Wednesday, October 17, 2018

How to use rasps and files to shape wood











In this video I show you how to shape wood fast, cheap and easy using those wonderful hand tools called rasps and files.

You can find the files I used here:


Rasps are actually files that are more aggressive and usually they are used on wood.

To shape outer curves I use the flat rasps and files. 

First I establish my guide lines, using my finger as a guide. Then I use the middle tangent  of my shape’s curve to remove material fast and easy. After that I remove material from the sides to kind of blend several flat lines to a curve.

After the rasp has done it’s job. It leaves a really rough surface. So I use the file to clean the rasp’s cut marks. 

I finish the piece with 100grit sandpaper.

Shaping inner curved parts is actually the same procedure. Only now you must use the cylindrical versions of the file and rasp.

Another thing you have to consider when shaping inner curves is the end grain areas of the wood. You can easily damage your stock going against the end grain.

You don’t have to use super expensive files, but don’t use the cheapest. I actually use a mid range set.

I hope you found this back to basics woodworking tutorial useful.

See you soon in an upcoming 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.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

How to fix a broken and dull bandsaw blade










Have you ever had your bandsaw’s blade broken and you just run out of blades? Well this is a quick fix, to let you continue your work, until you get a new blade.

We are gonna need some silver solder, flux, a propane torch, a rotary tool and a broken bandsaw blade.

First of all I clamp the blade on the bench and use the rotary tool with a sanding drum bit to clean the joint.

I will but joint the two broken edges, so I use my rotary tool to shape them in a wedge type shape.

Next I clamp the blade on a brick ( heat resistant surface ). I add the flux and I heat the blade at red hot temperature as evenly as I can. Then I add the solder. The heat and the flux should lead the solder to it’s position.

I then let the blade cool down on it’s own.

Next I use the rotary tool again to clean the joint.

I then place the blade on the bandsaw for the sharpening process.

I add a cutting disc on my rotary tool. I add a starting point on the blade. I just touch the back side of each tooth with the rotary tool. When I reach back to the starting point I am done.

And it works just fine! 

I hope you found this one useful!


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.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Turning a green mulberry bowl blank
















About a month ago, a neighbor cut down a mulberry tree from his yard. Instead of throwing it away, he gave it to me. 


I don’t have a chainsaw so I split a log in half using several tools as wedges. The log was pretty straight so it split really nicely.

I used a small axe to flatten the piece a little. 

I then clamped the piece on the bench and cut it to size with a saw. 

I used the axe again to trim the sides so it fits on my jointer. 

Then I passed the piece through the jointer. When I finished jointing I immediately cleaned the jointer to preventing it from rusting. After all the wood was really wet.

Next I marked the area of the bowl. I used my axe to reduce the material’s height so I can remove as much material as I cut on my small bandsaw.

Then I screwed the face plate on the blank and started the turning process. I used the bowl gouge.

This was a really heavy piece for my small lathe. So I first set the lathe speed at minimum.

I like to use the palm of my hand as a guide, to drive the savings away from me.

Then I made a mortise to fit my chuck’s jaws. I used a small bowl gouge to remove material and then finished the mortise with my skew chisel. 

Then I just mounted the piece on my chuck and started hollowing with the bowl gouge.

I set the lathe at an average speed now.

As I go deeper I change the angle I use the bowl gouge. I try to let the bevel of the tool’s grind follow the curvature of the bowl.

When my blank was done, I put it in a paper bag full of shavings. I will let it dry for several months and then I will turn it to it’s final shape. This is why I let it rough and thick.

I really enjoyed turning this mulberry. It is a beautiful wood. That yellow color it has is so beautiful.

I hope you enjoyed this one, 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.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Experimenting on how to buff ( polish ) acrylic












Last week I made a walnut wood and acrylic pendant. I sanded it until 12000grit but still I couldn’t reach that mirror finish. So I ordered a buffing wheel set and started experimenting with it.

The set I got has three wheels which go from hard to softer. Each wheel has it’s own polishing compound. The set also has two mandrels, one for the drill and one for the lathe. I actually used the one for the drill on the lathe. 

First I mounted the wheel on the mandrel and then on my lathe’s chuck. Before clamping the chuck I centered the wheel with my tailstock.

Then I started buffing through the wheels. The first and most aggressive wheel did not have that much different from the 12000 grit sandpaper.

The second started creating the glass finish. The third did a really beautiful job.

Seeing the pendant in macro shots, it still had scratches left, but those cannot be seen with a naked eye!

I think it was worth it. The result is much better than before. If you don’t have a lathe, you can mount the wheels on your drill. Then mount the drill on your vise you’ll have a buffing system.

I also want to point out that my lathe was set at an average speed during the buffing process.

Before you start buffing you should put on a mask. You don’t want those tiny fibers in your lungs. Especially with the new wheels, fibers fly all around. 


So I call this one a win!

