Winter gifts

I’m a bit late with this post, but the truth is that I didn’t have time to write this blog.

These small gifts are very handy and easy to make if you own a laser engraver.

You have to choose carefully the branches, some of them may crack very bad after dries ( e.g. hardwood like cherry, beech…). I’ve picked birch wood for this project, it’s soft wood, looks nice has white bark and never cracks. If you still want to use hard wood make sure the wood is dry enough ( ~ 10-12 % humidity).

After cutting the wood slices you just have to resize the selected image in order to fit your workpiece. I’m using corel draw with laser engraving plugin for editing and engraving.

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I’ve used 400 mm /s engraving speed and 30% of the laser power (80W).

And in a few seconds the gifts is ready !

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Afer attaching a small string and a wooden ball it looks just amaizing.

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Folding sawhorse

Hey chaps!

In this post I’ll make some a pair of folding sawhorse. It’s very useful in the garage or outside in the yard and if you do not need them you can just fold them and store behind the shelf.

Here is the design, it’s pretty simple, but the key is the mortise and tenon join which holds tight all the pieces.

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sizing: 90 cm  (height) x 60 cm (width)

Tenon & Mortise joint

To ensure the wood join is strong and will resist to the pressure I’d used the tenon and mortise joint to create the frame.

A couple of months ago I’ve build a pantorouter  (based on the plan purchased from here) which is just perfect for this job. Until now I haven’t had the opportunity to use it properly in a real project so this will be the first time I’m creating a tenon and mortise joint for good.  The pantorouter  principal follows the pantograph mechanism with a router in it. Basically it’s used to route shapes from 2x sized templates. If you are new to this topic just search through the internet or follow the link I’ve provided.

Calibrating the mortise and tenon templates takes a while but once it’s done you can replicate the same work piece over and over again.

Cutting the tenon

Cutting the mortise

Once the tenons and mortises are ready, you just simply have to glue all pieces together.

To join the two legs I’ve used a two hinges. I’ve also mounted a chain between the legs to limit the opening angle.

 

 

 

The roller furler

My next project was a roller furler. A friend of mine needed one for his kayak – a Wayland folding kayak that uses Klepper S4 sails. A roller furler is used to furl (roll up) the jib sail (the sail placed ahead of the mast). Even though it may seem rather unimportant, this is an essential piece of equipment. Precisely because of that, it tends to be rather expensive if bought ready-made.

I used this site as my starting point. However, the furler I made consisted of a one-piece wooden spool (instead of three pieces glued together) fitted inside a plastic cover. Also, the furler was much smaller in size, perhaps two times smaller, than the one I used as inspiration.

1. Making the spool

Shaping the wood 

The spool (around which is wound the line that furls the jib) was made of beech wood. I used the lathe and various chisels to remove the bark from the log and then to shape it.

Beech wood logIMG_20151010_173846IMG_20151010_175421

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The finished spool


The finished spool had a height of 4 cm and a 7 cm diameter, a 0.5 cm margin and a 2 cm inset to allow approximately 20 spins of the line.

Drilling the holes

On the lathe I drilled a 4 mm hole in the middle of the spool, then I turned to the vertical drill to drill additional holes on either side of the central one, and another smaller hole for the stop knot of the furling line.

The finished spoolIMG_20151010_183558

Wood treatment

I applied a coating of regular oil and, on top of that, a waterproof coating.

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Fitting metal parts:

I fitted a U-bolt through the holes on either side of the spool’s central hole. Since the original U-bolt was too wide, I first narrowed it down on a vise so that it would fit inside the holes.

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2. Making the plastic cover (drum)

I made the drum from a plastic cap with a diameter of 7.5 cm.

I drilled several 1.5 cm holes on the side of the drum using a hammer drill (not as easy as expected – it was a pretty tough PVC; maybe the fact that I used a wood hammer drill had also something to do with it). Another hole was drilled in the centre of the drum.

To make the drain holes in the bottom of the drum I used the vertical drill.

Next, I fitted an eye-bolt through the hole in the centre of the drum.

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3. Putting it all together

Now I needed to fit the spool inside the drum. First, I made a small hole (around the central hole of the spool) inside which I placed a cotter pin. On top of this I added a ball bearing. Afterwards, I placed the spool on the drum’s eye-bolt and secured the two nuts. 

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Drum with fitted U-bolt and cotter pin

Because at first I couldn’t fit the ball bearing between the eye-bolt’s nuts (it turned out the space inside the U-bolt was too narrow), I had to cut away some of the width of the nuts. The disc grinder saved the day! Fortunately it worked, though more planning won’t harm anyone next time around.    

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This is the assembled roller furler:

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Note:  I bought the plastic cover (drum) from Dedeman as well as the eye-bolt, nuts, and the rope. The U-bolt was from amazon.uk and the ball bearing from the ‘Rulmenti’ store opposite Kaufland Marasti.

I will update this post with more photos once the furler is put to actual use!

The wooden acorn

Today I’ll show you how to make a wooden acorn in a few steps. This is a really simple project, doesn’t requires to much practice just a bit of attention.

