A bench

After making a bunch of the little Swedish footstools, I scaled the design up to a full-sized bench. This one looks awfully nice in my apartment. I’ll have to build another one, because this one and another one almost just like it are getting sold.

These are pictures from before they get painted or stained. One is now a bright cheddar orange and the other will have a cherry stain on the top and a red milk paint on the legs. I’ll have more pictures after they are all done and in their new homes.

In related news, I had my very first Etsy sale today! Happy Thanksgiving!

If you want to buy one of the little benches for yourself, visit my Etsy shop here.


Or, if you want something a little different, send me an email: stephen [at] stephenmaclellan.com

What to do

Seeing as how I have some extra time on my hands these days, not having a job and all, I’ve been trying to do something constructive with at least some of my time, besides sending out cover letters and resumes. Of course, I can come up with all kinds of good ideas that never make it into the light of day because they get sucked away by the evil, destructive forces of The Internet and The Spider Solitaire. I could have such an interesting life if I didn’t get drawn into these semi-mindless, repetitive time-fillers. And yet, there must be more of the internet out there that I missed! I can’t stop now!

Last week, I decided to build some more of the little Swedish stools I’ve talked about before. I made four of them, thinking, maybe someone will buy them on Etsy. I plan on eventually going into production mode and mass-producing them for Ikea (because they’re Swedish, Ikea is Swedish, I see some chemistry…) but I just can’t engineer the flat-pack, which is at the core of all Ikea designs. They’re obsessed with it. I also haven’t worked in any fiberboard or bolts for the ubiquitous Allen wrench that is mandatory with every Ikea furniture product. I’m working on it, though, so watch for them to appear in commercials sometime in the spring.

Here is a nice trio:

They’ve out in my parent’s garage with a first coat of paint, just waiting for some more. Then they’ll be waiting for some nice person (like you) to adopt them and take them home. Just look at their little tails wag. I think they like you!

Ms. H. has also helped me out, giving me little challenges in the last two days. Besides sending out a job application every day, I also have things I need to do. Yesterday there were two things: go someplace new and do something new. My new thing to do was to eat cabbage, which we got in our CSA share. It was pretty good, and purple. We always say that anything would taste pretty good if you sautee it in oil, but hey, who can argue with trying new vegatables. My new place to go was Middlesex Fells, a big chunk of land north of Medford with miles and miles of trails. I hiked up a hill with an old stone tower on it and a nice view of Boston. Clearly, many other people think it’s a nice view, too, because they left all their Coors Light boxes, cigarette butts, and broken bottles up there until they come back to get them. The tower was locked, of course, and someone spray painted "HELL IS REAL JESUS IS SAWIOR" on the door, just so we know. It may be the woods, but it is an urban woods.

The other way I kept it all interesting and new for myself was that I walked there. And not just straight there from our apartment, but all crookedly, going out to Arlington first on the bike path and then cutting back northeast to Medford. All told, I walked 13 miles yesterday, which is a lot. It wouldn’t get me quite to Fitchburg if I was HDT, but it’s a start.

A home for things!

After finally comandeering a car large enough to transport this behemoth, it is here, in my apartment! There was a ding to one of the doors while getting it into the elevator, but that can be painted and it just gives it some character.

It is fun to see it all done and in the space, after thinking about it in my head for all this time. I started designing it back at the beginning of June, and I’ve been working on it off and on since then. I started by seeing how big my stereo and cd player were, and worked around these dimensions. Then I made a picture in SketchUp, to be able to turn the thing around in 3D.

And the design has come some since then. It got doors, more drawers, and different legs. I was originally thinking of making the legs with pipes for a kind of modern look. We saw a table that had pipe and plumbing part legs at the Full Moon resturaunt in Huron Village, and I thought that was pretty cool and tried to incorporate it into this project. In the end, it didn’t seem right for this, but it will probably happen with something, eventually.

Look, there’s stuff inside!

And records, too! 

We now have an entire extra bookshelf in one of the cases, which I filled up immediately, mostly just shifting things around, but there were a lot of books sitting in piles around the apartment. We have a lot of books. 

When you have too much stuff

you just need to build more places to put it all, right?

It would seem that’s the theory I am working with. I’m almost (almost, almost, almost) finished with a media cabinet/credenza/sideboard to hold the stereo, cd player, record player, and records, plus whatever else we can fit in it. That will open up a lot of desperately-needed bookshelf space, a valuable commodity, indeed.

The picture above is an in-process picture, before I built the doors or painted anything. I’ll be finished in the next couple of afternoons, after I put the final coat of paint on the doors and drawer fronts, put stops behind the drawers, coat the top with polyacrylic, screw the knobs onto the drawers and doors, and attach the hinges. A mere nothing. This has been a slow project, with many steps.

Almost done, though. Almost done. 

Making some more things…

So, it has been a while since I have posted anything up here. There has been a lot of general busyness, but now I have some down time until my next job starts, so I can make some new things.

After making that first little stool, which was a present for a friend, I decided to make another one. It’s only a couple of hours and not too much money, so why not? You can always use a little stool, right? This one is almost entirely the same design, just a different side apron design, a little fancier.



Little project…

Last week, I was working on a little stool for Heather, and it is almost done. I just need to finish sanding it, and then I think she is going to paint it some nice color. The design is based off of a 100-year-old pattern from the Naas model series, and was in Swedish. These patterns were used in a late 1800s Swedish educational program for woodworking called Sloyd. For me, it was a good excuse to practice some handtool skills and play around.

A view of the sliding dovetail that connects each of the two legs to the seat of the stool. In the end, this joint gets covered with the horizontal cross-piece.

A detail of the decoration on the legs, before it gets sanded…