Tag Archives: plywood

Custom Size & Shape Standing Desk

Like many of you, I’ve been working mostly from home for over 9 months now. And, like many of you, I’ve tried performing my daily work routine from a few different locations in my home. Seeking out the perfect spot for efficiency and for productivity. But also needing to be able to step away from work at the end of the day.

Right now I’m set up in our guest room which may not be the best work location in the house but it definitely lets me step away and forget about work at the end of the workday.

One thing that made our guest room not ideal for working was the desk situation. But I think I’ve fixed the problem.

I started with a base desk which is just a 6 foot plastic folding table. But I really wanted a standing desk for good posture and for back strength. One option would be to raise the table itself to the correct height for standing rather than sitting.

Putting the table legs up on blocks of some sort would accomplish that goal fairly easily and inexpensively. But it would also keep me from sitting which I would probably want to do occasionally. So what other options are there other than buying one of those really expensive motorized adjustable standing desks?

It occurred to me that the entire surface didn’t need to be at standing height. Just the part of the tabletop that holds the laptop, keyboard, mouse, and 2nd monitor. So I grabbed some cardboard and I started measuring and cutting out a template.

Here’s what I came up with:

Then I went out to my shop and made this new tabletop out of some scrap wood that’s been out there collecting dust for years.

At first I wasn’t sure how to hold up this new tabletop above the base plastic table. So I just temporarily used some old milk crates and some scrap 2x4s to get it to the exact height that would fit my elbows and eyeballs. This temporary configuration allowed me to try it out and make sure the height was correct before committing.

Essentially I had created a desk with different levels for different uses. On the right side is where I stand and do most of my daily work. But the notched area on the left side is where I can sit down at the table and read or write or think or whatever.

After a few months of working in this temporary configuration, I bought some solid inch square stair rail balusters which are the vertical pieces of the stair rail sometimes called spindles. I cut them to the exact length I needed and just screwed them to my custom tabletop.

I also made a smaller tabletop for my laptop and docking station and I used the same balusters as legs, which takes up less room than the little wooden lap desk that I was using before. Just need to paint the plywood surfaces and it will be complete!

An unplanned by-product of this multi-level desk design is that I ended up with some decent storage space between the levels. There’s actually enough space down there to organize and store folders and papers and books and stuff like that.

I’m really happy with this design and I’m even more happy about how inexpensive it was to build!

If you have any more ideas or suggestions, please leave a comment below!

Thanks for your interest!


Make your own cornhole (or bags, if you prefer) game boxes, plus my creative overhead storage solution

This was a pretty easy project and it only took a little bit of wood.  And it makes a simple and family friendly game that will keep you and you entire family entertained for years to come!

By the way, it’s called cornhole.  Wikipedia is never wrong … well, not for long anyways.   🙂

To make two standard sized cornhole boxes you will need a total of 4, 8 ft 2×4’s and a half sheet of 1/2 inch plywood.  I suppose you could use 3/4 inch plywood, but the boxes are pretty heavy with 1/2 plywood, so anything more is probably overkill.  It’s probably a good idea to pay a bit extra for higher quality plywood so that you get a nice and smooth surface that won’t affect your gameplay adversely.

The first step in construction is to build the frame.  The final outside dimensions are 4 feet by 2 feet.  So cut 2 of your 2x4s in half so you have 4 boards that are 48 inches long.  Then make 4 more at 21 inches.  The 21 inch piece plus 1.5, plus 1.5 gives you the 24 inches you need for the final dimension of 4 feet by 2 feet.  Nail or screw the boards together as shown below.  I prefer screws that are at least 2.5 or 3 inches long for strength and long lasting holding power.  To keep the wood from splitting, it’s a good idea to drill smaller pilot holes first and then insert the screws into the pilot holes.  The photo shows one frame, but you will need to make two.


Then cut your plywood into 24 inches by 48 inches and install it onto the frame.  I put a little wood glue on the frame for good measure but that’s optional.  I also used screws to hold the plywood down solidly.  Make sure your nails or your screw heads are down even or slightly below the surface of the plywood.  Otherwise your bags could get caught on them.


