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January 17, 2012

First Official Finish in Maryland - Bike Rack

The good news: we made it to Maryland, along with all of our things. Phew! 
The bad news: the sewing machine has yet to make an appearance. 

You can imagine, therefore, that this post has nothing to do with sewing, but, nonetheless, everything to do with a big finish, I promise!

First I will let you in on a little secret: I have an addiction to power tools. One of my most prized possessions is the 9.6V Makita handheld drill, which is older than I am, that my dad gave me when I flew away from the nest (no worries, he has and needs six others. I mean really, who wants to change from drill bit to drill bit mid-project? Not this girl, and not her dad either. That's how you lose bits).

Anyway... A couple of months ago, I drew up these plans for a rack to put our bicycles on. I knew that I wanted our bikes to have a place in our new home, but I could not find anything commercially available that seemed like it would last a while, looked like it would fit in aesthetically, and didn't cost a ridiculous sum of money.
My mom and dad gifted us (err...Sean?) the materials to make the rack as part of Sean's graduation presents. Some 4x4 pine posts, a single 2x4 in pine as well, and birch veneer plywood for the shelves. 

While we were in Minnesota for Christmas, my dad and I worked on making the components for the rack, and I finished the assembly once we got to Maryland. Here are a few in-process in-pajama photos, just for fun :) I love working with my dad in his workshop. So much fun.

bike rack process 5
routering the shelf supports

bike rack process 4
demonstrating the concept to my brother-in-law and Sean

bike rack process 3
laughing about something hilarious I'm sure

bike rack process 2
setting up for routering the second beam

bike rack process 1
almost done!

There were a few bumps. Like when we routered along the wrong line for shelf #2 (from the top). You can see it is a little crooked in the photo above. One of these shelves does not have the same vanishing point as the other ones, for you drawing folks out there :) Also like when we had the wrong blade on the table saw. No, you should not use a plywood blade to cut down a 2x4.

And here is the semi-finished product. Maybe I lied at the beginning of this post. I still need to iron the veneer onto the shelf edges, and it also needs to be stained a dark brown. The problem is I have to stain on the balcony, and I can't stain when the temperature is steadily below 50 degrees. But it works, and we are using it with pride, so it is a finish in my heart :)

bike rack 1
it works!

bike rack 2
it really works! no bikes have fallen over! (it looks crooked, but the bikes just angle down to the left)

bike rack 3
the shelf is straight again!

So that's it! Now you know something new about me: I love power tools. And I love my dad.

Now back to getting rid of the boxes and setting up my sewing space  :)


  1. Check you out with your power tools and your protective eyewear! Nice rack. Ha!

  2. Thats so clever! Loving the power tools in pjs...