G.F. Ranch

The beginning of His vision

Hit or Miss

on September 11, 2016

Yesterday I hit the floor running when I woke up yesterday…straight out to the garage.  I wanted to make some type of tray for the homeschool bookcase to use for organizing school work that needs to be  graded.  I had a few ideas of ways to put them together and I went for a simple design.  Would you be surprised to hear that I don’t have pictures of the building process?  If you have been following for more than a week or two you won’t be.  I’m a do’er, just want to get it done.  So my head doesn’t process taking pictures at the start or in the middle.

I can’t tell you the number of the projects we have done on the ranch that I have kicked myself in the butt for not taking before pictures.  And about the only time there will be progress pictures is when it’s a big build or project. Honestly, that’s more for our motivation than anything.

I will start with a couple of pictures to give you a visual of the process.

I used 1×4’s, although your imagination is the limit of what you can use to make a simple tray.  I used 3 slats for the bottom of the tray.  I did use my Kreg Jig to connect them with pocket holes.  I wasn’t sure if this would end up being a piece that would be moved between the bookcase and table often or not.  I wanted to make sure it held up long term.  I don’t build for temporary.

I then cute two more boards the same length as the three for the bottom. I had originally planned on making them 18″ in length, but modified it to 17 5/8″ to be able to get 2 cuts per scrap piece I was using up.  I then measured what I needed for the 2 smaller pieces and cut them.  I put those four pieces together using wood glue and one of our air compressor tools.  Haha!  I don’t always know the name of the tools or what the actual purpose for that tool is, but I am having fun learning.  I don’t know for sure if it was the brad gun or finishing nail one.


Then I laid the bottom piece on the frame I made.  Let me insert here that Hubby wasn’t home, so I have no idea if this was the right or even easy way of doing this. I drilled pilot holes about 1 – 1 1/2″ of both sides of all four corners and used 1 1/4″ wood screws. I figured  it didn’t matter if the bottom was pretty, but I wanted to make sure it held up.  I then filled in the rest of the area with the air compressor tool we just spoke about.  I did forget to use wood glue but wasn’t too worried as I used screws since I didn’t think brad or finishing nails would give long term strength.

At this point I used some techniques I remembered Hubby telling me he had used to distress wood in the past.  The chain that fell off my bike was sitting on the drill press so I used that, along with a hammer or too, fencing tool and a screwdriver to bang up the wood a bit. Then gave it a light sanding and used my Weathered Gray stain.  After letting it sit a while, I wiped some away.  Once it was dry, I did just a very light sanding on it and applied some handles I picked up at a yard sale this summer.


I really like the way it came out, but I don’t think it’s going to stay on the bookcase we built for homeschooling.  I’ve already moved it down a shelf.  Just not sure it’s going to work for what I had in mind.  No surprise there because I really don’t know what I’m doing.  I can look at things and tell you if I like them or not, but as far as decorating…I need my GGBFF!!!  That stands for God-given Best Friend Forever.


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