Saturday 25 August 2018

Standing Desk

I was asked by a family member if I could build them a standing desk.

The problem was, being family I couldn't really say no, but they included these specifications:
  • "Nothing too fancy"
  • "Just cheap timber will do, nothing too expensive"
  • "...but 'good' wood - not old pallets or anything like that"
They thought they were being helpful by making an easier job of it, but truth be told, they were making it boring. Might as well nail a bit of plywood to some 2x2 legs and call it a day.

So to make it more interesting, I set myself a challenge - to build it with no screws/nails/fasteners, and no glues. All pure wood joinery.

The desk is for a laptop user, they also use external multimedia speakers and have a large, old-fashioned laser printer.

The Video
While doing the write up of this project, it was getting difficult to coherently describe how it was all put together without writing a huge wall of text.

I do a lot of sketching of designs before I build them, and it occurred to me that I could make this more of a feature, so I put them all together here:

I quite like the general style of the videos and will probably start documenting future projects this way as well - although I'm sure over time the process and output will improve.

Wednesday 8 August 2018

Drinko Plinko

This is far from an original project - Turns out "Plinko" was popularised by The Price is Right, but I only ever knew it from the drinking related version...

The finished project
A post shared by Anthony (@darkmidnight_diy) on

The premise is simple. There's a bottle opener at the top, a field of pins in the middle, and a number of boxes at the bottom. Bottle gets opened, bottle top falls into the field, bounces around the pins, and goes into one of the boxes at the bottom - these usually come with forfeits/suggestions like "Down it", "Take a shot" etc.

The build

The grid was based off a template from a half inch isometric dots.

Use a bottle cap to measure which points should be used and mark them.
Spray glue the template(s) down to the backing board - don't forget to allow space at the top for the bottle opener itself.

Simply place a nail at each point marked on the template, paying attention to keep the nail heights constant.

Once that's done, peel away the template and remove the nails.
Position the backing image as desired, and then replace the nails - you should be able to do this by feeling for the holes under the background image.

The edges are simply mitred and attached to the backing board with glue and brad nails. They had a rebate cut into them to hold the plastic/glass front.

The wood I used was chipboard from some old drawers, so the rebate was already there. I intended to sand down the wood, but in combination with the grey/blue paint I used, it gave a neat faux-concrete look which fit well with the Fallout/post-apocalyptic theme, so I decided to leave it.

The five 'buckets' at the bottom were just small scraps, painted and also attached to the backing with glues and brad nails.
The front is a bit of clear plastic I salvaged from a broken poster frame and cut to size.

Screw the bottle opener into place and all that's left is to decorate.

For the forfeit stickers I found some character images of Fallout characters online, and used the Monofonto font, which is similar to the font used in Fallout, and created the forfeits.
  • Brotherhood of Steel - Cheers! - no forfeit
  • Super Mutant - Take a drink
  • "Glowing One" Ghoul - Take a drink
  • Mirelurk - Down it
  • Deathclaw - Take a shot
These were printed onto clear adhesive vinyl, cut out and stuck to the backing board. In hindsight they could've done with a lighter background to help them stand out (when working with transparencies, it's easy to forget that the white background won't necessarily be there in the end), but live and learn.