09-07-2011 06:25 PM - edited 09-21-2011 04:51 PM
Our apartment doesn't have much available free space for something like a dartboard, but something had to happen when we decided to host a party for a bunch of friends. The one place we do have some space is on our patio, but since it's an apartment, we're not allowed to hang anything permanently on common property, such as the fence around the patio. So, had to come up with a simple, but creative solution...
The criteria: 1) simple and inexpensive, 2) able to be tucked away behind something when not in use, 3) easy to move and setup, 4) lighted.
The solution turned out better than I expected. I made a simple frame of a 2x2 along the bottom, two pieces of 1x4 for the sides and a 1x6 for the top, all screwed in place around the perimeter of a piece of plywood. Across the back of unit, I attached another 2x2. This would sit on the upper rail of the fence. The slats had spaces between them allowing for two carriage bolts from the front side of the unit through the backside 2x2 and extending long enough to attach another 1x6. I also screwed a scrap piece of 1x2 on the backside of the board to give me something to screw the top L screw in from the front side. There are two other L screws at the bottom of the board that screw into the backside 2x2 as well. With the L screws in place, I can then mount the dartboard securely to the unit.
THD recently had a desk lamp go clearance. At $5.00 it was easy on the wallet and provided a fair amount of light. I simply, cut the felt off the bottom of the base of the lamp to see where the cord ran. Positioning the lamp on top of the 1x6 at the top of unit, I bored a hole through the lamp base and the 1x6. This was then secured with simply a bolt, nut and some washers.
On the way home from work one day after getting the unit built, someone had put a set of kitchen cabinets out to the curb for a big trash collection pickup the next day. It looked like someone else had been there before I saw them, as quite a few of what I imagined being the nicer pieces of solid oak had been taken. A quick U-turn, pull over and jog across the street led to the prize. There was one solid oak cabinet door left and it couldn't have been any better for the purpose I intended for it, the scoreboard.
My next step was to sand one side of the door smooth and prime it. After drying, I then sprayed it with chalkboard paint. Digging through my toolbox, I found a couple small utility hinges from another project and mounted the door to the side frame of the dartboard unit.
I found out the final count of people coming over and then started counting chairs. We were going to be short some seating. Another quick trip to THD and a visit to the cull lumber cart, I found a bunch of 2x4s. Unfortunately they weren't pressure treated and nor the straightest pieces in the world, but for $0.51 each, I wasn't complaining. Grabbing a bunch of them, I checked out and headed home.
A few cuts with the circular saw and work with the drill produced an Asian inspired bench. Given the fact the lumber was a bit twisted and warped, it didn't sit very level. Another rummage in the toolbox produced some short lag screws. Bored pilot holes in four of the legs and zipped the lags into them, producing some leveling feet.
Total bill for the dartboard unit about $25 and another $7 and change for the bench. I have since bought another one of the lamps to add a second light to the board to avoid some shadows toward the bottom of the board. So add another $5 for that. While traditional, the chalkboard proved to be a bit messy. Another clearance find at THD produced a roll of Contact brand dry-erase memo paper for $2 (18"x 72"). Makes keeping score much easier. At a carpet place, I found some sample runners they were throwing out. A quick explanation of what I intended to do with them and I walked out with some classy looking dart protection. When throwing steel tip darts, if you happen to hit a wire or staple on the board, the darts will sometimes bounce off and land on the ground. The runners protect the darts from the concrete patio floor. While it would have been nice to get two matching runners, beggars can't be choosy.
Here are some pictures:
Checking the fit of the unit on the fence
Showing the backside setup
The two hour and less than $8 seating solution
You can also see our little garden. We had tomatoes and lettuce. The green onions are still going and we're now waiting on the carrots and bell peppers to be ready for harvest.
09-07-2011 07:02 PM
I love the way you used all of your resources. I'm all for using items that would normally end up in the landfill.
When ever I have a wood project the first place I look is the cull cart. Some times I will even stop by a couple of Home Depots that are near my house just to look at their cull cart if I know I have a project coming up.
I am also an avid clearance area browser. No matter what store I'm in I try and check out the clearance area. I have a teenage daughter so it's all about saving money whenever possible.
Thanks again for sharing your latest projects with the community.
It just might get other people to reuse some of their items and help the earth be a healthier place.
Looking forward to seeing your next project.
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