Thursday, July 18, 2019

Make a wood carver's mallet on the lathe - Woodturning








Tools and materials I propose:

Making your own custom carving mallets is really satisfying. You can also make them to fit your needs exactly the way you want. I made this one out of bitter orange wood. 

I used some masking tape to create a guideline. This way I cut one edge with a handsaw perpendicular to the main cylinder of my wood blank. 

I then marked my centers and mounted the blank between centers on the lathe. 

With the lathe set at around 500 rpm I started trueing up the blank with a roughing gouge. 

Once the blank was true I increased the speed of the lathe. I started shaping the mallet with the roughing gouge trying to follow the bevel of my cutting edge. 

This type of wood cracks really easily. I filled a big crack using super glue and wood savings. 

To shape the handle I used a spindle gouge and a round scraper. 

I also used the skew to create grooves on the handle so that sweat drops from my hand can escape. 

I also used the skew on the end grain, so I could cut it off easier on the bandsaw. 

I sanded with 100 and 220 grit. 

I used a metal wire to burn inside the handle grooves. This gives the mallet a more traditional look. 

I polished the mallet with wood savings. This is a classic old school technique.

Finally I cut the excess pieces on the bandsaw. I placed a drill chuck with a sanding attachment on the lathe. And I cleaned the saw marks.

I finished the mallet with a coat of mineral oil.

I made a really heavy mallet that fits my hand. You can customize yours to fit your needs exactly.

But anyway, I hope you liked this one, because that was it. 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.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Cube in a cube puzzle on the lathe - Woodturning








Tools and materials I propose:


This is a classic woodworking puzzle. I thought it would be a nice paradox to transfer this idea on the lathe. That's because the lathe usually produces round objects!

First of all I used my Jointer/planer and the table saw to create a wooden cube out of iroko wood.

I then marked the centers on each side of the cube. 

I mounted the cube on the lathe using flat jaws on the chuck. I usually use these jaws for cleaning bowl bottoms. 

On the tail stock I placed a drill chuck with a forstner bit. The lathe was set at it’s lowest speed, around 500rpm.

Then I drilled each side of the cube little by little. I kept on drilling further and further on each side. 

At some point inside of the bigger cube you get a smaller one.

It is a really interesting experiment! I hope you liked it.

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, July 5, 2019

How to make a simple DIY box guitar
















Tools and materials I propose:


This is the simplest string instrument I have ever made. I made it mostly out of reclaimed pallet wood.

I begun by cutting and planing my pallet wood to size. You can use pre planed clean lumber from your local wood supplier. 

I then used my miter box and a handsaw to cut the sides of my box. I cleaned any burrs using a sanding block.

I then glued and nailed the four sides of my box. 

I glued and nailed a thin MDF melamine piece in the back of my box. You can find pieces like this one on old drawers. I took mine from the back of an old bookcase. I then flush trimmed the piece with a saw. 

I filled any imperfections of the wood, using saw dust and super glue. 

The top of my instrument is a thin spruce panel. I had one in stock but you can use thin plywood or the thin sides of vegetable crates.

I found the center of the top and used a hole saw to open up the sound hole. 

I then glued a brace and a thin piece to support the bridge. Once the glue was dry, I shaped the brace with a chisel.

I made a small block on which the fretboard would be placed. To glue it in place I added two nails and cut their heads off. The nails kept the block from sliding around while glue up.

I then secured the block in place with two screws. I glued the block in such a way, so that when the top was placed it was flush with the block. 

I glued the top in place. Again I added two nails to prevent the piece from sliding around while glue up. I removed them later on.

Using an exact knife I trimmed the top flush. I finished the job with a block plane.

To make sure the top pieces where dead flat, I sanded against a sanding block which I made out of plexiglass. 

I finished sanding with my random orbit sander.

It was now time to start working on my fretboard. I gave it some round overs to make it look a bit nicer. 

I removed some material from the headstock so that the tuning pegs and the nut would stay nicely in place. First I did a series of cross cuts and then I removed the material with a chisel and sandpaper. 

The scale of my instrument is 43cm from nut to bridge. I went on an online fret calculator to find the fret positions. 

I then marked the fret positions with a pencil. I created a small groove over each fret using a saw. I then widened up the slots using a V shaped file. This provided enough glueing surface.

At this point I glued some bamboo sticks in place as fret position indicators. 

My guitar uses nylon classical guitar’s strings. So I used bamboo sticks as frets. I glued them in the slots I created earlier. I then trimmed the frets flush and leveled them with a sanding block to avoid string buzzing. 

I removed some parts from the tuning pegs so I could mark the locations of their holes. I then drilled the tuning peg holes. 

At this point I glued and screwed the fretboard in place. 

Out of a scrap piece of iroko I created a string holder. I glued and screwed it in place.

Again out of iroko I created a bridge and a nut. I shaped them with a block plane. I created the string slots with a V shaped file. 

Finally I installed the tuning pegs and glued the nut in place. 

I used a rotary tool with a sanding bit to open up the sound hole. This increases the volume of the instrument a little. I also added a string guide on the headstock.

