Wednesday, February 26, 2020

First Panel Complete

 Last week I showed you a video that included a mocked up panel on the triple rack that was designed to hold spray cans. That panel is now complete and functioning. It looks really simple and it is in design but there was a lot of work behind the scenes to get it done. Remember, there are a hundred different ways this could have been done but I'm a gearhead on a budget and chose a method that involved more labor than money.
 The first step was looking at materials available to me for cheap and then making a plan. If you've followed any of my previous projects then you know my thinking usually goes something like "how can I make this stuff I have available work" rather than "what should I buy to make it work".  My brother had some pieces of stainless steel he was willing to donate to the cause and I accepted. I had a few pieces of 1 x 4 pine and cut them to size then mocked up some cans so I could cut a few grooves in the wood to accept the steel.

 To bend the stainless steel 90 degrees without a brake I decided to cobble together a type of press brake. First I scored the steel with a cutoff wheel so it would bend where I wanted it to.

 We have a nice selection of steel we use with the press and also have a pair of blocks that allow us to lay a big piece of angle iron on top of. Then its just a matter of putting another piece of angle on top and getting the whole works to stay put while squeezing it with the press.

 The finished product turned out as well as I could have expected and the stainless cleaned up decent enough for a tool shelf. I can store 24 standard diameter cans on this rack which is plenty for day to day use. Bulk storage can happen somewhere else. Ya know when I first started thinking about this project I envisioned the actual panels to be made out of steel and all the tool holders from steel as well. Wow that would have been a nightmare. I kinda like this first panel with the grey wood panel and touch of stainless steel to give it that industrial feel. I also like the fact that those cans are no longer cluttering my work area.

 Stay tuned for more tool panel updates.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Triple Rack-First Tools On A Panel

 This weeks update of the triple rack includes items actually attached to a panel although they are still kind of in the "what if" stage of layout. The video promises some detail on how I vertically mounted a tray of T-handle wrenches so lets get right into it.
 The video will show the end result but here is the back side of a blow molded tray of T-handle allen wrenches. The plan was to put magnets behind the tray to hold the wrenches in place. The problem was that I didn't know how many it would actually take to keep the tools secure while opening, closing and bumping the panel they'd be mounted on. Harbor Freight finally had a sale on 18" magnetic tool holders so I bought a bunch of them. Each of these tool holders consist of eight 2" magnets that can be easily removed from their holder. I taped those magnets in place behind where the metal shanks of the T-handles would live.

 The next step was to spray the back side of the tray full of expanding foam insulation. Not only will this keep my tools warm and snuggly but will hold the magnets in place and give the blow molded tray some structure for screwing it to the panel.

 The final step was to stop by Uncle Tommys house and borrow a wood saw. Ya, I don't own a wood saw. Not that it matters a whole lot but a fine tooth blade would work better for this application.

 All thats left is to screw the tray to the triple rack panel. Check it out:


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

More Triple Rack

 We had some snow the other night and that slowed down my progress on the tool rack project. Getting to work at 1:30am to plow snow really jacks up my schedule. I know I've said that before, and even recently, but its true. I like plowing and the timing of the snow events has been great from the point of view that we are able to get parking lots clean before cars arrive. I guess the only bad part is my sleep schedule.
 Looking back at last weeks video tells me there is some progress to report. The door is painted red. Ya I know I said I might spice things up but I'm cheap and already had the red paint. I can always change things up later if I go through some kind of mood swing and need a change of scenery.

 This wood panel is the one the door is hinged to. I glued this magnet into the wood to hold the door in place while gliding it into the cabinet/open position. My wood working tools collection is pitiful and I had to reshape a cold chisel for doing this wood work.
 Below the eagle on the sportster sissy bar overlooks the three panels that are now painted grey. These are the panels that will actually hold the tools. Choosing the shade of grey took about two nanoseconds and was decided in stride as the dude at the paint store and I walked toward the aisle with the paint I needed. He asked what color and I reached out and grabbed a grey sample while walking by. Never missed a beat.

