New Bostitch 6 gal Compressor Design

A month ago i bought some new tools, one of them was a Bostitch 6 gallon air compressor.  In that blog post i wrote about how some people commented that the air regulator valve would break and that i called and had the replacement shipped to me.  The other day while in Lowe's i noticed the new version of the air compressor. 
bostitch 6 gal air compressor, air valve, replacement

This one is basically the same but it has a different gauge layout and has the upgraded air valve.  I can tell because it's the heavier duty red plastic knob.  

I must have gotten the good deal because i bought the old version of the tank before they were getting in these new ones.


White Box Wall Mounted Shelf

Karrie had been asking for a while if i could build her this type of cube wall shelf.  She wanted to put it in the spare bedroom, which she was planning to make into an arts and crafts area.  I bought the wood and roughly cut it several months ago, but since then it was just sitting in the basement.  So a few weeks ago when Karrie and I went to John and Katie's house I took the wood with me.  John helped me redraw plans so that it would all fit together. 
simple wall shelf, box shelf, craft

Here was one of the original drawings John helped me with. 
plans to make a wall shelf, ikea shelf, simple wood

Then we used his table saw to cut the boards square so that it all fit together perfectly.  When i originally cut the boards with my circular saw nothing was square or even.  When we got back home I assembled the shelf using glue and my new nail gun.  Then I filled in any gaps with spackle and painted it with two coats of white primer paint.

wood cube shelf, walls mount shelf plans, build, make

The shelf is meant to hang on the wall.  We haven't hung it up in the spare bedroom yet because Karrie wants to make the craft area first.  We're not sure exactly where the shelf is going to go.  First we have to build a small craft table then we will hang the shelf.


Heavy Duty Welder Cart Plans

After getting my new welder from Harbor Freight i realized that it would be nice to have a cart for it.  That way i could roll it around and more importantly, all the other things i needed for welding would be in one organized, portable place. 

I looked at a ton of examples online.  There were a few reasons why i didn't just go out and buy a cheap metal one for $70.   First i didn't like the thin metal design.  It looked flimsy to me.  But the main reason why i didn't like it is because it looked very top heavy.  I didn't like how the heavy welder sit at the top.  Not that it would tip over, i just didn't like how it was laid out.
harbor freight welder cart, mig

A lot of people that build their own welder cart use metal, which makes sense.  They get to use their welder to join the metal pieces together.  And because metal won't catch on fire if a spark lands on it.

But i decided to use wood for the cart.  Mainly i used wood because it's cheaper.  But it is also plenty strong for the cart i was making.  It's also more forgiving and i think it looks better.  Here's my final plan that i drew.  These welder cart plans would just as easily work for a Miller or Lincoln welder.  I might have gotten a little carried away with how much stuff i plan on attaching to the cart though.
plans to build a welding cart, diy welder cart, 2x4 build

I didn't want to just butt up a couple of 2x4's and nail them together, so i tried making some lap joints.  I don't have a table saw so i cut these by hand.
2x4 lap joint, how to cut, welder cart

Here's the bulk of the pieces i needed.  You can see that i did use some metal pipe.  It's some old copper tubing i had in the basement.  I used copper rather than cheap electrical conduit for the same reason that Doc Brown from Back to the Future use a Dorian.   " The way I see it, if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?"
parts to build a welder cart, wood, pipe, copper, simple, plans

Here it is with some of the shelf boards laid out.  I used pine 1x6 and 1x8 boards for the base.  They were just glued and nailed to the 2x4's using my nail gun.
garage welder harbor freight, hobby

This is the rough framework put together.  You can see how the copper tubing fits together.  I just drilled part way through the boards and slid the pipe into place.   Also the rounded boards at the bottom are for a fire extinguisher and blowtorch.  They will be strapped to either side.
mig welder cart, welder cart plans, hobart welder, lincoln welder, portable, miller, utility

