Planning Another Heart Pine Furniture Project

We've got a few southern heart pine beams left over from our dining room table.

We’ve got a few southern heart pine beams left over from our dining room table.

Christy and I are fast approaching our five year anniversary in April. It’s our first big one and we’re pretty stoked. It really doesn’t seem that long ago that we were married in the backyard of our crazy old house. The stress of getting everything ready for that day was nuts, and the place hardly looks like the same home today. I’m extra excited about this anniversary because the traditional gift is wood. That gives me an opportunity to build something awesome for my lovely wife.

The beams you see in the photo above are left over from our heart pine dining room table build from a while back. I had intended the two thick beams on the bottom of the stack to be a bench for one side of the table, but never got around to it. Christy has asked for a butcher block island for the kitchen and I think these beams will make a really great butcher block top. They’re 2.5″x6″ and are 66″ long, so there are a couple of different options for making them into a butcher block. First, and much more simply, I could cut them in half and sit the four boards side by side for a table top very similar to our dining table. The way I’d like to do it is a little different and I think will take more work.

I’m thinking of milling the boards into perfect rectangles and then slicing them into three inch sections. The sections could then be glued together into a butcher block with only end-grain showing, like in many of the cutting boards you see in boutique stores these days. This could be really awesome. Look how tight the wood grain in the beams is. You only get that tight pattern in really solid old wood. These beams were cut directly from the center of huge old pine trees over a hundred years ago. The trees were likely a couple hundred years old at least when they were cut. I like to think that they were growing during the great moments in American history, all the way back to the signing of the Declaration. Nerdy stuff, but I like it.

If I end up making this butcher block table like I’m planning, it will only have screws attaching the butcher block to the table itself. Everything else will be joined with glue and old-fashioned wood joinery techniques. It will be an exciting few months trying to get this done on time. Thanks for reading. -Robby

Posted in Better than store bought, Dining Room, DIY, Food, Furniture, Heart Pine, Home Built, Repurposed, Tools and Techniques, Woodworking | Leave a comment

Turn an Old Ladder into a Wall Pot Rack – DIY

Cost, Skills, Tools: The cost of this job can vary greatly based on how and where you find the materials. We spent fifty bucks on the set of antique solid copper pots at an auction. The ladder section came from the same ladder we used on our hanging ladder pot rack and our ladder book shelf, so it was free from our neighbor. I’ve seen ladders like this in antique shops priced at a hundred dollars, so shop around or look for a free one. I had some copper roofing nails and clear coat finish left over from earlier jobs, so the total cost of this job for us was fifty dollars. If you try it, I’d love to hear how much you had to spend. I used a drill/driver to mount the rack and a saw to cut the original ladder.

Old House Crazy - DIY - Antique Ladder Wall Pot Rack - 01

Five antique copper pots that are in need of some polish.

Instructions: In the photo above, you see the set of five solid copper pots that we bought at an auction. They nest inside one another and are really heavy. As you can tell, they were really tarnished and kind of nasty when we bought them, so we needed to clean them up if we were going to display them in the house. I used copper polish that I bought at the hardware store, some hot water, and some elbow grease to clean them up. It took about an hour of scrubbing to get them shiny, but they turned out incredibly. Copper is such a beautiful metal.

Old House Crazy - DIY - Antique Ladder Wall Pot Rack - 02

A little work and some polish goes a long way.

You can see in the photo above just how nicely the pots cleaned up. The largest pot is the only one that is damaged. You can see a crack on the right side of the pot. It could be repaired so the pot could be used, but we really bought these pots for decoration, so we’re going to leave it as it is.

Old House Crazy - DIY - Antique Ladder Wall Pot Rack - 03

After I cut the ladder into a three foot section, I simply had to sand it a little and paint on a single coat of clear gloss polyurethane. After that, I used a couple of L-brackets to mount the ladder into the wall above one of the doorways in our kitchen. The pots are hung from the top of the ladder using copper roofing nails that I hammered into pre-drilled holes. As DIY projects go, this one was really simple and easy so you should give it a try. We are using this as decoration, but you could easily use something like this in a lower spot and hang the pots you use every day.

Other Projects with Ladders:

With a single antique ladder, we were able to make three complete pieces for our home. We’ve even got a four-foot section left over for something else. If you’ve got questions or comments, or you’d like to use our photos or ideas on your site or in your publication, contact us at . Thanks for reading. -Robby

Hanging Ladder Pot Rack

Old House Crazy - Ladder Pot Rack 01

Ladder Corner Bookshelf

Old House Crazy - Antique Ladder Book Shelf - 14

Posted in Better than store bought, DIY, Eco Friendly, Furniture, Home Built, Home made, ladder, Old Hardware, Recycled, Repurposed | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Help Us Use These Old Nails


We’ve got this 2.5-quart bucket full of rusty old nails that were pulled out of the wood we turned into our dining room tableshelf, and photo shelves. I’ve thought about using them for a crafty DIY project but I haven’t really figured out what to do. They can’t be re-used strictly as nails, so I figure they’ve got to be incorporated into something else. My ideas are to pour some clear plastic or epoxy over them and into some type of mold to make coasters or trivets or build them into a picture frame. What are your thoughts? Any ideas on what I should do? Should I clean them up or leave them rusty?

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