Wednesday, July 18, 2018

How to make a food safe wood finish out of beeswax and mineral oil

I made this DIY wood finish out of natural wax and mineral oil. Those are both food safe materials. As a result you can use this finish on wooden bowls, spoons, cutting boards e.t.c.

I wanted my finish to be kind of liquid, so I used 1 part wax and 4 parts mineral oil. I also added three drops of lavender oil to make it smell nicer.

To melt the wax easier I used a cheese grinder to transform it in savings form.

The I placed a pan filled with water on my heat source. In the pan I added a coffee pot with the wax. This way the wax melts slowly without burning. I then mixed the wax with oil and heat them again to one mixture.

I steered the mix until it cooled down to create a uniform mixture.

At this point my finish was ready to test on some different spices of wood. It looks awesome on walnut, maple and especially olive wood.

Please note that in hot summer days the mixture will be more liquidy and in cold winter days more solid.

I hope you found this article useful! It is a pretty easy and natural finish to make!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

How to make a yarn bowl out of oak

I had a piece of oak in the shop, and I decided to make a yarn bowl with it.

First of all I marked the side I wanted to flatten on the jointer. I flattened it and then flattened the other side. With two sides at 90 degrees, I passed the piece through the thickness planer and my stock was now flat and square.

I then used my cross cut sled to cut my stock in three pieces.

To save some time on the lathe I cut the pieces at rough circles, on the bandsaw.

Then I glued all the pieces together to make a cylinder. Out of this cylinder I made the cap and the bowl.

I first screwed a face plate on my stock to mount it on the lathe. To reduce the vibrations on the lathe, I set it at it's lower speed. I then I used the roughing gouge to turn the piece true. 

Firstly I wanted to separate the cap piece. I created a mortise that fitted on chuck. I did that with the bowl gouge and the skew chisel. I then used the parting tool, to part the cap off. I finished the job with a handsaw.

Then I made another mortise on the remaining piece so I could reverse chuck it. I removed the face plate and reversed chuck the piece. I begun the hollowing process with a bowl gouge.

I drilled the hole for the yarn and finished hollowing with a scraper. I also added ca glue to a few sensitive areas. I sanded the interior of the bowl with 100 and 220 grit sandpaper.

Then I rechucked the cap. I made a tenon with the parting tool and drilled a hole with a forstner bit, for the handle.

I then assembled the bowl, mounted it on the lathe and used my grinder to sand it. I begun aggressively with 40 grit, jumped at 120 and finished at 220.

To make the handle mounted a piece between centers and used the bowl gouge to true it up. I shaped it with the parting tool, a skew chisel and a spindle gouge.

I then sanded the piece on my belt sander. I glued the handle on the cap and used weights to clamp it down.

I finished the bowl with shellac. I applied 10 coats with a rag. After the first coat I lightly sanded with 200 grit. I buffed the finish with steel wool.

This was a really difficult wood for me to turn. It was really hard and dry and I got much tear out. But with intense sanding it came out nice!

I am really happy with the way it came out! That was a really beautiful wood!

Friday, July 6, 2018

How to make a wooden DIY birdhouse

I made my DIY birdhouse out of 9mm birch plywood. The inspiration for this project, came from a challenge that's taking place on youtube. I won't participate in the challenge but you can learn more about it here.

My birdhouse is made out of 9mm birch plywood. First I made a few rip cuts on the table saw.

I found the center of the front piece with my compass and created the diagonals of the roof.

Using my cross cut sled, I cut the front and the back pieces to size.

I taped the two pieces together. Then I used my miter sled to cut the angles of the roof on the table saw.

With a forstner bit I drilled the entrance.

I used a jig to create a straight hole for the peg on which the bird lands.

I cross cut the sides to size. I tilted my table saw blade to match the angles of the roof.

Then I glued and nailed the pieces together. 

I then marked the size of the bottom and cut it out on the table saw. Again I glued and nailed it in place.

I glued and nailed one piece of the rooftop in place. I decided to join the rooftop parts with a piano hinge. This way I can open the birdhouse easily when I have to. Using the angle grinder I cut the hinge to size. I temporarily secured the other part of the roof with two nails. Using a block plane I planed things flush to correct my table saw’s inaccurate cuts. I then secured the hinge in place with screws and removed the temporary nails.

