3 Easy Projects You Can Make In One Day

Introduction

In this post I’ll show you how to make three easy DIY projects that you can complete in one day. This idea came when I needed to make a few Christmas gifts to give away. The projects I made were a wooden doormat, a set of end grain coasters and a pen.

Giving someone a handmade gift is usually followed by “you made this!?”. It’s rewarding to give someone a handmade gift and to watch their expression as they find out you made it. Keep reading to see how I made three gifts in one day from start to finish. Be sure to watch the video above.

completed projects

End grain coasters

For the end grain coasters, I used scrap pieces of hardwood. I started by cutting various strips of each species on the table saw.

ripping coaster strips

These can be different widths and thickness, but you’ll want the scrap pieces of wood long enough to yield several coasters. Group together one layer of strips to have a width of three and a half inches or so alternating the species for contrast.

grouping scrap wood for coasters

Glue those strips together (this is where I moved onto a different projects while the glue dried) and after the glue dries, plane them down to the same thickness. So now, you should have a lot of glued up one layer sections that are about three and a half inches wide and more than ten inches long.

clamping coaster strips

Stack all the glued up pieces together so you can see the end grain. They should all be close to three and a half inches wide. Stack these sections until you reach three and a half inches in height. Depending on how many strips you cut, you could end up with several stacks of 3.5 x 3.5 (or close to it)

block of scrap wood for coasters

This is the part where you get to arrange them in a way that looks interesting. Try to avoid having certain colors next to each other. I like the random checkered look, but it really doesn’t matter what the pattern looks like.

arranging coaster strips

Once you find a design you like, glue those sections together to end up with a block. Use plenty of clamps since this block has glue on each side of all the strips of wood. Just goes to show you can never have too many clamps! Check out my Clamp Rack with Safety Features here.

Gluing coaster block

Plane the block down on all sides to create a square block. I wanted a little bit of visual interest, so I decided to round over the corners. Using a router table and round over bit, I rounded all four corners. My Outfeed and Assembly Table proved to be very useful during this project and other projects as well. It’s my most downloaded plan to date. You can check it out here: stoneandsons.net/shop/outfeed-assembly-table-router-plan/

rounding over coaster corners

At this point I could slice the block at the miter saw like a loaf of bread. I cut each coaster about five eights of an inch thick.

slicing coasters

Then, I used the same setup at the router table to round over the bottom of each coaster, sanded each one and applied butcher block oil to finish them.

rounding over the coaster bottom

applying finish to coasters

Supporters

Thanks to Atlas 46 for supporting this project, or in this case, projects. If you haven’t noticed, I have been wearing a new shop apron/vest for the last couple of months and it has become part of my everyday routine to put it on as I enter the shop. My kids even wear Atlas 46 gear. I put together a video highlighting the vest I wear, you can see it here.

shop vest tools

Atlas 46 offers a wide range of workwear and other accessories for the jobsite. What’s cool about Atlas 46 is that they will let you try out their products risk free…

T.R.I. It for 46 Days!!

Test It, Review It, Inspect It. If you’re not completely satisfied with the purchase, return the USED product for a full refund. We are confident in our product, enough to let you try it out risk free for 46 days.

Durable materials combined with rugged construction and a lifetime guarantee ensure our products will hold up to what you throw at it, and keep coming back for more!

 Click here to check out Atlas 46.

Atlas46 Logo

 

Wooden doormat

From time to time I like to find that quick win project that is somewhat out of the ordinary, which a DIY wooden doormat qualifies for out of the ordinary. It is very simple in design and didn’t take much material to create. Using black walnut was probably a little overkill, but regardless of the species of wood it’s really a fun project. I connected all of the strips of wood with rope to create the door mat.

There are five steps in this project. The first step is to cut one inch strips of wood on the table saw.

ripping door mat strips

Next I used a planer to clean them up and get them down to the same thickness.

planing door mat strips

To be able to connect the strips of wood with rope, I needed to drill holes in three locations along each strip, evenly spaced.

drilling holes in door mat strips

Before I added the rope, I applied my go to finish, which is a water based semi-gloss polycrylic that I use on most of my projects. I used a brush to apply several layers on all sides for each strip.

finishing door mat strips

The last step is to cut three pieces of rope long enough to account for the knots in between each strip. Start out by tying a knot on one end of each piece of rope and feed a rope in each of the three holes.

Tie a knot on each rope on the other side of the hole (in between each wood strip) and feed the rope in the next hole of the next strip. Be sure to do this for all three holes on each wood strip as you go.

Installing rope on door mat

One way to make sure you have enough rope is to tie a knot in the rope and make a mark on each side of the knot. Then untie the knot, measure between the marks and multiply that measurement by the number of knots you need. Next, add that number to the amount one inch strips you have for a total length of the rope (plus a little extra).

wooden door mat

Slim line pen

Making pens is very simple once you complete one or two. There are a couple of things you need to make a pen. You’ll need a pen blank and a pen kit, I used the slim line version. Of course you need a lathe, but there are so many projects you can do on a lathe other than make pens, which in my opinion justifies the purchase. I use a ten inch Turncrafter lathe, but on this project I used a ten inch Jet.

