For the Hobbyist DIY’er: Simple Ways / Tools to Change Dimensions on Projects

I’ve been wanting to make some stackable wooden crates and have been searching for an option that would be a good fit for me:

  • Needs to be friendly for my child, so I can have him participate using the hammer, drill, etc.
  • Ideally, on the same topic, shouldn’t include too much work that I have to do alone )(e.g. fine details), don’t want him to get bored waiting or feel left out.
  • Looking for something relatively inexpensive, so no need for fancy ornamentation or decoration.
  • Simple enough for my admittedly limited DIY’er skills.

I think I’ve found a good, simple wood crate diy project that fits the bill. We actually went out and purchased a number of the items we’d need to build it (a few tools, screws, wood glue, etc.). (Un)fortunately our local hardware store had run out of the wood we needed and there weren’t any reasonably inexpensive alternatives available.

My one “concern” with this project is the size of the crates. They are using boards that are 12″ wide, this limits the depth and/or width of the finished crates. This is a fairly good size, but I’d like to go a little bigger, maybe a bit deeper.

So that left me wondering – what good methods or tools are there for changing the dimensions of a project? Sure, I can do some hand scratch math but…:

  1. I don’t do this frequently enough to be able to do it without second thought.
  2. I like to check my work, preferably with a tool I know always gives the correct answer.
  3. This works for the larger items like the wood but what about screws? For example, if I double the width of the cart do I need to use longer screws or should the ones specified in the initial specifications still be adequate?

So I’m curious – how do you handle these measurements when resizing dimensions on a project? Are there tools (software, work sheets) that make this simpler to accomplish?

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