Staircase Storage Ideas

Even though you have a lot of storage areas in your home and the garage, it never seems to be enough! But have you ever thought about the space underneath or in your stairs? Well, let us show you the possibilities!

We know sometimes it could be impossible due to the design of the house and stairs but, here are some space-saving ideas that could be implemented someplace else around the house.

Walk-in Sitting Area and Storage

You walk into your home and you have school bags, jackets, hats, scarfs muddy shoes and keys in hand. You just need a place to organize everything, separate what you’ll need the next day and what leave at the door so it doesn’t get the whole house dirty. Avoid crowding the floor and entrance by organizing everything in a storage area underneath the stairs.

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In-stair Storage

Have you thought of the space left inside the stairs? Sometimes a vacant square can become a perfect storage for extra pillows, seasonal shoes or extra towels for the guest restroom! Either by making the stairs themselves small drawers where you can store sandals while winter boots are being used or store your tennis shoes after the evening walk with the dog. Maybe design the whole stairway so they double as drawers and cabinets to store coats and jackets.

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Wood Planters

Maybe, instead of storage you would like to grow some veggies but lack the space. These vertical planters can sprout some life into your home. This easy steps can show you how to make a great stair planter for the porch, Stair Riser Planter Garden. Make then short, make then tall and grow delicious fruits and veggies for everyone to eat.

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Wood Carving 101

Woodworking is one of the oldest arts or humankind. From early-men using spears and attaching stone points, creating utensils, architecture and ultimately carving pieces or art. All around the world different cultures mastered this art creating stunning statues, pieces of furniture, boats, buildings and more. Woodcarving is defined as the action or skill of carving wood to make a functional or ornamental object.

Carving tools include:

  • Knives220px-Carvingknives
  • Chisel
  • Gouges11WCC-5-1
  • Malletscarvingmallet
  • For carving in the round, rasps and files are used as well and can be very helpful. 861683ea5539174d741f22d5667f1c72

Gouges

These come in various shapes and are categorized by their width and sweep -the amount of curvature on the edge, and they can be available in shot and long handles. Below are the basic categories but there can be different variations among them.

chisels and gauges
  • Straightstraight gauges
  • Bentbent gauge
  • Fishtail
  • Back Bent back bent gauge
  • Spoonspoon gauge
  • V-gouges

When you want to start a project we recommend is to first choose what you’ll like to make and then buy the tools for it -insteadn of buying some tools and then not using some and needing others. Below are the most common ways or woodcarving, you can incorporate different styles into your project or just follow one. To start, you can watch this video with tips for beginners.

  • Chip Carving 
  • Relief Carving221a06533dba49b3913906415922a0ba
  • Carving in the Round/ Caricature Carving/ Sculpture3eae6894ed43b3a96921fcf0020f3c69

How to start carving

If you have already had some experience with woodworking some of these points may sound familiar, for example, carving with the grain. Its easier to start by following the longitudinal lines of the wood. In the video below you can see how moving your tool very little on ta left to right movement and pushing forward will help you get more control.

Removing Water Stains in Wood

It’s happened to everyone. The condensation on your kid’s water cup has left a ring stain from the day before. Or, maybe you bumped into your beautiful mesquite coffee table and the cup of coffee spilled a little but it was enough to leave a stain; even hot dishes can betray you and leave white marks.
Maybe, all these scenarios are not relatable because you take well care of your wood surfaces and use coasters and tablecloths all the time because your wise momma taught you well. In this case, say you restore furniture as DIY projects and you may be dealing with old stains of who-knows-what! Here is a compilation of some house remedies to try.

water-stains-on-table

These 1-5 steps are a couple of the home remedies -because who wants to go to the store if you have what you need in your our pantry. We recommend to try them in order; if the first doesn’t work, then move on to the next.

1. Heat

If the “crime scene” is recent meaning that this stain is from the same day or, at the most, a week then, you can place a thick, clean towel on top of the stain. With the use of your iron, set to a low-to-medium setting, press over the towel for a couple of seconds. Make sure the iron doesn’t touch the wood because then we will have to deal with burn damage -and you don’t want to make more trouble for your self. The gentle heat will release the moisture into the towel. Check underneath the towel to see the results, you can repeat as needed until the stain disappears. Finish by polishing and fluffing the surface with your usual wood cleaner/polish.

