My Semi-Under Couch Table

Awhile ago I was obsessed with being able to work with my giant laptop (17″ screen) on the couch while sitting comfortably. I wanted enough room for my wireless mouse and a drink if needed.

So I set out to use some of the scrap wood leftover from projects and make something. After searching and finding plenty of beautiful projects that gave me inspiration but were out of my skill level, I designed something (see drawing in the post for dimensions).

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The drawing I made to plan a cut list

Once I had something planned out, I focused on making sure it was stable enough by having the center of gravity as close to the back as possible since I want to be able to sit back and use my laptop!

I was pretty happy with the look even if it is a bit hideous:

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The solid model in Fusion 360

At the end of the build, the actual thing works just fine. my wife even uses it!

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The actual thing

Enjoy,

joe

My First Workbench Build

I set out to make a workbench that was adjustable and based on something I found on a site called “Instructables” because I could make it out of cheap wood and I could adjust the height to make it level or match different height tables in my workshop. So I used this as inspiration for my own table:

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Instructable Height-Adjustable Outfeed Worktable

I eventually created my own that fit my space a bit better (25.5″ x 88.0″). It was really fun drawing-up a model using Fusion 360 (a CAD Program) and using that to plan my project:

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Screenshot of my model

I made a drawing to develop a cut list and a bill of materials. The aim of this project was to be functional and affordable so I used the cheapest framing lumber and left over plywood.

2018-05-01 15_01_27-workbench.pdf - Adobe Acrobat
My workbench drawing

Here’s the bench when I figured meeting the pistons for the legs and began assembling it. Making things square was the biggest challenge but I lowered my standards quickly and grew to accept the jankiness.

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The bench in progress

Finally, I completed the bench and changed the design slightly to accommodate a power strip that’s out of the way. Overall, I’m pleased with the final result.

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The finished Workbench

Actually finishing it and having a study surface to work on is a real treat. Now I can take what I’ve learned and make note chill things.

One thing I need to say is that I intended for this to be a multi-function bench that could adjust 6 inches in height and be used as a feed table, level surface, and just a another with surface. I really only use it as much miter saw table. I probably should have abandoned this idea of making it height adjustable, it was more trouble than it was worth.

-Joe

Wall-Mounted Mail and Key Holder

My first project in my workshop was to create a temporary mail holder that could also hold our keys. I wanted to be able to put flowers in it as well to brighten up the area. I was also constrained by the space between my window and door where I planned to mount this thing.

As a result, the dimensions are a little small but it does the job!

2018-04-24 13_41_25-Wall Mail Sorter Drawing v7.pdf - Adobe Acrobat
Drawing I made to set dimensions (inches) for cutting the wood

Here’s an image of the mode I made in Fusion 360 just to visualize the thing:

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Screenshot from the 3D model on Fusion 360

After making the thing, here it is with flowers and keys and some mail 😀

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The Final product

Modified Dresser into my “Cat Station”

My first project in my basement workshop many months ago was to try to create a hidden-in-plain-sight one-stop shop for my cat, Tolstoy. It had to do the following:

  1. protect his water and food from our dog, Reima
  2. house the litter box and allow Tolstoy to use it
  3. Blend into the living room without distracting

I didn’t have any woodworking tools or skills at the time, so I decided to retrofit something that existed. So, I bought a “cheap” dresser on amazon for $70 as seen below:

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The Amazon Dresser I decided-on. “Sauder Beginnings Dresser”

It fit in the room feel and was the right size:

2018-04-25 10_47_29-AmazonSmile_ Sauder Beginnings Dresser, Highland Oak_ Kitchen & Dining

 

I wanted to keep one of the drawers in order to store my cat’s food and toys as seen below:

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The top drawer is kept the same

But I started-out by making an opening in the left side of the drawer so that my cat can enter it. You can see some ridges in the shape where he can massage his back:

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Dresser with opening on side for my cat to enter

Then I took out most of the shelves in the area where the opening leads into so that Tolstoy can drink water and eat his food:

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Tolstoy is in the middle of finishing his meal

I then removed the bottom two drawers to make room for the litterbox. I added hinges to the drawer outside boards so that the middle one opens to the side and the bottom one opens down for better access to the litter box:

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Litter Box in the new space where two drawers used to be

There’s an opening between the feeding area and the litter box area as seen through the back of the middle divider board as seen in this picture:

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An access hole leads my cat to the litter box from the feeding area

Here’s the final product with all the modifications already completed on it:

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The finished dresser with all modifications done to it

I’m really happy with the way this has turned-out and it’s a great thing that consolidates my cat’s needs into a cat station that doesn’t look like some crazy cat lady furniture. I hope this inspires others to modify furniture in creative ways!

Let me know what you think

-joe

 

Hobbies for 2018

Over the years I’ve seen that my Hobbies often come and go. Just listing some of my hobbies:

  1. learning how to play the ukulele
  2. playing violin
  3. trying to learn the guitar
  4. woodworking
  5. 3D printing
  6. 3D modeling on the computer
  7. learning how to cook
  8. photography
  9. drone piloting
  10. drawing
  11. reading
  12. listening to podcasts
  13. trying to blog
  14. writing stories
  15. running

And, that’s just a listing hobbies that I’ve tried to do in the past year or two. No wonder why I am not getting good any of them!

When talking to Laura about my hobbies she made it clear that I want whatever hobby I develop to have the potential to help others in some way.  Otherwise it’s a slightly selfish and I don’t want to invest in selfish things. So I need to widdle the list down and start really working on a hobby that is fulfilling has the potential to help others and is worth my time.

I hope to chronicle some of the developments are my hobbies on this blog since I started it for some reason a while back but I don’t really know why I guess it’s more of a log of my achievements and thoughts.

I’ll check back in later on what hobbies I think I’ll choose and why I chose them.

-joe

**I originally wrote this using voice-to-text, so it didn’t make sense. I’ve since edited it to reflect my intent** ( 1/24/2018 @ 0843)

Making my workshop 

One of the good things about moving to The Richelieu House (outside of it being the house where Laura and I start our married life together) is that it has a big basement! That means I can finally have a workshop to satisfy my tinkering hobby.

I’ve been itching to tinker since I was a kid making a non-functioning robot from cardboard to making works of art on a laser cutter in graduate school. I have crave it and now I can hone that craving to a useful hobby.

But first, I need a workshop space and that’s where our Richelieu Basement comes into the picture. I have a corner that is perfect for a workbench and it’s up and running.

As of now, I have:

  • Scroll saw
  • Miter saw
  • Dremel tool
  • Misc hand tools
  • Workbench
  • Peg board
  • Room to work

It’s enough to get started and excited about future projects!

Here’s my Richelieu Basement workshop:

A Roller Derby Bout

Yesterday, Laura and I went to our first Roller Derby Bout. The first thing we learned is that each Derby event is referred to as a “Bout”. Pretty neat!

Laura is really captivated by this sport for its intensity, fun, and bonding between participants. By the end, we both understood the game enough to inject our own strategic insight. I’ll be ready to cheer Laura on when she decides to join the team, that’s how into it she was!

The gist of roller derby is this:

Get your team’s scorer (a jammer) through the jam of players on the track and make it a lap around to score. 

We were lucky to find that the brochures had the rules to the sport in the front cover as seen below:

Our local team, the Valley All-Stars won by turning up the intensity at the end of the second half. Seeing this in person was a treat and it makes me want to watch even more next season when I see the love of my life with a fun nickname in the track beating people up.

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