Gear is expensive, but if you’re handy with a hammer, there’s little you can’t do.

WHILE MY FORAYS into carpentry stopped with the plywood skateboard ramps my best friend and I used to build in junior high, building cool stuff doesn’t take professional-level know-how. Plus, it’s satisfying to use something you made yourself.

In honor of Labor Day, here are five neat projects from the Matador Sports’ vaults that you can do right now:

1. How to Rehab an Old Sailboat

If you like to sail but you’re not the hoity-toity yacht-club type, you may like Misty Tosh’s article on fixing up old boats. She goes into detail about everything you need to do to get onto the water, including some, like making an inventory of your gear, that I wouldn’t have thought of.

Photo: tiarescott

2. How to Build a Climbing Wall at Home

This rapid-fire video shows the whole process of putting up a basement woody, though it’s light on the instructions. If you want a little more detail, Metolius has a great PDF guide to putting up your own bouldering wall.

3. How to Build a Backyard Skating Rink

Matador’s Candice Walsh shared this guide to making a rink like the ones her father used to make for her when she was growing up. All you’ll need is a shovel and a garden hose.

4. How to Make Your Own Skis

More manifesto than how-to, this article by David Page makes a pretty strong case for skipping the Dynastars and shaping your own gear in your garage. If you’re ready to move on to the next step, Skiing Mag has super-detailed instructions on building your own skis.

5. How to Make Your Own Hamboard

This video series on YouTube documents a group of kids’ efforts to build their own hamboard, a giant, surfboard-sized skate deck. Judging by the video of their final product, it looks like it works.

Community Connection

Read about a Labor Day “eat-in” for healthy school lunches.