2018 has been a busy year in and out of work. I was able to take on some huge projects in my garage and around the house. Here are my favorite projects from 2018!

Cross Cut Sled

Matt Sparx

I made this cross cut sled for my table saw to be able to make accurate, repeatable cuts on various projects. I used Baltic birch plywood, Woodcraft t-tracks and an Incra measuring track.

Beetle Kill Sofa Table

Matt Sparx

In 2017, I finally finished my huge 8 person Harvest table! The dining room was lacking something... A sofa table that we could use to put the extra plates of food when we had a large gathering. I have yet to fully finish this project with sealer, but it is in the house and being put to good use.

Project Instigator: Jeep Wrangler

Matt Sparx

This was the most expensive project of 2018. The Wrangler was in pretty bad condition, but nothing a couple of long weekends covered in grease couldn't remedy. The entire front end was re-done with new steering linkage, control arms, ball joints, linkage brackets, etc. I also installed new headlights, tires, upgraded the lift with adjustable control arms, some engine components were replaces and I also had the gears replaced by Bullhide 4x4.

Cedar Planter Boxes

Matt Sparx

Spring brought some great ideas and one of them was a planter box to give the house some curb appeal. I decided that we needed a modern looking planter box, so I made one. I was also fortunate enough to have some interest in the boxes that gave me some extra cash as I was commissioned to create a handful of custom boxes for some very nice people in Northern Colorado. Here is the biggest and most custom planter box with lattice for vining plants.

Matt Sparx

Board & Batten Wall and New Flooring

Matt Sparx

Not all of my projects included exterior items. I also spruced up the inside of our home with new flooring and an accent board and batten wall in the laundry room!

Cutting Board

Matt Sparx

Our close family friends started on a new journey to another state a little more than halfway through the year. I figured that I would show my appreciation to them the only way I could... Make them something. I was able to construct an end grain cutting board out of walnut, cherry and rock maple right before they took off for Florida.

Water Heater

Matt Sparx

The original water heater in our home lasted a good 19 years before one night I was in pain and needed some relief, so I ran a bath. Something wasn't quite right however... The water looked like beer. The water heater was finally showing its age, so it was time to replace it. The removal and installation took about 4 hours from start to finish. To be honest, the part that took the longest was waiting for the water to drain out of the old water heater... nearly two hours!

Now it is time for the crown jewel of my DIY projects for 2018...

The Front Yard Renovation

Here is what I started with:

Matt Sparx

When we moved in to our place in January of 2016, the yard was in rough shape. The crab apple tree had blight and was being killed off more and more each year. Rocks... So many rocks. bushes and weeds galore and a poorly laid out sprinkler system. August was the beginning of a nearly 2 month long renovation.

Matt Sparx

It doesn't look like much, but we pulled out all of the landscape rock, sifted it and piled it up on the driveway one 5 gallon bucket at a time. Hundreds of buckets later we were able to remove the tree, bushes and till the front yard.

Matt Sparx

I removed all of the existing sprinkler heads and relocated new, rotating heads to each corner of the yard to get full coverage all over the yard. I also had a soil test done so I could amend the soil where the nutrients were lacking to get the best looking grass possible. After the test revealed that I needed some sulfur and other nutrients, I laid down the grass seed and covered the seedlings with peat moss and watered numerous times a day for about a month and a half. I was able to mow the lawn 3 times before letting the grass go dormant for the winter.

Matt Sparx

I have to say, I think I have the best looking lawn on the block... Maybe even the entire neighborhood!

I am sure I will have some great projects coming up in 2019! I really want to build a big deck for the backyard, a decent sized raised garden bed with protection from the Northern Colorado hail, and also a nice shed with an attached small greenhouse. Here's to getting things done in 2019!