2. Mayo

Yes, mayonnaise will not only make your sandwich delicious but it will get read of those unsightly water rings.
Apply a generous amount of mayo over the damaged wood and let it rest for 10 minutes. Wipe clean with a damp rag and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

3. Toothpaste

With this method, you have to be precise. Spreading the toothpaste beyond the actual mark may leave a stain of itself. Dab and wipe the toothpaste without leaving it too much time on the wood surface,
These are the steps: with the use of a regular white toothpaste, not the gel kind, squeeze a dab of it in a rag and follow the stains shape.

4. Baking Soda

Mix equal parts of baking soda and water in a small bowl, 1/2 or a 1/4 teaspoon will do. Wet the corner of a cotton rag and gently rub over the water stains until they are gone. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

5. Salt and water

Make a salt paste by mixing one teaspoon salt with a few drops of water. Apply the paste to the stain and gently rub it in with a cotton cloth until the mark is gone. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

 

The last one is recommended in a couple of websites, but you must be careful as it is a paint thinner and too much can damage your wood finish.

6. Mild solvent

Before using it directly on the stain, test how your wood furniture will react to the paint thinner. Test first on an underside, back or inside area of the furniture. Using a soft cloth, rub gently with the paint thinner. If it dissolves the finish then don’t use it in the stain, if it doesn’t affect the surface you can go ahead and use it in the water stain. Wipe clean and finish off with your usual wood cleaner/ polish.

Knot Just Wood

Knots on wood pieces add character and give an attractive look. The wood grain creates waves around the knot as the tree or branch grew wider, giving each knot a different appearance depending on its position and how much the wood grew around or on top of it.

Item 126B – 3″ x 19 1/4″ – 42 1/2″ Slab

Item 126B – 3″ x 19 1/4″ – 42 1/2″ Slab

Knots are imperfections of a tree caused when branched grows out of them. Sometimes branches fall off and the tree grows around it. There are two main types of knots, live knots, and dead knots. You can find more knot categories here.

Most likely you can identify the difference by just looking at them, but first, let’s identify the difference of how these two are made on a tree.

Live knots are from branches that were alive when the tree was cut. They are also known as Sound, Spike or Tight knots because the fivers of the wood are largely intergrown with those of the surrounding wood.

Live knot

Image by wunderwoods.files.wordpress.com

Dead knots also known as Unsound or Loose knots are those where branches were cut or fell off the tree long before the tree was cut down. As the tree grew, it covered the knot, sometimes you can see a bark ring of encased knots. These knots are loosely attached and some are likely to fall out once the wood is sawn into boards.

Dead knot

Image by wunderwoods.files.wordpress.com

 

Live knots and dead knots image on Faifer and Co. edge slab

Live knots and dead knots image on Faifer and Co. edge slab.

For this reason, when working with wood that has dead knots you have to know how to fix them or work around them. Follow this link about Understanding & working with wood defects by Woodworking Network for tips on how to deal with and use knots in your next wood project.

Woodturning Blanks for the Craftsman

Woodturning is a unique skill that requires patience and, most importantly, vision. From identifying the piece of wood you want to use to figure out what you want to do, and finally visualizing the object.

Woodturning is simply the craft of creating wood pieces, either for decoration or for their day-to-day use, utilizing a lathe. A lathe is a machine for shaping wood, or other materials, by means of a rotating the piece being worked on, on one axis. With the use of different tools, a craftsman can carb into the rotating piece and create various outcomes.

lathe

Image by: fundamentalsofwoodworking.com

Most likely you’ll think of a bowl when talking about woodturning, but there are a lot of things that can be done and you might not have noticed you have them around your house. These include wood spindles that can be used for railings, chess pieces, table or chair legs or old-style salt & pepper grinders and candlestick settings like the ones shown below. But those are not the only things craftsmen turn. The creativity can extend on to complex pieces of art that include putting together different wood species into a pattern or adding acrylic to pencils to create a very fun and colorful piece.

The holiday day season may have ended, but you can treat yourself to these woodturning blacks full of possibilities. We’ve got different varieties from Pecan, La Coma, Texas Wild Persimmon to, our favorite, Texas Mesquite.
Find them all, here.

wood spindles railing

 

 

 

 

 

salt and pepper wood mills

Image by williams-sonoma.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

candle stik settings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Transform your Home with Hardwood Mesquite Stairs.

