Monday, May 13, 2019

How to make a super simple wooden stool - DIY

Tools and materials I propose:

This type of small stool, is pretty common in Greece. It used to fulfill many needs in everyday life. And it still does so to this day. I made mine out of reclaimed pine wood. 

I cut my boards roughly to size on the table saw. I then cleaned them up a little bit on my jointer planer. You can use precut lumber from your local lumber yard. 

To make your cross cuts, you can use a handsaw, a jigsaw or a circular saw. After all, this project doesn’t require extreme accuracy. If you use the circular saw, a speed square can prove really handy.

Cutting thin stripes was a bit tricky. But I created a fence using an scrap piece and using the jigsaw it came out just fine. You can use a cheap block plane to clean the saw marks if you like. 

I wanted the top to have curved edges, so I used a spray can as a guide. To cut the thin pieces to size I used my miter box and a saw.

Pine has too many nuts. I secured them in place with some thin super glue. I then designed the side pieces.

I made all my cuts with the jigsaw. But if you have access to a small bandsaw you can do the same work much easier. I cleaned the saw marks with files, chisels and sandpaper.

It’s better to make your cuts leaving some excess material. Then you can fine tune them and achieve better joints. 

When you cut with the jigsaw or the bandsaw, sometimes you have to make a few repeated cuts to create some room, so the blade can take the turn.

Once all the parts were cut to size and shape, I assembled my stool. I glued and screwed everything in place. Before adding the screws, I predrilled pilot holes and counter sunken them.

I rounded over all the edges using a block plane, a spokeshave and a sharp chisel. But you can achieve the same effect just by sanding. This made the piece nicer to the touch and also made it look a bit more organic. 

I filled some imperfections with wood filler and then sanded everything with my random orbit sander. 

I masked the legs of the stool and painted them green with latex paint. This is not only a design element but also prevents moisture from penetrating into the end grain of the legs. I like latex paint, because it dries easily without smelling bad. Remember to brush from the tape to the wood. This way you’ll have a much sharper edge, once you remove the masking tape. I applied two coats of paint while lightly sanding between coats. I also painted the screws and then sanded over them flush. This way you kind of incorporate an ugly element into your design.

Finally I applied two coats of clear water based satin varnish. A heat gun speeds up the drying process.

At this point my stool was ready. It is really steardy and I love the way it looks.

I hope you like this project, because that was it. See you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Epoxy resin, CNC machine and woodturning experiments

3D carver links:

Tools and materials I propose:

In this video I used my x-carve 3d carver and epoxy resin, to create blanks for woodturning. I made a pen, a cap and a bowl! I hope these projects will inspire you to experiment and create interesting and creative projects!

The wood I used for these projects, was basswood. I used my jointer to flatten one side. Then I used the thickness planer to flatten the other parallel to the first. I jointed one edge on the jointer and then used the table saw to make the other one parallel. At this point my piece was square. 

I created my vector designs and then imported them into Easel. The online software my CNC machine uses. My designs were 3.5mm ribbons. So I used a 3mm straight bit to carve everything.

After the 3D carving was over, I mixed some clear resin and coated the inside of my carvings. This procedure should prevent the colored resin from penetrating deep into the wood fibers. I let the resin cure for a day.

I then mixed more resin and added a drop of blue dye. I degassed the resin in the vacuum chamber and casted it into the mold. I then degassed it again. A piece of tape in the perimeter of the mold prevents the resin from overflowing and ruining the chamber.

I let the resin cure for a week. Meantime I repeated the process to make pen blanks and cap blanks.

I begun turning the bowl blank first. I secured it between centers on the lathe and created a mortise underneath to secured it on my chuck’s jaws. Bowl turning is pretty satisfying and you can easily get carried away. And that’s what I did. As a result I went too deep with the bowl gouge and had to remake the blank from the beginning!

