Archive by Author | Pink Toes and Power Tools

Quick Tip {Inexpensive, Collapsible Workbench}

Since I do not have a workshop for my woodworking adventures, all of my tools need to tuck away when I’m not using them.  Up until now I have been working on the garage floor–which appears pretty flat until you are up close and personal on it–and trying to make your project square.  My garage floor is NOT flat and I can feel pretty confident telling you that yours isn’t either.  Before I began the Dining Room/Home Office project, I promised myself I would invest in a workbench, but obviously it needs to disassemble and tuck away, just like my tools.  Here she is:

Inexpensive collapsible workbench

Nothing earth-shattering about it–just 2 sawhorses and a hollow-core door on top, but I tell you it has made a HUGE difference for me in terms of how square the cabinets and drawers are once they are together.  In fact, I didn’t want to put this particular post up yet, but everything I go to write in the other posts seems to talk about this new workbench so I needed to be able to reference it in those posts!


I was warned (thanks Bill!) that the hollow core door may not hold up to some clamping applications, but my laziness won out because I already had the door at home and I didn’t want to spend the time taking it back.  I will warn you that the door will sag a bit in the middle if the sawhorses are as far apart as they are in the picture.  This was taken before I had really started building yet and discovered that.  Moving them closer together helped, but when I really wanted a guaranteed flat surface, I put a piece of scrap plywood on top also and built on that.  The bench still saves my back that way!


I got the sawhorses on sale at Lowes for around $28 and the door was about $21.  I put off spending the money on something like this for 2 years figuring that the garage floor was good enough, but I really wish I had invested in this right away.  Well worth the money.

Woodworking In The Heat

It has been extremely hot here in Ohio. Extremely. Hot. So when you are out in the garage plugging in power tools in weather like this, you must stay hydrated or you are not going to feel good! Here’s a drink I’ve kept on hand that tastes way better than plain water and makes it easier for me to drink enough to compensate for sweating. I hate plain water,  but I like this.


Squeeze a lemon slice into your container.  Mine is 20 ounces. Add 5 or 6 drops of stevia (mine are plain,  no flavor). Add 1/32 if a teaspoon (not a typo!). I’m not a huge fan of stevia as a sweetener on its own,  but it does a great job of enhancing the sweetening power of just a little sugar. And I have a huge sweet tooth!  Add water and shake.

I drink a ton more water since I started making this. Hope this helps you beat the heat and keep working in the garage while the weather is warm steaming hot!

It has been a little slow going on the dining room project for a sad reason. I’ve spent the last few days helping when I can on funeral arrangements. If you could say a prayer for Grandma June I’d be grateful. She was a warm, loving woman with a great sense of humor, and will be missed…

Dining Room/Home Office {The Plans}

I know I over think my projects before I even buy the first board.  I know I do it and I can’t help it.  Every time I tell myself to not be so uptight about the plans.  And every time I spend hours and hours drawing up every aspect of it.

Oh well!  Here’s evidence of my problem.  I didn’t scale down the size of the photos so you could click on them to get a larger size if you want to look closer.

Once again a disclaimer–I can’t guarantee that these dimensions or plans will work since I modify and discover mistakes as I go along.  Although you’d think with the time I spend on these they would be perfect…most often they end up not perfect.

Dining Room Plans Desk Drawing

I spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out the way I can cut for least waste.  That means my shelves generally end up being 12.5″ deep–11.75 board width with a .75 face front.  That way I can get 4 equal rips down a sheet of plywood.  Remember that you have to allow for the kerf when making accurate cuts. Read More…

Dining Room Built Ins {The Before Pictures}

I’ve had plans to change our dining room into an office/den/project area for a long time now.  We actually went out to a kitchen cabinet place with the intention of them pricing out unfinished wood cabinets for the room year ago–long before I ever picked up a circular saw.  I was going to paint them myself to try to save some money, but it was still going to be several thousand dollars for what we wanted.  I’m glad we held off on it, because I think what I’ve come up with is way more usable for our family.  All of that was before I was blogging and way before I was woodworking.  So it sat like this.  For 13 years.

Dining Room Before Picture Full Room

It is embarrassing.   Thirteen years this room has been sitting waiting to be finished.

Dining Room Before Picture Stair Wall

Nothing on the walls but paint.

Dining Room Before Picture Window Wall

And windows.  I do love the windows.  Until I have to wash them all.

