Small / Short Storage Shed

Posted: December 22, 2017 in Uncategorized

As you might imagine, I love spending time in my shop (actually my 2-car garage).  But my wife likes to park in there sometimes so I have to keep everything mobile.  I realized I had too much stuff.  I have a cement mixer, a power washer, lawn mower, and tons of other stuff.  So I decided I needed to build a small shed to house some of the outdoor and infrequently used equipment.  My HOA says my shed can’t be taller than my fence.  Since I have a 6 foot fence, I’m kinda stuck with a short shed.  But that’s fine.  I’m not really interested in standing up in the shed.  It isn’t big enough to need to.

Anyway, this post will show the steps I took to build the shed…

First I started with a base.  I built it using store-bought lumber.


I believe it was all 2X6.  I put some landscaping bricks in the ground (on the corners) for the base to rest on.


Then I started working on the floor


The flooring is some leftover (aka recycled) boards from an old swingset/fort that I disassembled.  They are about an 1″ thick.  Very nice foundation.   Notice I left enough space around the edges for the walls.  That way, I minimize the chance of water getting inside the shed.

Now for the walls.


I built the first couple of walls.  I wasn’t adding any windows or openings on the back or sides so these were easy.  Goes really quick with a nailgun.  Here’s a great one from Amazon: Bostitch Framing Nailer.

Now I work on adding the remaining walls.IMG_1870

It is kinda hard to see here, but the remaining walls were put up.  I tested putting the lawn more through the doorway to make sure it was wide enough.  You can see my level on the ground.  It is imperative that you keep everything level.  Here’s one from Amazon: Stanley 2 foot Level

Now to start adding the siding:IMG_1885

You can see here some progress after adding the siding.  I priced out using pre-made siding and it was going to be fairly expensive.  So I ended up going with fence boards.  These are the exact same Fir fence boards that I used to build my fence so they match perfectly.   It was more work, but it wasn’t too bad using the nailer.  Here’s a great one from Amazon: Bostitch Framing Nailer.


You can see in the above picture, I added the roof.  It is Polycarbonate Roofing Panel from Home Depot.  I wanted clear.  But when I went to Home Depot, there were 3 panels on a cart that had damage (holes) in one end.  They were 75% off, so I got all 3 for around $35 or so.   I had to cut them anyway to make them short enough, so cutting off the bad spots wasn’t a big deal.  I also ended up with enough to make a matching doghouse.  See the picture later on.

As far as the boards at the top.  They are kinda there for decoration (why I left the dogears on them) and to keep the rain from getting in.  There was a little space between the top of the siding and the roof (since the roof panels weren’t 100% level).


This last picture shows the shed after I put corner pieces on it.  Just just kinda finished it off.  The corner pieces are joined together using a Kreg Jig.  It makes joining wood really easy…

You can also see the back of my cement mixer inside the shed.  I couldn’t wait to get stuff moved into the shed to free up space in my garage.

shed and doghouse

Here’s a picture of the shed with doghouse.  I added the doors to the shed.  They are basic rectangles built from 2X6 with more siding.  I’ve (since this picture was taken) added a board across the front to hold the doors closed.  Our dog loves the doghouse.  He sleeps inside, but is outside during the day.  So it is great when it starts raining.  He snoozes in there all day (lazy dog).

Not only was I able to move a lot of my outdoor and infrequently used equipment to the shed, I had a lot more stuff get stored in there.  My dad passed away in 2016.  I ended up bringing back a ton of stuff from their home place.  I want to keep it but don’t need it out.  So I made a few shelves and a lot of ways to hang stuff.  I’ll try to remember to take a pic of all of the stuff (junk) inside.  I’m constantly surprised at how much stuff fits in it.

But being able to get anything out easily, now that is another story.




When I was at VMworld last month, I was loving all of the games at the vendor booths.  One of the coolest one was a shuffleboard type game.  But the goal was to bounce the puck off the wall and try to stick on a spot to win a prize…   Here’s a few pics:


As you can see, you start on the right.  Push your puck, let it bounce against the wall and try to stick it on one of the spaces…

I really want to build one of these.

