Friday, May 19, 2017

How to make a decorative wooden vegetable crate

I made this decorative piece from pre cut spruce lumber and a piece of 12mm MDF.

First of all I rough cut my material to length using a handsaw and my miter box.

I then taped all the pieces of the same length together. Using a crosscut sled on my table saw, I cut all the pieces to size with one cut.

Those kind of crates, are designed to be stacked one on top of another. To do that all four of their corners have an arrow with 45 degree bevels on each side. To create those triangular shapes, I tilted the blade of the table saw at 45 degrees. I then used a stop block on my cross cut sled. With one pass I created one bevel. I flipped the piece around and created the other bevel. To create an inner triangle, I simply moved the stop block on the other side of the blade. Of course to set up the stop block, I made a few tests on a scrap piece of wood.

I then predrilled, counter sinked and screwed the pieces with the triangles to place. For extra strength I also added a drop of wood glue. The screws I had were a bit longer than I needed, so I used my rotary tool with a cutting disc to trim the screws flush.

I then moved again on my table saw, and cut the rest of the pieces to size.

I connected all the sides together, using glue and nails.

I then cut the bottom of the piece from a piece of MDF on the table saw. I made a few cuts until the bottom fitted snuggly.

I secured the bottom in place with wood glue and nails.

I gave the whole piece a nice sanding with 100grit.

I applied a coat of water based white wood stain following the grain of the wood. After that coat was dry, I light sanded everything with 240grit and applied another coat of stain.

To protect the piece a little bit more, I added a coat of clear satin water based varnish.

My little crate was now ready. You can use it to store books or magazines. You can even add casters on it!

Thursday, May 11, 2017

How to convert your lathe into a DIY drum sander

A thickness sander is a really useful tool. The lathe can be easily converted into one.

I made this jig using a sheet of MDF and scrap pine pieces from an old bed. I found both of them in the garbage.

First of all I cut the MDF pieces to size, using a circular saw and my guide rail.

I then measured the gap on my lathe’s base with a caliper. I transferred  that measurement between the fence of the table saw and the blade. I cut a strip of MDF that fits snugly in my lathe’s base.

I then glued and screwed the strip in place.

I cut a piano hinge to size, with my angle grinder. I then attached the piano hinge in place with screws.

Using my cross cut sled and a stop block, I cut a few pieces of MDF to size.

In one of these pieces I traced the shape of a nut. I drilled an entry hole on the drill press and cut out the shape on the scroll saw. I then finished shaping the hole with a small file. I applied a bit of two part fast setting epoxy and hammered the nut in place.

To make a knob I glued two pieces of MDF together.

I drew two circles on a scrap metal piece and rough cut them out with the angle grinder. I then drilled a hole in their middle on my drill press. I used some WD40 to prevent my drill bit from overheating. I shaped the circles on my bench grinder. Using a file I removed any burrs.

Using the angle grinder I cut a piece of threaded rod. I created a bevel on the cut edge, using again the angle grinder. This helps the rod to be easily screwed in the female nut.

I then drilled some holes and added the threaded rods, the metal circles, washers and wing nuts in place.

I glued and screwed in place the piece with the glued nut.

To make the knob, I drew a circle, divided it in 6 and then drew  three circles with equal distances between them. I cut the shape of the knob on the bandsaw. I finished shaping it with a cylindrical file and sandpaper. I screwed a threaded rod in the center of the knob. I drilled a hole on the drill press and added a nail to act as a locking key. I secured the nail in place, with a drop of super glue.

Now to make the sanding drum, I used a chisel to detach the cylindrical piece of the bed. I cut it to size using the table saw and a cross cut sled.

With my center finder, I marked the centers on each end of the cylinder and used an owl to mark the center.

I mounted the cylinder on the lathe between centers and created a tenon to fit my chuck.

I remounted the piece on my chuck. I used a straight chisel to even out the cylinder. I sanded at 100grit.

I cut a thin strip of sandpaper and attached it on the cylinder with zip ties. 

My homemade thickness ( drum ) sander was now ready, and works really nicely!

Important note: If you make a similar build, don’t forget that you have to feed the material from the opposite side of the lathe. If you feed it the other way, the drum tends to catch the material and through it out!

Saturday, May 6, 2017

How to make a wooden box, for wedding wishes

In this kind of boxes, the guests of a wedding, place their wishes for the new married couple.

I made this box out of spruce wood and plywood. It’s dimensions are 40x20x18cm.

First of all I cut the pieces to size with my table saw. For the cross cuts I used my cross cut sled.

I then glued and clamped the sides of the box. 

