DIY Rocking Bike

 DIY Rocking Bike

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

Shopping List:

1 – 1×10 @ 8 feet long
1/2″ dowel rod – 7″ long

2 inch screws
1 1/4 inch finish nails
1 1/4 inch pocket hole screws
wood glue
Tools:
measuring tape
square
pencil
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
jigsaw
sander
countersink drill bit

CUT LIST

Cut List:

See PDF cut diagram.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

STEP 1

Charlie's Scooter

The first step is to cut out all of the pattern pieces. The PDF for the pattern pieces is here.   All the pieces should print out in a tiled format (thanks Brooke!). Then use a sharp pen to trace the pieces on to the 1×10 board – the ink won’t bleed through but the pen will create an indent in your wood.

Cut all the pieces out with a jigsaw and sand the edges smooth.  Then paint the pieces – it will be easier to do this now rather than later.

STEP 2

Charlie's Scooter

Now it’s time to start assembling! Fit the frame to the front and glue in place. You can also add discreetly placed countersunk screws – especially if you want the scooter to be able to disassemble.

STEP 3

Charlie's Scooter

Next add the seat.

STEP 4

Charlie's Scooter

And then the wheel wells.

STEP 5

Charlie's Scooter

Now the handle bars. Brooke use a wood dowel drilled through the handle bar holder parts.

STEP 6

Charlie's Scooter

Gotta have a headlight!

STEP 7

Charlie's Scooter

And now the base supports …

STEP 8

Charlie's Scooter

And finally the rockers!

STEP 9

Charlie's Scooter

A HUGE thank you to Brooke of Killer B Designs for providing and sharing this plan with us today. Brooke has a ton more photos anddetails on this project and then when she built more on her blog.Stop over and visit her!

FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS

Preparation Instructions:
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

MATERIALS AND TOOLS

Shopping List:

6 sheets of 3/4″ plywood
11 – 1×2 at 8′
8- 1×3 at 8′
7 – 1×4 at 8′
2- 2 x 2 at 8′
1/8″ plywood (1/4 sheet or 1/2 sheet depending on how you finish the towers)

1 1/4 inch screws
2 inch screws
wood glue
wood filler
120 grit sandpaper
Tools:
measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
drill
circular saw
jigsaw
compound miter saw

CUT LIST

Cut List:

2 – 3/4″ Plywood 56.5″ x 48″ (Slide sides)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 17.25″ x 48″ (Slide back)
2 – 3/4″ Plywood 40″ x 48″ (Stairs side)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 26″ x 48″ (Stairs back)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 2.25″ x 48″ (Front right section)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 47″ x 48″ (Front middle)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 11″ x 60″ (Tower front)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 18″ x 60″ (Tower front)
4 – 3/4″ Plywood 10″ x 60″ (Tower sides)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 15″ x 24.5″ (Top Stair)
2 – 3/4″ Plywood 11.25″ x 24.5″ (Lower Stairs)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 24.5″ x 29.25″ (Top Stair Support)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 24.5″ x 19.25″ (Middle Stair Support)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 24.5″ x 9.25″ (Bottom Stair Support)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 15.75″ x 13″ (Slide platform)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 15.75″ x 57″ (Slide)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 15.75″ x 41.25″ (Slide platform support)
1 – 3/4″ Plywood 15.75″ x 7 5/8″ (Slide bottom support)
2 – 3/4″ Plywood 16.5″ x 10″ (Tower seat and shelf)
4 – 3/4″ Plywood 9.5″ x 10″ (Tower shelves)
4 – 1×2 at 14.25″ (Upper stair support)
8 – 1×2 at 10.5″ (Lower stair supports)
2 – 1×2 at 54″ (Slide supports)
2 – 1×2 at 11.5″ (Slide platform support sides)
2 – 1×2 at 12.25″ (Lower slide platform support)
1 – 1×2 at 15.75″ (Slide platform support rear)
2 – 1×4 at 15 7/8″ (Railing outside stairs)
2 – 1×4 at 25″ (Railing inside stairs)
2 – 1×4 at 47″ (Railing front center)
2 – 1×4 at 2.25″ (Railing front right)
2 – 1×4 at 25″ (Railing inside slide)
2 – 1×4 at 13″ (Railing inside stairs)
2 – 1×4 at 115.75″ (Railing back)
56 (approx) – 1×2 at 11.5 (Railings)
2 – 2×2 at 77.5 (Mattress supports)
16 – 1×3 at 40″ (Mattress supports)
1/8″ Plywood cut per instructions (depends on how you want to finish)

Cutting Instructions:
While I have double checked the accuracy of my figures, I would recommend cutting as you go to verify that your measurements are exact for your project.

GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS

Please read through the entire plan and all comments before beginning this project. It is also advisable to review the Getting Started Section. Take all necessary precautions to build safely and smartly. Work on a clean level surface, free of imperfections or debris. Always use straight boards. Check for square after each step. Always predrill holes before attaching with screws. Use glue with finish nails for a stronger hold. Wipe excess glue off bare wood for stained projects, as dried glue will not take stain. Be safe, have fun, and ask for help if you need it. Good luck!

STEP 1

Castle loft bed

As mentioned above, I recommend cutting as you go. Here is an approximate look at how you can cut the plywood to get the above pieces.

STEP 2

Castle loft bed

I worked in sections. I made the front section first, then the slide sections, then the stairs. Each section will stand up on it’s own (and is very heavy). Then, I put them all together and added the railings and bed slats.

Connect the sides (10” wide) of the tower to the front of the towers (11” & 18”). I used a Kreg jig with 1-1/4” screws to connect them. The sides are connected to the back of the tower fronts, so that the total width of the towers are 11” and 18”.

STEP 3

Castle loft bed

Working on the front center, cut out the door. I made the door 22” wide and 38” high in the middle. Draw with pencil first and then cut out with a jigsaw. Connect the middle to the two towers so that the back of the middle is flush with the back of the two towers.

STEP 4

Castle loft bed

I wanted the larger tower to be a little window seat. To cut the window, I measured up 26” from the bottom. Then, I made each of the windows 4 ½ x 7 ½ with 1 inch in between. I rounded the top windows for looks. Again, I drew on the windows with pencil, used a drill in the corners to get started, and cut out with a jigsaw. You might want to adjust the height according to how tall your child is.

STEP 5

Castle loft bed

Next, put in the window seat and shelves in the towers. The upper shelves work great because it keeps things from falling below and my daughter has built in nightstands where she can put her things when she is in bed. The heights of the shelves can be adjusted so that they are taller or shorter.

STEP 6

Castle loft bed

Add the 2 1/4 “ piece of plywood onto the end. This is to make it long enough to fit the twin mattress. You can forego this and instead make a tower or the center piece wider, but I liked how this made the front and slide connect better.

STEP 7

Castle loft bed

Next, the slide. Probably the hardest part of the entire bed for me. Trying to figure out how to make it so that it wasn’t too fast or too slow. The dimensions I give you are for a fairly fast slide. My 3 year old does great, but it might be too fast for a two year old. If you want it slower, just drop the same distance down, but make the side a little longer to make the slope a little slower.

The dimensions I give you are for a slide that is wide enough for kids and a tight fit for most adults. If you plan on going down the slide a lot yourself, you may want to make the slide wider.

Take the two 56.5” pieces of plywood for the two sides and the piece 17 ¼” for the back. This part gets a little tricky, because you can put the sides and back together now, but it is narrow enough it makes it hard to work inside that area. I would suggest putting some of the supports on first and then putting it all together.

Take the 15 3/4 “ wide by 41 1/2” piece and attach this to a side 12 ¼ “ from the back. This will help support the slide platform.

STEP 8

Castle loft bed

Get your 1×2 boards that are 11 ½”, 12 ¼” and 15 3/4” long. Connect the 15.75” long one to the back of the slide, with 3/4 “ on each side (on the side already attached, it will be right up against the side), with the top of the board being 7 ½” from the top. Then attach each of the 11 ½” to the sides, also 7 ½” from the top, inset from the back by ¾”. The 12 ¼” pieces go along the floor, flush with the back of the sides to give added support between the back and the platform support.