Anyway, I proceeded on pen turning. I prepared my blanks for turning. I drilled a hole and glued the metal tubes in place. Then I used the trimming bit to trim the wood flush with the tubes. Then I secured the blanks on my pen mandrel and used a roughing gouge to turn them. I sanded them and polished them with abrasive paste. The pens turned out nice, although next time I would use more dye so the resin won’t be transparent. 

Next I made a cap for an IKEA night light. First I mounted the blank on my machinist’s chuck. Then I used the bowl gouge to hollow it out. I also used the parting tool and my recess tool to create a mortise for my chuck. I then reversed the blank and turned it with the bowl gouge. Again sanding and polishing! It turned out nicely!

Finally the bowl blank was ready. This time I kept things simple. I just mounted it on the lathe with a face plate. I did most of the turning with a bowl gouge. Occasionally I used a spindle gouge and a round scraper. This bowl was more like an abstract form based on a bowl shape. Despite the fact that I had added that first coat of clear resin, the colored resin still managed to penetrate deeply into the wood. As a result I had some resign showing off in some spots. Some might find this visual effect kind of interesting. 

Anyway, I really enjoyed this project and learned a ton of stuff making it. I hope you’ll find it inspiring! At this point I want to thank Inventables for sponsoring this experimental project.

See you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Making a simple Easter bunny mechanical toy, out of plywood!

Tools and materials I propose:

Happy Easter everybody! This is a simple woodworking project out of 9mm birch plywood. I hope you'll enjoy it!

I begun by making a rough prototype out of OSB. I then created vector templates for the project. 

Mechanical toys require accuracy in order to work. So I also created a 3D model as a simulation. Everything seemed to work.

Next I layed out my templates on the plywood, based on the orientation of the grain. 

I coated the plywood with a layer of packaging tape. I attached the templates on the plywood using spray adhesive. Finally I added a coat of tape over the templates. This technique helps keep the templates in place while cutting. Also the templates can be removed really easily without leaving glue on the wood. To me this is the best method for attaching templates onto the wood.

At this point  I center punched all the holes.

Next I cut everything on the bandsaw. To cut the smaller parts safely, I added an improvised zero clearence insert on the bandsaw. 

I then sanded everything close to the template lines, using my belt sander. I used a chisel to reach some difficult spots. 

I drilled all the holes on my drill press. I then glued and nailed a few parts in place.

I connected the parts of the egg cell with two screws and sanded them flush on the belt sander. 

The bunny should fit loosely, so I sanded it a little bit.

As a shaft, I used an 8mm dowel. 

I stained the egg with water based dye. This has a vivid color but also leaves the grain pattern of the wood visible.

I then finished everything with water based clear varnish. 

I also lubricated the inside of the egg with my homemade beeswax and mineral oil finish.

Finally I glued the crank’s pieces in place. The leaver was secured in place with a screw, so I can remove it if I have to. 

And that was it. My little Easter bunny toy was ready.

I hope you enjoyed this video. Happy Easter everybody, see you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Making a mini threaded picture frame, on the wood lathe

Tools and materials I propose:

This project was a good excuse for me to practice thread chasing on a woodturning lathe. I made it out of apricot wood. 

I also want to thank Mr. Sam Angelo, the Wyoming Woodturner for his thread chasing tutorials.

First of all I split an apricot log with an axe, to make my blank. I then cut it on the bandsaw.

Next I clamped the blank between centers on the lathe, and turned it true with the roughing gouge. 

I filled a few cracks with super glue to prevent them from expanding further.

I used the skew chisel to make the tenon for the chuck. I then parted the piece off and cut it in half on the bandsaw. 

I made the female part first. I hollowed it with forstner bits. The lathe was set at it’s lowest speed. 

At this point, I used my homemade recess tool, to create a groove on the back of my female threads. This will give my female thread chaser a way out, once it completes a cut. 

