Saturday, November 8, 2014

Rope Baskets!

These rope baskets are so easy and so useful. I have been making them for all my favorite people.
What makes them best for holding baby toys is that when the baby inevitably falls on the basket neck first, it just crushes.

Montessori Low Bed, or What you do with a climbing baby

This four piece bed fits a standard crib mattress, and best of all, it has no screws or nails and comes apart in seconds.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Table Top Gas BBQ needs a sturdy Table!

My mom got a pretty nifty table top gas grill, but it needed a nice and sturdy, fairly high table to sit on under her covered porch.
We decided it needed to be just the right depth, and a bit wider than the grill so she could put down a plate of food.

I came up with this sturdy and heavy table out of lumber I had in the garage.
Materials list:
5 2x4s 8 feet long
1 2x10 8 feet long
1 2x2 4 feet long
pocket hole screws/jig

I decided to make it a bit under 4 feet wide, so I could trim up my 2x10 to be perfectly square. Also, I used 2x4s to make the aprons, so we could put some heft looks on later to hold tongs and forks.
The top was two lengths of 2x10 with a 2x2 going down the center. The three table top pieces were joined using my Kreg Jig and some 2.5 inch pocket hole screws (blue kind for outdoor use).

 Join the table top from one apron to the 2x10, to the 2x2, to the 2x10 and the final apron. With pocket holes, you need to work in order to be able to access the screws.

 I added two 2x2 supports, but it probably didn't need it. This way it is sure not to sag or warp, though.
 The legs were simple 2x4s with cross braces. These braces may become the supports for a plywood shelf for propane, so I made sure they were low enough that a tank of propane could fit between them and the bottom of the front apron.

 Table before sanding. The mitered corners look nice, but can be a pain. This table would work with butt corners as well.

And the final stained version. I used a Behr premium deck stain in redwood first, then a coat of Cordovan Brown, also in the Behr.

Mantel Re-do

We decided a mantel in a house we are building was a little too narrow, as it was built out of just a 4X4 piece of lumber. It looked too small to put anything on, or to hang stockings, etc. The solution was to build a mitered box beam with 5 sides, so it could slip over the existing and secured 4x4.

I started with premium pine boards even though we were painting it, as they don't have the knots and bends that could cause problems later.
I used the table saw to rip all the edges to a 45 degree bevel, and measured it so it would fit very snugly on the 4x4 post.

The cut outs are to accommodate the tile surround on the wall. I have to say this project was a little tricky to do offsite, not being able to double check measurements as often as I usually do.

I ended up going with L brackets to secure the 5 sides, and some corner brackets too as it is the cleanest and strongest way I could without special joiners. It turned out pretty solid, and only needed some sanding, planing a little, and a bit of wood filler to fill any little imperfect bevel joints. Use tape to hold all the sides together while you place brackets-- it really is a good way to keep things square while you are working.

We are offering it to the buyers, so if it goes up, I will post a final picture!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baby changing station for top of dresser

In frantic baby#2-nesting-mode, I decided that our master bedroom could hold no more furniture. Husband's dresser became the obvious place to make a changing table, so I measured it up and built a custom tray topper to hold all new baby's clothes, changing pad, diapers, ointments, etc. All of his currently fitting clothes and accouterments fit in this tray...we will see how long that lasts!

The stain color is a little off, but I already had it! In fact, the whole project was made from wood already in the garage, but probably cost $15 for lumber and $20 for the two little sheets of plywood, before staining.If you attempt this, be sure to add sticky felt pads to the bottom so it doesn't scratch your dresser. Also, measure from the front of your dresser to the wall, not just the top of your dresser. This way you can gain extra surface area between the back of the dresser and the wall.
Yes, I realize that is a big TV for a bedroom. It was on sale.

Was a super easy build that probably took 2 or 3 hours, plus one hour to stain. Used my Kreg Jig to assemble, and finished the bottom off with a really nice piece of plywood meant for cabinet sides and backs.

Used three 1"x 6" boards (6'), 24 self-anchoring screws, and two sheets of birch plywood.

18 inch doll's bunk bed

With 18-inch dolls all the rage with the Kindergarten set, I decided to make my niece a bunk bed for her dolls. Favorite color? Purple, of course! Plan adapted from You can find that plan here: Ana White's Bunk Bed Plan

The finished product

 The sheets, blankets and pillows

Sanded and holes filled

End supports with pocket holes

Starting supplies after cuts made. This lumber needed a lot of sanding.