Wednesday, December 31, 2014

DIY: Basic Beginner Bookshelf Part 2 of 2


This is a tutorial for a basic beginner bookshelf.  I'll walk you through all the steps to make your very first project.

Basic Bookshelf Part 1

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Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY: Basic Beginner Bookshelf - Part 1 of 2

Today's project will be this simple beginner bookshelf. 

Basic Bookshelf Part 2

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

DIY: Hall Table / Sofa Console Table


DIY Hall Table

I am a minimalist when it comes to furniture.  I do not like big bulky pieces that take over a room.
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Friday, December 19, 2014

DIY: Shoe Rack - IKEA Hack


Shoe Rack

This is a story of a shoe rack.  It was a simple shoe rack.  All the other shoe racks laughed and made fun of it.  Until one day...
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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

DIY: Cordless Tool Charging Station (Shop Project)


A charging station is an essential piece for any shop.  If you have cordless tools, then you have batteries that need charging.  If you currently do not have a central place that you do all your charging chores, this will change the way you look at cordless tools.
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Monday, December 15, 2014

DIY: Mudroom Bench




A mudroom is a small area of the house where shoes and outerwear can be removed without tracking any unnecessary mud or dirt to other parts of the house.  Of course you don't have to have a mudroom in order to reap the benefits of this simple and sturdy mudroom bench.
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Thursday, December 11, 2014

IN DEPTH: Table Saw Workstation Part 1 - Q&A with Stan Sullivan




I remember the day.  It was two weeks before Christmas 2013.  I set up a camera in my garage for the first time and hit record.
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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

DIY: Roll Around Laundry Hamper with Screen Mesh Sides


Roll Around Laundry Hamper



When I was in college, I remember going to the local Laundromat.  I would throw all my dirty clothes in one washer, slap the machine on cold and do some homework.  
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Monday, December 8, 2014

DIY: Backyard Picnic Table



I have seen snow before.  A white fluffy flake of frozen H2O is a distinctive anomaly of nature.  No other is quite like it.  Beautiful and dare I say majestic.
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Friday, December 5, 2014

DIY: Baby Changing Table with Cabinet


DIY Baby Changing Table Cabinet

After three children I would say I have changed my fair share of diapers and then some.  I like having  a dedicated place to keep all those essentials for baby.  When it is 2 o'clock in the morning and your operating off of about 2 hours of sleep, the last thing you want to do is go searching for that misplaced diaper cream and wipes.
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Wednesday, December 3, 2014

DIY Wall Hanging Arts & Crafts Book Shelf Made with Scrap Lumber

DIY Bookshelf
DIY Wall Hanging Bookshelf

Inspiration for design ideas are all around us.  Most of the time we don't see them because our brains are trained to eliminate noise and clutter.  An advertising billboard here, a radio ad there and before you know it your ignoring the good with the bad.
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Monday, December 1, 2014

DIY: 12 Inch Cedar Garden Planter Box

12 inch cedar planter box

Garden Projects are awesome.  I would go so far as to say they are my favorite.  If I could do nothing but build stuff for the garden I would forever be a happy man.
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Friday, November 28, 2014

DIY: Bed Side Table with Drawer & Cabinet - Simple & Easy


I have been kicking around some ideas for different projects I would like to build.  Before I begin a project, especially furniture projects, I spend a fair amount of time in my drafting program working out the kinks.
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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

DIY: Dowel Jig


Necessity is the mother of invention - English Proverb

You've probably heard the saying.  It rings true for this DIY Dowel Jig project.
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Monday, November 24, 2014

DIY: King Size Bed Frame - Less than $100



I don’t know about you but a good night’s rest has become the pinnacle of all goals the older I get. A restless night’s sleep equates to a less productive day after.
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Monday, November 3, 2014

DIY: Modular Shop Storage



I had a blender once that had 32 blend speeds.  That sounded great at the store.  More versatile I thought.  Then I realized I didn't need about 31 of those settings.  An on/off switch was really all I needed.
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DIY: Garden Planter Box