Dining Room Before Picture Kitchen Wall

This table was an antique when I sat at it at age 5, went to a relative’s house when we moved when I was 8, and back to me when I was 29 since we had a dining room with nothing in it at that point.  Besides the windows and paint, it is the only thing that has been in the room.  For 13 years!!!  Incidentally, my cousin wants it when we move it out of here–she lived in the house with the table for the 21 years it wasn’t with me :)

Dining Room Before Picture

This is where the magic is hopefully going to happen.  I’m planning built-ins for this corner.  I don’t have a desk and I have been using this room for several years now–first with a fold up table in the corner while I completed my online degree, and then this table when I started blogging.  The problem is that there are no drawers, only a flat surface that I have problems not covering with anything and everything that comes and goes from the house.  What is on it right now is pretty tame.  In fact, I would call that neat and tidy compared to other times in our home’s history.  The Hubs would not.

So it is time for a desk and some built-ins in the Dining Room!

Making sawdust again

I finally got my rear in gear and I’m making sawdust again.  I mentioned that I had a big project in the works, and I’ve had a really hard time pulling the trigger on this one and getting started.  I’ve went back and forth on the design MANY times and every time I had a ping of doubt, it set me back a week or two.

But there is now sawdust in the garage again!

Sawdust on gargage floor

I cut up the plywood into boards the other day with my Kreg Rip Cut.  Love that thing, but I will remind you once again to make sure your blade guard swings freely once you have the Rip Cut attached.  I’m aware of it and thought I had it on good and it was still catching.  Please double check this on yours!!!  I also had a glitch in the middle of the cutting when I needed a new blade for the circular saw and had to run out and get one, but now that I am actually started, I am really excited about getting this project done and seeing the results.

I’ve been hard at work with designs for this room, but also I’ve been working hard on other aspects of my life–like getting the house in some semblance of clean after starting back to work this year, and fighting 40+ years of gravity and jelly beans in our home “gym”.  I’ve also been trying to drink more water.  I’ve got a special plastic bottle I carry around with me with a lemon slice that has helped, but one day I could not find it anywhere.  I probably wasted a good 30 minutes wandering around all the places I had been that day so far and then stomping around all those same places when it didn’t appear and I was frustrated!  I finally gave up, thinking it would certainly turn up soon.  I mean how many places could it be hiding???!!!!

The following is a good example of why it is bad to be multi-tasking and getting too little sleep.  Here’s where I finally found it:

Hidden water bottle

I was in and out of this drawer many times over the time it was missing.  All I could do was laugh once I found it!

I know I have had a couple of false starts on this project, but now that there are actual cuts made, I will be posting the before pictures and plans very soon!

Board & Batten {post 6} Angle cut at the baseboard

Hi all!  I had a recent question in the comments from Kelly asking for close up photos of how the batten meets the baseboard when I posted my Laundry Room board and batten project.  Since it was awhile ago, I had to go back and review the five posts on that project.  But I was confident that I would find the info, in order to link to the post in my reply to her comment…but I actually discovered that I never provided a picture of that particular part.  Huh!  Thanks for asking for that, Kelly, because that would be helpful!

So now I am correcting that oversight :)

If you read Post 1, you will see that I decided to go with 1/2″ thick batten because I didn’t like that the 3/4″ boards created more of an obvious cut-back where it meets the existing baseboard molding.

In Post 3, I show how I decided to slice off some of the batten so it met the baseboard–but I didn’t go the more popular route that other bloggers have gone, with a 45 degree cut.  I showed that 45 degree cut on the 3/4″ batten in post 1, but the 1/2″ board is not cut back at all in that post.  I only took off enough of the board, so that the cut sat on top of the baseboard already on the wall.

Here’s how it looks in close-ups on the wall and complete:

Batten angle close up

And also how it looks at standing height:

Batten meets baseboard

I remember being a little worried that the 1/2″ option would be thick enough, since many bloggers were using the 3/4″ option.  I have no regrets going with the 1/2″, and I prefer that the batten doesn’t stick out any farther than it does in this room.  I also like that everything is slightly smaller than the door moulding and the built-in cabinet face frame boards.

So there you go–thanks for asking for this info Kelly!

You may not look too closely at anything other than the batten in these pictures.  I need to freshen up the ding marks on the doorway with new paint.  And maybe eliminate a dust bunny…or two…or seven.  Truly, after showing some other messy areas in our house over the years, you’d think I’d be over any embarrassment, but it turns out that I’m not, lol!

Posts in this series:

Board & Batten {Post 1}

Board & Batten {Post 2}

Board & Batten {Post 3}

Board & Batten {Post 4}

Board & Batten {Post 5} The Reveal

Board & Batten {Post 6} Angle Cut at the Baseboard

Happy Spring???

Dear Mother Nature,

It is the end of March.  Where is spring?

