Dog’s Toy Box

This was a very simple build I knocked out one night. I used solid wood scraps for the sides and plywood for the bottom, all 3/4″ thick. It’s about 30″ wide and 18″ deep. The height in the back is about 7″ tall and the front is about 2-1/2″.

Since this was getting painted, the quality of the wood wasn’t a concern and I didn’t need to do much sanding. I used a roundover router bit on all of the edges. I like it when I don’t have to do the finishing work. Turned out nice.

Making Things in 2020

I got burnt out in 2019, but 2020 relit my fire for making stuff.

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Once I found the spark, the rest of the year felt balanced, in terms of not doing too much and varying the types of projects. My favorites were the new home office, the Gympac, and the picnic table / benches. 2021 is off to a great start with several posts already published and others being planned. The hobby room updates will allow me to get back to electronics projects.

Mini Convertible Picnic Table and Benches

My nieces have a bunch of American Girl dolls and play with them a lot. I thought it would be cool to make a picnic table for them as a Christmas gift. Then I remembered some convertible benches which joined to make a picnic table I’d seen a few years ago. I found a set of plans and made everything at 1/3 scale since the dolls are 18 inches tall. I asked each girl what color they wanted, not telling them what I was making. Sophie (7 on the 30th) picked purple and Kennedy (10) picked pink. I really love how these turned out and as a bonus they also work as desks. It was definitely one of the funnest projects I’ve done.

Bath Tub Tray/Caddy

My friend Casey asked if I could make his vision come to lift as a gift for his wife Maggie. Here’s his sketch.

He picked up a nice piece of maple, which I cut and glued up. I’d never made recessed cuts in wood before, so that was a fun challenge to tackle. I bought a piece of acrylic and made a large base for my palm router.

Then I made a 4″ circle template in some scrap plywood by cutting a large hole with a forstner bit, getting close to the line with the router, and finishing up on the oscillating spindle sander.

I attaching the template to the maple by using blue tape on each surface and then some CA glue with activator in between the taped surfaces. I used a flush trim bit with a top bearing in the router to copy the template. It was much easier than I expected.

To cut a slot for an iPad I clamped down some scrap wood to create a border for the palm router and it’s original base. I didn’t have the iPad so I cut thin plywood to a similar size for testing, while also making sure the slot would work for future iPad sizes.

I cut and attached runners, rounded all of the corners and edges, and gave everything a thorough sanding.

My work was done at this point, since Casey was taking care of the finish to match their bathroom cabinets. It turned out great and we had a happy recipient!

Making Things in 2019

I posted recaps of my making for 2017 and 2018. I thought I might be able to hit 100 making posts in 2019, but I fell well short of that. November and December of 2018 kind of burned me out. I did a bit in 2019 though…

January

February

March

 

May

June

July

Only 21 posts for the year!

Franken-treadmill

Last August I picked up a free treadmill and didn’t use it once because it had a major issue. When I’d get on it and crank up the speed, either the belt was slipping or the motor couldn’t handle the load. I never got around to troubleshooting the problem. A couple of weeks ago I saw another free treadmill which was able to fold up. That was another problem with the first treadmill; it took up way too much space in the garage.

So I picked up this second treadmill and gave it a quick test when I got it home. It worked just fine at speed, but the front end wanted to tip back. I found the manual online and noticed it was missing the support leg extensions and wheels. I grabbed a couple of 1.5″ posts from my scrap wood, hammered them in, and they fit perfectly.

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No more tipping over!

Last weekend I disassembled the first treadmill to salvage a bunch of parts, like the motor and speed controller. The support wheels were part of a framed piece, which I thought I could fit on to the treadmill I was keeping, so I saved them too.

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Today I cut a couple of spacer blocks, chopped the leg posts, drilled some holes, and voila! The bolts I used were also saved from the other treadmill. I love when a plan works out and especially when it involves upcycling parts.

I was a little worried the posts wouldn’t be able to handle the weight of the treadmill when propped up to wheel around, but it works great. I probably won’t move the treadmill around the garage often, but it’s nice that it’ll be easy to do with the wheels instead of having to pick it up or shuffle it across the floor.

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How many times will I use this treadmill in the next year though?

Funk

I haven’t been making anything in my free time lately. No woodworking. No electronics projects. I think I got burnt out from doing so many projects over November, December, and January. I have several projects started in the basement workshop and my main workbench is piled with salvaged parts from various things. My hobby desk has several electronics kits I haven’t opened. So it’s not like I don’t have projects I could be working on. I probably need to find the motivation or inspiration for that one project that gets me going again. It’ll come.

When I’m not making things, it’s a lot harder to come up with content for blog posts and continue my daily posting streak. This post marks day 938. If you’ve been following along you probably noticed a lot more pictures and random shit over the last few months. It seems like I’m getting to 6, 7, or 8 pm more often before I finally post something. I’ve thought about ending the streak, but I’m so close to 1,000 days!

Making Things in 2017

It was late in 2016 when I started getting into electronics and this summer I started buying more tools and converted most of my basement into a workshop. Here’s a recap of my 2017 posts related to making or fixing things.

January

February

March

April

May

June

July

August

September

October

November

December

Wow, I did a lot of experimenting, failing, learning, and accomplishing in my “free time” last year! 2018 should be even better when I combine the new skills I’m acquiring with my list of project ideas.