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"New" Jet Jointer and DeWalt Planer - It's a very Merry Christmas indeed!

Thursday, December 22, 2016
I mentioned in my previous post how I had a $400 budget to buy some tools for my shop.  I bought a $150 jointer and all I needed was a planer!  I searched endlessly on Craigslist and even looked at several planers that didn't make the cut.  I was so grateful when I had first dibs on a beautifully taken care of DeWalt Planer for $400 (I went over budget, lol).  It came with the stand, extension tables and even a Wixey digital depth gauge.

I was so relieved to actually have this tool in my possesion that I called my husband on the road and started crying, haha.  I think I worried him with the crying and he said I shouldn't call him like that and scare him at work. 😂


Guess what else the guy was selling?  A Jet jointer in great condition that I was drooling over!  I was already thinking about selling the Rockwell jointer I just fixed up so I thought if I could hurry and sell it then I could buy his jointer.

I listed the Rockwell and sold it the SAME day!  Guys were clamoring to buy it and it took me by a huge surprise - one guy was about to drive 2 hours to pick it up but I already had someone on their way.  I kept thinking "am I missing something?"  My only regret was that I should have listed it for more than $400!

 I sent my husband that night to buy the Jet for $500... just $100 more than the Rockwell-I couldn't believe it!

It sounds and runs amazingly smooth compared to the Rockwell!  I am completely happy!

These are my 3 big shop tools now.  I feel content.  I currently have a bandsaw, drill press and lathe on my list but I'll need to make and sell a few furniture pieces to get the money.  I also need to clean and organize my side of the garage and get the dust collector hooked up better to the tools.  First things first though - we need more outlets in the garage with higher amperage because the 2 that we have keep tripping!  Grrr!

Rockwell 37-220 6" Jointer Makeover + Caster Base & Push Blocks

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
My husband gave me a budget of $400 to buy some shop tools.  I've been wanting a jointer and a planer for a few years and it's been on my mind a lot recently.  I was excited and started looking on Craigslist hourly for a deal to pop up.  When I saw this older Rockwell jointer it spoke to me and I simply had to have it!


While the guy was testing it out with a block of Ash I brought I could tell he was in trouble.  He was working really hard to push the board across the blades and it eventually kicked out and flung across the room and the palm of his hand hit the blades (he didn't check the depth of cut and it was way too deep)!  His hand was bleeding everywhere so he wrapped a big towel around it.  My stomach was up in knots from what just happened and it made me second guess buying it.  I knew once I got it adjusted and cleaned up it would be safe.

 I loaded the tiny little beast into my pick-up truck mini van and away I went!

Of course I couldn't wait for my husband to come home to help unload it so I fixed up a way I could slide it out onto a dolly.  It's heavier then it looks and the edges of the tables are sharp!

I'm happy to show you how I disassembled everything because it became a stressful process as I realized the tables weren't as easy to remove as people were saying jointer tables generally are: "loosen the gib screws and the tables should literally fall off".  Not with this one!

But first - my favorite part - BEFORE and AFTER pictures!


No more chickens!

 We sold our chickens!  I'm sure it's hard to believe if you've followed my recent posts!  It came down to the amount of work and money we were putting into them without much of a payoff (I still had to buy eggs to supplement what we were getting).


 It felt so good to get the coop to the front of the house.  The buyers purchased everything as a package deal; coop, run, feed bin, fencing, chickens, etc.

Here's some pictures just for fun:



(My son feeding the chickens with a box on his head, haha!)

 They sold a total of 3 dozen eggs over a few months (we hardly ever had any to spare)!

 My youngest son LOVED to sneak out of the house and walk down to see the chickens.




I'm officially no longer "the chicken lady" and I have no regrets going through the motions of having chickens.  It was a good experience and I think we'll probably have chickens again in the future when they can be 100% free range and forage more for their food.

Do you know what's really exciting!?  My husband let me have some of the money from selling them so I could buy some woodshop tools I've really been wanting.  Consequently, the next post or two will be about my new tools - lucky you!

DIY Tutorial for Applying Gallery Glass to Windows

Sunday, December 18, 2016
You now how it is... standing outside someone's door after you ring the doorbell and there's a window right by your face.  Do you peak inside to see if they're home?

We have windows that wrap around our entire front door and I don't like knowing that anyone could be peaking in at any moment.  I didn't want to cover the windows with curtains or blinds because I wanted to preserve how much of the natural light comes inside.

DIY Tutorial - Steps on Decorating a Tree + Tips

Tuesday, December 13, 2016
Welcome to Part 4 of my Christmas Tree Ornament Posts - the finale!

In this post I'll show you the steps I took to decorate our tree.  I also have a few tips I followed that really made a difference!

