Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Week Ten - Done

For all intensive purposes the tractor trailer and dump trucks are complete.  I still need to do a finish sanding and glue everything together.  I do not know when I am going to put the finish on them because I usually get a bunch of toys ready to finish and spend a day finishing them.  I am excited about these projects and they came out nice.  Unfortunately there are a lot of small parts that can be broken off so they are not for toddlers.  It only took ten weeks which is not bad for working only weekends and during class.  I have several other projects that are close to being finished also.

I was also hoping to finish the candle stick holders but I ran out of time.  Maybe next week.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interesting article

Found this on one o the blogs I follow. Found it interesting on safety and toys. The products I use are found on side bar if you are interested.

Building can be child’s play

The TV Stand

I will have to admit this is one of my more favorite projects I have designed and built. Yes this is my design and I own the drawings. Not to say that some person can not just copy it. The stand was originally designed for my sister who, I think still likes hers. My wife liked my sister's TV stand so much that she wanted one. Evidently, That meant that I had to get rid of the very first TV stand that I built. It is now at my in-law's home.

It was definitely a first design project that had it's flaws. It opened from the sides and was not very friendly to a small condo. I also underestimated the weight of DVD's and videos. The doors sag just a little even though I have a piano hinge all the way down the doors. It was also made out of 3/4" plywood so it was built like a tank.
Back to this TV stand. This is made out of solid birch and with plywood inlays. The drawers for the video's was a great idea. The only thing I did not consider when building this was game consuls. Oh well. The design is a great one. It is much more modular than the first because the drawers come out making it much lighter. I also have two side that can be used with the stand, end tables or night stands. I have learned to appreciate the value of being modular like Ikea but much more durable.

Toys are not the only thing I have built, They are the only thing that fit in our house currently.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

And the actual number is....

That was my last count. Kyle has determined that his blocks about 3 times as many is not as exciting as a bucket of blocks in his parent's room. He would have fun pulling them out and we would put them back in.

Thank-you for all those who participated. The good news is that I had to clean out the garage again so I have a good start on another pile of blocks. I think I will do other things like this also. We will see.

I do not have an update on my projects this week. Cleaning the garage and work interfered with getting stuff done. But I have a clean space to work again and I know were things are.

Another little tidbit of advice. Before gluing everything up put it together first. I dry assembled the flat bed yesterday and the one of the wheels didn't fit and the cut out on the trailer was too small to allow it to turn. The good thing is that I can correct it.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Week Nine

Well nothing was done this week on my four projects. I was able to work more on my candle sticks. Now I just have to drill the top holes. I think they are going to be a little big for the standard candle. I may have to use pillar candles.The guess the number of blocks is still going on for one more week. I think I made it too long so I will announce the winner on week ten post. You can still post your answers on this post or the last one. I have also opened it up to those who do not have a Google account. Since it is an "anonymous" post please put you name or I have no way to reach you. I did not realize the posting restrictions on the blog. I will also ship the blocks to their destination if you are not local. Here is the hint. This is the bucket that I have them in right now. Yes I have cleaned it. If you know my packing skills, then you know the stack is very dense.Lesson for the week:
Keep the glue bottle closed and upright at all times. Even if you think it is closed you should keep it upright. I thought mine was closed so I laid it down in my box I take to my class. It wasn't closed and dripped all over my book and some of my projects. I hope that I will be able to clean all the glue off my turnings.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Week Eight

There are a couple of things this week that happened. I will start with the freebie because most people want to see something free first before they commit to reading the rest of anything. I have completed a bucket of scrap. That means that I have a bunch of random wood blocks to be used as toys. I usually give them out to family but I am going to try something new. I will give this bucket of blocks to the person who comes closest to guessing the correct number of blocks on the floor. These blocks are very much random and are all different shapes and sizes. I have sanded them and put a coat of mineral oil on them making them child safe. However I do warn you if your child likes to throw things, some of these blocks will do damage. Most of them are out of poplar, but there is some good sized pieces of hard maple and walnut. The last two woods will dent other pieces of wood. I will run the contest for two weeks, so the last day to place your vote is March 22. I will allow two votes per person because I hate guessing 1000 and two other people guess 1001 and 999. I said they were free but a plate of chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies would not be turned down. Good luck.

This week It looks like I did not get much done. And I did not. I was side tracked on another project that I hope to clear in the next couple of weeks. I did put headlights and bumpers on my current projects. I also did some face turning. This is what I was concerned about a couple of weeks ago; two pieces of wood glued together with a piece of paper. It worked and they turned out really nice. I just might finish my candle sticks this month. It was amazing how easily the two pieces of wood separated with a chisel and a mallet. I also learned a couple of things in the process.
After five years of studying to be and engineer and getting a BS in mechanical engineering I don't know how treads work. In brief, my work piece is attached to a threaded insert that is then screwed onto the lathe. I was told this was a left hand thread. Righty tighty and lefty loosely, right? Wrong! This is a left hand thread so it is backwards. After finishing my first turning I went to take it off with the wrench. It wouldn't budge. The "Woodworkers don't use nails" gentleman saw me struggling and offered to help hold the lathe while I turned the wrench. He thought I was going the wrong way and then realized this was a left hand thread after a couple of attempts. It still would not budge. We tried a mallet. The instructor states at the start of every session that if your are forcing it you are probably doing it wrong. So I finally humbled myself and ask the instructor for help because I was too weak to remove my part from the lathe. I held the lathe and the teacher took the wrench and popped it right off with a flick of the wrist. I was turning the wrong way!