Month: May 2017

Free online woodworking class!

Free online woodworking class!

We at Shop Class Kids are big fans of  There are so many cool DIY projects there and they also offer free classes!

Author mikeasaurus has a 9 lesson course on basic woodworking.  Here is a list of the lessons:

  • Lesson 1: Tools + Supplies

  • Lesson 2: Making Perfectly Straight Cuts

  • Lesson 3: All About Glue

  • Lesson 4: Drilling Perfect Holes

  • Lesson 5: Sanding

  • Lesson 6: Wood Shaping

  • Lesson 7: Hand Router

  • Lesson 8: Bevels and Mitres

  • Lesson 9: Color + Finishes

There is some really good information in there, and it’s all free!  CLICK HERE to see the course.

Project: Hang a nerf gun wall

Project: Hang a nerf gun wall

If your household has accumulated too many nerf guns then you will probably want some sort of storage.  Join us as we hang a pegboard to be used for nerf guns.

Material list:

Tool list:

  • drill/driver
  • level
  • (optional) screwdriver

We picked up a 4′ by 4′ square pegboard (similar to this one from Lowes).  We like the pegboard with 1/4″ holes but you can also find some in 1/8″ (get the 1/8″ hooks if you do).  If you need to cut the pegboard, you can do it with a circular saw but most home improvement centers will do courtesy cuts for free.  We decided to use the whole board but if space is limited then just cut it to size.

For hanging it on the wall many people use furring strips, but that can take up more holes than necessary.  Amazon has a pegboard spacer kit that works perfectly.  Drill 4 holes in the drywall, insert the anchors, then set your spacer between the pegboard and anchor and screw it in.

You want to use your level to make sure it’s centered.  This one is just a little off.

Close enough for government work.


No nerf gun wall would be complete without at least one sticker!

The force is strong with this pegboard.

Hang the pegboard hooks in whatever manner works for you.  Some of the nerf guns can hang on just one hook but the bulkier items may require more than one hook.

The board is not crooked. The camera man did a bad job.

Now the nerf gun wall is finished!  Make sure you keep your nerf guns put away or your baby brother may get ahold of one:

Working with wood & tools

Working with wood & tools

We’ve stumbled upon the 4-H Wood Science series and wow, what a resource for parents and children alike!  Regardless of your age, if you are new to woodworking, we feel you will find this an excellent resource.  There are instructions and pictures of how to measure and mark, saw boards, drive and pull nails, sand wood, build things and use glue and finishes.

There is too much to list everything here, but for example we learn about using coping saws:

The publication mentions the various ways to use a coping saw.

Elsewhere we learn to sand with the grain.

Sanding with the grain produces a flat surface.

Also we learn about driving and pulling nails.

Nails are ordered by “penny” size.

There are also beginner projects listed in the book.  Creating a sandpaper block, a letter holder, stilts(!) and a rabbit puzzle, among other things.  We at Shop Class Kids don’t care about your age, if you are a beginning woodworker, this free publication is an excellent place to start!


What exactly is an impact driver, anyway?

What exactly is an impact driver, anyway?

If you currently have a drill/driver then you know you can use it for not just drilling holes but also for driving screws.  But how many times have you stripped out the head of a screw?  Have you ever wished you could drive the screw in faster and possibly not even need to drill a pilot hole?  With an impact driver, life becomes much easier.

What is an impact driver and why do I need one?  The short answer is the impact driver was engineered for one purpose: to drive screws.  You don’t have to push as hard when driving a screw.  When the impact driver feels resistance it starts to bang on the driver which generates more torque than you’d get with a regular drill/driver.  And it is far less likely that you will strip out the heads of screws.  On the contrary, if you find a screw that is hard to get out, definitely reach for the impact driver first.

A couple videos I’d recommend on the basics of impact drivers are these from See Jane Drill and Woodworkers Guild of America.

Impact drivers do require impact rated bits, as they are more durable than the non-impact rated ones.  A good general purpose kit that I like is this one from DeWalt.  The majority of the time you will probably use a #2 phillips bit.  Bosch has one that is thought of very highly. Link below.

If you are just driving a few screws into drywall is it necessary to get an impact driver?  No.  But if you are using lots of screws on a project (like building a deck) or have long lag bolts to deal with (building a tree house, for instance) then I would highly recommend an impact driver.  Your arm will thank you.


SHOP HACK – DIY trash can

SHOP HACK – DIY trash can

The other day I was complaining that I need another trash can in the garage/workshop.  Ideally, it would be small and fit next to the workbench we built a few months back.  I was about to pick up this trash can from Amazon for $9.99 before I decided to look around the shop and see what was available.

That’s when I saw the empty box for the potty chair we have been using for our 2 year old:

The original contents of the box will be holding waste. Soon the box itself will also hold waste!

All I did was fold the top flaps down and put a trashbag in it!  It took less than 60 seconds and I saved myself 10 bucks!  I would assume this could be done with any cardboard box but of course you’d want something reasonably sturdy and a good size.

The finished product.

So what do you do if you don’t happen to have a potty chair box laying around?  You could always grab a 5 gallon bucket and put a trashbag in it for the same results!  Hopefully this helps someone.  If you have any other ideas, let us know!

from bucket to trashcan in no time!