Saturday, November 17, 2007

CherkyB - Master of the Wood

And I'm pretty good at building stuff, too.

A long, long time ago, we were driving down the street and noticed a big giant pile of toys thrown out at a neighbor's house. I believe it was right after Christmas, as some households have a "zero growth" policy on the quantity of toys. The Mrs. hollered, "Stop!" So, as a dutiful hubsband, I stopped, grumbled, and reversed back to the pile of junk so that The Mrs. could pick through for holiday treasures - a habit she apparently picked up when younger.

There was a lot of misc. stuff that still had a useful life to it, and one big piece of piratey bootie - a Lego table. It had, unfortunately, only two legs. But its Lego holding bag was even still filled with Legos. The Mrs. said to me, "You can fix this," and we tossed it in the back of the vehicle.

So on and off for almost a year now I have been pondering how to fix this thing. It's all plastic. It's hard to fix plastic things. But finally, after we'd reached that plane of Zen in life where the Lego table has reached the top of The Mrs.'s "nag my husband until he can't take it anymore" list, I formulated a plan.

I would fashion new legs out of wood.

Well, that had kinda been the plan all along, except I kept wondering how I would be doing this. See, the previous plastic legs were exactly 2"x2", and they had a truncated cone at the top that fit into a conical hole in the bottom of the table that was recessed in a 2x2 hole. There's no way I would be able to duplicate the cone without a lathe. And I'm not buying a lathe so that I can fix a garbage-picked Lego table. A brand new Lego table is a lot cheaper.

I decided to get a 4x4 and mill it down to 2x2 at the end (keeping in mind that a 2x2 is only 1 -5/8 x 1-5/8, or something like that, so too small to use for a 2"x2" hole). To mill it down, I would use my router table with a straight-cut bit, as I exploded my table saw a couple years by trying to use a dado blade on it and never replaced it. So we hit Lowe's and picked up a 4x4. I also picked up a few right-angle Simpson ties and some paneling anchors in case I needed to secure it to the bottom of the table.

After about 2 hour of labor, I was finished. One of my easier creations. Much the way The Mrs. thinks about MaxieC.

It turned out that just making the wood fit the hole perfectly made it stay in, so I don't need to use the right-angle brackets. I can also just pop the legs off to move and/or store the table without having to remove screws.

I was telling The Mrs. how I fixed this for $8 - the cost of an 8' 4x4. But then I got to thinking about all the tools I actually needed to own in order to be able to do this. I don't know the prices of everything, so all the dollar costs are ballpark estimated.

Hitachi 12" compound power miter saw: $300
12" blade for miter saw: $25
Porter Cable router: $175
Craftsman router table: $100
Craftsman 3/4" straight-cut router bit, 1/2" shank: $25
Bosch 1/2" self-guided roundover bit, 1/2" shank: $30
Tape measure: $5
Combination square: $15
Skil belt sander: $50
Belt for sander: $2
DeWalt palm sander: $40
Sandpaper for palm sander: $0.50
1" wood chisel: $10
Hearing protection: $35
Safety glasses: $8
20A extension cord: $25
3 outlet Y adapter for extension cord: $10
Rigid canister vac: $80
Pencil: $0.25
Craftsman #2 philips screwdriver: $8

Which means I had to invest almost $950 in order to be able to fix a garbage-picked Lego table for $8. Happily, none of these tools were purchased just for this project, but I need to charge some of their depreciation to it.


ellie said...


fat moother said...

Good yob

RIO said...

Sir, you have mighty fine hard wood, there. Mighty fine. Also, the table legs are nice too.

wife said...

A guy said this to you?

Not that there's anything wrong with that.

CherkyB said...

What guy? All the comments on this post are from womens.

Rhonda said...

I like your white trim. I've always wanted white trim.

CherkyB said...

Oddly, white trim is substantially less expensive than stained wood trim. Mainly because it's made of of wood conglomerate rather than solid wood.

Rhonda said...

well, it sure looks great.