Much anticipating your answer,                                                                                                                                                                                                             Pink Toes                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             (although you wouldn’t know it, since my toes are still wearing slippers instead of sandals)


I’m sure that most of you are aware that garage floors in unheated spaces are cold.  Very cold.  So I’ve kind of been on a DIY hiatus because my 40ish year old body cannot handle the cold out where the tools are located.  So I was much anticipating our school’s Spring Break so I could get started on a rather large project that is next on my list.  But instead of breaking out the nail gun, I was in the grocery store getting ready for the 6 inches of snow that they are calling for in our area.  I’m hoping that it melts quickly, but since we were out of pretty much everything, I couldn’t chance it!

So I guess I will finalize the plans for the big project over the next few days, so that I’m ready when the warm weather finally hits.  I’ll post the drawings soon.

Hope you are warm wherever you find yourself reading this!  I’m thinking happy thoughts of blooming daffodils and chirping birds.


P.S.–I had to begin to moderate the comments again today–sorry if that is a pain for anyone.  A bunch of spam was getting through the last few days.  It stinks when the few ruin it for the many…


DIY Puppy Dog Valentine Box

Are you still in a chocolate candy induced coma from Valentine’s Day?  I hope you had an enjoyable holiday!  Pip’s was a little brighter because her grade had a Valentine’s box contest for their party, and she tied for the “Most Creative” with this DIY Puppy Dog Valentine Box.  I got the idea from Pinterest, but I couldn’t find any instructions for the actual construction, so we winged it.  I know that it is too late to use this for this year, but you can always pin it for future use :)

Puppy dog valentine box collage_2

Full disclosure:  This is not hard, but it takes a LONG time to make!!  I think I spent over 3 hours on it, and Pip was helping too!  Here’s how we started out: Read More…

Warning about Swagbucks

A warning to anyone who is considering downloading anything from Swagbucks!!!  A few days ago I decided that I surf the web often, so I should sign up for Swagbucks and earn points for surfing around.  Maybe get an Amazon gift card here and there–I get excited about a $5 gift card and I love Amazon–it all sounded so good!  Creating an account and surfing the web using their search engine would have been fine (from what I read now).  BUT I decided to download their toolbar.  BIG ENORMOUS MISTAKE.  DO. NOT. DO. THIS.  I trusted too easily, since I have heard from relatives and other bloggers that Swagbucks is so great, and I just walked right into a huge problem.

Dowloading the toolbar also wiped out my computer.  At least from what I can tell.  I can’t get on it, it keeps running things to try to fix an error the computer recognizes, but can’t seem to recover from.  It tells me to uninstall whatever I last installed, but I have no idea how to go about that when I can’t even get into the computer.  Luckily we just renewed our McAfee subscription and I backed up my computer in December.  Unluckily I’m going to have to tell my husband about this because it is outside of my DIY realm.  I’m not the only one who has had this problem I have found now that it is too late.

I am thankful that it was not on the computer that we use for any financial accounts since others began to have suspicious things happen when they logged in to their bank’s site.  Always be wary when you are suddenly asked for information you’ve never had to provide in the past.

Hopefully the recovery will go ok, fingers crossed.  So glad I backed it all up not too long ago!  Two things to learn from me:

1) Go back up your computer, right now.

2) Don’t download anything from Swagbucks.

Now I’m off to break the news to the Hubs.  Anyone familiar with how Rachel apologizes to Ross when he discovers she and Joey are dating?  I’ll be using that technique…(I love Friends.  Perhaps too much.)


Remodelaholic organization link up party!

I was pretty excited to find out that I was one of the featured projects in a recent Remodelaholic post!!  They mentioned my under the sink organization I wrote about last year.

Before and After DIY under the sink storage

Man, I still love that before and after.  I know I’ve hit gold when I’m able to keep it looking like this for an entire year, because I’ve made no secret of the fact that neat does not come naturally to me, myself, and I.

Anywhoo, I thought I would mention that if you have an inexpensive organization tip, trick, project for any part of your house, go to Remodelaholic right now and link up!  There are not that many projects on there, and they are going to feature a few that catch their eye later this month.  Getting talked about by Remodelaholic is an awesome opportunity to drive traffic to your own site :)

Can I also admit that I linked up Pip’s closet organizer?  It is inexpensive in the grand scheme of closet organizers, but maybe not what Cassity was thinking when she said it is an inexpensive organization link-up party.  Do you see what I stress about??  Sheesh, it’s a wonder I don’t have high blood pressure.  I attribute dodging that bullet to a steady supply of wine.

Hope you are keeping warm–it is insanely cold here in Ohio right now!



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