I love projects. My wife loves blogs. Hence, she made a blog for me to document my successes (and failures). It's more for us than anyone else, but if we can help spark a few "Hey, we could do that..." thoughts for anyone else out there, then that's great.

I like to make things out of what other people would consider "junk". I inherited the trait from my dad and grandpa, from the years I spent helping them out on the family wheat farm. When the equipment breaks down mid-harvest and the parts store is closed, you make it work with what's in the scrap pile.

Part of the fun is seeng what can be made for free or at a lower cost (which doesn't hurt when money is tight). The rest is in working through the project and, of course, sitting back and admiring the finished product. I try not to come off as a hoarder, but I like to keep things that I would consider eventually useful. I rarely turn down anything free (so if you're even thinking about getting rid of that metal bedframe, you be sure to let me know).

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sandbox Excavator

  • Wood scraps (from free Craigslist couches I disassembled)
  • Bolts and screws (leftover parts from the kids' swing set)
  • Swivel chair base (broken chair from the office I had been asked to throw away)
  • Cotton batting (from the couches above)
  • Faux leather (leftover from headboard project - post to follow)
  • Temporary bucket (V8 Splash bottle)
Time: About 3 hours

Cost: $0

Okay, my first blog post. I will say that posting today's project first goes against everything I stand for (it's not chronological), but it's the one that gave Patrice the idea for this blog, so I guess it's okay. After this though, I'm sticking to the order in which the projects were completed.

My son, Toren, is obsessed with excavators, tractors, backhoes, dump trucks, etc. He has some sort of radar that can detect any large machinery within a block's radius. One of his favorite things is when we park near a construction site so he can watch them all working. So I thought I would be the coolest dad ever if I built him an excavator for a sand box outside (play ground post to follow) like one I saw at a playground a couple years ago. I found some pictures online to use as a reference and let the idea simmer for a few days while I prepared my mental list of needed materials. I was originally going to build it out of metal (like the one at the park), but I think this "prototype" will do just fine once I get a better bucket figured out. I plan to bury the swivel chair legs in the ground so that when the kids are sitting on it they can touch the ground. The great thing is that the lever that makes the chair go up and down still works, so it will be adjustable for kids of different ages (or in other words, I can use it, too).

First Blog Post:

  • Computer with access to internet
  • A loving wife willing to help (or force) me to start this blog
Time: About 1.5 Hours (This has been excruciating for Patrice, who normally gets a post done in about 5 minutes flat)

Cost: About 1.5 Hours that could have been spent sleeping


  1. Hahaha, you're hilarious. I love it. Keep them coming (in chronological order of course.) :)

  2. Awesome! Do you mind if I put a link to your project from my craft blog?

  3. Thanks! Marilyn, that would be great.

  4. I love this project!! Perfect for ANY sandbox loving boy or girl... keep the projects comin'!