Finally my little box guitar was ready.

It came out great. I think most people can make it using a few basic tools.

It does’t sound bad! I think it can play the blues really well.

Anyway, I hope you liked it because that was it, 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. 

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Making an experimental musical instrument using the lathe as much as possible


















Tools and materials I propose:

I wanted to make an acoustic string instrument using woodturning techniques as much as I could. I made this instrument out of basswood and iroko wood.

I begun by designing the body of my instrument. I then cut as much material as I could on the bandsaw and then mounted it on the lathe using a face plate. 

Having the lathe running at it’s lowest speed, I rounded over the piece using a bowl gouge. I then Used a parting tools and a skew chisel to create a tenon so I can reverse chuck the piece on the lathe. 

I then reversed the piece and started hollowing the inside like I would do on a regular bowl. I used the bowl gouge and a round scraper. Then I reversed the piece again. This time I used my bowl bottom cleaning jaws to remove the tenon.

Then I cut a piece of basswood to make the neck. I mounted it on the lathe between centers and trued it up using a roughing gouge. I also saved a piece to make the headstock later. Then I flattened one side of the cylinder using hand planes. 

The neck and the body are connected with a dovetailed joint. I used a small saw and chisels to create both the male and female pieces. I then glued the neck and the body together. 

Back on the lathe I used a spindle gouge and a round scraper to make the headstock. I then removed material on the bandsaw. I cleaned the saw marks with a hand plane.

Then it was time to make the joints for the head and neck. I used a small saw to make a side cut which I then cleaned on the belt sander. I used two small screws as center pins. Then I drilled holes on both pieces and added small bamboo sticks. The sticks prevent the pieces from moving around while glue up. Next I removed as much material as I could using a block plane. 

At this point I decided to finish shaping the body, using files, chisels and my spokeshave.

I moved on my jointer in order to make the neck and the body flush and flat from the front side. 

To make the top of the body I secured a pine piece on a melamine using double sided tape. Then I passed through the thickness planer to make it really thin. I then cut the top to shape on the bandsaw. I opened up a sound hole using a forstner bit. I then glued the under pieces of the top. Using a chisel I shaped the main brace of the top. Then I glued the top on the body. I then used the spokeshave, chisels and the belt sander to trim the top flush. 

Next I squared a piece of iroko wood using the jointer / planer and the table saw. I then made the fretboard using the table saw and the belt sander.

My instrument measures 35,5cm from neck to bridge. So I visited an online fret calculator to find the fret positions. I then cut the fret slots. On my drill press I created the holes for the bamboo sticks. These sticks act as fret position indicators. Two of them will also prevent the fretboard from moving around while glue up. I then glued the fretboard and flush trimmed the fret position indicators. I pressed the frets in place using my vise as a press. I then added a drop of super glue to make sure the frets would stay in place. Using a file and a sanding block I trimmed the sides of the frets flush. I then leveled the frets with a sanding block. I polished them with steel wool. I also used a rotary tool with a buffing wheel to polish them even more. 

It was now time to make the bridge. I placed two wood pieces on my pen jaws on the lathe. Then I used the skew to shape them. In the end I had two bridge bases. Using a mini chisel I made from an allen wrench I opened up the hole for the bone. I also used a regular chisel.

I wanted to make a four string instrument. So I cut my tuning pegs with a hacksaw. I removed any burrs on the grinder. I then drilled the holes for the tuning pegs on the headstock. 

I finished my instrument with water based clear varnish. I finished the fretboard and the bridge with beeswax and mineral oil paste. 

I then installed the string holder in place.

I made the bones for the bridge and nut out of plexiglass. I shaped them using sandpaper and files. 

On the headstock I screwed a ring kind of piece as a string guide. 

My little instrument was at this point ready. 

Although in some cases turning the pieces was not that efficient, I think it worked. This proves to me again that the lathe is a really versatile tool.

Anyway, I really enjoyed this build. I hope you did so to. But that was it. 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.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

How to make an epoxy resin and wood ring










Tools and materials I propose:



I made my ring using clear casting resin and niangon wood. 

First of all I had to break my wood on the vise. I pressed it against a few metal parts. I found that if you break the piece from both sides, you get a nice broken edge for this kind of job.

Then I mixed some resin and coated the picks on my wood. I let it dry over night and the next I was ready for my casting. At this point the first layer of resin was not fully cured, so the two layers will bond really nicely. 

I mixed my resin and degassed it on the vacuum chamber. 

In a plastic mold I secured the wood with tape so it can’t float in the resin. Then I poured the resin into the mold. I degassed it again on the vacuum chamber.

I used a fosrtner bit to make the hole for the finger. Then I cut the ring on the bandsaw and roughly shaped it on the belt sander.

I sanded the ring starting at 100 grit all the way up at 1000. At 320 I begun sanding with mineral oil.  I then used my micro mesh sanding pads which go from 1500 to 12000 grit.

Finally I buffed the ring on my buffing wheels. The wheels were mounted on the lathe. 