With my rotary tool I trimmed the excess screws flush.

Using the angle grinder with a sanding disc, I gave everything a rough sanding. I then used wood filler to cover up the imperfections on the wood. The next day I sanded again.

To make the perch I turned a piece of beech on the lathe. I used the roughing gouge, the parting tool and the skew chisel for this job. After I did that I cut the perch of the lathe with a handsaw and finished shaping it, on the belt sander. I glued the perch in place.

The birdhouse will be hanged on the wall with a french cleat system. This is just two pieces cut at a 45 degree angle. One piece goes on the wall and the other one on the item. This way the item is kind of locked in place. I made the cleat on the table saw. 

I connected the wall piece on the concrete wall with a special stud for concrete. I also set my drill on hammer mode in order to penetrate the concrete.

I drilled and counter sinked the wood piece that goes on the wall and screwed it in place.

I finished the birdhouse with latex paint. I chose that because it dries easily and it is eco friendly. I sanded with 200grit sandpaper between each coat. I applied two coats of paint. To speed up the drying process I used my heat gun.

Then I created some wood shavings with a block plane, to act as bed for the birds.

At this point my birdhouse was ready, I hanged it on our yards wall. Now I am waiting for my little flying friends to discover it!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Making an experimental electric guitar out of metal

I wanted to make a metallic guitar and I came up with a three string concept guitar. 

First of all I made a cardboard template of my guitar's body. I then transferred the template on a piece of melamine. 

I used the bandsaw to cut the shape out. Using a forstner bit on my drill, I opened up holes on the melamine. Those will help me for clamping later on. I cleaned the bandsaw marks on my belt sander.

I used a piece of cord to measure the perimeter of my piece. I then transferred the measurement on a piece of steel. I cut the metal to length with the angle grinder. I drilled a hole in the center of the piece. I used a drop of oil to prevent my drill bit from overheating.

I predrilled a pilot hole on the melamine and screwed the metal piece on the melamine.

I used the blow torch to heat the metal and then bended in place.I then added a clamp. This technique worked out OK but I still had to do a lot of fine tunings to get the shape I wanted.

I measured the length of the fretboard. I then cut the fretboard to size with the angle grinder. I used an air powered rotary tool to clean the burrs on the metal.

I then stick welded the fretboard to the body. I used the grinder with a sanding disc to clean up the welds.

To make the headstock I cut another piece of steel. To bend it to shape easier, I used the grinder to create grooves at the points I wanted to bend it. But this technique did not work out that well. I should have welded all the parts individually. Anyway, I moved on and welded the headstock to the finger board. I then forced the pieces in place with the vise and welded them together.

The headstock looked a little bulky, so I trimmed it a little using the grinder to make it nicer.

I drilled the holes for the tuning pegs, Im used a step drill bit for this job.

To support the bridge and the pickup of the instrument I welded two metal pieces perpendicular to the body. I then used the grinder to trim the excess pieces flush.

I temporarily clamped the pickup in place and used a drill to mark the holes I needed.

I cut two pieces of angled stock to act as bridge and nut. I then welded them in place. 

The scale of my instrument from nut to bridge is 60cm.

I drilled the holes for the screws which hold the tuning pegs in place.

I drilled the hole for the output jack.

I used an online fret calculator to find the positions of the frets. I marked the fret positions and used the angle grinder to create the fret marks. Since this instrument will be played with a slide the frets are actually guidelines to help me keep my intonation.

I then drilled holes for the 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th and 12th fret. I did the same on the side of the finger board.

I gave everything a final sanding with the grinder.

I shaped the bridge and nut to an edge to avoid string buzzing.

Using mineral spirit I wiped off the dust. I wanted to keep the rough look of the guitar, so I finished it with a couple of clear coats to keep it rust free.

I then installed the tuning pegs. Using my rotary tool, I trimmed the excess screws.

I installed the pickups and the output jack.

I used the wire stripper on the pickup's cables. I soldered the ends of the cables and the jack. Now that everything was pre-coated with solder it was much easier to join them.

I connected the guitar on the amp to check that the pickup works. I hit the pickup with a metal object. If that sound goes through the amp without funny noises, everything works fine.

I then added the middle string and marked it's place on the nut and bridge. With a square file I opened up grooves for the string to rest. I repeated the process for the other two strings.

