Saturday, December 12, 2015

Circuit Board Yo-Yo

I've been a fan of the circuit board pen blanks since I first started making pens. I've made a few and have always been happy with how they have turned out. Now that I've been making pens for a few years it has become hard to come up with gifts to make for family members. One day while making another circuit board pen the idea of making a circuit board yo-yo came to me. I wasn't sure if I would be able to cut the circuit board with out them shattering. I started by removing most the components from the circuit board, and then I cut two circles on the bandsaw trying to keep the details of the board and some of the components that were flat to the board.

Next it was time to cast the boards into clear acrylic. I went with Amazing Clear Cast by Alumilite because it has a long open time which I hoped would allow for a blank with fewer air bubbles.

I used the reverse side of some bracelet molds I bought when I purchased the acrylic
The acrylic material machined well and was easier to work with than most the other acrylics I've turned before.

I did all the shaping with a scraper, and then sanded from 320 all the way up to 12,000 and finished with some plastic polish.
I am extremely happy with how this turned out and look forward to giving it to my dad for Christmas

I made a video explaning how I made the yo-yo.
Thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mail Center

My wife wanted a mail center/message board to help contain some of the clutter on the island. We looked at a few ideas on Pinterest and then drew a design we like. She found a old drawer from a sewing machine that she wanted to use as one of the containers on the board. She found a metal box she liked for the other box on the board but it wasn't the size she wanted. I had some scrap galvanized steel and some pallet wood so I made a simple box.
 For this project I chose to use a pine project board from the big box store.
 After we had our two boxes we decided that wasn't room to put a chalk board on and it would be used to hold mail. library books, and the kids back packs.

 I tried a chalk paint finish on this project. I wasn't a fan of the finishing wax, but I like how the paint went on. My wife is on the look out for an "M" to put in the top area.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Rough turning bowls

Last year I had a co-worker tell me about a weird piece of wood that his dad had cut, he explained it me and I told him I would like to have it.
The wood in question turned out to be flame box elder.

I split the pieces in half length wise and sealed the ends with paint to slow down how fast they dry out and to minimize cracking.

Fast forward 11 months, I've gotten a chuck for the lathe and I'm planning to make more bowls. I used the bandsaw and made crudely round blanks from one of the halves shown above. This wood isn't completely "dry" yet but also wasn't as green as a fresh cute tree. So I decided to rough turn these and allow them to finish drying before I turn them to their final shape.

I turned two bowls from the half a log piece. The larger is just under 8" in diameter, and the smaller is around 6".  I left the wall thickness roughly 10% of the bowl diameter as is standard practice for rough turning bowls.  I weighed each bowl and then packed them in a paper bag with the shavings/chips turning them. I will weigh them regularly and once they stop losing weight (moisture) I will finish turning them. I have several more pieces of the flame box elder waiting for me to get to using it.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

September 2015 Shop Tour

I know I appeared to fall off the face of the earth after my April shop tour but I'm still around and my shop didn't get blown away. Here is the September edition of the tour.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Making Memories While Making Pens

Since I started making pens and pencils I've given a lot of them as gifts. Recently I gave my nephew a pen for his birthday.
Zane's Pen
He loved it but asked if I could make him pencil, I suggested that next time he was up that we could make it together.  His older sister liked that idea also, she even picked out the blank she wanted to use.

I got the blanks ready and next time they were up we made the pen and pencil. I had each of them start out by practice turning a piece of scrap before turning the actual project.
Trinity ready to turn

Zane concentrating on the work at hand

Zane's Cherry mechanical pencil

Trinity's confetti pen
It was a lot of fun to work in the shop with the kids. They both seemed very proud of what we made together.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Wedding Arbor

My cousin asked me to make an arbor for her wedding. It was going to be painted so that meant I could build the arbor from standard construction lumber.  I ripped the pieces down on the table saw to remove the rounded edged on the 2x4's.

I designed the arbor with "4x4" legs so after I had the 2x4 cleaned up it was time to glue the legs.
I cut the arched top rails from a 2x8. I used a piece of PVC pipe and some sting to make a bow template for the arch.
The legs were notched out for the cross bars to create the end assemblies.
The arched rails were joined together with 3 cross rails

For the top the cross rails the endges need something more than a square end. I used the table saw to create the arc. After cutting several saw kerfs I used a chisel to remove the remaining wood and refine the shape.

The arbor was 3 sections that could easily be carried into the church.

They did a great job of decorating the arbor.
I was very proud of how the arbor turned out and it looked great up on the stage.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

March 2015 Shop Tour

This month's tour is two weeks late, but here it is. Sadly there hasn't been any progress, but I did build something.

Monday, February 2, 2015

February 2015 Shop Tour

I didn't get a lot of shop time in January but I did make some progress in the shop.
Here is my February 2015 shop tour.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Tool Handles

As I was cleaning in the shop recently I found some old files and rasp that were NY grandpa's. I had forgot I had them. Only one of them had a handle. I need a simple lathe project to get my fix so I used some scrap and turned some handles. Files are a lot nicer to use when they have a handle.

Oak handle on top and a maple handle on bottom.too

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Bethlehem Olive Wood

Olive wood from Bethlehem is available from many vendors. The wood available comes from trimmed branches and dead trees, no trees are killed to provide the wood.

The grain in the olive wood is beautiful. I've made two pens from it and each have turned out great.  The olive wood turns very nicely and smells wonderful while working it.  I look forward to making some more items from it.

This blank had some exceptional grain, and even has some figure and curl to it.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

More turned gifts

I turned a lot of pens and other items for gift this year.
Leopard wood seam ripper

Red acrylic Pocket stylus

Crushed Turquoise Slim pen

Teacher pen made from Red Acrylic, Apple Wood, and Walnut

Purpleheart twist pen

Raging Rapids Acrylic slim pen

Bethlehem Olive wood Designer pen

Nuclear Grape mechanical Pencil

A walnut slim pen, and a cherry slim pen