My relationship with woodworking began much like anyone else’s with the discovery of the pile of sawdust underneath my dad’s table saw. It was awesome. I helped my dad with his projects by nailing random nails I found on the ground into a scrap piece of 2×4. I built my first wooden airplane in elementary school – two pieces of scrap wood I found in the garage, held together with a nail. You had to look really hard to see it as an airplane.

My affinity for woodworking has continued though, and my skill has progressed only slightly.

Several years ago I got careless around my own table saw… I don’t do that anymore. Thanks to that, I can’t really type ‘W’s or ‘E’s the way you’re supposed to, or hold a plate as easily, or pick up a pencil with my left hand. ‘X’s are a bit easier though, and I get to have some unusual moments of celebration!

Yet, I love working with wood, and making things, and when several of my worlds collide, nothing makes me happier.

My joy came to a zenith almost a year ago when our office moved upstairs in Boomer Theatre. Our video team had a new video studio, and a ton of equipment to give a home. Kam Stocks asked if I would be interested in putting together some storage for their equipment, and I was only slightly enthused to have been asked to help.




Since then, I’ve built a number of things for #TeamWebComm and beyond. I would love to show those off up in here.


These are the shelves Kam asked me to put together. I had mentioned to him an idea I saw on Frank Howarth’s YouTube page (my Internet crush), and with Kam’s blessing, I adapted it for our own office use. It’s a French cleat system, so every shelf or hook that you see can be moved anywhere else. There’s a reverse 45-degree angle on the shelves that rests in the opposite 45-degree angle of the rails on the wall. The greatest challenge of these was cutting an 8-foot sheet of plywood longways on my table saw. The shelves are rabbet jointed to the cleat, then have dado joints for the support legs. The supports are joined together by a beveled piece of wood as a spacer from the wall. Without that spacer, the shelf would lean out and pull the rail OUT from the wall as opposed to pushing down into the cleat on the rail. Well, check them out:



Look at that beauty. All of it is 3/4″ Birch plywood from Home Depot or Lowe’s, so it’s inexpensive, it’s strong, and it’s pretty. Annie helped me stain all of it (I hate staining, finishing, etc.) BEFORE she was pregnant. We used Danish Oil for the finish, and that’s it.



The supports have a reverse 45º bevel that allows them to slide past the rails when the shelves are placed. Without the bevel, they would be a tighter fit when dropping them in place.


I love the look of the exposed plywood banding, it’s easier to do, but it still looks nice when you’re consistent with it. I also used an 80 tooth 10″ finishing blade on these, which cuts slower, but cuts really clean and smooth.


Those are 3/4″ oak dowels. I would put the rail mount on it, then place it on the drill press at the relatively low angle that created, drill the holes with a 3/4″ forstner bit, and THEN attach the spacer on the bottom. That gave the dowels a very slight rise to them to keep stuff from slipping off.


I’m proud of this one. You feel really good about your handiwork when the team is willing to leave stupid expensive equipment on it. This is holding up our Movi steadicam system, which depending on if it has our C100 on it, can swing out or in. That’s why I gave it the arched shape, to allow space in case the unit swings backwards.


Here’s the latest addition to the studio space. Two matching rails parallel one another on either side of the room, with aluminum piping stretching between them. One at the far end of the room is holding our black backdrop, the other three are just suspended to be out of the way. On the left, the soft box is attached to one of the mounts I made, which double as a hanger for the aluminum poles or a mount for our lights. There are hooks as well, intended for cable organization.


Here’s a close up. The mount holding up the aluminum poles has a 3/8th inch dowel coming out of it that matches the mounting system on our studio lights, so we can put them up near the ceiling without using a tripod. We also have extension rods that can attach to the mount, and then angle the light from some weird direction. We likely won’t use that function, but we could, and that’s cool.

And here’s a timelapse of Mason and I putting those rails up. I’m using tiny super strong magnets to find nails in order to in turn find studs, but it wasn’t helpful. Every once in a while I would get lucky, but an irritating number of the mounting screws didn’t hit studs.


And here’s a demonstration of me moving one of the pieces. Forgive the rolled up jeans, it’s hot.



I’ve made a number of these guys, and they seem to be a big hit, and the team was on board with us having one for the office. We are the University of Oklahoma, so the state seems to be only fitting for our office. The shape is actually pretty accurate proportionately, as I draw it out in Illustrator first, then use those measurements for it.


The top piece is five feet wide, and they’re attached just using command strips. To space them, I actually cut out wood at the width that should be between them, and used them while putting them up. What’s nice about that is I only needed to check the levelness of the top piece.



We play some b-ball outside of school. We only really have a handful of doors, and even those are poorly placed for sweet dunks, so I made a little jig to hold the goal up in the middle of our open entry zone. I wish I had made the front a bit longer, because when you dunk, the thing flexes and swings like crazy, but it works.


DREW FROM DOWNTOWN (Candace groans)



That’s a real word; look it up. We did a shoot for the Pride of Oklahoma to help announce something pretty special (you’ll see soon!) so I put this together one night using some cutoffs off the ground of my shop and some finishing nails. It worked quite fantastically. You’ll have to wait to see evidence of its existence, or, lack thereof, because we don’t give away ALL our secrets.

And hopefully, there will be many more wood projects to come for #TeamWebComm.

One thought on “WoodComm

  1. The nut doesn’t fall far from the tree. Perhaps for your next project you could get with Candace of Sooner World and build a lifesize 3D Velociraptor skeleton to add to their collection. Now THAT would set your hair on fire, eh?

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