How to Build an American Girl Doll Bunk Bed

diy doll bunk bed

Learn to build a simple but cute bunk bed for 18″ dolls like the American Girl Dolls or the Our Generation line of dolls. This bed size is patterned after manufactured 18″ doll beds and fits the dolls comfortably. The plans use simple and available lumber, including 2x4s or 2x2s, 1x4s, 1/2″ plywood and 1/8″ plywood. You can also substitute the 1/8″ plywood for 1/2″ plywood if need be. 

Woodworking Plans

Click the image below to download a PDF of the woodworking plans for this build.

Click above to download the plans

Instructional Video

Click the image below to watch the build video.

Build a DIY 18" Doll Bunk Bed

How to Install Fiberglass Insulation

How to Install Insulation

Installing insulation yourself is not a difficult task. It doesn’t take too long and, contrary to what some believe, is not typically a super-itchy experience. The last couple of times I did this it was easier than I expected and definitely worth doing myself. You don’t need much at all by way of tools, either.

Tools Needed

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • A quality mask to prevent breathing in particles
  • Eye protection
  • Gloves and full skin protection
  • Utility Knife and several blades
  • Measuring Tape
  • A staple gun (if you’re using faced insulation)

That’s it! Pretty simple as far as tools go. 

What is “R” Value and what do I need?

The “R” in R-Value stands for resistance. R-Value is a measure of how well a material can resist the transfer of heat. Heat transfer is a two way street. When it’s hot outside, your insulation resists letting heat in. When it’s cold outside it resists letting your warm air out. In the United States, there are different requirements based on where you live and what type of insulation you’re doing. Here’s a chart to help you determine what you need. If you live outside the United States, be sure to check what you’ll need for your area.

Insulation Recommendations for New Wood-Framed Houses

As far as how to actually install the insulation, please check out this video with step by step instructions for both faced and unfaced insulation.

DIY Ocean Desk – A Standing Desk with Personality

Because I spend so much time at my desk, I wanted to create a unique and beautiful desktop that I could place atop a motorized base. I started researching and discovered these gorgeous desk by a French designer in the Caribbean. He uses local stone, some serious machinery and a boat-load of epoxy. There’s a catch, however – his tables sell for anywhere from $12,000 – $60,000 each! A bit out of my budget, but I still love his work and wanted to try something that was original using wood. Continue reading “DIY Ocean Desk – A Standing Desk with Personality”

How to Add an Electrical Outlet for a Wall Mounted TV

After we wall-mounted our new TV, the first thing we had to deal with was all of the ugly wires hanging down. In a related article, I show how to hide your TV wires for just $10. In fact, I later came out with another article and video showing how to do this by using a kit that hides your A/V wires and your electrical wiring as well, if you’re interested in doing this with a kit. Continue reading “How to Add an Electrical Outlet for a Wall Mounted TV”

How to Fix the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine

How to Fix the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine

 

When my wife’s sewing machine was broken I decided to call a sewing machine repair shop but they told me it was going to be $90 just to take a look at it. I’m a cheapskate so I decided to do a little internet research to try to figure out how to fix it myself and, fortunately, as you’ll see below, this was just a fix that required some adjustments – no parts or anything like that. Continue reading “How to Fix the Hook Timing on a Sewing Machine”

3D Printing: 13 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started

13 Things I Wish I Knew About 3D Printing When I First Started

Several years ago I read a book called Makers, by Chris Anderson and he talked about how, in the future, we could all have 3D printers of our own and our homes would be like little manufacturing factories. Today, we’re seeing that happen around the world. It’s pretty incredible. A couple of years ago I got my first 3D Printer and it cost me about $650 and could print just about anything I wanted up to 150mm squared. I was pretty stoked but it was a real labor of love. Things broke, prints got messed up and I spent more time trying to get a successful print than I did actually making cool stuff. Continue reading “3D Printing: 13 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Started”

How to Fix Your Car’s A/C in 5 Minutes

how-to-fix-your-cars-ac-in-5-minutes
It’s August. It’s been averaging 102 degrees Fahrenheit where I live. Not having some good air conditioning in your vehicle can be pretty rough. When my A/C stopped working on the left side of my car, I knew it was time to recharge it. Recharging your A/C is a really easy process and only takes five or ten minutes. Here’s how it’s done.

