Posts by David Schultz

BUILDING A DIY BASKETBALL BACKBOARD

July 25, 2019
David Schultz

Since moving into our house a few years ago, one of the things we wanted to do was replace the old busted up basketball hoop we inherited from the previous owners. We took down the (really heavy) rusty metal backboard and lived with a lonely pole for a while, as seen here. The classic crisp white school yard hoop is the look we like, but it turns out those are expensive, so we kept our eyes open for one on the thrifted market. 

When one became available we pounced and made plans to install it. BUT the new (really heavy) metal backboard unsurprisingly proved difficult to lift up 13 feet in the air for an extended period of time. More importantly, the holes in the backboard for connecting it to the pole weren’t in a great position to make things as sturdy as I would want. So, we shifted to our typical strategy when we can’t seem to find the right product to fit our needs – make it yourself. 

Our design ended up very simple, two pieces of plywood glued and screwed together with a couple support pieces of 2 x 8 for 1) the rim and 2) attaching everything to the pole.

MATERIALS

PROCESS

  1. Cut plywood panels identically to size for the backboard. We made ours 36 inches tall and 44 inches wide. 
  2. Cut (1) 2 x 8 piece so the length is the same as the width of the backboard. Cut an additional 2 x 8 piece 12 inches long. 
  3. Glue, clamp, and screw the plywood panels together using the 1 and 1/4” screws. I put screws about 8 inches apart on the edges and used a grid-ish pattern on the interior. 
  4. Sand the edges of the backboard so both panels are smooth and continuous. Sand faces of backboard. Sand all corners to round them slightly. 
  5. Caulk all seams and screw holes on the backboard. 
  6. Paint backboard and 2 x 8 pieces. I did three coats to maximize moisture protection. 
  7. The next part, mounting, will vary depending on how you’re putting up your backboard, but our existing pole was set up so we were attaching our backboard to a flat rectangular piece of metal (I’ll call this the bracket) with four large holes at the corners. I clamped the long 2 x 8 to the bracket, centering it in both directions. Then, on the side of the 2 x 8 opposite the bracket, I used a spade bit to make recesses where the heads of the bolts could sink under the surface of the 2 x 8. Then I drilled holes through the 2 x 8 and attached it to the bracket using bolts, nuts, and lock washers.
  8. Clamp the backboard to the mounted 2 x 8 at the appropriate height so the rim can eventually be attached at 10 feet. Attach the backboard to the mounted 2 x 8 using construction adhesive and the 2 and 1/2” screws, screwing through the 2 x 8 into the back of the backboard.
  9. Clamp the 12 inch 2 x 8 to the back of the backboard in the appropriate position so you can attach the rim through the backboard and the 12 inch 2 x 8. Attach the 12 inch 2 x 8 to the backboard using construction adhesive and 2 and 1/2” screws, screwing through the 2 x 8 into the back of the backboard.
  10. Attach the rim to the backboard using whatever hardware works for your rim, going through the backboard and the 12 inch 2 x 8. 
  11. Caulk remaining screw holes and seams.

As the primary recreational b-baller in our family, I was concerned with how a diy backboard would hold up and how well the ball would bounce off the wood.

After testing it for some time, I haven’t been able to tell the difference in bounce between our hoop and a nice indoor one. IT’S BEEN REALLY FUN to shoot around and our backyard looks much more normal with something attached to that pole.

My New Cookbook


PRE-ORDER NOW:  AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Since moving into our house a few years ago, one of the things we wanted to do was replace the old busted up basketball hoop we inherited from the previous owners. We took down the (really heavy) rusty metal backboard and lived with a lonely pole for a while, as seen here.

READ MORE

DIY FLOATING SHELVES FOR OPEN KITCHEN SHELVING

April 4, 2019
David Schultz

We had a bare corner in our kitchen that needed something. Rachel says she is not sure if I could functionally handle total open shelving for a kitchen (can you??). “But this nook was the perfect spot to do some to indulge in all the good, pretty parts of open shelving without significant commitment. (Although my friend gave a great tip for making open shelving work here.) As we are finishing our kitchen, I am needing to add a few modern elements to the otherwise very traditional feel.”

So for the shelves we wanted to do a floating shelf, and also a simple, clean lined design.

Making them was very easy! Easier than I expected! I did it in probably about half a day.

MATERIALS

  1. (2) 1/4” x 2’x4’ sanded plywood project panel
  2. (3) 1” x 2”x 8’ select pine board
  3. Stud finder
  4. Table saw 
  5. Miter saw
  6. 2” construction screws
  7. Power drill
  8. Wood glue
  9. Brad nailer
  10. Sand paper
  11. Drill bit extender
  12. Level 
  13. Spackle 
  14. Caulk

TIME ESTIMATE

Construction: 3 hours
Painting and dry time: 5 hours

PROCESS

We used a stud finder to mark the studs on the wall. In the space we were attaching our shelves, there were two studs. (I would say this is the minimum you would want to keep things sturdy.) The construction concept of these shelves is to make a thin box frame with the pine boards then cover it in the plywood project panels. The front part of the box isn’t fully attached until the shelf is already screwed into the wall. This way, you can access the back part of the shelf in order to screw it into the wall by using a drill bit extender and going through the interior of the shelf.

