What Do You Need Designed?

Creating a design is my favorite part of any DIY project. As much as I enjoy working with wood, and the satisfaction of building something useful, it is the desire to see my design come to life that keeps me motivated. In fact, I often have to push myself to complete the finishing work on a project, since I loose some of that excitement after I can see whether or not the design will work.

Since I haven’t built anything recently that is interesting enough to share, I want to ask readers of this site what they would like to see designed. Suggest an interesting idea, and I’ll write up a plan, draw it in SketchUp, and post it here on the site, all for free.
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Produce Bins on Kickstarter

My first Kickstarter project, the DIY Sit-Stand desk, did not reach the funding goal. At some point I will work on a new prototype, but until then I was looking for a new project that might allow me to raise the funds for some new tools.

I built a set of produce bins for my own kitchen to allow my fruits and vegetables to ripen with some air circulation. It turned out well enough that it justified a new attempt at Kickstarter.
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Sit Stand Desk Kickstarter project

Sit-Stand desks, that allow a person to easily raise and lower their workstation to accommodate either sitting or standing while working, are becoming very popular. Since they generally require either electric motors, gas pistons, or some other complicated mechanism, they are all fairly expensive.

I attempted to build my own desk using common parts, like screen door springs to provide some lift. It works, but not very well. It isn’t suitable for posting as a DIY plan in the current form.

I have some ideas on how to improve it, but it is going to require some experimenting, by building a couple more desks.

I’m also fascinated with the concept of crowdsourcing, using something like Kickstarter.com. So I started a project on Kickstarter to fund the purchase of some lumber, supplies, and a few new saw blades, all in the name of refining a DIY plan to a point that just about anyone can build it. Also, I wanted to get a feel for how Kickstarter works.

You can see and contribute to the project at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1498116571/sit-stand-desk-prototype-for-diy-plans.

Once the project is complete, and all rewards have been delivered to all of the sponsors, the final plans will be posted on this site for free. Sponsoring the plan will get you the advance copies of the plan, along with all of my photos and changes as the project progresses. I will also keep open communication to all the sponsors if they want to offer suggestions.

As part of the project, I’m also offering a DIY kit with all of the small hardware. If that proves popular, I’ll make it available on this site. If everything goes smoothly, I should have everything complete and the plans available to everyone by the end of this year.

The CD Plan Scam

Any search for woodworking plans will return multiple links for one particular vendor that claims to offer 16,000 plans on CD for a little over $60. I am not going to give them the benefit of even mentioning their name, since you probably already ran across multiple versions of it before finding this site.

The scam tactics employed by the site should be enough to deter anyone from handing over their credit card. But for those who may have missed the warning signs, I feel compelled to offer a little analysis.
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Why do we DIY

Why would you want to do it yourself?

The push to build your own piece of furniture, rather than buy a completed piece, could come from several sources.

  • – Price: you’ve seen a piece you would like, but can’t afford it
  • – Quality: you’ve seen a piece you like, but it was made of particle board
  • – Fit: you can’t find a piece in the correct size or shape for your needs
  • – Uniqueness: you have a combination of needs that is unique enough that no one makes it
  • – Fun: you like building things (we’ll include “get away from some task/person/thing I want to avoid” in this)
  • – Nostalgia: you have some aged lumber that you’re dying to make use of

Many projects will touch on all of those motivations, and most will hit at least a couple of them. But even if “fun” is your top priority, you will want to consider at least a couple of the other factors when choosing projects.
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Common saws used by the do-it-yourself furniture builder range from simple hand saws to several types of power saws.

Hand Saws

Cross-cut Saw
Cross-Cut saw: This is the classic hand saw that is most recognizable. Intended for cutting across the grain, it is suitable for many all around uses. A Rip saw is similar, but has a different shape of tooth, intended for cutting with the grain.
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Do-It-Yourselfer Levels

The DIY label could apply to a wide range of skill levels. From simple assembly to handcrafted furniture, there are many level of experience, tools, and working space required. This site is intended for those in the middle range.

– Flat Box Assembler:
Must have tools: screwdriver
May have: hammer, glue
For those that are happy with particle board construction that only requires a screwdriver, this site is not for them. There are many stores, including a large Scandinavian furniture store with a confusing layout, that can serve their needs nicely.
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