Saturday, 21 December 2013

How to get your kids involved in woodworking

If you're anxious to get your kids away from the TV, here are a few projects to inspire your children.

1) Harry Potter Wands
Instead of watching the movies over and over, turn or carve a wand. Help your child be the coolest kid going back to school launching their own spells... "Leviosa!" (I had to Google that one... I'm lacking on my Harry Potter trivia)
Photo courtesy of Jason Trudel

2) Hockey Table
A fun project for you and the kids providing endless entertainment! You can purchase the hardware kit from one of our favourite stores, Lee Valley. Here is a direct link to purchase the hardware for this project.
Photo courtesy of Lee Valley

3) Piano Stool
I remember the days when my parents forced me to practice piano 30mins a day. Yikes, glad that's over! Why not make it a little more enjoyable with a custom piano stool? Laser engrave their favourite cartoon/movie on the top and treat them to a play-along book to get them inspired. Here is the link to Lee Valley to purchase the kit.

Photo courtesy of Lee Valley
Example: Star Wars themed music & stool design
4) If only we could fast forward to the spring...  but since we can't, might as well embrace the snow and get some exercise with the kids. Build a sled! Some of my best memories are down at the Arboretum racing down the hills with my family. Lee Valley sells a great plan - here is the link.

5) Teach them how to make their own pen. Many schools are already offering pen turning instruction and the kids are just loving it. In less than an hour, they can make their own pen... and when school is back on, they can write their love letters to classmates in style.
Image courtesy of Mike MacMillan
6) Every kid dreams of being a music star of some sort... whether singing like Brittany Spears or rocking out like One Direction. It's time to crush those dreams and make new ones with decent role models! In the meantime, teach them how to make a simple cigar box guitar. Spice it up with a wooden neck in their favourite colour.


7) If you can draw, you can burn... wood burn that is. Trace your own comic character, doodle your name, make a "keep out" sign for their bedroom... their imagination is the limit. Basswood, Maple and Birch Plywood are some good options to start with. You can purchase the wood burning pen here from Lee Valley and their imagination can lead the way. Not for the little ones - perfect for teens but keep those fingers safe! 
Image courtesy of Lee Valley

8) If your kids are like me, math homework was as bad as doing the dishes. For some reason my parents never believed me that I was allergic to those things, always ended up having to do them anyway. Lee Valley has a neat project kit that can help make their homework at least slightly more fun. Convert a cool piece(s) of wood into a clipboard for doing homework or showing off in class. Here is the direct link to the kit.
Images courtesy of Lee Valley

9) What is the best way to carve wood? Whittle by whittle. "Groan"... I thought it was funny!
Carving or whittling is a great way to entertain your kids... give them a block of wood and say GO!
For a Whittle Fun, here is a book that will keep them entertained for awhile, also available at Lee Valley.
Image courtesy of Lee Valley

10) If you are not board yet, I'll leaf with with one more tip. For the older kids who spend countless hours playing Tony Hawk, give their thumbs a break and help them build a skateboard. We've got the Baltic Birch plywood that will do the trick and the internet is filled with many DIY articles and videos for the rest.

Hope you enjoyed reading todays tips. You can probably tell we love Lee Valley so if you haven't been there yet, stop reading this and head over there now!

The "K" in KJP

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Livos - What we carry

We are beyond happy with Livos so we keep expanding our selection!

If you haven't used it yet, here is a link to our blog post for some "Tips & Tricks"

Livos, Kunos: Natural Oil Sealer and Finish
Available in 50ml, 250ml and 750ml
Livos, Kunos: Countertop Oil
Available in 50ml, 250ml and 750ml
Livos, Kunos: Natural Oil Sealer
We just brought in 50ml jars of the full colour line up. Visit the store to see samples on actual wood. (It's a work in progress but we're on it!)

Some of the popular colours are available in 250ml - Smoked Oak, White & Intensive Cherry

Rosewood, Cherry, Walnut & Black - 250ml

Gleivo - Beeswax - available in 250ml

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wood puns never grow old

Are you board?

Wood you prefer me to tell you a joke?

I consider myself very poplar so you better laugh.

I will ash your opinions when I need them and cherry pick the best answers.

You're probably thinking I need to spruce this up a bit.. feel free to log in with your comments.

Now that I have twigged your interest, I can branch out into more interesting conversation.

For you yoga enthusiasts, branching out into the downward dog should knot be done in your workshop. I saw you... and it wasn't pretty. Why don't you walk the plank instead? At least you won't be warped or twisted.

I hope yew all enjoyed reading this sappy post. I'll leaf you with this...

