While browsing the interwebs for ideas and inspiration, I stumbled upon and was immediately captivated by Maori carvings. The smaller, simpler shapes, many of them clearly inspired by fishing hooks, were particularly interesting. They are very organic and natural, and somehow seem to both have and break symmetry at the same time. Their simplicity is deceptive – clearly, these were not based on a few haphazardly drawn lines, but carefully thought through or, rather, felt through. Continue reading
My projects, it seems, come in groups. I started out with the Dremel 4000 by making a wooden ring and then went on to make two more in quick succession. More recently, I got going with the Bento Box and shortly after used the same mitre joining technique to make a kitchen tray. Today, I followed up on that with a third mitred frame, this one to serve as Mari’s earring rack.
The idea for this came from browsing Pinterest: there, someone had bought a picture frame, strung two or three lines of wire across it, and used those to hang necklaces and earrings. The only thing that was different about my version was that the frame was not store-bought but made out of 3.5cm-wide wooden corners: exactly the same approach as I used for the frame of the Bento Box. The frame is roughly 25 × 35 cm, with 45° cuts joined up to make square corners. The last two times I made mitred cuts, I did so with my own flimsy and undersized mitre box. This time, things went infinitely faster and smoother thanks to the fact that I had spent €9 on a mitre box / saw set.
Mari is a lucky woman! After buying a rotary tool, her boyfriend has showered her with wooden rings, a plywood ring, and now – earrings. Not to mention that he doesn’t look half bad in a pair of safety googles!
More to the point of this post – making wooden earrings with the Dremel 4000 (click the image on the left to embiggen). Overall, this was little different from the rings I had made before – a shape (though not a circle this time) with an internal hole. Most of the steps were similar to what I had described before (e.g. here) – drilling, cutting with a high-speed cutter, cutting with a cut-off wheel, shaping with a sanding band, finishing with a grinding stone and an abrasive buff. I wouldn’t have written this post were it not for one thing that I did differently. Continue reading
Another day, another ring. Yeah, I’ve been making a few of those. I do have good reasons, though: 1. My girlfriend likes them; B. Round, or at least rounded, things are easier to make with the rotary tool than are those with sharp corners; and 4. I’m still getting comfortable with the Dremel, all its accessories, and various materials.
The different thing about this ring was that I made it out of plywood. Continue reading
The ring – my very first Dremel creation described in the last post – was gifted to my girlfriend Mari. I was now really excited about the possibilities, and was thinking about what to make for our 7-year-old daughter.
One of my all-time favourite washroom graffitis is “Sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I just sits.” Well, to come up with ideas, sometimes I sits and thinks, and sometimes I doodles. This time, I doodled. My favourite place to do that is the Paper app on the iPad. It was named App of the Year for 2012 by Apple, and rightly so. Our daughter’s name begins with a “D”, and here’s what I doodled:
Fortunately, soon after my purchase of the Dremel came the weekend. We went to see the in-laws, and I grabbed the Dremel to show it off to my father-in-law. He was duly excited, and we spent some quality time engraving cheese cutting boards and polishing old rusty tools. When I mentioned my lack of materials to work with, he had a quick solution – a small piece of wood, around 5cm wide x 20cm long x 1cm thick. Not much, but it was a start.
After getting home, I once again wondered what to make. The answer was at hand or, rather, on hand. When we were in Quebec, my girlfriend had picked up two African wooden rings: one for her, one for me. I quickly traced mine onto the wood, and then started planning my strategy.