DIY Handplane Wall Racks

So, FINALLY the water’s and weather’s warming up around here in Central Florida. And all this winter, my poor little handplane I made last year sits outside, dwarfed by my longboards and hoping it doesn’t get whacked by an errant tail.
It’s only recently- now that the warmer weather made me think about handplaning again- I thought that the handplane deserves a better storage place. It is quite a neat little creation, whether or not you made your own or bought yours. I thought a little set of racks would be in order.
To make the racks, I bought a piece of craft basswood at the hardware store, 1/4″ thick, by 3″ wide, by 24″ long, for about 4 bucks.
I cut out a template from a cereal box (yes, I’m a Cheerios junkie) for the hooks. I provided the template I made as as PDF here:


I used this to trace out the hooks onto the basswood:
Then, I used my scroll saw to cut out the hooks carefully, and sanded the edges smooth.
To make the bases to attach the hooks to, that then mount to the wall, I used the remaining basswood to cut two 3″ by 2.75″ squares.
You can paint these pieces, or stain them- I used some water based stain I had leftover that goes on a bit like paint. It took a couple of coats to get the look even.

I then glued the angled top part of the hook to each base about 1/4″ down from the top edge using a good layer (but not goopy) of E6000 glue, and made sure they stayed propped up while they dried.
After that, I sprayed both pieces with clear polyurethane sealant.
To hang them on the wall, the best thing to use is a sawtooth hanger with prongs you can press into the soft wood with a small mallet on the back of the bases. Line them up carefully on the wall, not too far apart from each other, and make sure they’re even:
Here’s my handplane hung on the wall upright and on it’s side on my “Surfing” wall:
Looking forward to some sand burns soon- how does it find it’s way in THERE???

Surfing Secret Spot Printable

I totally understand how people are upset about how the internet has crowded certain spots for surfing. I can see the good and bad sides- it certainly saves gas and time if you can find out in advance if the waves will be worth the drive (especially if you’re a working stiff), but it stinks if you’re used to the serenity of the ocean and the secret joy of scoring a few great waves to yourself. Really, though, there are few true “secret spots” left- but there is always secret timing still!
In homage to my favorite home break and surrounding breaks, I made a fun little printable to make a little poster to frame and hang, or you can blow it up and make a larger poster, if you want. I think it makes a neat little 8 1/2″ by 11″ poster:

I printed this out on white cardstock and used color since the printable does contain several shades of blue. You can print it out in black on a colored piece of cardstock too, which would look pretty cool.

I went to Goodwill and picked up an 8 1/2″ by 11″ document frame to put it in:

Here it is on the wall:

Shhhh! Keep your mouth shut!

Surfboard Fin Tower Rack

So I thought a neat project to undertake would be this Futures “Test Ride Center” Fin Tree. It’s normally found in surf shops as a display stand for fin samples. Someone on the local surf forum was interested in buying one of these display racks from a surf shop for his home, for storage and for surf decor. I saw it as a challenge. Eddie Murphy’s comedy routine about his Mom making him a “home” Big Mac ran through my head- “I’ll make you a burger BETTER than McDonald’s!”

The Futures Fin Tree (

So, to start off, I knew I wanted to make this from mostly wood since that’s what I had the tools to work with, and I wanted it to spin like the floor display. The rack needed to have at least three shelves and needed to be tall and narrow like the one in the picture. I also imagined holes drilled around the edge of each shelf to accomodate hooks to hang fins off of. It also needed to have enough room to hold large fins like longboard fins, not just thruster sets.
Here’s an idea of what I had in mind:

I started off buying a precut 11 3/4″ diameter by 3/4″ thick plywood disc at the hardware store. This would serve as my foundation (base). I wanted the shelves to be substantial, but not too thick (because of the hooks), so I traced circles with the base onto 1/2″ thick plywood and cut them out with a jigsaw, making 3 of these.

