Wednesday, November 15, 2017

How to make a segmented pen on the lathe













I made this pen out of walnut and maple. I used a pen turning mandrel and a slim style pen kit.

First of all I prepared the pen blanks. I rip cut a walnut and a maple piece on the table saw. I used the jointer to flatten one edge of each board and glued them together. 

I then squared the stock on the jointer again.

Using a stop block and a cross cut sled on the table saw, I cut the piece in smaller blocks of wood. 

I then glued those blocks perpendicular to each other to create a pattern. To hold them straight during the glue up I used two pieces of wood and clamps.

On the jointer again I squared my blank once again. I then marked the sizes of the blanks and cross cut them to size on the table saw.

I used a center finder and an owl to mark the center of each blank. I then drilled a hole in each blank on the drill press.

I sanded the brass tubes of the pen kit. This provides better bonding surface for the glue. I glued the brass tubes in the blanks, using super glue.

I then mounted a barrel trimmer on my drill. This bit cleans the inside of the tubes from excess glue and trims the blank flush with the length of the tubes.

I then mounted the pen turning mandrel on my chuck. I added the blanks and the bushings on the mandrel and secured everything in place. 

I did most of the turning using a roughing gouge. I then used a parting tool to establish my stop marks. I also used a regular straight chisel as a scrapper for the finishing pass.

I sanded the piece starting from 100 to 1000 grit. At 500 grit I wet sanded with mineral oil. I also used micro-mesh soft touch pads to wet sand until 12000 grit.

I then assembled the pen. Most people use special clamps for this. I just hammered everything in place with a mallet. I used a small wood piece and a towel to prevent my pen from damaging while hammering everything in place.

My pen was now ready and I am really happy with the way it came out!

Friday, November 10, 2017

How to make a cheap hanging workshop cabinet out of OSB











I made this cheap cabinet for my workshop out of OSB material. It is hanged on the wall with a french cleat system. 

I would really like to thank BMtools for sending the air compressor I use in the video.

The air compressor is this one:

I bought my OSB material cut roughly to the sizes I wanted. 

I started by making the frame of my cabinet. I used a corner clamp to help me hold the two sides in place, while I predrilled pilot holes, screwed and glued them together.

Using my circular saw and a guide rail I cut the front and back sides in size.

I then screwed the front and back in place. 

At this point I had a wooden box. I ripped cut the box in half on the table saw. Before the last two cuts I clamped two shims in place so that the already cut sides won’t interfere with the last cuts.

The front piece of the cabinet is actually two doors with shelves. So using my circular saw again and cut the front piece in half. To complete the doors I cut two piece of OSB on the table saw and screwed them in place.

I then used spray cans and scrap OSB pieces to act as spacers. I then predrilled and screwed the door shelves in place. I used the same technique to find the locations of the inner shelves also.

I also added a drawer in this cabinet. I made it using overlap rabbet joints. I made those using a stop block on my cross cut sled. With a few repeated cuts on the table saw I was ready to go. This is a simple joint with plenty of gluing surfaces. 

I then used my air compressor and a nail gun to hold the drawer sides in place, while the glue dried. 

I used the hole saw to open up a finger hole in the front of the drawer.

I then gave the whole piece a quick sanding with my random orbit sander and a sanding block.

I used the air compressor and a blowgun to blow the dust away.

The doors are attached on the cabinet with piano hinges. I cut the hinges to size with my angle grinder. I hold them in place with masking tape and then screwed them securely in place.

I made a simple latch on the table saw and some scrap OSB pieces.

I glued the latch in place, I used again my nail gun to hold the pieces in place, while the glue dried.

I nailed and glued in place a spacer piece on the back of the cabinet. 

I tilted the blade of my table saw at 45 degrees and ripped cut an OSB piece to act as a french cleat.

I screwed and glued one piece of the french cleat on the back of the cabinet.

