Friday, October 28, 2011

Garage Shelves

Another project down!  Below are pictures of the garage shelves I built this week.  I used the same type of lumber and design concept as the workbench so they actually look similar.

In the pictures below you can also see the pegboard & shelf above that.  I finally have usable space in the garage and can start the process of properly storing a lot of our 'stuff' that's been on the floor since the move. Let me know what you think.  Next project is basement shelves (completely different design)

  • Specifications
    • Ceiling Height: 10'
    • Shelf Dimensions: 2D x 4W x 8H
    • Legs
      • Kiln Dried 4x4x8 (actually measures 3.5)
      • Left side has 3" cut off to accommodate concrete lip on floor
    • Stretchers: Kiln Dried 2x4x8
    • Joinery
      • Side-to-Side
        • Rows 1 & 3: 5/16 Threaded rod
        • Rowes 2 & 4: 5/16 dowels glued
      • Front-to-Back:
        • Rows 1 & 3: 5/16 dowels glued
        • Rowes 2 & 4: 5/16 Threaded rod
    • Shelves: 3/4' MDF Board
    • Attached to wall studs with 5/16 x 5 lag bolts 

Friday, October 21, 2011

Workbench Project Complete

There's a catch when building a workbench, you don't have a workbench to build a workbench on!  Luckily I have a miter saw which got me through most of the base.  A home-made jig helped me make straight cuts for the shelves and I was able to borrow a table router from a friend (for the joinery).

The video explains very well and provides a PDF plan (free) which helps in planning the project.  The bench-top is two pieces of MDF laminated together with wood glue, then mounted with screws.  The joinery of the general structure is my favorite part of this bench, you wouldn't believe how rock solid it is.  The stretchers each have threaded rod through them which creates tremendous strength in the base.

I couldn't find the type of clips the video used to mount the top so I changed the plan.  Before lamination, I attached the bottom piece (of the bench top) with counter-sunk screws to the base.  In total, there are about 12 screws holding the bottom piece to the base.  I then followed the rest of the lamination instructions and had no issues completing the project.  The only downside of this is that the top is now permanent, I don't see it coming apart to have a new top put on.  If I do have to replace the top at some point, my plan is to just add another sheet of MDF, remove the screws, and use a longer screw to mount the new piece.  I can't see being necessary for many years if ever.

Further diverting from the plan, I attached a bench vice from my Grandfather's work shop.  He would be proud I built this and appreciative that I am using his tools in the process.  I would have loved to use the type from the video, but I didn't feel like spending $90 on it AND I didn't build this for "Fine Woodworking"... It's a workbench.

Free Plan & Instructional Video -

I will be mounting pegboard above the bench to better manage tool storage.  I found a 100-piece peg-hook kit on ebay for a reasonable price.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

30 Day Walkthrough and Updates

Wow it's been a while!  My brother-in-law had his wedding in Virginia last weekend and things have been crazy all around.  We blinked and it was time for our 30-Day Walk-through.  I wasn't going to be able to participate in the Walk-through so my wife took the reigns on this.  She had been keeping a list of items and I only had a few to contribute.  Overall, I can't complain about the quality and craftsmanship.  They did a great job.

The only thing I'm worried about is how frequently the sump pump runs.  I'll notice it run about once a day.  I thought the sump was supposed to only run once in a blue moon or during heavy rains after a few days.  It's good that it's working, but I'm a little worried about an underlying drainage issue.  I'll have to discuss with our PM when I get a chance.

Most of the major projects (garage door opener, utility sink, ceiling fans) are complete, I'm moving on to more utility-like projects.  I found a video and pdf plan for a work bench in the garage.  The dimensions are 2x5ft overall and is extremely solid structurally.  I'm about 3/4 the way through building the base and will tackle the bench-top with my friend this week.  Once the bench is finished, I'm going to build shelves on the wall of the garage.  Then we'll be able to store things in a better place than the floor of the garage or basement.  Next project will be shelves in the unfinished sections of the basement.  I'll be sure to post pictures when I have something to show!

Remember the pool table I couldn't get down the basement?  Well it's finally gone.  Put it up on Craigslist and a guy came this weekend to pick it up. The cursed table left it's mark on me however.  We were carrying the 350-lb piece of slate up the stairs when I had to set it down, it came down between the stair and my hand, I can't remember how we got it up the rest of the way since my hand was out of commission.  I fear it was broken so I went for an x-ray.  Somehow there were no breaks!  Only a "Deep Contusion" and it hurts when I try to squeeze hard or use it other than typing.  If that's the price to pay to get rid of the pool table, fine.  It's gone.  I do however get to enjoy the new (old) pool table which worked out great!

Monday, October 3, 2011

MIA & Fridge

Sorry I've been MIA.  Been a lot going on just getting back to a normal life.  We're coming along with unpacking.  It's mostly odds & ends left.

Had the pool table delivered on Wednesday, so now I have a new distraction.  Tuesday night, I noticed the temperature in the refrigerator was higher than normal, way higher.  Next thing I knew there was a buzzing noise that sounded like it was the compressor.  I called the GE Applicances hotline that Ryan gives in our homeowners manual.  Since the fridge wasn't cooling, they consider it an emergency and have to have someone there within 24 hours.  A repair man came the next day around 1pm.  He said the board in the fridge was defective and probably never worked.  He ran diagnostics on the board and it came back with a FAIL code of some kind.  Since he wasn't a GE tech, he had to special order the part and would come back to install.

He defrosted the fridge and got it working for the short term.  He said the root problem isn't solved yet but this should buy us a few days.  Since then the fridge has been fine, but apparently still can't regulate itself because of this defective board.  We only lost a little bit of food that couldn't handle being defrosted.  Hopefully it's fixed and we're good to go.