I needed a lazy susan to turn the stand on, and I totally lucked out when I found a plastic black electrical turntable at Goodwill! These things can hold up to 220 pounds and normally run $15.00, so this was a real find. Honestly, Goodwill is a great place to find lazy susan parts since a lot of people chuck kitchen accessories all the time. An electrical stand is an entirely different matter, though.
Here’s the turntable, shelves, and base:

Now, I needed a riser to mount these shelves on, so I went with an 1 1/4″ diameter pine dowel, like the type used for curtain rods in a closet. I cut it at Home Depot to approximately 5 feet long with their rough hand saw. A drawback with a dowel like this is that it can be somewhat uneven, so mounting shelves could be tricky since the dowel isn’t always round and perfect in diameter.
Next, I needed to drill holes through each of the shelves and base centers’ to accomodate the dowel. I used a 1 3/8″ Forstner drill bit to make a clean hole in each center, just slightly bigger than the dowel, so it can slip over. I LOVE these type of bits for this, they make a nice clean, even edge inside:

To make places to hang hooks off of, I marked off eight holes around the edge of each shelf, evenly spaced apart, about a 1/2″ from the edge. I switched to a 1/4″ bit to make these holes. I then sanded inside each hole with a Dremel sander cone bit to clear the debris out.

Now, here’s the decision point: I could make the shelves static or movable. If I made them static, I could probably epoxy glue them in place and call it good. Problem is, I might need to break it down, and also, it might be nice to adjust the width between the shelves for different sized fins.

To make the shelves removable and adjustable, I ordered rail flanges with a collar that goes all the way around with a hole on the side for a set screw to keep the shelf mounted in one place. The problem with these machined flanges turned out to be that they were just too heavy under their own weight to hold up straight! So, this was a set back. Originally, I had wanted little tension collars around the dowel under each shelf, but it’s just something that couldn’t be bought for a project this size, even after scouring the internet. I turned to my husband, another engineer, for help in designing and fabricating some collars for this project. This is what we came up with:

They’re made from poplar, which cut nicely. The donuts were cut on a specially made jig on a drill press (email if you’ve like more details), were cut in half, and re-screw back together again to fit around the dowel to make a nice tight fit against the dowel, then the shelf fits on top, then is screwed to the collar to secure it. They can be placed anywhere along the dowel shaft, so the shelves can be moved at any distance apart from each other. A fourth collar was placed at the base of the dowel against the base disk, and also screwed into that plate. I epoxyed the base disk onto the turntable.

The next step was to spray paint the dowel and shelves. I used a paint and primer spray paint that worked fairly well. The collars I painted with acrylic paint by hand. Poplar wood sucks up A LOT of paint!

To have some fun, I also decided to use some Chalkboard Spray- it comes in a a spray can- just on the 3 shelf tops. I thought this might help to organize and identify fin sizes, types, etc.

Chalkboard Paint

For safety, I bought a 10 lb disc weight in black that I epoxyed to the bottom of the turntable to, to prevent the piece from easily tipping over. In addition, I glued 8 rubber feet along the outer edge so it wouldn’t scratch the floor.


Lastly, I got some s-hooks to place into the shelf holes to hang fins off of. Here’s the rack finished:

Spin me right round baby, right round!

Wax Wrapper Art

Maybe you got a a lot of wax in your stocking this year- and a lot of those wrappers. If you got those long wrappers, like those on Sticky Bumps, you can make some pretty cool woven art if you’ve got some holiday time on your hands, so try this.
First, you’ll need some cardstock in a nice color, some tacky craft glue, an exacto knife, and a regular frame, in addition to several of your wax wrappers:

Next, cut your chosen color cardstock color (nice color in case it shows through!) to the size of the frame you’re going to use using the exacto knife. Be sure to do this on a surface that won’t be harmed by cutting through with a sharp knife:

After that, I started cutting my wax wrappers into about 1/8″ strips long ways- I admit I just guessestimated, but you may want to measure to feel more confident.

Cutting the Wax wrappers into strips

Starting from the middle of the cardstock, I started to weave the strips together by placing one strip diagonally down across the middle, securing it with a dot of glue in the center:

Next, I crossed another one with a dot of glue on top:

Picking a direction, I started to “weave” strips across the strip dotting some glue as I went. Note I made sure to overhang the strips over the rectangle of the cardstock:

I kept doing this in every direction:

When I covered the cardstock, I trimmed off the overhanging strips to match the size of the cardstock and sprayed it with a spray sealant to keep everything in:

Once that was done and dried, I was ready to mount the piece in the frame:

Kinda wild, if you ask me- you’d never know it came from wax wrappers unless you really looked. Takes a while, and a bit of patience, but a good way to recycle, and really fun to do! Trippy!