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

Making a homemade shadow puppet theatre out of wood


















In this video I make a DIY shadow puppet theater out of 9mm birch plywood. I used traditional woodworking tools side by side with my CNC. More info about my 3D carver here:




I begun the project by creating plans of what I wanted to make. Next I transferred a few measurements on a 9mm birch plywood piece.

I begun cutting, using my circular saw and a guide rail. To cut the screen area I used a jigsaw. But before that I drilled an entry hole for my jigsaw’s blade.

Next I used corner clamps to temporarily hold a support piece in place. After that I glued and nailed the bottom piece in place. 

I then marked the miters for the rest of the pieces and cut them on the table saw using my cross cut sled. I then glued and nailed the pieces in place. I wiped off any excess glue, using a wet rag.

Next I cut a few support pieces on the bandsaw. I glued and nailed them in place, using a spruce scrap as a spacer.

After that I cut the shelve to size and then glued and nailed on it’s position. I also added another support piece in the middle of the shelve.

Then I cut the corner supports on the bandsaw and shaped them on the belt sander. I glued and nailed them in place with my air powered nail gun.

Next I used my miter box to cut the pieces for the front frame. I glued and nailed them in place. After that I used wood filler to fill all the imperfections.

While I was waiting for the filler to dry I started 3D carving my typography elements.

I first imported my SVG file into easel and set up the project. Then I let the CNC machine do all the work for me. 

Next I used my carving gouge to cut off the tabs left over from the 3D carving process. Finally I sanded with 100 grit. 

At this point the filler was dry and I started sanding with the angle grinder. I also hand sanded the edges and used my power sander to reach to a few difficult spots.

Then I painted everything with latex paint. When the first coat dried, I lightly sanded with 220grit. After that I applied the second and final coat of the paint.

Next I added a guideline and arranged the typography on it. I glued and nailed the letters in place.

I used Greek words which mean “Theater of shadows”.

Next I used the CNC again to make the cabin of the scenery. I first scanned my sketch and created a vector version of it. Then I imported my SVG file back to easel. I started 3D carving and when I was done, I removed the tabs and sanded the piece. 

I then cut a piece of canvas to size and stapled it in place. To keep the canvas tight and flat you have to staple the opposite sides first and continue this way till the end.

Next it was time to add the lights. I used 3 LED stripes on a piece of plywood. I first added solder on the contacts of the LEDs. Then I added solder on the ends of the jumper wires. When this was done I could easily connect everything together. I connected the positives with the positives and the negatives with each other. Finally I connected everything with the power supply. 

The adhesive on the back of the LEDs is not that reliable. So I used my hot glue gun to secure the pieces in place.

Then I secured the lights inside of the box with nuts, bolts and washers.

Back to easel again I imported the SVG file of my puppet. The x-carve started the carving and before I knew it the puppet was done.

I connected the puppet’s parts with wire and glued bamboo sticks in place. The sticks act as handles.

In the traditional Greek shadow puppet theater my character is called Karagiozis.

My theater was ready at this point. I was really happy with the way it came out. I really want to thank Inventables for sponsoring this video!

I hope you like my little theater. See you soon with a new project video!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Making a scrap metal guitarist sculpture with silver solder


















Silver solder is ideal for soldering small metal parts. To experiment and learn this technique I bought silver solder in rods. The rods I got contained 20% silver. As a flux I used borax powder, mixed with water to a creamy texture. I used my propane torch as a heat source. As a heat resistant surface I used a piece of marble. But that broke apart. So I used a brick instead and this worked out fine.

I begun by making the guitar. This was just a washer and an old wrench. I cleaned the touching surfaces with sandpaper. Then I applied the flux. I then heated both metals at a red hot state. Then I added the solder. The solder should flow were the heat and the flux is. I let the piece cool down for a few minutes and then quenched it in water.

Next I soldered the head with the body. Those were a washer and a nail. As hair I used small nails. 

To give my character more movement I bended the pieces a little, using my vise and a hammer. 

The legs were made out of long nails and metal corners.

When I soldered all the metal parts, I cleaned my statue with the wire brush. I clamped my drill on the vise and used a couple of wire brushing bits to reach all the spots of my sculpture.

Then I took a piece of spruce wood and cut it on the bandsaw to make a base. I used my finger tip to create guide lines. Then I used my rotary tool with a drum sanding bit to blend these guidelines into curves. After that I hand sanded a little with 100grit sand paper.

Then I used my blow torch to make the grain pop a little. This gave a lot of character to the wood.

I predrilled pilot holes on the wood and screwed my statue in place. 

I gave everything three coats of clear. I used my heat gun between coats to speed up the drying process.

My little guitarist sculpture came out nice. I still have a long way to go before I master the silver soldering technique. But I had a lot of fun experimenting and I learned a ton of stuff.

I hope you enjoyed this project as well! See you soon with a new project video!