 The panels were white with primer and looked nice and bright but I knew that my greasy hands would soon turn them grey anyway so why not try to hide the dirt a bit.

 While I was mocking up those panels I noticed that they slid too deep into the cabinet and might hit the back panel I was about to install. After removing 1/4" I'm left with six panels that have 19 3/4"  x  50" of usable space for hanging tools. Thats almost 42 square feet and I'm not even counting the seventh panel that is the back of the door slide. I started wondering about how much storage space I'm actually gaining and started comparing the triple rack to the triple bank 72" box it hangs on. If you go on the basis that tools in the box will only be one layer thick then its easy to compare size. Each panel is about the same square footage as the big drawer in the tool box. That means my new triple rack will theoretically hold about as many tools as the big center section and the left section of the 72. Of course the box will hold bulkier tools and a lot more weight but I thought it was fun to compare.

  I like to try to keep the dust down in the shop and temps were just right for some outdoor work. The ground was froze so when setting a wood piece down it didn't get wet but it was just warm enough to not need a jacket between cuts. Somehow working over a garbage can seems appropriate when you consider my lack of woodworking skills.  Thats all for now. I'm hoping my next report involves an assembled project with something hanging on at least one panel.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

Triple Rack Update

 Last time I reported slow progress on the triple rack. It would appear that things are still going slow but actually a lot of work goes into these small accomplishments. Cut stock, mock up, primer, change the plan and start over, screw ups, paint, trip to store and then assembly. Don't forget pics and video, it all takes time. Some of the work was done at home, some at the shop and some at my brothers house in his heated shop.

 In the end it doesn't look like I got much done but I can see light at the end of the tunnel for the box and panels. The final step will be laying out the panels for tools and making the actual tool holders.
 Here are the individual slide holders. Getting all twelve aligned wasn't as easy as I thought it would be but in the end the panels work pretty smoothly.

 Even this slide works nice but it didn't earlier when I had accidentally run a screw through it.

 I'm no wood worker but I was able to figure out that if I clamped a piece of wood along side this piece of plywood I'd be able to use my new forstner bit to create this relief for the lock mechanism.

Check out the progress on the triple rack in this weeks video:


Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Triple Rack Slow Progress

 I spent an hour after work yesterday working on the triple rack and I can tell you progress is slow. I think the biggest problem I'm having is that I feel it could be about two inches wider which is just a bit more than the amount of space the pocket door is taking up at 1 3/8". I'm not even sure why I feel this way considering I don't have a layout plan for whatever tools are gonna hang in this thing. I'll just keep moving forward and whatever I end up with will be just fine. Its weird, I have a goal to fit certain things in here and they will easily fit but it seems if done right this thing could hold a lot of stuff. A drawer is a wonderful thing if you want to hide something or for objects that need to lay flat but once it gets more than one layer deep its just a mess. I have two such drawers in the box right now and it drives me nuts. Every tool in this rack should only be one layer deep and easily visible.

 At the beginning of the day I had just a bunch of pieces cut to size.

 As I look at the above pic I realize that those pieces were cut out days ago and they all fit nicely so there must be some sort of plan rolling around in the back of my head. At the end of the day it looks like this:

 I know it doesn't look like much but it does represent what the final layout will be. The three pieces of plywood are just scraps used to space the slides. I'm not sure why I didn't just use the full panels but I may have been thinking of painting them first. I'm just gonna make a few notes here and when its all done we'll see how much of this changes. These are for my benefit.
*the door needs the sharp edges sanded, then paint. Plain red is getting boring.
*add a magnet to the plywood behind the door to hold it in place when slid into cabinet.
*drill a finger recess in plywood to allow grabbing door panel and releasing it from magnet.
*paint back of door plywood panel with chalkboard paint. credit JT the Barber
*replace those damn soft close slides
*ensure access to emergency lock on side of hutch.
*1/4" round locating pins on door left side will work if relief is cut in plywood when door is stored.
*the extra lock mechanism I already have will work if plywood is relieved near hinge.
*the twenty storage bins need to be cut down and have plexiglass added to their front panels.
*i wonder if anyone is actually reading all this.
*beg, borrow or buy a set of forstner bits.
*panel pull handles need a dado cut and edges softened.
*design the spray can racks
Thats enough for now.