The next step is to cut a 6 inch diameter hole into your plywood.  According to standards, the hole needs to be centered left to right and the center of the hole needs to be down 9 inches from the top of the box.  The best way to cut this hole is to drill through first with a large drill bit and then cut it out using a jig-saw.


The legs are probably the hardest part of this build.  But they’re really not too difficult, though.  The final height of the top of the cornhole box off the ground needs to be 12 inches when it’s all said and done.  But we will start with longer legs and then cut them to the proper length as the final step.

[the below steps need some photos for clarity]

[Place leg vertically in place with a spacer, and clamp.  Measure center of frame and center of leg.  Drill hole clear through both.  Remove leg.  Cut a roundover on leg.  Install leg with bolt, washer, washer, locking nut.]

That’s it for construction!  Now it’s time to paint your cornhole boxes.  Make sure you use wood putty to cover up the screw holes so you will have a nice smooth surface for the bags to land on.  I would suggest painting your boxes with a quality semi-gloss outdoor paint to give a smooth glassy surface.


That’s all it takes to make a sturdy set of cornhole boxes!  Now you just need to buy a nice set of cornhole bags at your local WalMart store or Amazon or your favorite arts and crafts store.

Now here is a bonus storage idea for your new cornhole boxes.  In my garage, the rafters are exposed and they are 24 inches on center.  So the 48 inch long boards will span across three rafters.  See the photo below for one end of the storage idea.


And here is a photo of the other end of the storage idea.  The idea is that you slide the box all the way into this end of the storage and the other end of the box slides up past the other end of the storage which is just a hair wider then the 48 inch length of the box.


Then once the box is fully up, you just slide the box till it sets against the other end of the storage idea.  Both ends of the box are then supported.  It’s hard to explain in words, but when slid all the way in one direction, the box is fully supported but when slid all the way in the other direction the box can slip past the support and come down.


Here is a close up photo of one end of the support.


And here is a close up photo of the other end.  Maybe these close up photos will help explain the concept.


For safety, it might be a good idea to clamp the box against the support so it won’t move over time and fall down.

So that’s it!  Two cornhole boxes along with a creative overhead storage solution that keeps them up and out of the way while also allowing quick and easy acess to them when you want to use them!

Thanks for reading this article!  Feel free to leave any feedback or comments below!



Custom built wood washer and dryer shelves

Ever since we got our front loading washer and dryer a few years ago, we’ve been wanting to get some of those laundry pedestals to lift them up higher.  But the pedestal units are pretty pricey.  Those things are like $250 bucks … each.  Ridiculous. So I decided I would make my own laundry pedestals out of wood that I had laying around in my shop.  And I decided that I would design a pedestal that would include both a step stool and a storage drawer in one single unit. The step stool will help us reach the wall mounted cabinets that are mounted above our washer and dryer.

Click on any photo to view larger versions of it in my photo gallery.

Here is a photo of the basic frame for my pedestal design.  You can see that the front (facing down and to the left) is basically open to receive a drawer.  The sides and back are solid enough to support a few hundred pounds (as long as the weight is directed down into the floor and focused at the four corners).  All the cross beams are just there for stability.  The four feet of the washer or dryer sit on the top-most two 2x4s.

Here is the same basic frame after the decorative plywood and trim was applied.  The back of the unit was left open and so was the top.  That should allow for access to the bottom of the washer or dryer and access behind the unit if that access is ever needed.

I forgot to take photos of the drawer unit during construction, but this photo gives you a pretty good idea of it’s design.  It’s fairly straightforward.  The front of the drawer is on the upper left in this photo and contains the step stool portion which is made from 2x4s for strength.  The horizontal 2×4 in the middle is both for stability and for mounting the pull handle.  The rest of the drawer is made from plywood that I joined together with biscuit joints.  The 4th sidewall is missing from this photo, but it fits right over the exposed 2x4s shown in this photo and creates a completely closed drawer bin used for storage.

Here is the same drawer from another angle.  The front of the drawer has the decorative plywood.

