Great Firewood Storage Ideas

Fall is here! Time for the animals to start gathering and storing their food for the winter. Also time for us to start stacking wood to keep us warm or just to sit and enjoy an evening with family and friends. Building your own firewood storage racks is a great idea, as you can build it to fit you needs. 

It can be a simple one for enough wood to have a few fires a year, on those special occasions. Or a massive firewood storage rack to house enough wood to heat your place all winter long.

Firewood storage racks can be be made simple with just a few concrete blocks and some 2x’s, yo elaborate designs that blend into their surroundings.

We put together a collection of storage racks we have come across to give you some ideas for building your own firewood rack.

The simple and Quick. Great for patios and fire pit wood storage.

cheap firewood storage

 

Or if you need a little more storage this one is easily expanded.

block firewood-storage rack

Use some pressure treated lumber and you can DIY in no time.

finished-wood-rack

 

Inexpensive yet very sturdy. Great for those occasional uses.

firewood storage 2x

 

When you heed a little more storage but still have a budget to keep.

firewood storage box

 

[nextpagelink]Head over to the Next Page for some ideas on racks that blend with their environment.[/nextpagelink]

Dress Up the Fireplace – DIY Fireplace Mantel

If your fireplace is just a boring hole in the wall, you can really spruce it up with a fireplace mantel. Building a mantel for your fireplace will not only make your fireplace look fantastic it will give you great feeling of accomplishment.

For the DIYer, this is a fairly simple project. A lot of the parts can be acquired ready to finish and assemble.

You can use pretty much any kind of wood for this project. This will help you to match or blend with the other moldings and accents in your home. There are many different types and profiles and moldings, ie: crown moldings, casings, flutes, and many others, that can be used on this project to make all different looks.

Check out this brief video. Amy will show how she took her dressed up her naked looking fireplace and made it look spectacular by adding the mantel.

After acquiring all of the pieces and adding the finish to them, Amy built and installed the bracing for her mantel.

Create that room focal point that you've been dreaming about. DIY fireplace mantel shelf for about $210 in knotty alder!

After that she installed the corbels and the shelf and proceeded to installing the rest of the mantel. What a difference adding this mantel made to this fireplace in the wall.

Create that room focal point that you've been dreaming about. DIY fireplace mantel shelf for about $210 in knotty alder!

To see all of the steps she took to put this project together, visit her site at hertoolbelt.com

Awesome DIY Shoe Rack Bench

If your mud room or entranceway is forever littered with shoes, then this awesome DIY shoe rack bench will help solve that issue.

The inexpensive ones you can find at Amazon or Ikea will probably fall apart in no time. If you want a shoe rack that will last you will need to dig deep into your wallet.

Beth felt the same way so she came up with her own design. She made her shoe rack using a couple of wood pallets and a few other piece of lumber.

Start with two pallets. Try to get the exact same pallets and some pallets that are in fairly good condition. Also, try to find pallets that use 2″x4″ construction for the middle board. The bench finishes at 48″x18″.

 

You will need:
(1) – 1″x6″x 12′ long cut into 48″ lengths (The top, 3 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 6′ long ripped down the middle cut into 18″ lengths (Center supports- 8 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 12′ cut into 18″ lengths (Side supports- 8 cuts)
(1) – 2″x4″x 12′ milled down to 3″ wide (optional) cut into 18″ lengths (Bottom Side supports- 8 cuts)
Circular Saw
Drill (Seriously the Dewalt Hammer Drill is my fav!)
Lots of screws
Hammer
Chisel
4 casters
She started with removing the bottom board from both pallets. You can find our tutorial on easy pallet disassembly here, http://www.homediyfixes.com/how-to-disassemble-wood-pallet/

Then Beth measured the width and cut the pallet exactly in half. You can modify it to suit your needs.

At this point, decide which side you want to face front and the order you would like to stack the pallets. I had some ends that were cracked on my pallet so I faced them towards the back. Also, I put the best quality shelves toward the top of the bench because I figured you would see them more.

She decided that in order to hold the weight of sitting on it to remove their shoes, the shoe holder would need to be reinforced. Taking some 2×4’s and attaching them to the outer legs for the extra support, she then added some more blocks to the feet to increase the space for the shoes.

 

Beth then assembled all of her pieces and added some wheels for easy moving to clean under it.

After sanding (for weeks), staining, and applying the polyurethane, the bench is finally finished!
The total cost: Pallets (free) + wheels ($18.88) + boards ($13.25) +Stain (free, already had it) + Screws & Nails (free, already had them) = $32.13
Not too bad if I don’t say so myself!
Here is the end result of her project. What an awesome idea!

Here are a few tips I would have offered Beth as she went along.

Rough sanding all of your parts prior to assembly will make it much easier later. 

