Rifle Rack Plans Free

Here are the rifle rack plans for free- I came up with to display three of my rifles on the wall. It is simple and does not hide the rifle. It is basically two boards with pegs in them. One board has the pegs lower by one inch so the rifles set level. It is not secure, and will not work with a trigger lock, so you have to evaluate your situation before using. That is why I call it a display rack. More guns can be added by lengthening the boards and adding pegs with 5″ on center between them.

Rifle rack plans free display

The boards are 3″ wide, can be 1/2″ to 3/4″ thick. I planed to use oak, but wanted to try out the spacing first so I used some 15mm baltic birch ply I had. It came out nice, so I just stained (Minwax Special Walnut) and lacquered it. I wanted a reddish look to match the rifle stocks. The dowel pegs are 5/8″ hardwood dowel from Home Depot cut 2 1/2″ long and rounded over on one end. They are also flattened on top 1″ This is 3/4″ in from the end (see picture). This is important. It acts as a slight cradle. Without it, the rifle can be easily brushed off the rack by accident.

I used Forstner  bits to drill flat bottom  holes for the pegs and for mounting screws. Holes are drilled 3/8″ deep. Oak buttons cover the screw holes. 5/8″ holes for the pegs and 1/2″ for the screws. The boards are mounted on the wall 16″ apart on center to match the studs in the wall. I find that is a good spacing for the carbines I have, even when using wall anchors. When gluing in the pegs, make sure you have the flat facing up.  Here is the pdf plan for drilling the holes Rifle Rack Plan

 

Stop Vacuum Smell

How to stop vacuum smell. You have one of the new vacuum cleaners that doesn’t use bags. Nice not to have bags, but now you have to clean filters. You get them all clean and put everything back together, ready for next time. A week, later after starting to vacuum, you smell a stench in the air. Your clean vac is now putting a bad smell in the air.

The problem is, when the pleated filter was rinsed, it provided moisture for mold and bacteria to grow. That is what it did while the vacuum sat and you smelled the result. To prevent this, you need to sterilize the filter. The pleated filter is almost impossible to get completely dry, unlike the foam one, so it must soak in a sterilizing solution. Fortunately everyone has it- bleach. Bleach kills microbes.Cleaning vacuum filter with bleach

 

Simply take your filters, place in a container and cover with water. Add a couple tablespoons of bleach and swirl around gently. Keep it out of your eyes! let set for 5 minutes, drain and rinse. Don’t over do it with the bleach, as it could damage the filters.

Sterilizing home vacuum filter in bleach

After rinsing, squeeze out the foam filter and let them dry. Preferably in the sun, as it kills bacteria too.

Drying home vacum filter

Doing these simple steps should stop the smell.

How to Build a Square Foot Garden Frame

Square foot garden frame

This is how to build a Square Foot Garden Frame from 2x6s and 4×4 lumber. Mel Bartholomew, years ago, wrote the book Square Foot Garden and this frame is based on his 4 foot square design. Any wider and you can’t reach to the center. You can find info. all over the web on designs. This is how I did mine.

I made the sides from 2″x6″ common lumber 43 1/2″ long. End posts are 4″x4″s  9″ long. When I do it again I will use 2″x8″ lumber for the sides to get more depth. Then the 4x4s will be 3″ taller than the sides.

Square foot garden frame cutPosts Square foot garden

The posts are cut to a 30 degree angle for decoration. I used a table saw. You could use a mitre saw or even a circular saw with a cutting guide. Pre-cut the 4 posts and clamp them together for a stable surface, if you do it with a circular saw.

Attaching sides square foot gardenframe attached square foot garden frame

Using a Kreg Pocket Hole Jig I attached the sides. You could use dowels. Pocket hole screws were easiest. Since I didn’t used treated lumber, I don’t expect this frame to last forever. Using caulk, primer and paint will help it to last longer. I use thin strips of wood stapled together for the grid. You could just use string tacked to the sides.

Square foot garden frame plantedSquare foot garden trellis

The best thing I added was a trellis to the north side of the frame. I grow beans and peas on this. It is made from 1/2″ electrical conduit you can get at any home improvement store. You will need two 10 foot sticks of 1/2″ metal conduit, four conduit clips and 2 corners. You will also need trellis netting. The conduit was cut 60″ tall for the sides and 45 1/2″ for the top. It is best to cut and mount the sides loosely first and then measure the top length. There can be variations.

trellis cornerattach trellis to frame

I have been using this frame for 4 years now. What I would do different. Make the sides with at least 2x8s instead of 2x6s. Deeper the better. Look around on the web on how to make the soil. I used some from a local fertilizer place and it was terrible. Locate the frame where it gets sun all day.