And here is what the unit looks like with the drawer installed.  I chose not to install a drawer slide.  I just installed some felt pads underneath the drawer unit and it slides in and out just fine.  The next step is to prime and paint to match the washer and dryer.

And here is what the finished laundry pedestal looks like in use in our laundry room.  The drawer holds quite a bit of stuff and pulls out much farther than is shown in the photo below.

And the step-stool feature allows us to reach the wall mounted cabinets above our washer and dryer.

That’s about all the detail that I can think of.  Add a comment below if you like this design or if you have any questions about details that I have left out.  If you end up using my design for a laundry pedestal or if you have an ideas for improvements, please feel free to post in the comments below.


Laundry folding countertop hinges open to reveal utility sink

Little by little we are making small home improvements to our new house.  Recently my lovely and talented wife came up with this amazing idea.  It’s a countertop for our laundry room that is primarily used to fold clothes fresh out of the dryer.  The most awesome and amazing part of her idea is that the countertop portion over the utility sink is hinged and folds up out of the way so we can use the sink.  I liked the idea so much that I immediately started designing and creating it.

Here is a photo of the final product.  The decorating ideas also came from my lovely and talented wife, by the way.  Click on any photo to view larger versions of it in my photo gallery.

I bought the countertop from my local home improvement store and cut it down to the correct size using my table saw.  This countertop looks like granite, but it is actually a pressboard or an MDF with a hard laminate on top.  Here is the final product from another angle.

And here is what it looks like with the sink countertop opened up.  I installed a chain and hook to hold the countertop up.

And below is some design detail of the hinged countertop.  It’s pretty hard to see since the green paint pretty much blends together and hides detail, but the hinge is actually mounted to a piece of plywood that was mounted directly to the studs in the back wall.  I cut out the drywall on the back wall and replaced the drywall with plywood that was about one eighth inch thinner than the drywall.  That way the hinge would be set into the wall a bit in order to hide the hinge when looking from above with the countertop down.

Aside from being held up in the back by the hinge, the hinged countertop is held up on the left by another piece of plywood that is mounted on top of the drywall and provides a ledge for the countertop to rest on when closed.  And on the right side, I created a bracket out of plywood and 2x4s that sticks out enough for the hinged countertop to rest on when closed.

Here is a better look at the plywood along the left side of the hinged countertop that it rests on when closed.  It’s just plywood mounted on top of the drywall.

And here is a better look at the bracket that I created to hold up the countertop next to the sink.  I notched the 2x4s so that the plywood would slide into them and hold firmly.  I glued and screwed the plywood into the notches from the back side and then mounted the whole thing to the wall.

And here is a reverse angle showing a close up of the bracket plus you can see how I used 2x4s under the other portions of the countertop to hold it up.  When installing something like this which is fairly heavy, it’s important to screw into wall studs.  Otherwise, the weight could pull the whole thing right off the wall.

That’s about all the detail that I can think of.  Add a comment below if you like this design or if you have any questions about details that I have left out.


Build Your Own Yard Shed

According to recent website statistics, my Yard Shed Plans web page (http://www.leucht.com/kurt/shed/) is pretty much the most popular web page on my whole website. This is very cool to me because this is exactly the sort of content that I had most hoped to be able to provide with this website back in the late 90’s when I first created it. Sadly, that Yard Shed Plans page never even got completely finished. Mostly because the 3D models and images were difficult and time consuming to create. Also because I’m a bit of a perfectionist, which makes them even more time consuming to make.

.Shed Plans .Shed Plans

So busy-ness has kept me from finishing that particular page and also it has kept me from providing more content like this on my site. But the invention of the blog in the past few years (and my subsequent use of it here) has allowed me to quickly and easily create simple web pages, or blog posts, about even the most simple and small projects. So far the traffic on my blog is no where near the amount of traffic on the Yard Shed Plans page, though. Maybe most people that find my Yard Shed Plans page are searching specifically for “plans”. And it’s hard work and time consuming to put together actual “plans” for a project. So maybe I’ll have to go back and add “plans” to all my other projects that are on this site. In my spare time, of course. 🙂