Weight Plate Storage

I made a weight plate rack probably 7 years ago and it held up reasonably well with limited use.

Through the pandemic, I’ve been using my garage gym a lot and the rack was starting to fall apart. The design had two main problems:

  1. The screws (I didn’t know about wood glue back then) couldn’t support the load of plates leaning and falling against the uprights.
  2. The narrow base meant the plates could easily roll off when bumped.

So I took a bunch of measurements, looked at my scrap plywood, and modeled a new rack in SketchUp. My goals were to make construction simple, not spend any money, add spots for the kettlebell plates, and save space. Here’s what I came up with.

Originally it was one wide rack, but I ended up making it in two sections since my scrap plywood wasn’t long enough. This made assembly easier and gives me the option of storing half of the plates in a different location.

I cut all of the plywood, used wood glue and a nail gun for assembly, and sanded all of the edges. I gave it some spray paint and number stencils. I had everything I needed in my workshop so I didn’t spend a dime.

I tested with the heavier plates and quickly realized I’d failed to plan for the plates tipping to the sides; they don’t stay upright without some kind of vertical support. Also with the lightweight plywood construction, the whole thing could move depending on how many other plates are in use. Back to the drawing board. I didn’t want to throw away all my work, so I came up with a way to use 2x4s from the previous rack.

I cut slots in the 2×4 to create stable vertical supports. I only needed a single screw in each one. Then I added another piece of 2×4 across the back, double screwed to each support, to link all four together, which improved the strength a lot. Each half rack was also screwed to the wall. It works well now.

While I was at it, I removed the Plasti Dip and colored paint from the small metal plates, which had been peeling for years. Blakleen was a huge save in this process, even though it was still a mess and a lot of work. Then I primed and painted them black. They look really good, so it was worth it.

Shortcuts Rarely Save Time

After I added lighting to my broom closet, the unfinished shoe rack started to bug me. It wasn’t only that the saw marks and colors caught my eye, more than once I scraped fingers when grabbing a pair of shoes since I never sanded the edges. My time-saving shortcuts only ended up causing more work in the long run because now I had to disassemble the other shelving a second time in order to get the rack out and finish it.

I sanded the edges and used white spray paint. I also painted the piece of wood holding up the other shelves.

Much better!

Review: Darkiron Massage Gun

Last year I used a Hypervolt massage gun at my friend’s house and thought it was pretty cool. I wasn’t going to pay $300+, for what is essentially a fancy jig saw, though. Theragun also makes really nice ones, but those can even run up to $600! A couple of weeks ago I saw a thread on Reddit with a link to some more afordable options. I clicked on one and saw really good reviews. It looked nearly identical to the Hypervolt with more speed settings and a lot of attachments. After an Amazon Prime discount, $10 coupon, and tax it came to $95.39. That’s a price tag I could feel okay about spending on a device I might not use much. It’s the Darkiron Massage Gun and here’s an Amazon link to it.

When I opened the box there was even a little card with an offer to get a free battery after submitting a review. Could be why their reviews are so good. 😉  After a little use I submitted an Amazon review, emailed the company, and received a spare battery within a week.

This thing is pretty quiet and runs for 90 minutes on a single charge. As you can see it comes with a bunch of attachments, though I’ve only used the soft ball so far. The case is nice too. I’m really happy with my purchase and it’s a gun I can recommend for the price.

Automated Closet Lighting

After building a rack for my workout shoes a couple of weeks ago, I wanted to tackle another thing about the broom closet that has been bugging me for years. It never had a light! I put together a rough video of the entire process.

I’m really happy with how it turned out, especially since I was able to use parts I had in my electronics collection. The whole thing uses a simple circuit, cost less than $10, and doesn’t require WiFi or any fancy connections. The Working of Transistor as a Switch page on Electronics Hub was a big help. I ended up using a PNP transistor in my circuit without resistors because the LEDs were dimming and I wanted maximum brightness.

$3 Run

I found three bucks in the street on a run today. 🍀💸🏃🏻‍♂️

% Better/Worse

This showed up in my Facebook memories this morning and I quickly shared it.

tiny-gainz

Then I thought about it for a minute and the scale on the chart seemed out of whack, so I deleted the post. I opened up a Google spreadsheet and started messing with numbers. Here’s what a real chart looks like if you improve by 1% each day.

1-percent-changes

What does this really show though? If the starting number 1 represents your current ability in some skill, the end result is your ability in that skill. So if you improved by 1% each day, at the end of a year your skill level would be over 37x what it currently is. Conversely if you got 1% worse each day, at the end of a year you’d be left with about 2.5% of your original ability. I can’t think of any skill where either that much of an improvement or decline is possible by any stretch of the imagination.

What about 0.1% changes though?

tenth-of-percent-changes

If you got 0.1% better each day for a year, your skill level would improve by 44% and if you got 0.1% worse each day you’d be left with just under 70% of your ability. Now we’re getting somewhere realistic!

It’s still hard to grasp what that means though, with 1 representing some ability or skill level. To put this in perspective, I’ll use the time it takes to run a mile. Starting with a 10 minute mile on day one makes it easy to understand.

If you run 1% faster each day, you’d have to run a 15.5 second mile at the end of the year. Good luck!

If you run 0.1% faster each day, you’d be running a mile in 6:56 at the end of the year. That’s seems possible doesn’t it?

Organizing my Workout Shoes

A couple of years ago I put this cheap shoe rack in my broom closet by the door out to the garage. It was out of the way and a quick place to grab my bag and shoes when I headed to the gym.

workout-shoes-before.jpeg

The rack obviously didn’t fit the space, I couldn’t see the shoes, and it was hard to grab a pair if they were not on the outside. This had been bugging me for years.

Today I set out to make something simple to fit the space. Since it’s a broom closet and I didn’t care what it looked like, I used beat up plywood. Turned out great and works exactly as I had hoped.

workout-shoes-after.jpeg

It felt good to finally make something again!