Empty Filament Spool & Scrap Wood Wagon

Wagon design render

It is almost consistently warm enough in Chicago to continue with the solar oven trials. Thinking about last year’s trials, I realized that the solar oven peformed best during the first day on the ground in the park. It makes sense to return to the park this year. A means of transporting the oven to the park is needed. Since I had four empty filament spools and remembering Chuck’s Spool racer, my thoughts went toward making a wagon. I have a hand truck that converts to a 4-wheel platform cart, but it’s not something I would want to push to a park. A wagon could be the best transport for the oven, I thought and set about searching for methods of making a wagon. I found a video on the Popular Mechanics YouTube channel that provided the best information for the type of wagon I intended to make.

Continue reading “Empty Filament Spool & Scrap Wood Wagon”

Storage Bin From Scrap Wood & 3D Printed Parts

First bin

I wanted to make one of the closets in my apartment look tidy. Since I had wood left over from old or failed projects, which was contributing to its untidy appearance, I decided to use some pieces to make it look better. A bin for tall objects has been a desire for some time. I attempted to make one a couple of years ago, but it was a failure. I know more now about how to make furniture strong, so I designed 3d printed parts to get the job done.

A couple of the one-inch oak dowels were bent and the screws did not go in all the way. In addition, they were not aligned properly. I was not going to let that stop me from making the bin. I designed parts to hold everything together. Each side has a different width and they stack instead of forming a square corner. The parts were screwed to the dowels except for the bottom four. The unit is lightweight and very sturdy. I am pleased to finally have a bin I enjoy seeing every day.

The bin will live in the closet between the broom and hand truck.
UPDATE February 9, 2022

The 3d printable files for the parts are now on Thingiverse.

DIY Kitchen Cart with Aluminum Legs

A spot for a large garbage can.

When I moved to my current place a couple of years ago, I was unable to find an area to put my garbage can. Sadly, I wrapped the can in plastic and stored it in a closet. I bought a smaller can and endured. It took a while, but I was finally able to design a proper cart to accommodate the can. The top of the can opens without obstruction, is close to the sink, and is not a tripping hazard. All essentials are covered.

The cart measures 36 1/4″ in height. The top shelf is 30 7/8″ x 15 3/4″ x 5/8″. Total cost for me was $99 as I made brackets with my 3d printer using leftover filament. I purchased caster socks from eBay for $14; aluminum legs for $58 and wood board for $23 from Lowe’s; and $4.00 for screws from Home Depot. I had casters from a previous project.


  • 3/4-in x 16-in x 6-ft Square Unfinished Spruce Pine Fir Board
  • 1-in W x 3-ft L Mill Finished Aluminum Square Tube
  • caster socks
  • casters
  • 3d printed parts
  • sandpaper (220 and 600 grit)
  • varnish
  • masking tape
  • pencil
  • #6 1-3/4 in. Phillips Round Head Zinc Plated Wood Screw
  • #6 1/2″ wood screws
  • #6 1″ wood screws


  • hack saw
  • phillips screwdriver
  • drill
  • 5/32″ drill bit
  • hammer
  • wood chisel
Kitchen cart with 3d printed brackets


I was very pleased with how my wood was cut at Lowe’s. The 6 foot length was cut into 2 – 20 1/4″ pieces and 1- 36 1/4″ piece. After the wood is cut, lay it flat and continue to lay it flat until the varnish is applied. I did not sand the wood before putting on the varnish, but I should have. 220 grit can be used at this stage. “Factory-sanded, ready-to-stain or -paint after a light-finish sanding.”

I applied two coats of varnish to the top and one coat to the underside and edges. 220 grit sandpaper was used between top coats. 600 grit sandpaper was used to finish.

I rounded the corners of the top layer by sanding it with a wood block covered with 220 grit sandpaper.

I cut 98mm off one end of each tube with a hacksaw. The tubes that were delivered to me were scratched, etched, and dirty. I cleaned, then sanded them. 320 grit sandpaper seemed to work the best.

I had to trim the caster socks with a wood chisel and coat them with petrolatum jelly and oil (on occasion) to hammer them into the uncut ends of the tubes. It was not until later that I realized I should have tried sanding the inside of the tube to fit them.

The parts are available in my 3D And Dowel piy (print-it-yourself) shop on CGTrader.com

Kitchen cart with 3d printed brackets


Place caster socket into uncut end of aluminum tube.

I used a scrap piece of wood to protect the floor while pounding the socks into the tubes.

  1. Place shelf brackets 3″ from the bottom of the tube and 11 1/2″ from top of tube.
  2. Secure position with masking tape.
  3. Drill tube using 5/32″ drill bit. Drill again on opposite side. Repeat for each bracket.