Review Ryobi P882 Drill and Impact Driver Kit

Ryobi P882

This is a review of the Ryobi P882 Drill and Impact Driver Kit. I got it at Home Depot. It is a 18 Volt Lithium Ion setup. My previous cordless drill was a 12 volt nicad Hitachi which always seemed slow to me. There is a substantial increase in power with the new drill. I like the Lithium power-pack because the speed of the drill does not decrease as the power pack gets drained and they hold a charge a long time when stored. At first I did not like the color, but it is growing on me. It comes with a soft case, rapid charger and two battery packs. You can get larger battery packs, but I find the ones supplied last long enough for my use. The included charger rapidly recharges them in under an hour. Ryobi Lithium Drill P882

 

 

 

Ryobi P271Ryobi P271 top

The drill is a 2 speed range 0-440 rpm and 0-1600 rpm, 1/2″ chuck, 24 clutch settings. The chuck locks and has a long nose so it is easy to tighten and loosen. Has a level, storage for a driver bit, magnetic tray on the base to hold loose screws. I like the weight and how it fits my hand. It has enough power to drill large holes through oak.

Ryobi Impact Driver P234GImpact driver is variable speed, has locking chuck for  standard  1/4″ hex bits. It also comes with a 3/8 inch socket adapter for driving lag bolts, etc.. It acts like a regular variable speed drill until it meets resistance. Then it switches over to impact mode, giving it more torque. It really snugs fasteners down. Works great on lag bolts and fasteners.

This kit is a great addition to the tool collection of the  DIYer. I sold my 2 year old nicad drill when I got this one as it was such an improvement I didn’t want to be bothered with the old technology. Especially the nicads rapid draining when stored. Hope this review helps.

My youtube video of the un-boxing is here.

Air Conditioner Problems Before Calling a Repairman

You turn on the thermostat for your Central Air Conditioner. Instead of cool air, you get warm air coming from the vents. You go outside to see if the fan on the compressor is running. It is not. Before you call the repairman, there is something you can try, to fix the A/C yourself. DIY Air Conditioner repair. This happened to me recently. Of course it was a really hot day and I had nothing to loose.

First off, I am not an electrician or A/C technician. The circuits are high voltage and if you do something stupid like work on equipment with the power on , and the voltage goes through your heart, stopping it, you could die! Do not attempt if you have any doubts.Breaker Panel

You are going to check the fuses. Before that, check that the circuit breaker at the main panel is not tripped for the A/C. Reset it if it is. Central Air is usually the second largest breaker in the panel. In this case it is a 50 amp breaker in a 100 amp panel. Then try turning on the A/C at the thermostat. If it works, great you are done. If it keeps on tripping the breaker, call a repairman. If the breaker is fine, check the fuses next to the compressor. (Turn off the circuit breaker first!) Here is the fuse box next to mine. This setup is safe to work on, as the whole fuse-block pulls straight out. Yours may be different. Mark which side is up to make it easy to re-insert correctly.

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Flipping it over you see the fuses in the block. This is a 220 Volt circuit so there are two. Fuses can go bad over time, because of heating and cooling. Like a light bulb. To test the fuses I am using volt/ohm meter. Any do-it yourself handy person should have one of these. This is a $5 one from Harbor Freight. They sell them at Walmart too. In this case I am using it to check continuity.

Testing fuseIMG_1508

 

Using the 200 ohm scale (the scale with the omega symbol) I clip the leads to each end of one fuse. Do not hold in place with your fingers, you will get a false reading! This fuse is reading 3.4 ohms resistance. So this fuse is OK. Current can flow through it. Checking the next one the meter reads a “1” all the way to the left. This means the fuse is blown. No current can flow through it. If this is the case for you. You have found the culprit. Replace the fuse with the same  type. Pry out the blown fuse out of the clip and take it  to the store and match it. In this case it is a slow blow fuse. They cost more than the regular ones, but that is what is needed.

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After you insert the new one, put the block back into the box, close the lid, turn back on the breaker and see if the A/C works. If it does hooray! If not, or it works for awhile and blows the fuse again, or the fuses tested okay- call a repairman.

Another thing it can be is the contactor or relay inside the unit. I have had ants crawl in there and foul it up. But, that is more involved than I can get into on this blog. There may be a video on you tube if you want to tackle it.

Building Funny Bird House

Miesel Creature Birdhouse

Miesel Creature Birdhouse

I bought these plans from Meisel and thought I would review building this funny birdhouse. My bird house is called “City Beatnik” and there are two different plans included for $15. They have many “old man” type plans. Even more animals. These are full size drawings.  Here is a book by the same designer on Amazon, but they are not full size drawings except for the smaller parts.

IMG_1401Plans Funny Face BirdhouseIMG_1403

I found the full size plans useful and they include a cutting guide to get the most from your wood. It can be cut from a 1″x 10″x 8′ piece of pine or cedar. I used rough-cut reclaimed lumber, which caused me a bunch of headaches, because it was cupped. I did like the rough surface.