After the glue dried, I added screws to all the joints. I first predrilled pilot holes and then counter sinked them before adding the screws in place.

I then nailed and glued the top and bottom pieces in place.

With a block plane I trimmed the sides flush.

I then sanded the whole piece flush with my orbital sander and 80 grit sandpaper.

Now I cut the top off using my table saw. Before the final cut, I clamped a shim in place to make sure that my cut would work out nicely.

I then applied wood filler to any imperfections.

I glued a few templates on a 12mm piece of birch plywood using spray adhesive. I then drilled all the entry holes on my drill press. Using a fret saw I cut all the pieces I needed. I then Sanded them using small files and sandpaper. I cut them all apart on the bandsaw. I sanded their outer sides on my disc sander. I used my heat gun to remove the paper templates.

I then glued and nailed in place the design element of the top.

To drill out the holes I needed, I used a small guide block I made. To prevent the drilling from splitting the wood I clamped two pieces of wood in place.

I then cut a few circular pieces on the bandsaw and sanded them on the disc sander.

I also used my table saw to cut four small blocks. I used a stop block on my cross cut sled to ensure I get all the pieces at the same size. 

I finished shaping the block on my disc sander.

I sanded the whole piece with 100grit and then moved to 280grit.

I then applied two coats of white wood stain while light sanding between coats. It is really important to apply the stain with the grain of the wood.

I added three coats of water based, teak color varnish to all the cut out pieces.

I finished everything with a clear protective coat of water based satin varnish.

I then predrilled and screwed the hinges in place.

I then  assembled everything with a string. The box has a string mechanism with which you can adjust all the elements the way you want. To make it easier to work with the string, I added a few drops of super glue in various parts. This helps the fibers of the string, to stay in place.

At this point my box is ready to receive some wishes!

I hope you like it!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

How to make a desktop lamp out of copper pipes and plywood

I wanted to make a copper pipe lamp for a while. I came up with this idea. It’s a copper pipe guitarist. I also used a vintage Edison light bulb.

Before moving on with the build, I want to give my special thanks to Skil, who sent to me an awesome heat gun, which I used to solder all the copper parts of the lamp.

Don’t forget to check #skilhelps hashtag in social media.

Now let’s see the details of the build.

First of all I used a copper pipe cutter to cut my Φ18 pipes to size.

I then lightly sanded the edges of the pipes. The sanding gives a cleaner surface and as a result the soldered joints are really strong.

Then I applied a coat of flux. I assembled the joint and used the heat gun to heat the part. When the flux turns black I add the solder. The solder then melts and with the help of the gravity, flux and heat and it goes all around the joint.

The only copper part I could not find was a cross. I also think it does not exist. So I used a “T” shaped. I drilled a hole. I then used my No2 round file to open up the hole. I then used my rotary tool with a drum sanding bit to open up up the hole even more. I shaped another small part to shape with a file and soldered it on top of the “T”. 

I then applied a couple of coats of metal primer to the whole piece. I then finished it with a few coats of black satin spray paint.

I used a hole saw on my drill press to open up a hole on the bottom of the lamp’s socket. I then glued it in place with hot glue.

Now it was time to pass the cable through the pipes.

I created a vector template of a guitar and using spray adhesive I glued it on a piece of 10mm plywood.

I cut the shape out on the bandsaw. 

I used the heat gun again to lightly heat the template in order to remove it from the wood.

I then used files and sandpaper to clean the saw marks. For the inner curves of the guitar, I used my finger as a sanding block.

The guitar is mounted on the lamp with a small dowel and the cables. I drilled a hole and glued the dowel in place.

I then finished the guitar with 5 coats of clear glossy varnish while sanding between coats.

I assembled all the parts together with a screwdriver and a wire striper. I added a couple of zip ties to secure the guitar and the cable in place.

My lamp was now ready and I am very happy with the way it came out!

Friday, April 21, 2017

How to make, a mini DIY crossbow

I made this toy bow out scrap pieces of 8mm baltic birch plywood. 

This was an experimental build and the design evolved throughout the making process.

I begun by designing my bow’s arches in a piece of plywood. Using carpet tape I glued two pieces of plywood temporarily together.

I then cut those pieces out, on the bandsaw. I used my rasps and sandpaper to finish the shaping. I also drilled the necessary holes using my drill.

I then used a spatula to separate the two pieces. To remove any remaining tape I used my heat gun. 

On another piece of plywood, I drew half the body of my bow and cut it out on the bandsaw. I then used it as a template on a piece of cardboard. I flipped the cardboard around and drew  the other half of the bow’s body.

