Weekend Projects

This page is sort of a catch-all for the miscellaneous “Weekend Projects” I have done. These projects are smaller in scope than the other DIY Projects on my site and there’s really not enough information to do a feature article for each one.

DIY IKEA Monitor Stand (June 2017)

My desk at work has two 22″ Dell monitors that needed to be elevated to eye level. I purchased an EKBY Jarpen shelf from IKEA and shortened it from 46″ to 40″ using a circular saw. This shelf is 11″ wide (deep) which could accommodate the stands for the monitors. I did not finish the cut edge (left side) as it is not visible to me when seated. The 4.5-inch tall feet allowed enough clearance for the computer to fit neatly underneath the shelf.

Item Name Article # Price
IKEA EKBY Jarpen Shelf, Black-Brown, 46 7/8″ x 11″ 200.943.47 $14.99
IKEA CAPITA Leg, Stainless Steel, 4 1/2″ H (4 pk) 602.635.74 $14.00
1 1/2″ Self-Adhesive Anti-Skid Pads (8 pk) Home Depot $2.48
TOTAL COST $31.47

 

Kitchen Faucet Replacement (October 2016)

Arizona is known for the high mineral content of its drinking water. The kitchen faucet in my home had become so corroded that it was leaking. With no previous plumbing experience, I was able to replace it with an identical $20 Glacier Bay model from Home Depot.

Computer Chair Repair (August 2016)

The plastic arm on my computer chair developed a serious crack after a few years of regular use. I came up with a functional (but not beautiful) solution to brace the damaged arm. I bought a 1 1/4″ wide steel bar from Home Depot along with some with Grade 8 bolts. I used a metal cutting wheel on my Dremel tool to cut the bar into two sections and rounded the corners to match the contours of the chair arm. I used a sanding wheel to create a flat section on the plastic arm, and drilled some new holes through the arm to attach the bolts. Much cheaper than the cost of replacing the whole chair!

Cheap “Smart TV” (June 2016)

I found a SONY 30″ LCD TV by the trash bin that worked fine. I ordered a ROKU Stick and a Monoprice wall mount. With a very small investment, I now have a “Smart” TV that can do YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services. I did not have a stud finder but I was able to use a neodymium magnet from an old hard drive to find the wall studs (marked with blue tape). The black rectangle hanging above the TV is a powered indoor HDTV antenna (yes, I know it looks bad).

Patio Sunshade Screen (June 2016)

In an effort to block the sun and keep my living space a few degrees cooler, I purchased a Coolaroo® brand sun shadescreen. It was too wide for my patio, so I used a Dremel tool to narrow the width. It required completely disassembling the screen, cutting the top and bottom aluminum bars shorter (and the screen itself) and re-assembling. I think it makes a huge difference!

Concert Ticket Collage (November 2015)

This is a 24″ x 18″ poster frame showcasing ticket stubs from concerts I have attended. The background is black construction paper and the tickets are mounted using 3M Photo Splits adhesive mount squares (commonly used in scrapbooks and photo albums). They are behind a thin sheet of plastic (instead of glass like in a nicer quality frame). I am already out of room and need to make a second one.

Samsung Galaxy S3 Glass Replacement (Jan 2015)

I was given a Samsung Galaxy SIII smartphone with a cracked screen. I was able to replace the glass – but not perfectly. I learned that phones are layered like a sandwich with the LCD screen, then the digitizer, then a layer of optically clear glue, and finally the glass on top. I was able to replace the glass but the optically clear glue can only be applied uniformly by the manufacturer. As a result, there was a very small gap between the glass and the screen that would “stick” if pressed too hard. Still, I used this phone as my main phone for about a year.

Magnetic Object Locator (September 2009)

This simple device is built from a section of black PVC pipe with end caps, a length of rope, and a dozen strong magnets epoxied to the pipe in a straight line. It is excellent at picking up iron filings, nails, bottle caps, and other metallic objects when dragged across the ground.

DIY Flight Data Recorder Replica (June 2009)

One day I wanted to build a replica of a flight data recorder like the ones found on commercial airliners. I started with a surplus aircraft radio that was purchased from a local thrift store (though a metal project box works equally well). Once I applied some bright red paint, white reflective tape, and black pre-cut vinyl letters, it started looking pretty darn real. It’s not even close to the correct scale but I am very happy with it.

Frequency Meter Power Cable (April 2009)

A friend came to me with this vintage Systron Donner Model 8220 Frequency Meter that he purchased secondhand. It had an awesome 7-digit Nixie tube display, but we could not find a power cord to fit the original socket. Using my trusty Dremel tool, I enlarged the opening on the back panel and replaced it with a 3-prong socket from an old computer power supply. This way, it could accept a standard IEC cord from any personal computer. The resulting display was worth the effort!

DIY Computer Cathode Lighting (September 2008)

This project was done at a time before LED lighting was as cheap and ubiquitous as it is today. At the time, I was fascinated by the intensity and glow of cold cathode fluorescent lamps (CCFL).

DIY Racing Seat Office Chair (September 2008)

When someone threw away a racing seat at the curb in my neighborhood, I thought about how neat it would be to make it into an executive-style office chair at a fraction of the cost of a real one. I purchased a beat-up office chair for $5 dollars at GoodWill and kept the rolling base. Then I mounted a piece of scrap wood to the base using 3-inch carriage bolts. The seat had four threaded holes which mounted nicely to the wood. It’s not glamorous but as a low budget proof-of-concept, it works.

Custom “Silent PC” Build (August 2007)

This was a writeup of my quest to build a “silent computer” at a time when tablets, smartphones, and other fanless devices were not commonplace. The hardware has been changed so much since then that the article was no longer relevant.

DIY Bookshelf (April 2007)

I am the first to admit that my woodworking skills are very, very poor. I built a deep bookshelf as a gift for a friend out of 1/2″ MDF. I wanted it to be deep enough to hold a 12″x12″ scrapbook album – most of the cheap bookshelves at Target/Wal-Mart/IKEA were not deep enough to accommodate a scrapbook album. I’m still not sure why I went with pastel colors – I would do this project much differently today.

DIY Computer Case Window (June 2005)

I was enamored with the custom PC scene of the early to mid-2000s. I did not have the money to build a custom desktop computer, so I tried to make our beige box Dell computer a little more exciting with the addition of an acrylic side window.

Originally Published: November 6, 2009.
Revised: August 12, 2018.

About the author

Trevor Freeman

Trevor Freeman is a writer, photographer, and maker who loves learning new things. His favorite food is pizza. He received a Bachelor's Degree in Business Management from Grand Canyon University. He lives and works in Phoenix.

You can follow Trevor on Twitter @TrevorFreemanAZ, on Instagram at @arizona.dreamin, and on YouTube: TheRealTrevorland.

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