Fin Gift Tags

A surfer’s gift doesn’t always have to be a bottle of Cuervo or a case of Imperial, but, if you DO give those, make a supa cool tag that a surfer or non-surfer would think is pretty cool (even after the bottle is long drained).
First, I printed out a template of three tags on a PDF:

These are best printed on some cardstock for tracing onto wood, since the cardstock will have a little edge to trace off of. I cut one out and traced it onto 1/4″ plywood:

Template cut out
Next, cut out the trace with a jig saw, like a Dremel:
Make sure to drill a hole in the bottom left corner for hanging (the presumption is that you’ll hang it upside down), using a small drill. After sanding the edges to ensure a smooth finish, go ahead and paint it any color you want. I painted mine red with a palm tree:
After embellishing some more, it was ready to spray with some sealant. I used a gloss spray sealant like you can get in the spray paint section of the hardware store.
Here’s the tag on a gift:
Obviously, you can hang it as an ornament afterwards, too. I’m imagining a Christmas Tree next year with nothing but these fin tags on it!!!

Last Minute Surfer Gifts

Good job. You waited until the last minute. I had a grown cousin who waited until the last minute to get Christmas gifts, and I ended up with a Jesus Portrait Paint-by-Number. Not kidding. Wonder where they got the original portrait?
But I digress…
If you want to look like you might give a damn about your friend or family member who is a surfer, consider these ideas instead of the 6 pack of Wine Spritzers you saw at Publix.
ALL of these projects take 2 hours OR LESS!!!

DIY Personalized Surf Wax
Fin Screw Keychain
DIY Wetsuit Wash
Surf Pic Magnets
Triple Stringer Picture Frame
DIY Surf Wax Candle
Surfer Necklace
Sex Wax Magnet
Blank Surfboard Shapes for Coloring
Save a Surf Kit
Surf Photo T Shirt
Mini Emergency Kit
DIY Wax Comb

Take just a few moments of your time, and you’ll have a thoughtful gift on your hands.
Ok, ok, you can do the booze gift thing….just get Crown Royal so they get the drawstring bag to make a craft with while sloshed. Christmas Time!!! YAY!

Palm Frond Christmas Wreath

So I’ve got to break down and accept the fact that it’s almost that time. I’m a Summer girl, and in Florida for me, it’s hard to get into the Holiday Spirit among the palm trees and the ocean. So, I love to incorporate our natural surroundings to decorate instead of the goofy evergreen pine wreaths sprayed to look snowy.
Last year, I made a Holiday project using palm fronds, so I wanted to do this again since we are getting ready to trim some fronds off our tree to clean up our yard for the Winter. I used cut green palm fronds from our Cabbage palm in the backyard:

Our backyard Cabbage palm

I took a frond, cut the leaves off, and stripped individual leaves for use:

Stripped off leaves

Next, I got a Styrofoam round wreath to use for my base. I picked up a green Styrofoam wreath so that if I made a mistake, the green could show, and it’s not glaring white underneath. I also trimmed each palm leaf into a straight strip, squared off at each end. In addition, I’m going to use straight pins to secure each leaf strip as I wrap.
First, I took a strip and secured it on the back of the wreath with a straight pin:

 Next, I wrapped the strip around the wreath, moving the strip a bit over as I wrapped, securing the end with a pin:
 I cut this flush, then overlapped the first leaf onto the next, using the same pin:
 I kept wrapping like this, securing the leaves by the straight pins to the back, having the front clean:
Front of the wreath
Back of the wreath
Completed wreath
If you have significant gaps showing, you can keep wrapping more over the top of the others. It takes a while, but this is meant to last the whole season, so take your time.
For a bit of flair, I added a red grosgrain ribbon (best type for outdoors) by wrapping it in the same way:
Plus the ribbon
Next, I made a little bow by wrapping a few fronds like a pretzel, then securing the middle with a twist tie:
Finished bow
I covered up the twist tie with a ribbon, then tied it around the back to keep the bow secure on the wreath:
Tying the bow, knotting it on the backside
Here it is completed:
After a while, the green leaves will turn gray-green, then brown, so it will become kind of an earthy wreath, which is cool. Nice way to start off a beachside Christmas!