen to 80’s hits or 90’s country.
I am big Garth Brooks fan and as far as the 80’s, I grew up in the 80’s and like the music. To me both help me to focus on what I am doing and more importantly have fun while doing something I really do not enjoy doing. I rather mill and build rather then apply a finish on project. It not that I do not want to this, but it is the apply and wait and apply again and wait for that to dry. I could be doing a lot of things while the finish is drying, but I have a small shop and have really no room to have a separate area for finishing projects. I will sing along as I am working at times which is if you are near by, it can be hard on the ears lol.

I am also a big 90’s Alternative grunge band fan. Green Day, Nirvana, Blind Melon are a few of my favorites to name a few. I usually listen to this while I am planning out my cuts or while actually milling the lumber for the current project. I usually wear my head phones with my ear muffs over top. This really helps to drown out the noises of the machines. Mostly the shop vac.

Does anyone else listen to music out in the shop and have specific genres of music they listen to? Or I am just a weird?

Beer Tote

| November 23, 2015 | 0 Comments

My Version of the beer tote.

Beer Tote

Here is the beer / Pop (Soda Pop) depending on from what part of the country you are from :), I made as Christmas gifts.

I found the instructions on Pinterest. The bottle opener (“Open Here” Cast Iron Wall Mount Bottle Opener Vintage Look Replica) are from Amazon. Clicking on the link will take you directly to the set of 8 that I purchased. There are many options you can choose from. I chose the Cast Iron Wall Bottle opener because it was a better fit for the rustic look I was going for.


1 – 1 x 6 x 8 (actual 3/4 X 5 1/2″) Pine or whatever you would like to use.
1 – 1/4 pine plywood – Home stores sell 36″ x 36″ Used to cute 1″ x 10″ pieces.
4 – 2 inch screws
Wood Glue
2″ Brad nails – Used to attach the slats to the side.
1/2″ dowel rod for the handle.
steel wool
white vinegar

Compound Miter saw
Router (Optional) – Used my Ridgid trim router to round over all the edges. You can easily use sand paper to do this as well.
Drill bits – 1/2″ , #8 drill bit with counter sink.
The build process is pretty easy. I would suggest if you are going to make a few of them, I would make a template for the ends as well as a jig for cutting plywood for the separators.

The finish is nothing more than Steel Wool and White Vinegar. I took about 1/4 of piece of #0000 steel wool and about half cup of white vinegar and put it in a mason jar the let it sit for a day or so. Once I was happy with the color, I took the steel wool out and then poured it into another mason jar. I did use a paint filter to filter out some of the finer pieces of steel wool. Then used a foam brush to apply it.

Next Steps for Custom Wood Workshop

| November 20, 2015 | 0 Comments

What is happening with Custom Wood Workshop?

The closing was probably not the correct word I should have used.  The site still remains up and I am planning on adding back my pictures of completed projects.

With that said, I do have another project I am working on. Building an entertainment center for my basement.  While building the entertainment center, I had thought that has led me to keeping this up and running.

The thought or should say issue is this.  I had purchased a plan for the entertainment center and after spending several hours reviewing it, checking it for errors, etc .. I realized it was horrible and not worth the money I spent on it.

So, this gave me the idea of reviewing purchased woodworking plans and publishing them here for everyone to read so that you can you make your own judgement about purchasing plans.  I have used many plans in the past that were okay and worked for what I needed, but none have compared to the latest one I purchased.

Make sure to come back as I start posting the reviews of the plans I have used in the past as well as tips for creating your own.  It really is not that hard to create your own. But sometimes you don’t have the time to.