Lots of Legos

10 Jan

Between us, my son and I have a lot of Lego’s.  A lot.  And I’m too old to sit on the floor and build with them.  My knees hurt.

Then I saw my neighbors had tossed a couple of closet doors to the curb and I remember that my parents had built a couple project tables out of some old closet doors like that.  But I remember them being bigger than what my neighbors were parting with.  Maybe my parents closets were bigger; maybe I was smaller.  In any case, whatever I built needed to fit across the king-sized bed we have in our spare bedroom, which is where most of the Lego work gets done.

So I got a 4×8 sheet of plywood, some assorted lumber for reinforcements, and some folding table legs.

One might think that 32 square feet would be enough to spread out the Lego’s and play with them, but no…  Maybe 64 would be, but not 32.

Turns out they’ve got more than just one sheet of plywood down there at Dunn Lumber, so I set out to build a cabinet:


I built it so that the front and the back of the cabinet are the same – you can open drawers to the back as well.


In hindsight, I wonder if it would have been better to make every other drawer open in the other direction, so that you could have more to look at.

But perhaps the way I did it is good enough, as the drawers are built to come out and be put back in easily.  The drawers don’t have sub-dividers in them.  We’ll see how that works out.  My feeling is that I don’t want to have to have a card-catalog for Lego’s, and splitting things up 8 ways is already likely to be more than my son is likely to do.


I built it with all the parts exposed, and it’s built out of whatever wood I had laying around – some pine, lots of maple and some poplar.  I figured that was appropriate for the purpose.  The drawers are made out of ~5/16ths inch stock with 1/8” plywood bottoms.

I haven’t put any varnish on it, as it’s too cold to do that now.  I don’t know that I’ll ever varnish it.

I don’t know that I was entirely sensible here, but I built a mechanism to hold the drawers shut (or prevent them from opening on the back side if it’s up against the wall or something.  Here’s a shot of the cabinet with the drawers locked:


You can pull up on the dowel, spin them 180 degrees and drop them back down to unlock.


I tried to hand-plane as much as I could, rather than sanding.  I feel like I’m still struggling with basic stuff – particularly sharpening.  Still, from time to time, I can put an amazing edge on my tools.

Click here for the full gallery, including some shots that illustrate the fact that it might have been easier building this thing than sorting the Lego’s.


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