Best Of YouTube

Jimmy Diresta starts off this week’s collection with a demonstration of a cool new CNC tool. It’s a standard router on a small handheld platform. You move it in the general direction that it needs to go and then it uses a camera to know where it is and make small adjustments to perfectly cut the design you loaded into it. This device has been in the works for quite a while and it looks like they are making a press push this week so there are lots of other videos available from other makers if you want more info.

The crazy Colin Furze is at it again. He built an ENORMOUS 360 degree swing in his back yard. The axle is the same height as his gutters. I hope his life insurance company doesn’t watch this. If you like this video, check out the two videos right before it on his channel where he shows you how he designed and made it.

And finally we’ll end with some mind bending physics talk. How can time be faster and slower at the same time depending on your observation point?

Tree Removal

We had two small cherry trees along our very short driveway. The blossoms looked beautiful in the spring but the trees were ugly the rest of the year. They were pruned very oddly and were starting to die off. The one closer to the house had a crazy root structure with a number of very large roots partially above the surface. It was time for them to go before they died more and started dropping branches.

Logan was kind enough to help me out with the whole process. We made quick work of them with a chainsaw and manual branch cutters. As we cut them up, I was amazed at how many of the branches were totally dead. Taking it down was a good decision. We each took a load of the branches to Pacific Topsoil and we were done with that part.

Then there were the stumps. Oh yeah. When I was planning this project, I figured we would just dig them out and maybe use the truck to help pull them out. A little digging revealed that would be a huge project and i was also nervous about the water, gas, communication and irrigation lines that run up that strip of property. Brute force didn’t seem like a good approach so we rented a stump grinder instead.

The first stump was very quick but the second one took us about two and a half hours because of the big network of large roots near the surface. We made a mountain of wood chips but we got it all done. Now I just have to feed those chips into my yard waste bin over the next week or two if I can’t find a use for them.

This fall we will be planting at least one new tree in that spot and then next spring I think we’ll make some planter boxes to start a small garden. It will be tiny compared to our neighbors beautiful garden, but it will still be delicious.

Logan, thanks for helping so much with this project!


Truxedo Bed Cover

You may have heard that we get a little bit of wet weather around here in the fall, spring and summer. That means that there will be a lot of tarps in my future to cover up loads in the bed when we are taking trips or even just transporting stuff around town. I wouldn’t mind having a cap for the back of the truck, but I have no good place to store it, so I started looking at rollable covers. Jay has a Truxedo model and they had good reviews so I went for it. The specific model I got was the Truxedo Lo Pro QT.

Installation took about 30-45 minutes as I figured it out and adjusted it, but now I could probably do it in 20 minutes by myself or even less if I had another pair of hands. Two rails are clamped onto the top of the bed sides and then the roll clamps to one end of the rails. You can store it rolled up or quickly unroll it and get it locked in place. There’s a tension adjustment so it stays tight and they say it will hold 300 pounds on top of the cover (so you don’t have to worry about snow load, etc.)

I would have preferred one of fancier models that rolls down into the bed, but those were about four times the cost. This was a good deal and I think it will work really well.

truxedo2 truxedo1

Tiny Truck Tweaks

I liked the way the Plasti Dip looked on the back of my truck so I decided to do it on the F150 logos on the sides too. It was a quick job and I actually was able to do it in the garage. My truck barely fits in with the mirrors folded and there’s a small chance that if I was creative I could even close the garage door.


The other small tweak I made was to my antenna. It stuck up probably 8-10 inches above the top of the truck. I like the idea of it hitting a garage roof to give me warning, but that’s way too much warning. Since I regularly park in garages at work, it was pretty annoying. The solution? Cut it shorter. There’s really nothing too fancy about it. Antennas just unscrew and then you can cut them with a hacksaw. I tried to use some JB Weld to put the ball back on top of the antenna, but I couldn’t get it to stick on solidly so I just left it off. Who cares? I suppose I damaged my radio reception a little, but I almost never use the radio and it worked fine even with the antenna completely unscrewed.


Garage Fridge Shelves

Chris and Nikki replaced the fridge in their house when they moved in so they were looking to get rid of the one that was in the house. (They already had another fridge in their garage.) This was right after I had gotten the truck so picking up their fridge seemed like a good excuse to take a drive.

It has been sitting in our garage unplugged since then, but now that I’ve got the garage more arranged, it was time to find a home for the fridge. I tore down the shelves and coat rack that I had built near the door. That was one of the first projects I built after moving into this house. It was done with a miter saw, circular saw and a drill. You don’t need much to get started building stuff!

The fridge went up against that wall and I decided to build two vertical shelves to go on each side. They’re pretty simple construction. I used 3/4″ plywood and used my router with a straight edge and a 3/4″ bit to cut dadoes to hold the shelves. I cut the dadoes before cutting the board into two pieces for each side of hte shelves. That guaranteed that the shelves would be perfectly flat. After that I glued everything together and nailed it in place. They aren’t fancy but they should work well. The next step will be building cabinets to go along the wall above the fridge.