Sunday, February 9, 2020

Triple And A Half Rack

 The Triple Rack I told you about last time has been upgraded to a triple and a half rack. You'll have to watch the video to find out why.
 In the video you'll see a door I made out of 10 gauge steel. I used this heavier steel so that it would hold its shape and not need support to keep it from bending. Working with this gauge steel can be a pain when you don't have big industrial equipment. Heck, the 4 x 8 sheet alone weighs 180 pounds. Once I got the piece outside for cutting things got much easier. A concrete saw with metal cutting blade will eat through this about as fast as a jig saw through plywood. Making straight lines is easy too because of the large diameter of the blade and once you're cutting on the line, its hard to move off that line. The only difficulty I see is when guys are holding these saws above their starting point trying to get aligned for the cut. The gyroscopic effect of the saw makes it hard to just drop it on the line. Heres a tip. With the saw running but the blade not turning, set the saw on the ground in front of the work and just tip it forward until the blade touches the steel and aligns with your mark. Now let it eat for an inch or so then pick up the saw and continue. Works perfect every time.

 Check out todays episode of the Triple Rack:


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Triple Rack

 Until I come up with a better name, triple rack is how I'm going to reference this latest addition to my work center. I've told you about wanting to build this thing and made a dozen changes to the plan already but now that I've started work on it the size has been set.
 First things first. I had to cut my salvaged 1" square tube to size.

 Some of the pieces were still too short after cutting them twice and our tubing stretcher is out on loan so I had to weld a few pieces together to get all the long lengths I needed.

 Its a simple design that bolts to the side of the 72" box but I added an extra swivel caster to help support the weight. This is pretty much a stationary tool box and only gets moved for cleaning or when I'm working on it. This should be fine.

 Yes I mounted it while the paint was still wet. Thats just the way I roll.

 I've told you that the design has changed a few times and one of the reasons is the door. If I put a traditional fixed hinge door on here then when you open the door and pull out a rack the door will be blocking one side of one end panel. That would suck to not be able to use 1/6th of the available space because of a design oversight. Yes if the door could swing 180 degrees we would be fine but take a look at the above pic. If the door is on the right it will open 90 degrees and hit the step on the 72. If the door is on the left it will hit the work bench. I have an idea for a sort of pocket door but thats all I'm gonna say about it for now.

 Because of all the design changes its been hard to come up with a material list but I made a trip to the lumber yard anyway and think I have everything I'll need. Two sheets of 5/8 sanded plywood, one sheet of that cheap brown crap and six 2x4 studs. The slides were the biggest part of the budget at around ninety dollars. I'd like to take this opportunity to point out that my wife graciously donated me a gift card she had to fund this project. I'd also like to point out that the card is now empty. Just saying.


Sunday, February 2, 2020

Tool Box Rack

 I think it was last week when I talked about my next tool box addition and how I was going to use a six drawer locker in the build. Thats changed and I'll talk about why in the video but first lets take a look at how I'll help keep this gearhead on a budget. The boss had some of the crew cleaning up the yard and I hinted to them that if they ran across any one inch square tubing that was destined for the dumpster that they should let me know. They found a few pieces.

 The green thing was a rolling ladder with some rust issues down by the base. The red pieces were part of some sort of rack. Those pieces laying on the ground that I salvaged will make up the bulk of the framework and of course the price was right.
 This next pic is an edit to the video. I decided to lower the height of this new rack by about a foot. Partially to reduce cost by keeping some of the wood materials cut off waste to a minimum and partially because it would have been a bit uncomfortably tall for me. And finally, this lower height leaves the potential for yet another small project.

 It should all make sense after this video but be warned. I've changed the design twice since I wrote the above paragraphs last night. Who knows what this thing is gonna look like when its done.