Busy Board

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I didn’t take as many photos of this as I should have, but it kind of came together in fits and starts when I could work on it and I may have forgotten my camera a few times. In any case, this is a great gift for the toddlers in your life, and it’s very simple to make: grab a board, paint it up, add bits of hardware and you’re set. It’s all the stuff that small children are fascinated with around the house in one convenient spot where they can play with it safely.

So I started with a wide pine board, which I cut in half. I made one for Rosa and one for Gen. Zod for Christmas.

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Drilled screw holes at all the corners so it could be mounted on the wall for added security.

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I later put felt at the corners as well so it could also lay flat on the floor without damaging anything.

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Sanded and spray painted it.

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Added stripes to make it look like a construction sign.

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They didn’t come out perfectly, but if you’ve ever seen the types of signs the construction workers make around here this is a freaking masterpiece in comparison.

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Then I gathered an assortment of hardware: slide bolt (also known as a barrel bolt), casters from my old computer desk, a padlock, spring door bumper (the kind that makes farty noises when you twang it), a hinge from a door and a security chain. I discovered that if you screw one side of a hinge too tightly to its surface the hinge won’t turn (or won’t be moveable by a toddler in any case), so make sure to adjust that accordingly if you use one.

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Then I just painted around them with some craft paint for visual interest and added a little caution sign at the top. Now it’s a toddler trap, because they can’t stay away!

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Laundry Loft Part Two

Enough thinking about my plan.  Today I did it.  Or at least part of it.

Today I dismantled the busted old changing table that I told you about back in May.My idea here is to take that top piece, with the little pieces on the front and back, and use that whole thing for the shelf.  That way I won’t be able to push anything off the back of the shelf and neither will anything fall off the front, onto my poor little head.  The width of that piece is only one half-inch narrower than the distance between walls in the “laundry room” so it should fit nicely.

Of course, to get the top piece off I had to dismantle the whole darned thing. And really one of the handiest things for a job like this where you have to work in confined spaces, and, let’s face it, you’re feeling a little lazy, is the ratchet screwdriver.  And mine has a nifty deal where you can turn the handle to different angles to make your life easier. 

First I slid out the drawer.  I kept it intact because I might be able to use it for something in the future.

Then I took off the little magnet thing that would have held the doors shut had the whole thing not been busted.  Check out that water damage.  Lovely.

Next went the door hinges.

The most trouble I had was with those funny half-screw things that you stick in other things to make other screws tighter.  If you’ve ever made anything from IKEA, you’ll know what I am talking about.  Getting those out of the tiny little holes was a real pain.

Then I pried/pulled/tore off the back, using an Allen-key shaped slot screwdriver (like a tiny crowbar) and my own two feet and hands (two of each of course).

Finally I could pull the sides apart enough to remove the middle pieces.

Then I figured I might as well dismantle the whole thing, if only so it would store better.

This is the stuff I am planning to use for the laundry loft.  The two gray squares I scrounged out of the garage.I plan to have this finished this week, though it will take the help of the Pie’s long arms and legs.  So stay tuned.