Last year, I got a new woodworking book. One of my favorite YouTube makers published his 3rd book on woodworking, Kitchen Tools. Dave Picciuto’s new book has 15 total projects, ranging from simple projects like an egg tray, to more complex projects like a segmented salad bowl. The day after I received my copy in the mail I decided to try out a few of the projects in the woodshop at the Innovation Hub. The first project was an egg tray. I had some cut-off from an old butcher block I had made a year or two ago, so I cracked open the book and started cutting. It took about an hour and a half to finish the whole project and, I have to say, it turned out fairly well.
I really enjoyed not having to think about things like the layout and spacing of the holes or what size the holes needed to be. The fact that there were plans already drawn up saved me time and effort. That’s when I decided to try to make everything from the book by the end of February. A month of making seemed like a good challenge. I started looking at some of the more complex projects. Some of these look quite a bit more involved than the simple egg tray. I decided to knock out the simple projects first, as quickly as I could to allow myself more time to build the larger projects.
The following segments cover each project along with the approximate time it took to make them.
Difficulty level: Easy
The Egg Tray
Time to make: Approximately 1.5 hours (the average length of a horror movie)
The egg tray was one of the easier projects. At its basic form, it’s just a few holes drilled into a plank of wood. I made a few modifications to the one I built and left a few things off from the book’s version. I decided to not put a bottom piece on it and I added some short legs to lift it off the countertop. Even though the project is fairly simple, I am happy with the way it turned out.
Time to make: Approximately 2 hours (The amount of time I usually spend procrastinating instead of doing the dishes)
I’ve built several of these beer caddies in the past and this is a very straightforward build. One of the things that sets this design apart from others I have done is the floating bottom. I really liked this simple but elegant addition. I also appreciate the dividers inside the caddie so the glass bottles don’t knock into each other.
Time to make: Approximately an hour (The average period after a meal it takes me to be hungry again)
In case you didn’t know, a trivet is an object that keeps heat, soap, etc. off your countertops. I’ve made many soap trivets over the years. My mom has a soap-making company so they come in handy! However, this trivet is slightly different from the ones I have made in the past because it is intended to protect countertops from hot pots and pans. This project requires two pieces of tile. If you decide to make this one for yourself, ensure you measure your tile and make your trivet the correct size. This project is similar to building a small picture frame except instead of a picture inside, it has a tile on top.
Time to make: Approximately 2.5 hours (How long I can sit around watching TV without getting bored)
This “bread slicer” doesn’t exactly slice bread, it’s more of a “jig to slice your bread”- but that’s a little long for a name. For you non-wood workers, a jig is a tool that helps you repeat a cut accurately. This piece helps you cut your loaf of bread into even slices.
Although it is not absolutely necessary to use a digital angle finder for this project, it is helpful if you have one. This was the first project that I needed a tool that isn’t in everyone’s toolbox. If you don’t already have one, they are pretty cheap (about 20 dollars) and are a useful and versatile tool.
Making a matching knife handle is a pretty quick way to make the set feel cohesive. For mine, I used an old bread knife I picked up at an estate sale a year or so ago with the intention of replacing the handle. If you decide to start with an old knife you will need to remove the original handle before starting your project- I used a piece of scrap from the baguette slicer so they would match. Replacing the handle on a knife is a great project for a beginner. It’s quick, easy, and you have a fantastic, custom knife afterwards!
Time to make: Approximately 2 hours (How long it takes me to cook a homemade spaghetti dinner)
I’ve made several projects that use the same techniques as this one. In fact, I wrote a blog post about making a hexagon planter that is very similar to this utensil holder. This project has some very simple inlay in it, which makes it take a little bit longer. You can always skip it if you’re in a hurry, However, the inlay gives your utensil holder a little pizazz. A digital angle finder is a must-have for this project because you need an exact angle when cutting your pieces. If you are off in your measurements, you will end up with gaps in between pieces and your final product won’t look as clean. On a positive note, this is one of the few projects that you don’t need to use a food-safe finish.
Difficulty level: Medium
Now we are moving on to slightly more difficult projects. These are projects that use more specialized tools or have a couple of smaller parts that have a fairly tight tolerance. They aren’t exactly difficult to make, but you may have to buy a new tool or an attachment for a tool that you already have.
This is a great step up from a cutting board. It uses similar techniques, but you get to finish it on the band saw (or jig saw, or hand saw…) This is also a great place to use all of your scrap wood from other projects. Make sure that your table saw is set to exactly 90 degrees or you will end up with gaps in between your pieces.
Time to make: Approximately 3.5 hours (How long it takes me to get around to making my bed on the weekend.)
