"The Handbuilt Home"

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The toolkit: Book simplifies furniture building

  • Akron Beacon-Journal
  • November 13, 2012 - 5:14 PM

Ana White built her first piece of furniture because she and her husband had a small budget and she refused to waste money on low-quality pieces. Since then, she's built hundreds of projects as well as a following for, a website where she teaches others how to create her easy-to-build pieces.

Now White is sharing some of her favorite projects in her new book, "The Handbuilt Home" (Potter Craft, $22.99). The book contains instructions for 34 inexpensive projects that White insists are achievable even by people who lack woodworking skills or elaborate tools.

She teaches readers basic techniques, helps them choose materials and coaches them to work safely. She then takes them step by step through the process of building pieces such as tables, hutches, beds and even a child's play kitchen.

Outdoor showers go upscale

Oborain is bringing a vacation favorite to the back yard. The company makes prefab outdoor showers that can be assembled in 30 minutes and plumbed with garden hoses. Each shower has a stainless-steel frame, a deck made from the Brazilian hardwood cumaru and wall panels made from dark red meranti, a hardwood from Malaysia that resists weathering and splitting. The shower head has three settings, including pulsating massage as well as a thermostatic temperature control.

The showers can be installed permanently or disassembled to move or store for winter.

The company's showers range in price from $4,300 to $12,000. Customized sizes are also available. More on Oborain showers can be found at

Maintaining wine glasses

Q I have some new wine glasses that I'd like to keep looking like new. What is the correct way to wash, handle and store them? If a glass becomes cloudy or smelly, what is the best way to remedy the situation?

A The best way to keep glassware looking like new is to wash it by hand. Avoiding the dishwasher should also prevent cloudiness and odor. If those become a problem, you can clean wine glasses with baking soda, fizzing denture tablets or a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

Wine Spectator magazine recommends using hot water and as little soap as possible, then rinsing well. Let the glasses dry in a drying rack, or dry with a lint-free towel. Be careful to avoid a twisting motion that could break off the stem.

Store the glasses in a wine glass rack or upright on a shelf with a little space between them. The rim of the glass is the most delicate part, so storing a glass upside down can result in chips.


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