Add some blocks to the wheels to make the bench higher. That would leave room underneath for a drip pan.

See her awesome project and step by step directions at between3sisters.com

 

Tips for Wood Staining

It’s so awesome to watch the way trees grow, so many different twists and turn. All of this creating beautiful patterns in the grain of the wood when it is cut to make lumber.

Wood stain is a terrific way to accent all that beauty that nature has provided. You can use an array of colors to make any project look spectacular.

Once you have finished assembling your project. It’s time to make it look really great by adding some stain to enhance it..

Before you jump right in and start splashing the stain just any which way, here are some tips to pay attention to when applying it.

Staining is an easy task to accomplish. When done the correct way you will see great results.

Use Foam Brushes and Paper Towels

A variety of foam brushes against a white background.

Rather than using a bristled paintbrush to apply the stain onto the wood, opt for a small foam brush. Foam brushes can be used for this one job and then thrown away. Stain is very difficult—almost impossible—to get out of a paintbrush. When wiping the excess liquid stain away between coats, use strong paper towels rather than cloth, as these are easily disposable as well and don’t add any extra cleanup to the project.

Go With the Grain

Apply the stain by dipping the foam brush into the stain solution and wiping it in the direction of the grain of the wood, and then backward against the grain. By doing so, the color you’re applying will soak into the wood and the coloring will look natural. Any streaks will end up looking like part of the wood grain.

Apply Multiple Coats

A wood deck.

A wood stain requires at least two coats for an even finish. Allow the first coat to dry almost completely, and then wipe the surface with a paper towel to remove the excess stain that can collect in patches of the wood. Then, apply a second coat with the foam brush and allow it to dry completely.

If you still haven’t achieved the hue you desire, try another coat or two. Never add another coat before the previous one has dried. Otherwise, the fresh stain will remove and push around the layer you’ve already applied.

Tips courtesy of doityourself.com

Buying Power Tools – How Cheap Can You Go?

With all the different models of power tools out there, how do you know which to buy? You want to buy the best but your budget doesn’t always allow it and the situation doesn’t always warrant it.

If you are purchasing a tool that you need now for a specific project, great. But ask yourself how often you will use it later. If the answer is rarely, why spend a lot of money on it? Buy the cheaper version if it will get the job done.

Be aware that when you buy cheaper tools, they often have their limitations. Don’t over heat them and work it to death and expect good results. But even the best of power tools need a little TLC to keep working properly.

Here is a little advice on buying power tools.

A good power tool – if treated properly – will last for many years. They all need to have some maintenance done from time to time to keep them running at peak performance.

Garage sales and pawn shops are great places to find tools you will not use a lot and don’t want to spend a bunch of money.

 

Should I Own a Dremel?

 

Every Do It Yourselfer should have a tool bag of the basic must-have tools. Screwdrivers, pliers, hammer, among others, that are needed to take care of the projects around your home. Adding a Dremel to your list of tools can be very helpful, whether you’re making repairs around the house or enjoying your favorite hobby.

The Dremel is a small and versatile, yet powerful tool with a long list of attachments that provide you with endless uses. From cutting all types of material, to sanding, to cleaning you will find a use for it on almost any project you are doing.

The tool can be used to cut thru, etch, clean up or finish pretty much anything from wood, metal, tile, drywall, plastic and more.

What Kind of Projects Is it Used For?

A Dremel tool being used on a glass bottle project.

I mentioned the Dremel tool is functional and versatile and I meant it. With just a simple swap of accessories, you won’t believe the array of projects that can be done with one handheld tool. According to the their website, the rotary tool can be used for carving, engraving, cleaning, polishing, cutting, grinding, sharpening, routing, sanding, and the list goes on.

The Dremel website is a remarkably helpful guide when deciding which accessories you’ll need for your projects. Simply select the project you’ll be working on and the website will guide you toward the accessories required. Not only are there all sorts of accessories for a Dremel tool, but there are also a range of attachments that will change this simple rotary tool into, as Dremel puts it, “The only tool you’ll ever need.” The pocket-sized hand tool that looks like a simple rotary tool can change itself into a tile cutting tool, a routing tool, a garden tool sharpener, or a dust blower. Don’t forget, Dremel has more tools besides the rotary tool, so there will be a whole different series of attachments for those mechanisms, expanding your horizon even more.

How Does it Work?

A Dremel tool taking off rust from a metal pipe.

What draws so many customers to purchase a Dremel tool is not only the fact that it’s a tool of many uses, but that it’s a simple, straightforward tool to use. Dremel requires no other tools to change out the attachments and accessories besides the small wrench that’s included. A simple press of the button is all that’s needed to release the attachment. To attach another, simply insert and tighten it with your wrench. It’s as simple as that. According to Dremel, the rotary tool uses a “high-speed and low torque” method which provides “control and precision” to all your projects. Dremel has a multitude of videos that will show you how to work your rotary tool; we recommend watching those as well as reading the instruction manual to make sure you are taking each step carefully.

