Friday, October 20, 2017

Make 15 Picture Frames with a Scroll Saw!

I created an eBook of 15 Scroll Saw Picture Frames for a presentation I did for the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association.  Check out the video below, and if you like what you see, Click Here to purchase my eBook of all 15 templates!

I made all of these projects using my Dewalt DW788 Scroll Saw.  If you have other tools, such as a tablesaw, you can use them to prepare your blanks and make most of the straight cuts to save some time.  If you don't have a scroll saw, you can use a jig saw for most of the interior cuts and a coping saw for the fine-detailed interior cuts.

Here is a low-res preview of my eBook of 15 Scroll Saw Picture Frames in case you are wondering what's included.  It contains 50 pages of templates, photos, and information for making these picture frames.

Scroll Saw Picture Frame eBook Thumbnails by The Carmichael Workshop
Let's take a closer look at each picture frame.  All of these frames consist of a main board with an opening cut for a photo, then a smaller face frame is glued on top to hold the picture in.  Check them out and enjoy!  Happy woodworking!
Alphabet Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Alphabet Frame

Baseball Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Baseball Frame

Soccer Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Basketball Frame

Captain's Wheel Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Captain's Wheel Frame

Circle Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Circle Frame Key Holder

Clock Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Clock Picture Frame

Cube Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Cube Frame

Curved Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Curved Frame

Diamond Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Diamond Frame

Football Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Football Frame

Gravity Defying Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Gravity Defying Picture Frame

Hinged Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Hinged Frame

Music Note Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Music Note Frame

Rocket Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Rocket Frame

Soccer Picture Frame by The Carmichael Workshop
Soccer Frame

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Review of the New 2017 Inventables X-Carve with Upgrades

Inventables, the maker of the X-Carve CNC Machine, contacted me and asked if I would like a free 2017 X-Carve with upgrades so that I can compare it to the previous 2015 model.  They wanted my honest opinion about the improved assembly process and upgrades, so that's what I gave them in my video review below.

To learn more about Inventables and their products, please click the affiliate links below so they know I sent you.
My first project on the new X-Carve is this picture frame.  It's a one-sided carve and the picture is held in place by bending a piece of clear acrylic and wedging it between two frames.  The frame can be customized for any theme by changing the words.  I was going to leave the letters plain, but my wife decided I should paint them...she was right as usual!  Click here to view and copy my Easel project.

The Carmichael Workshop X-Carve CNC Picture Frame

Overall, I really like the new X-Carve and the upgrades that they've made.  The assembly seemed easier this time although it still took me about 10 hours over the course of a week.  I made a new table for the X-Carve that is 40"x52" and it fits nicely.  I am donating my old X-Carve to my local woodworking club, the Gwinnett Woodworkers Association, so more people can learn how to use a CNC machine.

The Carmichael Workshop New 2017 Inventables X-Carve

Here's what I like about the new 2017 X-Carve:
  1. The holes in the ends of the extrusions come pre-tapped with threads.  That was 3-4 hours of torture on the old X-Carve that has been eliminated.  Thank you Inventables!
  2. The Dust Collection Kit is awesome and works incredibly well.  It's my favorite upgrade.
  3. It's good to see the Dewalt DW611 is the stock spindle now.  Upgrading an older X-Carve spindle with this DW611 Mount is easy.
  4. The X-Controller has more power which will help drive the machine through a variety of materials better, especially with the added weight of the Dewalt router and dust boot.  I really like the pause/play controls and the e-stop button that are on it and the sideboard is a nice addition.
  5. The gantry rail is now a solid square extrusion, which is much sturdier than the pair of thin maker slides that were on the old X-Carve.
  6. The drag chain and cable management features are much improved.
  7. The eccentric spacers that are held on by nylon lock nuts will eliminate the issue of the eccentric nuts coming loose on the old X-Carve.
  8. The Z-Probe is cool and eliminates the need to used a slip of paper to set the bit height.
  9. The new Belt Sleeves are a better solution than tape for keeping belts from slipping..
  10. The 60 Piece Clamp Set makes clamping materials up to 1.75" thick much easier.  You could not do that with the old wooden clamp set.
These are the areas that I think still need some improvement:
  1. Belt tension causes problems for lots of people.  A different method of driving the router around could be more user friendly, but I suppose it would increase the price.
  2. I found some discrepancies in the assembly instructions and pictures.  I submitted my notes to Inventables so they can make corrections to help future customers.
  3. The DeWalt router comes very close to the Z axis plate as it nears the homing switch.  More clearance would be nice.
  4. A knob should be included in the kit for raising and lowering the router manually.  Bob at I Like to Make Stuff designed this one that can be 3D printed.
  5. The kit contains the exact amount of most parts.  I had a few leftovers that must be extras, but I still wonder if I missed something.
  6. There is a small packet of lubricant in the kit, but no mention of it in the instructions.  I found a user forum post that explained it was for the threaded rod.  I didn't use the lubricant because I thought sawdust might stick to the rod and gunk it up.  Others recommended dry lube.
  7. A storage rack for the clamps, wrenches, z-probe, etc would be nice.  I found several rack designs by other users in the Inventables projects, so that will be my second project.
Thanks for checking out my review of the new 2017 Inventables X-Carve!  If you have any questions about it, message me on my Contact Page or visit Inventables and check out their User Forum.  There are lots of people there willing to help!  Stay dusty my friends!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Half Lap Picture Frames

My daughter asked me to frame some artwork that has pictures of her with her granddad.  I don't recall ever making half lap picture frames before, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to try it and add half laps to my bag of tricks.

I don't use my dado blade set much because it feels inconvenient to switch out the blades, but it really only takes a few minutes. The dado set makes cutting half laps and making picture frames a breeze.  I made some test cuts on a scrap piece to dial in the height of the blade to cut exactly half way through the board.  I use the fence as a stop to make sure the length of the half lap was exactly the same as the width of the frame pieces.

Half Lap Picture Frames by The Carmichael Workshop

I chose to cut the half laps on opposite faces of each board, so that one board would overlap the next board around the frame.  This gives the frames a more unique look as opposed to just two of the boards overlapping the other two boards.

Half Lap Picture Frames by The Carmichael Workshop

Spray lacquer really brought out the spalting patterns in this white oak.  I'm really pleased with how these turned out and they look great in my daughter's room.  I'll be using my dado blade set more often for other projects now.

Half Lap Picture Frames by The Carmichael Workshop

Friday, June 16, 2017

How to Make a DIY Makeup Organizer!

This DIY Makeup Organizer project was a special request from my beautiful daughter.  It's hard to believe that she is old enough for make-up!  Watch my video of this project, and if you know someone who would like one of these too, more details and measurements are provided below.

For this project, you will need some 1x4 boards from the home center, which are actually 3.5" wide.  Buy enough for four 12" pieces and two 26" pieces, plus a 13.5" long piece for the top.  I used a wider board for the top so that I could make it an arch, but a straight board would work just fine.

I found the wire mesh trays and pencil holders at the Dollar Tree dollar store.  The shelves are about 5.5" apart to allow for different size bottles and brushes.  If you buy different organizer bins, you may need to adjust the measurements so they will fit.

The top piece is 13.5" long with notches in each bottom corner so it overlaps the sides.  I used a wider board so I could make the arch, but another 12" straight piece of 1x4 would look nice too.

I cut my daughter's initials out of black walnut with the scroll saw and glued them on.  I think natural wood grain accents looks nice on painted projects.  You can use a coping saw to cut letters or buy wooden letters at a hobby store.  My daughter really likes the makeup organizer and I enjoyed making it for her...Win Win!