The last house we bought was our first opportunity to have garden beds.  After I placed the first raised bed we quickly realized we needed more.
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Sunday, June 22, 2014

The Mail Slot - #1 Suggestions/Tips for new woodworkers



It has been about 6 months since I started my YouTube channel and this blog.  It is hard work but I've had a lot of fun.  The best part is I have met a lot of interesting people along the way.
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Monday, June 2, 2014

DIY: Small Backyard Chicken Coop


What goes into designing a chicken coop?  It depends on your needs.  When I built our first chicken coop it had to be a design that would be big enough to house all of our chickens but small enough to not overwhelm our back yard.
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Saturday, May 24, 2014

Harvesting the radish seeds

Today we have a guest post from my wife regarding the radish seed harvest:


How do you know when a radish plant has wrapped up it's reproductive cycle and is ready for the harvesting of seeds? Let us examine our plant.

Well, the radish was basically falling over at this point and overall looking quite sad. There were not that many green leaves left and the honey bees had long ago stopped visiting. Flower petals were scattered on the ground. The pods that had formed were in some cases browning in color, not exactly on the dry side, and while some pods were easy to snap off, others were not. Additionally, a majority of the pods were still looking green overall. Several spiders had taken up residence and were scaring away the human children.  The plant was tipping over even after bracing. The hot sun and afternoon thunderstorms were not necessarily drying out the pods, and it was languishing in the garden in the heat. In other climates the onset of cold weather would help this plant finish up it's cycle, but since we do not have winters here, this plant was trying to keep up staying alive while at the same time producing it's seeds. To us, it was in some sort of state of limbo. What to do?


A quick scan over on YouTube did not yield much help as far as when to know for sure that it is time to harvest the seeds. Although I did watch a video and learn that people eat the green pods and that they are quite delicious. We did not do this. So onto the open internet I went and found here a helpful resource. Additionally, I also own this book by Suzanne Ashworth. This book is a good resource overall regarding the harvesting of seeds of any plant.

So here we go. Time to pull the plant.


We had several barefoot "Site Supervisors" running around underfoot ensuring the job was being done properly. There was a lot of propping up of shovels.They are ready for a future government job.


Once we separated the seed branches from the main stem, the plant was really beginning to resemble some sort of alien. The site supervisors got busy examining (playing) with what was left and the adults went ahead and began bundling up the separated seed pods with string.


The recommendation is to get these out of the direct sunlight and into a cool dry place. We have a semi-warm moist place to hang them so that will have to do. This place is also known as the garage. And here we have the final step, where the seed pods are currently hanging out:


As of today, the seeds have been hanging out for maybe 2-3 weeks and everything has really turned brown and dry. You can read more information on our progress with this plant here.  The variety of radish that we have been growing is the Cherry Belle. These do have a quite a lot of kick to them.

We hope that you have a very nice Memorial Day weekend with your family and friends. If you decide to serve salad, don't forget the radishes.

Happy Gardening,

Caroline





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Saturday, May 10, 2014

Raised Garden Bed

One of the selling points of the house we live in was the backyard.  We were coming from an upstairs condo.  Obviously there is no yard in a condo community.  So when we went looking for houses, our real estate agent would open the door and I would immediately head for the back yard.  The size of the house was not as important as the size of the back yard.

I resisted looking at our house at first because it was slightly out of our price range.  Our agent told us what he thought we could offer and have a chance.  I raised an eyebrow at the number.  It was considerably lower than the ask price.  Then he said the magic words; "big", "back", "yard".  Good enough for me.  It was a foreclosure so there was no chance of offending an owner with a low ball offer.  Two days later and to my surprise our offer was one of three and was accepted.

I was half stunned and in a daze but my wife didn't miss a beat.  She immediately started making plans for garden beds among other things.  We added a 4x8 bed right off.  We quickly realized that wasn't enough.  In went a second, then a third, forth and fifth.  The sixth one I thought I would share with you.

Materials:


4 - 1x4x8 Furring strips (not the normal pine boards, these are cheaper.  They run less than $2 for an 8' board.)