What is the best way to carve wood? Whittle by whittle.

The "K" in KJP

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Don't feel like shovelling? Shop from home

Does the thought of having to shovel before leaving your house get you cranky? Wouldn't it be nice to just sit at home and feel productive?

With Christmas just around the corner, you may not have a choice. Well, we are here to help you stay warm at home, while crossing off someone on your Christmas list.

Gift Certificates - available in any denomination. Give us a call (225-6926) and we will mail the certificate directly to you. Done in less than 2 minutes. Then you can go back to "not shovelling the driveway".

If you do have the ambition to leave the house, have you read the post on "10 gifts you can make for $25 or less"? The timing is even better now as Turning Blanks, 24" Shorts and Burls are 20% off!

And just a reminder of our holiday hours: 
Tuesday, December 24th - closing at 12:00pm
December 25th - January 1st - CLOSED
Will be re-opening on Thursday, January 2nd - 9am - 5pm

The "K" in KJP

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

How to apply Livos - Tips and Tricks

You found the perfect piece of wood and now it's time to apply a finish!

There are hundreds of finishes to select from, and trust me... we have tried many! We can't seem to find anything we like better than Livos so that's why we carry it.

Kunos by Livos is an oil based, environmentally friendly, wipe-on, low-odor German product. It is pretty much fantastic all around. Here is a link to the Livos website if you are interested in more related information.

Here are some "tips and tricks" that we have discovered finishing dozens of different wood species. Every wood can take finish differently so a test piece is always recommended. Now remember, we are not finishing experts by any means. These are just a compilation of tips that have worked from our experience as well as helpful tricks passed on from our customers.

Recommended Materials:
- sand paper in grits up to 400
- lint free cloths (an old lint free t-shirt will do the trick also)

- coffee maker
- lamp

Step 1:
Make a coffee

Step 2:
Grab those leftover coffee grounds and put them in a dish to dry them out. (only applicable for woods with voids such as natural edge lumber, spalted woods etc. For that type of project, read this post before continuing.

Step 3:
Sand, sand, sand. Proper lighting is key. Imperfections will not be visible until the finish is applied so take the time to sand properly. Generally speaking, sand no higher than 400.

A helpful way to view sanding marks is to move your lamp to create a cross light.

Step 4:
Make sure you did a good job on step 3.

Step 5:
Mix contents properly with a stick. Wipe on a generous first coat of Livos using your lint free cloth. After 15 minutes, use a new cloth and wipe/buff off all the excess oil. Wipe until the cloth
is dry and no shiny spots remain on the wood. You may have to use more than one cloth. Let sit to dry for 24hrs.

Some people prefer using a brush, particularly for natural edge woods or woods that have density variations.

Step 6: 
Apply a coat of Livos. After 15 minutes, grab a clean cloth and buff the finish into the wood. Ensure all excess oil has been wiped off.

Repeat steps 5 & 6 a minimum of one more time... the more coats, the glossier the effect.

For tabletops and projects that need extra durability, we recommend 4 coats.

Important: Livos recommend the following: KUNOS 243 and 244 oils take approximately 30 days to dry thoroughly. Maximum endurance is reached after 4 weeks. Please take the necessary precautions during this time.

As with any oil product, make sure to use caution with your rags. 

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

10 gifts you can make for $25 or less

Christmas is just around the corner. Crazy isn't it? I refuse to start my shopping until December but for those that are more organized and are starting now....

Here are a few ideas for gifts you can make, costing you less than you think!

1) Turn a bowl! There are hundreds of turning blanks to choose from and almost all of them are $25 or less.

2) Make a serving tray! Who doesn't love a unique conversation piece to display their over priced cheese on. Just teasing...  We have 24" shorts available in many species. You can pick two and laminate them together for an artistic touch. We even have a great special on Purpleheart shorts... trust me, the price is right! Want to make it a bit more personal? Drop it off when you are done and we can laser engrave someones name on it!

3) Did someone on your gift list just get married? Yes? Terrific. Here's an idea: secretly talk to their spouse and get a nice photograph from their wedding day. Print it. Make a frame! Sentimental gift-getters always give the best hugs :-)

4) Make a pen/pencil set. Easy! Can make it for under $10 and they will never know. Sneaky, sneaky!

5) Make a Christmas ornament. Turn/carve something unique that your loved one can display year after year. (or only display when they have you over!) Kidding.... I've never done that.

6) What girl do you know that doesn't own jewelry? If you really like the person, make them a jewellery box! (I've been waiting 6 years for my dad/Bernie to make me one) OR make a jewelry stand. A quick google search will give you lots of inspiration for shapes and species.

