The whirligig that I made for my daughter has proved to be a high maintenance toy. It’s my fault really, because I thought I could get away with using normal everyday plywood for the wings. Well, they delaminated and ended up not working, looking very funny and then the brass shaft broke. What you see in the photo is actually the wreckage of the third set of wings I’ve made. This time I’m going to use pressure treated solid lumber for the wings and that should fix tha...
I often write about a place in my mind where I see very vivid visions of projects that I want to design. While it may sound strange to you all, it honestly is the truth and truly exists. This is the reason that I wake up so excited most mornings! I can't wait to start each day and one by one bring each of these projects to 'life'. While I know it isn't always possible, I WISH you all could see the hundreds (yes – HUNDREDS) of spectacular things that I have pla...
I often feel as if I over use the word "inspiration." It seems like every other day, I am inspired by something. I guess it is because after living a life of creating, we train ourselves to look at things differently than most people do. I can look at the sky and wonder which DecoArt Americana paint colors I would use if I were to paint it. I look at the architecture of an old building or an iron fence and think of ways I could replicate that pattern in a scroll saw project, a...
No matter how long I have been doing woodworking, it seems that I am always learning something new. Most of the time, too, this knowledge comes when I need something or stumble onto something while I am focusing on something else. It is kind of cool. This weekend I spent creating some new things for my grand daughter, Willow. Willow is about 18 months old now, and really at a 'busy' age. I thought it would a nice to send her some cute and simple puzzles for Easter.I have...
One of my preferences in woodworking is wooden toys. I have a special interest in trucks and the model of the Old Time Farm Truck by Ron Fritz, Creeksidewoodshop.com on the Google Sketchup 3D warehouse drew my attention. His model was in imperial dimensions and since I work in metric I redrew the truck in Sketchup with metric dimensions and also simplified it somewhat . You can convert imperial to mm in sketchup and the other way round, but you end up with mm figures wich are quite unusab...
I decided that it would be a lot of fun to put wheels on this toy and I decided to use a 3/8” dowel with 1 1/2” wheel diameters and at the end I would make my own style of hubcap for lack of a better word out of some wooden acorns that I found in a local woodcraft store you can see below. The wheels had a hole 3/8” already in them and I needed to drill a little 3/8” hole in the hubcap to receive the dowel so as that the wheels literally didn’t fall off.. see t...
I have taken some long over due time off of work this week and am taking advantage of it as much as I can. Today I got busy on the frog, receiving plate and lever cap. Last week I had already finished adding the knob/tote screw posts and cut out and drilled the tote for this guy. Dug out a chunk of aluminum and started cutting… I REALLY need to consider a metal band saw lol… And with that done I had the “machined” base for the frog. Next w...
(Edited) Looks like I forgot to link to the actual video. Sorry! Inspiration courtesy of Steve at Woodworking for Mere Mortals. That link has free plans so you can make one yourself. I didn’t follow the plans to the letter, I watched the video once with my daughter and just kinda winged it from memory, so astute viewers might note that a few details are off. When my almost five year old is “helping”, I don’t exactly have the same focus and time to make somethin...
I had hoped to be further along on this by now but progress is still progress I suppose. I am taking some vacation time next week so hopefully I can get this mostly done by the end of the first week of DEC leaving just a few simple tools left to complete the set for Christmas. Anyhoo.. we left off with the rough joints brazed into the aluminum. After sanding for a few hours I finally broke down and picked up a belt sander for the shop. I had been tossing around needing one for about a y...
Why buy it when you can make it! #15: Birthday Party Activity [Part 3] - Start em early, start em young
Yesterday was my monthly daddy daughter day (DDD). After a long day of activities and dietary violations (ice cream anyone), I told my daughter that daddy wanted to sand the ducks for her birthday party. Her response was “should I help?”. So off the DDD duo went to sand all of the ducks. Most of the work was done by me outdoors, with my daughter safetly behind a closed patio door. After I was fairly confident I had blown away and wiped down all the dust from the ducks, I let ...
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