  1. Insert the cut end of tube into the flange.
  2. Place masking tape on tube to align with edge of flange (on both sides of tube).
  3. Mark position 7mm from top of masking tape in center to align with hole (on both sides of tube).
  4. Drill hole using 5/32″ drill bit.
  5. Put flange cover on tube.
  6. Tape flange cover to tube with masking tape, close to shelf bracket.
  7. Attach tube to flange using 1/2″ m6 screws.
  8. Repeat for each flange.
  1. Position the tubes with attached flanges over the top shelf.
  2. Screw the flanges to the top using 1/2″ M6 screws.

Screw the flange covers onto the flanges.

  1. Add the M7 adapter to the caster screw and insert it into the caster sock.
  2. Turn the entire assembly over.


Kitchen cart with 3d printed brackets

Hamper Stool, A Year Later

It has been over a year since I finished the hamper stool. The photograph above shows its current condition. The front has not changed much since I finished it. Only a couple of the spiral inserts have popped out on occasion. I cannot say the same for the inserts on the sides. I did not want to glue inserts into place in order to change colors whenever I change my shower curtain. I was tempted to glue them after months of trying different tapes to hold them in place. Instead, I came up with the idea of using wire to hold them in place. It is a haphazard solution, but they rarely fall out now.

DSCN2327The inserts were not falling out when I sat down, I could hear them falling when I was in another room. They would fall also, when I moved the stool, but not all the time. As I write this, I realize now what was causing them to fall; vibrations from trains. I live close to freight train tracks and the ground vibrates when trains travel by. I never connected the two events before now.

One other aspect about the stool was troublesome until I figured out a solution. I used plastic bumpers on the dowel tops under the lid. The two in the front were always coming off. I finally cut rings from small round cork pieces and attached them with wood glue. That has been working very well.

Would I make another one?

DSCN2330My answer to that is a resounding yes! I would be working on making one as a sewing stool this very minute if my 3d printer had not lost the ability to make prints wider than 3 inches. I would be finished with at least one cabinet too, if the printer was capable. Instead of trying to stress myself with replacing and configuring parts, I have decided to just get another printer next year. Plus, I would like one with a larger bed in order to make shoe soles.

Would I change anything?

Another resounding yes! I would reduce the number of screws, washers, and bolts by using wire to connect the casings and spiral inserts vertically.  Instead of regular nuts, I would use nylon nuts to prevent nuts from falling loose. I would make the length of the 2″ dowels 16″.

Overall, I love my hamper stool. It has been a useful asset and I still really like the spiral inserts.

Display Table


This is a relatively easy table to make using the 3D printed brackets I designed.
Besides having a place to display crochet pieces, making the table myself allowed me to curve the corners. If you are into Black Hat Feng Shui, then you know that sharp corners create arrow ch’i. Arrow ch’i “causes great upheaveal in the invisible land of ch’i, slinging all sorts of erratic energy out into the room,” according to Karen Rauch Carter, author of Move Your Stuff, Change Your Life.

wross shapeways
Support shapeways

The great thing about this table is that you can design it how you like by keeping principles of wood strength in mind. I wanted a small table and started with 1/4 inch plywood for the top, but found that it sagged at 16 inches in length and 12 inches in width. I switched to 1/2 inch plywood and that proved to be sturdy enough for my purposes. The Sagulator on the WoodBin woodworking website helps with determining size.

The brackets are made for 1 inch dowels, vertically and 1/2 inch dowels, horizontally. I used 1/2 inch wood screws.

Initially, I requested 3D prints of the top brackets in PLA. The dowels required a lot of sanding to fit the PLA prints. I found it best to print the brackets using strong and flexible plastic, which is available through Shapeways. The strong and flexible material brackets fit without having to make any adjustments to the wood. The PLA tended to crack, especially when screwing the nails into the wood. This was not the case at all with the strong and flexible plastic. It worked just as if I had gotten the brackets from a hardware store.


Build the Table

1. Cut wood pieces.


2. Apply iron-on veneer to top using aluminum foil or craft paper as buffer between iron and veneer.



3. Attach display bracket to bottom of table top.DSCN0536


4. Attach legs to brackets with wood screws.DSCN0538


5. Assemble support brackets and 1/2 inch dowels. Attach support assembly to legs.DSCN0540




6. Insert dowels into sleeves on craft piece. Slide craft piece onto table.

(Crochet piece in photograph is based on Granny Variation Afghan pattern by Lion Brand)

7. Place dowels into display bracket supports. Turn table upright. Finished.DSCN0545


Hamper Stool Project Finished

The hamper stool project is finished! It is a piece of furniture that combines 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) filament with wood. It started as a desire to capture the qualities of spiralising filament in a functional piece of furniture using a 8″ x 8″ x 7″ sized print bed. It ended with furniture reminiscent of ocean waves and capable of holding a decent amount of dirty laundry.
The Starfish in the photograph was 3D printed from a file created by CBiker and painted.