Sunday, April 6, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 21

     This week, I made two new things.  I didn't have time last weekend to make anything due to homework, but I made up for it this week by doubling up.  The first item I made was a guitar pick for my friend Gabe.  This project was inspired by this one on Instructables:, but I used a slightly different process.  First, I cut off a small rectangle of wood from some 1/4" pine in my scrap pile.  Once this was done, I took out my belt sander and fired it up.  I then roughly sanded the rectangle into the shape of the guitar pick.  After it had taken on a pretty good shape, I had to sand the wood down a lot to thin it out.  Otherwise, you'd end up plucking two strings at once because it'd be way too thick.  Once it was down to an acceptable width, I took out my various grits of sandpaper to hand-sand the pick down to a smooth finish.  After all of this was finished, I took out the trusty Danish Oil and put a couple of coats on it.  Here is the finished product:

     The whole thing is really smooth and I think it turned out well.  After I made this, I decided to try to replicate the wooden rings found in this Instructable:  However, I did not have a lathe, so instead, I used a hand drill with a 1/2" bit to make a hole in the middle of a piece of scrap wood I had.  Then I took my Dremel to widen the hole to fit my finger.  Once this was the right size, I then took my belt sander and Dremel and sanded the outside of the ring into a thin circle surrounding the hole.  After this, I once again got out my sandpaper and sanded the ring smooth.  Lastly, I put a couple of coats of some walnut stain and a final coat of Danish Oil to seal everything off.  Here are some pictures of the final product:

     This turned out okay, but not as refined as I would have liked.  However, I think it's pretty cool overall.  So, now I have a ring that I'll never wear, but at least it looks halfway decent sitting in a drawer somewhere in my house.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 20

     After a very stressful weekend two weeks ago, last weekend I decided to take a break from 20 Time.  However, this week I had a bit more time to use to build something.  I was browsing Instructables for something to build and saw a few different clocks.  I was looking at the instructions and basically people just made the face of the clock in any shape they wanted, bought a clock kit from a crafts store, and then put the two together.  I then got to thinking about what relates to my life that is in the shape of a circle.  Then it hit me.  I could make it look like an archery target!  I took a quick trip to Lowe's and Joann Fabrics (very reluctantly) to pick up the supplies.  I bought a piece of 1/4 inch birch plywood and a small clock kit and everything totaled to about $20.  Not bad for a fully functional customized clock.
     I started by marking a ten inch circle on the plywood and cut it out.  I then drew smaller circles on the wood circle as the rings for different points on the target.  The targets have blue on the outer rings, red in the middle, and yellow in the center.  I then used black paint to define the edges of the rings.  After everything was dry, I drilled a 3/8 inch hole in the middle for the clock.  Once the clock was in place, I took a protractor and at 30° intervals, marked the locations for the numbers on the clock.  I then painted Roman numerals with black paint and the clock was finished.  I hung it up in my basement right above my archery rack.  Here is a picture of it hanging up:

     It's not too refined, but I think it looks good enough for me.  I will be pretty much the only one seeing it, so it doesn't matter too much.  I did like this project though, because it didn't take too much cutting or sanding and it was mostly just painting everything on.  It was quite the break from the loud power tools, scrapes, and cuts I usually get from woodworking.  Also, it was more personalized than most of my other projects.  Hopefully next blog, I will have two projects from the two weeks I'll have.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 19

     This week, I had the pleasure of making another box for Mr. Provenzano's Google Glass.  As you probably know, I have made a box for it in the past, however, it was too small.  Then, I took it back to my house to try to widen the walls a bit, but that did not work either.  So, I was left having to make a whole new box.  This time however, I added about an inch onto both dimensions to make sure that it would fit.  I went through the exact same process that I used for making the other box, which was just cutting the wood, gluing the base and walls together, attaching the lid with the hinges, sanding the whole thing down, and then putting the dark walnut stain on the whole thing.  It's a relatively easy process, but it was definitely time consuming.