But if building one isn’t your thoughts, they do sell pretty much the same thing on Amazon:

Snap-Back Shuffleboard Metro Model Shuffleboard with Abacus Scoring, 7-Feet/45-Inch, Black

Snap-Back Shuffleboard Tavern Model Shuffleboard with Electronic Scoring, 7-Feet/45-Inch, Mahogany

Ricochet 7 Ft. Bounce-Back Shuffleboard Table

Carmelli NG1201 Ricochet 7 Ft. Bounce-Back Shuffleboard Table in Cherry

Hathaway Ricochet Shuffleboard Table, Cherry Finish, 7-Feet

Blue Wave Products NG1201 Ricochet 7 Ft. Shuffleboard Table


And they even sell a “baby” version:

New Entertainment Desktop Shuffleboard



Of course they also have just regular Shuffleboard games:

Playcraft Woodbridge Shuffleboard Table, Cherry, 12-Feet

Atomic 9′ Platinum Shuffleboard Table


If you do decide to build your own, there are replacement parts (like Pucks) available:

Carrom Shuffleboard Replacement Pucks

Pinball Hall of Fame – Las Vegas

Posted: September 9, 2017 in Uncategorized


I was at a conference in Las Vegas a few weeks ago.  I’ve been to Vegas a few times and never made it to the pinball hall of fame.  Well I wasn’t going to let that streak continue.

After this little ad, I’ll talk about my visit…

Did you know you can purchase full-sized pinball machines from Amazon.  They will deliver them to you.

Check out these links:

Stern Pinball Ghostbusters Pro Edition Arcade Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball Spider-Man Vault Edition Arcade Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball WWE WrestleMania Arcade Pro Edition Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball Aerosmith Premium Arcade Pinball Machine

Stern Pinball The Walking Dead Arcade Pinball Machine – Pro Model

Stern Pinball Game of Thrones Pro Edition Arcade Pinball Machine

So I was staying at Mandalay Bay.  I looked on Google, it said I could walk to the Pinball Hall of Fame in around an hour.  I walk a lot in Texas, so I took off.  Well turns out, it was 112′ that day.  So I only made it about half way.  Then I flagged down a taxi for the rest of the trip.

The Hall of Fame was an amazing experience.  I loved pinball machines.  I’ve owned about 20 of them in my life.  Always bought in pretty sad shape and fixed them up.  Moving forward, I think I’ll buy one of the ones listed above…

Here’s some pictures from my visit:


The pictures don’t really do justice to the number of pinball games at this place.  My favorite part was getting to play Haunted House again.   I loved that game as a kid, but haven’t seen it lately.







The chairs our church purchased didn’t have offering / visitor card holders built in.   We were using these horrible paper holders with a sticky back.  The sticky was gone.  Someone had added Velcro to try to make it stick better.  But it looked just horrible.  There was no place to put pens.  They got put in the man area, but would fall down and made it hard to retrieve them from without tearing the compartment.

I found a few plastic versions on the internet.  Although they looked like they would work fine, they are from $4 to $8 each.  We needed a hundred or so (putting a few per row).  As normal, we had no budget for this.  So I decided to try to build some.  Sorry I don’t have exact specifications any more, but maybe this blog will give you some ideas:

I got some red-oak from Home Depot.  Any wood would be fine, but I would suggest a hard-wood.

Here’s a sample of the wood cut:


Here’s how I cut the area for the cards in each holder.  I just clamped borders on 3 sides, of my tablesaw.  I installed my dado blade.  The goal is to quickly rip out the un-needed wood.  This could have also been done with a router.


This shows the process of cleaning out the wood.  Looking back, this makes me nervous.  At the time, I didn’t have a Saw Stop.  I currently have a Saw Stop JobSite saw.  At least if I screwed up, hopefully the Saw Stop would catch it…   Here’s a link to the Saw Stop:  SawStop JSS-MCA Jobsite Saw


Here’s a pic of the holder flipped around after the wood was cut away.  As you can see, the bottom is super clean, but it doesn’t matter and that part doesn’t show.


Here’s my jig I made for drilling the holes for the pens.  I put one on each side.  NOTE:  After drilling with the drill-press, I had to drill deeper with a handheld drill.  There wasn’t enough travel in the drill-press to go deep enough.


Here’s the holder after both sides were drilled for pens.  NOTE:  I have actually cleaned up my benchtop since this pic a few years ago.  I’m embarrassed to see how messy it was…


OK, so a few sections were skipped (no pictures).  I routed the sides, to add some decoration.  I also setup a jig to drill the screw holders with the drill press.  I used a countersink bit make sure the screw heads kinda disappeared.


Here’s a look at a few of them.  I was testing the size with a standard offering envelope.



