Thursday, October 27, 2016

New Ornaments

Our family picks up an ornament from the various places we visit each year.  It is kind of our travel log.  My son has attended a Project Surf Camp for a couple of years.  This year he came home and requested and told us that we needed a project surf camp ornament for our tree.  He actually drew one out, but it was lost.  I talked with him about making the sticker we received an ornament.  He was ok with the idea and this is what came out.
I tried using a spiral blade on the top lettering.  It is the first time I have ever used one and didn't really like it.  I did not feel like i had good control over the blade.  It stretched when I put tension on it and the end bent all over the place making it difficult to insert into the pilot holes.  I don't know if I will be using them again.  Other than the upper lettering I am happy with how it turned out.  It was a lot of holes and I was in constant fear that I was going to cut through and ruin the piece.

The ornament of Yoda is because I found a picture online and thought it would be a fun cut out. Sorry I cannot sell it the image is copyrighted.  But you can make the snowflakes from their webpage.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Fork Lift

This was a request from my kids, like most of them are.  They wanted a fork lift to replace the one that I though was too fragile to throw around.  I think there is a trend for the toys that I am making.  The forklift proved to be a challenge that I could not figure out.  I did not want a string to lift the forks up.  I thought about a wedge design or steps.  Nothing seemed to work how I wanted it to.  So I went back to the string.  I sort of disguised it as a propane tank.  I really did not like a handle and crank on the side.

I learned that I need to be careful how close I drill to the end of the board.  I originally had an 1/8" between the front of the chassis and edge of the wheel well.  That ripped apart when I drilled it.  Fixing was easy, just cut out the broken material.  This is reflected in the plans that are for sale.

This is also one of the projects where I am glad I have a 3d modeling system.  I was struggling on how to attach the mast to the chassis.  My original plan was to dowel it through the mast sides.  When reviewing the model, I noticed that the dowels were sticking into the wheels.  This is why the mast bottom was added and finishing became a little more complicated.  The joints of the mast need to be taped before the finish is applied

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Skid Loader

The skid loader was one that I needed to make tough.  For some reason the first one that I made kept breaking even when I tried to reinforce the weak portions.  It was always the arms that broke so I tried to make sure I had the grain in the strongest orientation.  I probably over doweled the parts also.

My favorite part about the skid loader is that it is well built.  I am not boasting in myself, I am truly happy how well this came together.  I also like how the shovel is made with the large cutouts to maximize the carrying capacity.  It is also simple enough to be completed in a weekend.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Review of a Scroll Saw Tip

I read a tip to use more of a scroll saw blade.  I probably missed the part where he specified the thickness.  Basically when cutting material only a small part of the blade is being used.  The top portion of the blade is not used.  One way to improve the blade usage is to buy crown tooth configuration.  Once the blade is dull it can be flipped over to use the top of the blade.  The tip was to add a 3/4" thick board to lift the part up and use the fresh top portion of the blade.  I am cheap and figured why not try it to double the life of my blades.
I finished the top a little while ago and finally got around to attach the magnets to the top.  There are a couple of issues that I found where this tip does not work well for me.  The tip works great for 3/8" thick and less material.  I generally work in 1/2" and above.  I do a fair amount of stack cutting also.  The little knob that holds the top of the blade gets really close to the part when raised 3/4".  It will not damage the part but it does not feel good when your finger runs through it.  A 3/8" and thinner piece would not have this is not a problem.  The part in the picture is 3/4" thick.

My basic design was to have a 1/2" piece of plywood with a 1/4" piece of plastic attached.  I know the picture looks like the top is warped but it is not.  I had seen others put a piece of thin board on their tops to reduce friction, others wax their tops.  I had a piece of scrap plastic so I used that on top.  Underneath I used rare earth magnets.  I was not sure how many I needed so I started with two and that was all that was needed.  They hold the top down just fine.
Although the tip does not work for my purposes it was a good tip.  However, I learned why people put thin board to reduce the friction on the plate.  The plastic I had is used on production tables because of its low friction.  It made a huge difference in cutting tight corners and small areas.  The past few times I have been using the top risking minor pain to my right index finger because I like the plastic top so much.  Now I just need to figure out how to put a removable 1/4" plastic top on the saw for my fingers.