Tag Archives: Projects

Gary’s SawBuck

Gary e-mailed photos of his completed sawbuck and it looks fantastic. He had some very specific requirements and modified the plans a bit. His description is here:

We are full-time motor homers in a 38′ Holiday Rambler Endeavor diesel pusher where everything has a place and everything MUST be in its place. So a saw buck must be small, fairly lightweight and portable.

I changed the angle of the 2″ X 4″s to be 35 degrees, instead of 45 degrees, in the “crotch” that holds the logs. That made the “footprint” a little narrower, but it is still stable. The wood that I cut into lengths are almost always tree limbs and never bigger than 9″ or 10″ in diameter.

Per your suggestion, I used a 1″ X 6″ oak board to “tie” the two sets of “legs together, with 2-1/2″ Kreg pocket screws. After I glued (Gorilla glue) the 1-1/4” pivot dowels into the legs, I “pinned” the pivot dowels with a 5/16″ X 3-1/2″ cross-dowel to prevent the pivots from ever “spinning” in the leg.

I’ve had a stroke and am mildly handicapped, so simple projects like this are about the limit of my abilities. Prior to my stroke, I’ve built furniture, garages, houses, etc. But, I really enjoyed this project.

Gary “FritoBandito” F.


Thanks for the photos Gary! I love to see how these projects turn out. They are all a little different and all wonderful.

Here are the original sawbuck plans.

Sand and Water table

Drew from Connecticut stopped by with photos of his completed Sand and Water table.  It looks great!  He added wheels to the inside of two of the legs and a lid to keep the outdoor critters out of the sand.  Drew says the wheels make it easier to move when fully loaded and by putting them on the inside, they are out of the way.

Very nice work Drew, and thanks for the photos.



DIY R-Strap style Professional Photographer Shoulder Strap

An R-Strap is a shoulder strap designed for professional photographers. It attaches to the tripod mount of your camera and the camera hangs upside down, but when you pick up the camera, the strap hangs below, out of the way.

After reading this this great how to on instructables, from Lifehacker, I put one together using a carriage bolt, D ring and a shoulder strap from an old messenger bag.

Bonus: Because the strap has two clips, it can be used to stabilize the camera by uncliping one side of the strap, standing on the loose end of the strap and lifting the camera up. As long as the strap has tension, it will hold the camera steadier.

Read project here.

Mini sawbuck plans

The other day, the kids asked why I didn’t bring my sawbuck when we went to cut wood. While the sawbuck does make wood cutting much easier, it is a little large to carry around, especially when I have to climb up and down hills. I liked their idea though, so I decided to build a to build a mini, portable sawbuck.

read the full plans here.

New project: Hand water pump installation

There is something quite satisfying about using a hand pump, knowing it’s your own power lifting it out of the ground and into your kitchen.

This pump was purchased through Lehmans. When it arived, I discovered that it was made in Maine by Bison Pumps, whom I contacted for assistance. They listened to what I wanted to do, answered my questions, then helped me figure out what parts I needed to connect the pump to my well.

I wanted to be able to switch between the hand pump and my existing electric pump. Bison said I needed two shutoff valves, a check valve, water line and various other brass and plastic parts and pieces. They made a diagram, showing how to connect everything, and were extremely helpful.

read about this project here

Kitchen faucet repair

Most modern faucets have the breakable parts (valves and washers) in a replaceable “cartridge”.  The best place to get replacements is directly from the manufacturer.  Some manufacturers, like Price Pfister, warrant their faucets for life to the original purchaser, and consider you the original purchaser as long as you have the owners manual.  Save those owners manuals, you might be able to get replacement parts for the cost of shipping.

Read more…

Fellow blogger Jason stopped by to say that he completed two sets of sawbucks.  He modified the plans a bit, making one for cutting 16 inch pieces and one for 12 inch pieces.  He used reclaimed wood, which is way cool. Click on the Jason’s photo above for more pictures.  Thanks Jason!

Water heater repair

Our water heater was doing something weird. A valve on the side, with a tube running down from it was leaking very hot water onto the floor. We turned off the water to the water heater to prevent a major catastrophe.

According to the owners manual, the valve is a safety valve that opens up if too much pressure builds up in the water heater. This happens if the water overheats and can be very dangerous. 55 gallons of almost boiling water could drain onto the basement floor.

read more

Home Made Vegetable Oil Lamp: Judyofthewoods.net

Home made vegetable oil lamp: Judyofthewoods.netJudy of the Woods has instructions for these fantastic looking vegetable oil lamps.

Judy used wire, wick, vegetable oil, a container and hand tools to make these oil lamps.

She lists some advantages of oil lamps:

  1. very cheap to run – can even burn used cooking oil
  2. the fumes are less toxic than those of paraffin candles or mineral oil lamps
  3. the production of renewable vegetable oil is less harmful to the environment than petroleum based products (including paraffin candles)
  4. for the extreme survivalist, vegetable oil is easier to store in bulk, or can even be produced on the home farm
  5. due to the wider base, more stable than candles, and the flame of any burning wick falling into the oil will be extinguished
  6. odour free when using olive oil

I’ve made many beeswax candles over the years and love the smell, but they are a lot of work to make. These sound like they are easy to make and look great.