Elisha from Pneumatic Addict is one of my favorite people. Not only is she fun to hang with, she is a ROCK STAR when it comes to building stuff! Today, she’s going to teach you how to build this:
1- 6″ x 5.5″ – fence board
1- 2′ x 4′ – 3/8″ plywood
1- 5.5″ x 4′- 1/4″ hobby board (if you can find a 24″ length board, buy that)
table saw or circular saw
miter saw or circular saw
Quarter-sheets of plywood are nice because you don’t have to pay for a full sheet of plywood and they can fit in the back of a small car. You are going to need to rip the board down into smaller sizes. If you have access to a table saw, use it. If not, a circular saw works, too. Here is the cut diagram. There isn’t a lot of scrap, so you will need to place your cuts strategically.
|not to scale|
After ripping down your plywood, you will need to cut down the fence board. Cut 3 pieces, at 16.5″.
Now on one end of each board, using a pencil, measuring tape, and a speed square, draw 2 lines, 1-13/16″ apart. I know, that’s a crazy specific width, but its exactly 1/3 of the board.
Use the jigsaw to cut along the lines.
Quick tip: To save time, you can clamp multiple boards together and cut them at the same time.
Then, draw a vertical line, dividing each section. It should look like this when you’re done.
Next, find and mark the center of your large piece of plywood. It is 24″ wide, so center should be at 12″. Using your speed square, draw a line.
Now you need to cut the two 1- 7/8″ strips down. Measure the distance between the dividing boards and cut two to that length. Once you add the last dividing board, you will repeat this step.
Place the strip of plywood on end, and lined up with your markings. Secure with glue and finish nails.
Add the second strip, aligned with the marking in the center section.
Now, cut one of the 4-7/8″ strips into two pieces, the same length as the smaller strips. Lay a board perpendicular, on top of the smaller strips and secure with glue and nails.
Repeat with another board on top of the second strip. When you’re done, it will look like this.
Add the last dividing board to the other side, and repeat the same steps, adding plywood strips and boards. Since you won’t be able to nail one end of the strips, you can nail from the back of your plywood base, for the first strip. For the second strip, you will need to cut a small block of scrap wood, nail it to the center dividing board, and nail the strip to the top of it.
Time to attach the bottom board. In the photo, I show using another piece of plywood. I happened to have some scrap laying around that worked, but if you don’t, use the hobby board I mentioned in the materials list. Hobby boards are found in a small rack in the lumber section at Home Depot. Try to find the same species of wood as your plywood. If you don’t know the species, it’s probably pine.
Just like lumber, the actual width and “nominal width” are different. A “6-inch” hobby board is actually 5.5″ wide just like a 2 x 6. Since the bottom board is already the correct width, you just need to cut it down to 24″ in length, and attach it to the bottom of the divider boards, using glue and finish nails.
The last step in the building process is to add the front piece of plywood. Find the 8-7/8″ wide piece, and attach it to the front with more glue and nails. That’s it!
Now you can make it pretty. I stained mine with homemade oxidizing solution, and sealed it with clear, matte lacquer.
If you have spent any time on my blog, you know that I love anything “vintage industrial.” So, to jazz my backpack and homework center up a bit, I added 1/4″ lag screws and washers to each corner. They are purely decorative, so you can skip this step if it’s not your jam.
I thought a minute about using label holders to mark each cubby. While I love me a good label holder, I’m scared that I’m starting an addiction to them. Instead, I found 8″ tall MDF letters in the craft section at Wal-Mart, sprayed them silver (spray painting MDF can be a challenge. Check out my blog later for a tip on how to do that!), and added them to the front, using wood glue.
To solve the backpack problem, I added some single coat hooks to the bottom, vertical section of the organizer. I used 3, one for each backpack, and one for something else. As I’ve thought about it, I think I’ll add one more; that way, my boys each have a hook for their backpacks and one to hang a coat in the winter.
I found a small hallway close to the garage door that was perfect to hang it. Since it’s only 24″ wide, it doesn’t need a large space. I added it to the wall, using more 1/4″ lag screws in each corner. Interior wall studs are usually 24″, center to center, so this means, in theory, that you can screw all 4 corners into a stud. This is total overkill. Unless your kids bring home gold bricks in their backpacks, normal wood screws and drywall anchors should be sufficient.
Each kid has 3 cubbies to sort homework and other papers. Each slot should fit a 8.5″ x 11″ paper, both horizontally and vertically.
The top 2 slots are not as deep, so I chose to place those papers on their sides. Works great!
I asked my husband about adding a pencil cup to the side, just for easy access. He thinks it isn’t necessary, but I might go ahead and add it anyway. What do you guys think?
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It’s Karen again…What do you think, everyone? Isn’t Elisha awesome? Go check out her blog and then go build something! Thanks for stopping by!