Then using the female chaser I started creating the threads. The lathe was still set at it’s lowest speed. I begun threading at an angle and gradually I tried to turn the tool parallel to the sides of the wood. Once the chaser creates the first couple of threads, then it kind of follows the threads on it’s own. Minimal pressure needed here. An old toothbrush can help you clean the threads and check how the threading process evolves. 

Once the female side was ready. I created a slightly larger tenon on the male side. I then started threading with the male tool. I kept checking the fit between the male and the female side. It’s better to take it slow here, because if you remove to much material, you can’t go back. 

I then connected the two sides and shaped them together a little. I then parted the piece off the lathe. 

On the back of my frame I epoxied a rare earth magnet in place. I then sanded the piece and finished it with my homemade, beeswax and mineral oil finish. This also acts as lubricant for the threads. 

I used the plastic from an old package as my frame’s glass. I then printed a photo of Scrapy to place inside of my frame. 

I am still a newbie at thread chasing but it was fun experimenting with this technique. My next goal is to match the grain between each threaded side.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this project, because that was it. See you soon with a new project video.

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Monday, April 8, 2019

Making the “ocean ripple” pendant, out of resin and olive wood!

Tools and materials I propose:

I begun by cutting a beautiful piece of olive wood on the bandsaw. 

Silicon cake molds we use in the kitchen, work perfectly with resin.

I mixed some slow setting epoxy resin. I also added a few drops of blue dye. Then I degassed the resin on my vacuum chamber. 

After about a week my castings were rock hard. 

I chucked a sanding adapter on the lathe. With that I flattened the bottom of my casting.

I then hot glued the piece on a wooden block which was mounted on a face plate. I turned the piece true with a flat carpenter’s chisel as a scraper. 

Then I parted the piece off and flattened both the casting and the block again.

The ripples were made with eccentric turning. So I hot glued again the piece using an eccentric pivot point. 

First I drilled the hole for the string.

I then used a homemade round scraper to create my ripples.

Once I was happy with my shape, I parted the piece off and started sanding.

I begun with 100grit, moved on to 220 and 340. I started wet sanding at 500 using mineral oil. I sanded until 1000 and then continued with my micro mesh sanding pads.

I then set my lathe at it’s lowest speed and buffed the piece with my three polishing wheels.

Overall the pendant came out nice. If I made it again I would use less blue dye, to increase it’s transparency. But this is ocean ripple and deep blue is a perfect match.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this one, because that was it!

See you soon with a new project video!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

How to make a DIY sphere making jig for the lathe

Tools and materials I propose:

This is a simple ball making jig for your lathe. I used 9mm plywood, 6mm threaded rod, washers, nuts and an old woodturning scraper to make it. 

First of all I made a prototype. Knowing that the basic idea worked, it was time to make the final version of the jig. 

I begun by cutting all the parts for the base on the table saw. 

I used the live center of the lathe to align the jig with the center of the lathe. 

Then I glued and nailed the pieces of the base together. 

I cut the curved sides on the bandsaw. I used the first cut piece as a template for the other one. 

I glued and nailed the sides in place but I also reinforced them with screws. 

To make the cutter I used an old, cheap woodturning scraper.

I roughly shaped it with the grinder. Water helped me keep the tool cool. Then I tilted my grinding wheel’s tool rest a by few degrees and sharpened the edge of the cutter.

I made a groove on the table saw to keep the cutter in place. I added some material on the bottom of the cutting mechanism so the cutting edge was just under the center of the lathe.

A piece of steel and a couple of threaded rods with nuts and bolts keep the cutter in place. 

To make a knob for the top I silver soldered a butterfly nut on a 6mm threaded rod. 

At this point the jig was ready for a test. First I prepare the stock so the jig can reach as far as possible. Then I tried it out. I did shallow passes instead of deep fast cuts.

It worked nicely. I hope you’ll find my ball making jig useful!

See you soon with a new project video! 

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, that at no cost to you, I get a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.