While recently, in my mind, the word “jigsaw” has become more closely associated with the power tool, it nevertheless continues to remind me of the saw’s namesake puzzles. Des is no stranger to these, and takes justified pride in being able to put together puzzles intended for kids 2-3 years her senior. In light of that, the puzzle I made for her posed little challenge, but was still warmly received. Continue reading
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
When the Hello Kitty café was finished, Des did a very good job of hiding her disappointment at the fact that the refrigerator’s doors didn’t open. While this wasn’t high on my list of things to do for the café, or in general, somehow Sunday morning found me pondering how to make it happen.
In my original café blueprint, I had an idea for making a swing door for the kitchen’s entrance, but I suspected that in this case that solution would tend to keep the fridge doors permanently open – no good. I briefly considered using small brad nails as pivots but, upon remembering my one attempt to hammer those into 4mm-thick plywood, that idea was discarded as well. Then, quite by chance, my glance fell on the 10mm wooden dowel and a new plan was born: I would attach the fridge doors to dowels, which would be inserted into holes in the fridge’s roof and floor. This way, the whole door / dowel assembly could rotate, with the dowel acting as the axis.
Without thinking ahead, I placed the dowel holes right next to the fridge’s walls, and paid for it later. Continue reading
On Saturday, I started working on the Bento Box / Zen Garden. By evening, I got as far as finishing the tray box. It was a long day.
I mentioned before that my work has been suffering from unintentional sloppiness – crooked cuts, imprecise sanding angles, etc. Luckily or, perhaps, unluckily, I have been getting away with it on the small scale of the Hello Kitty café furniture – the tables and countertops were OK without perfect corners or balance, and glue held everything together in the end. This by-the-seat-of-my-pants approach came to a screeching halt with the Bento Box.
I started making the frame out of the 4.5cm-wide wooden corners, measuring two 30cm and two 50cm pieces. To join them at the corners, I wanted to make all cuts at 45° angles – a classic fit seen in most picture, window etc. frames. I vaguely remembered seeing sawing guides for cutting at an angle, but thought that I could do without. The protractor imprinted into the tabletop of my workbench is not particularly useful, and so I resorted to basic geometry: measure e.g. 2cm in one direction, measure 2cm perpendicular to the first, draw a diagonal by joining the two measures, and you’re good to go, right?
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
At present, the only accessories in my arsenal that can be used for cutting are the EZ456 cut-off wheels, which are intended for making short cuts in metal: cutting off rusty bolts, re-slotting stripped screws, etc. Out of necessity, I’ve been using them to make cuts through wood, but the results have been far less than perfect. The cut-off wheels were certainly not going to work here, where more intricate cuts were necessary. In the past, I probably would have resorted to the inelegant but functional technique of drilling holes along the perimeter and then joining them with the 191 high-speed cutter, however this was no longer an option after the cutter’s recent demise.