Posted in celebrations, grandchildren, Projects

Santa’s (aka grampa’s) Workshop

Here, in our land of Christmas magic, Santa’s workshop (aka Ron’s garage) is getting an intense workout. He’s repurposing 100+ year old wood from our recent salvage job and turning it into a certain little girl’s dream kitchen. Of course she’s too young to know this is what she wants but momma knows. And yes; we know you can but them at Costsco for $125 but not like this!

Our garage is usually fairly over crowded but it’s even worse than usual right now. All the salvage wood arrived with nails and so to properly use it or store it all nails must be removed. That was step 1 of the Christmas project. Once he got all the right sizes of wood free of nails he made a cutting plan and set to work. This picture shows step 2 done. I would have just painted over the existing paint but he felt that he boards needed to be planed. So step 3 was to borrow a planer and go to work and work it was. Hours of it! Then he used a joiner to square up edges (step 4) and then on to sanding as step 5. The wood is now looking so amazing that we’ve decided it won’t all be painted. Such beautiful oak that it seems a shame to cover it all up so several key elements will receive an oil treatment. The above photo shows the oven and fridge (2 parts) doors. He then used the Kreg drill and put the doors together in Step 6. The wood is old and hard and Santa’s workshop had some strong language for a while. I was concerned that the wood had broken and he was going to have to mill another piece. It was a tiny bit off flush in spots so step 7 was to sand it again and then create, with the router, the little inset ledges for the doors. That would make creating the little door insets step 8. While he was working on planing and sanding more boards I used chalk paint to do the front of the fridge and freezer. The grain of the wood is very obvious. So that was Step 1 for me and Step 2 was to spray paint the stove handles in a flat black. The stupid can of paint would only work upside down.

Spray paint in a poorly ventilated space meant I then found other things to do for a while (more on that later). Meanwhile Santa, aka Ron, continues on and on and on. The planing and sanding almost complete at the end of Day 2!

There have been a couple of city trips during this time as well to purchase a new router bit, stove handles plus a sink and taps.

Step 9 for the Carpenter was inside, in the storage room, creating all the holes for assembly. The wood then was cleaned and transitioned over into my section of the basement, the furnace room. I had cleaned up the spray “booth” and set up my cramped but brightly lite painting space.

My step 3 was to paint all indicated sides. It’s always a challenge when you have to paint every surface but the plus side to our furnace room is the heat. Which meant that by the time first coat was done it was dry enough to pick up and do back side coat. An hour and a half later the doors were 100% second coated and everything else was coated all sides.

Back on step 10 Ron was working on the counter top. This involved templating for the sink and taps and then creating the holes. It looks so darling! The sink is actually a good container. That wood is so stunning.

Step 4 for me final coat of paint after these had a few more hours to dry. Step 11 for Ron will be to cut the acrylic oven door to size and install all 3 door insets. I’m 100% positive the chalk paint will need one more coat. We also need to figure out what the stove elements are going to be. Then it’s transport time for final assembly.

If you’ve been wondering if the end is in sight before Christmas morning you wouldn’t be alone! Lucky for us we are pretending that tomorrow is Christmas Eve and that Boxing Day is Christmas Day. Our children’s spouse’s families claimed Christmas Day this year so we flexed around that and isn’t it a good thing!!

By this time tomorrow it will be assembled as a dear sweet little girl sleeps. The “oohhh” and sheer delight will make the long hours for Santa grampa fade away. The hours of play time this old wood will log with it’s new lease on life is worth every second of creation. Stay tuned for a final post of the end product.

Merry Christmas. Enjoy the blessing of the season.



I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

9 thoughts on “Santa’s (aka grampa’s) Workshop

  1. My Dad and Uncle made me a kitchen and oven when I was little. I still have it and I have fond memories of it. We still have it, it is a little beat up but still works! Merry Christmas! enjoy the giggles of excitement when she sees it!


    1. That’s so special that you kept it! I hope the boys played with it. The “ooohh’s” and the entire day of playing with it just filled our hearts with joy.


  2. Santa and Mrs. Claus sound like the MOST. INCREDiBLE. GRANDPARENTS. EVER!!!!! Your project leaves me speechless. Except for one request – a report on how this project was received.


    1. Oh for sure. I’m hoping that Momma will even consent to a couple of face photos.
      We try to give gifts that will last and this one fits the bill. Not sure it makes us CAPS LOCK incredible but thanks!


  3. I can not wait to have my turn to play here! Bravo – Santa and Mrs Santa! I am excited for Christmas morning at your home! Enjoy!


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