Thursday, July 5, 2012

hi, my name is callie, and i built something

Every time I walked into the sunroom today, I wore my triumphant smile of happiness to see this gorgeous newly built trunk winking back at me:

I have completed my biggest tornado wood project yet (you can see the first three here, here, and here), in what might possibly be the first piece of furniture that I've built (I'm not really sure if it should count as furniture??)! It's so gorgeous that it whispered to me that I should put some of the finished photos first this time:

Take no notice of the man behind the curtain ugly room - I've done really nothing to it since we moved in (which is about to change! shh) and I actually cannot move this trunk by myself very easily, since it's three feet wide :D Look at those yummy weathered boards.

My inspiration for this trunk was to have somewhere to house all the miscellaneous cat items littering the sunroom when they're not used (I have somehow grown an assortment for various cat ages):

That is cat stuff underneath my shade project and a chair I plan to reupholster! The cat stuff was everywheres:

Nowwww it all fits right here!!

I'm not stopping fostering, but the idea is that I can rotate supplies so what's currently not in use has a pretty hiding place. Vast. Improvement.

I do have in progress photos for me you to enjoy seeing it come together! Somehow I put it together all at night, though, so fair warning that the lighting/colouring in the following photos is way weird.

1. Plan, cut, sand, stain, poly: This was the lonnngest step (which I knew from past projects it would be). I figured out what size I wanted, bought some chunky hardware from Lowe's to inspire self, and made this plan:

I have no idea why I wanted my top and bottom boards to be an inch longer than the sides. I puzzled over that for awhile last night before I just cut all my 37" boards back to 36" boards for assembly. Haha. After doing some tests to see how my different stains looked on the boards, I chose one light coat of Early American by Minwax, followed by 2 good coats of water-based polyurethane (I wanted it to have a little more protection, thus the poly).

2. Finally, when everything was ready to assemble last night, I busted out our screwdriver/drill - because this is a lot of screws, folks - (drill was awesome wedding present back in the day from Kelly Isaacson!) and got to work, after laying the wood out a bunch of different ways to see what I liked. It was kind of like a 3D jigsaw puzzle, because even though I'd made good cuts, each board has its own 'character' after its long fence life. I used flat screws spray painted oil rubbed bronze for the top and bottom:

Then I did the front and back, attaching them to my corner posts, and attached one side board to each (front and back) to give some stability for my connecting all the pieces. For all the sides, I used these cool pocket screws, which are for some other kind of wood purpose, but I liked the extra character they gave:

At this point I had enough stability, with the two side boards added, to screw the bottom onto my corner posts. It might look like I overdid it on the screws, but I wanted stability and sturdiness for my old boards :)

Oh then I added the other two sides, as you can see above! At this point I for some reason had that terrible moment like when you're in the middle of a haircut and you think "what have I done?! this will look terrible!" because it totally looked like some kind of short vintage coffin to me at this point. Ack. Oh well, I pressed on - finished the other side, then the lid and handles, and phew, it doesn't look like a coffin once completed! ;)

(You can see the sawdust in the above photo from where I'd just finished adding the handles.)

3. After completion - remember those 37" boards that I cut down to 36" at the last minute? I brushed all the showing board ends with dark walnut stain. I love how it gives the edges a little more depth. I shall save your weary finger from scrolling back up to notice the darkened edges:

And now you can really see how funny that night lighting was, because here it is again in its true daylight colour:

It really fit together surprisingly well, especially considering the individual 'character' of the boards. It closes with a nice solid thunk, because the slats that hold the top boards together are inset from the edges just the right amount to nestle between the front and back sides (reference my unintelligible Plan above).

Really, this tornado wood is ruining me for more boring woods. I can't help loving all the knots and bumps and lines. Behold one of my favorites:

Love. Now hopefully I will be inspired to paint the sunroom this weekend! (And make plans for tornado wood in another room of the house??? This makes the 4th room!)


  1. Wow! You've done a wonderful job making use of your tornado wood. Am curious to see color scheme ideas for the sunroom =)

  2.  This trunk is absolutely beautiful!!!! I am amazed, Callie-girl! The ability to imagine/plan, then the patience to stain and purchase the right hardware, THEN actually putting it together!  I loooove it (and am inconsolably sad that I do not live close enough to also make one as it would look so lovely nearby the antique spinning wheel in the living room!)!  As you talk about your love for the bumps and knots of the tornado wood I can't help but think of Grandmarie and how she loved antique-y wooden things all the more for their bumps and knots!

  3. I come here for all my ideas. I never thought I'd have a use for all my crapped up fence pieces in the backyard. This looks great.

  4. This is absolutely fantastic!  I want to make a bunch of these now! Thanks for the great inspiration!  
    You always have such wonderful projects, ideas, & makeovers on your blog which just makes visiting that much more fun. I’ve nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award. You can check out all the info on my blog. Congratulations!

  5. So sweet. Loving the tornado wood projects.

  6. Aw thanks! Your blog looks cool!

  7. Hey that's great! That's a lot of why I blog and read blogs, for the fun ideas. It helps motivate me :) I'd love to see what you do with the wood in your yard if you end up using it for a project!

  8. Yay thanks Mum! Yes it's too bad we can't work together, that would def make the hours of sanding/staining/sealing go a whole lot faster! I love that Grandmarie loved antique-y wooden things with their bumps and knots :) I must have inherited that!

  9. Woohoo thanks Orchid! I'm excited about the sunroom now. Working on re-doing those cabinets today... *_*


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