You can knock out a pen in half an hour, so pens are a great quick win in the shop. Pen blanks can be purchased already cut, but they are simple enough to make yourself. I already had the blanks, so I just needed to drill holes for the tubes. To drill the holes, I used my drill press and a drill bit specifically for making pens, you can see them here.

In the pen kit you’ll receive all the internal parts needed to make the pen. A couple of those parts are the brass tubes. You’ll insert the tubes into the holes of the blanks that you previously drilled, but first you need to rough the tubes up with sandpaper. In order for the tubes to stay in place, you’ll need to apply epoxy to the tubes and insert them into the pen blanks.

applying epoxy to pen tubes

The sandpaper creates a surface that the epoxy will adhere to. Let the epoxy cure and clean up the ends of the blanks. You can clean the ends up with a tool specifically made for this step or just make sure the blank is flush with the brass tubes. Using a pen mandrel, add a bushing, then one of the blanks, add another bushing, then the other blank and the last bushing.

Placing pen blanks on a mandrel

If you don’t have a pen mandrel or bushings, check out this pen turning starter kit. This one includes a pen press, http://amzn.to/2B0Ftmd

Now, you’re ready to start turning on the lathe. I use carbide cutter turning tools versus the traditional turning tools, which is just personal preference. In the video I’m using the full sized turning tools, but there is a smaller set just for pen turning. See the turning tools for pens here.

turning a pen

After turning the pen down to the desired shape and size, use sandpaper to finish smoothing it out and apply a finish. Once you’re done with that you can assemble it using a pen press. A quick clamp will work if you don’t have a press, but a press works better in my opinion.

applying finish to a pen

assembling a pen

What I learned

Making multiple projects in one day can be stressful, but if you plan it out it can actually be very satisfying. One thing I had to do was plan ahead as I was working. For example, knowing there would be glue-ups involved I made sure I wasn’t waiting around with nothing to do while waiting on the glue to dry. I had to definitely maximize my time in the shop. This was a great exercise to practice managing my time with multiple projects. I highly recommend you trying this, if nothing else it will help you to start thinking ahead as you work to increase your productivity.

 

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Tools Used In This Project

Shop Attire:

• Shop apron/vest, Atlas 46: http://bit.ly/atlas46

• Hats/shirts: http://www.stoneandsons.net/product-category/apparel/

Power tools:

• Fixed base router, Skil: http://amzn.to/2uqO4Lo

• Router bit set, Skil: http://amzn.to/2uqPPbd

• Table saw, Delta: http://amzn.to/2CYofr6

Lathe Tools:

• Lathe, Jet: http://amzn.to/2nmLGXc

• Full face shield, Honeywell: http://amzn.to/2vPwTYg

• Mid size easy rougher, EWT: http://amzn.to/2t79m0V

• Mid size easy finisher, EWT: http://amzn.to/2t7h2Aw

• Mid size easy detailer, EWT: http://amzn.to/2u59tKR

Drilling:

• Drill and impact 20v, Porter Cable: http://amzn.to/2txekak

• Drill and drive bit set, Kobalt: http://amzn.to/2stIbf6

• Drill press, Wen: http://amzn.to/2jbR4ry

Gluing, Finishing and Accessories:

• Glu-bot: http://amzn.to/2s9rpm8

• Wood glue, Titebond III: http://amzn.to/2u6CEgo

• Butcher block finish, Howards: http://amzn.to/2j8Mn1U

Clamping and Accessories:

• 4″ F style clamp, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2s9rkyI

• 6″ F style clamp, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2ts94Vd

• Spring clamp 9 pc set, Bessey: http://amzn.to/2su6eKX

Measuring, Marking and Layout:

• Lefty/Righty 16′ tape measure, FastCap: http://amzn.to/2urCXSy

Safety:

• Safety glasses, 3M: http://amzn.to/2txHtT7

• Fire extinguisher: http://amzn.to/2ururTy

• First aid kit: http://amzn.to/2urwR4B

Video Equipment and Electronics:

• DSLR camera and mic, Canon/Rode: http://amzn.to/2urN0qA

• Camera battery pack, Canon: http://amzn.to/2sudLcx

• Tripod, Manfrotto: http://amzn.to/2s9MHjB

• Backpack for laptop (modified for camera): http://amzn.to/2sppNsC

• Memory card, 64gb: http://amzn.to/2s9hPzC

• Memory card waterproof case: http://amzn.to/2suLliC

• Laptop, MacBook: http://amzn.to/2urnDFx

• Network Attached Storage, 6TB: http://amzn.to/2suvRLu

Other tools I use

http://www.stoneandsons.net/tools

 

*Most of the links listed above are Amazon Affiliate links

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