Ana White: Don’t Be a Hater


My wife’s project table with cherry top.

I planned to go into more detail on my ethos and whatnot but since I’ve really been cranking out the projects (all things are relative) recently, I thought I’d post some woodworking content. You see, over the past two months, I’ve finished about 90% of the woodworking on two Ana White projects. The first is her Little Helper Tower and the second is a Small Play Fridge. Both of these are for my daughters since they are my biggest customers. Their mom is also a client and around Thanksgiving 2012 I finished up a Project Table for her. So, I’ve been a real Ana White machine for the better part of six months or so.


Poured concrete ceilings = sound barrier = happy wife


Current milling area = directly below the baby’s duct work = queue Charlie Brown music

Some folks give others crap for “lowering” their standards to work on “DIY” or “Home Center” projects. I say, shut up and get to work. Given that I had to start from scratch on my shop when we moved in last year, I really struggled to get started on something. I only have two outlets in my basement shop and the lighting is REALLY poor. This shop is much louder than my old one so I’m not able to mill lumber all hours of the night. Last year I was suffering from paralysis by analysis until my wife said just make something…for the love, just make something.

I figured the Ana White projects were a perfect way to kill several birds with one stone: use the shop to figure out what I can live without, pick projects easy to complete without my big tools (planer, joiner, tablesaw, etc.), and make stuff for my most important clients. The process has been quite rewarding. I’ve discovered new places to get lumber, used my hand tools more, and most importantly, I’m building and learning.

Being a woodworker, I kicked up each project a notch. I used some leftover Cherry Ply for the top of the Project Table. I used up some scrap walnut with cool figure for the landing on the Helper. I also bought a butterfly inlay kit to make the landing a bit cooler (we’ll see how that goes). The fridge is pretty straight forward but I busted out my new Domino, which made putting it together a breeze.


Unfinished small fridge for the girls


Unfinished Little Helper Tower


Walnut treads making it a woodworking project

So, go ahead and check out Ana’s book from the local library and put a woodworker’s spin on her projects. You’ll learn more by doing than you will sitting around thinking about it. I wished I’d known about Ana when I started woodworking years ago. Her projects are great for beginners but contemporary enough to fit in with a modern decor.

Now, go build something.


About Shawn Nichols

Heady. Phishy. Woodworker
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