Here is the finished product:

     Due to the feedback that Mr. Provenzano received from last week's questions, he is changing the blog post due dates from every week to every other week.  However, to reach my goal for 20 Time, I will still have to make something every week.  I will probably just put two projects in each post from here on out.  Sorry this post was shorter than normal, but I had very little time today to do it.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 18

     This week, I was supposed to make another box that would hopefully fit Mr. Provenzano's Google Glass, but that did not happen.  I went to Lowe's and bought the wood, but I also bought a piece of red oak to make another longbow.  This was just going to be a side project that I would work on over a few weeks when I had time.  But, when I got home I decided to start with the longbow and I would then make the box later.  However, while starting up the longbow, I had to go shovel my neighbor's driveway, which took quite a while.  Once I was done, I really wanted to work on my longbow some more.  I continued working on it and did so for more time than I realized.  Before I realized, I was pretty much done with my longbow and I decided to finish it up.  And I did.  I've made two longbows before this one, but those took probably a week with no school to finish.  This one took about three hours to make.  I don't know how I did it, but the tillering process (where you make sure the bow bends evenly) took almost no time at all to finish.  Here is the finished project:

     The longbow turned out pretty well for how quick I finished it.  I am pretty proud because I didn't use any power tools.  I only used two rasps, a spoke shave, a draw knife, a file, and sandpaper to make it.  These tools are probably completely unfamiliar to most of you, but there's no need to explain them.  All you need to know is that they don't use electricity.  Hard to imagine, right?  Also, the bow's draw weight (how hard it is to pull the string back) was right about where I wanted it to be, at 50-70 lbs.
     Besides from making something this week, Mr. Provenzano also assigned us to write about our experience with 20 Time so far.  We are supposed to write about what we have liked/disliked so far and what we would have done differently if we could have.  To me, my favorite part about 20 Time so far has been simply being able to make all the things I have wanted to make for so long.  Before, I had no excuse or pressure to make things.  I would look at things and want to make them, but would never go through with it.  However, the pressure and deadlines to make the things have also been something that has made things a little worse.  Sometimes I feel forced to make something, even if I'm really busy or don't want to make it.  This only happens every so often, so it isn't something extreme.  I really can't think of anything that I would do differently for my project, other than lowering the amount of projects that I have set for myself.  If I made it 20 or 25 projects, I would have had more time to make things and things would be more leisurely.  However, this may just be coming from my laziness.  Overall, I have been pretty happy with my project choice and how everything has been going.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 17

     This week my school had our Midwinter Break.  I was planning on making a new box for my teacher because it turned out that the other one was still not big enough for his Google Glass.  However, since I didn't have my parents home for most of the break, I couldn't make a trip to Lowe's.  I probably could have gone this weekend at some point, but my parents were also busy on Saturday.  And my lack of motivation to do much work over break probably added to the result of no new box being made.  However, earlier in the week, I did make something out of the large pile of scrap wood that I have gathered over time.  I was bored and wanted to make something and I decided that something would be a candle holder.  I don't know why I wanted to make it, but I just had the idea and went with it.
     The design was simple enough.  I cut out a small square base that would be the foundation for the candle holder.  Then, I cut out four identical pieces that would be the walls that would form the area that would hold the candle.  Lastly, I cut out a curved piece of wood to use as a handle.  Once I had all of these cut out, I glued the whole thing together and sanded it down.  However, I made one addition at the end.  This was a small nail that I put in the center of the candle holder.  This would be used to better hold the candle and prevent it from falling over.  I then put one coat of stain on it and it was finished.  Here are some pictures of the final product:

     As you can see, the candle holder can handle different shapes and sizes of candles, thanks to the nail in the middle to hold them up.  Once again, I don't really know why I made it, nor do I have a need for it.  However, I think it turned out well and it was a fun little project to give me something to do.  Next week, I'll be making the Google Glass box 3.0.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 16