STEP 9

Castle loft bed

Attach the 7 5/8” by 15 ¾” wide piece to one of the sides, flush with the front edge. This will be the bottom support for the slide.

STEP 10

Castle loft bed

Now, draw a line of where the slide will sit. Go from the front of the slide support to the front of the bottom support. Directly under this is where you will put the 1×2 slide supports on each side. The 1×2 does not have to go the entire length – I left an inch or so on each end so that I didn’t have to mess with cutting the ends at the right angle. Attach this to each of the sides.

STEP 11

Castle loft bed

Finally, put all the sides together and attach.

STEP 12

Castle loft bed

This step isn’t essential, but just for looks. I wanted to leave the sides of the slide open as much as possible. On the outer side of the slide, starting at the front edge of the platform I went down 2 ½”. At the bottom of the slide, I went up 13 1/2” and made a mark. I drew a straight line between these two marks and cut with my jigsaw.

On the inside wall of the slide, I measured up the same 13 1/2” at the bottom of the slide. Then, I determined where the edge of the bed would be, 40 ¾” from the back of the side. I drew a line straight down for 23”, then drew a line from this point to the front of the slide and made two straight cuts.

STEP 13

Castle loft bed

Not wanting all that space under the slide to go to waste, I cut out underneath to make two closets. I again just drew on and cut out with the jigsaw.

STEP 14

Castle loft bed

Now time for the platform and slide! Take the piece 15 ¾” by 13” for the platform and attach to the supports.

STEP 15

Castle loft bed

Then comes the slide. This is the one time when using melamine plywood really helped out. It is very slick, even once painted (at least after the one coat I put on). I would recommend using it for this piece. You can always get a piece in the section of the box store that sells closeting products if you want just one board, although you may have to adjust the width of the slide accordingly. This piece is 15 ¾” wide by at least 55 3/8” long. I made mine a little long (57”) because I liked the thought of it hanging off the end a little and wanted to be able to cut some off to make the end of the slide straight up and down.

Another tricky part for me was at the top of the slide. The top of the slide needs to be cut at an angle so that it fits snugly with the platform. I laid the slide on the supports and estimated the angle to cut it at. Then I cut it and laid it on the platform again until I was happy with the fit. Finally, attach the slide to the supports. I just countersinked some screws and screwed the slide directly into the supports underneath.

STEP 16

Castle loft bed

The stairs. Attach the sides to the back, just like the slide sides. It is wide enough that you can put both sides on first if you want, although it is a little tight to work if you do that. Then, attach the 1×2 step supports on both sides, at the top and bottom of each step, as shown in the diagram. Also at this stage attach the larger 29.25”, 19.25”, and 9.25” stair supports in.

STEP 17

Castle loft bed

Attach supports to sides, then attach steps to the top of the supports. At this point if you want to cut off some extra from the outside of the stairs, I recommend measuring up approx. 29” from the bottom of the front of the stairs and measuring 16” from the back of the top. Draw a line between these and cut a straight line. If you want to finish this edge off, I used a 1×2 on it’s side to make a sort of railing.

STEP 18

Castle loft bed

Cut out under the stairs, just like under the slide, to make a couple of closets.

STEP 19

Castle loft bed

Attach all the pieces together. Then, make the railing. Use 1×4’s for the top and bottom of the railings with 1×2’s cut at 11 ½” long for the up and down part of the railings. Space evenly with 3” between slats. Note: Especially on the back, please cut length to exact measurement, as yours may differ slightly!

Stairs outer edge: Cut 1×4’s to 15 7/8”, use 4 slats
Stairs inner edge: 1×4’s to 25”, use 6 slats
Front center: 1×4’s to 47”, use 10 slats
Front right: 1×4 to 2 ¼”, use 1 slat
Slide inner side: 1 x 4 to 25 ½”, use 6 slats
Slide outer side: 1 x 4 to 13 1/16”, use 3 slats
Back: 1 x 4 to 115 ¾”, use 26 slats

I used 1×3 instead of 1×2 at some of the intersections of pieces, just a preference.
Attach all the slats to the bed. Since the railing against the wall supports the mattress, I then used bolts to attach the top railing to studs in the wall. I did this about four times across the bed and it really helped with the support and to keep the railing from being pulled away from the wall.

