Here it is – the first completed project! The inaugural post in the “Made” category.
Sure, I’ve made a few things before – a wooden ring, a plywood ring, a pendant, a pair of earrings, but this is my first creation that I’d refer to as a project. The rings were made on the fly, the earrings and the pendant were sketched quickly first, but also created in about an hour start-to-finish. The pen rack, on the other hand, incubated in my head for a while, then went through three design stages, and then was made with two different materials over the course of a few days. So, right now I’m pretty proud of myself 🙂
First off, here’s the final product:
I’ll retrace the whole project from start to finish, hopefully with not too much repetition of previous posts.
After sketching various designs, I finally settled on the “Christmas tree” version. At this point in the process, the simple sketches in Paper were no longer sufficient, and I spent some time constructing the final full-size blueprint of the X-mas trees on real-world paper. (In the images above and to the right, the dimensions of each grid square on the pad underneath are 1cm × 1cm, so that gives you a good idea of the rack’s size.) With the blueprint complete and cut out, I traced the design twice onto a sheet of 4mm plywood.
I cut one of the shapes with my father-in-laws fret saw, but the blade broke as soon as I moved on to the second one. The next day, with a replacement fret saw in hand, I finished cutting out the second shape. Final shaping and touch-ups were done with the 408 60-grit sanding band, the 932 grinding stone, the 413 240-grit sanding disc, and the 511 finishing abrasive buff. During these steps, the two shapes were clamped together so as to make them as close to identical as possible. In my frustration over the broken fret saw earlier, I had forgotten to drill the 8mm holes in the second shape to accommodate the interconnecting dowels. These had to be cut out with the new fret saw as well.
The smallest wooden dowels I could find were 10mm in diameter. Based on the sizes of my pens, I decided to place the two X-mas trees 10cm apart. Three 10cm dowels were cut, and the final 4mm at their ends were reduced to ~8mm with the 408 sanding band (click the image on the left to embiggen).
With all parts now ready, the rack was assembled by linking the two X-mas tree shapes using the three dowels, with PVA adhesive securing the joints. After the glue dried for a while, I sanded down the two dowel ends that were protruding too far out of the rack’s face (I guess my 4mm sanding job wasn’t that accurate.) And there it was, ready to begin its duties immediately!
Here is a close-up shot of the finished product, loaded up with 12 pens:
And here it is occupying its new home among ink bottles and writing paper:
I now pat myself on the shoulder 🙂