Category Archives: Home Improvement

Handyman Workbench

My toolbag has started to overflow with tools while preparing for and moving into my new home. Pry bars, wrench sets, etc have started piling up and weighing me down. I decided it was time to invest a weekend into making a workbench for the garage. I followed instructions from Family Handyman. I made a few modifications along the way.

The whole table can be constructed with 15 2×4’s, a 4×8′ sheet of plywood, and some 3″ and 1 5/8″ drywall screws. Even though the guide mentions using nails, I had the same length screws on hand.
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I decided to use 3/4″ plywood instead of the recommended 1/2″ for a more sturdy tabletop.
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Pegboard cut and installed, I decided to put the board behind the bench instead of in front to increase table real estate. Soon after doing this I realized a large portion of the board wouldn’t be usable due to the support running through the middle.
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I should have bought 2 boxes of 3″ screws, I ran out about 75% of the way through. I did not know what “CDX” plywood meant, or that one side of the board had a nicer finish than the other. I had to flip the board over after installing it. I used 3 2ft LED light fixtures for illumination. I immediately regretted the decision on using this particular piece. The first time I hammered on the bench 2 of the 3 light covers fell off. I will need to get those secured better. The light they give off though is excellent, it makes the table appear as if it’s sitting outside on a sunny day. Next up is sanding, polyurethane, and figuring out how to hang up all the tools!

New House!

My fiancĂ© and I purchased our first home! after about a month long process we’ve finally moved out of our apartment and into a house all our own.

First up was changing all of the door locks and dead bolts. I learned how to re-key Schlage locks to save myself some money I’d have to spend on a locksmith.

Second thing we did before moving in was paint. The previous owner had children who had taken to the walls like white on rice.
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I received a grill as a home warming gift from my parents (warning, some assembly and re-assembly after you mess up required).
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I’ve always wanted a server rack for my network/server equipment. I found an older model on Craigslist for cheap! Took me a while (and some family eye rolls/assistance) to figure out how to fit it into the closet. After some Amazon purchases for a patch panel, switch, UPS, and power strip I was ready!
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I am in the process of wiring up the house with Cat5e, replacing all of the old telephone and speaker outlets with glorious high-speed internet.
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And when I say high-speed internet, i mean fiber-optic (fiber modem in white) >:-)
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Had to strip down the existing poorly build cabinets to fit the server.
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Cray fish have inhabited the yard from the drainage area past my property.
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The fence around the yard wasn’t wide enough to fit a riding lawn mower. I extended the gate by converting part of the fence into a gate so I could mow my…
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…Beautiful back yard (aside from the cray fish holes and wet spots). Still need to remove some of the old nails, couldn’t manage to get them out with the tools I had on hand.
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The area has received an incredible amount of rain in the past month. Low spots in the yard have swelled with water, another issue I will need to take care of. I plan on installing some french drains in the trouble areas (the entire yard) to get rid of the excess water.

I am currently learning how to configure OpenHAB to control my newly installed Z-Wave thermostat and lights. As we go through our list of items we need to repair automation will hopefully be soon to follow :).