Rachel wanted our shelves to be 1 and 1/2″ thick so I ripped the pine boards with the table saw, accounting for the width of the two pieces of 1/4″ plywood that would be attached to the top and bottom of the pine board frame. Then, using a miter saw we cut pieces of the pine board to length for the front, back, and support pieces of the frame. We screwed these together using 2″ screws, spacing out the three inner support pieces evenly and avoiding spots on the shelf where we would screw into the studs.

After the frames were built, we used a table saw to cut the 1/4″ plywood that would cover the frame. A top, bottom, left, right, and front piece were cut. No piece was needed for the back of the frame since it would be facing the wall. The top, bottom, left, and right plywood pieces were then glued onto the frame, but no glue was brought into contact with the front piece of the frame because it would be removed in order to access the inside of the shelf for fastening to the wall. We then used a brad nailer to nail the plywood onto the frame, again avoiding the front frame piece so it could be removed.

When the glue was dry, we sanded everything so we wouldn’t need to do it once the shelves were on the wall. After sanding, we removed the front piece of the frame and attached the shelves to the wall by screwing into the studs and into the drywall every few inches. The drill bit extender is needed so you can reach the screws through the interior of the shelf. Using a level often during this process kept the shelf in the right position.

Once the shelves were attached to the wall, we replaced the front piece of the frame and glued/brad nailed the final piece of 1/4″ plywood to complete the shelf. We put up two shelves using the same method. To prepare for paint, we spackled and sanded all the nail holes and caulked the seams. Two coats of paint did the trick then we waited a couple days for the paint to cure before putting any objects on the shelves.

COST

Plywood project panels: $24
Pine board: $21
Screws: $9

Total: $54

Rachel here, I feel like I have seen open shelves styled every way on the planet and for the right setting, I like pretty much every look sometimes. Here I love the minimal, and here I love the maximal! My shelves aren’t done at all, but I think I will go more simple and not visually heavy. These are more for looks than utility.

They aren’t very deep, and so I think the collected lots of stuff layered and piled will feel too full for this spot. I was VERY careful for the proportions of the room so they wouldn’t feel too bulky and like they’re hanging out far.

I think I will add a row of decorative bowls across the top shelf, some art, and maybe one or two more little pieces.

My New Cookbook


PRE-ORDER NOW:  AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

We had a bare corner in our kitchen that needed something. Rachel says she is not sure if I could functionally handle total open shelving for a kitchen (can you??). “But this nook was the perfect spot to do some to indulge in all the good, pretty parts of open shelving without significant commitment.

READ MORE

A DIY DINING ROOM TABLE

November 8, 2018
David Schultz

Maybe the BEST part of building your own dining table is that you can make it exactly the perfect size for your room. We wanted something as big as possible so we could seat lots of people, but not too big that it obstructed flow. Not an inch could go to waste in either direction! We had a great experience back when we built an outdoor dining table for our screened porch and from that momentum we were ready to build the table for our dining room.

All the materials were about $250 including paint.

honeycomb rug | natural wood stools | shaker chairs | banquette diy | cordless roman shade

We love our outdoor table, but couldn’t make it again because for a built-in bench banquette you need a pedestal table. Four legs at the corners would obstruct being able to sit down at the bench. We aren’t expert carpenters by any means, so we modified the plans from ana white’s triple pedestal farmhouse table.

That original plan is very farmhouse-y, which is not our vibe in this home. So I did any tweaks I could to downplay that. We made our top one large, smooth piece instead of having planks (which I like better both stylistically and functionally, for wiping up.) We omitted the overhang from the center stretcher (that feels mission-style). Also we needed only two pedestals, not three for our table size.

Rachel says one item that is a little farmhouse is no big deal when it will be in a room filled with lots of other stuff. The other biggest part is that we painted ours crisp white instead of wood stain which I think feels more polished and less rustic. We did three coats of high gloss behr ultra pure white with a brush and foam roller. (Same as what I did for when we built the banquette.)

Because the tabletop will be extremely high traffic and I want it to be very clean-able, we did three coats of latex polyurethane. Before starting, I tested a bit of the polyurethane on the bottom of the tabletop to make sure it wouldn’t turn yellow and it passed the test.

I lightly sanded the surfaces with 120 grit sand paper and cleaned off any dust with a damp cloth. Then we applied the poly using a paint pad, saturating the pad in a paint tray before wiping it on lightly in straight lines. It worked best to start inside the table surface and wipe toward the edge to avoid streaking. If any large quantities of bubbles formed, I would smooth them out with the edge of the paint pad lightly. Most bubbles would resolve themselves as the poly set, so it was fine if there were a few here and there after the application.

After the surfaces were covered, we waited about three hours to apply the next coat. (It was humid outside so dry time was a little longer than normal.) Before putting the next coat on we lightly sanded everything with 120 grit sandpaper again and cleaned the surfaces with a damp cloth. I opted for four coats, sanding between each and let it cure outside for two weeks to make it as strong as possible.

The price break down was about $45 for the tabletop wood, $175 for other lumber and screws, $25 for the poly, and $8 for poly-ing supplies.

It’s a beauty! 83 x 24 inches of family table! As we get more of the basics in the dining room Rachel can start layering in all the dimension soon!

My New Cookbook


PRE-ORDER NOW:  AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE

Maybe the BEST part of building your own dining table is that you can make it exactly the perfect size for your room. We wanted something as big as possible so we could seat lots of people, but not too big that it obstructed flow. Not an inch could go to waste in either direction! 

READ MORE

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