Thursday, January 17, 2013

throwing washers

I'm not southern born or raised. I'd never heard of throwing washers. Apparently, there are other names for this game as well. I kind of like Poor Man's Horseshoes myself. I learned about this before Christmas and really wanted to make Jari one for Christmas, but he just wouldn't leave the house. It is one thing to make crafty projects in the spare bedroom or at the kitchen table. It is another thing entirely to start hauling out the hubby's power tools. He really starts to wonder what's up with that.
The weekend before his birthday he left and went hunting. Sweet!! I ran to Home Depot with the plan of having them cut everything for me. I was actually going to cave and not do it all myself. Their cutting saw was not working. I had so much help it wasn't even funny! I tucked my two pieces of ridiculously long 2x4 into my car with the ends hanging out and hauled them home.
The guy at Home Depot told me that my chop saw would cut the pvc pipe but couldn't guarantee that my blade would be the same after I was done. Worked just fine ... haven't a clue if it does anymore.
Pieces needed for this project:
4 pieces of 17" long 2x4
4 pieces of 14" long 2x4
4" pvc pipe cut into 3 1/2" pieces

Next up was the plywood. I bought small squares that would fit into the car. I didn't need much.
Out came the next saw and I cut 2 - 17" squares of plywood.
Don't you just love my cutting support surface? I didn't even nick the trunk! Must be getting better at this business.

At this point Brock stopped by and I proudly showed him my pile of cut pieces. The saws were all tucked back where they belonged and not in evidence. The ensuing conversation went something like this.
Brock said "what did you cut those with?"
"A saw."
"What saw?"
"The Skil saw." At this point I'm totally befuddled. Like did he think I was cutting it with a handsaw or what?
"Dad's Skil saw? I don't like you using that. Why didn't you call me?"
I'm feeling totally protected at this point, but I don't think he gets it. I've been pushing a saw longer than he's been living. Admittedly, I've even pushed it through the top of a metal tool box unintentionally (my cutting table sort of got in the way), but he probably doesn't need to know that!

Standing the pieces on end, I used yet another electric device and screwed two sets of boxes together that ended up being 17" square.

Doesn't matter that it is now dark outside, I was on a mission to get this thing done!
Use whatever device you have that draws a straight line and find the middle your plywood square.

With the center marking on the inside, attach your plywood to the bottom of the box you made. If you're cutting is better than mine, it will line up absolutely perfectly. If not ... it will still work. If you're really lucky, you might have a drill bit in the house to pre drill your holes. I couldn't find not one drill bit and was not about to run out to buy one. I made the decision to hang my own Christmas stocking next year and ask Santa to fill it with drill bits. Maybe pink or purple ones if such things exist. Just for me.

The next step is photoless. After the box was put together ... out came the sander. Smoothed the corners and edges that needed it and then I applied stain to everything but the bottom of the inside of the box. It can be painted, stained or just left plain if you like. I stained it and let it dry overnite.
The following day I sprayed it with polyurethane. That was the easy part. The hard part was what came next. First me tell you that if I still lived in any of the other houses I've lived in, I probably would have had some salvagable 2x4's laying around ... as well as plywood. I would have used that instead. This postage stamp HOA lot doesn't allow much room for accumulation.
Because I was doing the budget route here, I went Goodwill and actually found 2 identical yellow rubber backed bath mats. They were each cut into 14" squares to fit the inside of the box. On the back  side of the mat, I drew the same kind of lines to find the center of the mat. I drew a circle around the pvc pipe onto paper and then folded the paper to find the middle. I aligned it with the lines drawn on the cut piece of bath mat and cut out a circle. Next I drew a circle in the center of the box and using liquid nail (that stuff is nasty!) I put a bead of glue on both the inside and outside of the pipe, adhering it to the plywood bottom. It really wasn't a bead. It was a sloppy mess that I thought would never come off my hands before I had to start iv's on Monday morning at work.
The circle cut out of the bath mat needed to be trimmed a bit more to fit inside the pvc pipe that was attached to the box. More liquid nail mess all over the bottom of the box and a bit inside the pipe, then the yellow stuff was glued to the bottom of the box. And I had to pull each piece up at least once to trim it and get it to fit right. Then it was time to let it set and dry.
While it was drying, I started painting the washers. I'm not sure how long the spray paint is going to stay on these washers with all the throwing and banging, but the spray paint cans will last for a long time. I'll just keep painting them as needed. The instructions I was following called for 2 1/2" washers, but Home Depot doesn't sell anything larger than 2" washers and the helpful person assured me that they would work. Even he knew what I was talking about!
Tucked the whole project away, buried my evidence where I thought it couldn't be found and waited for a birthday to show up!
Being as we live in the land of sunshine where the lawn usually isn't wet unless the sprinkler is going off, this is a perfect activity. Takes little space to store unlike other lawn games we've had. Our back yard isn't very big so this size game fits well.
It kept the guys busy on Sunday afternoon!
As for me .... I need some serious practice!


  1. Looks like a fun game! I will have to put my hubby or boys to work making one. I am sure we have all we need laying around in one shed or the other!
    Emily W.

  2. Tee hee, Brock is cute. I wouldn't have expected anything less of him even if you have been pushing the saw longer than he's been alive! :) Good job on the project! Maybe I should come over for a crash course in power tools!