The Best Free Code Tutorials

What follows is a list of the best free code tutorials in my opinion. I’m proposing only the programming tutorials that I found taught me the fastest and the ones I enjoyed participating in.

best free code tutorials

There are many slow, boring video series I’ve gone through in the hopes of learning to program, but what follows are the programs that I found to teach me the subject quickly and were fun to complete.

Overall Best Free Code Courses

  1. Free Code Camp – http://freecodecamp.com/ – Free Code Camp is an open source, game-like software course that teaches everything from HTML to computer science ideas like
  2. CodeFights – https://codefights.com/ – I would suggest this is more of an intermediate way of learning. Once you get good with algorithms, this might be a great way to get on the radar of interesting software engineering companies.
  3. Codecademy – http://codecademy.com/ – These exercises are the best for getting an initial introduction to any technologies covered on their platform. Also, if I want to revamp some skills quickly before approaching a new project, bashing through Codecademy is a great way for me to freshen up on skills.

Best Specific Code Technologies

JavaScript

JavaScript is a very important language for the internet. If you want to have a good idea of what JavaScript looks like when navigating the web, go to Chrome>Preferences>Content Settings and shift the “Allowed” tab off. Once you’ve turned JavaScript off, go to your favorite websites and see the difference.

NPM

What is NPM? Node Package Manager is a protocol for using JavaScript to build applications. At this point, all I know is that it empowers the programmer to use the terminal to build web applications in JavaScript.

Regular Expressions (RegEx)

What is a regular expression? A RegularExpression is a line of text formatted to get you a result. For example, if you wanted to find all the dollar amounts from a tremendous text document, you can use a regular expression to pull out all the numerical numbers after a “$” symbol.

jQuery

What is jQuery? jQuery is a library of JavaScript which makes using JavaScript easier on web pages. For example, you write a HTML search box into a webpage and you want to process the input from the user to do something. You could use jQuery to take the user information and put it into a JavaScript algorithm.

Learn.jQuery.com – http://try.jquery.com/

SQL

What is SQL? SQL is an acronym for Structured Query Language. Pronounce it, sea quell, rather than S.Q.L.  This is a database language for retrieving data and creating data. Note: a basic understanding of RegularExpressions will help before starting the SQL tutorials.

Expample Format
SELECT <something>
FROM <dataset>
WHERE <attributes you care about>

SQL Bolt – https://sqlbolt.com/

Best Free Code Tutorials – Parting Words

I’m no expert at this. In 2016 I spent a year deep diving into software engineering, but I ran into a wall and decided to build a school bus home. That home took me about 9 months to build so I fell off the programming horse during the months from March to November of 2017.

For me, there is still a haze obscuring my path to understanding software engineering. Though the haze has lifted consistently during my studies, I still feel considerably lost in it. The above suggestions were from the tutorials that cleared the haze out the fastest. I’m sure it’s not a complete list, but it is the list of technologies that helped me the most.

Please add any suggestions in the comments below. I would really appreciate learning faster ways to blow the haze away.

Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer Slide Installation and Building 3/4″ Plywood Drawers

This video is a more complete documentation of building the custom drawers and Installing soft-close ball bearing drawer slides.

If you’re finding this because you plan to do the project yourself, I suggest checking out my previous video on soft-close ball bearing drawers as well.

Additional Drawer Installation Video – Click Here

Custom Drawers

Notes on Installing Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer

The devil with installing ball-bearing sliding drawer rails is in the details. The reality is that I spent a lot more time contemplating and measuring. These videos appear as if it was a quick, easy process to plan what to do next.

Drawer Slides

Because the drawers are square and the hardware is straight, it is critical to measure carefully. I was off by 1/4″ in terms of square-trapezoid shape. That difference in sliding rail measurement differences was enough for the hardware to function improperly.

Installing Soft-Close Ball Bearing Drawer

Questions?

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below. If you ask pertinent, important questions relating to the topic of installing drawer slides, I can respond below with my thoughts. Those comments are public to everyone else reading this post. With luck, we can build a great resource here for future people.

Ideally, I’d like to have a great resource for others while learning the ways that others can improve the installation process.

Skoolie Pocket Door

In this episode of the bus conversion story, I install the skoolie pocket door.

Pocket Door Installation Tips

I believe my adhesion of the poly wall to the door was insufficient. This is only something I wanted to do because the door is there to keep water from going into the hallway.