Here's a few close-ups:



Did you see my previous posts about how I made many of our ornaments?
Part 3 - Acorn Ornaments (Garland Option) + Pine Cone Ornaments

I wanted to make my own ornaments to cut down on cost and so I could create exactly what I wanted.  I enjoy using what I already have (in the house and from our yard) and I'm not a fan of bright and colorful - so natural was the way to go (as much as possible).

Gather all your ornaments and get ready!

Let me tell you a little bit about what I have.

I bought 2 spools of wired-ribbon from Costco for around $7 each (great deal - you get a ton)!  The 3rd smaller spool was after I took the ribbon off the tree from the 1st time I decorated it and wound them up together.  I probably used less than half a spool each for my whole tree.

The flowers and glittery sprigs were from the Dollar Store (I used Modge Podge spray to keep the glitter from peeling off).   Those wispy-feathery things are actually from the tall grasses in our front yard!

...use what'cha got, right!?  Small branches and twigs would also work well.

I got the glittery tree topper (hard to see) from Hobby Lobby for around $9 and the large snowflakes from the Dollar Store (again, I sprayed Modge Podge on these because they were already starting to peel).

 And yes, ANOTHER Dollar Store find were these large orbs!  They're really thin plastic but they're better than the glass bulbs I was contemplating putting on the tree (maybe in a few years when kids aren't playing with the tree).  I'm 95% sure these are stock from last year because I went to 5 different stores trying to find more and they all had other (cheaper looking) plastic ones.

Acorn-jute garland.

 Pine cones with feathers.

 Twine balls.

 Wood slices with photograph transfers.

 Cornstarch snowflakes.

Most people use pipe cleaners for attaching ribbon to the tree but I had these evergreen wires already on hand.  You'll want scissors for cutting ribbon.

Clear the space around your tree and put some Christmas tunes on!

Just a little information about our tree.  I got it last year from the thrift store and was surprised it was only $10 because it looked amazing and high-quality!  Now that I've decorated it I can see a few reasons why it's not ideal.  Where the top attaches to the base the branches are VERY sparse (see picture).  The individual branches are about 3"-across so it's hard to put them through ornament loops and because the branches are so wide there's not very many to hang ornaments from.

If your tree isn't pre-lit, add lights now.  I used 2 strands of LED lights I bought at Costco.

The first time I decorated this tree (a few weeks ago) I spiraled & twisted the ribbon around.  It didn't fill in all the areas I wanted and I thought I would try the 'cascading method' this time and I LOVE it so much better!

You will essentially be tying your ribbon off on the top 1/3 of your tree and bubbling it out over your branches and pushing it inside your tree, bubbling it out, etc.  You tie your ribbons off by rolling your ribbon ends over half of a pipe cleaner...

... and pinching it down over a branch where you want your ribbons to start (on the inside of your tree).

Most places where I pushed my ribbons in to create a bubble the branches held it in place just fine, but where my branches were sparse I had to clamp the ribbon with a pipe cleaner to keep it in place.

 When you want to end your ribbon you can fold it in half and cut from the fold down at an angle to create pretty ends.


 The biggest tip I can say to getting the ribbon looking right is start and end in different places around your tree and don't have the 'bubbles' going in/out at the same places around the tree.

 Next I spiral-wrapped my garland around the tree.

It was surprised how good it looks just like this!

 To create dimension on your tree add ornaments INSIDE the branches.  It makes it more interesting.  This was the best use for my twine balls because they slip right over the lights and I'd have enough branches for hanging my other ornaments.

 See the difference with the light inside (left) vs just hanging (right)?  It's amazing how they light up!

 I turned the lights on for this step but I find it easier to place ornaments with the lights off.

 Next I added my large orbs and made sure to stagger where I put them since they stand out so much.

These ornaments stand out because they're blocks of white so I added them next to ensure I could place them where they worked best.

I added my pinecones by altering between laying them inside the branches and hanging them from the edges of the tree.  They grab onto the branches well so the ones laying down will stay in place.

I added all my photograph ornaments.  I had so many there's one on practically every branch! :)

I kept my large snowflakes for last so I could fill in any dead space.  Remember my tree is very sparse with it's branches?  These snowflakes nestled right into the tree without needing a hanger.  See the difference?!  Thank goodness for huge ornaments.

 It's coming along!

I added a handful of the wispy sprig-things from our yard in random places around the tree where it needed more filler.

The last and crowning moment is adding the sprigs, flowers and tree topper at the top!  My snowflake topper didn't fit over our huge branches so I used one of the evergreen wires to tie it on the top, ha!  I added the wispy things around and adjusting as I thought it needed.

Here's some close-up shots:









Here's the tree at night:


It feels good to be done!

I love seeing the tree, especially as we pull up to the house at night.

I'm so glad it all came together so well... and although there were some hiccups along the way at least I ironed them out for you! :)

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

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