Home #Makerspace: The Fishing Rod Storage Rack

Last week, I built a small shelf using hand tools.  This week, I will use a mixture of bench and power tools to create a storage rack for my family’s fishing rods.  This rack has two assemblies, the upper rack and the lower rack.


The lower assembly has three holes for accepting fishing rod handles.  The upper assembly has the same three holes with access channels.


Using power tools, this project will take fifteen to twenty minutes to complete.  It can be completed with only hand tools, if so desired.  Young makers in the middle school range comfortable with hand-held power tools, especially the jig saw and power drill, could complete this project with minimal adult assistance.

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This Week in the Shop: 3 Simple Picture Frame Plans

Picture frames make fantastic skill building projects.  You can practice joinery and create precision jigs.  Frames reward practice and good finishes.  They can be made from cheap materials and scraps – meaning they are easy on the pocketbook.  All in all, the perfect project to start with.

Three Picture Frames, Left to Right:  Schoolhouse Frame, The
Three Picture Frames, Left to Right: Schoolhouse Frame, The Salvaged Door Frame, the Dead Simple Frame

With one exception.  Miter joints – that is, two 45° angles meeting and forming an exact 90° corner….umm, that’s hard.  Very hard.  So how can you make a simple picture frame with simple joinery that looks great?  Over the years, I’ve developed three semi-surefire picture frame designs that are simple to make and look great. Next time you want to frame that special moment, try the next three picture frames: The Salvaged Shutter, The Dead Simple Frame and the Schoolhouse Frame.

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Tool Primer: How to Select & Use Jigsaws

Some tools do only one thing well.  Some tools do a lot of things well if you know how to use them.  The jigsaw (or sabersaw), in my opinion, is unique in the pantheon of modern woodworking tools as it does nearly everything with equal parts of ineptness and frustration.  So why keep it around?  It’s the only portable tool that cuts curves.  And that makes it invaluable in the shop when the project calls for it.

Skil jigsaw
D Handled Jigsaw
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Gear Review: SKIL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw Mo. 5480

If you are in the market for a 7-1/4″ circular saw for light homeowner use, I don’t see any reason not to buy a SKIL 5480.  It’s cheap, durable construction, dead simple set-up and with a decent saw guide, can create clean cuts all day long.  The hard plastic casing has held up to three years of abuse, the metal foot plate hasn’t rusted and kept its smooth action.  It has a metal blade guard.  It’s big enough to get the job done.  Buy it.  Skip the laser. Continue reading Gear Review: SKIL 7-1/4″ Circular Saw Mo. 5480

This Week in the Shop: Playhouse and How To Play in It

I just finished my son(s, I’m expecting another next month) Christmas gift: an outdoor playhouse. I used a router on table to create a half inch wide dado for the cedar edging. A cedar post with a deck cap from Lowes provides the stability. This project had some interesting design challenges. First, I couldn’t build something permanent, as I’m a renter, not owner. Second, I had very limited indoor and outdoor space for this project. Designing in planes, using plywood, seemed to solve the space issue. Industrial velcro attaches the sides to the townhouse itself and provides good stability. The … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Playhouse and How To Play in It