Saturday, June 21, 2014

How to Make Wooden Sunglasses!

A few months ago, I ran across a picture of some Wooden Sunglasses on Pinterest and I thought THAT is a project I want to try!  I pinned the picture on my board for later.  Here is a video showing how I made my Wooden Sunglasses.

I was invited to present a scrollsaw class at our local Gwinnett Woodworkers Association, so I thought this would be a good opportunity to learn how to make wooden sunglasses.

After much research and trial & error, I developed a bent lamination process that worked for me.  Basically, the frames consist of three thin layers of wood with the lenses trapped within the middle layer.  I created forms for bending the front frames and the side temple pieces.  

Below is some detailed information that may be helpful for others who want to try to make wooden sunglasses.

Retail Wooden Sunglasses Websites


  • Wood – Maple, Oak, Ash, Birch, Walnut, Zebrawood, Redwood, Teak, Bamboo, Plywood, Veneers, Recycled Skateboards (Non-Allergenic recommended.)
  • Lenses and Hinges
  • Glue – Wood Glue, CA Glue, Epoxy
  • Screws, Nails, Pins for Hinges
  • Templates - Download my FREE Wayfarer Template!
  • Finishing supplies - Beeswax, Mineral Oil

Lenses and Hinges
  • Lenses are not readily available in stores, but you can order them online. 
  • Most sites require minimum orders, such as import sites like
  •  The least expensive way to get lenses is to remove them from inexpensive glasses.
  • Hinges can be ordered online in smaller quantities from  Item #  82HP7040 is recommended for wooden sunglasses.  The cost is $19.99 for 5 pairs of hinges plus $7.00 shipping.  These hinges are predrilled for screws, although screws are not included.  They can also be glued to the frame.
  • The least expensive option is repurpose hinges from inexpensive glasses.
  • You could also incorporate hinges into the wooden frame parts.

  • Curved lenses do not fit well in flat frames.
  • Thin frames will break easily when forcing in lenses.
  • When gluing on hinges, avoid getting epoxy where the hinge opens.
  • Use masking tape to protect lenses from sandpaper.
  • Go easy on the glue when laminating frames.
  • Don’t cut the lens openings too large.
  • When working with hinges and tiny screws, don’t drop them on the floor.

Friday, June 13, 2014

What would a 1978 Pinto Station Wagon Sawmill look like?

My father always talked about building his own sawmill.  After I wrecked our 1978 Pinto Station Wagon in 1983, he went to the junkyard and removed the engine with the intention of using it for a sawmill.  Dad never got to build his sawmill, but that engine is still sitting in his old workshop today.

Last weekend, a member of our local Gwinnett Woodworkers Association hired a Wood-Mizer to slice up some logs on his property.  This brought back memories of my dad wanting building his own sawmill.  The process started with dragging a log to the mill with a tractor and loading it onto the Wood-Mizer.

Once the log was loaded, it was locked into place on the mill and the sawing began.  The smell of fresh sawn oak filled the air and brought back memories of oak projects that I've made.  Several of the members helped with offloading the lumber which was hard work, especially in the hot Georgia sunshine and humidity.

The sawmill has powered levers that rotate the log.  Two or three 1" slices were removed from each side of the log, until there were four square sides.  Some of the boards that had bark on them were sliced into 1" strips (stickers) and used for stacking the lumber, or the bark was sliced off to create thinner boards.

In one weekend, the Wood-Mizer guy sliced over 3,000 board feet of oak.  Some of the boards were up to 18" wide.  He cut the majority of the boards to 1" thick, but some logs were cut into 6" thick slabs, which were very heavy.  When milling your own lumber, you can cut it to any width or thickness you desire, but you must wait at least one year per inch of thickness for it to air dry before using it.

I don't see myself ever having a sawmill of my own, but I will say that it sure is fun to watch a log being sliced into lumber!  Now I know why my dad wanted to build a sawmill of his own.  I still wonder what my dad's vision of a 1978 Pinto Station Wagon Sawmill looked like.  And yes, ironically, that car did have "wood" paneling on the sides!