Sometimes understated, stairs are a significant part of a house. They are an addition to the look and feel. They are walked through, jumped and stomped. Choosing the wrong material with the high traffic they sustain can cause a lot of damage like scratches, dents wore-down areas and even splints. You want a material that truly lasts the test of time, not to mention, brings beauty and uniqueness to your home.
mesquite stairs

You may be thinking, “Well, I can avoid all of that by adding carpet.” But then again, with all that traffic going up and down the stairs, cleaning can become a hustle when pet hair and dust accumulate and vacuums can hardly reach corners; not to mention wear and tear! You would have to replace that carpet within a few years. Hardwood floors are easier to clean and with the high-ranking hardness and stability score of Mesquite wood, your stairs will last for generations to come.

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Picture by Gayle Hometalk.com

 

When choosing to remodel your stairs consider how old your existing stairs are as the “skeleton” or the wood underneath the carpet, can still be used. Allocate time and working areas as you will have limited access to the second floor and you may have to use a ladder to get upstairs if necessary. Also, have in mind that sometimes plumbing or electronic work could be underneath the stairs, if you have your home’s plans, it would make work easier for your contractor.

To learn more or to order mesquite wood for your building project, call us today at 830-216-4189.

mesquite hardwood stairs

The Art of Bookmatch

When creating a new peace or project, craftsmanship takes a lot of time and thinking. Knowing your woods, tools, and tricks can make a section of wood a one-of-a-kind art piece. Nature can help you out sometimes when you’re looking for a perfect piece of wood that it’s original with a lot of details and would add character to your work. Bookmatching, in this case, will create the perfect addition to your workpiece.

book-matched panels by woodworkersjournal.com

Book-matched panels by woodworkersjournal.com

Bookmatching is the process of matching two wood or stone surfaces that have been cut vertically through its width. Obtaining two identical and mirror-like surfaces of each other.
When you glue the two pieces together, aligning and matching the grain patterns from each piece, it creates an “open book” effect because the pattern looks as if you “open up” a book.

This process can be seen in many wood crafts like musical instruments,  tables, or other type or accent on a piece of furniture. It can be a delicate process because sometimes the panels can fracture and break off. Great craftsmanship experience is needed as well as knowing your tools and equipment.

Bookmatching wood in violin

This style also greatest impressive pieces when done in stone like granite or marble.

Bookmatching effect in granite

 

This technique is used mostly for aesthetic purposes. It enhances the material’s natural beauty and becomes a statement piece of art whether or your wall or furniture.

You can find the steps on how wood Bookmatching is done in WoodMagazine.com

 

End Grain Cutting Boards and Floor

For starters, let’s go over what is wood grain. Wood grain is the alignment of wood fibers; it’s the lines and swirls you see in a piece of wood.
There are two types of grain, face/edge/long grain, and end grain. Face/end/long grain is when you see long strokes of lines. The wood was cut longwise so we see these longitudinal lines. End grain is when the wood is cut at a 90-degree angle of the long grain. You are able to see the rings of the wood.

While long grain it’s usually used for flooring, end grain is preferably used to create cutting boards or to manufacture butcher blocks.

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Cutting Boards

How are end grain boards made? They are usually made by cutting pieces of lumber into blocks and gluing them together. In more aesthetic boards block of different species, sometimes in different sizes are put together into a pattern. Butcher blocks, as well as, wood cutting blocks are made by using a thick section of a tree trunk.

Mesquite Wood Hot Plate

By cutting on the end grain side of the wood, knives’ sharpness lasts longer as well as the cutting board itself. Why is this you ask? Think of the wood fibers as the bristles of a brush. if your knife constantly cuts through the bristles the sharpness of your knife wears off and it damages the cutting boars.
In an end grain cutting boars, your knife is cutting in between the wood fibers. Keeping your knives sharper and the board lasting longer.

end grain and face grain illustration

Image by workislove for Instructables.com

Floors

End grain floors are very unique. These are mainly used because they are very durable. They are used in places like factory buildings, heavy traffic commercial buildings, and boardwalks. We can recommend then, for your kitchen or maybe living room. They are great for they absorb noise and energy, making them resistant to scraping, general wear and, making them a better choice when wearing heels, for example.

end grain mesquite wood floor

How To Prepare For Wood Floor Installation

Before installation begins it’s important to take some precautionary steps that will make the work are and your home safer.

wood floor installation, wood floors, installing wood floors, wood floors, floors, flooring

Removing All Furniture

There will be a lot of wood cutting and a lot of movement. Dust will come in and out your home. The number one issue is that dust will find its way to every corner of the house if these are not sealed off. Closing the doors won’t be enough. make sure door entranced are completely sealed off with a plastic bag and blue painters tape along the top and sides and bottom if it’s a hard floor. For carpet floors, make sure to cover the bottom air gap with towels since tape can easily peel off from them.
Make sure the room is as empty, no furniture, drapes, painting or frames. People will be moving all around the area and dust will do so as well.