Using two dowels, I temporarily placed the bows on the body. I predrilled two pilot holes and screwed two screws with washers in place. These screws will connect the springs with the bows using nylon string.

Following the same procedures, I mounted two springs on the body of my bow. These two springs provide the bow with the force it needs, in order to operate.

Using washers, threaded rod and butterfly nuts I mounted the arches in place. I also added two screws that act as stoppers, to prevent the arches from moving around.

I then added the string, that connects the springs with the two arches.

At the ends of the arches, I added two dowels. I connected them with another piece of nylon string. I secured the string in place, with zip ties.

I then made the front handle using 20mm plywood. I cut the shape out on the bandsaw. Using my rasps I created a chamfer on it’s edges to make it more ergonomical. I glued it in place. I predrilled and countersinked two holes. I secured the handle with two long screws.

I then used the bandsaw, to cut two arrow guides. I glued and nailed them in place. 

The back handle slides in place. I also used the bandsaw to cut a piece out in order for it to receive the cock of the trigger. I temporarily added all the pieces of the trigger in place and freehanded the shape of the cock. I used the bandsaw to cut the cock in shape.

I glued a small piece that acts as aiming point. It also keeps the arrow in place.

I glued and screwed the back handle in place. I secured the cock in place using a small nail as pin. 

On both sides of the bow’s body, I added two screws. A rubber band is wrapped around the screws and the cock. This mechanism acts as spring to keep the cock down.

The arrow is just a dowel. I cut a groove on it’s edge on the bandsaw in order for the cock to have something to grab onto. I then sharpened the tip of the arrow on the disc sander.

My mini toy crossbow is now ready. Although I did not make it really powerful, it still needs to be treated carefully. If you decide to make one, do not use it against live targets. A piece of cardboard or styrofoam are perfect targets for playing and enjoying the toy with safety.

I hope you liked it!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

How to make a DIY wood turning side scraper

This kind of tools are really expensive. So making them is often a good solution. 

I make these tools from old files. Files are made of really hard, tool steel. This makes them ideal for making tools, knifes etc.

The handle of my side scraper is made of a piece of maple.

I made this tool for smoothing the inner sides of wooden bowls.

First of all I used a chalk to design the basic shape of my tool. 

I then used the angle grinder to cut the shape out.

To clean the teeth of the file I used the front side of the angle grinder’s disc. I then added a sanding disc to smooth the tool even more.

I made the handle out of piece of maple. In greek it is called “κελεμπέκι” (kelebeki). It definitely is a kind of maple but I am not sure if it is exactly the same tree you find in other parts of the world.

To smooth the board flat, I marked the surface with a chalk and used the plane perpendicular to the grain to remove fast a lot of material. The chalk helps me see which spots the plane didn’t cut.

I used the sole of the plane to check the board for flatness. Then I planed the board with the grain to smooth it out.

I then used the bandsaw, to cut the wood in two pieces.

I used the steel blade as a guide to mark the area of the handle. I used the router with a straight bit to open up the grooves. I then finished the grooves with a chisel.

I glued and clamped the two pieces of the handle. I did that with the steel inside the handle. After everything was secure I removed the steel part of the tool.

While the glue dried out, I heated the blade in my homemade propane torch mini forge. After heating it to red hot I dipped the steel in oil. I then heat treated the steel in my oven at 180 degrees celsius for 2 hours. I cleaned the black patina with the angle grinder and a sanding disc.

I cleaned the edge on the grinder while dipping the metal in water to prevent it from burning. 

I then mounted the handle on the lathe between centers. To make that easier, I temporarily glued a piece of wood in the open side of the handle.

Using a scraper and a bowl gouge I turned the handle true. 

I then used the angle grinder, to cut a piece of metal tube for the front end of the handle. Using a caliper and a flat chisel I created the tenon that wood receive the metal tube.

I then used a bowl gouge to shape the outer curves. I used a spindle gouge for the inner curves. I shaped the back of the tool with a skew chisel and smoothed everything out with a round scraper.

I sanded the handle from 100 to 320 grit sandpaper. I finished it with a paper towel and Yorkshire grit. This is a woodturning abrasive paste. It contains, oils, beeswax and tiny stone fragments.

I then added the metal tube in place and sanded it flush on the disc sander.

I glued the blade of the tool in place with two part epoxy.

I then set up the angle on my grinder’s base to match the angle of my round scraper.

I then grinded the bevel of the tool. During this procedure, I often dipped the blade in water to prevent it from over heating. When I created a wire edge on the tip I removed it, on an oil sharpening stone.

My tool was now ready, I tested it on a scrap bowl I had and worked really nicely in smoothing the inner sides!