Here’s my test-fit I did.  I hadn’t painted/stained the holder yet.  Just wanted to get approval from senior staff/board before moving forward.   Offering Envelope Matthew 10:8 (Package of 100)


Once I was to the point of installing them on the chairs (after they were painted), I built a jig to make sure they were installed at exactly the same spot on each chair.  Also, please NOTE:  make sure the screws don’t go far enough into the chair to stick the person sitting in the chair.  Especially someone fairly large.  They may compress the pad quite a bit…   But at the same time, make sure the screws are long enough to keep the holder in place.  Since I was normally sitting at the sound booth, I could see when these were in use.  Smaller kids would use the holders to pull up.  So they have to be fairly well secure.  But as far as I know, none have came off.  They are also thin enough not to interfere with stacking the chairs…

Here’s a stack of ones I built.  Seeing this picture remember how much work this was.  But it turned out very very good.


I built a sanding jig: Basic Sanding Jig  I used it to smooth all of the holders.


unfortunately, I can’t find a final picture of the product once installed.    I painted them a very very dark brown.  It actually looks black once installed, but a tiny bit of wood grain comes through.  The cost of this only came out to be the cost of wood.  I think it was less than $40…

If you have built some, I would love to see them.






Fear Factor – Random Item Box

Posted: August 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

We were doing the Fear Factor series a while back.   During part of it, we built a box which had the following design:

The back and sides were blacked out.  The top was blacked out, with a single hole for the kids hand.  There was even cloth in the hand hole, so they couldn’t see into the box.   The front of the box was just plexi-glass.   So the kids in the audience could see what was in the box (random toys.  Just about anything with a texture).  But the kids sticking their hand in the box couldn’t see anything.  It was just their touch (and fear) they were dealing with.  Of course, we had a few worms, crickets, and maybe some night-crawlers.  Had a Saturday night run to the local bait shop.  It was great watching the older boys freak out when they had to put their hand in the box.


We didn’t have an aquarium, but this would have been a great starting place to build this project.  Marina LED Aquarium Kit, 10 gallon

I made a basic box.  Put wood on all sides (except the front).  Cut a hold in the top.  Added the cloth around the inside of the hole.  Then I cut an old piece of plexi (from an old-drum cage).  I had a ton of problems getting the plexi to screw into the wood.  I pre-drilled the holes, and even countersinked them.  But the plexi still split and cracked.  Very frustrating.

You can order plexi here:

Online Plastic Supply Acrylic Plexiglass Sheet 1/4″ x 24″ x 36″ – Clear

You can also order counter-sink bits here:

IRWIN Metal Countersink Drill Bit Set, 5 Piece

If you build (or have built) a similar game, I would love to see it…













New Plinko – Pinball Plinko?

Posted: August 29, 2017 in Uncategorized

I was at VMworld 2017.  Walking through the Vendor area, I saw a lot of familiar games.  Plinko and game wheels were everywhere…

These are easy to buy from Amazon:

WinSpin 24″ Tabletop Spinning Prize Wheel 14 Slots with Color Dry Erase Trade Show Fortune Spin Game

Prize Drop

Here’s some links to my other posts where I showed how I built my own game wheels and Plinko games:

Bigger Game Wheel

Wheel of WOW

Plinko Game Construction


So the Plinko games have been around forever.  But one I saw at VMworld had added something different.  Instead of just dropping the puck at the top, you shot it into the playfield like a pinball game…


There are 7 prize options at the bottom.  But there was one up top (has the PD by it).  If you could land a puck in there, you won one of every prize.   I really love the idea of making it like a pinball game.  When I get back home, I’m going to work on building one like this….




Large Jenga

Posted: August 28, 2017 in Uncategorized

A few years ago, my wife had me make a Jenga game for VBS. It was super simple. I just bought 2X4’s from the local hardware store, cut them to length (using my miter saw), and sanded the edges smooth (using my sanding jig)..


Here’s a pic of when I was making it…


We had used it a couple of times and it worked well…   But for this VBS, we wanted something a little different. The idea was to divide the blocks into sets of 4. Paint each block a different color. When a kid was playing the game, they had to spin the wheel (see instructions here),. Whatever color the wheel landed on, that’s the color of the block the had to remove from the Jenga. This just gave it an extra challenge.

Here’s a couple of pics after I had painted the Jenga pieces.  I only have pics of the first two colors.


Let me know what you think.