Category

Workshop

Pegboard Tool Storage

Build a Pegboard Flipbook to Maximize Tool Storage

By | Home, Workshop | No Comments

If one pegboard simply isn’t enough to hang your tools, this flipboard system just might give you the space you need. It uses multiple pegboards attached to the wall with hinges so you can flip through your tools just like pages in a book.

Instructables user NEIN shows us how to make a simple flipboard storage system to maximize your wall space. The design uses several pieces of 1/4″ pegboard, 3″ hinges, mounting backboard and elastic cord to keep tools in place.

Pegboard pieces

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

You can cut sheets of pegboard to just about any size but keep in mind that the bigger the page the heavier it will be to turn. For his project, NEIN cut each sheet to about 16″X24″. Don’t forget to wear a dust mask because pegboard can kick up very fine particles!

Attaching the hinges

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Attach two hinges to each sheet of pegboard and be sure they are inline with each other vertically or your pages will be crooked when you turn them and will bind. Drill out holes for the hinges and attach them to the pegboard with bolts.

Attaching the pegboard pages

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Rather than mounting the other side of the hinges directly to his plywood backboard, NEIN decided to mount them to a square piece of 2″x3″. These “mounting blocks” will create a space between the backboard and pages giving them a wider range of motion. Then simply screw your mounting blocks to your plywood backboard from the backside making sure to space out your pages evenly.

Before hanging your pegboard flipbook unit, now is a good time to paint it! You can even paint each page a different color to help organize your tools by function or type. NEIN decided to just paint the backboard and use wooden bookmarks he laser cut at work to identify each page.

Hanging pegboard flipbook to the wall

Photo: NEIN | Instructables

Since he used a plywood backboard that was longer than he needed, NEIN turned the bottom portion into a clever drill storage shelf. No matter how you decided to modify your unit, it’s going to be heavy so be sure to mount it to a wall stud.

All that’s left is for you to load up your tools and secure them with elastic cords. Thread the ends of the cord through the pegboard holes and double knot them on the other side. This will secure your heavier tools in case you decide to “speed read” through your book.

For more photos and detailed step-by-step instructions, check out NEIN’s Easy Store Flipboard project!

Use a Mechanical Pencil to Solder

Hack Your Mechanical Pencil into a Soldering Pen

By | Workshop | No Comments

Soldering automotive or household wires is one of the first tasks you learn to do with your soldering gun. But working on a delicate circuit board takes a greater degree of finesse with your hands. This is an ability some of us struggle with as we get older and for others, well, being born with clumsy hands is just a part of life!

Nathan Cox posted on Thingiverse that we was tired of his spools and thick fingers “not getting along” and decided to make a tool to give him better control over his soldering projects.

Spool for Mechanical Soldering Pen

Photo: Talon2535 | Thingiverse

He took a .9mm mechanical pencil and threaded .8mm solder through it. He used a 3D printer to make a spool holder to mount to the top of the pen but the same thing can be achieved by simply cutting lengths of solder to match those that would normally be used with your mechanical pencil.

See more details and photos of Nathan’s soldering pen hack on Thingiverse!

Build Your Own Life-size BB-8 Droid For Just $120 in Parts

By | Geek, Play, Technology, Workshop | No Comments

We all seek different things in our friends – companionship, encouragement …or a “bleep-blop” talking robot and intergalactic partner in the fight against the Dark Side of the Force. To have the kind of relationship that Luke Skywalker had with R2-D2 was my ultimate bestie goal so when I saw the first videos for “The Force Awakens” featuring a new droid whose body rolled effortlessly across any terrain while its head remained upright, I was immediately asking “what sorcery is this?”

Like many other curious tech enthusiasts, I found myself on the waiting list for one of Sphero’s BB-8 toys. But 17-year-old engineering hobbyist, Angelo Casimiro, just couldn’t wait. These toys were even harder to come by in the Philippines and cost over $200! Instead, he decided to build one for his toy-collector father as a Christmas present. What Angelo quickly learned was that the greatest gift his father received was the time they spent building together the week of Christmas.

What I like about Angelo’s method is that he doesn’t use fancy 3D printers, CNCs or milling machines you typically see for these types of projects. With a few tools, a little bit of Arduino circuitry, a free remote control phone app and creative use of household items, this father-son duo brought their favorite droid to life!

Build the body with a beach ball and paper mache.

Photo: ASCAS | Instructables

For the body, Angelo took a low-tech approach using a fully-inflated beach ball as a mold that he then fortified with newspaper strips and paper mache – sort of like making a pinata. Once dry, he smoothed out the surface with wood putty and a bit of sanding.

The head is made from a styrofoam ball cut in half.

