Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day Projects

Happy Labor Day!
To celebrate, I'm going to be laborious and bang out a few small projects.

First project is to fix up my over-crowded computer desk.

I'm going to build a platform for my computer monitors that will sit on top of the desk.  This will also make space for other stuff underneath.  To make this I decided to use 2 small furniture legs I had laying around.

And some scrap wood.

Since I only had 2 legs, I fashioned 2 more legs using some thinner wood.

I cut the thin wood and screwed them together into 2- L-shaped legs.

I screwed those 2 legs, plus the other 2 furniture legs onto the board and presto!  A little shelf for my table.

My second Labor day project is to make a tool box.

Currently I have a lot of tools and materials on the floor and in cardboard boxes.  Again, I used scrap wood I had - some pine planks, 2x4's and a dowel - and simply nailed them together.

There was some measuring and cutting involved to make it fit on my shelf, and the wooden dowel to act as a handle on the top.

It's not so pretty, but it's functional and much better than a cardboard box.

Lastly, I attempted to make a drill press for my hand held drill.
I had actually started to make this project a few weeks ago, but today it was finalized when I used some wood from this project for a different project.  But even though this did not come to fruition, I'll still post it anyway.

I researched a number of home-built presses, and the one that caught my eye can be seen here.  I liked it, so I based my design on his.  That guy had his built in between wall studs in what looks to be his garage.  Since I can not do that in my apartment, mine will have to be free standing.  Below are my initial concepts for my press.

In between the press bottom and the press table will be a pair of drawer sliders so that the table smoothly moves up and down.

Next I went to the hardware store and picked up a few things.  I got 1 piece of an 8 foot long 2x4 cut to 4 pieces at 24" each.  For the base and table I bought a pine board 12" wide at a length of 4 feet.  I cut this board in half, giving me 2 pieces at 24" in length.  My concept drawings were 24" x 24" x 24", so I will have to adjust my final designs based on these new measurements.

With most of my materials handy, I went back to SketchUp and redid my plans based on the new board sizes.

After pondering my revised design over some lunch, I came up with a redesign I'd rather go for.

My revised design is more-or-less the same as before, except I decided to make the table smaller to better fit the drill.  This new design also requires less wood for me to cut - which is nice.  It is still the same height as before - but being much thinner will help in my crammed apartment.

Once I got home I took some measurements of my drill to make the correct-sized table.  I traced the drill on to a piece of cardboard.  Then using a ruler, I drew the correct sized pieces.

I traced those pieces onto the wood I bought and then cut it out.

I started putting it together without glue, and also tried cutting out the hole for the drill front.

The white wood that I used for this project is rather cheap.  For one thing, the pieces warped while I was cutting them.  I stopped at this point since I feared the inferior wood would mess up the accuracy of my drilling. I also placed my drill in the table I had so far, and I wasn't liking the fit.  I also think I made the table too small, so once again I did a quick redesign.

My new table is a little bit wider - which will give my hands an area to pull the table and drill down.  With my new design and measurements handy, I grabbed an older piece of poplar - which I used for my dartboard doors (seen here) and plotted out the cut lines again.

I cut out the pieces and made sure everything fit correctly and Then I cut out the circle for the drill on the bottom of the table.

This project was turning out to be kind of lousey - my cuts were not straight and the hole I was drilling cracked the wood.  I headed back to the hardware store to find better material when I spotted this:

...A drill press for my Dremel tool.  This was significantly cheaper than buying a real drill press, and I had become frustrated with trying to build my own, so I bought it.  The pine and poplar pieces for this project went into building the above 2 projects - so not a total loss.

In addition to these projects I also worked on some other projects were have not been completed.  For fun I'll post some photos of these projects and let you guess what they are.

Happy Labor Day!

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