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!

Friday, June 1, 2018

Making a lamp using the wood lathe and a 3D pen

I made this experimental lamp, using a piece of pine wood and black ABS filament in my 3D pen. I also used a vintage Edison LED lamp. I used LED because it does not produce much heat. Old type lamps might melt the filament!

First of all I used my center finder to mark the centers on my cylindrical piece of wood. I then mounted it on the lathe between centers and trued it up with my roughing gouge. I used my skew chisel to create an angled tenon that fits my chuck’s jaws.

I then mounted the piece on my chuck. I used a parting tool, the roughing gouge and the skew to shape the exterior shape. 

I then drilled a hole on the lathe with a 6mm drill bit. Then I gradually created a large hole. Because I was drilling end grain I begun with a really small forstner bit and gradually changed bits until I reached the diameter I needed.

Every now and then I used my depth gauge to make sure I drilled far enough.

I sanded the piece on the lathe, starting at 100 grit, moving to 220 and finishing at 320.

I used the parting tool, to part the piece of the lathe. I cleaned the bottom on my belt sander.

I then mounted the piece on a screw chuck and finished it with a few coats of shellac.

I then made the lamp’s shader. At first I used the a soda bottle as a mold for my 3D pen. I used the plastic bottle because the filament sticks on it and you can make the shapes more easily. But then I found a better lamp and decided to remake the shader.

So I first made the circular pieces of a cylinder. I then made the lines. After connecting those with the 3D pen, I had a secure cylindrical structure to work on. I then filled the gaps with a kind of random organic pattern.

I then assembled everything and my lamp was ready.

It is looks nice with and without the filament shader. I learned a lot with this experimental project!

Combining woodworking techniques and 3D pen was a challenging and interesting process!