1 - 2x4 (I just used some scrap 2x4's in my shop since I only needed 14" to make the four corners.

1-1/2" screws


Cut list:


 4 - 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 7" boards (I cut a 2x4 to length and then ripped in half on the table saw.  14" makes the four corners.)


8 - 1" x 4" x 48" (Four 1x4 furring strips cut in half.  Technically the measurement is 47-15/16".  You have to take into account the kerf of the blade.)



I used the table saw to cut 1/4" deep daddos on two sides of each corner.  Then I cut the furring strips in equal halves.  No need to edge glue the furring strips.  Just slide them into the daddos and secure with glue and screws.

Installation:


Step one - Grass or sod removal

We have bermuda grass for our lawn.  It is great for florida lawns.  During the dry season it goes dormant.  As soon as the rains come back so does the grass.  However, this stuff is persistent and invasive.  If you do not remove it from under your raised garden beds it will come back to haunt you later.  I remove it not just from under the garden beds but also about 3 or 4 inches beyond the garden bed.  It sends out runners from under ground and has no issues traveling to your beds.  It is a lot of hard work to dig it up and this one 4x4 section took me about an hour to do. 




Step two - Set the garden bed in place and fill with dirt.

I failed to pick up enough compost and peat moss to fill the bed.  Oh well, just another excuse to go to the toy store, I mean, home improvement store.  As if I needed one.


Step four - more filling


Step five - Plant some stuff.

One row of orange bell peppers at the far left and the rest was green beans.  We direct sowed the green beans and transplanted the orange bell peppers.



Here's hoping for a good harvest.

Happy Homesteading,



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Friday, May 2, 2014

Graham Cracker Sleeping Bag Snacks - A project for kids, by kids



I hate to be a buzz kill right off the bat but, here is our disclaimer for this project.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Cedar Adirondack Style Side Table

Cedar Adirondack Chairs.  It has been a great project.  It pushed me, made me think, tried my patience and gave me a great sense of satisfaction.  I learned a lot about what made for a comfortable chair.


The easy route would have been to just find some ready made plans and purchased them.  However, that would not afford an opportunity to ask questions.  If you do not ask the questions, then you certainly will find no answers.  Sometimes you have to ask yourself the hard questions.

Do I want this build to be quick and easy?

OR

Do I want this build to make me better for having done it?

If I would have answered yes to the first question, then I most certainly would have built the chairs differently.  The word easy is an attention grabber.  Everyone wants easy.

Easy weight loss
Easy hair removal
8 minute abs...cause 8 minutes is easy

Even this website I named, Simply EASY diy.  However, I did not throw the word easy in the name because I felt that is what the projects I choose to feature were going to be.  I did it to signify a choice.  Choosing to push yourself, learn things you may not know and be better at the end of the day than you were at the beginning, should always be an easy one.

I could have built a square side table.  A few cuts here.  A few more over there.  Done.  However, my belief is if your going to do it yourself; take a step away from easy and add a simple layer of complexity to a project.  It can add so much to the end result.

In the case of this cedar Adirondack style side table, a simple 10 degree angle is all it took to add a more inviting look to the whole set.



Materials:


3 - 1x4x8 cedar boards

1-1/4" screws


Cut List:


Top Slats

10 - 1-11/16" x 24" (5 1x4's ripped in half)

 

Legs

4 - 1x4's @ 17"

 

Aprons

2 - 1x4's 12.25

1 - 1x4's @ 19-1/2"

1 - 1x4's @ 13-1/2"

Be sure to check me out on YouTube, Facebook and Pinterest.  You can find those links in the side bar at the top of the page.  I love to see projects that others have done so visit my contact page and shoot an email.  Lets admire your good work together.

Remember to have fun and happy DIY'ing.
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Friday, April 25, 2014

DIY table saw workstation - Cut list and Materials



It has been almost four months since I started the upgrades to my mobile table saw workstation.  If this is your first time here or if you missed any of the upgrades and corresponding videos, here you go:
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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Cedar Adirondack Chair and Patio Set Part 3



This is part 3 of the Cedar Adirondack Chair and Patio Set build.