Also, for the slide inner edge and the stairs inner edge, there wasn’t as much support as I wanted. So, I bought a couple of L brackets (used to put up shelvings and such) and attached one to each set of railings, with the other end of the L bracket being attached to the under bed slats.

STEP 20

Castle loft bed

Cut two 2x2s to 77 ½” long. Attach one to the front of the back railing, flush with the bottom using 2” screws and glue.

STEP 21

Step 21 Diagram:
Castle loft bed
Step 21:

Attach other 2×2 inside of the front of the bed, flush with the bottom of the front railing.

STEP 22

Step 22 Diagram:
Castle loft bed
Step 22:

Mattress support slats. Cut 1x3s to 40” long. I wanted there to be a lot of support since us adults wanted to be able to be up on the bed, so I placed them every 2 1/2” apart. Use approximately 16 slats, depending on your desire of support. Attach to the 2x2s.

STEP 23

Step 23 Diagram:
Castle loft bed
Step 23:

Tower decorations.
Cut 1x4s to the following legths: four at 10 3/4”, one at 12 1/2”, and one at 19 ½”. Attach these to the top, outside of the tower, about half (1 ¾”) sticking up above the tower.

STEP 24

Step 24 Diagram:
Castle loft bed
Step 24:

Cut 1/8” plywood to be 6” wide. Out of this, cut one at 11 1/8, one at 18” and four at approx. 10” (measure to get exactly how deep you want these to be). Then, cut the up and down parts. I found that cutting down 3”, over 2 ½” or 3”, up 3”, over 2 ½” or 3”, etc. was a good pattern, centering these cuts over the piece of plywood. So, on the front, I might go in from the edge 1 ½”, then start the pattern, ending up with 1 ½” left on the other end. Just play with it and draw it on to make sure you like the results. Then either use your jigsaw or just a knife to cut out.

Attach these behind the 1×4’s and they will sit on top of the original tower. Nail to the 1×4’s.

STEP 25

Step 25:

Other finishing touches:

Apply edging to raw edges.

See picture of my finished project. I used more 1/8” plywood to make a point on top of the one tower. I used tape and glue to put it together.

I wanted to do something over the rails in the front. I again used 1/8” plywood, cut it to an overall size of 27” high by 24” wide, then used a jigsaw to shape it the way I wanted. Paint and screw to the rails. Mine goes above the rails by 2 ½”. If you do that, I suggest putting a 1×3 24” wide behind it to keep the top from getting broken (I didn’t do this at first and part of it got broken right away).

I wanted a more finished bottom edge, so I purchased some molding, painted it before installing, then cut using a miter saw and nailed to the bottom of the front of the bed. I really liked the finishing look it gave.

Finally, I purchased wall decals so that it really had that princess touch!

FINISHING INSTRUCTIONS

Preparation Instructions:
Fill all holes with wood filler and let dry. Apply additional coats of wood filler as needed. When wood filler is completely dry, sand the project in the direction of the wood grain with 120 grit sandpaper. Vacuum sanded project to remove sanding residue. Remove all sanding residue on work surfaces as well. Wipe project clean with damp cloth. It is always recommended to apply a test coat on a hidden area or scrap piece to ensure color evenness and adhesion. Use primer or wood conditioner as needed.

DIY Porch Swing Plans

 

Take a look at these porch swing plans using recycled wood pallets.

By Jeff Hoard
July/August 2013

Making a front porch swing from pallets is easy and affordable.
Photo By Nate Skow

Living out where the pavement ends offers the simple pleasures of country life. Unadulterated stargazing, the sound of a rooster’s crow each morning, and weathered farm structures are just a few to mention. Rural folks use the front porch as a place to gather the family and take in their surroundings, and nothing encourages a relaxing get-together more than a classic porch swing.

Most porches have sturdy beams and rafters from which to hang a swing. For those looking to forgo the expense of purchasing a brand-new wooden swing and hiring someone to hang it, there are several economical options that will yield the same laid-back results. Using recycled pallets and my simple porch swing plans is one way to make your front-porch-swingin’ dreams a reality.

