“Frame” earring rack

Dremel 4000 blueprint - earring frameMy 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.

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Resource: woodsmithtips.com

Dremel 4000 blueprint - LinkHere’s something else I thought might make for a useful category of posts – pages that I have found to contain practical and interesting info for an amateur Dremel-er / woodworker / handyman / etc. First up, for no other reason than I have found it most recently, is woodsmithtips.com. Put together by Woodsmith and ShopNotes magazines, this is a site with frequently published tips and tricks for those working with wood. The current pair of tips concern trimming wood plugs with a block plane and keeping one’s chisels sharp – neither is particularly useful for me at the moment, as I have neither a block plane nor a single chisel, but interesting to see nonetheless. It is possible to subscribe to receive future tips by email.

Note: When I was browsing the site a few days ago, I somehow managed to access the index of past tips, but now can’t figure out how I did it. If you find the way, please share!

Crack your knuckles, it’s finger joint time!

Dremel 4000 blueprint - finger joint

A finger (box) joint

After writing about mitre joints yesterday, I had a look at Wikipedia’s Woodworking joints page to educate myself a bit more. The dovetail joint, which I am still very keen to try, does seem to be rather advanced, as evidence by this quote:

…the cutting of dovetails by hand is regarded as a mark of skill on the part of the craftsperson.

So today, not being entirely confident in my masterful skills, I settled for the dovetail’s simpler counterpart – the finger joint. Also known as a box joint, thanks to its extensive use in boxes, drawers, etc., the finger joint aptly suits its name its name by resembling interlocked fingers of two hands.

The theory here is not overly complicated: sets of “fingers” are cut into the edges of the two abutting pieces, their depth corresponding to the material’s thickness. On one piece, the fingers are offset with respect to the other, so that the fingers “entwine” when the two pieces are put together. Continue reading

Quick weekend project: kitchen tray

Dremel 4000 blueprint - mitre joint

A mitre joint

Saturday was cold, with the temperatures hovering below -20°C, so our little family hunkered down and stayed warm inside. Between doing some creative math with Des, watching a movie, enjoying Mari’s cooking, and taking a family nap, there was just enough time for me to make a little something for our kitchen. Until now, we’ve had our oil and vinegar bottles and other miscellany sit in an old shoe box lid on a kitchen counter. Replacing this storage solution with something a little nicer and sturdier has been on the “To Do” list for a while.

The half-finished Bento Box had given me a pretty good primer on making a rectangular frame, although this time everything was done with 4mm plywood. Unlike the Bento Box, the tray is long and narrow, over 60cm in length but only 20cm wide. Its sides are made out of 4.5cm-wide plywood strips that were fitted together with mitre joints. The same shaky little mitre box that I cobbled together a week ago, and almost threw out right after, came in very handy for cutting the 45° angles with a utility saw, though once again the 4.5cm plywood pieces were too tall for it and I had to eyeball the initial portion of every cut. Nevertheless, the final fit of the tray’s sides was pretty darn good. Continue reading

Yup, there’s yer problem!

Things have been a bit slow around here for the past couple of days. I ran out of raw material to finish the Bento Box, so it is lingering in a half-done state. Mari has just a few minutes ago commandeered it for “temporary” use as a tray for candles and other miscellany, and I have a shadow of a doubt as to whether it will ever become the originally-intended final product. Time will tell. I’ve also done one or two things in Des’s café, but they are too small to be honoured with a full post.

So, tonight, with only a little free time, no new ideas for another Blueprint, and nothing but plywood on hand, I took a few minutes to practice my sawing technique. On a strip of plywood around 4cm wide, I marked out 8 cuts 1cm apart and got to work with the jigsaw: Continue reading

My Dremel 4000 review – Part II

Dremel 4000 - Dremel Amateur logo

With nothing else to put here, I doodled a logo of sorts 🙂

In the first instalment, I gave my opinion on the Dremel 4000 rotary tool itself, the part that forms the core of the various kits. I wrote that overall I was very happy with the 4000 as a versatile and powerful platform for a wide variety of applications. This part of the review will focus on the accessories that come with the various Dremel 4000 kits. Rather than going through everything piece by piece, though, I’ll take a broad overview of what’s included in the purchase. Once again, I don’t want to pretend to be an expert, so please have a look at the rest of the blog, or at least at the Who Am I? page to put these opinions into a proper context.

First, a bit of explanation for Dremel’s terminology: Rotary tools have attachments and accessories. Accessories are the bits that actually come in contact with the material you are working on, while attachments are things that make work easier. You can have a look at the Let’s Get Up to Speed and Reference Guide pages for more info. Dremel’s naming scheme for the 4000 kits is the following: 4000-A/#, where “A” is the number of attachments included in the kit, and “#” is the number of accessories. “A” is typically small, in the 1-6 range, while “#” can be over 100 in some special edition kits. Continue reading