What is your current DIY/craft project?

I’m building an exterior door for my basement. My house is 50+ years old and, while well built, it seems that nothing is standard size - especially in the basement. The foundation and basement walls are 2’ thick granite, so door and window openings are sized based more on circumstance than standards. Circumstandardization, as it were.

The dogs and the weather made a mess of the previous door, which was a “solid” wood blank that I cut to size. Solid is in quotes because the inside of the door was compressed wood chips, not true solid wood. Once the dogs scratched it up moisture got in and ruined it. Time for a really solid wood door. The problem was that Home Depot wanted over $300 for a custom sized door, and that was before adding a $100 doggie door. Harumph. The solution was to build one myself for 20% of that price. I knew I could do it because I have never not done it before.

The initial plan was to lay 2x8’s side by side (trimmed to make the right overall width) mark across the boards in 3-4 spots, drill through and insert threaded rods to add stability and strength. That plan was torpedoed when I couldn’t find any 2x boards in my town straight enough for the task. Everything was either warped or twisted. That’s fine for people, but not for wood. I went instead with 1x8’s, glued and joined together, then framed up on the exterior (similar to this). Mine, however, will not be spilt in the middle. Instead, the bottom right quarter will open independently and serve as a doggie door. I’m to the point now where it needs to be sanded and painted, then add hardware and hang. It’s shaping up pretty nicely if I do say so myself. I don’t have any pictures to post, so take my word for it.

Do tell about your current project…

My 4-year old son is big into polar express and trains this year. Instead of plopping down $300 for a Polar Express themed trainset to go around the Christmas tree, I found a decent train set for $50. It belches smokes and makes all the appropriate noises, but is otherwise a pretty plain train. My current project is pimping that ride Christmas style. The cars are rather big, so I’ve disassembled them and am currently in the process of installing lights, wreaths, ornaments, “snow” on the rooftops, etc. :smiley:

Simple one, I threw together a cat scratching post and 3 level couch thingy. I am on mk 1.3 of it.

2"x3" make the tall legs, a few supports at the bottom, a 2"x4" support for the lower platform and a 2"x3" cross piece that steadies the uprights and supports the back of the lower platform. My bottom board is no right so I had to add a small rear facing foot. I might take the entire thing apart and rebuild it now that I know more of what is actually required. It at least needs to be painted or stained. (The parts not carpeted).

Since the first very quick try I lowered the top platform and added stabilizers to the bottom. It is pretty sturdy at this point and the cat likes it.

Does your son like Brio style wooden trains? I had a lot of fun making Train cars, engines, long tracks and various bridges for my son back in the day.
Jim Franchi uploaded this image to

1"x2" wood, craft magnets and wheels or washers, Testors paints and the kids doing a lot of the painting.

A few years ago we bought a fixer-upper because we watch too much HGTV. I have an endless list of projects. I’m a software developer by day, and told myself it would be a great way to have something “manly” to do. It turns out, I’m often not in the mood to work construction after getting up, taking care of the kid, walking the dog, going to work, coming home, walking the dog, cooking dinner, and cleaning up after dinner. Who knew?

ANYWAY, the current project is remodelling the closet (singular) in the master bedroom into closets (plural). There was an entrance to a half bathroom from the master. We closed that up when we redid the bathrooms in the house (project number four or five). Now we’re extending the closet all the way over and making his and hers. Last weekend we tore everything out, framed in the new closets, and hung most of the drywall. As of last night, I had finished hanging drywall and put corner bead on the outside corners. Tonight, I’m taking a break because I haven’t spent any time with my kid since Monday. Tomorrow and this weekend I will start taping and mudding, and go pick up the doors. (I had to order them and they arrived at the store yesterday.) Next week I finish up the drywall, install the doors, put a new bedroom door in, my wife paints, and I put up the trim and some shelving.

I can’t wait for them to be finished. The clutter from not having closets is robbing my limited enthusiasm for life.

As an aside, I friggin’ LOVE the Waste Management dumpster bags. What a great idea.

Right now my current project is tuning up an old piano. Not the actual tuning, yet, but sanding down the grooved hammers and tweaking the hardware so it works correctly. I’ll probably leave the tuning to a pro, he can bang out the 200 some odd strings in an hour, when it would take me 10.

Can’t get back to it until I get done with my Old World Christmas cookies but I’ve begun work on some beach pjs and a sundress for upcoming vacation.

Sundress just needs hemming and the pjs are cut out and waiting.

Christmas knitting. A little stuffed pig with wings and a bouncy ball on the inside for my older niece, and a beaded hip scarf for my mom. There’s a long way to go on the scarf and I’ve been having some hand pain, so Mom may get to unwrap the project bag it’s in instead of the finished product.

A fucking bright lamp. My run-of-the-mill torchiere floor lamp has a 300-watt halogen bulb in it. That’s a lot of power, and actually not a whole lot of light for the big room it’s in.

I’m building a new one from scratch. out of LED’s. 150 watts, but 2.5 times the brightness. Reduced power consumption, reduced electrical bill, reduced heat load for the air conditioner in the summer time. Win, win, win, win. Exept for the price. Altogether, I think it’ll end up costing around $500 by the time I’m done.

I hated mudding (actually the sanding part of the process) until I learned this tip - instead of sandpaper, which gets dust everywhere, use a damp sponge to smooth the mud. Unless you really over applied the joint compound, a damp sponge does a great, dust free job!

