My beam is made like this, with the bottom piece having tongues on each edge which sit in grooves in the side pieces. So the next thing I did was put grooves in all the side pieces and made rabbets on the bottom pieces, which left the tongues to go into the grooves.
The next job was to stain all the pieces:
I glued just one side piece to the bottom piece, this would allow me (actually my husband) to wire up the lights easier than trying to do it with a completed beam.
Here you can see that the beam is just an L shape for now with the front (side piece) off. I screwed the back side piece into the 2 x 2s. This way the wiring is inside and cut to the proper lengths for each of the four pot lights.
The pot lights were then wired in place and could be checked to see that they worked properly before sealing up the beam:
The front side piece was then screwed in to the 2 x 2s at the top (after this photo was taken I painted the screws a brown that left them pretty much invisible):
and also glued and clamped along the bottom:
Here's the finished dovetail, which I actually put more dark stain around so that the shape of the dovetail would show up better:
This turned out just as I pictured it in my head before I started, so I am pleased with it. The pot lights are also on a dimmer switch and they give a nice ambience to the room.
Hopefully this tutorial can help someone else out who is wanting to do something similar.
Our basement needed new paint and flooring and a few minor renovations. In our large "living room" or "rec room" I wanted to put up a beam with lights in it. Here is what I was dealing with:
Ceiling right side
Ceiling left side
My original plan was to put a wood beam up against the bulkhead (lower) portion that contains some ducting. Because of the two vents in the ceiling, I realized that would be impossible without a lot of tearing out, so I decided to put the beam below the bulkhead instead.
The total length, just under 16', was far too long to put one piece of wood, so there had to be joints in the beam. Instead of just straight joints I realized I could highlight the joint and make it look like a dovetail, so I made two joints along the length of the beam like this.
The beam would be hollow and allow four pot lights to be put inside. I decided to make it like this, with plywood sides and bottom, and 2x2's to screw the box sides to.
I used basic plywood which I cut into strips. I drew out a dovetail on the end of my side pieces and cut with a jigsaw.
I then laid the cut piece over another to cut the piece that the dovetail would fit into.
This is how they would look joined together:
I measured out to find where the holes needed to be for the pot lights and cut those out of my bottom pieces:
I screwed the 2x2 pieces to the ceiling after finding wood studs behind. My husband set up the electrical wiring so that it came out where the end of the beam would be. You can see those wires hanging down at the bottom of this photo. This runs from two switch boxes, one at the bottom of the stairs and one at the opposite far end of the beam.
This is a coat rack (or it could be used as a jewelry hanger) made of reclaimed pallet wood.
I cut a half circle for the top part and left a straight board on the bottom where the pegs are. I glued three boards side by side to make this piece.
This is my own design, the background is routered out. This leaves the top edging as a frame and the girl on the horse, protruding out from the background. The horseshoes, as well as the frame and the rider and her horse, are painted black. The bottom board is also painted black and the rest is stained.
Three 5/8" diameter wooden dowels are wrapped with twine to add to the rustic look.
This coat rack is 24 1/2" long and 9 3/4" high. The back has two triangle hooks for hanging.
There are a few holes in the wood because it was previously a pallet. I think it adds to the character of the piece. The price is $125 plus shipping.
Here are some other items I've made by routering out a design:
This is the design I put on my stool to make it extra special. I used a stencil from Muddaritaville which was provided to me at no cost, in exchange for trying it out and blogging about it. Their stencils are cut from 10 mil mylar and are strong and completely reusable. (I was NOT told what to say about the product, all results and opinions are my own)
I made this stool from pine, but you could use an old stool and use the same finishing techniques as I did. Because mine was raw wood, first it was stained. If your stool already has something on it you may not need the stain undercoat. After staining it was painted with white milk paint.
The bottom step looked to me like it needed something extra. That is where the stencil came in.
I taped the stencil on each side and then used a small stencil brush and black craft paint to fill in the cut out areas.
Normally, I hand paint designs on furniture and signs, but I thought it would be nice to try a stencil for a change. I'm sure if I had hand painted it would have taken me well over an hour to trace the pattern and then paint it. With this stencil, it took me only a couple of minutes!
Did you know that stencils are cut with bridging? These are the small areas that hold the pieces together that would otherwise fall out without the extra "bridges." You can see bridging here below in the "P" and also in the "a" of the word Paris:
Below you can see where I have filled in the bridges with a small brush:
Many people do not realize that the bridges are meant to be filled in, and don't paint in the bridged area. I suppose some people leave them unpainted by choice, but I've seen stencilled work where it is obvious that the letter or design should be painted where the bridging was.
After the painting I lightly sanded over the whole stencilled area:
Here is the whole bottom step, so much nicer with the stencil, and so easy to use:
I hand waxed the stool after sanding.
Although this stool is new, it looks like it has been around for a long time, don't you think?
As I said, I got my stencil from Muddaritaville. Muddaritaville has many stencils you can use on furniture or to make signs with. I've included a few samples here, but please go to their website to see many more.
Muddaritaville is offering you a 20% discount on any stencil purchases totalling $25 or more, for being a reader of my blog. You will need to go to the Muddaritaville website and use the coupon code "fyh" at the checkout.
I hope some of you take this opportunity to get a beautiful stencil to use in your creations. Please share the results with me, which I will post at my blog.