Baby Crib Rail - DIY Safety Guard - Free Ideas

Baby Crib Rail - DIY Safety Guard 


How do you know when it's time to convert your crib to a bed?  We knew when our son got mad, because we put him to bed, and he climbed up the side of the crib and jumped out.  Our son did that two nights in a row, the second time landing on his face.  So we said, I guess it's time to take the front off of the crib and turn it into a toddler bed.  Technically our crib is a convertible crib that turns into a bed.  Really that just means that the front rail is removable.  Here's the crib with the front rail off.
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That made our son really happy.  He loved being able to climb in and out of his bed by himself.  The new problem is that he rolls around a lot in his sleep and we were afraid he would fall out during the night.  For the first couple of nights we put pillows on the ground.  The crib was suppose to come with a shorter rail that exited just above the mattress, but it turns out that part was sold separately.  Here's what that short rail looks like.
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Initially i was going to make a new front rail instead of buying one.  I figured it wouldn't be too hard to have it mount to the existing holes in the bed where the original frame attached.  But then my wife heard from someone about something that would be quicker, easier and work better.

She heard that you could just take a foam pool noodle and stuff it under the sheets at the edge of the mattress.  
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That would provide a small physical barrier so that he would not roll over, but can still easily climb in and out of the bed.  
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As opposed to a big wooden rail in front that would make getting in and out a problem.  So we went to the dollar store, bought a foam pool noodle and tried it out.
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So far it's worked great.  He's slept there for 6 months now and hasn't fallen out or rolled out in his sleep.  It provides just enough of a hump that he can't roll over it, yet it's still low enough that you can barely see it.  Plus i didn't have to make anything and it only cost $1.
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Organize Cart - Small Rack Build Plans

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Organize Cart - Small Rack Build Plans


A couple of years ago i saw a youtube video of Adam Savage on Tested.  He was showing how he organizes all his small parts, nuts, bolts, screws, bearings, etc.  He had a large rolling cart with removable cases by the company Sortimo.  The cases had a clear plastic top and inside there were different size trays which could be removed and reorganized differently inside the case.  Here's the organizer parts storage case that i built.
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Here's Adam's version on the right.
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Here's all the cases i got then and all the parts that i sorted into them.
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Here's the plan i drew for that case.
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And here's the cases i bought from Harbor Freight.
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I was in need of organizing all my stuff because i was using old coffee cans, it was a huge mess and took forever to find anything.  So i bought 12 cases from Harbor Freight, organized everything and built an organizing cart out of wood OSB.  I spent time designing it and drew it up on AutoCAD so that the plastic cases would easily slide in and out.  This was the result:
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I was happy then with the case cart and i'm still happy today with it.  I appreciate it every time i need to find something and it only takes me a couple seconds, versus the old way of dumping the coffee cans on the floor and start sorting.

Up north we currently use an old wood dresser filled with glass jars to sort everything.  So after my parents built a new garage i thought a great thing to stay organized would be a rolling cart with cases similar to mine.  This time though i only bought 8 cases from Harbor Freight rather than 12.  Also this time i bought the same type of clear plastic caster wheels from Harbor Freight, but only the front two wheels locked, the back didn't.  I found that i only really lock the front wheels when i want the older case to stay put and the back wheels don't need them.  Also i did buy some miscellaneous stuff from Harbor Freight that i thought would be good to have at the cottage.  I got some cotter pins, wingnuts, nuts, bolts, washers, etc, and put them all in the cases to go up.

Unfortunately i didn't take a bunch of pictures during the build.  I spent a lot of time running around and trying to stop my son from eating sawdust.  But the build process was the same as last time.

Organize Parts - Storage Stacking Cases 

Video of build

I did take the original design and measurements and adjust it to the smaller size.  Just to make sure i remembered what i was doing, size of the boards to cut, and where to attach the runners.
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Here's the updated AutoCAD design for the shelf.
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I cut the sides, top, bottom and back out of OSB on the table saw.  Cut the 1x2 pine slides to length with the miter saw, then used the table saw to rip off 1/2" from one edge so that i had a straight edge to glue to the sides.
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I used the same process of gluing, clamping, flipping over and nailing the slides into place as last time.  Some people commented on my last video that i could have cut the slides 12" long rather than 13" and that makes sense to get more out of the 8' board.  Another person said that i should have used a wood spacer, rather than measuring each time, to make sure all the boards are equally spaced.  That too makes sense, but i didn't do that either.  One thing i did do differently was to use a router to round over the edges of the wood 1x2's.  This made it a lot easier for the cases to be slid in and out.

After setting the wood sliders in place it was time to assemble the rest of the case.  Same as before, glue and nails to put everything in place, a quick sand of all the edges and corners to round them off.  Then it was time to add 2 coats of white paint.  I used white just because that's what i had on hand.  Then i added a coat of polyurethane to protect everything.  After that i screwed on the caster wheels and it was all done.

We took it up north and started sorting all the old nuts, bolts, etc. into the cases.
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And it's important to label the handle on the cases so you know what's in each of them.
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Then put the new organizer cart in the new garage.
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Again this has been really nice to have.  All your parts organized and in place when you need them, instead of having to look through boxes and jars for the parts you need.
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Car Window Stopped Working - Fix GM Window Regulator

I've made lots of repairs to the 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix over the past 9 years that i've owned it.

  • 2014 - Window Regulator
  • 2014 - Car Rear Hub Install - How To
  • 2014 - Replace Rear Struts - Again
  • 2013 - Replace Exhaust
  • 2013 - New Mufflers
  • 2013 - Front Wheel Bearings
  • 2012 - Replace Rear Struts
  • 2011 - Broken Heads-Up-Display HUD
  • 2011 - Fogged/Crusted Headlight Covers

  • Fix Broken GM Window Regulator Track 

    One thing i did back in 2014 was to replace the window regulator in the drivers side rear window.  I originally tried to fix it, but the tab on the plastic end piece was completely broken and it could not be repaired.  This is where the cheap plastic end broke off.
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    This was my attempt at fixing the plastic piece with some epoxy.  But it didn't hold up under the torque.
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    So i had to spend $80 and buy a whole new regulator, for a cheaply made 5 cent plastic part.  Here's the broken one and new one i had to buy.
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    So when the passenger side window stopped working, but i could hear the motor running, i was afraid that i would have to shell out another $80. One thing that i know may have saved it, was that i immediately stopped pressing the window up-down button.  Last time i kept pressing it even though i heard the weird grinding noise and i think that's what really broke the plastic tabs off.  This time it was only half broken and salvageable.  

    So after taking off the door panel, wedging up the glass window, and removing the regulator, i realized that i might be able to fix it.
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    Here's the plastic dust cover you have to remove first.  The black goop will stick back on the door once you are done.
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    Wires to disconnect the regulator.
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    Here's a picture from 2014 where you can see using a 2x4 to hold up the window, so that i can drive around while i try to fix the regulator.
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    This time i got a little bit lucky, the plastic tab was not completely broken off.
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    Back side, the important parts of the plastic piece were still there.
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    Here you can see why the piece breaks.  All the torque is put on that little tab sticking up, when it breaks the hole part comes out of the slot in the metal frame.
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    Taking what i learned from the last time, i knew there was a lot of force being put on that plastic piece.  And since it's just a crappy piece of plastic, the tabs that keep it in place break.  This was the part from 2014, completely broken.
    cheap GM plastic piece

    But since it was still somewhat intact i thought i could add some metal screws to hold it back in place.  So i predrilled, tapped and installed a couple of strategically places screws to hold the plastic piece in place.  Here's the holes i drilled to surround the plastic piece.
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    Here's the plastic end piece being held in place with the bolts around it.
    how to fix the broken window regulator

    And here it is from the back side.  I was also lucky that the plastic tab on this side was mostly ok and could still hook over the metal frame.
    fix car window

    I had high hopes, but after the last one that i tried to fix i wasn't sure.  But i took the window regulator out to the car, took off the door panel, bolted it into place and wired it up.  And sure enough it worked like new.  So i put everything back together and it's been fine so far.
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    Luckily i didn't have to shell out another $80 for a whole new part.  But it's a shame that they don't make them like they used to.  That part should have been made out of metal, it seems like with the stress it's under, it's prone to breaking.  But hey, i guess they save 1 cent on every car.


    Arcade Button - Baby Light Game

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    Arcade Button - Baby Light Game 

    A few months ago we started teaching our son colors.  We have some books and games and things that teach colors, but i noticed something on a shelf in the basement that could make a great game.
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    It was something that i originally made for the photobooth for our wedding, but never used.  It was 4 arcade buttons of different colors.  Originally i wanted to have different buttons to do things like turn the lights on, take pictures, print, etc.  But i ended up just having 1 button do everything.
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    I made a photobooth for our wedding reception several years ago.
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    Here it is on the photobooth frame in front of the monitor and camera.
    homemade diy photobooth setup

    Blog post about Photo Booth
    Video showing Photo Booth in action

    That arcade button i had connected to a mouse that i took apart, so that pressing the arcade button was like Light-Click and started the photobooth program to start taking pictures.  It worked great.
    wire connect arcade button to computer mouse

    So i had the frame and buttons left over sitting in the basement.  I thought i would be cool if i wired colored LED's to the colored buttons to teach him 4 different colors.
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    So i drilled a little hole near each button and hot glued in the corresponding LED.  Now you'd think that it wouldn't be that complicated, but man did i screw it up.  I've wired up LED's before to a battery but for some reason i had trouble.
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    The main problem i had was from the tabs on the arcade buttons.  Some tabs are "open" when the button is pressed, some buttons are "closed" when the button is pressed.  It took me many tries and testing with my volt meter to figure out what i was doing wrong.
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    But eventually i figured it out.
    how to wire led and arcade button

    Here's another drawing showing everything inside of the game.
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    The top drawing is what i did first that wasn't correct, the bottom is right.
    correct way to wire led and arcade button cabinet

    Power came from the battery, through a 220 ohm resistor, into the switch, out from the switch, to the LED, from the LED and back to the battery.  All of that times 4 switches.
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    Another picture of the wiring chaos.
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    But eventually it worked.  And i taped everything down so that it wouldn't come loose.  Then i attached the wood base i made so that he couldn't get to the wires.

    It was fun to play with, even some of the older nieces and nephews that came over played a little.  But there would have been a few changes i would have made if i built it again.  First, protect the LED's that stick up.  After a few months of being dropped, stepped on, and thrown down the stairs, a couple of the LED's broke off.  I should have glued on a little ring or something to guard them.
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    The other thing is to really secure the wires.  After all that abuse some of the wires came loose.  Now only 1 LED lights up.  So i will have to rewire everything when i get some free time.  Which with a 1 year old is never.