Monday, January 26, 2015

Fraternity Paddle Wall Decoration

I was recently commissioned by a viewer to make a Fraternity Paddle that would be decorated and given to a new pledge.  With hazing a thing of the past, fraternity paddles have become more of a Greek tradition to welcome new members.  Check out this video of me making the paddle.

I designed the shape of the paddle using Microsoft Visio.  I searched Google Images to find the Greek letters and inserted them into the open space on the paddle, then traced around them.  I positioned the letters so they would touch each other and the sides of the paddle for stability after cutting.

I cut the basic shape of the paddle from a piece of 1"x12" pine.  My scrollsaw uses pin blades, so I drilled 1/4" starter holes in all of the waste areas.

The paddle measures 6" wide and 20" long, so it was a challenge to cut all of the openings out on my 13" Craftsman scrollsaw without hitting the back of the saw.  This became more difficult as I neared the end, but I was able to get it cut out by cutting off small sections at a time.  (Notice in this picture that I'm attempting to cut straight, even though the paddle is at an angle against the back of the scrollsaw.)

This isn't the first time I've made paddles.  In fact, this customer contacted me after seeing my previous video on making a variety of paddles below.  (I'll go ahead and apologize now because this one is loaded with bad puns.)

Apparently there are still a few isolated markets out there for paddles, and I'll just leave it at that!  The end!  ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Laptop Stand, Snack Table, or Bedside Desk

I made this Laptop Stand with adjustable height that I can slide over my lap whether I'm sitting on the couch or bed.  It can also double as a snack table for the big game or for breakfast in bed.  Watch the video below to see how I made it!

This Laptop Stand can be made from a single 8-foot 1"x12" board.  Simply cut the board into three 18" sections and one 24.5" section, then cut all of the parts from those boards.  Click here to download my Cutting Diagrams and Cut List.

I assembled the Laptop Stand with just glue and my 18 gauge brad nail gun.  The supports for the top have 1/4" slots that allow the height to be adjusted from 26" to 34" tall.  Additional hardware you will need includes two 2" long 1/4" bolts, two washers, and two bar knobs.  The bar knobs can be found at Lowe's in the specialty hardware drawers.

The base is really simple.  Just spread glue on the bottom of all three sides, then set it in place.  Shoot some nails into the slanted supports, then flip it over and shoot some more nails from the bottom side.  Cover the nails with wood filler and sawdust.

The stand is very sturdy and more than strong enough to hold a laptop or platter of sandwiches, chips and dips, and drinks.  It will also hold at least a few pounds of bacon for breakfast in bed!  Make it!

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

I was on the BrainPick show!

I think I've watched every episode of BrainPick so far!  BrainPick is a live Q&A show featuring makers and is hosted by Bob Clagett of I Like to Make Stuff, and Bob had me on the show recently.  You can watch a recording of the interview below!

Bob has had many inspirational guests on his show and it was an honor to follow such a great group of people.  One of the main reasons I started making videos is to document and share what I know about woodworking, and to break out of the workshop and talk about it with other people.  This was lots of fun and the time just flew by.

Thanks to Bob and to everyone who watched and asked questions!  The next BrainPick will be Matt Cremona on January 27th, so click below to tune in!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rainy Day Workshop Fun!

Yesterday it was rainy and 64 degrees here in Atlanta, but by Wednesday, it will be 38 with a low of 16!  I took advantage of the warm wet weather and tackled a few rainy day projects.

My sanding drums came in a cheap plastic case like most little sets do, but I like having things out where I can easily access them.  I made a scrap plywood holder for the peg board behind my drill press.  Notice the post for the extra sleeves that I recycled from a broken drumstick.

Next, I made a walnut pen for myself. After making Christmas gifts for others, it felt good to make something just for me.  The brown and silver 1950's look is my favorite.

After knocking out two successful projects in about an hour, I was on a roll.  While cleaning up after making my Palletroni Pizza, I accidentally sucked up the red food coloring in my shop-vac.  I was scared to look inside for fear of a bloody mess, but I fished it out intact.  Sawdust got into the bottle somehow, so I will be replacing that before my wife finds out!

Anyone who makes videos can relate to the frustration of out-of-focus video clips.  Being your own cameraman is a challenge.  So, I made what I call "Big Dummy" and "Lil' Dummy" to give me something to focus my camera on when setting up shots.  They work great and don't complain a bit!

Next I tackled my Clutter Corner, which was my most disliked area of the shop.  Here is a BEFORE shot showing my unorganized lumber and log storage, and inaccessible miter saw and planer.  By the way, it's Patrick's Workshop's fault that I have a traffic cone...check out his Traffic Cone Cyclone Separator.

I moved everything away from the wall and decided to take down the useless wall-mounted bench.  I also patched that hole in the drywall, finally.

Here is the AFTER shot and it is much easier to look at than before.  I see a portable miter saw cart in my near future.  The lumber from the wall mounted bench will come in handy for that.

Overall it was a fun rainy day in the shop.  It feels good to accomplish all of that in one day.  What projects do you need to tackle on a rainy day?

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