This is with one of the many attachments i plan to add.  It's just a piece of PVC pipe to store the welding tip.  It's possible that it may melt if i put it in there right after welding.  If that happens i guess i'll have to replace it with a metal one.  But i think it will be ok.
wooden welder cart, garage shop cart build

After a rough sanding with the belt sander i filled in as many gaps with spackle as i could.  Then i sanded the spackle down and painted everything with white primer.  I put tape at the edge of the copper tubing so that it was protected.
wood white primer paint, utility cart, diy, how to build

I wasn't too picky with what color to paint the cart.  I chose red because that's what i had.  Just a left-over can from painting a bedroom so that's what i went with.
painting a utility cart for the shop, garage

Here's what it looked like after the first coat.  Not real good.
plans for a welder, lincoln, miller, hobart, harbor freight

This is after 2 coats of red paint and 2 coats of polyurethane.  It looks a lot better and the polyurethane should protect it for several years.

chicago electric welder cart

This is what it looks like all done.  I attached the PVC welder tip holder on the side.  I painted it black with some spray paint.  I attached allen wrenches as hooks, 6 in total.  And i ended up using different wheels then i had originally planned.  The yellow wheels are rubber and have a stop on them so that i can lock the cart in place if i have to.
mig welder cart, welder cart plans, hobart welder, lincoln welder, portable, miller, utility

Here's a closer view of the welder tip holder and allen wrenches.
how to hold a welder tip, wand

I needed a way to hold the fire extinguisher and blow torch in place so i cut this PVC pipe and painted it black.
paint PVC pipe, rings, black, spray paint

Here it is all done and in the garage. 
shop cart, welder cart, garage

This is another view from the back.  You can see the 2 hooks i have on the back too.  I figured that i couldn't have too many hooks for things like the cord, mask and gloves.
plans to build a simple welder cart out of 2x4s

This is what it looks like all loaded up with everything. 
harbor freight welder cart, chicago electric, 90amp

Here's the welder tip in the holder.  Nothing fancy but it seems to do the job.
flux, mig welder wand holder

Here's the propane bottle on one side.
safely store propane bottle, heat, fire

 And this is the fire extinguisher on the other side.  Hopefully i don't need to use it.
fire extinguisher for welder, chicago electric

I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out.  Real simple but sturdy and well thought out.  It rolls around really well and should help me with any future welding i get to do.
mig welder cart, welder cart plans, hobart welder, lincoln welder, portable, miller, utility


$16 Pine Headboard for Queen Bed

We knew we needed a new headboard since Karrie's bed only came with a metal frame.  I said that rather then buy a headboard, I could make one out of wood as long as it wasn't too complicated.  We didn't want an upholstered headboard or any bulky ones that have storage drawers in them.  After looking at a few different headboards and searching on Google for simple headboard designs, I found this one from a company called West Elm.
white west elm headboard, make, cheap

This headboard typically sells for around $150.  It's just a simple geometric design that I thought I could build myself.  And the best part is that if i made it out of pine, it would be really inexpensive.  So the first thing I did was measure the bed.  We have a queen size mattress that's 60 x 80".  I also had to measure the metal frame to get the distance from the floor to the attach points.  Next I drew everything on Google SketchUp.  That way I could see how it all fit together and figure out exactly how long to cut each board. 

headboard google sketch up, sketchup, design, plan, dimensions

I uploaded the Google SketchUp file on my Google Drive account.  Here's the link to the SketchUp files in case you want to download them.

