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Jan

18

Mechanical Marvels 1 & 2

By Jim

I bought a book a while back called Making Mechanical Marvels in Wood and I finally got around to actually building some of them. I’ve made the first two – the cam & follower and the eccentric drive.  They’re quick to make, you can use scraps and people love to play with them.  I also finally got to start using the fifteen pound box of hardwood scraps I got from Eisenbran’s.

The bases are red oak.  The cam is purpleheart.  The follower is ebony (I think).  The pillow block is maple burl (again, I think).  On the eccentric drive, the disc is kingwood.  The ring is lacewood.  The piston and crank handle are chakte-kok.  The rotating pillow block at the top is, um, uh, I don’t know.

These projects call for a lot of dowels – some as small as 1/8″.  So, I remembered hearing about how to make your own dowels on the cheap.  I took a piece of scratch stock (sheet metal) and drilled a hole for each size dowel I wanted to make.  Leave the burr on the exit side, as this will be used to cut the dowel.  Cut a strip of wood square slightly larger than the diameter of the dowel.  Chuck up the square in your hand drill and push the stick through the hole while rotating it with the drill.  You can hold some sandpaper on the dowel while spinning it in the drill to make it a bit smoother.  I did turn some of the larger diameter pieces on my lathe, but the smaller ones were quick to make with the method described above.

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Nov

30

Wood Balls

By Jim

This is perhaps my most impractical yet most interesting project.  People who visit my house and see them can’t help but pick them up and ask what kind of wood each one is.  To answer that question, look at the picture with the balls in a row.  From left to right the woods are maple, red oak, cherry, chakte viga, mahogany, ipe, wenge, black palm, bubinga, chakte kok, bloodwood and purpleheart.  It’s tough to make out some of the darker colors, but it’s a good sampling.  I intended these to be my samples for folks to pick out woods for projects instead of the traditional 1/2″x3″x6″ block.  I’ll have to make more someday to reflect all the species with which I work.

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(4 votes, average: 3.50 out of 5)
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Nov

30

Bloodwood Yoyo

By Jim

I had a couple of scraps of bloodwood and a yoyo kit, so I figured “what the heck?”

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Nov

30

Basswood Carved Dog

By Jim

This was fun too!  I cut my thumb pretty deeply on a subsequent attempt at carving because I wasn’t wearing proper protection.  Shortly after, I bought a kevlar carving glove and leather thumb guards.  I still have no feeling in part of my left thumb.  If you want to try carving, don’t be dumb like me-wear proper safety gear.

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(1 votes, average: 4.00 out of 5)
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