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”

Building a Woodshop – Sheathing, Roofing, Trim and a Broken Rib

Holy Schneikes! It’s been months since I blogged about the shop and it’s come a long way since my last post. Since finishing the framing, I’ve worked on the next steps, which are many:

  1. Wrapping the structure in OSB
  2. Roofing: Applying OSB Sheathing to the roof, then tar paper, drip edge and shingles
  3. Wrapping the structure in moisture-resistant house wrap
  4. Installing all of the windows
  5. Putting up the LP SmartSide Panel Siding
  6. Installing trim around windows, doors and panel joints
  7. Installing soffits and fascia
  8. Installing gutters

Continue reading “Building a Woodshop – Sheathing, Roofing, Trim and a Broken Rib”

Building a Wood Shop from Scratch – Framing Progress

Roof Trusses in Place on Wood Shop

When we were looking for a new house a few years back, we really hoped to find one with a good amount of space and a three car garage, so that we could park both cars in the garage and then have some room for me to do woodworking and my many projects. We ended up buying our current home, which we love for a hundred reasons, but it didn’t have a three car garage. Katrina, knowing that I really wanted a work space, allowed me to pour a concrete pad for a wood shop as a sort of down payment on a future shop. Well, now that we have put the yard in, finished the basement and we’re finally getting a rock wall to replace our massive, weed-infested hill, it’s time to start on the shop. I got started a couple of weeks ago and it’s going well so far.

To begin, I designed the shop in Google Sketchup, which allows me to get a feel for size, color, space in relation to the house, etc. After that, I mocked it up in Photoshop using our existing garage as a starting point and then bringing in some color and texture to make it fairly realistic. The second image below is my Photoshop job of what the shop may look like, though we’re definitely not 100% decided as of yet on colors, textures, etc. The size and shape are pretty accurate, though.

Wood shop design
This is the design for the new shop, rendered in Google Sketchup.
New Wood Shop Photoshop Render
This is my Photoshop job of what the new wood shop might look like.

I decided to do 2×6 framing instead of 2×4 since I’ll be insulating it and adding a heating and A/C unit. The shop is 15′ x 15′, so it’s not a big shop, but I’m excited about it. I decided to do 9′ ceilings, with a loft for wood storage. I’m putting several windows in it, including a row of windows above the door, a 3’x5′ window on two of the walls and a smaller window on the fourth wall. Let there be light. The best part about that is that I bought all of the windows already, including several extra, for a grand total of $100 from a person in our area. Thanks, local online classifieds! They’re all used double pane, insulated windows and most of them are either sliders or crank-openers. I’m looking forward to putting those in. It’s amazing what you can get for cheap when someone is remodeling their home.

I bought a framing nailer (should have done that years ago) and have been building the walls one at a time and then getting some help from neighbors to stand them up and put them on the lag bolts in the concrete then tight them down. I have to say – 15′ x 10′ walls made out of 2x6s are extremely heavy. Definitely not a one-person job. My poor wife had her feet under one of the walls when it fell into place so she’s got quite a pair of bruises on her feet but luckily it looks worse than it is.

16 foot lumber, Toyota Tacoma
Turns out this is way illegal. Apparently you can’t have 10′ of board hanging out of your truck bed. 🙁 Lesson learned!

 

The first wall of the wood shop
I did the first wall framing in the driveway.

 

Raising the first wall
Raising the first wall

 

The first wall of the wood shop
Two walls up!

 

Woodshop Walls framed
The four walls are up!

With the four walls up, I started on the ceiling / loft floor. I used 2x10s and mounting brackets and it’s quite sturdy. Those 15′ long 2x10s are some heavy suckers. I finished putting those up and then, with Katrina’s help, put the 3/4″ OSB up for flooring. That made it way easier to work on the roof trusses (stick framing) without having to use a ladder to do it all.

Wood Shop Loft Framing
Wood Shop Loft Framing

For the roof cuts, I used a great little truss calculator to get the angles, distances and other cuts, which was super helpful. Me no do math good, so that was kinda fantastic. It gives you the angles, the birdsmouth cuts, the distances where to cut them and everything.

One thing that helped a lot on cutting the rafters was to create a template to make the marks faster. I created these small templates to slide onto each end of the 2x6s to make it really easy to mark every board in a hurry. It took me about 11 minutes to mark 24 boards, which is great. The templates took about 20 minutes to make.

Framing Templates for Roof Trusses
Framing Templates for Roof Trusses

As of right now, the rafters are up and nailed to the ridge board, so now I’m ready to finish the framing of the gable faces and then I can put the OSB up on the roof. Yay!

Roof Trusses in Place on Wood Shop
Roof Trusses in Place on Wood Shop

No injuries or accidents (other than my poor wife’s foot bruises) so far, so knock on wood. That’s it for now! More pictures coming soon and, of course, I’m videoing the whole thing for a complete how-to series on it from start to finish. If you want to learn about framing walls, windows, soffits, doors and closets, I already have some videos on those!

$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

An Organized Garage in 4 Steps, plus Overhead Storage Review

Organize Your Garage in 4 Simple Steps

Everybody’s garage gets messy – especially if you do any work out there. We’re going to look at four ways to get and keep your garage organized.

Check Fleximounts overhead storage rack at: https://goo.gl/hQhuwx

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step 1: Get Shelves or Cabinets

Buy some used cabinets from Craigslist or other local used good sites and mount them to your walls and/or floors. You can use a label maker to keep things organized and take full advantage of the wall space in your garage. There are tons of great shelving solutions available too.

Step 2: Put It On Wheels

I like to add caster wheels to all of my larger machinery so that I can wheel it out when in use and stash it away when I’m done. This has helped me to create somewhat of a mobile workshop that I can tidy up after a project so we can still park in the garage.

Step 3: Garage Hooks FTW!

Garage hooks are seriously great. You can hang just about anything you’d store in a garage: bikes, tools, yard equipment, saws, toys, sleds, heaters, ropes, cables… you get the gist. Just be sure to drive them into a stud, not just bare drywall.

Step 4: Leverage the Overhead Space!

This is the big one. Almost everyone has storage space up on or near the ceiling. I used Fleximounts Overhead Storage racks to add tons of usable space to my garage. It’s a great way to keep things out of the way and free up valuable floor and wall space. I also built a set of simple wall mounted shelves out of 2x4s and plywood for putting up against the upper walls.