Pi Day Earrings
Our family celebrates Pi Day. As part of it, my younger daughter wanted to make some earrings that she could wear to school. I modeled them to her specifications, we 3D-printed them, and then spray-painted them. I wanted to cast them in metal, but I was having trouble and we had a deadline, so the plastic versions were what we went with. I think they came out great.
Band Saw Box
As part of our ongoing “Home Eng” series of projects, my younger daughter made this band saw box out of walnut and cherry. She even turned the brass knobs on the metal lathe. It was also our first experience flocking a drawer. It was super easy and I love the way it came out. I will definitely be using this technique in the future.
My older daughter is a huge fan of The Owl House. It’s pretty good – you should check it out. The above is a recreation in wood of Owlbert, a magical owl that sits atop the witch Eda the Owl Lady‘s staff. I made it for my daughter’s 17th birthday. It was carved mostly using my CNC router. The wood is poplar. The finish is various stains under shellac.
I made a set of Cornhole boards, which were painted by the kids of Kids Give Back, at their Summer Volunteer Camp. The boards are being donated to CRI, which provides services to adults with mental and physical disabilities.
My younger daughter and I have decided to take on a series of projects in the shop. This is our first, a tea tray made from cherry using simple joinery. She did most of the sawing and I helped out a bit with planing and chisel work. She did the handle wrapping entirely by herself, and did a much better job of it than I would have.
We got the iron rack from a friend. I turned the platters from some nasty piece of oak I had sitting around – not sure where I got it, but it had some lovely figure inside, including some spalting. The black lines at the edges are tinted epoxy I used to fill cracks. I’ve been using that approach a lot and it has been working very well.
This is just a quick little bowl I turned for the fun of it. I had dried the blank in the dehydrator, and it developed quite a lot of cracks, which I filled with black epoxy. I rather like the result. Even the missing chip (that catch gave me quite a start) lends something to the look, I think.
In a classic example of buying tools to make tools for your other tools, this is a little knurled knob I turned on my metal lathe to replace a damaged locking handle on my mill.
Lathe Electronic Leadscrew
I’m building an electronic leadscrew for my metal lathe. The above is an in-progress picture of the enclosure for the electronics. Read about what an electronic lead screw is and my progress in building one here.
Curling Stone Pepper Mill
My brother Clint (guest on episode 007 of the podcast) is big into curling, which is kind of like shuffleboard on ice. He had asked me to make him a pepper mill, and my older daughter had the brilliant idea to make the top look like a curling stone. She figured out how to paint it to look like granite, and my other daughter helped me turn the body. I cast the handle in brass, which was my first attempt at doing something like that. I love the way it came out, the more so because the kids were involved.
Large Sycamore Bowl
It’s hard to tell from the picture, but this bowl is almost sixteen inches in diameter. It’s the largest thing I’ve turned to date. It was turned from a sycamore log a neighbor kindly let me have, and that I have been let season in the back yard for a few years. The log was more than three feet across, so I have a bunch more blanks to turn. This one was a gift to my parents.
Home-fired Candle Bowl
The fourth project in a series my thirteen-year-old and I are doing that we call, “Home Eng”. This one was pretty straightforward: we got some clay, she shaped it, we dried it, we fired it in my little home furnace/kiln, she glazed it using tape to mask off the pattern, and we fired it again. We don’t have a pottery wheel, hence the organic shape. She plans to fill it with wax and turn it into a candle.
The third project in a series my thirteen-year-old and I are doing that we call, “Home Eng”. We found a 3D model online, 3D printed it, used the print to produce a silicone mold, and then used the mold to cast the final pewter object. Pewter melts at a fairly low temperature, making it somewhat easier to work with than metals with a higher melting point. The puddle at the bottom is just overfill from the pouring process; we trimmed it off after this picture was taken. Why a pineapple? I have no idea – you’d have to ask her.
The second project in a series my thirteen-year-old and I are doing that we call, “Home Eng”. This was her first lathe project, and we both had fun. It was especially gratifying for her, I think, since we went from picking a piece of mahogany out to having a finished piece in about an hour and a half.
This was a Christmas present to my wife, who requested it after seeing one somewhere. I used some of the Kwanzaan Cherry tree I’d cut down in our front yard. The swirl I just cut out with a coping saw. The remaining pieces are quite delicate, and I had to glue it back together at one point. I expect I will have to do so again some day, at which point I might reinforce it with a bit of brass.
My older daughter wanted a small table to go into with her room. Painting and redecorating it was a a quarantine project. She worked with me to build this, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out. Made from the poplar of a tree that grew in our yard, too.
Bowl Steady Attachment Block
This is one of the first full projects I made on my mill. I had bought a bowl steady for my wood lathe, which needs a separately-purchsed attachment block specific to the type of lathe you have. I could have bought one, but I thought it would be a good exercise to fabricate one myself.
Live Edge Cherry Bowl
My first attempt at a live edge bowl. Turned from the same Kwanzaan Cherry as the others on this page. We gave this one away as a wedding present to some friends, but the wife has requested one of our own, so I’m sure I’ll be doing another one at some point.