Being unemployed sucks, but it does have the perk of allowing me to have time for a few fun projects. Kristen has been thinking about everything she wants for our new apartment for the past 2 years and has accumulated a list of things that we need. Rather than purchasing all of them, because being unemployed means you have a lot of time but little money, I decided to build some of them rather than buy them at the store.
Snowboard Rack Inspiration Source
The first project was the board rack. This is one that is both a major space saver and super cool wall decoration. Snowboards look really cool and rather than taking up space in your closet why not put them up on the wall where you would have hung up some cheap painting or photograph.
To make the rack I started out with (4) 10′ long hem-fir 1×4’s.
Next, I cut them all in half so that they were all of equal length.
Then, I laid out my notches on a pattern board. The notches ended up being 9.5″ – 10″ apart. We decided on this distance because it fit our five boards nicely in the wood we had available and the proportions were good.
After marking the notches, I used a miter box saw set at forty degrees to cut them out a blade width at a time until they were big enough to fit the boards nicely. The long board notches ended up being wider than the snowboards, mostly because of the curvature of the longboard decks.
I made six identical notched boards and used screws to hold together two groupings of three of the boards.
Then I screwed the remaining two un-notched boards onto the backs of the notched bunches so that there was a section of wood that I could use to screw the whole assembly into the studs of our apartment walls.
Finally, I stained the completed project to try and match the trim in our apartment.
Project number two was our kitchen table. Kristen and I spent a lot of time debating the merits of numerous tables until we finally found one that we could both agree on. As far as furniture goes, for the most part, we both like very simple, contemporary pieces with dynamic forms and clean lines. Unfortunately the table that we were looking at purchasing was also a little too small which was another good reason to re-engineer the basic idea. There was one thing that we could not agree on, but I will talk about that later.
Table Inspiration Source
One nice thing about this style of table is that it does not take a lot of expensive tools to make. I did the whole thing with a jig saw, a skill saw, a hand sander, some clamps, and my power drill. For materials I used one sheet of 4′ x 8′ Sande Plywood, 2″ wood screws, wood glue, and clear stain. I had never heard of Sande plywood before this project, but Kristen liked the look of the grain when we were shopping at Home Depot and so that’s what we ended up purchasing.
The table is built out of two basic components, the legs, and the round table top. I was worried about 3/4″ plywood being sturdy enough and so doubled up the plywood on both of them. This gave me the added benefit of being able to hide most of my wood screws.
To start things off, I designed a leg profile that was both visually appealing and looked like it would have a wide enough base to be sturdy. I cut out a prototype leg and then used it as a stencil to scribe the rest of the legs.
Next I drew 6 of the legs onto my sheet of plywood and two 36″ circles.
Then, I cut my 4×8 sheet into smaller sections with the various parts to make my complicated cuts a little easier.
After cutting out all of the legs comes the trickiest part. The first picture of the table shows the joint where all of the legs come together. After cutting out the leg profile I set my saw to 30 degrees and used that to bevel the edge on three of the legs. Using the clamps and some miscellaneous things in the garage I balanced and held the legs together just enough to screw the first three legs together. After having this first tier of leg base put together, then I had to modify the remaining three legs so that they would glue flush to the already assembled tripod once again having to bevel inside edge. When I was relatively happy with my cuts (course sand paper is pretty good at evening out edges if they don’t come together perfectly, especially if you cut the legs out with a skill saw like I did), I glued the last three legs onto the faces of the first three.
I finally had a stable tripod for my table top. I laid one of my 36″ circles I had cut out onto the the legs and screwed it into the base. Then I glued the remaining circle on top of the first, to hide those screw heads that Kristen did not want visible on the table top.
After thoroughly sanding the whole thing I brushed on a clear stain and was done. After I had already purchased the Sande plywood I read some stuff online about how the wood does not stain well, but the clear stain I put on ended up looking really nice.