My Busy Board

My Busy Board

My Busy Board

I’ve always enjoyed creating things, whether it was software, wood working projects, or children. I like to see things grow and know I was a key influence. So, today I bring you a tiny new venture in my life.

My Busy Board – A furniture, toy, art, something company.

I am starting with toddler busy boards but have a tremendous amount of other ideas for neat things to build. I’m catering to people with kids that try to maintain a pre-kid design in their home. These are things that I have built for my own family. I should add, they were useful to my own family. I’ve made other things I’ve thrown away. The website won’t contain those things…

It’s a great change of pace from pounding on a keyboard all day.

Go play, daddy needs to work.

My wife saw this busy board, so I needed to make my own.

I used some of the typical things, latches, hinges, and painted the inside of the doors with chalkboard paint.  I took it a little further and added a window using lexan (sanded the inside to give it a frosted look) and installed a 6v light behind which is powered by 4 AA batteries.  I also installed a small black button that is wired to a low decibel buzzer that uses a single double A battery.

I have been wanting to recreate this board using all LED’s and a lot of them.  I just haven’t had time.


The board construction is solid aspen with 3 coats of polycrylic applied.

Let there be light. (5 Beers)

Let’s be honest, working with technology is boring.  Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy it, but there is something to be said for creating something with your hands.  Yes my hands create things digitally but you know what I mean.  Anyway, when I have the opportunity to build something, I do.

Many before me (toolmonger) have made reference to the time a project will take by how many beers will be drank,  I will not deviate.   Luckily I condone drinking and power tools  unless you hurt yourself.  I still have 10 fingers and 10 toes, if you start with extra you’re free to take one off.

Enough of that.

Here is my attempt to create a night light with a warm basking glow to fall asleep by.  I ended up with a beacon that could direct large vessels into port.  When one box advertises 180 watt equivalent, you don’t need 2 boxes.  After you learn from my mistake, or don’t, check out the pictures!  I should mention my beautiful, wonderful, intelligent wife came up with the idea to put the outlet on a timer.  We sleep better knowing we have avoided severe retinal damage for the little guy.


I used 2 – t5 fluorescent light fixtures, the wire in type.  I removed some of the factory wiring and ran some NM wire directly into the housing and wired it into the ballasts.   I then ran the other end into a junction box with a 15 amp single pole switch.  From the switch I ran in a 3 prong ‘replacement’ cable that plugs into the wall.  I’m not an electrician so please don’t correct my terminology or my writing ability.

The box assembly is made out of solid aspen that was finger and butt joint(ed?).  I built a jig for the window cut outs and then used a 3/4″ mortising bit followed up by a 1/8″ spiral cutting bit.  Running the mortise bit 11/16″ deep and then the spiral bit full through gives the inside lip.   The panels were then dressed with white acrylic with fill pieces and then a wood frame screwed to the box assembly to hold it all in place.  Of course I used wood glue, duh.  Knowing my son he will stand on the top window.  So I made a cross-brace that should support him until he’s 14.

Each window has a bead of clear silicone between the wood lip and acrylic for water / spill protection.  Yes, acrylic and silicone don’t really adhere to each other that well, but when it’s sandwiched in, it should hold.  You shouldn’t ever use the silicone as an adhesive for most types of plastics.  Read the label, it says so.


It’s then attached to the wall,  tada!