Tuesday, July 23, 2013

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

You don't need a bunch of square footage to have a great workspace. As Instructables user Jake Richardson shows in this step-by-step folding desk tutorial, a little bit of creatively-used space can go a long way.

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

My room is fairly small, and it's a squeeze to fit things in. So when I found I needed a desk to do many of my projects, I had to think about space conservation. I decided to affix the desk to the side of my Ikea bookshelf. It's heavy, thick, and wide enough to attach a decent sized desk to.

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

The pieces of wood I needed were pretty easy to find—I just used scrap wood from my garage. I settled on a piece of 30cm by 75cm plywood for the actual desk and an 8cm piece of pine for the hinge brace.

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

I cut two 5cm-long pieces off of the strip of pine and nailed to the underside of the piece of plywood with fine nails. Then I sanded the pine blocks smooth before being attached, and used wood glue to strengthen the bond.

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

I stained the desk with a satin mahogany wood stain. Three layers were used, with a light sanding after the second layer. The third layer was a very light coating. Then I gave the desk three layers of tough polyurethane varnish. (As with the stain, I used two initial layers with a light sanding, followed by a final light layer.)

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

After the desk had ample time to cure, it was time to mount it to the side of the bookshelf. I used two brass door hinges, affixed with six steel screws each. I used a 1m-long, 3cm chain to hold the desk upright. The chain is hooked onto a small brass hook that's screwed onto the edge of the desk, while the other end is held in place at the top of the bookcase.

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

To finish the desk, I added a cutting surface that was also heatproof. I used a piece of slate tile that I cut to size and held in place with several lines of trade-standard Evo-Stik adhesive.

I now have a compact working space that can be folded away at a moment's notice!

How To Build a Space-Saving Folding Desk From Scratch

(For a bonus tutorial on Jake's refurbished chair, check out the original post in the link below.)

Fold Out Desk From Scratch & Chair Refurbishment | Instructables

Jake Richardson is an 18-year-old, soon-to-be apprentice from North Yorkshire, England. He's a maker and fixer of all things, from retro electronics to model furniture, as well as an enthusiastic model-maker.

Want to see your work on Lifehacker? Email Tessa.

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LinkedIn Just Added Two-Factor Authentication, So Enable It Now

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Hash Brown Egg Baskets

The ingredients and tools you'll need:

3-4 baked potatoes, cold
12 medium (preferred) or large eggs
1 bunch chives or dill (your choice)
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. 

Peel or cut the skin off of the baked potatoes. Grate the potatoes using the largest holes of a box grater. Add salt and pepper and 2 Tbsp olive oil and mix the potato hash brown mixture carefully.

A note about substitutions: You may be tempted to try this with frozen or fresh-in-a-bag hash browns. I don't recommend it because they have more water content. The great thing about using leftover baked potatoes in this particular recipe is that in the process of baking they have steamed out a bunch of their water. Added water is not going to help your potatoes crisp up. 

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How To Cuff Shorts, Properly

13, 8:25 PM.jpgIn this instructable, I will show you my favorite way to cuff shorts, they look professional and neat. This creates a more finished look to shorts that were once pants.

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FAST Polymer Clay Push Mold Window Art

Here in Maine the craft show circuit gets rolling when the weather starts to warm. I made multiple polymer clay casts in my ComposiMold and dedicated this project to all my fellow crafters. This project is meant to demonstrate just how quickly you can bulk up your inventory. I made 6 push mold casts in under 10 minutes. The baking and the actual beading takes some more time too but the star clay pendant is the easiest part to make on these fun window, sun porch, or garden decorations.

20 oz. of ComposiMold-LT or PowerMold
(PowerMold is stiffer and recommened for the Push Mold Technique.)
Polymer Clay (I used Sculpey brand)
Mold Release
Bubble Buster
A decal of your choice to use as your master part
An Oven and metal baking pan to bake the clay
Miscellaneous beads and wire

1. Prepare your master part by securing it the the bottom of a heat safe mold box. I used hot glue to ensure my piece wouldn't float and chose a tupperware lid that was deep enough as my mold box. (You can also use tin foil as a mold box and create any shape you want.) As a precaution I also sprayed my master part with a shellac because it is made of a wood. I didn't want any trapped air in the decal to escape into my mold and cause bubbles.

2. Melt the ComposiMold or PowerMold in the microwave or double boiler as per product instructions.

3. Spray your master part with mold release and then with Bubble Buster. I used a silicone Mold Release which is one of my favorites for non-food items. The Bubble Buster can be applied right over the top of the Mold Release.

4. Pour your melted ComposiMold or PowerMold into the lowest surface of the mold box and let it rise up over the master part. This will lift and carry away any bubbles that may be in the melted ComposiMold or PowerMold.

5. Let the mold solidify back to it's original consistency.

6. Remove your master part and clean up any rough edges with a sharp exacto blade.

7. Work the polymer clay in your hands until it is soft and pliable. This may take some elbow grease as it comes out of the package fairly hard.

8. When I preform the push-mold technique I sometimes roll a ball in my hands and then press the ball into the mold, pushing the ball flat and into the edges as I go. I may also start with a shape that's similar to the final casted shape. In this case I would make a pancake and lay it into the mold. Then I would add pressure to be sure it was filling all the details.

(In a more complex shape you would want to be sure that the deepest crevices where filled with clay first. This will ensure that the final cast reflects all the details of your mold.)

9. Bend the mold away from your newly pressed cast and let the cast simply fall out of the mold. Try not to warp the cast by forcing it out or bending the mold too much. Take your time on this step and you will have less clean up once the cast is completely de-molded.

10. Use a toothpick or similar tool to poke a hole through the clay casting. You will thread your wire through this hole when you create your hanging art pieces later.

11. Repeat as many times as you wish. The ComposiMold or PowerMold molds hold up very well to push molding. You can make dozens of casts this way and you don't need any mold release to make them.

12. Bake your clay per product instructions. The Sculpey brand recommends 15 minutes at 275F per each 1/8" of clay. 15 minutes was perfect for these thin pieces.

13. After the clay has cooled you can begin assembling your hanging ornament. I've used a 20gauge wire to create a loop that the rest of my decoration can be attached to. Use beads that you have laying around or you can make your own beads with Sculpey either by hand or in a another push mold.

IDEA: This particular shape lends itself to another cool possibility. You could use your exacto knife to cut the smaller flower in the center of the design and use it as it's own pendant. Poke 2 holes in this one at the top and bottom and "string" it into your design a little further up from the large pendant.

I hope this gives you all some ideas about how to use ComposiMold and PowerMold to make multiple art pieces that WILL sell at summer craft shows in your state. Work efficiently with a push mold technique like this one and the profits will speak for themselves. ~Michelle

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Google Earth to Makerbot

Hiya folks!

Ever wanted to 3D print a real life building?  It's actually pretty easy and this tutorial will summarize a few good forums and instructional sites on how to do this.  Here's the general workflow:

What you will need:
A computer to run Google Earth, Google Sketch-Up, and Replicator G.  All are free downloads.
Makerbot or similar 3D printer.  If you don't have one, fear not, you can always send your file to Shapeways, Ponoko, or use one at TechShop.

I-Selecting and Downloading a Model: using Google Earth to find the building you want to print.
II-.skp to .stl (Sketch-Up to Rep. G): bringing the model into Sketch-Up to make some changes and exporting it as .stl file
III-Getting the File Ready for the Printer: Bringing the .stl file into Replicator G and exporting G-Code to Makerbot
Closing Thoughts

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