The second thing I wish I had done was that I wish I had installed the handle before I put the door up. Here’s an example of the handle hardware:

Pocket Door Handle Hardware: http://amzn.to/2z5A797

One thing that I struggled with was getting the door in place. I learned, through trial and error, that the best way to get the door to hang was it get it in place and then pry the door up using a corner. I then used the back side of my utility knife (this one specifically) to push the slider onto it’s mount. Once that first slider was connected to the door, I pried the door the opposite way so that the other mount met the sliding hardware. I hope that helps.

If you have anything to add, or you have any questions regarding skoolie pocket door installation, please let me know in the comments below.

Pocket Door Materials and Tools

If you’re hoping to do this, here is a link to the hardware I used to build the door:

Pocket Door Slider Hardware: http://amzn.to/2z47KIl

I used the 60″ version of the hardware, but I believe I cut the hardware down a little bit. My door turned out to be about 26 inches wide and the door way is 24 inches wide. Therefore, two inches worth of door stays hidden behind the wall at all times.

Finishing Shower Floor

It’s this video that I actually make the drawer work well. Here is a link to the sliding door hardware I used:

Sliding Drawer Hardware: http://amzn.to/2hoZRG4

. For me, it was all about moving the supporting struts around so that the drawer slid back and forth smoothly.

To be honest, I didn’t quite get it perfect, it’s just good.

Next I do some more table saw work. I added in a little outtake from one of my favorite carpenters. You can find the whole of Jimmy DiResta’s table saw tips here:

Next, I went about addressing the footpath between the shower and the kitchen. I used silicone, grout and epoxy to span the gap. Here is a link to the heavy duty two part epoxy that I used:

Two Part Epoxy: http://amzn.to/2gQdM7a

When I made the pocket door, I used liquid nails and white silicone. I’m not 100% confident in that job, but here is a link to the stuff I used if you want to give it a try:

Liquid Nails: http://amzn.to/2iNAr8C
White Silicone: http://amzn.to/2iNAr8C

Music:
The Man – Clueless Kit
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC5KUrUgkE8anJzXrY5o6JxA

Skoolie Cabinetry Overlay Hinges, Knobs and Other Things

This video details what may be one of the more challenging parts of skoolie cabinetry, installing the hinge and other hardware.

The image below shows the completed cabinet doors.

Custom Cabinets in a Skoolie

The below image shows a closeup of the hinges. These are 1/2 inch overlay hinges. The brand I picked up was called Liberty. I spent $19.98 on a 10 pack of these hinges at Home Depot. If I were to do it again, I would have gone with the soft close option. Soft close means they have a piece of plastic inside the door hinge part of the hinge. That plastic pushes agains the hinge to soften the closing mechanism. It’s only a little more expensive, but it might add a bit more to the “wow” factor.

Here’s what the hinge I installed looks like:

skoolie cabinetry 1/2" overlay hinge

Tips for Installing Half Inch Overlay Hinges

    • Use millimeters to measure your distance from the edge. 20.5 mm is far more precise than whatever it is in imperial increments
    • Use a square to draw a cross for exactly where you want your drill bit to start the hole.
    • The instructions say the mm size for the forstner bit. I used a 1-3/8″ steel forstner bit and it worked fine. It cost $16.99 at Home Depot. It’s available on amazon for $11.80 via this link (link). If blog saves you $5.00, let me know in the comments please. 🙂

  • Have a fast square on hand. I have an aluminum one that I purchased a long time ago, but you can find them very inexpensive on Amazon for less than $5.00 (link here). The fast square is a very useful tool.
  • I installed the hinges so that the center of the hinge is 3″ from the top and the bottom of the cabinet. I’m happy with this and I stole the idea for hinge location from some professionally built cabinets in my friends house.

Cabinetry Knobs

The bag called the knob that I used a Liberty 1-1/8″ scallop edge round knob of antique brass.

skoolie cabinetry countertop knob

Be careful, these are for sale on Amazon for $10 each in some scammy places. At Home Depot I picked them up for less than $1 each and they can be found on amazon for the same price.

Skoolie Cabinet Knobs

These are really easy to install. In the video I demonstrate the process very quickly. Here’s some quick details just in case reinforcing knowledge would be helpful.