A TV/entertainment stand. It’s an unfinished kit. I’ve done unfinished before but not for a while. Bought a cheaper end table first and did that. Came out really well. (But for a too-glossy finish apparently due to thinning the polyurethane for a smooth top coat.) But it’s sitting downstairs partially done while …

The Big Kitchen Project has started. We’ve had the cabinets refaced, new countertops, new sink, and tile backsplash. Looks great. Now we have to rip off the old wallpaper. (Unfortunately on bare wallboard.) Fix the walls, paint them. Also paint and reline the visible inside parts of the cabinets.

There is a special place in Hell for idiots who put wallpaper directly on wallboard without prepping the walls first.

Yes there is. (a special place in Hell)
My first house had a load of wall paper all directly onto the sheet rock. A complete nightmare to remove the wall paper and fix the walls up.

I’m gathering all my tools up in an organized manner so they’re available when needed. Anything related to drilling in one bag, sockets/ratchets/extensions in another, pliers and cutters etc…

I’m really putting a lot of effort into this and it’s been paying off so far.

I just finished making this banister.

I made it from a nice piece of Ash, and put a hidden, remote-controlled LED light on the bottom edge.

Next project is an HB-LED powered (100W equivalent) chandelier. I hope to sell these when I get the first one (for our entryway) finished.

Finished the afghan I’ve been knitting for the last three months last night. I promised my college roommate I’d make her some socks, and got the yarn from her today, so I guess they’re next.

That’s very attractive and clever, too!

So clever that I’m stealing this idea for my outdoor steps/banisters! That’s a seriously fabulous idea.

I’m remodeling a house. Everything except the two small baths has been painted, mostly by me, with intermittent help from the teenagers. Today and tomorrow, all of the doors will be repainted, along with the mantel. Thank Og that we finally found a contractor to install the flooring, because there was no way in hell I could have done that in time to get moved. The contractor is also installing my cabinets, oven, cooktop, and dishwasher.

Other projects for the weekend: finish hanging all the ceiling fans and porch lights, rehang doors, and hopefully finish painting the bathrooms.

I’m so tired.

As my wife would tell you - I never met an LED that I didn’t like!

I used the self-adhesive LED strip that comes in 5m lengths. I buy mine on ebay, but they are available locally (people use them to “trick-out” their cars). Note that there are many different types. I used the “3528” type for this project (the number refers to the size of the LED package - 3528 is 3.5mm x 2.8mm) there are also 5050 strips (which I have used for under cabinet lights), but the 5050s are very bright - too bright for this application. Also, they come in a wide variety of colors. The cool white is too blue for my taste, but they are very bright. These are “pure” white - they are still a bit blue, but not too bad. The warm white ones are a bit yellow, but they might be really nice in some locations. All the strips run on 12vdc, and can be cut apart every 4” or so.

Have fun, and thanks for the nice comments!

I tried to wade into knitting a fair isle hat. Unfortunately, it really is true that Addi Turbos are no good for colorwork. So now I’m waiting for some bamboo needles to show up. Makes me grumpy.

There’s never just one. :frowning:

  1. Just finished rigging a mini fluorescent lamp with a switch that presses against the inside of the closet door. Now we have light in there as soon as the door opens and there’s no longer a need to fumble in the dark for the rotary switch on a clamp lamp. It still seems odd that the closet wasn’t originally built with a recessed lamp and a switch by the door.

  2. I’ve inquired on IMHO in relation to a small weapons rack/display. I’ve arranged a deal with my manager to take a hundred hard disks and drill holes through them to make the HIPAA data inaccessible. In exchange I get to keep all the neodymium magnets from the hard drives. I’ll mount them to a sheet of corrugated plastic that I have to salvage from a dead truck’s bed. Haven’t gotten around to researching salvage yards yet.

  3. I finally managed to put up my medium weapons rack/display. It was originally a dragon claw that’s made to hold a sword on the wall, but I’ve got it on the wall and hung two sai, a pair of nunchaku, and (oddly enough) a bullwhip on it. The braiding of the whip goes really well with the scales of the claw.

  4. I’ve still got a long weapons rack to build. I want to pattern it after the 8-unit wall-mounted sword racks that I see in catalogues, but it’s got to hold 14 weapons and I can’t find a 14-unit rack. Plus I want to make it out of some kind of clear plastic so more attention is focused on the weapons than the rack (and it will have that “magic” thing going for it, like the small weapons rack).

  5. I’ve started a sketch-up for a combination poster case and archery rack/display. My ability to draw a semi-accurate bow is horrible, though, and the work is going very very slowly. Still, I need the sketch-up so I’ll have dimensions and a parts-purchasing lists before I spend the money.

  6. I sent a sketch-up drawing to a friend. It’s a combination rank-belt rack/display that will conceal some weapons behind it. I haven’t heard back from my friend, though, so I’m not sure how structurally sound my concept is.

  7. I’ve got some resin-casting to do in order to make mounts that will fit the recesses on the chair railing behind a couple doors. The mounts will hold magnetic door-stops so that we can stop tripping over my hiking-boots-as-door-blockers. Then, come Spring, we can let the fresh breezes blow through the house and not have the doors slam closed.

  8. One of these decades I’ll mount some replacement helmet face-shield retaining clips onto something so that my motorcycle can carry my spare face-shield for me. Hmmm…maybe neodymium magnets on the sides of…

–G!