I then used a spirit level and a few nails to mark the places for the upats on the wall. I made a simple depth guide on my drill with some tape. I drilled the holes on the wall and hammered the upats in place.

I then screwed the other half of the french cleat on the wall.

I hanged the cabinet in the wall.

I then used strength rubber luggage ropes to act as stoppers for the door shelves. I first shortened them with a pair of scissors and zip ties. I then secured them in place on metal rings which were screwed on the sides of the doors. 

My cabinet was now ready. It came out really nice. It was easy and cheap to make!


Friday, November 3, 2017

How to make a 3 string electric guitar from a cheap tennis racket

















I made this guitar from the cheapest racket I found, a single coil pickup from my old stratocaster and a few pieces of spruce.

First of all I  unwrapped the handle of the racket. I used an exact knife and the heat gun clean up the handle.

I then cut the piece for the neck. It is “T” shape which I cut on the table saw. I then trimmed it to size with my cross cut sled. I also shaped it a little bit using the bandsaw and a chisel.

I sized a piece of spruce on the thickness planer to make the headstock. I then cut a slot on it on the table saw. This is the way the neck is jointed with the headstock. I then used the bandsaw and the disc sander, to finish the shaping of the headstock. I drilled the tuning peg holes on the drill press and glued the headstock on the neck.

I then cut the support piece for the bridge, on the bandsaw. Using forester bits, I made room for the output jack and the volume pot.

I shaped the neck a little bit, using a rasp then a file and then sandpaper.

The neck is jointed to the racket body with brass screws. I drilled the holes on the aluminum racket and pilot holes for the screws. I did the same thing for the bridge support.

I mounted the pickup using zip ties. Using a wiring diagram I soldered all the electronics. I also used heat shrinking tubes to hide a few of the soldered joints.

With a hacksaw I cut a scrap metal piece to size to act as my bridge. I completed the bridge by glueing the metal part with two wooden ones using two part epoxy.

I measured the scale of my guitar, from nut to bridge and it came out 565mm.

Using a saw and a file I opened up a groove for the nut. I cut the bone to size on the bandsaw and shaped it with a sanding block. I used an online fret calculator to locate the fret positions. After I marked the positions with a pencil I used a block of wood as ruler to start the cut with my fret saw. I then removed the block and finished the fret slots.

I glued dowels to act as fret position indicators. I used my flush trim saw to cut them flush. I then sanded over the whole fretboard.

At this point I want to thank my friend Sakis Alitsios from Art Street 52 for the fret wire he gave me. I then cut the wire to size and pushed it in place with my vise. To secure the frets in place, I added a drop of super glue to the sides of each fret. Using my rotary tool and a cutting disc I trimmed the frets flush and then finished the job with a sanding block.

Using my wood burner I added dots on the sides of the fretboard to act as fret position indicators.

I then installed the tuning pegs, added the string guides and drilled holes the ends of the strings.

Using a V file I opened up the string slots on the nut and bridge.

I masked the frets with blue masking tape. I marked the high spots with a sharpie. I then used a long sanding block to level all the frets. Using my rotary tool and a polishing bit with polishing compound I polished all the frets. I finished polishing with steel wool.

At this point my guitar was ready, I hope you liked it too!

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

How to make a custom wooden keychain on the CNC machine









Recently Inventables sent to me a box with some interesting materials. They also sent to me a set of V carving bits and gave me access to Easel Pro software. 

So I decided to do a project that wood include V carving. My logo is fairly complicated and I thought it would be perfect to test how detailed work I can achieve.

My keychain is made out of wenge wood. I Cut two pieces of it on the bandsaw. I glued the two pieces together with their grain perpendicular to each other. This way I created a kind of plywood which is much stronger and perfect for the work I wanted it for. 

I then secured the material on the x-carve cnc with double sided tape. I did that in order to avoid using tabs on my carving.

I then designed my keychain in illustrator. I exported the design as an SVG file which I then imported in Easel pro. 

