Posts tagged diy
Posts tagged diy
Meet Roz. She’s got her eye on you.
this is one of the decorations for “monsters and creatures” day at camp. the day’s theme incorporates Monsters Inc, where the wild things are, Yetis, Bigfoots, the cat in the hat, and really anything that sort of vaguely falls into the “monster” or “creature” realm.
i cheated on this batch of pictures. sometimes i draw out my stuff by hand while looking at a sample, this time, i needed all my pictures to be perfect the first time, so i used a projector and traced it. the painting is all me, though. kinda proud of this one. i love Roz’s character.
Trebuchet in action. this is a test fire with sub optimal counterweight and/or arm ratio. i’ll be adjusting both of those for maximum distance soon.
Made some frames last night. These are 2’x3’ portrait frames. The edges are crown moulding (3” and 4”) 4 frames total. Moulding is surprisingly expensive, but I needed an elaborate frame and most poster frames are ~$20 and thin framed, so these will be cheaper overall.
I made these in advance of our 2nd camp meeting. People will be coming to paint the frames, antique or gold leaf them and then paint a portrait background. The idea is to recreate Harry potter style house portraits so that real people can stand behind the frame, move and talk with campers then they can leave and an empty portrait shows its background with no subject.
EDIT: i made up the $20 number, thinking about what i might have seen in a craft store. i just looked up what a similar poster frame would cost on amazon (24”x36”, 3” and 4” thick textured frame) a 2” thick was $60. haven’t found a 4” yet, but i think i can assume it would be somewhere around $70-80. let’s split it and call it $75. x4 and we’ll throw in free shipping since it’s amazon. that makes my DIY is about $240 cheaper. that may be a new cost savings record, i’ll have to verify in my notes from previous year’s builds.
i’ve seen both tensioned and untensioned referenced in bandsaw care and maintenance. curious what real woodworkers do. i figure it could go either way. if i’m always tensioning and untensioning the blade, that might wear it out faster. or if i just leave it tensioned, that could wear it out faster or create a “memory” around the wheels.
here are 2 crappy pictures of the new pins that i installed on the table saw’s angle adjustment wheel. the first is the internal pin for the worm gear, and the second is the external pin that gives the hand wheel traction on the gear’s axle. the hand wheel pins somehow managed to shear off while i was fixing the internal gears. luckily i’m now a pro at re-pinning and super gluing gear axles. can’t wait for the cut depth wheel and worm gear to shear off so i can fix them too. i’ll give these another 24 hours or so and maybe i’ll finally turn the table saw on and cut something.
i tested out the jig that i built a couple days ago. it seemed to work well, so i thought i was ready to upgrade the wood quality. i stopped by lowes and picked up some 2’x2”x1/4” aspen, poplar and red oak. i went for broke and started with the oak. unfortunately, 1/2 second into my bandsaw cut to shape the rough outline, my blade snapped. that sucks for several reasons: 1) it was scary. 2) the blade was fairly new and still very sharp and 3) i had spent a lot of time tuning the saw and it was working really well. so i’ll have to pick up a new blade and re-tune it.
in any event, when i tested out the template the first time, the router bit was completely exposed and i was holding the template from the rear. i’m always extremely careful when using the router (still not very comfortable using it), but i was worried that if the wood caught and the blade kicked, it could yank the jig forward and thus my hand into the blade. i really like my fingers, so i’d like to avoid this.
talking with my wife at dinner last night and explaining my fears, she asked “isn’t that the tool i just got you all that safety equipment for??” which it is. she got me this: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page=19247&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=&utm_content=pla&utm_campaign=PLA&gclid=CKfs2eur6rQCFQWe4Aod00kAww
but i haven’t built my new fence and laid my T track yet. even if i did, i couldn’t use the fence with this jig since the blade needs to be exposed in order to reach into the deeper sections of the jig’s contours.
i had seen some other kind of router table blade guard that just goes over the blade to avoid anything falling into it or avoid anything larger (like my hand) from coming into direct accidental contact from above. so i made one of those out of some plexiglass that i have from the initial table build
i also wanted some sort of push stick for the jig, but needed some way to retain multidirectional control since the router is making a contour cut, not just a straight line gouge. i came up with this elongated dowel handle which i can use for either side of the jig. with it, i can keep downward pressure on the jig with my right hand (and keep my hand well above the blade) while “steering” the jig through the cut with my left.
both enhancements worked great and i felt much safer knowing that if something were to kick or pull, my digits would remain intact. an evening well spent.
oh, and the oak turned out pretty nice using the template. i bolted down 2 pieces of oak and instead of making the rough cut on the band saw, i just ran some shallow cuts through the router (since i had such great control over the jig). both pieces looked nice and will look even better after a light sanding. i’m considering using a 1/4 roundover bit on the underside of the same jig (so i don’t have 90 degree, 1/2” square handles, but something a little more comfortable in the hand), but i may need to do some noodling before i get that to work.