Let me first say  I use power tools that I have acquired over the years. I understand that many do not have the room or money for these. I think this birdhouse can be built using a jigsaw. With it use a straight edge and a protractor to set the angle of the blade for the bevel cuts. Sandpaper, glue, nails and a way to bore the 1 1/4″ hole and you are set. It would great to build with a kid . I still remember building a birdhouse with my grandfather and that was long ago.

I started by cutting all my pieces to the correct length. Using a crosscut sled I made for my table saw made this easier. Remember to cut to the waste side. Then cut to width. Theses are your blanks to cut the required angles and bevels on. I used my miter gauge to cut the angles for the end pieces. I actually cut the first end, then traced it on the second blank, cut it on the band saw to save time. Since I made mine out of reclaimed lumber and had to glue two pieces together to get the width, I needed to keep the seam centered so it looked right. This made it more difficult.

IMG_1407Cutting Birdhouse RoofIMG_1408

 

To cut the bevels on the sides, I set the bevel on my saw and used the sliding mitre gauge with an extended wood fence to get the piece close to the gauge while keeping my hand far away. Since the piece was already the correct length, I gradually cut the bevel with repeated passes until the bevel was completed.
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I found it easiest to work directly off the main drawing. I got a bit confused how they     measured the angles, so I just used a protractor to measure them.IMG_1433
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Assemble the sides and ends. I used 18 gauge nails and glue. Titebond II is weather resistant. As you can see my sides are cupped. Custom fit the bottom. If you are going to actually use it for birds to live in, then you need to be able to remove the bottom to clean out the old nests. I put a screw in each side to hold it in place. In the picture, the bottom is square, the sides are not. Drill the hole next.

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Next comes the part that makes this more than just an ordinary birdhouse–adding the face. I had read about using Glad Press’n Seal to transfer patterns to wood and gave it a try. It worked great! Posted about it here. Using a scroll saw, I cut out the pieces, sanding them smooth on a 1 inch belt sander.

Transferring image with PressnSealIMG_1448IMG_1449

After I had all the parts cut, I rounded the edges slightly. I used a 1/4″ router bit to round over the nose. Looking back, I wish I had rounded it over more. A file and sandpaper can get the same results. Now it is time to attach the face. I had an uneven surface to attach the pieces to. I glued the nostrils and the bottom of the eyes to the nose first. I actually drilled two holes and used screws and glue to attach the nose. I worked from inside the house using a stubby screwdriver. If you have a smooth surface, the screws probably are not necessary. Attach the rest of the parts as in the plans. I didn’t use the ears, because I did not like them.

IMG_1453Attaching face to bird house

After the glue has set, attach the roof. I found it easier to join the two roof pieces before putting them on the house. Lastly, attach the two acrylic eyeballs. These you have to buy from Meisel when you buy the plans.

IMG_1447Funny Face Birdhouse

In the end I am pleased with the results. The plans include a second birdhouse. I will make that one too, using new wood, saving me a lot of headaches.

Hope this has been helpful. Please post comments below. Especially if you have built a character birdhouse.

Wooden Hat Stand

Straw Hat on Stand

DIY Wooden Hat StandDIY wooden hat stand? Yes you can! I was asked to make hat stands out of wood as a Christmas present. They were to be made different heights so they could be put on a closet shelf. Hats with brims could be put closer together as the brims would not touch each other, because they are at different heights.

Simply made out of 15mm (9/16″) baltic birch ply. 2 disks- 4″ top and 7″ bottom with a 3/4″ dowel center.

Start by cutting the disks. I have a bandsaw and made a circle cutting jig inspired by one I saw on youtube. You can use a jigsaw, if that is what you have. Easiest on a bandsaw to cut out square blanks to start. With a jigsaw, cut to the circle you have drawn. Mark the center of the circle to make it easier to drill the dowel hole.Circle Cutting Band SawCutting Disk on BandsawBandsaw circle cutting

Hopefully the edges are relatively smooth. Use sandpaper to get them smoother. Sand the dowel too.  To round over the edges I used a 1/4″ round over bit in a router mounted in a table. Rounding over both sides. Sand both faces.

Router TableIMG_1351IMG_1353

Measure the diameter of the dowel you have. Sometimes they vary. Drill a hole for a snug fit. I used a Forstner bit to make a smooth bottomed hole half way through. You can drill all the way through using a spade bit (cheaper).  I finished them using water based polyurethane taking care not to get it in the holes. Apply the finish to the dowel before cutting it up.

Bases and tops for hat standIMG_1354

 

Cut the dowel to the lengths you need. I found a friction fit worked fine. Put your hat on the stand. Smile, because the brim of your fedora is protected.

Hatstand done