If you missed Part 1 Click here!

If you missed Part 2 Click here!


So far we have covered the cutting and shaping of all the parts.  We have even started some of the assembly.  Next come the front legs.  Just make sure the cut that I pointed out in part 2 is flat on a level surface and clamp the front legs to the seat frame.


To make sure both front legs are even, I used the front of the third seat slat as a reference point.


After I have the legs clamped in place I’ll predrill 3 holes.  Countersink.  Secure with one and a quarter inch screws.  Same thing for the other side.


  Remove the clamps and attach the lower back support brace.



Next I’ll attach what I will refer to as the rear legs.  Mine do not make contact with the ground, although in some designs they do.  Common practice would have these perpendicular to the ground.  Which would allow for that contact.  However, that leaves you having to figure an unknown angled cut at the top in order to attach this upper brace.  So I decided to swing the bottom of my legs forward and make it parallel to the seat back in order to eliminate having to figure what the angle would be.  Also by doing that it allows me to set the recline of the chair later in the project instead of having to do it now.


I am only going to place one screw on the bottom at this stage.  More will be added later when I set the angle of the seat back.  For the upper back support brace I’ll place it flush on top of the lower one and mark where the legs are.


Now when I attach it to the top I’ll line the legs up with those marks.  The arm rest braces I cut from 1x4’s and the length is personal preference.  I have seen these extend down the length of the front legs before, its up to you.  I cut a slight angle on mine in order to stay in step with my overall design.  I’ll mark from below the armrests where the front leg and brace will be.


Then I’ll flip it over onto a scrap piece and predrill holes inside those marks.  The scrap piece is to minimize any major tear out on the top side of the armrest.


Then flip it over and countersink from the top.  Take it back to the chair.  Realign those same marks from the bottom.  And attach with one and a half inch screws.


The second armrest is done the exact same way only I want to make sure the overhangs match.  To attach the seat slats I started with the middle one marking the center of the back support.


Then the two outside slats.


Then I just made sure the rest of the slats where equally spaced.  I held off attaching the rear armrest braces until I had the angle of the seat back set to where I wanted it.


Set the final screws in the bottom of the rear legs.


Attaching the seat slats and cutting this curve was not as simple as laying the slats next to each other on a flat surface and drawing an arc like I showed you in part 2.  Because that wouldn’t take into account the curvature of the seat back.  Now I could have left the back slats as they are and called this done.  However, this is where I decided to mark my radius.


Remove the seat slats.  Make the cuts on each piece.  Sand if I needed to.  Reattaching was easy as I already had the reference points.  After that secure the bottom of the back slats.  I made two chairs.  One of them I just ran the back slats straight up and down.


The other one I attached in the same manner I just showed you however, at the bottom I pushed everything together and it gave me more of a fanned look.


Also the second one has more of a recline to the back and is a little wider.

Materials:


2 - 1x6x8 Cedar Boards

5 - 1x4x10 Cedar Boards

1 - Box of 1-1/4" screws

1 - Box of 1-1/2" screws


Cut List:


2 1x6 Seat Frames @ 36"

2 1x6 Front legs @ 20"

2 1x4 Rear Legs @ 26"

1 1x4 Upper back support brace @ 19"

1 1x4 lower back support brace @ 19"

12 Seat Slats @ 1-11/16" x 19" (a 1x4 ripped in half)

7 Back Slats @ 2-1/4" x 35" (2 1x4's glued together and ripped into 3 equal parts gives 6.  The seventh one I ripped from a single 1x4.)

2 1x6 Armrests @ 31"

2 1x4 Front armrest braces @ 6"

2 1x3 rear armrest braces @ 4" (I used scraps of 1x4 ripped to width and cut to length instead of buying a single 1x3 piece of cedar.)

If you should happen to make a few of these for your family, don't be shy.  Lets admire the good work together.  Visit my contact page and shoot an email.

You can also find me on facebook and Pinterest.

Have fun and Happy DIY'ing

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