Quick and Easy DIY AR-15 Upper Receiver Vise Block

I needed to install an AR-15 barrel on a new upper and didn’t want to pay $25 for a vise block.  Instead I used some scrap 2x4s and a few screws to make my own.

In the vise and ready to go

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Posted in Shooting

Replacing 1st Generation Trooper Front Wheel Bearings and Grease Seals

Now to be honest, I don’t think I needed to replace my wheel bearings.  They could probably have just been cleaned and regreased, but the cost was around $70 for both front bearings and the grease seals, and since I was already doing a brake job and replacing the auto locking hubs, it wasn’t much more work.  Also, my Trooper is from 1991 and I think the bearings were never repacked since the factory.  The service manual says they need it every 30,000 miles, and I was about 180,000 miles overdue!

It’s always important to be comfortable when working on your car!

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Posted in Isuzu

Swapping 1st Generation Isuzu Trooper Auto Locking Hubs for WARN Manual Hubs

I upgraded to manual locking hubs after wanting to do it for several years.  Now, “upgrading” to something that makes you get out of your car to use 4 wheel drive seems a little crazy to most people, but I see it as an upgrade since they are considered stronger than the stock automatic hubs and there is no question if they fully engaged or if something is wrong.  Listening for the “click” and not being sure you heard it is a little unnerving.  Also, I am only engaging 4-high and 4-low when I am going somewhere off road, so getting out and turning the hubs isn’t that big of a deal.

Stock photo of the new hubs

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Posted in Isuzu

18 Quart Tub Garage Storage Rack

As a part of my ongoing quest to organize the garage, I built a storage rack/cabinet that holds 10 18-quart Sterilite tubs.  They are just the right size to hold one type of material: small electronics, sandpaper, home wiring, etc.  Since I tend to do a variety of jobs, this will help me keep each project type better separated.

As floor space is at a premium, I wanted to mount it high on the wall to keep it out of the way.  If this isn’t an issue for you, it could easily be mounted on castors and used as a cart.

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Posted in Home Projects

2007-2012 Honda Accord Brake Job

Cost of a front and rear brake job at the dealership: $550

Cost of the same job done at home: $200

(And it doesn’t take $350 in tools either!)

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Posted in Uncategorized

Rustic Dining Room Table, Version 2

When my wife and I moved into our new house, there was a spot that was perfect for a large dining room table.  I assured my wife that I could make it “really quickly” and for cheap.  10 months later, I was able to keep one of those promises!

It is as heavy and imposing as it looks

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Posted in Home Projects

Rustic Dining Room Table, Version 1

A friend texted one night if I had a saw that could cut 45 angles and if I could help him make a new table for his wife in their new home.  I offered to help and we went to the local big box home improvement store and bought some Douglas Fir lumber.  They were looking for a table that fit their decor, wasn’t too expensive, and looked good to them.  I think we pretty much nailed it!

After completing this and during the writeup, I realized that this was probably based on the design by Shanty 2 Chic and that their’s was based on a design by Ana White.


The assembled table

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Posted in Home Projects

Making a Reloading Bench for a Hornady Lock-n-Load Press

I first started reloading using an old, rickety workbench.  Although it worked, to keep the press from bouncing around and spilling powder, I had to keep a firm grip on the front of it.  The best solution was to build a new bench!


Plans for the bench in SketchUp (stool not included)

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Posted in Home Projects, Shooting