Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Making a Wooden Fire Engine with an X-Carve CNC Machine

My wife works for the local fire department and I thought it would be fun to make a wooden toy fire engine that she could display on her desk.  In this video, I used an X-Carve CNC Machine made by Inventables to cut seven sections of wood that get glued together to make up the body of the fire engine.  Check it out and read further for more details.


I used Microsoft Visio to design one side of the fire engine based on a picture of one at our local fire department.  I copied this drawing and simply flipped it horizontally to create the right side.  Then I designed five more sections that would be sandwiched in between.  It was a fun challenge to see what details I could add by changing the outline of the cut.  I added lights, axles, a back panel, and a mount for the water canon.

Visio Fire Engine Design by The Carmichael Workshop

I saved the designs as SVG files and imported them into EASEL.  Did you know you can create a free EASEL account and open my Fire Engine project to see how it is designed?  Click here to open my EASEL Fire Engine Project.

Easel Fire Engine Design by The Carmichael Workshop

The accuracy of the X-Carve CNC Machine really shines on a project like this.  Each piece was precisely cut and lined up perfectly with the others.  I used brad nails to help keep them aligned during assembly.  Very little sanding was required to smooth out the joints.

Wooden Toy Fire Engine by The Carmichael Workshop

I purchased 1/4" and 3/8" Furniture Buttons from the hobby store to use for gauges.  I planned ahead of time and included the correct size holes for these in the design.


I also purchased 11/32" Axle Pegs from the hobby store to hold on the wheels.  The correct size holes for these are in the axel design where the wheels are attached.  The wheels have a slightly larger hole in them so they will spin freely.  A washer is used as a spacer between the wheels and the fire engine.


I used Metallic Silver, Gloss Apple Red, and Gloss Black spray paint to paint the larger sections of the fire engine.  Acrylic paints from the art store were brushed on for the details.  It took several coats of paint to cover the base colors.  This is a great project for practicing painting.


My wife really likes the fire engine.  I wonder what the other people at the fire department will think of it.  Perhaps they will enjoy the Atomic Fireballs that are stuffed in the back compartment!  Thank you to all of the Fire Department Personnel out there who have committed their lives to helping people every day!

Wooden Toy Fire Engine by The Carmichael Workshop

Friday, November 16, 2018

Sidebar Conversation Shop Update

In this Sidebar Convo Shop Update, I talk about my latest Bluetooth Speaker project, where I buy my lumber, a new HomeRight Finish Max Sprayer, an update on my weight loss journey, and making another electric guitar!



Below are links to stuff I mentioned in this Sidebar Convo!

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Make a Custom Bluetooth Speaker!

UPDATE!  PartsExpress.com is offering $5 off $50 orders for my viewers.  Use promo code CWFIVE at checkout to save $5.  Thanks PartsExpress(Expires 12/31/2018)

Parts Express

A Custom Bluetooth Speaker is a great project for getting people of all ages interested in woodworking, since everyone is so attached to their phones.  They also make great gifts.  Watch my video to learn how to make one out of 1/2" walnut and maple, then make one yourself!


Click here to see the kit that I used to make this Bluetooth Speaker.  They recommend an enclosure with internal volume of 0.3 cubic feet, or 518.4 cubic inches.  My design has internal dimensions of 10"x7"x7" which is 490 cubic inches.  Although it is slightly smaller, it sounds awesome!  Click here to download my plan for this project.


The kit comes with everything you need, except for the suggested two 1" Speaker Port Tubes (Part #260-470) which are sold separately.  I also ordered a nicer Amplifier-Style Volume Knob (Part #240-2206) that looks really classy.


An Audio-In jack is included in the kit.  I mounted this on the right side of the speaker so it is easily accessible.  This jack allows you the option to connect an external device using a 3.5mm audio cable, such as a CD player.


I mounted the power adapter jack on the back so it is out of the way and not visible.  The power adapter is also included in the kit.


I bought a set of four rubber feet from Ace Hardware.  They come with really short screws, so I chose to use longer 1.25" screws that will secure the feet and the bottom to the enclosure.  Make sure you drill pilot holes in the sides to avoid splitting the wood.


I used the cutting templates in my plan to cut the mating finger joints on the corners with a scroll saw.  This worked out great.  Just make sure to cut out the correct pieces so all sides mate up correctly.  Also check for square when gluing it together.  This was a fun project to make and perfect for Scroll Saw users.  I hope it inspires you to make one too.  Rock on!


Wiring Tip!  The picture below shows where to attach the red and black wires to the power jack for the kit I used.  Connect the red wire to the terminal on the end of the center post.  Connect the black wire to the middle terminal.  The other terminal is not used for this kit.  Use electrical tape or shrink tube to isolate each connection from touching each other.


Saturday, September 15, 2018

Make a Mobile Planer Stand with Dust Collection

I made a mobile stand to hold my Dewalt Planer with a Shop Vac and Dustright Separator underneath.  Check out the video to see how I made it.


This compact space-saving design allows me to always keep my planer set up and ready to use.


I measured carefully to make sure the Dustright Separator with hoses connected would fit underneath the fold-out planer table.  I did not extend the table top above it so that I could easily empty the bin when it's full.


I made the compartment for the Shop Vac as small as possible while still allowing me to remove it if necessary.


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