Ten Foot Wide Baby Gate

Recently, I’ve found myself in need of a large baby gate. Specifically, a baby gate that would stretch the width of my garage door. Everybody needs a baby gate in their shop full of dirt, dust, and power tools, right? Extreme daddy day care? Well, somewhat like that… but not with actual babies.

YouTube – Ten Foot Wide Baby Gate

I have two small dogs. Two, squirrelly small dogs that find their way into the outer world with ease and terrorize our neighborhood. My neighbors are mostly good sports about it, but I’d rather not have it happen often.

wire-gateMy previous solution was to stretch a piece of chicken wire between my garage door runners. While this worked, it wasn’t ideal for quite a few reasons. Mostly, it was crazy floppy. The dogs could have easily stepped over it if they tried. Luckily, both of them are slightly skittish.

The bigger problem, however, is that the wire attaches to the garage door rails which means that the door cannot be raised and lowered while the wire is stretched. This is a problem because I get home before the girls do and while I like to spend that time in the shop, the dogs absolutely hate that I’m not near them. So, they come down with me… and when the girls get home, it’s a mad rush to corral them before the garage door opens.

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IMG_20160227_132440So, that’s what this is. Two simple frames, a few pieces of hardware, and the same chicken wire combined to create a baby gate that spans 10 feet. In the video, I show you how I attached the frame to the garage door. I found the spring-loaded hook and eye fasteners at the hardware store. They are perfect because there’s no chance for them to come undone accidentally by the dogs pulling on the gate.

The best part is that the door works fine with the gate in place. I no longer have to worry about the dogs running free on cold days when the girls come home.

This isn’t a highly technical build… or anything really complicated at all, but I still had fun with the camera while working on it. I hope you enjoy!

What is Depression?

Depression is a disease… ailment… an infliction. It is an extremely personal experience and though some symptoms may be present in many different forms of depression… mostly, it’s extremely difficult to explain or understand. I’ve dealt with it one way or another my whole life. It’s a subject that I don’t hide and I openly encourage others to discuss it. Understanding it is a key to relief…

YouTube – What is Depression?

 

DIY Push Block

If you work with power tools, safety is important. A push block is a safety tool I should have had already, but… well… I have no excuse. Cutting rabbets and dadoes on a table saw or router is dangerous. So, let’s make a push block. Sure, they are super cheap to buy, but free is always better.

This project is super simple. I don’t have much to say about it or build pics to share. Take a piece of wood, glue on a handle, attach mouse-pad, done. In the video, I do show a few techniques… like jointing on a table saw… but really, this was just an excuse to get down to the shop and make something.

I could have been fancy with this. One thing I’ve always heard woodworkers say is that you should use your shop projects to try new techniques and learn from them. I could have laminated some wood and made a pretty handle… or tried a new finish. I could have trimmed the whole thing in edge banding or painted it… but really, I just want to get my jointer set up and running. I needed this tool before the weekend. Enjoy!

Lighted Sign – Portal Games Logo

One of my jobs is working for the Polish board game publisher, Portal Games. Recently, we decided to change our logo and I thought it was a great time to build something special for the CEOs office.

It starts with a piece of particle board, some poplar, a few LEDs, and a piece of plexiglass. I cut out most of the audio from this video because of the length… so if you want to know more, keep reading!

 

routing-logo

I first traced the logo in Inkscape. I have a video about that here. Once printed, and spray mounted to the particle board, I used a router to cut out the center. I’m using shelf liner here to keep the piece in place. This ensures that when the center breaks free from the cutting, it won’t shift into the router and destroy itself.

I’m using a router because I don’t own a scroll saw and jigsaws just mangle particle board. Also, the two “circles” in the center of the logo aren’t actually round, so the inaccuracy of this method is fine.

primer

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After adding a back frame, and a ton of sanding, the piece was panted. I cut a piece of plexiglass to fit in the center. This plexiglass was sanded on one side to take advantage of internal reflection. I then painted it white to keep it opaque.

I added a slot for a toggle switch and glued in a string of 20 LEDs.

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With careful prep and a good primer coat, no clear was needed. Shiny!

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Overhead Camera Setup

Previously, I made a camera rig that attaches to my tripod. This makes for great handheld shots while also having the option to use my tripod. To complete the usefullness of this rig, I needed a way to shoot overhead shots for animations or demonstrations. So, in this video, I do  just that.

In the first video, I tried this method of hanging the camera and… well… it worked, but it wasn’t great.

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It worked to finish that movie… even though the movie was about making the rig I was shooting that overhead with. Let’s not worry about shooting out of sequence here… but it wasn’t ideal. If I bumped it, the camera would sway, and it required a bit of fiddling to get the camera rig set up… and the cabinet door had to be open, which made it difficult to shoot shots of that area.

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So, this is the solution I came up with. A sort of shelf for the rig to sit on that attaches to the bottom of the cabinet with a few bolts, fender washers, and wingnuts. This solution is way more convenient because I can store the shelf when it’s not being used, yet quickly insert it and shoot from overhead. I can also go from handheld shooting to overhead shooting without having to do much in post to edit out the awkward swinging camera. It just works!