I knew I was going to need a stable and very strong raised platform soon, so I made one myself from leftover materials.
Let’s check out the end result first:
At 125kg, I’m a big guy. And this thing had no trouble taking my full weight. My mom’s another 60-odd kg and we hopped onto it together for about 190kg, and it didn’t budge. At one point I hopped on, jumped into the air, and landed on it with my full weight and some amount of velocity for an even larger mechanical load, and it was still fine. This thing is STURDY.
Since I was working with trash materials that would have been thrown out otherwise anyway, this isn’t half bad. I basically made it for the price of a couple of screws.
I wanted a platform that I couldn’t just stand on, but that once placed, would give my massive feet ample room to move a bit further left or right without flipping the thing over. The top platform was the key ingredient here. I needed something that was large enough.
I had a couple of leftover pieces of these furniture panels (white laminated chipboard), and I took the biggest single piece I could find, which was about 40×50 cm (that’s about 15¾” x 19¾” for you imperial folks). I did some tests on some small pieces by jumping on them before I moved ahead, because I wanted ot be sure it’d safely carry my weight and more.
With the top chosen, I needed to add the legs.
Last year we wanted to close up the side of our 3.5 x 4 meter aluminum and poly-carbonate porch behind the house a little, to get some more privacy. The official options were too expensive by far, so I decided to improvise and built a multi-functional wooden inner frame. This ended up coming in super-useful for all sorts of things, from hanging several privacy screens, to making it easy to add a spot for a hanging clothes-rack by just adding a single tweaked crossbar.
And you might wonder what any of that has to do with this project, the hop-up platform, and the answer is — not much, aside from the material I used for that build: 6,5 x 6,5 cm impregnated wood posts (2½ x 2½ inch). I had this cut at the home improvement store, and they screwed up. Since I was on a schedule for that particular built, and I had the wood cut in another town, and my long-distance ride was unavailable, I got new crossbars cut at the local home improvement store, who didn’t mess it up. Rather than pursue trying to get my money back, I figured I’d save myself the trouble and just save all of the “bad” pieces in case I could use them later on.
And hey, here we are!
I still had a bunch of these. In fact, I was able to find four that were essentially the same size (give or take a millimetre), which was perfect for the four legs to support the corners. Then I found two more, longer pieces that were about 56.5 cm. I was able to cut those two down to 50cm using a jigsaw.
I did end up needing to do a lot of sanding, both using a sander and some final touches by hand. A lot of the cuts were rough, including the cuts I made, and I didn’t want splinters sticking out of my hop-up platform.
I started by just putting down the one long piece onto two smaller pieces. This would be one half of the legs my platform would need. I then did the other. I didn’t use mechanical fasteners at this point, it was all wood glue. I then wanted to put pressure onto the joints to give the glue the best bonding chance… which you’d normally use a clamp for. Unfortunately, I didn’t have any clamps large enough where I was doing this project, so I settled for the next best thing:
I set both pieces down, tossed the upper platform on top of it (you can tell I didn’t bother going for accuracy yet here), thew on something soft on top of that, and sat my butt down with a nice breeze and a cool drink. I gave it a good half hour, after which the glue had sufficiently dried for me to finish the build.
The final step was to mechanically tie everything together. Ever since I started NinjyProps, I’ve really gotten into making and general Home DIY. I’ve easily done my “other” projects than prop-projects, and that’s fine. I just like to learn, try to make things despite my various disabilities, and share my work with the world (or at least, the 1 or 2 of you who actually read my articles and watch my videos 😉).
In short, I knew I was going to build more, and I didn’t want to deal with old flat-head screws in Ye Olde Box of Screws my stepdad left me. You know the one I mean. We all have that box. Consequently, I ended up buying a lot of new screws last year, most of them Torx – which is somewhat easily available here, and which are so much nicer than Philips or Pozi (and infinitely better than slot screws, which should just be banned outright).
When I said I bought “a lot”, I wasn’t kidding. Those are 5kg buckets of screws. Each. The longer ones actually somehow ended up being too short — they couldn’t go through the chipboard top platform, the 6.5cm bar, underneath, and then sink into the wood legs underneath that. Luckily, I also had these little babies:
Yeah. Now that’s a screw.
These 10cm screws handily made it through all three layers, so I used two of these in each of the corner (you’ll want more than 1, because if the glue bond somehow fails, a single screw would result in a leg that could just rotate in place around the screw — whereas 2 screws will hold it tightly in place). I also used one smaller screw in the middle on each side, just for good measure.
This was probably good enough… but just because I could, I took this one unnecessary step further, and added four of these 4x4cm (1½ inch) 3mm thick steel corner braces on the inside, which further enhance the already impressive load this platform can bear.
This was genuinely a one-day build. In fact, it only took me about four hours from start to finish, which is pretty good for me. If you don’t have any disabilities to contend with, you could easily do this in half that time or less — and I’d strongly recommend it!
Most of us who do any amount of making or DIY work will have spare materials lying around that they promised themselves would come in handy eventually, but which they avoid using up for that same reason, and also refuse to throw out.
This is a great project to sink your teeth into and lets you turn that trash into a tool that’s useful in your hobby space, your workshop, and even in and around the house. For almost no cost.
Just once more for good measure, here’s what the end result was for me. It’s not much to look at, perhaps — but it works very well, it was almost free, and it’s already come in useful several times since I’ve built it.
I hope you enjoyed reading about this project and that it inspires you to make some things of your own. Why not try to one-up me and make an even better hop-up platform? If you do, please get in touch with a comment or on social media — I’d love to see it!
Take care, stay safe, and I’ll see you in the next one!
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