Friday, June 26, 2015

Under Bed Lego Tray

So, I've been busy trying to get unpacked and set up our new home. One of the projects I really wanted to do was to make a Lego tray, this one is an under bed Lego tray. But it can be used for so many other toys. Because I wanted it to be useable for other toys I did not glue any Lego building plates to the bottom of this. Originally I just wanted to get an aluminum drip pan and put something under it to slide it under the bed. Then there was the problem of sliding stuff across wood floors. How sturdy the tray would be if we just glued felt to the bottom, would it work if it wasn't flat? Stuff like that. My mother in law was here visiting and the more we talked about it the more ideas we had. That tends to happen a lot, we have tons of ideas, and some of them come to fruition. When they do, they are awesome. It also helps that she's really good with stuff like this. I mean, really, I wouldn't even try to attempt something like this without her. Funny thing is, she helped build one  90% of the way and had to go home so I had no choice to finish and do the second one! I couldn't believe I actually built it! I'm so glad it happened that way because now I have a little more confidence, maybe I'll hang some pictures on the wall or something. Who knows.
This really isn't going to be a professional tutorial for this Under Bed Lego Tray, it's just going to be how we did it. Which is basically talking things over, MIL drawing up plans in her head and POOF. She's amazing like that. But really. It was like that. Now before we start I must tell you that I have never really built anything before. I don't even like putting furniture together. I might have built a birdhouse (?) in shop class, in middle school. That's right, I went to school in the dark ages where there was shop class with actual power tools. I don't think that's a thing anymore. Is it? Anyway, my point is that these instructions might make  no sense at all to anyone, we'll see. That's what the pictures are for, not that they are great pictures! Also I don't know what half these screws are called and I just had to text MIL to ask her what  the saw she used to cut the MDF board was, so bear with me. BTW it's called a jig saw.
One more thing, you may be wondering why the aluminum tray? You can certainly make this without the tray. I just wanted something with a lip that can lift off of the wheels if the girls want to play without the frame rolling around on them. The castors we used didn't have brakes. Bigger castors did have brakes but that would have made the frame pretty high off the ground.

Let's get started.

Under Bed Lego Tray

1 aluminum drip pan tray
1 piece of 1/4" 2'x4 MDF
2 pieces of 1.75"x 8 " lattice- we used pine
2 pieces of 1"x2"x8' trim- we used pine
6 castors (of which size I did not write down)
6 "L" brackets
1 package of #18x3/4" wire nails  (1.75 oz)
36 1" phillips head screws
6-  2" flat head phillips screws
Wood glue
Miter box and saw
Jig saw, or something to cut the MDF board
Drill- with all the bits, like a phillips head and a bit to you know drill holes for the screws.
Hammer (make sure you say "Hammer HAMMERR" every time you reach for it, like Thor does also, because that's just how you do it.)

Stain or paint
Gloves (for the staining)
Polycrylic (more on this later)

1. Cut the MDF board to 36 inches on the long side, using the jig saw. Should be 2 'x36". Set that aside. 
(Unless you have a table saw, if you do have a table saw why are you reading this horrible tutorial? Why aren't you out there cutting wood and building really cool things that people with table saws build?)

To build the frame for the MDF board to fit into:
2. Cut two pieces each of lattice and trim to 36". 
This was the most difficult part for me. I had to have the kids hold the box down. Don't worry, it was safe. But if there's an adult around you might want to ask them if you need help.

3. Take one piece of 36" trim and one piece of 36" lattice and glue them together to make a 90 degree angle. A little glue goes a long way. (Ask me how I know.) 

4.  Once this is glued, shout out "HAMMMER!!" and reach for your hammer. Use the wire nails and hammer the lattice piece to the trim piece. 
I hammered about 8 nails spaced out kind of evenly.

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the other 36" pieces of lattice and trim.
(Who's still with me?)

6. Cut three pieces of trim to 22 inches. These pieces will be on the ends of the frame you are making for the board, with one in the middle.

7. Take a lattice and trim piece and screw it onto the end of a 22" piece of trim. Screw all three pieces in at both sides, use the drill. 
You might need to drill a hole before hand. I did.
The lattice on both sides needs to be facing the same way. (Obviously since this is a tray, but hey if you're still reading this, you may be a total noobie like me.)
Your piece should now look like this:

8. Cut two pieces of lattice to complete the frame. Measure each side, and cut the lattice accordingly. It's best if you just measure this instead of me giving you a measurement. Just to be sure. 

9. Glue the lattice to the ends of the frame. Nail with wire nails to secure. (HAMMERRR!)

10. Now screw in the L brackets with the drill. I used two 1" screws on each L bracket. I drilled them in at these corners.

Make sure when you are drilling these in that you have the brackets flush with the corners. You might need someone to hold the brackets while you drill, my ten year old held the brackets for me.

10. Turn the frame over so that the bottom of the frame is facing up. The side where the lattice is longer than the trim is the top, where the MDF board will sit.

11. Secure the castors with the 1" screws as pictured.

This is a finished Lego tray but you get the idea.

12. Turn the frame over and put the MDF board in to make sure it fits. (If you're making this, I really hope it fits for you, both of ours fit, so if yours does not I'm sorry. Lord, please let the boards fit for these people.)

13. If you made it this far you are done. Aside from staining or painting. Just place the MDF into the frame and top with the aluminum tray and WOOOT! UNDER BED LEGO TRAY! 

If your bed is too low for this, I am sorry. It's still cool.

Also: You can glue the MDF board to the frame, and use wire nails to secure. I chose not to do this, if it becomes a problem later I'll glue it.

That's it! What do you think? Will you attempt to make this? Will you not hold me accountable for this really sad tutorial? If you make one let me know, if I can do it, so can you!

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