Clever details

On a recent visit to my parents, it occurred to me that there are a lot of clever design details around the house that my dad built, and I thought I'd share some of these with you.

This is a funny sort of "coat hook" in the hallway. It's meant to hang coat hangers from. It's out of the way in the corner, so nobody bumps into it. Very handy for hanging the coat of a guest onto, especially because my dad's house doesn't have a coat closet near the door like most houses do. I don't have a nice out of the way corner in my house, so I made some coat hooks instead.

I like the design of this toilet paper holder. It's much more satisfying to load a roll into this one than it is with those fiddly spring loaded spindle things that are almost everywhere else. It also makes a nice rumbling noise on the wooden wall when you pull the paper as the spindle turns, although that may or may not be considered a positive.

The paper towel holder uses a similar design. Also has a nice shelf above it.

An under bed storage drawer. This is a good way of mounting the wheels if you put them outside the drawer. Personally, wanting to optimize for the last bit of space, I always make the drawer wider and put the wheels on the inside of my under bed storage drawers

Don't you hate those little plastic base / clamp thingys that are supposed to hold the average swing-arm lamp? They never seem up to the job.

So for this lamp by the bed, my dad made a clamp to attach to the bed. The knob on the clamp is attached to a dowel with a wooden thread cut into it, and it threads into the clamp itself.

A vent at the top of a small greenhouse my parents built on the south side of the workshop. The vent is a bit too high to reach, but this clever little lever arrangement makes it easy to operate the latch on the door without having to stretch.

My dad has always smoked a pipe. He made this little pipe rack to store his pipes in. Made specifically to fit those pipes. I like the way the right most compartment is a little less deep to accommodate a contour on the wall.

My dad always turned his own knobs. He liked to use the core of some white pines for that. The knots in evergreens form this neat star pattern because they produce one new set of branches emerging from the same spot each year. Hardwood trees are a bit more random with how they branch out, so you never get a star pattern like that.

My dad says knobs like that only work in white pine. The different radial and tangential wood shrinkage typically causes a crack to form to the middle of the growth rings if the center of the wood is in the piece, but white pine is flexible enough that you can make a knob like that and have it not crack.

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