Photo: ASCAS | Instructables

The head is a big styrofoam ball cut in half, hollowed out and also smoothed over with wood putty and sand paper. A Christmas ball ornament, cut in half and painted black from the inside made up the large glossy eye piece.

Painted BB-8 head with eye.

Photo: ASCAS | Instructables

Using photos and videos online as a reference, Angelo’s dad transferred the robot’s designs to their creation using a compass for curves and tailer’s measuring tape for straight lines. After a few coats of orange, black and gray paint, the body and head looked like the real thing!

BB-8 Arduino circuitry

Photo: ASCAS | Instructables

As for the “brains” of the droid, an Arduino Uno micro-controller board communicates with other boards that control a set of wheels inside the body allowing the BB-8 droid to move around with the same agility as in the movie. Arduino Uno receives its commands via Bluetooth from a free phone app designed for remote-control cars to steer the droid around. The head remains upright and rolls effortlessly over the body through a set of speaker magnets holding the two pieces together.

Head mechanism for BB-8

Photo: ASCAS | Instructables

To make it easy to replicate his project, Angelo includes all the artwork templates, Arduino code, droid sound bytes as mp3s, and wiring schematics as downloads in his step-by-step tutorial.

No more excuses, it’s time to fulfill my childhood friendship goals!

Check out Angelo’s DIY Life-Size Phone Controlled BB-8 Droid on Instructables for all the details to build your own.

Organize keys in a swiss army key ring.

Swiss Army Key Ring

By | Automotive, Workshop | No Comments

Most of today’s car keys are fobs but there are still a lot of regular keys we need to keep track of from house and office to garage, storage and locks. Key rings can get pretty bulky and impractical to carry in your pocket but this Swiss Army-style key ring idea keeps them neatly tucked inside the handle so you can quickly find and rotate out just the one you need.

DIY Hacks and How Tos at Instructables made this one with materials you probably already have in your garage. Paint stirring sticks are a good size for the handle and they’re usually free at hardware stores. For the inner sheet metal reinforcement plate, he used a baking sheet from the local dollar store. To organize your keys and hold the handle together, you’ll need 2 machine screws, nuts and a few washers depending on the number of keys you’ll be storing.

Cut out the popsicle sticks.

DIY Hacks and How Tos | Instructables

Start by cutting the wooden pieces with a saw or dremel and round off the ends. Use them as a template to cut out slightly smaller versions from the sheet metal with tin snips. Sandwich the sheet metal pieces in between the wooden pieces and use a binder clamp to hold the assembly together while you drill a hole through all four layers at once on each end. Separate out just the wooden pieces and enlarge the holes enough so the bolt head can sink inside and the tops sit flush with the wooden surface when fully assembled.

Load the keys.

DIY Hacks and How Tos | Instructables

Insert the machine screws through the holes of one of the metal plates and lay it flat so you can add keys. DIY Hacks and How Tos recommends adding a washer between each key or they tend to stick to each other and bind together when you’re trying to pull out just one. When you’ve added all your keys, lay the remaining piece of sheet metal on top and tighten the assembly down with two lock nuts.

Glue the wooden handle to the metal base.

DIY Hacks and How Tos | Instructables

Glue the wooden handle pieces to the outside of each sheet metal surface and use a binder clip to hold everything in place while the glue dries. Since you drilled bigger holes in the wooden pieces they should slip right over the bolt heads and locking nuts for that counter-sunk look.

Finish off the look by applying a wood stain and then seal it with polyurethane. Now you have a sleek key holder that slips right into your pocket and since the keys are always in the same order, you can quickly flip out the one you need without having to search a jingling unorganized ball.

For detailed steps and more photos: DIY Hacks and How Tos | Swiss Army Key Ring | Instructables

Tighten hook-style hangers fast and easy with this trick.

Hook and Eye Driver Cheat

By | Workshop | No Comments

If you’ve ever used hook or eye fasteners, you know what a pain (literally) it is to turn them by hand. I usually turn to pliers to finish the job or thread a long screwdriver into the loop for more leverage. But Metal_maestro came up with a simple cheat to make installing these stubborn hardware pieces effortless.

All you need is an allen or hex key and a power drill. Start threading the fastener by hand and once it starts getting hard to turn, switch to the drill. Thread the bent arm of the Allen key through the hook or loop and slowly power up the drill to a medium speed and keep it there until the fastener is completely installed.

Check out more photos of this cheat: Metal_maestro | Instructables

Make your own drill wall storage unit.

Drill Charging & Storage Station

By | Home, Workshop | No Comments

Power drills are some of the most important tools you have so it’s important to keep them charged – you never know when a DIY moment will strike. Charging them all on your workbench, though, takes up the space you need to, well, work, and wires can turn into a spaghetti dish complete with charger and battery pack meatballs.