Thanks for the advice from doityourself.com

Head over to the Next Page for more uses for your Dremel tool.

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Adding More Garage Storage

Having a garage to store things is awesome. And it doesn’t really matter how big it is – it can always use more storage.

Building shelves or storing stuff in bins can be a great option. The issue with these types of storage is that your belongs are not visible or easy to locate when you want them.

Taking some time to build shelving that rolls out so you can find things is a great option.  Really!

This shelving unit from Family Handyman will make very efficient use of the space you have in your garage.

Starting with Pocket door rollers, let’s see how much extra storage we can get.

 

The heart of the system is a series of double-sided rollout shelves that allow easy access to everything that can be stored in a narrow space. With these rollouts, you don’t have to store your paint cans, nails, screws and other stuff four layers deep and then shuffle everything around to find what you’re looking for. When the shelves are pulled out, everything is in full view and easily accessible. Plus, the garage looks neat and tidy when the shelves are pushed back in.Don’t worry if you’ve also got some large items to store. The 16-ft.-long top shelf is 32 in. deep to hold big storage containers, and there’s a 3-ft.-wide section of 16-in.-deep shelves for medium-size items. The storage unit is 16 ft. long, 84 in. tall and 16 in. deep.

The cost of the materials for this project is about $800. If you want to save some money and don’t require as much narrow storage space, just reduce the number of rollout shelves. Each rollout, including hardware, costs about $75.

Expect to spend three or four days building this project. It’s not complicated or difficult, but there are a lot of parts to cut out and assemble. For the most part, we used standard carpentry tools, but we used a table saw to cut the particleboard and a biscuit joiner and pocket screw jig to assemble the rollouts and bypass unit. The latter tools are optional, though. You can cut parts with a circular saw, but it’ll take longer and won’t be as accurate. And you can substitute screws and glue for the biscuit joints. You can also nail through the face of the cabinets to secure the divider rather than use pocket screws.

The particleboard and framing lumber you’ll need are available from home centers and most lumberyards. The bypass door track and three-wheel rollers we used to support the shelves may be hard to find locally, but you can order them online at johnsonhardware.com. You can also buy the shelf standards and leg levelers online at wwhardware.com.

Sliding storage = More convenience, more space

The rollout shelves provide better access and make small stuff easier to find. They’re versatile, too. You can set the divider wherever you want to create different-depth shelves.

The bypass unit adds 50 percent more storage for long-handled tools and all sorts of items that take up too much wall space. You simply slide it to either side to access the stuff behind.

Sports gear

Sports gear

Supplies

Supplies

Map it out on the wall

Mark the location of the top shelf and columns on the wall before you start building (Photo 1). This allows you to check for obstructions and double-check the height of the columns. Start by deciding where the endpoints for the 16-ft. storage unit will be. If you have leeway, you could adjust the position so that the end columns land over wall studs, but it’s not necessary.

Next, use a level to see if the garage floor slopes. Measure 81 in. up from the highest point on the floor and mark the wall. Draw a 16-ft. level line across the wall from this point. We used a laser level to establish level reference points on each end of a 16-ft. line, and measured up from these points to mark the endpoint of the horizontal layout line. Then we snapped a chalk line between these points to indicate the bottom edge of the shelf and the top of the columns. You could also use a line level or step a 4-ft. level across the wall to mark the level line.

If your garage floor slopes more than 1-1/2 in. from one end of the unit to the other, you’ll have to build some of the columns a little taller. Check this out by measuring down from the level line at each end. Finally, using Figure B as a guide, carefully mark the location of the wall cleats that anchor each column, and draw plumb lines down from each mark (Photo 1). Now you’re ready to build the columns and wide shelf.

Check out the complete set of instructions for this great project at Family Handyman.

How To Build An Inexpensive Coffee Table

Building your own stuff can be very satisfying. And it can also save you a lot of money.

With just a few tools and some guidance and you are just steps away from creating great things for your home.

You can build this great looking coffee table for under $50. Of course, this depends on what type of wood you want it made from and if you change the dimensions.

Sanding and finishing the project will help make it really look like a professional made it.

Step 1: Materials/Tools

Here’s a break down of the materials/tools needed and online links.

Materials:

2″x6″x8′ Lumber (for the table top and shelf)
Qty: 4

2″x4″x8′
Qty:2

2-1/2″ Pocket Hole Screws
Qty: 1 box should work

1-1/2″ Wood screws
Qty: 1lb box

Tools:

– Kreg Pocket Hole Jig
– Drill or Impact Driver
– Miter saw or Circular saw
– Tablesaw (optional)
– Sander and paper
– Planer (optional)

Step 2: Material Cut list

Picture of Material Cut list

We are working off a specific set of dimensions. The final dimensions of the coffee table are as follows: 22″ in depth by 45″ in width by 18″ tall. If you are working on a different size table, then you’ll need to adjust your cut list accordingly.

