Bike Rack Shelf

Bike Shelf 01

Well, I have officially experienced my first self inflicted dry spell. First the severed thumb, then the garage grounding, and then, even though I was fully capable of working in the garage, there was the dry spell. Things at work have been super busy for me lately and the last thing I wanted to do on my days off, if I even had any, was spend time in the garage.  I  just wanted to spend all my free time with my family. This has been going on for a couple of months, hence the lack of anything new and fun appearing here. Well, that is officially over. The dry spell has been broken. It took us a few steps to get here, but we made it!

First thing first was cleaning out the garage. It was really hard to be motivated to work in a space that was crowded and full of junk. Things had been collecting in the garage, there were heaps of stuff everywhere, and finally I had a spare weekend to just gut it out. The In Laws came over and we knocked it all out in one morning. Thanks so much to those guys who came over, it was awesome! 

Next up, I needed some motivation. I am the kind of guy who likes new projects. I will make the same thing over and over, sure, but what I really needed was something new I could design and work on. This motivation came from my wife. She needed something for an event, and she came up with an idea for something we would be able to contribute. It was new and interesting, and a few other people were excited about it too.

Finally, I needed a deadline. I only had two days to design, troubleshoot, and finish these Bike Rack Shelves. At first I wasn’t sure I could do it. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to do it. Then, my wife showed me pictures of a bike shelf and got excited about it too. Now I had to try, just for her. I like doing projects for her. Really her’s are the projects I usually end up liking the most. We glanced through a few different designs together and then I had what I wanted to build inside my head. I went out to the garage, checked my supplies, and went to work on making three of these wooden bike racks. 

The first design was fine, but not perfect. I had the measurements a little off for the bike size. So I trimmed it down and put them all together in just two days. It was a rush, and just the sort of thing I needed to light my fire about woodworking again.

She took my finished projects to the event and reported back that most people really liked them, so that made me happy. What is even better? I now have a couple of custom order bike racks for my father in law. He has five bikes and nowhere to put them. I have a bunch of mandatory overtime right now, but when that is over I am excited to get back in the garage and work.

Materials: two are made of plywood, one stained and one unstained, while the other is made of curly maple and purple heart.

Dimensions: L H W

*The last image in the gallery is from here, I added it so you could see how it works. I didn’t even find this design until after I had already finished making the bike rack shelves. They are pretty close, but still slightly different.

Our Modular Bookcase

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This modular bookcase has been one of my favorite handcrafted additions to our home. Originally the main portion of the bookcase was a standalone piece, then for Christmas at the end of the year came the promise of the two side pieces. Now the set is complete and my much loved books have a lovely, comfortable home.

I first fell in love with the design of a modular bookcase while browsing through Target’s website. There was a lovely, tiered bookshelf that caught my eye almost right away. The wood was dark, the shape was modern and interesting. I wanted it then and there. However, when we saw the bookshelf in person we quickly realized the price tag for this modern bookshelf was beyond our range, especially for a pile of plywood. So the dreams of modular bookcasedom had to be put on the top shelf.

Fast forward about a month and a bit. The modular shelf was being revisited when we made a visit to the hardware store. Spence drew up some designs, we priced out the wood, and found that the project would be surprisingly affordable. Spence could build my bookcase for less, out of better materials, and to match my tastes. Win, win, and win!

So he bought the wood and the rest is history. Our modern, modular bookcase is the focal point of our sitting room and is always being complimented by our guests. This piece not only holds all of my favorite characters, but has character. Love it!