The carving would be completed in three stages. First a detailed pass with the v carving bit. Then a roughing pass with a straight bit. And then another roughing pass with a straight bit to cut out the material. V carving and carving in detail and roughing passes are features available only in Easel Pro. Easel Pro also has a detailed preview and a carving simulation. This way you know the course the router while take while carving.

Because I completed the carving in three stages I always made a copy of the original easel file. So I worked every stage in a different copy of the original file.

After the carving procedure was done. I sanded the piece with 240 sandpaper to remove any burrs. I then sprayed a coat of white paint on the carving side. When the paint dried out, I sanded again with 240 and this way the design remained white in contrast to the really dark wenge surface. I also did not sand the paint all the way. This way my keychain had a kind of rustic look which I think fits better the whole scrap wood city concept of my channel.

I finished the piece with mineral oil and added the chain.

I am really happy with the way it came out, especially it’s texture!

Many thanks to Inventables for the really cool stuff they sent to me!


If you want to make this project yourself, you can find the easel file here.



Thursday, October 19, 2017

How to make a wooden rubber band toy rifle












I made this wooden DIY toy gun from a piece of maple. 

First of all I jointed one side of the maple board on my jointer. After I had established one flat side I reduced my material’s thickness on the thickness planer.

This toy is based on a template I designed. I glued the template on the wood using spray adhesive.

I then cut out the basic form of my rifle on the bandsaw.

I flattened the top using a planer. 

I used flat and cylindrical files and rasps to clean the piece form the saw marks.

Using my heat gun, I gently removed the template from the wood. 

I then switched to the spokeshave to round over as many edges as I could. When using the spokeshave it is important to always go with the direction of the grain. If your cuts are not clean just change the direction you use the tool.

In the areas the spokeshave could not reach, I used my old trusty files and rasps. 

I then sanded my piece starting with 100grit. I then moved to 240 and stopped at 320.

The trigger of my gun is just a wood clothes pin. To customize it a bit to fit my overall design I cut a small piece on my bandsaw. 

I glued the little piece on the clothes pin and then glued the whole trigger on the rifle. 

I finished the project with mineral oil.

At this project my little toy rifle was ready to shoot some rubber bands! :)

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

How to make the crocodile, a percussion musical instrument












I made this DIY instrument out of a piece of maple. It can also serve as a fun wooden toy or decorative element. I made it using mostly hand tools. I also used the lathe to turn the scrubbing stick.

In order to produce the sound, you just scrub the stick on the crocodile’s back in a rhythmical way.

First of all I rough sketched the basic shape of my crocodile. I then scanned it and designed the vector template over the sketch. 

I took a piece of hard maple and jointed one edge on the jointer. With one side flat I fed the piece on the thickness planer to flat the other side also.

I then glued the template on the wood using spray adhesive.

I used the drill to open up a hole for the jigsaw blade. I then Used the jigsaw to cut the handle shape out. 

I used the drill to remove material from the crocodile’s back. I then cut the rest of shape out on the bandsaw.

I finished the rough shaping with round and flat rasps and files. I then sanded the piece with 100 grit sandpaper.

I used a dowel and a flat wood piece as sanding blocks to sand all the different areas.

Using a heat gun I gently removed the template from the wood.

I finished sanding with 240 grit sand paper.

On the jointer again I flattened the side of another piece of maple.

I rip cut it on the table saw. I cross cut the edges with my cross cut sled.

I then glued the two pieces together.

Using again the table saw with the blade at 45 degrees, I removed as much material as I could to save me some time on the lathe.

I then mounted the stock on the lathe between centers and used the roughing gouge to round the stock over. I finished shaping with the skew chisel. When the piece became to thin I used my hand as support to avoid vibrations.

I finished the piece with a coat of mineral oil.


My little crocodile percussion toy was now ready, I am really happy with the way it came out!