Then there was the see through,
wall hung beehive that I put on my bedroom wall. My father used
to keep bees to harvest honey. One cold day in March, I discovered
an abandoned hive that had fallen over exposing the bees to the
elements. There was only several hundred bees left out of what
was once thousands. I put a sheet of glass, about 2-foot by 2-foot,
onto a wooden frame that I attached to my bedroom wall. Then
I carefully transported the faltering bee colony to their new
home. A tunnel made of metal window screening provided a path
for the bees to come and go under a slightly raised window. The
colony's queen had not survived being exposed to the weather,
so I knew no new bees would be reared. This colony would only
last as long as the lifespans of its current members. But it
was interesting to watch the bees doing what bees do throughout
the next several months. And the bragging rights for having a
bee colony on ones bedroom wall was something to envy.
Both the keyboard force-o-meter
and the wall-mounted beehive were inspired by circumstances.
I just saw the possibility of what could be done and wanted to
do it. I try to be open to possibilites for other gadgets and
gizmos that would be of value. It is well worth the effort: It
is fun to make improvised gizmos, and you get a valued item.
The item may suit your needs better than a purchased item because
you make it the way you want it. The item could inspire wonder
and delight. And it feels good to prove that your ingenuity and
imagination can produce things of value.
Below is a description of a
couple of items you may like to make.
If you often find it annoying
to remove boots as you enter the house, this project is for you.
The bootjack makes the task easier especially if the boots are
tight fitting or you are carrying something so that your hands
are not free.
Begin with a 3/4 inch thick
board that is about 2 feet long and 6 inches wide. Cut a V shaped
notch in one end. Use nails to attach a small piece of wood to
keep the notched end raised above the floor. Keep the bootjack
near the door where you most often enter wearing boots. Put one
foot on the jack to hold it in place. Put the heel of the other
foot in the notch and pull your foot out of the boot.
Wall display cubby box:
Small cardboard boxes can be
fastened together and hung on the wall. Small and valued objects
can be placed there to be displayed and admired.
Save boxes from muffin mix,
artificial sweetener, rice or other often used food items. When
you have enough, cut each box to an appropriate size. I started
with boxes 4-inches wide, 2-inches deep, and 6-inches tall. I
cut each box to half height, so that each box was 3-inches tall.
Boxes that are twice as wide as they are deep can be arranged
as shown in the diagrams of this article. If you use boxes with
other ratios of width to height, use a different arrangement
or use pieces of corrigated cardboard to fill any gaps between
Lay a piece of plastic sheeting
such as a plastic grocery bag on a flat surface. The plastic
will keep excess glue from sticking to your work surface. You
can use white glue to fasten the boxes together. To help keep
the glue from running down the side of the boxes, use a method
similar to that used by bricklayers applying mortar to bricks.
Before putting a box into position, put glue on each side of
that box that will be against a box already in place. That way,
while applying glue, you can turn the box in any way that makes
it easy to apply the glue. And the glue will quickly be between
two surfaces. That helps keep the glue in place. A good glue
pattern is shown by the red lines below.
As you assemble the boxes together,
use a straight edge such as a wall or a large box as a guide
to align the boxes in straight rows. Set something heavy against
the boxes to hold them together while the glue dries. Bricks
or large books work well. Use the plastic sheeting to keep oozing
glue from sticking the boxes to the books or bricks. You can
use paper clips to hold the edges of the boxes together where
When all the boxes are in place,
let the glue dry for about 12 hours. Then use a nail to punch
holes for a string that will go around the group of boxes. Two
holes near each corner will keep the string in place. Tie the
two ends of the string together. Hang the box display from a