      This week, I had to modify the box that I made last week for my teacher.  My measurements were off somewhere, so the Google Glass had to be squished into the box to fit.  So, I brought it back home and spent quite some time sanding out the sides to bring the width to the right measurements.  This project took up quite some time, so I'll count it as one and a half projects to bring my total number to a whole number.  Once I was done fixing the box, I wanted to get my weekly project out of the way, since I had a lot to do this weekend.  I started thinking of something that I could make without having to make a trip to Lowe's.  I then saw the block of wood that I broke my bandsaw blade on from Post 11.  Now that I had a new blade, it was time to take on the project once again of making a bandsaw box.
     The box I was going to make wasn't a design I found, but rather just one that I sketched to fit onto the scrap wood that I was using.  However the concept of all bandsaw boxes is the same.  That is generally to have one, or as close to one, entrance/exit cuts for cutting out the drawers.  I planned out my cuts on the design as well, and got to cutting.  The first thing you have to do is cut out the shape of the box.  This isn't too bad, because any mistakes you make can generally be sanded away with a belt sander.  Next, you cut off about 1/4" off the backside of the wood.  After this, it's time to cut out the drawer.  This is the hard part, because you have to make some pretty sharp curves in the cut.  This is where I ran into a problem.  My blade was too thick to make the curves for the drawer's corners.  So, I had to settle with making two extra entrance cuts and then glue them back together at the end.  Once the center drawer is cut out, you then have to cut the actual inside of the drawer out.  This is the compartment where you would put things in when it is done.  To make this, you cut off small slivers from the front and back off the drawer, and then cut a large notch from the remaining piece.  Once all of these cuts are made, you can now glue everything back together.  Also, as a last little detail, you can add a small handle or grip to the drawer, so you can pull it out easier.  This whole process sounds pretty complicated, but when you are making the box, everything logically falls into place.  Here are some pictures demonstrating some of the cuts that you have to make:

     And here are some pictures of the final product:

     I have some pretty mixed feelings about this project.  I like the fact that I didn't use any template for this and just made it up myself, but then again, the final product does not look as good as I would like.  There are clear tool marks, and the drawer doesn't fit into the base as snugly as I would have liked.  Then again, I was using scrap wood and too big of a blade, so those factored into the results.  

Sunday, February 2, 2014

30 Projects in One Post 15

     This week, my wish of a new project arising was granted when my teacher, Mr. Provenzano, asked me to make him a case for his Google Glass.  The only real specifics he wanted was that he preferred a dark wood stain.  So, I made a trip to a few stores to gather what was needed and got to work.  I found the dimensions for the Google Glass here:  I got some Select Pine boards and marked them up to the right dimensions, on the third try.  I made a few mistakes when marking everything up, but luckily I had enough wood to cover for my mistakes.  Once I had the right dimensions, I cut everything out and glued the pieces up.  After about 45 minutes of glue drying, I then sanded all the edges even, because everything was not quite lined up.  Then, I attached two hinges to the back of the box, so that the lid could swing open and closed.  Then it was time to sand all the edges round and get everything touched up.  Once this was done, I had to add a latch to the front of the case that would keep the lid shut.  This was simple enough and everything was pretty much done.  However, I still had to stain the wood.  I chose a walnut stain, as this would satisfy Mr. Provenzano's request of a dark stain.  After it was dry, I put on a coat of Danish Oil, because it really helps to bring out not only the natural color of the wood, but the color of the wood stain as well.  I'm sorry I couldn't provide pictures of all these different steps, but I was really in a crunch for time today.  Here are a few pictures of the finished product:

    The inside doesn't look as good as I had hoped, but the glue on the inside joints prevented a very good stain.  Overall, I think the case looks decent enough, but it's a bit plain.  I really prefer the look of it on the outside, as everything is really refined.  Hopefully Mr. Provenzano will like it.