Preparing Working Area

Cutting boards will be most likely necessary in order to perfectly fit the wood to the desired space. Designate an outside area that is near the doorway; where workers will be able to have their supplies and instruments, and where sawdust won’t be contained in your living room. Make sure this area is protected from the sun and that it has access to an outdoor outlet.

cutting wood, wood cutting, flooring, wood flooring, mesquite wood,

Easy Acces

Along with designating a work area, is recommended to prepare your home for the constant coming-and-going of people in your house. Removing doors can make this process a little bit faster plus it will save your doors from bumps, scratches, and accidental hits. Have your door placed in a room where you know it will be save and protected. If you have double doors you can make sure they will not be placed one on top of the other where they can scratch each other. Since you’ll be left without doors, it’s preferable to have the designated working area in the back yard -don’t you think. As always, work with your contractor to see what works best for your project.

 

For more information or if you’re going DIY here are these detailed links:

  1. https://www.thespruce.com/preparing-for-wood-floor-installation-1821689
  2. http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/floors/tips-before-you-start-installing-wood-flooring
  3. http://woodfloors.org/what-to-expect.aspx

How To Take Care of Mesquite Wood Floors

Mesquite floors are one of the mosts stable and durable hardwood floors you could add to your home. It is very resistant and thus it requires little to no effort to maintain.

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Essential Care

Just like any other floor, vacuuming or sweeping is a desired to keep regular maintenance and care. A soft-bristled broom keeps loose dirt from building up. When using a vacuum, make sure the power rotary brush head is deactivated to avoid scratching the surface. Dust particles can accumulate in the scratches on the wood’s surface.

For periodic cleaning use a lightly water-damp mop. Water and humidity have an effect on wood. Make sure you don’t soak the mop. Mop on the direction of the grain so dust particles don’t get stuck in between crevices. If a spill occurs, clean it immediately. You can buy special cleaners for an occasional “spring cleaning” make sure you always follow directions according to the label.

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Preventing Damage

To prevent damage when moving furniture, use stick-on felt protectors under the legs of furniture. If you have pets, keep their nails trimmed to avoid scratching. High heels can easily dent the wood, enjoy your hardwood mesquite floor barefoot or lounge with your fluffy slippers. Place a mat on every outdoor entrance to stop dust or stains to track into your floor.
If you see these gaps during the winter, don’t try to fill them in, the wood with expanding again in the summer. A humidifier can be used during cold seasons to prevent wood shrinkage and gaps.

To prevent aging and color fading, use protecting window curtains to block UV rays and excessive heat. On high-traffic areas, like the kitchen, place a rug under the sink to prevent wearing.
Every once in a while try rearranging the furniture around so the sun doesn’t always hit the same spot on your wood floor. Move items around, try putting an armchair or, a rug with a side table or a lamp on top. Move sofas and rugs that always cover the same wood areas to other ones that aren’t covered, this will help your wood always look even as the years pass. By moving things around you are giving your house a new look. It refreshes and changes the environment and style of the room.

Last Resource

Lastly, depending on your floor’s wear and tear, you could give your floors a new coat. Even though it’s not as big as the process of refinishing, it will still require time and to be done properly. Recoating hardwood floors can restore the look of the floor. Refinishing hardwood floors can be done around every 10+ years, this is the process of sanding down coating layers and staining them again. Sometimes you won’t even need to refinish your floors, refinishing is mostly for floors that have deep gouges and the finish is mostly worn out.

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Overal you want to keep a consistent care that is as simple as a light sweep or vacuum. This will extend the life of your floor and push back recoating or refinishing them.

Sources:

  • https://www.mohawkflooring.com/flooring/hardwood/guides/hardwood-care-maintenance
  • http://woodfloors.org/maintenance.aspx
  • http://www.bhg.com/homekeeping/house-cleaning/surface/how-to-clean-hardwood-floors/
  • http://time.com/money/4282486/refinish-wood-floors-need-to-know/