Tag: projects

Project: Wooden American Flag

Project: Wooden American Flag

4th of July will be here soon and we decided to make a wooden American flag to help celebrate the holidays.  The process is easy and didn’t require much. We used 1x2x6 poplar from Sutherlands.

The flag is 3 feet wide, so for 13 bars we need 7 pieces of 6′ poplar.  We picked up a few extra pieces to secure the flag together.  This Irwin clamp held everything nice and snug for the next step.

Ideally, we would have put glue between each poplar board to add strength but this is not a project that will be supporting weight.  We just plan to set it outside.  What we did do is glue 2 boards against the back side and then use 1 1/4″ brad nails to secure them into place.

Shop Class Dad gets to use the nail gun.

Just to be sure everything would stay together we put an extra piece of scrap wood in the middle.  It probably was not necessary but this way we get to play with more glue and use the nail gun again.

Now, we flip it over and it’s time to paint!  We found red and white latex paint, but went with blue spray paint due to that being the only blue paint available in-store.

The stars were the difficult part.  It would be great to use a stencil, but they are expensive and in the spirit of improvising we used a plastic star that our 2 year old has in his toy box.  Using that as an outline and filling it in was a little time consuming, but in the end it was worth it.

The wooden American flag, representing the original 13 colonies is all finished.  Now we can go buy a bunch of fireworks and we’re all set for the 4th of July!

Project: DIY charging station

Project: DIY charging station

If your house seems to have as many USB-powered devices as electrical outlets then you know it can get messy at times. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a central location for all of these devices that was free of clutter? Join us today as we build a charging station!

The first thing we need to do is get a USB charger. We picked out this one from RAVpower.

We went to the local home improvement store and decided to use poplar wood but there are of course other options.  You could use oak if you wanted or maybe even some repurposed pallet wood!  The dimensions will depend on the size of your charger.  For our project we went with 1 piece of 1/4″ x 6″ x 2′ and 2 pieces of 1/2″ x 2″ x 2′ poplar.

After cutting the 1/4″ x 6″ to fit our USB charger (we did 9.5″ for 6 ports) we needed to make the tops.

We cut 7 blocks for the top, aligned them and then glued them.  Shop Class Dad used the nail gun to drive the initial brad nails.  This way everyone gets to have fun.  

They are laid out like sideways dominoes!

After setting up the tops it is time to glue them into place and then… NAIL GUN TIME!!!

After everything is glued and nailed, this is what the charging station looks like so far:

Now it’s time to add some color!  We decided on Rustoleum Charcoal Chalked Ultra Matte Paint.

After painting and waiting to dry we are DONE.  For a project that took a 10 year old and 13 year old less than 2 hours to build, we are EXTREMELY happy with the results!  And Mrs. Shopclass will finally have a little less clutter to deal with!

Here is the final product.  A fully functioning, DIY, USB charging station. We have been extremely impressed so far.  The devices we’ve tested all charge rapidly, even when multiple units are plugged in.

This 6 port charging station has room for 2 more devices!

The boys are asking if anyone would pay for these.  We feel that if the process was streamlined and they put even more effort into the next ones then yes, some people would probably pay for these.

So if you are interested, you can buy one of these from us, which will definitely be cheaper than some of the $60 units out there that do the same thing but are made of plastic. Feel free to email joshua@shopclasskids.com if you are interested.


If you want to build one yourself, here is a list of everything we used:

  • (1) piece of 1/4″ x 6″ x 2′ poplar
  • (2) pieces of 1/2″ x 2″ x 2′ poplar
  • wood glue
  • brad nailer
  • 5/8″ brad nails
  • charcoal chalked paint
  • paintbrush
  • 6 port USB charger
  • 6 pack USB cables

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!