Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Framing a Drumhead from the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade!

My son Matthew marched in the 2014 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade with the Georgia State Marching Band and he was given the Macy's logo drumhead he played as a souvenir.  Watch me make a shadow box picture frame for the drumhead and see his reaction!

I never noticed before that all of the marching band drummers in the parade use drumheads with the Macy's logo on them.  That's pretty cool!  I'm so proud of my son and the GSU marching band for all of the hard work and effort that went into being a part of this legendary parade.

GSU Marching Band in New York City

The drumhead is 14" in diameter and about 3/4" thick.  I made the frame pieces out of a standard pine 2x6, and they ended up being 1" wide x 1.5" thick.  This allowed just enough room for an 1/8" groove to hold the front plexiglass, and a 1/4" rabbet on the back to hold a backer board, with about 1" of space in the middle for the drumhead.

Cutting Frames on a Table Saw

I used hot melt glue to stick the metal rim of the drumhead to the backer board.  This worked great and I think it looks nice with no visible fasteners.  Also, this method did not damage the drumhead in anyway and it can be easily removed later if needed.

Attaching a Drumhead with Hot Glue

I printed some 4x6 pictures from the parade and attached them with spray adhesive.  I also made a plaque on my Inventables X-Carve and attached it with hot melt glue.  I wanted the letters in the plaque to be black, so I sprayed it with black paint then removed the paint from the surface.  This method worked great.

Framed Pictures and Plaque

In this video, my son shows up at the 1:50 mark.  He is the snare drummer with the beard standing right in front of the camera.  (That's him closest to the camera in the thumbnail.)

This video shows Georgia State's televised performance.  It's unbelievable how much practice, hard work, and organization goes into preparing for just a 2 minute performance.  The band practiced several months leading up to the parade.  Just the logistics of getting the whole band and all of their instruments to New York City seems daunting to me.  Thanks to COOP3R DRUMM3R for posting this video on his YouTube channel.

Congratulations to my son and the Georgia State Marching Band for a job well done.  You made us proud!  Go Panthers!

Framed Macy's Parade Drumhead

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to Make a Set of Cornhole Game Boards

I was recently asked to make a set of Cornhole Game Boards for an upcoming wedding. They would be used for the wedding guests to sign, sort of like a guestbook. Watch my video to see how they turned out!

If you are not familiar with the Cornhole Game, you can find out more about it HERE. That website does a great job at explaining how the game is played. The game reminds me a lot of when I played horseshoes as a kid, except instead of trying to wrap a horseshoe around a post, you are trying to toss a bag into a hole. The game gets its name from the bags being filled with corn kernels, however they are sometimes filled with other materials too. These Cornhole Game Boards are easy to make on a weekend with limited tools. Below is a shopping list of the supplies you will need.
  • 10-foot 2x4s (3)
  • 1/2" thick plywood panels, 2 feet x 4 feet (2)
  • 3/8" carriage bolts that are 4" long (4)
  • 3/8" fender washers (8)
  • 3/8" wing nuts (4)
  • Nails or Screws 
  • Paint or other finish.  
Below are some simple instructions for building a set of two boards.
  1. Cut four 2x4 pieces that are 48" long. 
  2. Cut four 2x4 pieces that are 21" long. 
  3. Set the leftover 2x4 cutoff pieces aside for the legs.
  4. Assemble the two frames that are 2' x 4' keeping them square and flat.  I used my Kreg K4 Pocket Hole Jig and Pocket Hole Screws, but you could just nail/screw them together from the sides.
  5. Attach the plywood to the top while lining up the edges.  I used glue and a brad nailer, but you can use regular nails or screws.
  6. Measure 9" down from the top and 12" across to mark the center of the holes. 
  7. Draw and cut the 6" holes. 
  8. Cut a semi-circle on the top of each leg and drill a 3/8" hole in the center. 
  9. Attach a leg to one of the boards and extend it over the side of your worktable. Raise the board so the top peak is 12" above the surface. Mark where to cut the leg. 
  10. Cut the leg and use it as a template to cut the other legs. 
  11. Paint or apply your finish of choice and assemble the boards.  I used Minwax Early American Stain and Minwax Clear Gloss Polyurethane. 
  12. Buy some cornhole bags like these on Amazon.  
If you would like to add stickers to your boards, one of my viewers recommended ordering them from A Better Sign.  While I have not ordered from them before, their website looks really easy to use to design your own stickers.  Ballpark pricing is $104 for two 2'x4' stickers with clear protective overlay to cover the entire boards. Smaller 12"x18" stickers run about $36 with the clear protective overlay.

I was able to finish these boards about 10 days before the wedding.  The bride has already put some Georgia Bulldog stickers on them.  After the wedding guests sign the boards with a black Sharpie, we will be applying a clear topcoat to seal in the stickers and signatures.  I will be testing different products to find a good clear coat that will not ruin the stickers or signatures.  That sounds like another good video topic so watch for that!

Cornhole Game Boards with Georgia Bulldogs Logo