7) Make a pepper mill! Explore our section of spindle blanks/table legs at the back of our store for the perfect piece of wood. Hardware is also available from 4" to 18" long. Or if you are like me and hate pepper, make a salt shaker!

8) Chop chop! Yup, a cutting board is beautiful and practical. The options are endless when it comes to making one... shapes, sizes, wood species etc. Guaranteed to be unique!

Maple Burl Live Edge

9) No time to make anything? Wrapping paper will cover nicely to camouflage a board/block of wood. And you will be the greatest gift-giver because their present is the biggest under the tree!

10) If you are reading this blog post and thinking "hmm, what about a present for myself? I would love for my spouse to get me a gift certificate!" No problem. You give them the hint, we'll provide the gift certificate. Available in any denomination, in-store or over the phone.

Hope you feel inspired to start your shopping a little early this year... see you at the shop!

The "K" in KJP

Friday, 18 October 2013

Part of our showroom

If you haven't been to our store, this is only part of it! The bottom image is a compilation of the top 5 images so you can get the full 360 degree perspective. More pics to come of the second warehouse...

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

A coffee table top, made with coffee

What do you do when you have a beautiful piece of wood with holes or cracks? Break out the coffee grinds and some CA glue! We decided to have some fun with an Olivewood natural edge slab. 

Drizzle some glue into the void you are trying to camouflage. Fill in the gap with coffee grinds and pat down with a glue stick. Let sit until dry, and sand away the excess grinds. Do a little at a time, filling the hole up gradually. 

Add a finish and you're done!
Maple Burl - Same technique used
Cherry Burl - same technique was used here as well

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Claro Walnut Slab... it's a beauty!

This is the largest slab we've had yet! Took the fork lift to move it anywhere...

Dimensions are 11' 4" long x 39" - 49.5" wide x 3 1/8" thick

After countless hours of planing, the slab is now ready for sale.... here are a few pictures of this beauty!

Friday, 12 July 2013

Wedding Guestbooks.. 10 creative ways to incorporate wood

Why not get a little more creative than a standard paper guestbook! Impress your guests with your creativity.

There are hundreds of ideas out there but we narrowed it down to our top 10 favourites... enjoy!

1) Take a slab and either draw/paint/laser engrave something... a design that incorporates your theme, your initials, wedding date - anything! Have your guests sign on the rest of the slab. Finish the slab... and voila! You have a beautiful keepsake that will for sure be a conversation piece.

Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of
2) Take a board... cut it at whatever length is appropriate and voila - you have a wooden guestbook. Laser engrave or practice your calligraphy and add a few touches... use the rest of the board as decorations for your other tables. Perfect for holding your cupcakes, candles, decorations etc. Or keep it for yourself as a cutting board!

Photo courtesy of
3) Now this idea is just cool. Take a piece of plywood and cut tiny puzzle pieces. Don't have the right tools? We can laser cut them for you in any shape you want. Have your guests write little messages on the pieces and then put them together for a "wedding puzzle". 
Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of

4) Love, love, love! And so simple. Take a few boards and put them together... sketch or engrave the couple (or any design really!) and have your guests sign everywhere else. This would be a beautiful keepsake for your wall.
Photo courtesy of
5. Now I wouldn't try this by hand.. but why not take a thin slice of wood and make it your cover page for your guestbook. We can engrave just about anything you like. How about your wedding invitation design? Anything is possible.... you could also make two, and have your second one hold all your wedding cards.
Photo courtesy of
6. This idea is different... have your guests leave their thumb print! Pick a design that relates to your theme.... a tree (thumbprints are the leaves), a peacock (thumbprints are the feathers) etc.
Photo courtesy of
7) This idea is perfect for a couple who can't decide on paper or wood :-) 
Make your sign out of wood and then have a traditional guestbook.... this concept can be easily done for all your wedding signs. We have over 80 different types of wood to choose from - you are guaranteed to find a colour that matches your theme!

Examples: arrows, seating chart, welcome sign, thank you sign

8. You can purchase this already made, or if you want something a little more personalized - make it yourself! We can laser cut the hearts (or any shape) and practice your dove tails on a fancier keepsake box! Text or images can be engraved on the top to make your box extra special.

9) This is a neat idea to have your friends and family always "support" you... take a larger slab and have your guests sign it. Afterwards, turn it into a bench top for the garden or a coffee table. Functional and sentimental!

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

10) Last but not least... turn your own wedding pen. Quick, easy and simple to match your wedding theme style and colours!

Photo courtesy of