Recap and review

Wow, what a busy weekend for me. I’ll try to run it down from the last time I posted, and hopefully I won’t miss anything. Chronologically may be another issue.

I bought the casters from Harbor Freight and installed them on the bottom of the cart Friday. It may have been Saturday, I can’t remember. I used an additional piece of ¾” ply for two reasons: one, I wanted a bit of additional height. Two, my screws were too long and would have protruded on the bottom. The casters work excellently, and if I put a piece of ¾” ply on top, it makes for a most excellent outfeed table for my saw. I then cut out a space for the drill column, and I can say that while it’s functional, it certainly doesn’t look fantastic. Trying to cut with a jigsaw isn’t the most fabulous or exact process. But, save for making a drawer and some cosmetic things like banding, the drill press cart is functional and complete.

Here’s a pictorial recap of the process. I still am trying to remind myself to take more pictures.

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The next bit of my attention was to work on a bit of inspiration I had for the kitchen. Some time back, we added a blackboard and a corkboard to a blank wall in the kitchen for a ‘parent area’: a place where we could hang a calendar, projects the girls did at school, and a place where they could practice drawing and letters/numbers. I did a basic 3’x5’ section of painted blackboard (with magnetic paint underneath), and Corey put together a same size section of double-depth cork tiles over that. Unfortunately, while the cork stuck to each other well, to the wall it didn’t go so well. So, a replacement had been mused upon for some time.

With us finally deciding to paint the kitchen after the roof leak and ant debacle, the time was neigh. After the paint was dry, I went to work on my already acquired materials – MDF prepainted trim. I did a bulky block on the bottom border, and did standard trim on the remaining three sides. All that remains to do is add a ply backer to the top portion and install new cork to that, instead of directly to the wall. I think that will hold this time. Also, I need to add a divider between the two boards to hold some chalk. Befores and ‘afters’:

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And of the rest of the kitchen…
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Once I got that done, I could turn my attention to the most pressing need in the shop currently: making a home for my new planer. With it, and the stand that was given to me along with it, it was making room in the shop scarce. And because of that very reason, making a simple stand just wasn’t going to cut it. With that in mind, I set out to design a flip-top cart. Most people who have done this have put a tool on both sides of a rotating top, thus making room for one stand become room for two. With my line of thinking though, I needed the finished cart to roll up under a table.

I started out making a simple box, with two sides and a bottom. For the top, though, I made it a little shorter on the width side and went with double thickness. I used the table saw and made a dado to hold the piece of steel rod I picked up from the BORG. I thought I had bought ½”, but it turned out to be 5/8” diameter instead. Not a big deal, and better for me. Once I got the width and depth of the dado correct, I used my angle grinder to reduce the length of the rod to about 2.5” longer than the ply. Once done, I sandwiched the rod between the two top pieces, and that dado I did on both pieces of ply became a box around the rod. I used a stupid amount of screws to secure the pieces to each other, concentrating my efforts along the rod, and the sides where the most force would eventually be exerted.

Once the top was done, I drilled holes in the sides for the rod to be inserted through. I placed the top in these holes, then reinforced the sides with a hardwood to help keep the sides from bowing. I guess, I’m just making shit up at this point. The next step will be to dado the sides and insert a shelf to help with lateral stability, then add casters and see what my height looks like. I want this to be able to interact with both the table saw and the drill press cart. And since it’s fairly hard to lift up right now, perhaps some weight to the opposite side of the top in the form of heavy MDF and also bring the height up. Some pics:

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So, in the last week I’ve worked on the drill press cart and the planer cart, the message board center, painted two rooms, helped plant a tree and I guess that’s about it. Not a bad ten days or so.

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