Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tuesday Tip

How do I select the right size drill when I want to pre-drill a hole for a wood screw?

First you need to decide what you want the screw to do.  Below is a picture of a wood screw

If you want to just pre-drill a hole to put a screw in the wall to hold a picture you'll want to select a drill that is about the same diameter as the body of the screw minus the fins of the screw (as shown below)

This allows the fins of the screw to grip the wood without splitting it.  
If your purpose is to join to boards together you will want to drill two different size holes.  The first hole would be drilled with a drill sized exactly like the one above.  The piece of wood that will have the head of the screw in its final resting place should be redrilled with a larger drill.  This drill is sized to allow the drill to slip through the hole and only grab the second board.  The resultant affect is the cinching of the two boards together.  The picture below shows the proper select of this type of drill bit.  Note that the threads can't be seen as you view the thickest portion of the drill bit.

Another helpful wood join technique is to clamp the two boards together before you put in the screw.  This takes some of the work out of the effort for the screw.  If you are using a wood screw like the one shown above in our examples you can also use what is called a "rose bit" to allow for the counter sinking of the screw head.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Washing and Dryer Stand

This a less expensive alternative to the metal stands ($250 each) sold at appliance stores.  It is also possible to customize the height of the stand to fit your space perfectly.  The two stands shown in the pictures above are yes, one for my daughter and one for my wife.  The white base was made to match the style of my daughters home.  The open concept one was to increase storage in our laundry at home.  These are real back savers, you won't have to bend down to get things in or out of the washer or dryer.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Tuesday Tip

How do I make a straight cut on a long board or sheet of plywood?

Well there are three methods.

1.  Have them cut it at home depot with their panel saw...it's free and it probably fits better in your car or truck any way.

2.  Use a saw guide that fits on your circular saw.  Most circular saws have a keyway for a saw guide to fit into its base.  My DeWalt circular saw didn't come with a guide so I headed to home depot to look for one.  The DeWalt one was nice but so was the price.  So I bought the generic brand that said it would fit my saw.  It did, perfectly, however, it didn't have the proper size set screw to hold the guide in place.  So as long as I was at the home depot I went over to the nuts and bolt department and looked in there thumbscrew collection and picked out a thumbscrew that looked like it should work.  Rather than taking it home to see if it fit my saw I headed back to the hardware department and tried it in their dewalt and saw.  The threads were the correct pitch and it worked like a charm.  To use this bad boy you just set it for the width you want to cut and use it on the side of the board to guide you down the length of your cut.  It's really handy and a lot cheaper than a table saw.

3.  The poor mans saw guide is a 2 x 4 clamped to the board you want to cut in a straight line, just account for the base width of your circular saw and use the board as a guide as you move your saw down the material you are cutting.  You must keep a little bit of pressure against the 2 x 4 as you move along.

Tuesday Tip

How to avoid seeing chips on the finish side of your material.  

Simply turn your material over and cut from the back side.  As a circular saw cuts it cuts from under the material to the top.  If you have your material with the finished side down the resulting cut will be chip free on the finish side of your material.  One caution, make sure you protect the finish side of the board you are going to cut.  Put something down to prevent scratching or marring the surface during cutting.
See a related post as it relates to cutting straight lines here.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Laundry Folding and Cubbies

Wouldn't you love to put more order in your laundry room? Here is the best way to do it in a small space.  Pick the size you want to build! It is fast, easy and you will be leaving in no time to purchase the baskets of your choice to monogram. The kids can finally find their clean clothes instead of bugging you. You never know, they may even carry them to their own room!  Okay, you can dream!!

Material List;                                 Material Cost $85 plus top

3 sheets of 3/4 in. x 23-3/4 in. x 97 in. white melamine shelving
1 box of 1-1/2 in. drywall screws

Choices for top (select one)
1.  4 ft. Formica top  add $54
2.  Melamine for top add $27 (this is the same material and in addition to the 3 sheets above. We use a double thickness for a melamine top)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Farmhouse Chevron Table

Dad's Notes: This table was a request from a daughter who loves anything chevron.  It is basically the farmhouse table (see previous post) with a much fancier top.  There is no question that your friends and neighbors will be wanting one.  

Materials Needed:                               Cost:  $200

2-4X6 8ft. long
2-4X4 8ft. long douglas fir
8-2X4 8ft. long
12-1x4 8ft. #2 kiln dried whitewood boards
1-4X8 sheet of Oriented Strand Board (OSB)
2- tubes of PL Premium
Box of 3in. deck screws
Box of 1 1/2 inch screws
1 gallon of Minwax Polyurethane for floors semi-gloss

We start out with the same legs and base structure as detailed in the Farm House Table click here to get those instructions.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Farmhouse Snack Bar - Buffet

This easy to make snackbar is a great addition to any kitchen eating area where there are never enough seats to go around.  It's wide enough to eat at and its perfect homework. Placed right where you can keep your eye on your crew! Only a small space is required so put it on any blank wall that you might have and then invite the neighbor kids over for lunch.  Its strong enough to dance on but don't tell your kids that!

Materials:                                             Cost: $48.00           
3-8ft. 4X4's
1-8ft. 2X8 
2-8ft. 2x2's
3- 5/16in. lag screws 6 inches long
3- 5/16 washers   
1-small box of 3 in. deck screws  
1-small box of 2 1/2 in. deck screws

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Tuesday's Tip

For all of us who don't have x-ray vision, locating a stud in the wall can be a little tricky.  There are the methods of yester-year....thump on the wall and when it "sounds" solid you have found the stud.  Look at the trim on the baseboard and determine where they nailed it...that is probably where the stud is.

Today's more modern solution is to use a stud finder.  They come in all varieties and range in price accordingly.  The basic stud finder beeps when it detects a solid object within the wall.

There are stud finders that;
1.  Locate the center of the stud.
2.  Locate any electric line within the wall
3.  Locate the stud with a deep sweep mode (for thick walls)
4.  Do all of the above and provide a laser level and 90 degree function for hanging things straight

So you get the idea that you find a modern stud finder that will suit almost any need.  Let me share a technique if you have a very basic stud finder.  First you hold the stud finder against the wall and hold down the button on the side.  After the initial beeping it is ready to be slid in the direction of the stud.  It will beep again when it finds the stud.....but wait there is more.  Take a pencil and make a very light mark on the wall that you can erase later.  That is just the side of the stud.  Now move the stud finder to the other side about 6 inches.  Hold down the button a second time and make a sweep from the other side.  It will beep again....take out that trusty pencil and make a light mark there too.  Now you have truly located that stud within the wall.  The typical stud is 1 and 1/2 inches wide and so should your two pencil marks.

Monday, October 1, 2012

How to Build a Farmhouse Table

Dad's notes: Our country farm table and bench is an unkillable sturdy combination you must have for a growing family.  Make it as big as you want so that when all the relatives come over there is still a spot for you to collapse after a long day's work.  Inspired by Restoration Hardware Salvage Wood Farmhouse Collection.  Check it out here.

Material List               

5 – 2” x 12” - 8 feet long
2 – 4” x 6”   - 8 feet long
2 – 4” x 4”   - 8 feet long
6 – 2” x 4”   - 8 feet long
One small box of 3” deck screws (coated i.e. primeguard at Home Depot)
or 3” decorative screw if screwing from the top (will be exposed to your eye)
or 3” screws with a flat head (used when you don’t want any screws showing)
one tube of PL Premium by Loctite
caulk gun

Material Cost $123.00 as of September 2012