Sunday, December 29, 2019

Greasy Shop Rat

 Christmas day was just a day off of work for me. We celebrated with family on the previous Sunday because it was the only day we all could get together. This meant I had some time to experiment with making a big version of my Greasy Shop Rag rat for the front of my new tool cabinet. I was lucky enough to have been loaned a digital projector for this project and I figured I'd spend much of the day trying to figure that thing out. Actually nothing could have been easier. I saw it had a usb port on the back so I loaded an image on a thumb drive, followed the on screen prompts and voila, there was my rat.

 It never dawned on me when I was building the spray booth that some day I would be projecting an image through the glass door while painting inside and protecting the projector. I did, and it worked and its just sweet when simple things work out the way they do.
 That was the easy part. Set aside the fact that my artistic skills suck, I was having issues with my air brush. First it seemed to be a bit dirty from the last time I used it and then after it was clean I had mixed up a batch of paint that was too thin and I also had the pressure too high. This made an interesting and fairly consistent effect that I decided to run with for the lettering.

 From a distance its not really noticeable but the way my box is set up in relationship to the work bench behind it, there isn't much viewing that can be done from a distance.

 A rat dropping a deuce. Pretty much sums up what this blog is about. FYI, I'm not happy how this thing turned out but doing it over won't produce better results so I'll just run with it.
Check out the video:


Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Merry Christmas!

 I just wanna take a moment to wish all my friends and readers of this blog a very Merry Christmas. For my wife and I things are a bit different than other years. We had family here on Sunday because that was the only day everyone could get together. That was our Christmas and today will be just like any other day off. I'll probably tinker in the shop or whatever and just be lazy. Thursday and Friday are work days again and then I might have the weekend off. Its all jacked up and will take some time to get back on schedule. Add to that the fact that there is no snow on the ground and temps were in the forties yesterday. It just doesn't feel like a normal Christmas.
 My wife and I collect gifts throughout the year and then have an auction with the kids. They don't get gifts specifically for them, they buy auction gifts they win with play money. When you've spent all your money then you're all done getting gifts. It always works out pretty decent and at the end there is a lot of trading. Gifts are usually of a household nature like cookware, candles, bedding, towels, tools, first aid kit and even ass wipe to name a few. A lot of it is stuff they need but don't want to spend money on. We try not to include any whammies but once in a while one will make its way in there. We've asked them if they want to do something more traditional in the future and they all say no.
 This year my wife came up with a genius idea to stack the gifts in the shape of a tree. Once the gifts were sold at auction the tree was gone. No mess, no fuss. By far it was our most eco-friendly "tree" to date.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

Strange Visitor

 Today you'll see another tool cabinet video but this one is a little different. For one, I loosened up a bit but something weird happened while working at the shop. People have claimed the building is haunted and I've always figured there was an explanation for whatever they were hearing.

 During this work session I actually saw a ghost. Did I really or did I see something else and my mind just filled in the rest? What I think I saw was a man walking across the shop. He was dressed in all black and had no face. As I write this I'm hoping it wasn't the Grim Reaper and my fate is sealed. One thing I know for sure is that working alone in that shop when you know there is a ghost hangin around is quite distracting. That event happened about four hours previous to me writing this and I'm still jacked up about it. Anyway, check it out:


Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Holy Crap Its Wednesday

 Thats what I said to myself this morning as I was going through my normal routine of starting my day. I knew something was supposed to happen today but it hadn't hit me yet. Garbage goes out on  Monday so its not that. Pot luck lunch at work isn't until Friday. Uniforms don't get turned in today. What am I missing? Crap, I forgot to write my blog last night! Believe it or not, the slack effort you see here of limited interest content actually takes me a bit of time and thought to produce. You know how some people can just have a microphone shoved in their face and start saying something that captures peoples interest. Thats not me. The microphone would have drool all over it and all you'd hear is "Ummmm". Maybe thats why I like doing this blog. It forces me to express myself instead of just hiding in this handsome shell. After five or six years writing this blog, the videos you are now seeing are just the next phase of that expression. If you've seen the videos then its obvious I struggle with those as well.
 I'm still working on the tool cabinet. I pick away at in one or two hours bites. Last I showed you the lighting and before that you saw that the cabinet was just a painted frame waiting to be skinned. What I've done since then has been to cut out 1/8th inch hardboard panels and paint them. Well, I've painted the inside of them in a white semi-gloss. I think the white combined with those led lights is gonna be pretty bright. Maybe too bright. The nice thing is that if its blinding bright then I can always just buy more tools to cover the walls. Don't want to blind myself, safety first and all that don'tcha know.

 Like most shops, every flat surface is covered with stuff. Some good stuff and some junk. I had to get creative when it came to laying the panels out for paint. Once again my pull out shelf worked great, this time to hold the paint can and roller.
 Tonight I'll hang the first of the panels. The funny thing is that I still am not sure how exactly I'm gonna do that. Oh sure I know they will be riveted on the outside of the frame but I've got some options. Do I try to hide the rivets under the edge trim? Do I forget that idea and put the edging on traditionally or flip it and have a minimal exposure of trim on the face? Do I even know which side of the trim is supposed to be the face? All good questions and I'll let you know how it turns out.


Sunday, December 15, 2019

Tool Cabinet Lighting

 Todays video presentation is about the led light strips I used in the side locker and new upper cabinet. If you've never used these light strips and are thinking about lighting up a cabinet or maybe creating some mood lighting or even illuminating an enclosed trailer, then check out the video. There are a few things you'll want to consider before your purchase and it sucks if you get all geared up for a project only to have to put things on hold half way through because you don't have all the needed pieces. Warning: If you have no interest in led light strips then the boredom level of this video is a solid 8 out of 10. On the other hand, if you can't get enough of the sound of my voice then why deny yourself?


Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Third Floor Skeleton

 Is he still talking about that damn tool cabinet? Yep. If you saw last weeks video then you know my goal was to have this thing painted and mounted but not skinned. Here you can see that goal has been met.

 In the above pic you can see how the gap between the locker and my cabinet is uneven. I spent a lot of time thinking I really screwed up my framework by building it out of square. After doing some measuring I discovered that US General is the one with quality control issues. The way the locker hangs naturally on the 72 is wonky. I had to make some adjustments to their mount to get it lined up decent. Of course it looked fine until I added something over the top of it and I'm certain their new Icon line of boxes are built to a much higher standard.

 This cabinet will add a lot of storage space to my setup. If we stand back and look at the entire rig then its obvious I'm gonna add almost one third storage capacity without increasing my footprint at all.

 The above pic shows how I added a door stop on top of the cabinet. The door will now only open 90 degrees. It was getting kinda tall and I didn't want it hitting the ceiling. That and the fact I can't reach the door, even on my tippy toes.

 Some of you may have noticed this odd overhang. Its something I added to the new cabinet and it will have a strip of led lights under it. Actually, three strips. The idea is to illuminate the tool box drawers. No prior testing was done and I just welded this angle iron on hoping things would work out the way I dreamed they will. I realized it could look terrible and not work as expected, but last night I wired those lights in and they do light up the drawers below. I was in a hurry and didn't do much testing so I'm not prepared to say whether or not I'm satisfied with them.
 There is still a lot of work to do. I bought the wood and trim to skin this thing. That will require some cutting, painting and cussing. I need to attach a lock to the door also, you know, to keep the mice out of the fridge. The led lights inside the cabinet need installation as well. Another addition will be a coat rack on the side by the locker. The rack for the storage bins isn't built yet either but I do have a mental plan for that. Finally, because this thing is so tall, I will need some kind of step to be able to reach the top shelf. That project material is sourced but the design is pending.
 Even though its not skinned yet I'm doing the Les Nessman routine and opening the door before setting my lunch pail and thermos up there. I closed the door when I left work last night. Just havin fun with it I guess.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Tool Cabinet-The Rough Frame

 Its update time on the tool cabinet project. I've been pretty motivated and had the extra time last week so I was able to make some decent progress. The original vision for the gas cylinders that open the door didn't work. It took two men and a boy to close the thing. The next attempt left me with something that operated more like a mouse trap with my head in the path of the violently swinging door. The third attempt snapped closed so hard that if you got your hand caught in there it would take some assistance to get it free. The position I finally settle on gently holds the door closed and has plenty of power to push it open. It doesn't seem perfect now but future plans may include adding some weight to the door in the form of a monitor, and that extra weight should slow down the action of the gas struts.
 Besides the shelf and the slide rails, I also made a valance for lighting that will shine down onto open drawers in the lower chests and a rail for lighting in this cabinet itself. Another feature I installed is this spring loaded pin that will hold the door closed.

 Check out the video:


Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Third Floor Cabinet Build

 My last video post talked about wanting to build a tool cabinet over my existing tool box at work. Before I could start that build there were a few basic things that needed to be done. The first was bolting down my hutch to the top of the US General 72. In doing so I found a use for one of those stubby wrenches I claimed to never get a chance to use.

 With the hutch secured I could now take some accurate measurements and start cutting 1" square tubing for the cabinet frame. The band saw at work with a fence stop made cutting multiple pieces of the same size a breeze. I just hope I cut them to the right size because no matter how many times I remeasure the project, I can never cut them longer.

 So these two piles represent the bulk of the cabinet frame. There should be about 25 individual pieces here including the door frame. At this point that door frame hasn't been thought out and is subject to change. Like I've said before, these projects change all the time during the build.
 When shopping at the local big box hardware store I noticed these cheap framing clamps and thought I'd give em a try.

 They aren't perfect for squaring up these long lengths of tube but they work great as a third hand. I thought it was $7 well spent.
 Here is where the project stands today.

 The frame is completely welded, and most of the door is also welded. I have the supports in place, drilled and tapped, for the slide rails that will support the parts bins. I still feel I'm missing something obvious and am hoping to figure that out before I get past the point of no return. I did pick up some drawer slides for the printer tray but I might scrap the idea of the printer sliding out from the cabinet. Not sure if its necessary. I also placed an order on Amazon and got some lighting and also gas shocks for the door. How the hell does a guy calculate how many pound gas cylinders to buy? At first I thought I could save few bucks and use the ones removed from the 26" box. Once in my hand I realized they were too weak but how much too weak? I took a stab in the dark and ordered a pair of 65 pound rated cylinders. I still don't know what I'll use to skin the door but I'd guess the weight of it to be under 30 pounds. The door will be hinged on top and swing 90 degrees open. I'm thinking if the cylinders push on the door closer to the hinge point it will take all 130 rated pounds to open it. Maybe I'm way off. Dunno.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Tool Cabinet Ideas

 I've hinted about wanting to build a third level on my tool box at work. The reasons for wanting to do this are partially to gain needed storage space and also because I enjoy this type of project. Even if plans were available online for this size cabinet, I wouldn't want to follow them. I'll build this thing to my specs with the features I want. The problem I'm having is the feeling that I'm missing out on incorporating something obvious. In the video I mention wanting to add lights and speakers and even a clock. I've also considered a computer monitor. Feel free to offer your input. What would you add to this cabinet? Do you have a functional idea or even just a creative design idea? I've only just started the build so anything can still be worked into the plan.
 Check it out: