Monday, November 26, 2012

DIY Trundle Bed

We had a dilemma. Our youngest of the three girls moved out of her toddler bed and was ready to move into a regular twin mattress. The problem was we wanted her to stay in the girls room and not take up too much floor space. My wife-who has great ideas-mentioned wanting a tuck away Trundle bed. As always, I casted a vision first and measured second. I knew it had been done before, so I proceeded with a moderate understanding of the budget and time constraints.

I went to work by removing the standard ladder on the girl's bunk bed and installed one made from an old paint ladder that was my grandfather's. That solved the first problem...but I discovered the clearance on the bed the trundle mattress was to go under was 10 1/2". The mattress itself is 7" alone on the ground. That meant that your baseboard and wheels together would have to be under 3 1/2". With a board of 1" thickness, there was a fat chance of pulling that off. Plus, wheels on carpet that has an 8 lb pad does not mean easy maneuverability. So, what to do?  Raising the bed wasn't a good option in my eyes, not with 8' ceilings and a nearby fan.  

This pic doesn't lie: there wasn't much room for clearance.

In vision-like fashion, I had an epiphany one night when it occurred to me that we didn't need wheels. We just needed to scoot the baseboard across the floor. And what do you use to move things across carpet?  Simple: plastic sliders. 


These things are normally used to slide heavy furniture across carpet. The idea is these low profile plates will act as wheels to scoot the bed. All that is needed is to evenly space the sliders and this should work. I still wasn't sure, but went ahead as usual. 

So, I started with a 4' x 8' sheet of birch veneer plywood. I selected this wood over standard plywood because it is sturdier and smoother. It won't warp and it looks great. Additionally, at around $47 a sheet, it's a smidge cheaper than oak veneer. I used it on my shelves in our family room and was happy to purchase the excess wood I can reuse :).  

Next, I cut the board to 37" x 72". I allowed for more board on the sides and less on the top and bottom ends.  This is so you have some board to grab on the sides and so it won't rub against the wood posts at the long ends of the mattress.  The board length had to be less than 78" long (he mattress itself was 76"-tight fit).  I used a jigsaw with a straight edge to make the cut.  Additionally, I took a soup can and traced smooth corners that I then cut off.  Past projects taught me that little hands always find sharp corners to injure themselves on.  After a little sanding to smooth edges (you can use a router), I wiped of the sawdust off with a rag. The board was done. 

I then moved the baseboard for the mattress upstairs and then evenly spaced the sliders on the ground.  I placed the wood over the sliders (I didn't bother gluing, but didn't know how that would work till I tried). Then, Blake helped put the mattress on the board.  I couldn't believe we were done at that point.  And this thing is so easy to slide that my three year old can move the bed back and forth herself.  I may add a rope handle later, but for now, that is it.  

Total project cost: under $60. The sliders from Lowe's were about $8.23.  Not bad, if you ask me. I may end up painting the board or staining it to match the bed.  For now, this should suffice (I've come around: Painting wood was previously a sin to me). Should she transition out of this lovely bed, I have project wood and sliders leftover. Feel free to copy this idea and use it if you like it. Those of you with wood floors can use the felt sliders and get the same results. They work almost too good! Lucent in Tenebris.

Now, only if I can get that little girl to actually sleep in this bed and not in ours.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Completed Deck Box

Well, here it is. Finished and completed. This summer's project was a deck box and it was officially done on November 17th. Not bad timing ;).

I built it with 4 x 4 posts from Menard's, along with their treated AC 2" x 4"s. The slats I covered it with are the 5/8" x 5 1/2" x 5 1/2 ' untreated cedar. I used the 2" gold square screws (about 380 total). But won't it leak, you say?  Not with two sheets of aluminum flashing held fast by roofing nails and Liquid nails. The hinges match my fencing and are powder coated black. The final measurements:  44" height, 37" deep, 88" wide. Total cost was around $225. It's style and design, which matches my fence, is definitively Westfieldian. 

Here it is before doors. Notice the aluminum flashing.

From the front. It matches the fence, minus the graying element.

From the side. I did sand the cedar for the top because of roughness.

Glad to be done and even I couldn't mess this one up.  It was simple and not too time consuming. Blake did help with the assembly and it did bring back fond memories of fence building. I only destroyed one level and got Liquid nails all over a jacket. I'd say that is pretty good in the area of equipment casualties, common to every Moran project.

I'm thankful for a lot of things this Thanksgiving, some of which are my chop saw, table saw and drill.  Since my joint pain kicked in (read about it here), projects like these have gotten more difficult, but sweeter upon completion. So what project is next? I will ask the lovely Mr. Moran if she wants anything done for the winter, because I'm breaking for the holidays. Projects she thinks up with are usually much funner, anyway.

So, why did I build this? In a neighborhood that will not allow for sheds, this thing is a lifesaver. Pesky items like hoses that I do not want in my garage or attic for the winter can safely be stored here. It is accessible and lockable (a given seeing that I posted it HERE!).  Plus, I need to be a good steward of how and where things are stored and kept. Divvying up where things go in a house with four kids really matters. Bikes and sporting equipment in the garage alone made this deck box a presentable option. Plus, I'm not one of these cats that cannot rescue the material from the materialism. Taking care of your stuff does matter to me and my brood. Playing the crazy Platonic dualist card with a Gnostic bent is for a sucker. Gotta take care of your goods and store them properly, dude. It is the only way my fam rolls.

I'd say that does it for weatherization this year. I have other outdoor projects in mind, but a canopy and hot tub (Quote Aerosmith: Dream until your dream comes true!) are going to have to wait. Priorities always dictate and should. The table saw is going to get a breather for a bit, but when I break it out again, I will let you all know. If there is no other purpose, I like to keep my out of state friends updated on projects back at the ranch. Shine in Darkness.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anything happen while I was out?

I am happy to begin blogging again!  After a long hiatus, it is good to be back.

Of course, I didn't go away entirely.  I had an attempt to blog within the notes application on Facebook, but like Richard Marx once said, "I should have known better."  It didn't work.  I wanted to get back to the blogger format because I found that social media does a great job of advertising you or an idea, but does not necessarily present them well.

For reconnecting with people, social media is excellent.  However, within Facebook you can post something beneficial--nay, life changing--and it may not get the necessary looks.  FB has its spot, but the median can get elevated over the message.  Of course, we have all observed that the median can become the ENTIRE message and affect the narrative in regards to social media. Actually having something worth saying always requires a greater discipline, for both writer and reader.  To me, that greater discipline is exactly what blogging is.

So why now after 4 years?  Why come back to blogging?  Well, here are 5 reasons I can think of:

1.  There were enough good parts about blogging that I missed.  The interaction, the humor, the human side of things and the ability to communicate important bits of data in a helpful fashion are to name a few.  In a way, it connected me with others that I wouldn't have without it.  One of my rules of thumb is that technology should always bring people together, not apart.  Yep, that is blogging.  Granted, there is a negative side and wisdom is needed to navigate through that stuff.  But, it isn't enough to scare me off.

2.  I have grown up a bit since I last did this.  No longer am I in the morning time of my Christian life, I am now in the afternoon.  It is a wonderful time of day.  It is also the time of day that you go to work.  Plus, my absence has given me a perspective that attention could not.

3.  As follower of Christ, I am always reminded I must speak.  I am no silver tongue with a gift of gab and I really do treasure a fault.  It's high time I again speak good words and I seemed to do that well in this format.  And at a time when the world wants Christians to shut up, I don't think I should.  Much more have I to say...

4.  My generation thinks and feels with it's eyes.  So many of us are all about seeing and feeling, not reading and reasoning.  It is a cultural woe that affects critical thinking.  Now I realize the sum goal of the Christian faith is not to turn that non literary tide.  But, nevertheless, God wrote a book and our faith will be the only thing that will turn that tide.  And yes, I want to be part of that through this blog.

5.  I need challenged in many ways to be a husband, father and coworker who brings glory to God.  In short, I need humbled, encouraged, reminded, rebuked, sharpened and exposed.  Plus, I need to be stretched beyond my comfortable world view and reminded that life is not all about me.  I need to to continue to grow in my faith.  I just like how blogging is a reminder of that, imperfections and all.

I do promise to guard my tongue more so this time around.  The tongue is a restless evil and I am more aware of what I say now than ever.  Anger has always been a problem for me and I know of no one who can dump cold water on a situation quite like I can with my words.  The Apostle Paul started all his letters with grace and peace and I want nothing short of that for this time around.  I see no reason to go "Full Silver back Mode" for minor things.  I'm just not biting on small stuff and like a seasoned hitter in baseball, not every pitch was meant to be swung at.  The Internet has a way of making me want to go Pompeii so much that I have to watch myself.  Regardless, Proverbs 16:32 is on my radar.

Dr. Banner hasn't had an incident in a while and wants to keep it that way, kids.

Well, that should carry me through for the first post.  I'm rusty and I know it.  Fare thee well.