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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Dec

30

Wine Bottle Holders

By Jim

Some last minute Christmas gifts.  I made these gravity-defying wine bottle holders for the vino lovers in the family.  I really like the way the walnut & chakte viga look together.  I’ve already gotten another order for a family visit on Friday.  I guess I’d better get working!

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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

Paduak, Purpleheart & Red Oak Pens

By Jim

Some early pens I made as gifts.  I’ve made many pens and given most of them away since then.  A different pen is the only thing I’ve sold to date.

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Nov

30

Madrone & Purpleheart Vase

By Jim

An early attempt at segmented turning, this vase features solid madrone base & top with a four piece segmented purpleheart ring, separated with maple veneer.

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