Queen Headboard.skb
Queen Headboard.skp

The other great thing about Google SketchUp is that I could see exactly how the headboard would look with the mattress and pillows.  I was able to determine how much of the headboard we would actually see.  And from that I determine how high to build the headboard to get the look we wanted.

sketchup headboard, white, grid, geometric, build, easy, make, cheap

Like i said earlier, i planned to build this out of pine which doesn't cost a lot.  The whole thing ended up costing less than $16.  Here's a list of the boards I used to build the headboard and their approximate cost:

1 - 8' x 2x4 = $2.50
4 - 8' x 2x3 = $9.00

4 - 6' x 1x2 = $4.00

I actually had some of the boards all ready in the basement so it was actually cheaper than I had planned.  I think i only had to buy the 2x3's, so my total cost was only around $9.

how to build a cheap and easy headboard, wood

I went with 2x3's for the outer frame because 2x4's would look too bulky.  And the only reason why i used a 2x4 for that bottom brace is because i had a few 2x4's in the basement and it would be hidden by the mattress.  

The first thing I did was decide on what type of 1x2 to use.  You can see from this picture that there's two different types of boards.  The boards on the left had a sharp corner while the boards on the right had a more rounded corner.
build a cheap headboard out of wood

We decided to use the boards on the right because it had better look.  More of a softer look with the rounded edges.  Next I cut out all of the small 1x2 boards that I needed to make the 5 rectangular pieces in the center of the headboard.  

plan, dimensions, measure, wood headboard, 2x4

Then I cut the 2x4 and 2x3's and started to try fit everything together.  I think i did have to recut some of the connector pieces.  But if one was a little too long i was able to replace it with another piece that was a little too short.

build easy wood headboard

Once I realized that at all fit together fine I began assembling the center section first.  This is something I could not have built without my new nail guns and air compressor.  It was actually pretty easy just putting a small amount of wood glue on the edge and then putting  two 18gauge nails through the boards.  I must say that it will be very difficult to build this with out a nail gun.

how to build make a wood headboard, for under $20

I tried to keep everything flat against the floor so that everything would be flush with each other.  I used my 50 pound anvil as a brace to hold the boards as I nailed them together.  Also since all the boards were cut to the correct length, as long as I joined up the edges I knew it would all be at 90°.  Here's what it looked like half way through building the center section.  I still had to attach the upper and lower vertical pieces.  The nails held everything in place as the glue dried.  But before it dried i made sure that everything was square and that the two end pieces were even with each other.

nail, glue, wood, headboard plans

Next I built the outer 2x3 framework.  This time I used long screws that I countersunk into the board.

build 2x4 headboard for bed, make, plans

Here you can see that I countersunk the entire head of the screw about a half-inch into the 2x3 itself.

simple 1 day headboard for bed

It all fit together pretty well.  I attached the inner rectangles to the outer frame with glue and toe nailing.  Once again, the nails were only used to hold it in place as the glue dried.

cheap, easy to make pine headboard, bed, plan

You can see one of the problems I had.  Since we used the 1x2's with rounded edges, they didn't fit together very well.  So I had to figure out some way to fill in these gaps. 

spackle wood joint

I knew I would have to use spackle to fill in the nail heads and I figured that it would work perfectly to fill in these gaps as well.  So I use my finger smush in as much spackle into the joints as I could.  This picture shows the spackle after just the first coat.  I ended out doing another layer of spackle and then sanding everything down smooth.

how to fix a wood joint with spackle, how to spackle

Here's what the entire headboard look like after spackling the joints on the front and back of the headboard.

headboard under $20, cheap, easy to make, build

I knew that we were going to paint the headboard white, just like the original picture.  So i used some of the leftover primer paint that we had from redoing our family room.  

headboard plans, dimensions, bed, queen bed,

Then I did a second coat of paint the next day.

twin, full, queen, king, bed, headboard

We then had to decide what type of finish we wanted.  I did a test piece so that we could see what it would look like with one coat of paint, two coats of paint, paint with polyurethane, and then paint with a wax finish.  We ended up liking the finish that was just two coats of paint.  Though it's hard to see any difference from the picture.

paint, polyurithane test piece,wood

The last thing i had to do was drill the holes to attach the bolts to the metal frame and countersunk them a bit so that the bolt heads would not dig to the wall.
counter sink bolt, damage wall

