Saturday, June 14, 2008

Behold the "Flying Night Stand"

The Proud Inventor with the Flying Night Stand

Zoe named this the "Flying Night Stand." At bedtime one night she said that she wished she had a place to put her water glass and book like she used to when she had a night stand. She suggested that we could build a special shelf for the purpose and she could use that. I loved this idea, and so we brainstormed a bit before I kissed her good night and she turned off the light.

I alluded to it a while back when we were in the midst of gathering the first of the materials. It's taken about three weeks of weekends to put it all together from parts purchased, found, and modified to end up with the very satisfying (if not necessarily aesthetically flawless) final result.

Here's another view:

I asked her if she wanted to sand it down and paint it and she does, but she wants to use it first so we'll save that part for another weekend project.

The Materials

Below you can see the materials that went into construction. Some of it was purchased, some of it was reused scraps and odds and ends.

1 piece of shelf wood 400mm by 240mm
1 long piece of wood for the edging (440mm x 80mm x 20mm)
2 short pieces of wood for the edging (220mm x 80mm x 20mm)
2 steel angle brackets
2 screw-in storage hooks
2 same-sized pieces of re-used scrap wood blocks
A bunch of wood screws from the junk box

The long and short pieces of edging wood were glued and screwed to the outside of the shelf with wood screws. We drilled pilot holes to prevent cracking while screwing things together. The wood blocks were attached to the top of the shelf with the angle brackets so that we could screw the storage hooks into the tops of the blocks at the appropriate angle.

This allowed us to make small adjustments to the angle of the storage hooks so that they held the shelf flat and level against the side of the bunk bed railing.

Here's some detail on how the angle brackets were attached on the bottom. These were screwed all the way through the shelf into the wood block to provide extra stability

To attach it to the bed, just hang it on the railing of the upper bunk (in these beds there's no LOWER bunk, just a desk and some open space down there.)

This was a really fun project to do together.

Zoe got to see that not only is it fun to dream up something but you can actually go and MAKE that thing yourself using tools and materials that are handy and with a minimum of fuss and trouble if you just think carefully about it and stay on it until it's done.

And now she gets to use it at bedtime every night to keep her glass of water nearby (no more stumbling down the ladder in the dark if she's thirsty) and hold her books so they're handy when she gets all tucked in for the night's reading.

And she can feel good that it's totally hers, from conception to creation to utilization.


Cathy Ezrailson, Science Education, University of South Dakota said...

Lovely project because it is so useful for making life a bit more pleasureable. Way to go, guys.
Love you.

Patois42 said...

So I guess she didn't get it contingent on the need to make her bed each day, eh?

Tell the girls I have their yearbooks. I even got Zoe's signed by most everyone in Stanek's class and others in the fourth grade who miss her dreadfully. I'll send them off Monday. You'll probably get them when school ends for you in, what, January?

Brandie said...

Wow Zoe! It looks even cooler than you described. I really like it. What a wonderful idea.

Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

Very cool,
I might be making a modified one of these with a brace for my hammock.


Ginger said...

I wish i had these when my kids were small .I posted your link so others can see it thought these were clever easy clean looking.Thumbs up on this ! loved you blog!

Ginger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Great idea! Think I'll be making one of these in the future!

LindleyJo said...

Thanks so much for posting this! I've been looking for a way to do this for my lofted bed in my dorm, and I'm so glad that I found your page! I'll definitely be building one!

Unknown said...

This is a great Hammock Stand for your modern outdoor ideas.

Ginger said...

Sorry it took me long time to post you back weight looks like 15 pounds. big hugs, Make one show me yours please.

Kate said...

This is perfect! Been looking to buy/make a shelf like this since our girls got bunk beds!

Anonymous said...

What a GREAT idea!!!!!
I Love it!!!

Lyndsey said...

I wish the pictures were still available to see!

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