1. Turn Your A/C on High for 3-4 Minutes

Put your A/C on all the way cold, recirculating and the highest setting. Let it run for 3-4 minutes at least before proceeding to the next step. This ensures that your system will be attempting to draw the refrigerant through the pipes, which is what we want.

2. Locate Your Low Pressure Service Port

Every vehicle that has air conditioning should also have a high and a low pressure a/c service port. They’re typically aluminum tubes, one thicker and one thinner. They also have removable caps on them labeled with an ‘H’ and an ‘L’ respectively. Locate the low pressure service port and remove the cap. It should either thread off or just pop off. Be sure to put it somewhere safe.

3. Use the A/C Gauge to Determine Your Current Pressure

The refrigerant you purchased should have come with a pressure gauge. The adapter on the end is identical to that of an air compressor hose. Pull up the collet and attach the adapter to the low pressure port. You should get a reading on your gauge. If you’re pretty much out of refrigerant, or very low, you’ll likely get a reading between 0 and 15 PSI. That means it’s definitely time for a recharge. If, however, your reading is in the blue zone (typically above 30 PSI) you might not need refrigerant and may have a different issue altogether. Be aware that over filling your refrigerant can be harmful to your system and may cause the same lack of cold air as an under-pressured system.

4. Shake it up!

Once you’ve determined that you need more refrigerant, start shaking the can. Its contents need to be well agitated to mix up the settled contents. Keep shaking throughout the next steps as well.

5. Fill It to the Appropriate Level

Check the included chart to determine what PSI you need to be at, which is determined by the outside/surrounding temperature. If you’re in a room temperature garage, for example (70 deg. F), then you’ll need your low pressure to be at 35-40 PSI. If it’s 100 degrees out, you’ll need to be up at 50-55 PSI. Keep moving the can horizontally and vertically as you squeeze the trigger to pressurize the system. Be sure to stop from time to time to check the pressure level so as to not over-fill it.

refrigerant pressure temperature chart
Refrigerant Air Conditioner Pressure to Temperature Chart

That’s it! You should have functioning A/C again – woohoo! If you’ve been without it on a scorching hot day and then get it fixed, you know what a joyous occasion this can be. In this case, I was working on my Dad’s old truck and he actually has never had A/C in it since he bought it a couple of years ago so you can imagine how pleased he was to feel the ice-cold air blowing out of the vents. Summers are suddenly much more bearable!

A Few Tips

  • The symptoms for low refrigerant pressure are varied and can include:
    • Warm Air coming out of the vents when the A/C is on
    • Cool air but not as cold as it should be
    • A/C only working on one side of the vehicle or certain vents
    • Pressing the A/C button doesn’t seem to have any impact on the air temperature
  • If there’s a bit of refrigerant still left in the can, you cannot remove the nozzle and use the can again. You must use it all in one shot, or at least without disconnecting the hose, or else the remainder of the refrigerant will leak out.
  • The hose and gauge of the refrigerant can be reused. The hose and gauge seen in this video is the one I bought for my car and then used on my Dad’s car, so he just has to buy the bottle, not the bottle, hose and gauge.

Happy recharging!

Ready to watch the video to see it in action? Check it out.

https://youtu.be/C_IhGe0Kip8

$23 DIY Planter Box

$23 DIY Planter Box

This year for Mother’s Day, I told NilsyNils that I wanted a couple of planter boxes for our front walk area. I think they add a lot of charm and dimension to any area, and had pinned quite a few pictures of ones I liked. Nils and I looked at a lot of different tutorials, and naturally, he decided they were all crap and designed a new one. We spent a Saturday in the garage building these cute boxes and bonding via power tools. This is an inexpensive yet outdoor-ready planter box that can hold about 3 full bags of potting soil and has about 3 square feet of surface area.

Each box consists of 9 cedar fence pickets and one 2 x 4. You’ll also need 1 1/4″ screws, 3″ screws, an optional brad nailer, and 18 gauge brads.

CLICK TO DOWNLOAD THE PLANS

Planter-Box-Plans

 

Check out the full video at https://youtu.be/WUnFAgj_7ps