User, GlassImpressions, at Lumberjocks got inspired to come up with a better way to organize all his power drills after stumbling across a similar project on the site. With some plywood and an old cherry stain, he built a wall-mounted shelf wide enough to house all his drills hanging side by side. The holsters for the drills are 3-inch PVC pipes with a notch cut at the bottom so the drills just slide in and hang in place securely. He even painted each one with some left-over green paint before screwing them to the bottom of the shelf. The top of the shelf has plenty of room for a powerstrip, all your charging stations and extra batteries.

Chargers can be stored on the top shelf.

GlassImpressions | Lumberjocks

Check out GlassImpressions’ project for more photos: GlassImpressions | Lumberjocks

Mobile pegboard tool cart.

Rolling Peg Board Tool Cart

By | Home, Workshop | No Comments

The greatest thing about peg boards is that they allow you to organize your tools on the wall rather than in toolboxes which eat up valuable floor space – but that’s also what makes them not so great. This DIY rolling peg board cart lets you bring your otherwise stationary tool collection with you so you have what you need right next to your car or any other project you’re working on – no more walking back and forth to search for tools!

Commercially available peg board carts run a few hundred smackers so Brad Justinen decided to build his own not only to save some dough but to practice his welding skills. If you’re shy about welding, you can adapt the design and use bolts instead.

Weld together pieces of scrap metal to create an A-frame and a sturdy rectangular base. I recommend welding plates to the base to serve as anchor points for your casters so you can change them out as they wear over time. If you weld your casters directly to the base then you’ll have to cut them out later. The height and width of your cart is up to you, but Brad wanted to fit a small bits organizer at the bottom so he made his a bit taller. Create a wooden frame for each peg board to reduce flex under the weight of your tools and screw the peg board frames to your metal truss. As a bonus you can also screw all kinds of hooks, handles and holders to the exposed wooden frames on either side of your cart.

Biulding the pegboard frames

Brad Justinen | Instructables

For detailed instructions, check out Brad’s step-by-step: Brad Justinen | Instructables

Use jars to store small items under shelves.

Under-shelf Jar Storage for Small Hardware

By | Home, Workshop | No Comments

No matter how hard you try, little hardware pieces always seem to end up in a junk drawer or open box where you prick your hand anytime you have to sift through it just to find the right size washer or nut.

Here’s a storage idea that re-purposes those plastic jars you tend to collect in the trash while also putting to work that useless space under your last shelf. Screw the lids under a shelf, load up your jars with whatever small bits you need storing and twist the jar onto its lid. The jars will hang from their own caps, screwed into the bottom of your shelf or cabinet. This not only keeps those smaller items within reach, it frees up more shelf space for larger things.

Plastic peanut butter jars work better than glass mason jars because they hold a lot more hardware and won’t shatter if you drop one. Use two screws per lid, positioned along the diameter roughly an inch apart (wider for larger lids). If you only use one, the lid will rotate and loosen every time you screw a jar back to its lid.

Photo: Chez Larsson

DIY dremel router attachment

Make a Dremel Router Attachment for $2

By | Workshop | No Comments

I’m always finding new uses for my rotary tool every time I get new attachments. Because of this, it’s one of the most versatile tools in my toolbox able to cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, clean and polish. But certain attachments like a plunge router can run over $20.

For DIYers like manuelmasc at Instructables who just needed to make one cut or find themselves in a bind, you can make your own using the bottom half of a plastic jar. A peanut butter container works quite well and you can use the outer ring of the lid to reinforce your cutting edge. You’ll also need your rotary tool with a drums sander bit and cutting wheel, a marker and some glue.

Cut a circle on the bottom of your plastic jar the same diameter as your rotary tool’s neck and chop off the remainder of the jar to your desired length. Glue the rim portion of the jar’s lid to the inside edge of the jar to form a stronger cutting ring and you’ll be ready to make a few simple cuts with your new DIY attachment.

Cutting the plastic jar to make the cutting router.

manuelmasc | Instructables

Check out the full instructions: DIY 2$ Dremel Router Attachment | Instructables

Use Muffin Tins to Organize Small Bits

Handy Pull-Out Hardware Bins with Muffin Tins

By | Workshop | No Comments

It’s easy for your workbench to get cluttered with miscellaneous bits like nails, screws, electrical connectors and fasteners but these inexpensive pull-out muffin trays are the perfect solution to keeping them out-of-sight yet right at your fingertips.

The Family Handyman advises using heavy gauge muffin tins that won’t bend when full. Attach them to the underside of your work surface using a machine head screw (as the pivot point) with fender washers above and below the tin and two nuts against each other on the underneath so the assembly won’t loosen. Now load up the bins and admire that pivoting action!

Hardware Bins Made from Muffin Tins | The Family Handyman