Over the last couple of weekends I have made myself a wooden case for a deck of playing cards
Previously I wrote about having made an oak book stand for my wife's Christmas present. In addition to that I also decided to make her an artists sketch pencil.
I mentioned in the first part on design that I had guessed that the metal in metal coat hangers might be just flexible enough to form to a shape I want, and just stiff enough to provide some springy tension. It was this that formed the basis for my headband design.
Following on from my first post on the design of my custom headphones, in this part I walk through the construction of the speaker housing. The most obvious place to start construction is in the piece that will hold the speakers.
I spend a fair amount of time at work using video conferencing software. However, I have pretty big ears, and I find they get pressed against my head by the headset. After an hour or so it can be a little uncomfortable.
I hit upon the idea of making a custom pair of headphones.
I spend a lot of time on trains at the moment. My commute is insanely long, and the way I cope with this is listening to podcasts, and more recently, watching video podcasts. I particularly like This Week in Tech, and the generally very amusing NSFW show.
I always look for any excuse to get some nice wooden objects into my daily life, something about the natural material, in particular when it's something I've made, that I love to have around.
I'd never come across the idea of newspaper seedling pots before, but Mum had seen them and the wooden formers used to make them and asked if I could make one for her.
Last Sunday, I spent a while staring at my sketch book, flicking through old ideas, desperately racking my brains for something that would 'click' with my mood and inspire me to action.
After about two and a half years of being a member of the Hampshire woodturners association, it is time to say goodbye. Tomorrow's meeting is the AGM marking the end of the subscription year, and since I am planning to move away from the area in the next few months, I will not be renewing my membership.
First things first, this is not me being creative. I just copied the idea from a project in last months woodturning magazine. But I liked the project and wanted to have a go. It was also an opportunity to turn something BIG.
I'm sure there is a proper name for this but I can't think what it is.
So to describe it... basically it's a platform on which I have mounted a rotary tool. By turning the big wheel at the end I can make the platform move left and right.
Last Monday was the first woodturning competition of the Hampshire woodturners association.
What do you call a fish with no eyes?...a FSH! After last months HWA meeting where we had a demonstration of wood carving, I was inspired to try my hand. I decided that a fish is a relatively simple shape, and should be easily possible with just a basic stanley knife, no need for fancy (expensive) carving tools.
Last weekend a friend turned up at my house with a log from a conifer tree. He had been helping another friend remove some trees from her garden and thought I'd like to have a sample to see if it was worth turning.
Some time ago I bought a block of spalted beech, mainly because it seemed fairly cheap and I was on a spending spree in a wood turning suppliers.
I was making a little lidded box in spalted beech. All was going well enough but as I came to hollow the lid I managed a nasty catch which sent it flying and damaged the finished exterior. I gave up in frustration at having gotten so far and then irrecoverably screwed up.
Or so I thought at the time, it was certainly true of my skill level and experience at the time that I could see no way to fix what I had done. However I came back to it with fresh eyes and new experience and realised that I could at least try to recover the piece.
This week I spent a lot of time updating witter, so yesterday I redressed the balance and spent some quality time in the workshop.
At the HWA meeting in February Mark Baker demonstrated an interesting arched stand with finialed box.
It seems that if you are looking for an engagement ring that isn't a diamond, then options are a little limited. I was apprently left with the option of picking something I wasn't sure about, or letting on and getting Kat to help pick.
So I hit upon the idea of just turning a wooden ring, with which to propose.
A couple of months ago I wrote about turning a doorbell surround as my first paid commission for a colleague at work. Turns out there is some small market for doorbell surrounds, as I recently got a comment on that post asking if I'd be prepared to do another.I guess the metal parts of these doorbells has survived, but the wooden surrounds have rotted away. And apparently there is nowhere still selling anything like it.
This week a colleague approached me to ask if I could make something for him.His house, which he's been renovating, still had an original doorbell from whenever it was built. The door bell was a round metal plate with a button in the middle, inset into a wood ring which was screwed to the wall. Time had not been kind to the wooden ring and it was a rotted mess. So the job was simple, could I make him a replacement wooden ring.
Burrs are very interesting bits of wood. They are odd growths that occur on the surface of tree trunks. I'm fascinated by what causes them to occur, since they are basically a mass of knots. Wikipedia on burrs Burrs typically have all sort of faults within the wood. But the wood is so dense both physically and visually in terms of grain patterns, that you can turn something quite beautiful, faults and all.
Well it had to happen eventually. Given a lathe for enough time eventually you'll give in to the allure of pen turning. I had started talking about giving it a go, and not long after Kat found herself in Turners Retreat with her dad. Being awesome, she bought me some supplies for turning pens.
In last months woodturning magazine there was a project-in-a-day feature for making a mallet. I caught my eye because the head of the mallet was made from lignum vitae, a very dense hard wood which is normally found in the balls used for lawn bowls. As it happens I was recently given a couple of these by my Grandfather for the specific purpose of using the wood in a turning project.
Feeling good about how the king had gone, I set to work on the bishops.I decided that the thing to do would be to turn 2 head-to-head in a single length of wood. This would mean I only pay the 'cost' of work holding once for two pieces.
As a geek and a wood turner. One of the most obvious things to attempt to make on the lathe is a chess set.In fact it was probably one of the first things I thought of to work towards. I did a lot of research at the time, and found that chess designs are not particularly readily available on line. At least not for free.
This month Mark Hancock came to demonstrate what he termed a 'rocking vessel' What this actually means is a hollow form, with no flat base. So rather than standing up in a conventional way, they roll around, or 'rock' to a natural resting point.
Last year I bought myself a serious dust extractor for use in the workshop. It has a huge dust collection bag and a 100mm hose.I have it sat between my bandsaw and my lathe. The bandsaw has a specific dust port for connecting this type of extractor to which makes life easy. The lathe on the other hand is not so easy.