Let’s kick off.

Step1 – pick the material

I did a bit of research before I started this project and I’ve noticed that the guys from the youtube are using different kind of wood to build the acorn parts. A common practice is to use walnut for the acorn hat and maple for the acorn body.

Being my first project, I’ve decided to use what I had in stock and to build both parts from the same piece of wood.  I’ll picked a birch log.

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Step2 – make the acorn hat ( top part)

To make the acorn hat I’ve fixed the birch log in the chuck, rounded down to ~5 cm on the lathe and drilled a 35cm hole.

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Once the hole was ready I’ve used the gauge chisel to make the shape of the hat and then used the a special chisel to apply some texture.

texturing chisel

After sanding ( 80, 120 and 220) I’ve applied two coats of light dark oak wax to get a brown color.

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Step3 – make the acorn (the body)

To make the body I’ve pretty much followed the same process, but this time finished with a transparent wax to keep the natural color.

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Here we go, this the final acorn.

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3D letter carving guide

Hi!

This is small article to illustrate how to carve a 3D wood inscription using a hand router.  The full process is quite quick (depending on the lengths of the texts), doesn’t requires any fancy tool or template, all you need is a hand router, a piece of paper, an indigo paper and a piece of wood.

In this project I’ll create a name inscription for the dog house. The name of the dog is “Tesa” (I’m lucky, it has just 4 letters)

Let’s get to work

Step 1:  open a word document on your laptop, pick a nice font and then print out the layout. The font has to be “fat” enough to fit a straight router bit.

Step 2: draw the text to the wood using the indigo paper

3d wood carving

Step 3: pick a straight router bit and start routing. You have to follow the edge of each letter from inside out.

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Step 4:  stain the wood, especially the carved letter part. Do not bother if you touch the rest of the surface, it will be sand anyway.

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Step 5: once the stain dried, do a bit of sanding (e.g. using belt sander) until you remove completely the stained surface .

Step 6: clean surface to remove all the sanding dust and apply two coats of finishing paint.

3d wood carving

This is all the magic, six simple steps to do a 3d wood inscription with a hand router.

dog house

The wooden safe

Hi everybody!

This post is a bit different from the others because this time I just present the final product rather than detailing the building process. The wooden safe is one of my oldest project and unfortunately I do not have  too much intermediate pictures because I’ve managed to delete all when I’ve cleaned up my iCloud account.

When I’ve stared this project, I had no ideea that I’ll end up building a safe, my goal  was to build a  wooden gear after I saw a youtube video.

The wooden gears

Building a wooden gear is quite easy if you follow the right steps. First, you have to use a software to configure the gear, then you have to print out the gear layout and glue it to the wood. Once the glue dried, just cut the gear shape on bandsaw or scroll saw.

I’ve used the following gear generator software downloaded from http://woodgears.ca/gear/.

gear

The software has a very self explanatory user interface, very easy to configure and in a couple of minutes you can design your gear project.

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I was so enthusiastic that after I’ve built the two gears I felt that I have to make something useful. This was the first time when the wooden safe crossed my mind.

Well, I started to build the box for the safe and I’ve mounted the locking mechanism based on the two gears to the front door. Of course the safe is not a “real” safe, you can open it just by rotating the gears, but it looks awesome. Actually I planned to integrate some sort of combination lock but my kids liked it this way.

I think I’ve said enough so let see the wooden safe!

wooden safe  wooden safe

I not sure if it’s visible enough so I’d like to mention the fact that all parts are made out of wood except the screws which hold the hinges and the gears. I hate screws so I’ve tried to avoid them.

After I’ve finished the project I was thinking why on earth somebody would build a wooden safe, what could be an advantage of building one ? …. and I’ve found an answer: “the wooden safe will never sink if you throw it in the water :)”

wooden safe

How to build a wood key chain in 10 minutes

Hi! This post is about building a wood key chain in less than 10 minutes. The overall process takes a bit more, but if we deduct the glue drying time the rest of the work is quite fast.

Nobody asked me to make a wood key chain but when I’ve found a small piece of oak wook in my garaje I felt that I had to do something with it rahter then using as fire wood.

Here are the two pieces of oak wood I’ve started off with. As you can see the first piece has a dark color while the second one more brighter almost white.

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I’ve cut three 1 x 1cm and two 1.5 x 1 cm thick sticks on the circular saw and then glued all toegheter like in the below picture.

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Once the glue dryied I cut some 1cm thick slices but this time in a perpendicular direction and then glued all slices toegheter again to obtain a nice texture.

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After the glue dried I did some sanding and cut the desired key chain shapes on the band saw. I had plenty of materials so a did four different shapes, one circular and three regtangluar onces.

To cut the circular shape I used the band saw and then the lathe to round the edges.

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After the final sanding I applied two coats of transparnt wood finishing wax to get a shiny look.  Here is the final product, nothing sofisticated but for a ~ 10 minutes work I think it turned out well.

wood key chain