For this project, I had to buy a power carving disc for our angle grinder. I did a little research and according to reviews the one from Harbor Freight was just as good and lasted just as long as any of the more expensive versions. Naturally, I went with the cheaper option from Harbor Freight. It looks like a small chainsaw mounted on your angle grinder. It’s a little intimidating, but lots of fun. It’s important to be very careful and make sure you have some way to hold your project securely. I’ve been told that sometimes when you hit a dense piece of wood or a small piece of metal it can try to pull the angle grinder out of your hand. With this in mind, don’t use your other hand to hold down the wood. Luckily I didn’t have any problems like that and everything went smoothly. However, I did cut through the bottom of my first bowl so be mindful of your thickness. Overall this was a little challenging but a ton of fun, and very very messy. Make sure you wear both safety glasses and a respirator since it generates a lot of dust.
Spoon and Spatula
Time to make: Approximately 3 hours for both (How long it takes me to clean the trash out of my car)
If you have followed my Instagram or known me for very long, you will know I have carved a lot of spoons in the past few years. I love carving them, they’re just fun to carve. The reason this project is in the medium difficulty section is due to the fact that you might have to buy a couple of specialized tools to complete it, such as a hook knife and sloyd knife. Additionally, the way that I normally carve a spoon is different from this style. The way Mr. Picciuto carves his spoons in this book is slightly easier than the way I normally carve them, but it wastes more wood. If you haven’t carved a spoon before, I would suggest this method for your first few attempts.
Time to make: Approximately 4 hours (How long it takes me to find something to watch on Netflix before I give up and turn it off)
This project doesn’t need any special tools, depending on what blades you use on your bandsaw. You will need some proficiency on the band saw to make these safely (and well). However, they are a lot of fun to make. So much fun, that I ended up making 3 of them in different sizes. They don’t have to take as long as I did to make them. I did a fair amount of hand carving them and hand sanding them. If you are comfortable enough on the band saw, you might be able to do some of the carving there.
Time to make: Approximately 2 hours (How long a good pizza sauce takes to reduce down to the right consistency)
For this project, you will need to buy some stainless steel. Disclaimer: stainless steel isn’t cheap. You can buy it online, but I went with a local metal supplier, Halbert Pipe and Steel. Other than sourcing and cutting the steel, this project isn’t very difficult. Making the handle for the rocker is very similar to the knife handle. It’s a different shape, but the process is basically the same.
Difficulty Level: Hard
Now we come to the hardest projects. Most of these projects need larger specialized tools, like a wood lathe, or they take a little more time than the rest of the projects in the book. All of the projects in this book are achievable and you can do them. Some will just take a little more time and care.
Time to make: Approximately 5 hours (How long it takes me to take my laundry out of the dryer after it’s done…if I’m quick about it)
This was the one project that I was a little intimidated by. I’ve turned several bowls on the wood lathe and I love working on the lathe. I’ve thought about trying to make one before, but have always found some other project to do instead. This is a time consuming project, but it’s worth it. It’s also a great way to use some of your smaller scrap pieces of wood. The more different species of wood you use, the more interesting the piece gets. Just make sure your lathe tools are sharp!
Time to make: Approximately 4 hours (How long it takes me to fold my laundry when I’m also trying to watch a movie)
This project has a video detailing how to make it- you can find it on the make something YouTube page. The video goes through all the details of how this project comes together. I don’t have much to say beyond the tips he covers in the video. I highly recommend watching this video, and any of the other videos on his page.
Time to make: Approximately 2 hours (How long it takes me to figure out what I want to eat for dinner)
This project was my first attempt at using a form to laminate and shape wood. For this project, you use several layers of veneer to make the shape. The veneer that I used had been in storage for several years and was very dry, so I needed to steam it before I could use it. If your veneer is fresh, you won’t have to worry about that. Of all the different projects in this book, this was the one that bothered me the most. It looks fantastic, but it just didn’t hit me like building the other projects did. Hopefully you will disagree and will love making it, it just didn’t get me as excited as the other projects.
Time to make: Approximately 6 hours (How long it took me to write this blog)
This one is a little more intense than the rest of the projects in the book. None of the pieces are highly intricate, this project is just more time consuming, and there are significantly more steps compared to the other projects. It’s also the only project in the book that uses acrylic in the build. Overall this project was time intensive but totally worth it.
So those are all the projects! I loved building almost all of them. I learned several new skills and now have a pile of projects in my room looking for new places to live. If you are a new woodworker, there are plenty of projects in this book that you can do with basic tools. If you are a more experienced woodworker, there are some amazing projects that will teach you or refine your skills. As a whole, I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in building things for their kitchen. You can order Kitchen Tools on Amazon or on the Make Something website. (If you want a signed copy you can get it from his website.)
Thanks for reading, and as Dave Picciuto says in all of his videos, “go out and make something!”