  1. Measure 1 inch down and one inch inside the doors to make your mark for drilling
  2. Use a 3/16″ drill bit to go straight through the cabinet
  3. Hand tightened the knob with your thumb on the back bolt

If I find in the future that they are coming off, I can add a washer to the back and use a screwdriver to ensure they never come loose.

Cabinet Knobs on Skoolie

Previously Posted Relevant Skoolie Cabinetry Posts

Questions?

I would appreciate your feedback on anything mentioned in this post. Please feel free to leave a comment below with tips that I may have missed, or with specific questions you have regarding your own build.

Thank you for visiting.

Paneling Wood Work on the Skoolie – Also Rebuilding the Bed

Metal Trim Process

In this video I installed the metal trim for the rear door of the bus. That trim came with the bus but it was rusty and ugly looking. As we’re trying to make the bus a really beautiful place that will last a long time, getting the rust off and dressing it up was important. All the grinding and painting happened off camera, but the installation is shown in the video above.

  1. Grind rust down using an angle grinder and a braided grinder disc.
  2. Once rust is completely removed, set metal on thin blocks. The goal is to make it so that the metal piece to be painted touches as little as possible.
  3. Use white primer for the first layer of paint. Spray from 2-3 feet away and move paint can continuously while spraying.
  4. Use whatever color you want after that. I used black for this trim piece.

Wood Filler Substitute

Off camera the night before, I made a mistake and cut my hole for the electrical outlet too long.

To remedy that, I want to fill the saw lines with wood filler. I don’t really like the normal wood filler that we used on the ceiling so I tried something new. It’s something that I think I learned from a DiResta video. Here’s how it works:

I use a combination of wood glue, saw dust and water to fill the mistakenly cut lines. I’m not 100% happy with the way it turned out. My guess is that the saw dust I used was too thick. If I could have found some more dusty wood dust, I think the final product would have been better.

Also, I would have mixed up a greater amount of the mixture. With more to work with, I can make more conscious decisions about the texture and construction of the material. In the video, you see it kind of working. I look forward to doing this again in the future with better results.

Wood Paneling the Skoolie

Paneling is actually a time intensive process. My process is to carefully measure, cut, sand and stain each piece. It takes a lot longer than I expect. IN the video above, I paneled the bed which encloses the 47 gallon water tank. This enclosure also encases the water pump and all the pipes that empower us to decide between filling the water tank or using city water. It was a tough collection of cuts.

Slats for the New Bus Bed

Today I also did a lot of table saw cuts.

The bed needed to be built differently. The existing 1/4″ plywood was cracking if I rested on the open span areas. Also, there is a chance that the lack of ventilation with the old build strategy would have been quite limited. It had to change.

I took the old 1/4″ in plywood off and used 3/4″ plywood strips cut at 3 1/2″ in to make up the bed. I spaced the 3/4″ plywood slats apart by 1 1/2″. A single slat and it’s space between the next one added together for an even 5″. Because a Queen bed is 60″ in by 80″ in I knew that (60/5) I would be needing 12 slats to complete the project.

Bed Rib Measurement Math

That said, I knew I had to develop a different strategy for the area which covers the water tank. I wanted to easily be able to access the water shed should we need to make adjustments. For that reason, I stopped at 7 slats. I’ll do the next 5 ASAP.

 

ASAP isn’t accurate. I’ll do it at my next opportunity. I was exhausted from this day of projects so I went to bed.

Thank you for watching. Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions or concerns.

Music:
Soft Sound by Clueless Kit
SUBSCRIBE TO CLUELESS KIT

Sanding, Caulking, Staining and More Carpentry

Today I did a lot of sanding. The sofa that I made in previous videos needed to be sanded down and stained. I also stained the tops of the ottomans.

My life is quite lonely now while V and I are apart so I find the most solace in working. I’ve been doing a lot of projects.

The furnace is almost 100% complete now, which is a really cool feeling. Things are coming to completion one at a time. For so long, the ‘to-do’ list was infinite and growing faster than I could do things. Now, I’m actually getting to the point where I find myself saying, “Wow… that project is done!”

Table and Sofa Design

The idea for this sofa and the pop-up table came from Ana White.

Clearly, I’ve changed a few things dramatically, but I really appreciate Ana’s hard work at documenting her plans and making a cool video about how to do things.

Thank You For Watching

Please let me know in the comments if you have any questions related to the work in this video. I’ll happily go into much greater detail.