Gym Shelf Improvement

When I rearranged a bunch of stuff in my garage gym a free months ago I moved this shelf from an old spot.

It’s bugged me ever since because it was too close to the barbells and didn’t fit the new location. This morning a made a new shelf.

Much better!

Table Saw: Fence and Wings

It took me several more weeks to get to it, but the table saw upgrade I mentioned in my previous post is complete. I installed a new fence and built custom wings. These are huge improvements to the saw!

The road to get here was a bumpy one though. The fence is the 30″ 36-T30T3 made by Delta and it goes for $200. I ordered one from Amazon, which came banged up with holes in the box and missing parts. They sent a replacement and it was the same problem, so I returned both. Lowes sells the fence for the same price, so I ordered one and had it shipped to the store, hoping their delivery system would take better care of the box than UPS. It worked out and I received a complete box of parts.

I’m not going to go in to detail on the installation because it’s different depending on the type of saw you have and there are several YouTube videos and articles out there. My saw is a Craftsman 113.298032, which required some new mounting holes. Some people drilled in to the cast iron top, but I went the other way and drilled new holes in the fence rails, which I think is a much better way to go.

I made my wings using oak flooring for the sub frame (1 1/2″ tall) and 1/2″ laminate finished panels from Menards. Here are some pictures I took through the process.

The Playbook

Netflix’s five episode season 1 of The Playbook is good. Each episode is 30-35 minutes with a coach talking about their “Rules for Life.” All of the coaches were very different, as were their rules. By the end, I realized they shared a common and very important skill, which is understanding and working with people. It’s not an easy skill to excel at and these coaches are doing it at the highest levels of sport, with some of the best to play their games.

Add it to your list and watch.

New Table Saw Switch

Now that I’ve been in my workshop again, it’s time for some table saw upgrades I’ve been wanting to do. The bigger project I had planned for yesterday couldn’t happen because of part damaged during shipping, so I went with the easy one. Here’s the old switch on my saw.

It worked fine, but I wanted something cooler and safer, so I ordered one from Amazon for about $13. The hardest part was finding an electrical box to would work with the location where I wanted to install the switch. Then I built a simple scrap wood box around it and wired everything.

The START button is recessed and you really have to push it, so there is almost no chance of accidentally turning on the saw. The STOP paddle is a big target and at knee height, which will make it easy to turn off the saw without moving my eyes or hands if an operation becomes dangerous.

DIY Desk Backer

Here it is, the final project I had planned for my new home office.

The idea for this actually started a year ago, when I rotated my desk in the old office.

The back of my desk is obviously meant to be up against a wall, so it’s not a finished look with the particle board and the big access holes. At the time, I was thinking I could create some type of artsy piece for the back using reclaimed pallet wood. I didn’t have any motivation to make anything over the winter though.

Fast forward to this year and moving my office to a newly redone room across the hall. With better lighting, the back of the desk stuck out even more.

My idea came back to me and inspired part of the plant stand. I acquired a bunch of reclaimed oak flooring from the 50s to use for both projects. Hopefully the following pictures tell a little bit of the story about how the idea went from my brain, to a 3D model/plan, and came to life.

It was probably the most complicated build I’ve done. Really happy with how it turned out!

Office Blinds

I’m nearing the end of my plans for the new home office. For several years I’d been thinking about getting top down bottom up blinds for the room that used to be my office. With both rooms being at the front of the house I didn’t want people looking in while I was at my desk, I didn’t want to be distracted all day by neighbors moving about their yards, and I wanted to let more light in. So when I needed blinds for the new room, I ordered some. They came in this week, were easy to install, and work great. Now that I have them set I’m not sure I’ll ever touch them unless I want to open the windows.

These two windows are pretty big, with the blinds being 76×65 and 52×65. Smith & Noble wanted almost $900! I found some from SelectBlinds for $430. Both of those are before sales/discounts. It was an easy choice (they’re just blinds!) and the final price was $292 total for the two blinds. I’ve also ordered one for a tall window next to my front door ($92), which is directly in my line of sight while working.

I’m not sure I’ll buy another type of blind again. These don’t have any strings to fight with and no wands to turn. You raise/lower the top or bottom by grabbing a couple of handles and moving them where you want. It’s so easy and gives you more options.

The last thing I have planned for the office is going to be a challenging build for me, so I’m excited to take it on and see how it turns out. Stay tuned!

Improved Dumbbell Storage

I have a 3-tier dumbbell rack, which works well, except for one key piece of the design. The lips that hold the top of each dumbbell aren’t really tall enough for the heavier dumbbells. Here’s a rough video showing the problem.

A 50 pound dumbbell only has to slip once or twice smashing your fingers on the bottom bracket before it’s time to come up with a fix. My solution was to cut a couple strips of plywood, notch them out to mate up with the the current lip, drill some holes, and bolt it together.

Didn’t need much extra height really. Here’s another rough video showing the improvement.

I also added a shelf for the smaller dumbbells because all of my sets don’t fit on the rack. I left space for two remaining pairs; the eights to match everything in my set from five to 40 pounds and some 60s (ordered today).

For a final touch, I created labels similar to what I made for the pulley weight stack.