Friday, May 18, 2018

How to make a DIY toy storage box with casters

I made this rolling cart out of 18 and 9mm birch plywood. It has four casters and a removable carved letter made with the CNC machine. 

I didn’t have any 18mm plywood in the shop. So I got it precut from a shop.

I glued and nailed the sides of my box, using my air powered nail gun.

For the bottom I used 9mm plywood. I used my circular saw and a guide rail to cut the bottom slightly larger than needed.

I then glued and nailed the bottom in place. I used a flush trim bit on my router and flush trimmed the bottom of my storage box. 

I used some wood filler to cover up any imperfections on the piece. 

I then used my random orbit sander to sand the box. I begun with 80grit sandpaper and finished at 180.

To prevent the wood from splitting I clamped a plywood scrap piece on the back of the hole I was going to make. I drilled the hole using a forstner bit.

I then started the paint job. This whole thing was a matter of good masking. I had to make a synthesis of triangles from different colors. I prepared each color and then used masking tape to make the masks. In order to have a really sharp edge here, it is best to bush from the tape to the inside of the form. If you brush against the tape, there is good chance you’ll mesh the sharpness of your painted form. I applied two coats of each color and used my heat gun to speed up the drying process. I used latex paint.

I then used a scrap piece of wood as a spacer to mark the positions of the casters. I screwed the casters in place. Two of the casters have stoppers.

To customize the box for your kids, you can can carve the initial letter of your kid on a piece of plywood. I used my CNC to do that. I then painted the inner carved forms. After the paint was dry, I sanded it and it was ready.

I wanted the letter to be removable,  so I came up with a simple mechanism that uses a rubber band and a dowel. 

At this point my little box was ready, I hope you like it!

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

How to make a wooden slingshot on the lathe

I made two wooden slingshots on the lathe. I made the first out of oleander wood and the other out of olive wood. I used leather for the pouch and rubber from a catheter I found in the pharmacy.

First of all I mounted the wood on the lathe between centers. I used my roughing gouge to turn the stock true. I then used my skew chisel and a parting tool to create the tenon for my chuck.

I mounted the piece on the chuck and also used my steady rest to keep things in place while hollowing the end grain. I used the bowl gouge to do the hollowing. The whole process here basically resembles to the goblet making procedure.

After hollowing, I sanded and used super glue to fill some cracks on the wood. I then used the roughing gouge and the spindle gouge to finish the shape of my slingshot. I used my finger as a thickness caliper. 

To provide more support, I added an adapter on the tailstock to hold the stock in place. I used my skew to create better grip on the slingshot’s handle. I sanded the piece. I also used the wood shavings to sand the surfaces even smoother.

I moved on the bandsaw and cut out two side pieces. I finished shaping my slingshot on the belt sander.

I finished the piece with a coat of mineral oil. 

I bought a rubber catheter from the pharmacy and used it as my slingshot’s rubber. I added a leather pouch and mounted the rubber on my slingshot using iron wire with a pair of pliers.

My slingshot was now ready. To keep it a toy I used rubber washers as ammo.

I hope you enjoyed this build!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Making a Talandon or Simantron ( percussion instrument )

Talandon or Simantron is a percussion musical instrument used in Greek Orthodox monasteries. A monk uses the instrument to call the rest of the brotherhood for prayer in the church or other monastic activities. I made it out of maple.

First of all I used my circular saw to cut my stock to size. To joint one edge I used my guide rail. With one side jointed I ripped cut the other side on the table saw.

I the used my jointer to flatten one side of the board and then finished planing on the thickness planer mode.

Using straight edges and a compass I designed the shape of the simantron. I then used my jigsaw to make all the cuts needed.

I then used my files to clean up the saw marks. First I use a rasp to remove much material fast. Then I use my files to clean up the rasp’s marks and finally I sand to clean up the file marks. In some tight corners I used a chisel. 

I wanted the whole piece to have rounded over edges. I marked the bevels with a pencil and my finger as a guide. I then used my spokeshave to create all the round overs. When using the spokeshave, it is important to pay attention to the direction of the grain to avoid splitting of the wood. 

In some cases talandon has three holes in the shape of the cross on it’s edges. I used my drill with a forstner bit to create those. 

I then sanded the piece with shading blocks.

The talandon also has a wooden mallet. To make the mallet I glued three pieces for the mallet’s head and two for it’s handle.

I cleaned up the edges on my table saw with a cross cut sled.

I marked the centers and mounted the stock on the lathe between centers. I used my roughing gouge to true up my pieces. 

