Saturday, January 31, 2015

Thank you for the awesome mini cyclone Sterling Davis!

This is my thank you video to Sterling Davis. I participated in Sterling's Pallet Up Cycle Challenge 2014 and won the awesome mini cyclone shown in the video. I also want to thank the Clear Vue Cyclones for providing this prize.

It's been really fun to be part in this challenge and I am really looking forward to the next one. I never had a cyclone before and I am glad I do now.

Dust collection in a woodworking shop is always a major issue, this little gadget will be a really cool thing to have in the shop.

Thanks again!


Sterling Davis
Sterling's you tube channel
Sterling's blog

Clear Vue Cyclones
Clear Vue Cyclones web site

More info on The Pallet Up Cycle Challenge Winners 2014

My participation video

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

DIY wall clock out of wood

I had a circular piece of plywood left over from my basketball hoop project and I decided to make a wall clock out of it. You can watch how it was made here.

First of all I rounded over the edges using my router and a round over bit.

I wanted the clock to have a few curves on it’s design so I made a special router jig for that.

First I traced the body of the clock on a scrap MDF piece and cut it out on the scroll saw. 

I nailed the MDF piece on my bench. I created a pivot point on my bench using my drill and a metal rod. This way the main circle can move around it on my bench.

Then I took my compass and measured four equal arches on the main circle.I mounted the router and my circle cutting jig on the new jig. I brought the beginning of the first arch in line with the circular jig’s center and I made the first cut. I turned it to the second point of the arch and routed again. I did that four times. Now I had four integrated arches on my clock’s body.

I sanded the piece with 120 grit sand paper.

On the back I traced the mechanism of the clock.

I mounted my guide bushing on my router. I took my caliper and measured the distance between the end of the router bit and the beginning of the guide bushing. transferred this distance around the traced path of the mechanism. I took my glue gun and glued four scrap pine pieces on the clock. This way the router created a hole for the clock to go into, which was the size of the clock plus the size of he router bit. I completed the cut on three passes.

I painted the clock with latex paint.

Unfortunately I couldn’t find clock hands delivered to me soon so I made my own clock hands. I cut an empty plastic bottle and painted them white with a spray can. I drilled holes on them to fit snuggly on the clock’s mechanism. I used my caliper to measure the widths I needed. 

To mount the clock on the wall I used two metal rings and string.

I glued the mechanism with hot glue and added the clock’s hands. First you add the hour hand on the white piece and then the minute hand on the metal piece above it.

The clock is ready!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Scrapy is working out in the gym

Scrapy decided to become fit in 2015. Last year he gained a few extra pounds. Now is the time for him to sweat in the gym. Woodworking is a good exercise but it is not enough! 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Vintage drill powered bandsaw

My friend Sotiris gave me this old bandsaw that gets it's power from a regular drill.

I am trying to restore it. It needs a little greasing, a new blade and a safety cap for the top part.

Apart from that it has a tilting table and a tension screw for the blade.

You add a nut bolt in the special place then you secure the drill in place and lock the screw on the chuck.

I hope I'll give it a try as soon as I make it usable and safe.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

How to make a whistle inspired by the Native American flute

How to make a whistle inspired by the native American flute

This kind of musical instruments just amaze me. Native Americans used to make flutes by splitting branches and using simple hand tools. 

My whistle has a lot in common with these flutes. The whistle has two chambers. When you blow air into the mouth it is directed to a sharp edge which splits the air and creates the sound. On top of the whistle and part of the mechanism is a small wooden piece called the bird.

I begun the project by cutting a scrap spruce piece in half. I then secured it on my bench with a wedge and flattened it with my block plane.

Then I marked my 1st and 2nd chamber to hollow my two pieces. I used a variety of chisels to remove the material I didn’t want going mostly with the grain of the wood.

Then I drilled two holes on my drill press and using a chisel and a file I made the holes from which the air moves from one chamber to the other. I also made a groove on top. This way the air flows between the bird and the body towards the cutting edge.

I drilled the mouth hole and glued the two pieces together using glue and clamps.

I rounded over the whistle using my block plane. Be careful not to round the surface under the bird. I did the final shaping of the mouth piece using my flat chisel.

I made the bird out of a small spruce piece and rounded it over on my block plane. The plane was secured upside down on my vise.

The bird on the native American flutes was strapped tom the body with leather stripes. I used string and a knot I saw on another type of bamboo flute people make in India.

My whistle is ready. 

If you want to make a flute you need to have longer front pipe and drill holes for your fingers. But of course this is a different story because you have to tune your instrument to play correctly. Native Americans used to make the flutes using their body measurements but that’s a hole new chapter.

I hope you like the project, definitely diid!

Friday, January 16, 2015

5 items you can make using the drill powered lathe

Recently I made jig for my electric drill, that converts it into a mini lathe. You can find more about that here.