Porch swing plans

Living on an “off-grid” ranch, we save just about everything, so I built our swing for zero dollars. But even if a person can find a pallet, the cost of the hardware needed would be minimal. The size we built (4 feet long) required only one large pallet, and because of the ranch setting, we occasionally place orders that require a pallet for delivery, which we save. I picked one out that was in decent shape and dismantled it.

Sometimes pulling nails can be tough, so to make it easier, soak the pallet with a hose or work on it a couple days after a rainstorm. You just need to separate the 2-by-4s from the 1-inch-by-6-inch slats to make the simple swing shown in the Image Gallery. One large pallet was all the wood I needed to build ours. Basic tools required to construct the swing include a hammer and nail bar to dismantle the pallet. If the slat ends are split or the nails are just too hard to pull, use a saw to cut 1 1/2 inches off each end and shorten the swing’s width accordingly. On ours I was able to keep the full 4-foot width of the pallet.

After the pieces are cut to size (see Image Gallery), it’s time to drill the holes. Start with the 2-by-4 pieces. I used 5/16-inch all-thread that I found in my scrap pile to fasten the support pieces together. If you use bolts, choose carriage bolts the lengths shown in the Image Gallery. The hardware listed is just what I used and will hold the weight of two average-sized adults. Use your best judgment, but do not use smaller diameter hardware than that listed. Attach the shorter 2-by-4s to the larger ones as shown to create the supports. “Snug up” the nuts, but not too tight. Now it’s time to smooth up the1-inch-by-6-inch slats with a plane or sandpaper.

Arrange the outer 2-by-4 supports upright on a smooth, flat surface and cross-tape to make sure they are square. Attach the seat’s front slat flush with the edges and overhanging one inch past the ends of the 2-by-4s using 1 1/4-inch screws (predrill and countersink the holes to avoid splitting) and a generous bead of construction adhesive. Find the center point in the slat and position the center seat support beneath it, square it to the end supports, and screw and glue the slat to it. Make sure the whole project remains square as you glue and screw additional slats to the seat and back supports.

Note that the back slats will overlap their support ends by about 1 1/2 inches. I created a space between each slat with a nail. When you get close to the bolted joint, lift the back up to the approximate finished angle and snug up the bolts to hold them in place.

If needed, rip the last two slats to the proper width and install them. Now cap the end of the seat and the top of the seat back with the two remaining slats. I took a jigsaw and made ours curvy to class it up a little, but it’s not necessary.

Next install the arm rests. Remove two 3 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch pieces from the ends of one back slat at a height that makes sense for the 2-by-4 armrests. Install the armrests using bolts. Now it is ready to be painted. Being built from a pallet, it obviously has some rough areas. Two good, thick coats of paint covered a lot of the rough stuff. Remember, this is an old-fashioned swing here, not a piano!

I used 3/16-inch galvanized chain for hanging. I had only a limited amount of chain leftover from another project, so I used 5-foot-long pieces of pipe from my scrap pile on the sides, but it can all be done with chain. The length of the longer main chains will be determined by the height of your hanging point, but the short chains that attach from the main chain to the swing’s back should be 30 inches long, and I attached these chains to the main chain with a 5/16-inch bolt 48 inches up from the top of the seat. As you can see by this design, the back-to-seat angle can be adjusted. To attach the main chain to the seat bottom, first fashion a set of brackets using heavy-gauge flashing. Cut a strip of flashing, hammer it around the 2-by-4 so it will cradle the weight, drill a hole for attaching the chain, and repeat for the other side.

Now the swing needs to be hung at the desired height, keeping in mind the height of the cushion. With the swing hanging, push the back out to take the slack out of the smaller top chain and tighten the three bolts connecting the back to the seat. Make sure the arm rests are parallel with the seat, line up the chain, and drill a hole through a link and the arm rest; bolt those. Choose a sturdy beam or rafter to hang your swing. We circled pieces of chain around our beam. I would use parachute clips instead of s-hooks to secure the chain as they are safer. Just make sure you have a good solid mount so you can swing away your troubles like our grandparents used to do!