For the mallet’s head I used the spindle gouge to round over the edges. I also used the parting tool to establish the size. I cut the excess wood on the bandsaw and cleaned the saw marks on the belt sander. I used a forstner bit to open up the whole for the handle. I secured it with clamps and a 90 degree angle piece.

I then made the handle on the lathe and glued it on the head.

I sprayed all the pieces with water to raise the grain of the wood. After the water dried I sanded everything with 220 grit sandpaper. I finished everything with mineral oil.

My simantron was now ready. Although it is used mostly in Christian monastic life activities I thing it is a really interesting instrument and I really enjoyed the build!

I hope you did too! 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

How to make an one string experimental piezoelectric violin

I made this experimental violin, out of birch plywood, maple and copper. The instrument uses a piezoelectric pickup under the bridge. The pickup converts the vibrations of the bridge into electric signal which is then amplified with an amp.

First of all I designed and printed out the template of my instrument. 

The body of my instrument is made out of 9mm birch plywood pieces. I glued the template on the plywood with spray adhesive and cut it out on the bandsaw.

I used my heat gun to remove the template easily.

I then glued the body pieces together using wood glue and clamps.

I used my router with a straight bit to cut out the f hole shapes. 

I then used my belt sander and my rotary tool to sand off the saw marks from the bandsaw. 

I made the neck out of two pieces of maple. I made a straight cross cut on the table saw and then cut the rest on the bandsaw. I used a chisel and my sander to clean up the saw marks. 

I used my router again to route the hole for the neck. I finished the hole with a chisel. 

I then 3D cut the headstock on the band saw. I cut the first side, glued the pieces again with hot glue and cut the other side.

I glued the headstock and the neck together. To avoid the two pieces from sliding around while glue up, I used two bamboo stick pins.

Using my thickness planer I prepared the piece for the fretboard. I glued it on the neck again using two pins. 

Using a forstner bit, I opened up the hole for the piezoelectric pickup on my violin’s body. 

On the bandsaw again I cut a small circular piece to act as a cap for the pickup.

I then drilled and routed the holes for the electric parts of my instrument.

Out of a copper sheet I made the output jack holder. I cut it out on the bandsaw and shaped it on my belt sander. I used a step drill bit to open up the hole for the jack. I also bended the holder to match the curve of my violin.

I shaped the neck using rasps, files sandpaper and my spokeshave. 

I glued the neck on the body. I also used a counter sinked screw for more reinforcement.

I finished the violin with three coats of satin, clear, water based varnish. I lightly sanded between coats with 220 grit sandpaper.

I then shaped the copper string holder. To avoid breaking it I used my propane torch while bending it to shape.

I added the key.

I soldered all the electric parts of the instrument. To hide some soldered parts I used heat shrinking tube.

I assembled my instrument and added a string. 

I made the nut out of a piece of bone which I shaped with a file and sandpaper.

I made the bridge out of a piece of maple. I cut it on the bandsaw and shaped it on the belt sander.

At this point my violin was ready. I also added a piece of masking tape on the fretboard. On this piece I marked the fret positions so I can play the instrument in tune.

I am really happy with the way my electric violin came out! I hope you like it too!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

How to make an electric ancient Greek guitar

I made this ancient hellenic lyra out of 9mm birch plywood. I used plexiglass for the bridge and nut, a humbucker pickup and regular guitar tuning pegs. Ancient Greeks used to call similar instruments by the name "κιθάρα". That word is a close relative to the word "guitar" we use today.

First of all I made a template out of a piece of cardboard.

Then I used my circular saw and a guide rail to cut a piece of 9mm birchh plywood.

I then used the template to draw the shape of the instrument on the plywood. The guitar’s shape is symmetrical, so I flipped the template over to create the mirror images needed.

I then used the bandsaw to cut out the shape I wanted. I cleaned up the saw marks  with my rotary tool and a sanding drum. I hand sanded when needed. 

I then used a pencil to trace the pickup. I used my router to carve out the pickup slot.

I used wood filler to cover up any imperfections on the plywood. 

I cut a plywood piece that would act as string holder. I glued it and nailed it in place with my air powered nail gun.

I used rivets as string guides. I hammered them in place.

I then drilled all the holes needed to receive the tuning pegs. 

I cut thin pieces of plywood to act as bridge and nut. I glued and nailed them in place. I used the plexiglass as a spacer.

I then filed the string slots on the plexiglass bridge and nut.

With a forstner bit I opened up the hole for the output jack.

I finished the guitar with 3 coats of clear, water based varnish. I sanded between coats and used the heat gun to speed up the drying process.

I soldered the the pickup to the output jack and assembled the instrument. 

My electric κιθάρα was now ready!