Saturday, February 21, 2015

What I've been up to

It's been a while since I last posted and I think I have to contribute that to some small computer issues but mostly playing way too much Minecraft. I can't help it, it's like having an unlimited supply of Legos and they're always sorted. In the real world though, I have completed a few small projects and I'm in the middle of a build for my little sister's bathroom. It's going to be a storage like cabinet with shelves and a mirror on the door. I'm also helping my older sister get her house ready to sell so that's taken up some of my time as well. Right now, though, I'll just share the two little projects.

The first one didn't work out as well as I hoped and I really just slapped this thing together. My son has little tubs for his Legos so I built a small holder to slide the tubs into and more importantly I wanted him to have a surface to play his Legos on because he and his cousins end up bringing them into the living room and using the coffee table. I'd much rather keep the Legos contained to his room so a surface in there really helps, plus I can always add on to it to create more storage and play surface. This size storage doesn't even come close to being able to hold all his Legos, because he's inherited my old ones as well as his own. You can kind of see the bins to the left that we already have a ton of Legos in and there's still a storage sized tub half filled with the rest. It doesn't really hold the tubs too well and I got some measurements wrong so I ended up having to add some height to one side of the slides to keep the tubs level. The big tubs on the right barely hang on to the slides and can fall down too easily, but in all honesty I probably won't fix that. I also don't know if I'll paint it or not but maybe someday. 

Next, I got really tired of all the mail clutter on our counter, obviously my old system wasn't working, so I used some pallet wood to put together a new sorting area.  I used the same copy the text from the computer screen and use carbon paper to transfer it onto the project technique (I need a shorter phrase for that so for now on we'll just call it the transfer method). I wanted to stain it darker to match the cabinets a little, but I got a little crazy with the wood glue and it doesn't allow stain, so I was afraid I'd end up with blotches of unstained area that would look bad. I left it entirely unfinished which my husband likes, but I'm still not sure. The back section holds coupons, the change jar, and my Kellogs rewards points to add to my account later. The first picture is what it really looks like (before I turned on the light) and the second is the amount of paper I'd like to see in it at the most, but life right?

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Skylalnders Trap Team Box

My son has the Skylanders Trap Team game as well as the previous Skylanders game. He got these for the last two Christmases. He already has a place for all the characters but not the new traps. In case you aren't familiar with the game, there is an external piece called a portal that you plug into the xbox and then you can place little characters on the portal and they show up in the game. The new trap team version also has a little spot to place traptanium crystal traps that you use once you've defeated a bad guy. You use a trap with the same element that of the bad guy and you can trap him in the crystal and play him as a good guy. It's all very cool but my son didn't have a place to store the traps and they floated around soon to get lost.  The original trailer for the game showed a box that the traps were kept in, so I decided to copy that box to hold my son's traps. I started by cutting all the pieces I needed. This shows them dry fit together as well.

Then I decided I had to get some LED's for the bottom so the traps would glow in the box so I ordered this kit. It cost about fifteen bucks.

I painted the area that would hold the LED's white to help reflect the light, being careful to keep the areas to glue free of paint. Then I installed the LED's. I hot glued the white controller inside but the LED's have adhesive on the back so I pulled the tape off and stuck them down. These LED's can be cut in specific areas along the strip so I had leftovers to use on another project. I also cut a hole in the back of the box for the power cord to come out and a hole in the front for the infrared sensor needed for the remote control.

Then I glued the box all together and let it dry.  After it had dried I used a handsaw to cut the top off of the box and added hinges. I neglected to measure the tops of the traps so two of the traps are a little too tall and prevent the box from closing all the way but no biggie.

Then it was time to make sure the lights still worked after all the sawing and sanding.

Success! Now we have to see those traps inside.

 And with the lights on.

Time for paint. I painted the whole box brown and the inside where the traps sit blue just like the box in the game's trailer. Then my son asked for the logo on the top of the box. I believe in the trailer there is some sort of map on the top and I knew I wanted to put something on the top. I tried to find a sticker with just the logo, even if it was a little small but I couldn't find a single one on the whole internet. We still have a broken printer and no intention of buying another one, so I copied it off the computer screen again. Here's the progression of the logo being painted and then all the traps inside. 

The LED's can change to any color and can flash or fade. Our favorite is fading from one color to another. It still needs a clear coat to protect the paint job and a chain to keep the top from flopping back too far, but I'm very happy with this project. I think it turned out pretty cool.