This was my first ring and I am really happy with the way it came out. It’s not perfect but it was a really rewarding process to make it.

But that was it, I hope you liked this one because that was it, 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, June 14, 2019

How to make two simple bed side tables











Tools and materials I propose:
Table Legs
Birch Edge Banding
Bandsaw
Table saw
Cordless drill
Speed square
Belt sander
Block plane
Masking tape
Dowel center pin
6mm dowels
Heat gun
Air compressor, nail and staple gun kit


I wanted to make a couple of simple bed side tables.

This project was also a good excuse for me, to practice edge banding.

I used 15mm plywood pieces for most parts. The legs have also 25mm plywood discs. 

I bought my lumber cut roughly to size. I then cut the rest to final size on my table saw. 

Then it was time to edge band some edges in order to hide the classic pattern on the sides of plywood.

Edge banding is basically a tape. On it’s front it has a wood pattern and on it’s back it has adhesive which melts with heat. 

For the plywood I got, the closest grain match was oak. So I got some oak edge banding. 

First of all I marked all the sides I wanted to edge band. An iron works best for this technique but I couldn’t find one in the beginning of the project. So I used my heat gun instead. I first heated underneath the tape a little and then placed the banding on the edge. Then I heated some more and used a flat piece to press on the wood. Fortunately I got an iron at some point and I secured the banding in place.

Once the banding is glued, you can use a razor or a hand plane to trim it flush. You can also use a trim router for this job.

I wanted to join all my pieces with 6mm dowels. So first I made a simple jig which is clamped on my vise and helps me align the pieces easier. I then made my first holes and then used my dowel center pins and the jig to create marks for the matching holes. Once I was done with all the drilling I glued everything together. I like to clean the glue squeeze outs with a wet rag. 

At this point I filled some imperfections of the wood with wood filler. On this project I wanted the grain of the wood parallel to the sides. So the lumber yard guy had to do some cross cuts on the plywood. This created some tear out.

I then lightly sanded the pieces and applied three coats of clear water based satin varnish. I used my heat gun to speed up the drying process and I lightly sanded between coats.

I then had to cut 8 discs out of 25mm plywood. These provided me with enough mass, so I could screw the legs in place. I cut them on the bandsaw and then sanded them on the belt sander.

I covered the discs with some edge banding as well. This didn’t work so great but it did it’s job.

To help me easily align the discs I made another jig. I then glued and nailed the discs in place. I then predrilled pilot holes and screwed the legs in place. 

And basically I was done. The legs were a little bit expensive but I think they add some elegance to the pieces.

I am really happy with the way my simple side tables came out. 

But that was it, 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, June 7, 2019

How to make a small wooden chair for your kids - DIY












Tools and materials I propose:


I made my little chair out of reclaimed pine lumber. You can use pre planed clean lumber, straight from your lumber yard.

First of all I had to make the wood useable again. I first removed any nails. Then I cut it roughly to size with my circular saw and a speed square. 

I then ripped the boards to width on the table saw. I squared all the ends with my cross cut sled. Finally I passed all the boards, through the thickness planer. 

I then started designing my chair. I made all the cross cuts on the table saw. You can also use a miter box and a hand saw. I cut the angled parts on the bandsaw and then sanded them on the belt sander. Alternatively you can use a chisel and a hand plane and achieve the same result. 

I then cut the side pieces. I used 8mm dowels to connect all the parts together. I first named all my joints. Then I drilled the first holes, added the center pins and then drilled the matching holes. 

I then glued the sides of my chair. 

I used a washer as a guide to draw curves on the edges. I then rounded over the edges on the belt sander.

Next I had to cut some notches for the back rest. I used the bandsaw to do that. Alternatively you can make a series of cross cuts and then remove as much material as you can with a chisel. In both cases finish the job with a sanding block.

Then I cut the cleats on which the seat of the chair rests upon. I did that on the table saw. I glued them in place and added dowels for extra strength. I cut the dowels flush, with a flush trim saw. 

Finally I glued the main body of the chair together. Again using 8mm dowels.

On the table saw again, I cut the pieces for the seat and the back rest. 

I glued and nailed the seat pieces in place. I had a small gap which I filled with a thin piece. I used a block plane and a chisel to trim it flush.

I filled all the imperfections with wood filler.

Finally I started sanding with my random orbit sander. Once I sanded most parts I glued and nailed the back rest in place. I also used screws here. But first I drilled pilot holes and created counter sinks.

I finished sanding.

To make the chair sit nicely on a flat surface I glued a shim on one leg. I trimmed it flush with a chisel and sandpaper. 

I then masked the areas around the back rest and the seat. I painted with latex paint. It is important to paint from the tape to the wood in order to achieve really sharp edges. I applied two coats while lightly sanding between coats. The heat gun helps to speed up the drying process. 

Finally, I finished my chair with two coats of clear water based varnish.

At this point my chair was ready. It came out great. The only thing I would change is the screws on the back rest. I thing dowels would do just fine.

Anyway, I hope you liked my little chair, because that was it. 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.