I was worried about it not be attached solid enough to the frame and possibly cracking the board, but once it was bolted together it seemed very fine.

make west elm headboard, white, plans

Here's what it looks like with just one pillow at each side rather than two.  More of the headboard is visible and less is being covered up.

build a cheap headboard, pine wood, queen bed, white

It turned out really well.  My favorite type of projects are the ones that turn out strong, look good, and can be made for much less than they can be bought at a store.  This headboard ended up being all three of those things.  Plus it did not take that long to make, only a few hours of building, then a few hours of spackling sanding and painting.

headboard plans, build, make


New Mufflers - Part 2

After putting on my new exhaust and mufflers for my 2005 Pontiac Grand Prix GTP i thought i screwed something up.  Here's the link to the original exhaust/muffler replacement.

It was quieter then it was but it still seemed loud.  My first thought was that i left a hole somewhere in one of my welds.  So i removed the exhaust pipes and rewelded everything.  But that didn't work, it was still loud.  

Then i saw a Youtube video that suggested putting a rag in the end of each pipe, that will remove the noise coming out of the tailpipe and let you know where the noise is coming from.  So while the car was running i pushed 2 rags in each tail pipe.  The noise immediately went down to almost zero.  That's when i realized that the loud noise was coming from the mufflers themselves.  

When i originally ordered the parts, i bought them from Advanced Auto online because there's always big coupon/rebates on Slick Deals.  I got something like $100 off the original price.  

But on the Advanced Auto website, the only mufflers it said that fit my car were these Dynomax high performance mufflers.  I just assumed that they were exactly like the stock mufflers that came with the car.  If you read my original post, you know that i had to get a flange to increase the pipe size from 1 1/2" to 2".  I should have realized then that something was wrong.  It turned out that these mufflers were just loud, because of the larger pipe size. 

So i sent an email to the Advance Auto company, telling them how they didn't offer the original exhaust on their site.  I never really thought that they would say anything other then it was my fault for ordering the high performance ones.  But i got in touch with this person at their company who was super helpful.  He said that they did have the stock mufflers that would fit my car.  After a few back and forth emails explaining about the noise he said that he could ship me the new stock mufflers and i could return the ones i originally bought.  He said that i could be refunded or i could have the warranty carry over to the new parts.  I told him that i didn't care about the warranty and that i would rather have the refund.  

At first i was a little skeptical.  I though that he might refund me the parts, but then charge me for the new ones.  But it worked out amazingly well.  I ended getting the new stock mufflers shipped to me, i sent back the high performance ones (with the UPS tag he sent me) and he refunded me the $150 that i paid for them.  He never charged me for the new ones.  It was great.

So here is the process of me putting on the new mufflers.  I took off the exhaust and mufflers from the car again.  This was something like the 4th time and i was getting pretty good at it.  I had a system down where i would set the mufflers on milk crates then wheel the whole thing out using a furniture dolly.
2005 pontiac grand prix gtp mufflers, exhaust, pipe, weld

It took a bit of grinding with the grinding wheel to remove the old mufflers.  I tried my best to remove just the welds, without cutting the pipe underneath.  Here you can see the size difference between the original (high performance) and stock ones.
compare muffler size, high performance, stock

Here's another view.  The stock mufflers are much larger and have a smaller pipe.
pontiac grand prix mufflers, exhaust, cost, size

 Luckily when i originally attached the 1 1/2" to 2" pipe flange i left the 1 1/2" pipe sticking out a bit.  It's a little hard to explain and i don't have a picture, but i added the flange without cutting the original pipe.  This was lucky because after removing the flange i still had the full length of the exhaust pipe.  So i just had to weld on the new mufflers.
weld muffler onto exhaust, how to

I'm still a long way from being a good welder, but i'm slowly getting better.
new high performance mufflers, stock

So i will definitely be ordering parts from Advance Auto again.  Not only because of the great $50 off coupons that you can find online, but also knowing that they have great customer service.