Cut List:

2″x4″x16-1/2″ (Vertical leg pieces)
Qty: 8

2″x4″x16-1/2″ (Stretchers for the legs)
Qty: 4

2’x6″x45″ (Top of coffee table)

Qty: 4

2″x6″x41′ (Lower shelf)
Qty: 3

2″x4″x38″ (Stretcher between the two legs)
Qty:1 (This piece you cut into 2 pieces that are 1″x4″x38″)

Check out the video below where Geoff shows us how to build this awesome coffee table.

See Geoff’s step by step instructions at instructables.com

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Safety Tips Around the House

We all love to save money. Doing projects around the house ourselves keeps us from paying out big money for the things we can do.

Being handy around your home, you can keep things well maintained to help them last longer and run better.

Maintenance is an important part of owning a home, but while doing it, your safety is way more important.

The family handyman lets us know things you need to be aware of when doing work around your home.

I plugged a radio into the outlet and switched off breakers until the radio died. I figured it was safe to work in the box and proceeded to disconnect the wires from the outlet. Suddenly, I was knocked back by a jolt of electricity shooting up my arm. It turns out there were two circuits connected to the outlet and only one had been turned off. It’s dangerous to make assumptions about electricity. Always check the wires with a voltage tester and double-check all the wires in the box with a noncontact voltage tester before doing any electrical work. Elisa Bernick 

Dangerous sawdust

Our crew did a lot of new-home framing, and the last step was the roof sheathing. That involved lots of cutting up there: skylight and vent holes, gable ends, etc. I insisted on having a push broom on the roof and lectured the guys about sweeping the dust away after each cut. The young guns, of course, thought they were bulletproof and wouldn’t always do it. Then it happened. Joey’s feet went out from under him and he found himself tobogganing down the 5/12 slope and over the edge, then performing a perfect two-point plant on the ground. He was lucky we were building a single story! The broom got used religiously after that. Travis Larson

Travis Larson tells this ladder story: “I had a six-foot stepladder and I needed an eight-foot one. What to do? I know—I’ll rest it on planks that are resting on sawhorses. Brilliant! Nope, turns out it was really, really stupid. When I climbed nearly to the top, the planks slipped right off the horses like the undersides were greased. Of course, the ladder went down too. The saving grace was that I was near enough to the gutter so I could grab it before I followed the ladder. Fortunately it was strong enough to support my weight. I hung there and bellowed for help until my wife came out to see what the rumble was. She set the ladder back up—on the ground this time—and steadied it so I could ‘dismount.’” Ladders are one dangerous DIY tool. But you can avoid most accidents by following good ladder safety techniques—and using a little common sense.

Wrapped up and reeled in

I was using a large hole saw to drill plywood and leaned in close to apply pressure. The hole saw caught my T-shirt. In my panic, I accidentally pressed the trigger lock (I usually cut the trigger lock button flush to the tool to minimize this problem, but didn’t on this drill). The hole saw reeled in my shirt and climbed my chest. Luckily I escaped major injury, but I got some nasty spiraling teeth marks and a shredded shirt before I was able to turn off the drill. I learned two lessons: Avoid loose-fitting clothes around power tools, and be wary of trigger locks.

Jeff Gorton http://www.familyhandyman.com

These great tips will help keep you safer doing those projects that need to get done.

Add Fall Appeal – Decorating for Autumn

With the air cooling down and the leaves changing colors, everyone loves autumn! Adding some Fall Appeal to your front yard can be exciting and fun. There are many things you can use to liven up the your place for the fall season.

There are plenty of artificial items you can buy in the store. But decorating with natural plants and garden items will add more flare to your project.

There are so many ways your can add your personal touch to your entryway to make it one of a kind.

Starting with fall harvest items like pumpkins, gourds, hay bales and corn stalks, you can really enjoy the fall season.

Fall front porch

http://www.homestoriesatoz.com

Adding some quintessential autumn mums in various colors can really spice things up.

Continue with other colorful plants like Kale or Crotons to keep the bright fall color coming.

outdoor-fall-decor-mum-collage

http://polaroix.blogspot.com/2013/05/outdoor-decor-for-fall.html

Leaving fallen leaves to blow around on your decorations adds that much more appeal to the whole seasonal theme.

Leaves on the porch

http://hookedonhouses.net/

You don’t need a huge front yard or entrance to add some great looking flair.

Front door decorations

http://decorchick.com/fall-decorating/

Coming home to a fun decorated porch can really brighten your day. You may even want to go out just to enjoy coming back in.