In order to show what it can do, I made 5 items using it.

1. Bottle cap

I used a scrap pine piece for that. I used my caliper to measure the outer and inner dimensions of the bottle neck's cylinder.

First I rounded over my piece using my rasp. Then I used a pencil to mark my lines. I used an ordinary flat chisel to do the rest of the turning.

After I was done, I used a piece of sand paper and sanded on the lathe.

I cut the finished piece with a saw, and I am ready to go.

2. A chess Pawn

Same stuff here, I begun with the rasp, then chisel then sanding.

3. Tool handle

The process is the same again. After the handle is ready I drilled an end grain hole on it, on my drill press. Then I cut the end of a huge nail with my hacksaw.

I placed the nail in my handle and I had made a marking tool.

4. A giant tooth pick

I just wanted to turn something long. So why not.

5. A spinning top

Who doesn't love spinning tops. So I made one. The tricky part here was that I wanted to make it's point on the lathe and my chisel was to big for something so small. Anyway it came out nice and with a bit of sanding everything is OK.

Ofcourse this mini lathe, the rasp and an ordinary chisel aren't the best case scenario when it comes to wood turning.

A proper lathe and a set of real wood turning tools can take someone's woodworking skills to the next level.

But if you need to make something small in the shop and don't have a lathe around. A drill can do the job pretty nicely for you. There are many people who have make drill powered lathes out there you can find some links below hoping I am not forgetting someone:

I would also like to say that try this at your own risk and try to wear eye, lungs and face protection when you do this.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

How to make a natural wood finish using beeswax and olive oil

This is an eco friendly finish and it is really easy to make.

All you need is some beeswax and olive oil.

First of all I took a piece of wax and converted it into savings with a cheese scraper. This way the wax will melt faster.

I take a coffee pot and add the olive oil and the wax. I used 1 part wax and 3 parts oil. The mixture will be thicker if you add more wax and thinner if you add more oil.

The mixture should be melted slowly using bain marie. To do that I placed the coffee pot inside a container with hot water and medium heat.

After the mixture melted I added it to a container. I stirred it from time to time and when It cooled down it became creamy.

The finish is ready and can be applied on wood using a cloth.

I want to give my special thanks to my friend Costas Rellos. Costas is a Greek honey producer and provided me with the beeswax.

Friday, January 9, 2015

How to convert a drill press stand into a DIY lathe

I had a broken drill press stand laying around and I decided to convert it into a home made lathe.

I’ve seen many people in the web making drill powered lathes and I borrowed ideas and inspiration from many of them.

First of all I disassembled the drill stand and kept only the part that the drill is mounted on.

I connected this part with two parallel wooden boards. To do that I drilled two holes on all of them and added two screws with washers and nuts.

For the lathes’s tailstock I used a few blocks of wood which I cut and planed to the size I wanted so that it can slide it on the lathe’s bed. I used glue and screws to connect these parts. 

After the base of the tailstock finished, I slide it towards the drill and drilled a hole for the quill that is in line with drill’s chuck.

The quill is just a screw and a  knock-in nut. To make the quill’s end pointy, I mounted it on the drill and used a file to sharpen it.

I assembled all the parts and used clamps to secure everything in place. I mounted a piece of wood on the chuck and I am ready to roll.  To mount the wood on the chuck I created a small tenon at the end of it.

My lathe is ready.

Caution: Before making a lathe like mine think that it might be dangerous to make and use your own power tools, so do it at your own risk.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

How to make wooden basketball hoop for the door

I always wanted a basketball hoop for my shop’s door and now I have one.

I started with a piece of plywood. I used my router and my circle cutting jig to cut my hoop’s ring. The jig is mounted on the sole of my router and acts like a compass.

Then I used my jigsaw to cut out the rest of the parts. 

I lightly sanded the piece with 120 grit sandpaper.

I used my glue gun to temporarily glue the ring’s cleats. Then I predrilled some pilot holes and screwed everything together.

I had more than enough paint in stock from a the time I painted some rooms in my house. The paint needed a good shake. 

I painted the hook a few coats of greenish yellow. I then masked the areas I wanted to remain green and painted a coat of grey. I carefully removed the masks when the paint was fairly dry.

I finished the hole piece with a coat of clear water based satin varnish.

To mount the hoop on the door, I used an old clothes hanger I had laying around which I screwed on my hoop.

To hang the net I added 12 metal rings I bought from a hardware store. I predrilled the holes and screwed them in by hand.

I made the net using a simple net making technique. I added the double string on the metal rings and made a few knots with  the strings that lay next to each other.  I repeated the knots and created these diamond shapes. When I thought it was enough I cut the excess string.

It is obvious that this hoop isn’t strong enough for a real basketball, but for a small indoor ball is more than OK.

My basketball hoop is ready for a few shots!