The next set of loose junk around my garage to organize are my clamps. In the previous shop, these filled every nook and cranny along one wall. Those dowel holders are a very efficient way to pack as many clamps in as possible horizontally. The professional metal brackets don’t pack quite as tight, but look nice and make the clamps easier to access. I had bought a number of them in the past, but didn’t use very many for lack of space. Thank goodness I never throw anything away!
My new shop has a lot of space, but not as much wall as you would think. Windows, doors, and a lot of plumbing stuff take up much of the available wall surface. To remedy this, I need a new wall. A wall on wheels. I cut down two 1/2″ sheets of plywood and screwing them down to a 2×4 frame.
The wall stands on a set of 2x4s with casters and is short enough to get under my garage door. I can roll this anywhere in the shop now. The frame took 4 boards, and the legs with braces another 2 for a total of 6 2x4s. I had the casters already, but went for nicer grade plywood and ended up spending about 100 dollars to build this.
I used a few of my previous clamp holders, but ditched most of the hodge podge for the nicer looking store bought metal brackets I already had. Everything got directly screwed to the plywood face. This big of a blank canvas supports all sorts of solutions and lets me pack in clamps efficiently. I even managed to get my saw/router guides and cawls onboard. I may eventually re-organize so they are grouped more by length than type of clamp, but with everything so open it is really easy to see what is available.
I will need a temporary work surface when renovating the new house, and have a lot of sheet goods and drywall to cut up. I thought about building some sawhorses and adding on to them, but I don’t have much time. Instead I started with two of these Burro branded horses. Honestly, for 20 bucks a piece, these things are pretty good. Made in USA, stackable, stable, and strong. Just make sure you are choosy, not all were created equal. Explaining the build will be easier with a before and after shot.
I want to put a full sheet of plywood or drywall on these and have the cuts be well supported. That would require a structure almost a full 4×8 feet. I used metal brackets to help it be a quick assemble and break down job. Two 42″ 2x4s go across the saw horses. The saddle brackets keep them upright and a right angle bracket on the edge holds a long support to tie the two horses together.
Every time I use these as a cutting surface I am going to cut into the 2x4s a little. I will adjust blade depth to minimize the damage, but I don’t want metal anywhere near the top surface. The brackets that hold my middle support were too tall, so I cut them down.
The table breaks down into 2 stackable horses, 2 supports that go on top of the horses, 2 long ones that go from horse to horse, and a center one to help prevent sag. The only extra screws needed for assembly are at the four corners where the long stretchers meet the supports on top of the horses. I made sure to install the screws low so the saw won’t catch them. The horses still stack, even with those saddle brackets installed.
When I assembled this I didn’t screw any of the 2x4s down to the horse’s saddle brackets. It all still felt stable. A half inch sheet of plywood and a few screws should turn it into a sturdy temporary work bench. All the drywall cutting I need to do will be aided by this big stable platform as well. The assembled dimensions of the top are 44×84″. Enough to support a 4×8′ sheet, but leave some room at the edges.
When the house work is done I will probably keep it as a way to break down sheet goods. This will be a big upgrade over my current method of hanging them out of the back of the suburban.
The kitchen renovation rages on, but between painting and tiling there is time to work on a little side project. A backyard knife throwing target. It also works for hatchets!
This project took only 3 2x4s, a bit of glue, and a hand full of screws. I started by cutting up a pile of 3.5″ long 2×4 segments. These are going to go together like a end grain cutting board.
At 5 across and 10 tall the target comes out roughly square. 15 x 17.5. You could add another row to make it very square, but that would have required additional 2x4s and this seemed like a big enough target. Easy to say now when I hadn’t missed 10 times in a row.
Titebond type 3 is an outdoor compatible glue, even if standard 2x4s aren’t. Not sure if that matters or not. It will be a race between the environment rotting and pulling the target apart, and my ability to actually hit something and cause damage. My monster belt sander came in handy for leveling the edges of the rows after the first glue up.
With everything glued I had a big block target. This alone would probably last a while, but could somewhat easily cleave in half along the grains. To help with strength I wrapped the edges with 2x4s screwed into the core. This will help hold the relatively delicate center together longer.
A bit of throwing shows that I am no good at this. Maybe the environment will get to it before my accuracy chunks out the center.
A few weeks ago a friend of mine asked for help making a giant jenga game. It sounded like a lot of sanding, luckily I could make him do that part! Step 1, acquire a lot of 2x4s and plywood to make a box.
Now, cut a minimum of 72 10.5″ sections. We cut a few extra 2x4s so we could be choosy and kick out ones with bad knots or dings.
The stack up comes out to 3 feet tall. It is the equivalent of eight 8 foot 2x4s. That is a lot of weight. How about a box to move it around? Stacking them 6 wide gives a box that is more or less square in width and height. It should be a good dimension for picking up and transport. We used pocket holes to tie it all together.
Once the box was assembled the moment of truth came. Would it all fit? I left a 1/2″ in length so the wouldn’t get bound up coming out of the box, and added an inch in width to help get fingers in for pulling them out. It worked well, you can comfortably stack 3 wide at a time from the tower to the box.
Best of all, the box fits perfectly in the back of his hatch back. It is heavy enough to require two people to haul across any distance, but it is a good size for one person to carry for a short bit.