Thursday, December 21, 2017

How to make a wooden toy castle

I made this DIY castle out of birch plywood. I used the papier-mâché technique to give it a nice stone wall texture. I also used dry brushing to give it a more interesting paint job.

First of all I designed the template of my castle. I then printed the template out and joined all the template pieces together.

I then glued the templates on 9mm plywood, using spray adhesive. I made the circles on the template with 35 degree radius. This is perfect form my 35mm forstner bit. I first marked with an owl and then removed the material with the drill.

I then cut the rest of the pieces on the bandsaw.

The towers of my castle are mirror images of each other. So I glued two pieces of plywood with double sided tape and cut both templates together.

I then sanded the pieces lightly on my belt sander.

I glued all the pieces together with wood glue. I used my nail gun to add brad nails to keep everything in place before the glue sets.

To give the castle a more stone wall texture I used the paper mache technique. I thinned  down wood glue using water. I then cut pieces of kitchen paper. Using a bush I glued the paper on the plywood. The inner area I just coated with wood glue. When the glue dries you get a really hard paintable surface.

I panted the castle with latex paint. 

I then cut the ladder and door pieces on the bandsaw. I glued them together. For these pieces I also used bamboo sticks to act as mini dowels!

To give everything a more aged surface I used the dry brushing technique. You take a brush and dip it in paint. Then you remove the excess paint of the brush with a piece of paper of cloth. Then you apply really fast light strokes on the item you want to dry brush. This highlights the high spots and gives a really interesting texture to the project.

I finished the piece with two coats of clear, satin, water based varnish!

My castle came out epic! I hope you like it!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

How to make a DIY ballerina lamp, with LED strip

I made this wall lamp out of 9mm birch plywood. It is actually a backlight lamp with LEDs.

First of all I cut a piece of birch plywood to size. I used my circular saw with a guide rail for this job.

I then printed out a template. I Joined the pieces of the template together. I added masking tape on the plywood and then I glued the template on the tape with spray adhesive. This way there won’t be any left over glue on the wood, once I remove the template.

I then cut the template out on the bandsaw. I sanded the piece using my belt sander and my rotary tool with a sanding drum bit.

To support the LED strip, I cut several square plywood blocks on the bandsaw. I glued them on the back of the lamp. I used my nail gun to add one nail to each block, until the glue dried.

I also glued and nailed a couple of spacers. Those spacers prevent the lamp from touching the wall. This way the light comes out much nicer.

I secured the LED strip with my hot glue gun. To force the hot glue to freeze faster I provided air with my air gun.

I then soldered and connected the power supply and the on/off switch of the lamp. I also used heat shrinking tubing to a couple of exposed solders. I glued the wires on the back of the lamp with my hot glue gun again. 

I also drilled a hole to act as the hanging mechanism.

I painted the lamp pink. After the first coat was dry I lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper. I applied another coat of paint and then finished the piece with two coats of clear water based varnish.

My cute ballerina lamp was now ready, I hope you like it!

Thursday, December 7, 2017

How to make a maraca on the lathe

This is a percussion musical instrument. It is similar to a baby rattle. I made it out of lime tree on the lathe.

First of all I cut a piece of lime tree to size using my circular saw.

I then used my jointer to flatten one side of the board. I cut it in half on the bandsaw. I glued the two flat sides together. 

I then cut two cylindrical pieces on the bandsaw. I did that so that the hollowed egg of the maraca would be hollowed mostly on side grain. This makes the hollowing process much easier.

Using my 1/2 inch bowl gouge I turned the cylinders true. With the parting tool and the skew chisel I created the tenons that would fit the jaws of my chuck.

I shaped the outer sides of the eggs with the spindle gouge. I then hollowed the interior with the bowl gouge.

The halfs are jointed together with a mortise and tenon. After I have roughly turned the two halfs, I glued them together on the lathe. I cleaned one end of the egg with a bowl gouge.

I then used the a forstner bit on the tailstock’s chuck and drilled a hole on one end of the egg.

Using a spindle gouge, I turned the spindle for the handle. I measured the forester bit I used before with a caliper and made a tenon on the end of the spindle with the parting tool.

I filled the egg with rice and glued the egg and the handle together.

I then finished turning everything. I used a straight chisel as a scraper to smooth out as much surface as I could.

I used my steady rest and a bowl gouge to finish the top of the egg. The steady rest helps reduce vibrations and also I avoided the piece from braking off the spindle.

I then sanded everything with 100 and 220 grit.

I used water based powder dyes to color the wood. First I applied the light color with a piece of cloth. Then I added the two darker ones. With the cloth I tried to blend the colors and create a gradient effect. 

I then lightly sanded with 220 and repeated the process. I then used a wet rag to better blend the colors.

I finished the piece with shellac. Shellac is alcohol based and does not dissolve the dyes. I applied six coats of shellac with light sanding between coats.

