Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to make a DIY tripod mount for your smartphone

I made this simple mount using scrap pieces of plywood, a spring, a threaded rod, bolts and nuts.

I removed the plastic piece that connects my camera with the tripod. 

Using a caliper I took some measurements and transferred them on a piece of plywood. I cut the piece to it’s basic size, using my table saw and the cross cut sled.

I cut the grooves underneath the piece using my table saw. This time I completed the cuts with several passes, while moving the fence back between each pass.

I then mounted my rotary tool on it’s routing base. Using a straight bit I routed out the necessary slots. Because the rotary tool does not have enough power for routing, I had to complete the process with several light passes.

I then used a sharp chisel to clean up the piece.

I hollowed the bottom of the piece using a chisel and a mallet.

I then drilled a hole for the threaded rod on my drill press.

I gave the top of the piece a nice chamfer on my disc sander.

I painted the piece black. Black is suitable for photographic equipment because it makes it easier to keep it unseen in the shots.

I then used the bandsaw, to cut the jaws of my mount. I cleaned them up on the disc sander. I used a pen as a sanding block, to sand the inner curved parts of the jaws.

I drilled the holes on the drill press and painted them black as well.

I then assembled all the parts together. I saw that spring mechanism from homesteadonomics channel. So thanks Joe for that! :)

I also added a crew on the back of one jaw. This locks the jaws from moving around.

The mount was now complete and works great. The spring forces the jaws to grab on the phone while with a light pressure they can also release it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to make a turned candle holder out of two contrasting woods

I made this desktop candle holder, out of lime tree and niangon wood.

First of all I planed flat one side of the niangon using a hand plane. I first planed perpendicular to the grain to remove much material fast. I then smoothed the surface by planning with the grain.

I then planed one edge to establish a 90 degree angle between the two planed surfaces.

With two edges jointed I moved to the table saw to cut the piece to size. I completed the rip cuts with several passes while lifting the blade up as I went along. This helped the saw to cut a little bit easier.

I then used my homemade drum sander to sand and flatten the piece to the thickness I wanted to.

I repeated the previews process for the lime tree pieces.

I then glued the three pieces together with wood glue and clamps.

After the glue dried, I used the hand plane to joint one edge of the block.

I then moved to the table saw and cut the piece to size. I used a cross cut sled for the cross cuts and the fence for the rip cuts.

I marked the center of the pieces with the diagonals.

I tilted the blade of the saw at 45 degrees and rip cut all four sides of my block, this procedure saves me time on the lathe.

Using my cross cut sled I cut my blank to it’s final size.

I then mounted the blank on the lathe between centers. I used a roughing gouge to turn the blank cylindrical. I also used a flat chisel to create a tenon to fit my chuck.

I then secured the piece on my chuck. I begun the turning process by using a pencil to mark my basic measurements. I then Used the skew chisel to establish a few key elements of the design. I used the spindle gouge and the bowl gouge for the curves. I also used a flat chisel as a scraper to smooth things out.

I mounted a drill chuck in my tailstock. With a forester bit I created an establishing hole on the end grain. I then used flat chisels to create the hole that receives the candle. I also used the bowl gouge to flatten the area.

I sanded the piece with 100grit, moved to 240, then 320 and finally I applied a coat of yorkshire grit. To do that I applied the paste with my hand, set the lathe at the lowest speed and then with a paper towel I polished the piece.

Finally I removed the tenon on the bottom on the disc sander.

My candle holder turned out really nice, I hope you like it too!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

How I made a baglama ( mini bouzouki )

First of all I would really like to thank the company Sofianos for sending me all the luthier supplies for this build.

The baglama is a 6 string musical instrument, which is very common in Greek urban folk musical genre called “rebetiko”.

I made this instrument, using lime tree for the body, ebony for the fretboard and spruce for the top.

First of all I designed a vector template based on old baglama I had in my personal instrument rig.

I then glued the template on a piece of lime tree.

I used the router to remove as much material as I could from the body. I then used several carving gouges to carve out the interior of the baglama. I also used a goose neck scraper to clean up the tool marks.

I then moved to the bandsaw to cut one side of the body. When that was done I glued the pieces with my hot glue gun. Because my bandsaw’s cutting capacity could not deal with the cutting of the other side, I used a handsaw and a chisel to remove the rest of the material.

Using the draw knife I removed as much material as I could. I then used round rasps, flat rasps, the spoke shave and chisels to shape my small bouzouki. Every now and then I used cardboard templates to check my progress before removing more material.

I then cut the top on my bandsaw. I also cut out the sound hole using my scroll saw. I cleaned up the scroll saw marks using a sanding disc on my rotary tool.

I then planed down a small piece of wood and glued it under the top. This mini cleat provides strength to the top. I shaped this cleat with a sharp chisel. This lets the top vibrate better.

I then glued the top to the body.

To drill the holes for the keys, I made a cardboard template to help me mark the hole positions. I then clamped the piece on my bench and drilled the holes.

I trimmed the top flush with the body using a chisel and a spoke shave.

I measured the top’s thickness with a caliper and then transferred that measurement on my table saw blade. Making several passes with my cross cut sled, I created a rabbet on the fretboard. This way the fretboard sits flush with the top.

I then marked the fret positions using an online fret calculator. 

Using a thin bladed saw and a miter box. I cut all the fret slots. I lubricated the saw blade with oil from time to time to help the saw cut smoother.

I then moved on my drill press and drilled the holes for the fret position guides. I used two of them to act as pins. This way the fretboard would not slide around while glue up.

I then trimmed the fretboard flush with the spokeshave and a chisel.

I glued the fret marks in place and then trimmed them flush with a flush trim saw with a piece of paper underneath. The paper prevents the saw from damaging the fretboard.

I then sanded the whole piece starting with 100grit and 240grit  sandpaper.

I pressed the frets to place with a specially modified clamp. I added a drop of super glue to the sides of the frets. I trimmed the frets flush with my rotary tool and a cutting disc. I sanded the fret sides with a sanding block.

I finished the instrument with the French polishing technique.

I mixed shellac with pure alcohol. I applied a thin coat of this mixture to the instrument using a brush. This filled the pores of the wood and raised the grain. I gave the piece a light sanding.

I then made a thicker mixture of the varnish by adding more shellac. I created a ball used linum fabric and cotton to create a ball. I hydrated the ball with the shellac and with circular motions I applied a coat. Every now and then I added a drop of mineral oil to the ball to prevent it from sticking. After more than 8 coats I was happy with the finish of the instrument.

I then made the bridge using ebony and bone glued together with two part epoxy. I shaped the bridge on my disc sander.

I assembled the instrument and added two strings to help me mark the slot positions for the nut and bridge. I used a small handsaw to open those holes.

My baglama was now ready and I am really navy with the result.

Thanks again Sofianos for all the luthier supplies. More info about the company here: