09 Oct

Pet Steps with Storage

pet stepsA friend asked me to build some steps for her aging dog to use to get up into the bed more easily. I did some research and modified a plan to suit her needs.

Construction is really simple and could be done with a hammer, Phillips screwdriver and handsaw, if that is all you have. I used ¾” plywood for the stair supports and back so using a power saw was beneficial. If you wanted to use a handsaw, I recommend adjusting the measurements for standard 8″ x 1″ pine boards. If you want to make something really nice for Fido, use birch plywood or oak lumber available at most home improvement stores.

You will need some wood glue (preference for polyurethane), 1 ½” finishing nails, wood putty, sandpaper (medium to fine), 12″ piano hinge, and a couple 6″ pieces of scrap and short nails to hold up the interior shelf. The piano hinge is used to attach the top stair so that you can store treats or toys under the top shelf.

For finishing, you can stain before or just seal with paint or polyurethane. I used a walnut stain and a satin polyurethane.

Because dogs prefer carpeted stairs for sure-footed-ness, I recommended getting one self-stick stair tread runner that could be cut in half, one for each of the stairs.

You could knock this out over a weekend and give your pet a leg up on getting into bed.

23 Jan

Bikes Made from Recycled Wood

I love this video piece on a couple guys who take discarded or salvaged wood and turn them into one-of-a-kind bikes. Sometimes the wood comes from urban arborists who have to trim trees around power lines and other times it comes from discarded lumber. Whatever the source the finished pieces are beautiful, fully functional, and will turn heads on the road.

Sorry, but they make you watch an ad before the video starts.

09 Feb

Bargain Days

I should have known better than to walk the aisles of the tool department at Lowe’s. But I did it to check prices on miter saws in anticipation of getting one, someday. Naturally, I bought one today, but not the one I had thought I would.

Hitachi C10FCE2You see Hitachi is apparently coming out with new models and Lowe’s is closing out the old versions. I bought the Hitachi C10FCE2 10-Inch compound miter saw for less than $100! Seriously.

The next model up, the  Hitachi C10FCH2 10-inch Miter Saw, comes with a laser and now is priced at about $140. Other, snazzier models are also reduced to move.

I could not resist such a bargain and the reviews on the Hitachi saws were comparable to the DeWalt. So, if you are in the mood to buy an entry level compound miter saw or any miter saw, check out the Hitachi’s at Lowe’s. I can’t wait to assemble it and make a few cuts.