I lifted the pickup closer to the strings to get more volume from it.

I tuned the guitar in D A D . This way you have a D5 chord when you hit all the strings open.

At this point my instrument was ready, and I am really happy with the way it came out! :)

Thursday, June 21, 2018

How to make a DIY metal grasshopper sculpture

This is my first stick welding project. It is an insect sculpture I made out of scrap metal pieces. It was really fun to make and I learned a lot  through the process.

 The whole thing is made out of scrap metal. The grasshopper idea, was inspired by the shape of an old tool I had in the shop.

First of all I cleaned the tool a little bit, using a wire brush on my drill.

Then I welded the moving parts of the tool, in the position I wanted.

I used a hammer to remove the borax and check how my welds came out.

I then welded two nuts to act as eyes. 

I made the front four legs of the grasshopper using large nails. I bended them in shape using a hammer on my vise.

To keep the nails in place for the welding, I used my soldering station.

I made the back legs out of a thick metal rod. I cut them in place with the angle grinder, then I heated them with a blow torch and finally used a metal tube as a leaver, to bend them in shape. At the end of each leg I soldered a washer to act as sole.

I then designed the shape of the wing on a 3mm metal sheet. I used my grinder to cut the shape out. For the curved parts I created relief cuts, to help me with the cutting. I also used the grinder to clean up the burs. After that was done, I used the first wing as a template to make the other.

I then welded the wings in place.

I sanded the welds using a sanding disc, on my grinder. To reach a few hard spots, I used my rotary tool with a cone stone grinding bit. But the metal was too hard and that did not work that well!

At this point the sculpture was ready. I finished with two light coats of gold spray paint.

I really enjoyed this project. My welds came out awful, but I really enjoyed welding. I also learned a ton of stuff!

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Woodworking shop tour 2018

In this video I show you my workspace and the tools I use. If some of you want to create your own DIY garage wood shop you will find this video helpful. 

I begun the video by showing an overall view of my shop. 

Then I started presenting the heavier tools, like the CNC, the lathe and the table saw. I also show accessories for those tools, especially the lathe.

After that I show my power tools. At least the ones I use the most.

Then I show you my wall mounted tools, and stuff I got in cabinets and shelves.

All the different kind of clamps.

My sharpening stones for flat chisels, plane irons and carving gouges.

Then I mostly show my hand tools.

Finally I close the video with safety equipment. My ear protection, my mask, a face shield and the fire extinguisher I always have around in the shop!

I hope you’ll find this video useful!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Making a DIY folding table from an old IKEA laundry basket

I had this old IKEA laundry basket and I decided to convert it into a folding camping table. This seemed like a cool idea, because the basket had a folding mechanism already.

First of all, I used my random orbit sander with 80grit sandpaper to quickly remove the old paint. To sand the spindles I mounted them on my lathe and sand them there. I used masking tape to prevent the chuck jaws from harming the wood.

I had a spruce piece to act as a table top but I needed it to be larger. So I cut an extra piece on my table saw. I used biscuits and glue to complete the table top. The biscuits prevent the pieces from moving around while glue up.

After the wood glue dried I trimmed the edges of the table top, using my circular saw and a guide rail. Because these were cross cuts, I used masking tape to reduce the splitting of the wood.

I then used a roll of tape as a guide to create the rounded edges. I used the bandsaw to cut the curved corners and finished the shaping with a sanding block.

After sanding the table top flush, I used my router with a round over bit to round over all the edges of the top. 

I then marked the positions of the cross braces. I cut the braces on the table saw and glued and nailed them in place with my nail gun.

I then made another piece. I cut it’s shape on on the bandsaw. I sanded it on the belt sander.To sand a few tight curves I used a drum sanding bit on my drill press. 

I then predrilled pilot holes, countersinked them and added the screws in place.

I also added a piece of rubber and a hook to make a spring mechanism to keep the table pieces secure in place. This mechanism works both in the closed and open position of the table. 

I then disassembled the pieces and I was ready for the paint job. I mixed white and green latex paint to get the color I wanted. I then applied two coats of paint to everything while sanding between coats. I applied the paint mostly with a roller, although I used a small brush to cover a few difficult areas. 

My table was now ready. It is really light weight and I think that makes it ideal for camping or barbecue situations!