i suspect that the original chicago screws (which hold the grips on the knife tang) are some metric measurement. i had planned on reusing them, but my drill bits are either slightly too small or too large. i’ll have to look into some metric drill bits.
a word on all these reclaimed wood projects using pallets that are popping up everywhere:
the “barn wood” look became mainstream popular with pottery barn and all the other magazines a while back. the problem with barn wood is that there aren’t that many dilapidated barns left to make stuff out of, so the wood is limited and expensive. enter the pallet idea: pallets have that same kind of aged patina for a fraction of the cost, and they are plentiful. problem solved, right?
i don’t think so. pallets get their patina in a different way. barns sit outside for 100 years weathering away naturally, working for their beauty. pallets, however, are heavily used, cheap wooden structures in a warehouse. they have a lifespan of a couple of years before they’re replaced. the longer they’re used, the more patina they acquire.
but have you been in a warehouse? i have. it was filthy. everything about product shipping was filthy. the manufacturer, the trucks, the warehouse, the storehouse, even storage at some of the retail shops. the product shipped inside the box is clean upon arrival, but the pallet picks up all that “beauty” (and mold, dirt, rat feces, you-name-it) along the way, accumulating, working its way into the wood grain, becoming fossilized, one with the wood.
reclaimed pallet projects are a neat way to get a rustic look in your house, but before you decide to make a bed frame, counter top or a cutting board, think about where that wood has been and whether you want that near your pillow, your food, or even in your house at all.
one of my new year’s resolutions was to boost my productivity and precision by using my router more. one of the easiest ways i could come up with was template routing with a bearing bit.
making some custom knife grips is a project that i have been thinking about for a while now. i picked up a Gerber Freeman pretty cheap and although i like the knife, i’m not wild about the rubber grips (i also hate the sheath, but that’s another story). so i wanted to make some grips that fit my style a little better.
i began by removing the original grips and tracing them on the MDF base. i then cut out the rough shape on the bandsaw, being sure to leave the pencil marks exposed so that i could sand up to them as i did my final shaping. i also marked the screw holes and drilled them out on the drill press. i had originally intended to use a toggle clamp as a hold down on the template but as usual, i was making things more complicated than necessary, so i decided to throw some bolts in the existing screw holes and call it a day. it ended up working perfectly.
after fitting the original grips on the cut and sanded template, i traced the grip outline on my work piece (in this case, a scrap piece of pine plywood in case of catastrophic failure, which is always an option). again, i cut the rough shape on the band saw, drilled the holes and bolted it to my template.
router on: nyeeeaaahhh! done. switch template sides and do the back: nyeeeaaahhhh!! done. unbolt and fit the new grip it on the knife. the fit is looking great. i left the back a little larger than the original grip so that the jimping on the spine just barely shows through the wood, but kept the original measurements on the base so that there is plenty of grip on the finger choils.
i can’t wait to try with some solid oak and later on (if the oak works) the miniature harlequin diamond butcher block that i’m (still) working on.
my wife has taken up running as a hobby. she has always stayed fit, but decided to go beyond the occasional 5K. she ran frequently and took longer runs. then decided to do a 10K. a year later, she did it again. later that year, she did a half marathon. she kept up her fitness level in the off season and this past year, she did a half and a full marathon! along the way, she picked up a bunch of medals, but had nowhere to display her trophies.
we both had the idea for a wall plaque to display the medals around the same time. i had been looking for medal display ideas on tumblr, she on pinterest. we both found some ideas, but none that really fit her style. i suggested that i make one and she agreed, giving me her favorite running shirt as inspiration.
she loves the phrase on the shirt and it fits her style perfectly. i used the lettering as my guide, transcribed it on to my birch plywood and got to work on the scroll saw. lots of very intricate cuts! i used a very fine spiral blade to make the cutting a little easier. unfortunately, since the spiral blades were thinner, they dull easily and eventually snap, but they’re well worth the hassle for the quality of cut.
the oak backing was stained and given a couple of coats of satin finish wipe-on polyurethane, sanding with steel wool in between. the letters were painted “electric pink”, just like her favorite shirt. i though the brown and pink would compliment each other nicely as well as match our office. the lettering was given a coat of the same polyurethane for a similar satin finish. finally, the wall hanging hardware and brass hooks (measured and pre-drilled, of course) were installed.
now, she finally has a place to show off all of her hard work and accomplishments.
keep on running happy!
here is the completed* workbench drawer. (* because i may go back and patch the table saw gaps in the sides, might add a drawer pull, who knows. workshop improvements never end).
all materials are reclaimed from my scrap pile: dovetailed pine boards for the drawer frame, hardboard drawer base, double layer of pine plywood for the drawer slides and i added a center support under the drawer base with some pocket hole screws.
the drawer is currently holding about 30 lbs of hardware. i inherited a ton of stuff from my uncle-in-law (his dovetail saw too) so it’s all been put to good use and has a nice home instead of the box on the floor where it’s been for 8 months.