My father-in-law, who is the best father-in-law in the history of tattooed, beer-drinking, home-improving, shit-talking, texting, dog-loving father-in-laws, gave me a miter saw for Christmas.  This man knows my heart and approves of women learning trades.  The family joke is that I am the son-in-law he always wanted, because fuck your gender norms.

To date, he's given me a jigsaw, a circular saw and now the miter saw.  I purchased my own drill, two sets of drill bits, and a hand saw.  I am stoked that my little power tool collection is growing.

But what does this have to do with ponies?

Once upon a time, I saw an image on Instagram that combusted my heart with instantaneous longing:

(I got her permission to share this, which might make me more of a creeper?)

 And I immediately bought wood, because her image made everything so simple, that sat in my garage for about a month and a half.  Because I am a master procrastinator.

Then Hillary posted her gorgeous grooming box and I was again reminded of my intense and burning love for these things.  As well as the thought that a divider might help with my hoards of crap.

Finally, though, I plugged in my brand-new miter saw, read all the instructions (or at least how to get the blade to raise and how not to lose a finger), took my previously mathed sketches and told the hubs to listen for my screams.

Vintage Stubben, because who doesn't have spare saddles in their garage?

So here's my rough "how-to":
  • I cut six pieces of wood, five from a 1x6x10 (I think it was a 10 footer - I have some left over), and the sixth from a 1" round:
    • 2 pieces at 22"
    • 2 pieces at 20"
    • 1 piece at 18" 
    • 1 piece at 5.5"
    • the round at 22"
  • The 22" pieces sandwich the 18" piece.  If you have any holes in your wood, use that piece for the bottom, as a dirt-release.  Unless the hole is bigger than your hoofpick.  I got the measurement for my side-pieces from the length of the bottom board plus the width of my two tall sides.  I didn't pick 22" at random, I actually tried to measure the drop on my dressage saddle.
  • Before I attached my tall pieces to my base, I notched the ears (they're neutered) and drilled my 1" hole for my handle bar.  Just a side note:  when you purchase wood from the lumber store (generally), the "size" is deceptive.  The 1x6 is actually closer to 1x5.5, so measure that shit.

  • I attached one side of tall pieces to the base with two 1¼" wood screws.  No idea if that length is sufficient, so fingers cross.  Then I inserted (forcibly) my handle into the hole on the other piece of tall wood.  I lined the handle up with the hole on the piece already attached before I drilled the second piece to the base.  There was more force.  Sanding the hole prior to shoving that thing in there probably would have helped.  I do not feel good about this paragraph at all.
  • Then I attached one side piece to both the bottom piece and either tall piece.  I think I used four screws.  Then I placed my itty bitty divider against the side piece and drilled it in with two screws.  Here's the technical on that:  the divider is going to rise above the side pieces, because that 5.5" side needs to be the width.  I was okay with that.  If you aren't, subtract the width of  your bottom from the height of that piece.  Then I screwed the remaining piece on to the tall sides, base, and divider.  Six screws?
Aerial view.
  • After all the assembly, it made vague and half-assed contact with some sand paper and then I did the absolute worst stain job in the history of stain jobs.  Between my ineptitude with the miter saw and with sanding/staining, I'm calling this piece my Monet.  She looks good from a distance.


I've considered what changes I'd make (because, oh yes, there will be more) and here they are:
  • Wider.  Still use the 1x6 for the sides, but go to a 1x12 (probably) for the tall sides and the base.  This is for more stability and more shit.
  • Alternatively: a small shelf at the top, since it's so tall.  Thinking about trialing this, since I have wood left over.  Only problem would be accessing that shelf when the saddle's on it, but wouldn't matter so much if I used it for those last-minute things, like boots and gloves.
  • Sand it better, stain it better.
  • Maybe slightly taller, and add a bridle hook?  Runs the risk of being ginormous, but could be good for shows (that I don't attend.....).

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  1. I love that idea!! So useful in certain situations.

    Plus there's so much space to get your art on.

  2. Fun project! I have no idea how all our brushes/sprays/ointments/hoof picks multiply and make such a mess, but they do. Nice was to keep them contained and hold your saddle!

    And what a great father-in-law! I love my tools. I am the son my father never had, so from probably way too young was using power tools of all types. One thing that can help the bad stain is to use a wood conditioner. Especially if you're building with less expensive woods like pine. It will help even out the stain job (you put it on first). And I'll enable you a bit here: you need to buy another tool, a sander! Just a little one, like a Corner Cat, is much fun and not expensive and so cute and useful.

    1. Okay, totally getting the little Corner Cat this weekend. And more wood. :)

  3. I love a woman with power tools. I've been wanting to buy (not make because HAHAHAHA) an unfinished brush box and paint it myself. I just haven't. Because lazy.

    1. That's why I'm your blog-wifey, right?

      If I ever get beyond embarrassed of my wood-working skills (poor hubs), I'll send you one!

  4. Nice job!

    I'm jealous - no miter saw in my collection (yet). Your fil is awesome. Best present I ever got from my ex was a super handy set of socket wrenches. The ex before him once "loaned" me a power saw to build a loft I designed for my apartment, but then wouldn't let me use it by myself. That is why he became an ex. ;D

  5. Lucky you that you have not only the mitre saw, but the space to use it! I've been pining for a reciprocating saw myself, but haven't gotten that far. Sad when I realized I have more power tools than the boy does, and I actually know how to use them...

  6. omg that would be so nice for showing

  7. Super cool! I think a bridle hook would enhance it. Double points for welding your own;)

  8. Very cool idea. This would be great in a trailer or at shows.

    1. Exactly what I was going to say! Definitely a market for these babies.

  9. Squeee so much awesome!
    I am in suh admiration for your epic craftsmanship & hands-on skills!

  10. 1) this is awesome.
    2) I know Julia in person and she's also awesome. :)

  11. aaaannnnd now i want one too haha

  12. Total amazement of your skillz!!! Youre awesome with that saw! Cool project.

  13. So cool! I wish I was craft enough to build something like that.