DIY Wooden Cleaning Caddy

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DIY Wooden Cleaning Caddy

VIDEO

For years, I have carted around multiple different cleaning supplies when I clean the toilets. This has become a real pain, and I finally did something about it. Watch the video of how I made a DIY Wooden Cleaning Caddy:

BACKGROUND

We all have toilets and they all must be cleaned. It is just a fact of life. It's not pleasant, but it just has to be done. There are certain duties that my wife and I have pretty much always done around the house in 11 years of marriage, and cleaning the toilets has always fallen squarely on my shoulders. 

For years, I've carted around the Clorox, scrub brush, spray, towels, etc all separately. While it has always been a pain, the last few years in this current house have made that the most evident since we have 3 bathrooms that are all quite spread out. It is quite a bit of walking when you walk to one, do something, walk to another, and so on. 

I decided it was time to stop all of this madness and get organized. I can build a wooden cleaning caddy. And that's exactly what I did. 

TOOLS AND MATERIALS

Drill and Driver - http://amzn.to/2vUje1h

Table Saw - http://amzn.to/2wj1vS1

Glubot - http://amzn.to/2imuSxh

Brad gun - http://amzn.to/2vUjM7l

3/4" plywood

Wood Glue

3/8" dowel

Spray paint of your choice

Painter's tape

STEPS

I planned to use just whatever scrap I had around the shop to make something that fit this need. So, I rounded up everything I would need to carry between each of the bathrooms, piled it all up and took some measurements. Then, it was off to the scrap bin to see what was available. 

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I found a few pieces that were roughly 8" x 13". This is just some leftover plywood that I never can seem to throw away. And I'm glad I didn't!

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I started putting the plywood around the cleaning supplies so I could know what to cut all of my final dimensions at. I find that using scraps is challenging, but in a good way. I often have something in mind that I would like to build, but it usually must be modified based on the material I have on hand. These revisions to the project on the fly are a good exercise in patience, and ingenuity. 

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I cut everything to dimension and then assembled the box structure using some wood glue and 16ga brad nails. As happens with scrap, as I mentioned above, plans change on the fly. The scrap I had for the two short ends ended up being just a bit too short, and I didn't realize it until I had already nailed on both of the long sides. Instead of tearing it apart, I just decided to shim the slight gap, especially since this will sit under a sink and it will be painted. I had some scrap maple that I used for another project and it was very thin already, so I just sanded it a bit more to make it fit. Glued it right in, nailed it and it worked great. 

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For the handle, I decided to try a little different design. I decided to make the handle wider than the overall width of the box by just a little bit. Then, I would just notch out for each of the sides, and then pin them with dowels. I've not done a joint like this before, and I don't even know if it was the best way, but it allowed me to use a very small scrap of plywood.

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For the handle part, I drew a line near the top where I thought it would be comfortable to carry, and took it to the drill press to drill out a handle. Usually, I drill a hole on either side of where I want the handle to be, and connect them with a jigsaw. This time, I kind of liked how it was looking to just space out the forstner bit drillings to leave a scalloped looking handle. I used a file on the scalloped part to smooth it out a bit. Also on the handle piece, I drew some angles that looked good to me and cut those out on the bandsaw. This just gives the overall piece a more elegant look to go along with the angles in the paint I'd do a little later. 

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The caddy was a bit unbalanced since I had a large clorox bottle on one side, and not nearly as much weight as the other. I used a piece of honey locust wood which is very dense, and glued it down into the lighter side. It is not perfectly balanced now, but it really did a lot to help it feel more balanced. 

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At this point, it was time to move on to the painting. You obviously don't have to paint a caddy that you'll be using to haul cleaning supplies and that will spend most of its life under a cabinet, but I decided to. I really wanted to give this caddy a modern look. After lightly sanding everything, and breaking the edges, I used a method for painting that I saw Bob Clagett from I Like To Make Stuff do in one of his videos. He used some painter's tape to tape off an angle that wrapped around multiple sides of the box. It gives this really angular, geometric look, and I like it a lot. I did something similar, and chose a gray and a sea mist green. Then, I just let some of it be natural wood for an additional contrast. He oriented the painted parts horizontally and let them wrap around the box. I chose to orient my colors vertically, and I think it had a similarly cool effect. 

