Saturday, March 28, 2015

How to make a pallet drink coaster using only hand tools

I love beverage pallet coasters and I decided to make one using only hand tools.

First of all I split a piece of spruce to make the tiny boards of the palette. To do that I made a beginning with my flush trim saw and then used a chisel and a knife to split it.

Then I secured my block plane upside down on my vise. I planed my piece straight and  to the thickness I wanted by making slight passes over the plane.

I used a caliper to make sure I am ok with my board’s thickness.

I cut the boards to size using my miter box and a hacksaw. I used the hacksaw to have a smoother cut on those small pieces.

Then I added wood glue to a small syringe and used to add small amounts of glue. I glued the top of the palette and added a weight for glueing pressure.

Then I plane down my original piece to create the right thickness for the pallet blocks.

I glued the whole piece together.

I used nails and my hammer to nail all the pieces together.

I sanded the piece roughly with 120 grit sandpaper.

To make it look more like a pallet, I wood burn a symbol on the edges. My symbol is the first letter of a name (the person's I am gonna give the palette to).

My miniature pallet coaster is ready!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

DIY electric lap steel guitar out of plywood

This is a project I had in mind for some time now and I think this was the right timing for me to materialize my idea.

First of all I took a thick piece of plywood and transferred to it a few basic measurements based on my Gibson SG guitar.

Then I used my jigsaw to cut out the basic shape of the guitar.

Then I had to bring the thickness of the headstock down to size. I did that using several passes with the router and a straight bit. I also made a simple jig. The jig had a base for the router and two sides on which those base slided on. This way you can the router as a thickness planer.

Then I had to rout out the hole for the pickup. To do that I also made a jig. First of all I traced the outline of the pick up and the measured the distance from my router guide bushing to the cutting of the bit. Then I offset path the traced outline of the pickup by the distance I measured before. Then I drilled a hole in the jig and cut out the inside with my jigsaw. I sanded the template and then mounted on the guitar body with nails. Then I made several passes to open the hole for the pickup.

I drilled the hole for the pot on my drill press and used a forstner bit to open the back hole. 

Then I used a really long drill bit to unite the pickup with pot and the output jack. To enlarge the output jack hole I used a conical centre bit.

Then I drilled the holes for the keys on the headstock.

I drilled the holes for the back piece of the bridge and hammered the guides in.

Then I sanded the guitar using my sanding block and scrap pieces (as sanding blocks) with 120grit sandpaper.

I made a template for the pickup base, glued it on a piece of plywood and cut it out on my scroll saw.

Now it was time to mark the fret positions. I used this on line fret calculator to find the positions of the frets. My guitar scale is based on the Gibson style and it’s dimension is 625,532mm from nut to bridge. 

I marked the fret positions with a pencil and then wood burned them. 

Then I drilled the holes for the fret dots and glued dowels as inlays. I trimmed them flush with my flush trim saw.

I finished the guitar with a few coats of teak oil.

I added the keys and the pickup. I added nuts under the pickup because I should have made the pickup hole a bit deeper.

Then I cut out a few scrap pieces of metal with my hacksaw and my rotary tool. I shaped them on my grinder. I used one of them for the output jack plate and the other as a nut.

I added two strings and marked the position of the bridge. I drilled the holes for the bridge and installed it.

I used the Seymour Duncan wiring diagram for a humbucker and a volume pot and soldered the electric parts together. I soldered the output jack last.

I made a cap for the electric parts and used the hole saw to make a volume knob.

Because the nut is much higher than the keys I used a few hooks to guide the strings. This way the strings are secure and cannot come off the key.

My guitar is ready for action. Each string has more than two octaves and I tuned it in open E. 

The string from low to high go E-B-E-G#-B-E. This way I have a complete major chord under my slide.

I hope you liked it!

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A series of time lapses with my go pro camera

A video that is different from my woodworking stuff.

I recently bought a Go pro hero 4 silver camera and started shooting time lapses.

In the video I shot mostly clouds, night and day and my plants that revive after watering.

I mostly set the camera on 1frame/5seconds although a few of the time lapses are shot on 1frame/10 seconds.

I hope you like it!

Friday, March 6, 2015

Little prince on a log slice wall art - Entry for the tree challenge

This is my entry for Dominic Bender’s tree challenge More info on the challenge here.

Watch all the entries of the challenge here.

I had a pine log slice laying around and I decided to make something out of it.

First of all I removed the bark with an old cheap chisel.

Then I created two stop blocks with my jigsaw to hold the piece in place. Then I set up a jig to plane my slice to thickness with my router. This technique also flattens the piece. I made a specie base for the router which slided over the log piece on  two wood rails.

Then I used two part epoxy glue to fill the cracks on my log piece.  

I sanded the piece with 50 and 120 grit sand paper using my sander.

I added a hanger in the back.

The I used my wood burner to burn an abstract childish design of the little Prince. I really liked the grain of the wood and I wanted a minimal design that wouldn’t dominate over nature’s design.

Then I applied a few coats of my home made beeswax and olive oil finish. You can watch how I made this here.

My piece is ready, I love it’s grain pattern and the finish did a good job in piping it out!