Apartment Projects #9: Holding Up the Night Sky

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Blog entry by littlecope posted 01-25-2010 05:03 AM 1297 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 8: Ship It!! Part 9 of Apartment Projects series Part 10: Not Fine Woodworking... »

Many Years ago, for Christmas, my Dad gave me one of these really cool Smithsonian Star FindersSmithsonian Star Finder
By “Dialing In” the correct Date and Time, it tells me what the Night Sky is showing for constellations outside. But, more often than not, it would find a home in a room next to a window and get blown over by the wind. The original plastic stand that it came with was hinged and the hinge finally broke in one of it’s many falls. I replaced it, using the plastic one as a guide, with one made from Particle Board. Back of "Night Sky"
I used what, for lack of a better term, I’ll call a Slip Joint, instead of hinges. I fully intended these as patterns to make some out of fine wood. Maybe someday the stars will be aligned in such fashion that I have the right wood, the ambition, and the Time all at the same moment and I’ll get that done…Pieces disassembled
When I did this, 9-10 years ago, I also had in mind a similar use for such a thing, as a Book Holder. I had a Neighbor who’s Mom was Born-Again and a real Bible Thumper (no disrespect intended) and I thought of making a Bible Holder for her. I experimented with the idea, trying this firstFailed Attempt at a Book Holder
It didn’t work. The splay of the legs was too wide and the book tended to fall off the back…
I rethought the idea and came up with thisBible Holder ApartWithout Bible
With the joint at 45°, it worked very well, but it’s a very size-specific thing. Each Book would have to have it’s own holder… The Bible Holder
Roy Underhill was the guy who got me going with these, back in the early eighties. On one of his programs, he made a water wheel, and I thought the Jointery was so nifty I just had to try and make one!!Roy Underhill's "Water Wheel" idea and jointery
These were small under-shot wheels, usually made from Oak. For my purposes (none at all!) I made it out of a Pine Log and some strapping that was kicking around the house. The trick here is jointing the four pieces in one Plane…All "Paddles" in one Plane
Each Piece only has one quarter of the whole size left in the middle and they slide through the log “stepped up” by one quarter for each piece…(You’ll note the top one in this picture is broken. This is somewhat of a conversation piece and has been taken apart and put back together many times, to show people who were sorry they asked just exactly what it is. On one of those occasions I forced it, and it broke…)The JointsTwo inserted, looking through
Boy, I used to have a lot of time on my hands back in the Eighties!! I made this with the most rudimentary tools and still can’t believe the holes went through straight enough using a Brace and Bit!! :)

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


12100 posts in 3778 days

#1 posted 01-25-2010 05:37 AM

Really neat projects, Mike!

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3357 days

#2 posted 01-25-2010 11:59 AM

That was interesting Mike. I especially liked the water wheel bit. I can see the principal but I wonder how these were used. It would be nice to see an overview of that.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View patron's profile


13606 posts in 3364 days

#3 posted 01-25-2010 02:45 PM

are you gearing up ,
to run your scroll saw with that ?

the holders are well done ,
it’s amazing
what the human mind
can do for fun
and excitement !

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Andrew's profile


709 posts in 3222 days

#4 posted 01-25-2010 03:05 PM

Great job, thanks for posting. Roy underhill, is responsible for my 3 teired racking kitchen shelves, I adjusted his plan to be all wood with only a couple of screws.

-- Even a broken clock is right twice a day, unless, it moves at half speed like ....-As the Saw Turns

View Bob Kollman's profile

Bob Kollman

1798 posts in 3214 days

#5 posted 01-26-2010 07:32 AM

Hi Mike,

Been looking at cars and working OT and now I’m sick…Fun 4 days….

Bible thumper, I ve always liked that term, always makes me think of some really good freinds.

I like the scroll work for the star finder and the bible thumplings. Roy underhill, I’d watch him

and think dude get some power tools!!!! The kind of patients, and the time to learn his craft

as with all hand wood workers and carvers is all very time consuming. I marvel at the guys who can

budget their time around wood work- kids-wife-work…work-social time-and teach. I am always

to involed with one and neglecting the other. You need to find some place to put your water wheel in

water!!! Great projects….


-- Bob Kenosha Wi.

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