Below, you can see me taping off the box and using some plastic grocery bags, making sure to cover any holes in the bags with tape, to cover a majority of the project. This allowed me to use a lot less tape. 

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Then, I sprayed on a couple of coats of the first color. After it dried, I just undid that side and found a different angle that looked nice for the opposite side and taped it off again, spraying another couple of coats of my second color.  

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If you have not used one of these trigger grip things on a spray paint can, pick one up. They are really cheap and it makes the whole process easier and smoother. I found the results were a little better, because I was able to spray a really smooth coat each time. 

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That's pretty much it. After all of the paint was dry, I sprayed a couple of coats of clear lacquer on the entire caddy to help protect the raw wood parts, as well as the painted parts. I love how this came out, and it will get used a LOT in my house. Do you have a need for something similar? I bet you can build it. If you do build one, show me by tagging me on Instagram @Brudaddy. If you have any comments, please leave them down below and I will see you next time!

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DIY Modern Step Stool

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DIY Modern Step Stool

VIDEO

Growing up, we always had this two-step stool around. It had multiple different coats of paint over the years and was used for anything. I built a modern take on that stool for our house. Take a look at the video:

TOOLS & MATERIALS

Miter Saw - http://amzn.to/2wvTpTp
Table Saw - http://amzn.to/2uIBSoO
Hand Saw - http://amzn.to/2hM3kRq
Nail Gun - http://amzn.to/2fui7zz
Plywood
Finish nails

BACKGROUND

As I mentioned, we always had these steps around, as long back as I can remember. They were used for all kinds of things around the house: a kid getting up to a counter to help with baking or cooking, sitting on to get a haircut and everything in between. They are currently red, but have been other colors throughout the years. They were made by my dad with scraps, and they have definitely withstood the test of time. 

A few years ago, I made a set of these for our household, but I made them a little more elegant by using some oak treads and staining the whole thing a dark stain. We needed another set, so I was able to use the ones I had made a while back as kind of a template. I changed a few things, most notably the look of this newest one, but the dimensions were very similar. 

STEPS (see what I did there?)

I didn't show me making the tops (also called "treads" on a staircase, so I think I will call them that here too). These were actually made from plain ole 2x4's. I had two different boards that had some interesting differences, so I resawed them and planed them smooth. Then, I arranged them in a way that I found interesting, with kind of an alternating pattern. (This will be more evident on the final shots) I glued them together like you would do when making a cutting board, and they turned out great! I was really surprised at how nice looking they were!

Below is a photo of the other set of steps I made a while back. I'm using them as the model for these new ones. You can see a little of how the treads will look sitting on top here. 

This is probably not necessary, but I always thought it was a cool little detail. Can you see the angle in the back of the steps? I asked my dad why he did this years ago, and he said it was so that the entire step was not being bumped up against a cabinet or a wall. This limits the only point of contact from a careless kid (also known simply as a kid) to just one small section near the bottom. I thought it was an interesting design element and concept, so I have incorporated it into both of the step stools I've built. 

I got started by cutting my plywood that would be the sides and front of the "2-steps" to correct size. For this particular 2-step, here are the dimensions:

Depth: 14 1/2"
Height: 14"
1st stair height: 7"
Width: 14"
Tread width 15 1/2"
Tread depth: 7 5/8"
Hole for handle: 1 3/8"

I cut out for the step using the miter saw. I find the jigsaw to be horribly inaccurate, and at this time, I didn't have a bandsaw. I finished the saw with a hand saw.

I sanded the treads and the rest of the steps. 

Then, I used a 1 3.8" forstner bit to drill a couple of holes that would later be connected using a jigsaw. This would make a handle. 