Using the skew chisel I parted the piece of the chuck. I sanded the bottom on the belt sander and finished it with shellac.

My maraca was now ready, it was a really cool and interesting project!

Thursday, November 30, 2017

How to make a DIY belt sander benchtop station, plus a few jigs

This is a useful sanding station based on my portable belt sander. I also made jigs for chisel and gouge sharpening plus a special jig for making circles. I made this station out of birch plywood, melamine, spruce, dowels and basically whatever scrap pieces of wood I had laying around.

My Skil belt sander has those screw holes that happen to be 8mm size. So I used those and 8mm dowels to easily mount the sander on a melamine piece.

To transfer the exact location of the holes on the melamine, I used masking tape to trace a template and then transferred it on a piece of melamine I cut on the table saw. I then drilled holes on the melamine and glued the dowels in place. 

I then used my circular saw and a guide rail to cut a piece of birch plywood. I secured the melamine on the plywood using just screws. 

I then cut a couple of spruce pieces on the table saw. I glued them on the plywood. I used a few brad nails to secure them in place while glue up.

I then traced the belt sander’s sole and cut it out of a piece of spruce on the bandsaw. Now I used the sander for the first time to sand the piece. 

I then glued and nailed the sanding base on the structure. 

At this point you can clamp the jig on the bench and use it as a regular desktop sander. 

Using a scrap piece of spruce, I made a flat chisel sharpening jig. I glued a flat piece on the jig which pivots on a dowel. 

Then I made something similar for sharpening gouges. Only this time the gouge sit on a 90 degree angle so it can be rotated while sharpening!

Then I made a circle making jig. This is a flat plywood piece that is like an extruded dovetail pin. I made it on the table saw. That piece has a dowel that acts as the circle’s center. The piece slides through another piece with opposite 45 degree beveled sides. The whole piece is actually a sliding dovetail that sits on the sanding station with two dowels. A small screw secures the inner piece in place when you decide the radius of the circle you wanna make.

My jig was now ready and I hope you enjoy it! I think it will prove really useful in my shop!

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Wooden Christmas ornament desktop lamp with LED strip

I made this Christmas scenery DIY lamp out of spruce, pine and warm LED strip. This project combines classical woodworking techniques, woodturning and even CNC typography carving. 

This project is actually my entry for the "Christmas ornament challenge 2017" more info here.

You can watch all the entries of the challenge here.

The lamp is actually a box with a Christmas scenery in it. I first cut the sides of the box to size on my table saw. For the cross cuts I used my sled!

I jointed the sides with lap joints. I cut the dado with a series of passes on the table saw, using a stop block on my cross cut sled. This joint provides plenty of glueing surface.

I then glued the sides together. To avoid using clamps I added a few brad nails.

In the front of the box I added a trim piece. This hides the joints and the LED strip. I cut the 45 degree miters on my miter box and glued and brad nailed them in place. I filed any gaps in the miters with glue and sanding dust.

To make the background of the scene I had to reduce the thickness of my material. I did that by passing it through my thickness planer. I then glued a few templates in place with spray adhesive and cut them out on the bandsaw. I sanded the pieces using my disc sander, the rotary tool and sanding blocks.

I then rounded over their edges with a spokeshave and a cylindrical file. This gives a more 3D look to the whole piece!

To carve out the typography I used my CNC machine. I also used the CNC to carve the smaller elements I could not cut on the bandsaw. To avoid using tabs on the finished piece I used double sided tape to secure the material on the CNC’s carving bed.

I sanded all the pieces using my random orbit sander and sanding blocks. 

I also glued four blocks in place to keep the background from moving around. I then glued and nailed the pieces of the background in place.

In my scenery there is also a snowman. I made him on the lathe from a scrap pine cylindrical piece. I first used the roughing gouge to turn the piece true. I then used a template to mark the positions of the basic shapes. Using a caliper and a straight chisel I established the basic measurements on my piece. I then used a spindle gouge to create the curved parts. I gave the final touches with a skew chisel. I sanded the piece from 100 grit to 280. I used a bamboo stick as a nose and two holes for eyes.

I colored the pieces with water based powder stain which I mixed in water. I used water based white stain for the white parts of the build. I sanded with 200grit sandpaper. I finished the outer box with two coats of water based clear satin varnish.

The snowman is secured in place with a countersinked screw that was from the base of the piece to the bottom of the snowman.

The typography elements are spaced from the background with bamboo sticks. I wanted my scene to have different levels and a more 3 dimensional look.

Using a forstner bit I opened up a whole for the cables. I then added the LED strip. I secured it in place with hot glue. I connected the power supply cables. 

I added four protective pads on the bottom of my piece. 

I secured the background in place with two screws. Just like we do in picture frames.

My little lamp was now ready. I really enjoyed this year’s Christmas ornament challenge! I hope you like my little project!