Category Archives: paint/stain

Drop Down Desk Drawer Delight


With my ever-loving wife, “Anne” (not her real name), on sabbatical, I get to see her working on her laptop at home. Not many people actually put their laptop on their lap and Anne is no exception. She had been complaining about royal pains in her back and neck and arm. One look at her sitting at the desk explained everything.

Her laptop was resting on top of her Queen Anne (no relation) cherry desk, which meant that her arms were angled upward against the edge of the desk so her hands could reach the keyboard. That’s a fine recipe for pain in all sorts of places right there. I tell you what.

Center drawer of Queen Anne desk
Center drawer of Queen Anne desk

The large center drawer was at just the right height for the laptop so I set about figuring out how to cut off the drawer front so the laptop could sit in the drawer.

We had built that desk from a kit that we bought in a (literal) fire sale many years ago. The insurance company was selling everything from a warehouse that had caught on fire and the prices were pretty good. Putting the desk together ages ago somehow gave me the impression it was OK for me to take a saw to it now.

Drawer front cut off
Drawer front cut off

I used the table saw and the miter saw to cut off the drawer front. I pulled out the little cutoff piece of the bottom from the slot in the drawer front and glued in a new piece of hardwood to fill the slot.

My plan was to use a brass piano hinge to join the front to the bottom so that you could tip the front down and back up. The bottom of the drawer, however, was a thin piece of plywood so I glued Continue reading Drop Down Desk Drawer Delight

Stain pain; plaque attack

Skill levelskill2

Apparently we live in a historically significant house because our Fair City said we could buy a bronze plaque that said something to that effect, which we did. My ever-loving wife, “Victoria” (not her real name), was excited because she likes awards, gold stars, and such as. (If you are not familiar with the phrase, “and such as,” the following video will be educational. Please show a little respect and try to keep a straight face.)

Attack the plaque

I had always vaguely wondered how those big metal plaques were (permanently!) attached to the walls, especially brick walls like ours. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen a bronze plaque fall off the wall of the First National Bank (motto: “Greed is good”) downtown. Not to take anything away from Super Glue, which I’m sure is a very fine product, but we were going to need something a little more heavy duty. The plaque came with four bolts about 3″ long that screwed into the back side. After marking the four spots on the wall (two in mortar and two in brick due to the bolt spacing) I used a 3/8″ masonry bit to drill holes about 3″ deep. The bolts were 3/16″ in diameter so that left some wiggle room in each hole.

The secret is epoxy

Here’s the fun part. One of the most closely guarded secrets for home repairs is epoxy. I think the NSA (No Such Agency) is totally in the dark on this one. Victoria and I were introduced to epoxy when we were helping someone repair a racing shell and then we used it to repair the blisters on the bottom of our sailboat. You can form it into any shape and sand it to perfection after it dries. It is hard and permanent. Continue reading Stain pain; plaque attack