I was not pleased with how uneven my handle cutouts were, so I put them together and used a flush trim bit on them so they would at least be even. 

Then, I glued in the front panels and back panel. I attached them with brad nails temporarily until the glue would dry. 

Then, I glued in the front panels and back panel. I attached them with brad nails temporarily until the glue would dry. 

I painted two coats of a water-based latex paint, sanding between coats. Then, I sprayed on a coat or two of clear, spray lacquer. 

Here you can see how I made these little cleats that helped me attach the treads from the bottom of the 2-step. They were simple to make, and seem to be working quite well. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

I love how the finished step turned out! It really blew me away how nice this looked with a light gray and the natural color of the pine treads. It had a nice, modern feel to it, and we have been enjoying it for a while. I know that our family will enjoy it for many years to come. 

Let me know below if you have any questions or comments. 

I will see you next time!

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How to Make Equestrian Jumps

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How to Make Equestrian Jumps

VIDEO

My niece is really into horses and recently wanted to make a set of equestrian jumps for a friend of hers. She asked if I could help her make them, so I did. Watch the video of us making these below.

TOOLS & MATERIALS

4 - 4x4 treated posts (we had upcycled ones)
3 - 2x6 treated
2 1/2" deck screws
Paint of your choice
4 - Jump cups (These hold the pole that the horse actually jumps over)


Miter Saw - http://amzn.to/2ruEfLs
Table Saw - http://amzn.to/2s8JpAD
Drill - http://amzn.to/2runtMh
Driver - http://amzn.to/2runtMh
Drill Press - http://amzn.to/2faQhZ8

 

STEPS

First, I had to cut all of the 4x4 posts to the same length. I used the miter saw for this. After cutting one, I used that one to mark all of the others. That way, if there were any slight errors in the next ones measured and cut, that error was not compounded by 4. 

Then, it was time to mark out where we were going to drill all of the holes. Each post would get a hole to accept a pin starting at 12 inches off of the ground, and ever 2 inches thereafter. I like to use an ice pic to put a little divot in the wood so the bit can follow it. My newphew happened to be in the shop at the time, so he wanted to help do this. 

We turned our attention to the feet of the equestrian jumps. The material we had was just some treated 2x6's, cut to various lengths. So the first order of business was to get all of those to be the same length. For that, I used the crosscut sled on my table saw, setting up a stop block. That way, there was no measuring. Just cut a clean edge, move it over to the stop block, and make another cut. We had a total of 16 of these, so it was important to use a stop block in order to make very repeatable cuts. 

I wanted to do something to take a bit of the weight off of these, but not compromise how steady they would stand. To do this, we came up with an angle that looked nice, marked that on each of the feet and then cut it out at the bandsaw. This removed a lot of unnecessary weight without making them more susceptible to tipping over. 

Then came the drilling. Oh, so much drilling. We all kind of took turns with this. After drilling a few holes with a regular forstner bit, we realized it would be an extra amount of work. The forstner bits I had were not really able to reach all of the way through the 4x4, so we bought a longer bit just for this project. That worked really well. 

At this point, it was time to attach the feet to the 4x4 posts. Use a level to check the plumb of the 4x4 posts in two different directions. After that, you should be good. I pre-drilled for the screws and used a countersink bit so the heads of the screws would sit below the surface of the wood. 

Repeat that a few times, and you have some nearly finished equestrian jumps. All that is left at this point is putting some paint on them. My niece took them back to their house and painted them another day. They just used some white paint they had leftover from another project. 

FINAL THOUGHTS

These were interesting to build. I have never done anything around the subject of horses, so I liked being able to help with it. It was a. relatively easy build, other than the fact that we were waiting on the jump cups (hardware that holds the pole that the horses jump) to come in, so we didn't know what size holes to drill. That made us pause the project for a few days, but promptly finished in one more evening. 

Let me know if you have any questions about the project, or if you would have done something differently. See you next time!

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