Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Natural edge coasters

There's a big Oak tree across the hiking trail behind our house.  Avery and I cut off part of a limb and I made some coasters.

My new chop saw is so fun to use.  I went a little crazy...

Dear Greta

I feel so bad for forgetting your birthday this year.  I feel even worse that I didn't even realize it was approaching and didn't have time to make you a gift.  Well, the minute I realized this I headed down to the basement with an idea in my head.  I reached into my exotic wood stash and pulled out a piece of very nice, exotic hard wood.  Now I know what you're saying, 'uncle Chad this looks like Black Walnut that you probably found in your back yard'.  I assure you its not.  I believe it's Dark Mesquite from South America but I'm not 100% sure.

I decided to make you a top.  These are minutes of fun for all kids, how could I go wrong.  I turned the piece and applied about 10 coats of a cyanoacrylate finish.  I went through a 9 step sanding process up to 12,000 grit then buffed it with plastic polish.  It shined like a mirror, except for a nasty sanding mark... dangit.  This was unacceptable.  I sanded off the finish in the offending location, re-sanded the wood up to 600 grit, and went through the whole finish process again.  This time it shined like a mirror.  I then proceeded to drop it on the concrete when removing from the lathe.  This left another unsightly mark that I needed to buff out.  After a few choice words it was finally complete.

It was well past midnight at this point.  Fortunately my lathe is quiet so everyone else was fast asleep.  I was super excited for the trial spin of the beauty.  I cleared some space on my assembly table and gave it whirl.  I was expecting this thing to spin until morning.  To my dismay it didn't.  The dumb thing fell over after a few seconds.  It turns out this thing doesn't spin well at all.  To be perfectly honest, this may be the worst spinning top ever created.  It's bad.  I should have done some top research on Google before starting, who knew.

Regardless, I'm out of time.  I am going to send this to you anyway.  It's very shiny and fun to hold.  Perhaps you can put a string through it and use it for a Christmas tree ornament.  You can use it as a bottle stopper when drinking a bottle of Coke.  You could show your friends pictures of the top and make up stories about how fun it is.  Use your imagination.

Happy belated birthday Greta, can't wait to see you again.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spalted walnut credit card pen

This pen is probably more super glue than wood.  The walnut sapwood was so flaky you could crumble it with your fingers.  I liked the look of the grain so much I did whatever I could to preserve it.  While the pen was still in rectangle blank form I soaked it with super glue.  It sucked it up like water in a sponge.  After a few moments of sizzling and smoking I added another dose of super glue which again was soaked up in a hurry.  I had a big chunk fly off while turning and was very lucky to find it in a huge pile of shavings.  This was by far the hardest pen I have made so far, but it looks very cool.  Miranda snatched it up in a hurry.

Cheese board

I made this cheese board from maple and walnut.  It's finished with walnut oil.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Credit card pen

I see this little guy causing many kid fights in the near future.  Definitely need to make more.

New bread slicer

I was at Sears to pick up a new mower blade and decided to take a stroll through the tool isle.  To my surprise this beauty was sitting there with a $200 clearance price tag.  This is a $600 saw, this one just happened to be last years' model.  I bought it with the partial intention of reselling it on Craigslist to make a quick buck.  However, this thing is nice and has found a new home in my shop.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Pens for mom's craft sale

These are made from oak, chakte viga (orange wood from mexico) and mesquite (I think).  The chakte viga is very cool wood.  Some of the grain looks like a cats eye marble.

Front door flower box

Assembled by me, painted, antiqued, and stuffed by Miranda.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Worlds most interesting wood pen?

Yeah, I think so too.  I cut a chunk of walnut off of a downed tree.  The log was very wet, full of bugs, and quite ugly, but I was hoping for some quality walnut in the middle.  I started turning it into a bowl but it was just too messy.  I cut off a small chunk and tried for a pen.  It's not perfect, but it is definitely an interesting grain pattern.  The top part is polka dotted while the bottom part looks like marble.  I'm going to try and get a couple more out of this log.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Cordless tool rack

This will probably not be the permanent location for this shelf, but it will help with the organization.

Clamp rack, finally

Time to organize

The amount of tools and supplies in my shop accumulated pretty quickly.  It now seems like the walls are starting to close in.  I've been meaning to organize but get overwhelmed every time I start.  Well, it's getting crazy so time to buckle down.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Harry Potter wand

While visiting PA I asked my nieces what they wanted me to make them for their birthday.  A Harry Potter wand was the first thing that came to mind.  I'm not sure if this resembles anything from the movies, but it's kinda what I remember from the Google searches performed on vacation.  It's not supposed to look perfect.  A few dings, bends, and imperfections give it character.

Hope you like it Morgan!

I wish I knew what spell was being cast here...

The wand was made from 100% stuff in the woods behind the house.  The wand part is walnut and the handle is a honeysuckle branch.  The finish is lacquer (not good for 9 month old biters to chew on).  Below is the wand before turning.