Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Lay out improvements

I'm a little bit of a model railroad fan (or freak). I just like the little scaled down trains and everything around it. I also happen to like electronics a lot and also woodworking. So my plan is to build us a coffee table with a microcontroller operated model railway build into it.

To most people this will sound kiddie stuff but let me assure you that this is a BIG technological challenge.

I will post my progress here. Sofar I've only been designing an apealing trackplan. This is a challenge on it's own considering the very limited space. The coffee table will be about 155x80 cm. At this moment I've reached a stage where the last design seems reasonable workable.

These are the last 3 designs. The bottom one is most recent and most likely to be successful.

Monday, January 21, 2008

The Expedit hack

I "hacked" the IKEA Expedit we bought yesterday by putting 4 metal legs underneath. It makes the cabinet look a lot better. Also because we need the space we can now put stuff underneath, like our shoes for example.

For this we need the following: 1 drill, 1 drillbit half the thickness of the screws we're using, 4 tablelegs with 4 screws each, a ruler and a pen.

Start by marking at 1,5cm from the edge.

Place the top of the leg on the wood and align it with the mark you made.

Use the pen to mark where to drill the holes for the screws.

We drill these holes to give the screw some room. You will notice this helps a lot. Be careful not to drill all the way through the wood!

Screw on the legs. CAUTION: Because the panels are hollow, don't screw in the screw towards the middle too tight.

There we go, we have a hacked IKEA Expedit that looks a LOT better now!

The IKEA Expedit

Not the hardest of things to put do but a good first post for this new blog. I'm putting together a piece of IKEA furniture. Most IKEA stuff comes with a pretty good manual on how to put it together, it's really not hard.

Although really simple tools are often included, for this project it's handy to have a hammer available.

So we needed storage space on a low budget, went to IKEA and returned with the "EXPEDIT".

The half version only has 1 package.

After opening.

All the little bits are hiding in a corner.

This is the contents of the bag. For this half-size EXPEDIT, all you really need are the dowels (wooden pins) and the long screws at the top. Use the (Allen) key provided to screw in the screws.

The felt pads can be put underneath to prevent scratching. All other parts are used to attach the cabinet onto a wall. For horizontal placement this is not neccesary though.

These are all the wooden panels inside the package.

Before starting, if you have a very hard floor to work on, leave the cardboard so you won't damage the wood.

Start with gently hammering all the dowels into the panels. Only in the holes told by the manual.

Put together 1 corner to start with.

Fix them gently by screwing in 2 long screws. Do NOT screw them in all the way, they should be tightened only when the whole thing has been put together.

Place 1 of the smallest panels over the dowels on the "short" side of the cabinet.

Then take a bigger panel and put it over the dowels in the "long" side.

You then fix the panel you just attached to the smaller panel by putting 2 new dowels into the holes. After this, you attach all other panels except for the fourth small panel. We'll attach that one later because it's going to fall off when we put the cabinet up lateron.

Then attach the second sidepanel. This is a bit tricky because it has to be done under an angle. Be patient and gently push it onto the small panel at the end untill the dowels from the inner panels are infront of the holes in the panel you're putting on. Then gently push the two long panels towards eachother. Also screw 2 big screws in. Do not tighten them all the way.

You may have to tip the cabinet over on it's side and lean on it to apply enough force to attach that last panel. WARNING: Do NOT try to attach it using a hammer. The panels are hollow and you could hit a hole in it.

After it's squeezed together put in the final little panel and attach the other side panel. You can put the 4 remaining screws in now, too.

Put the cabinet into the position it will be used in and tighten the screws. You can tighten them so much that they blend in very nice with the surface of the wood.

And voila, there is the Expedit!