Archive for  March 2017

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This year, I’m all about building more and spending less. I’ve come to the conclusion that I buy things way too easily and that I could use that money for something else, like putting my kids through college. Our problem was that our kids were too big for cribs and had started escaping them, but they weren’t big enough to sleep in a larger bed. We started by going to Ikea and considering purchasing an accordion-like bed that cost about one hundred and fifty bucks.

The main issue was that we were about to move back in with my wife’s parents, so we desperately needed a bed that could accommodate our twins. However, it shouldn’t have been to big to use in such a small space. As usual, my wife was as skeptical as ever, and that’s because she has little to no confidence in me when it comes to building stuff. Nonetheless, I found that this kind of attitude was what motivated me even more.


We got two mattresses and I started planning for an L-shaped bed. I was lucky enough to come across a comprehensive article published on Popular Mechanics which helped me a lot with regard to the materials that I needed. Something that I noticed I was attracted to was the idea of using lumber that had already served its purpose here, on Earth. Besides, kids grow quickly so it wouldn’t have made any sense to purchase new wood coming from fresh cut trees. I’m all for reusable products.


Fortunately, I had the help of my father. Once I assembled the headboards, sideboards, and backboards, it got a bit trickier. I made loads of calculations, of course, and more than enough outlines. You don’t need tools that are too fancy to do this project, and that’s something I’ve learned from the Popular Mechanics article. Of course, if you have a router, a miter saw, or a drill press, you’d be better off especially as these tools are real investments that pay for themselves in the long run.

It’s important for you to understand that you can achieve everything that has gone through your mind as long as it is a bit realistic. Sometimes, you don’t even have to spend a lot of money. It’s far easier to go to a store and get an item you need right away, just like it’s simpler to go out and eat in a restaurant or some takeout instead of cooking at home. Like a home-cooked meal tends to taste a lot better than what you’d buy while you’re out and about, it goes the same for DIY projects. It’s far more rewarding to build a bed for your kids with your own hands instead of spending over one hundred and fifty dollars on a frame they might outgrow sooner than you’d think.



The pic was taken from:


I do love furniture. When the new year rolled in, I told myself, “Dylan, it’s about time you got off your butt and did something exciting for the year.” That said, I did get my butt off the Adirondack on the porch and did some respectable level of research on what woodworking projects would be worth doing this year.

Another Adirondack for the porch

I picked up this easy design from Popular Mechanics that, although loosely based on an Adirondack chair, offers greater simplicity in construction. The design requires just a couple of 1-inch by 10-inch by 10-foot pieces of lumber.

I won’t even need to blow my savings on a terribly expensive CNC machine. The design should take me a couple of hours this weekend. I shall be using my cordless drill and circular saw, thank goodness.

I have my rafter square plus some bar clamps and 48 pieces of 1.5-inch exterior-grade screws from the corner hardware store.

I will measure out the various parts of the chair like so: two 9.25 by 32 inches lumber for the seat back; two pieces of 9.25 by 20.25 inches lumber for the seat; a front stretcher using 5.5 by 21.75 inches lumber, beveled along on edge at 30 degrees.

For the back support, I will be cutting out 4-inch by 25.75-inch lumber, also beveled the same way as that for the front stretcher. For the two front legs, I need four ⅝ by 21.25 inches of wood. The two armrests each need to be made from 4 ⅝ by 28 inches of lumber.

The two rear legs each require four ⅝ by 32 inches lumber, while the two arm supports will use 3-inch by 11.5-inch lumber, tapered from 1.5 inches to 3 inches along their length.

The wood will be milled then assembled following the simplistic design. Yep, I will have another Adirondack chair in which my good friend would be sitting and sipping lemonade come summer.

A handmade chessboard

Since I intend to get my dosage of amazement from my friends with the least amount of work, I have decided to work on a simple chess and checker board so we can have one-on-one tournaments on the porch.

The perfect complement to my soon-to-be-made Adirondack chair, this wooden chessboard will need a table saw, which the neighborhood lumberyard has so I may just pay them another visit two weeks after I have finished my Adirondack chair.

I’m pretty sure they would accommodate my request to have the light, and dark wood I will be buying from them cut to make enough for four two by 20-inch strips with ¾-inch thickness for each color.

This project won’t need troublesome cutting and gluing together of 64 small pieces. I will only need those basic pieces above plus some wood glue, bar clamps, my orbital sander and framing square.

I intend to pick two species of wood with similar hardness levels. I’ve been thinking, something like mahogany and oak. Or perhaps the lighter wood should be maple. Tell me what you think people, I am open to suggestions.

A box joint

With my ever-growing collection of tools, I know I should build a box of some sort for quick storage of the machines. This project only requires 1-inch by 10-inch by 8-foot lumber. I think S4S oak should be okay.

I am also going to need scrap plywood and solid wood stock for the jig. The project will also require some carpenter’s yellow glue and a brush and a miter gauge. I should outfit my router with a ⅜-inch rabbeting bit if I am to work on this project.

I will also get some 24-inch clamps. Oh, and let me not forget, my chisel.

The list of materials is pretty short. I will need oak lumber for both the two end and two side pieces of the box. The plywood will be for the box bottom. I will be using a ¾-inch plywood measuring six by 12 by ¾ inches for the jig fence, plus ½ by ½ by 3 inches solid wood for the jig key.

The design needs careful layout. However, I’m sure it will be worth the effort.