Growlers!

I bought a pretty cool Growler from growlerwerks.com. It holds 128oz of beer and  is CO2 pressurized. It’s also copper!

FullSizeRender.jpg

I wanted to build a handy wooden carrier for it

So I took a design I’ve used in the past for wine carriers.  I had some issues building it so that the growler would slide out the top. I had to extend the handle up to make it work.   A few coats of poly made the wood grain pop out.  I added a nice bottle opener on the side and my logo.

It turned out great!  

 

IMG_2941.JPG
IMG_2938.JPG

Birthday Present Pen

 

My first lathe. Wow...I learned a lot on it. I mostly do smaller projects and I don’t really have the room for a larger floor stand model. So this little benchtop model served me well. 

IMG_2733.JPG

I wanted an upgrade. I wanted more control of the speed without always changing the belts. 

I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money.  The replacement lathe I chose is a Shop Fox 12” benchtop.  

 

IMG_2942.JPEG

So to test it out, I made a few pens.  

I would say test successful!  My Brother-n-laws are going to love their pens!

 

IMG_2934.JPG

Cubbies!

My wife has been wanting wooden boxes for the cubbies in out hallway.  I decided to tackle them over the Christmas break.   

I have a Incra Box Cutting jig that I’ve used a few times and thought this would be a great project to use it with. 

The boxes cut really easy with the jig. They assembled together very easy and we ended up leaving them natural.   I finished off by cutting a handle at the top and sanding them to a 225 grit. 

IMG_2852.JPG
IMG_2853.JPG

Ghostbuster Proton Pack Build

Ever since I was little, I wanted my own proton pack.   I remember watching Ghostbusters in the theater and thinking "How cool would it be to have my own proton pack?" 

To me...Pretty cool.

Fast forward a many years to October 2015.  I am once again trying to figure out what to be for a friend's halloween party. Again I scramble to make something up and I poorly put together a costume.   I decided that next year I would be a Ghostbuster and have my own proton pack. 

 

I started with research.  How would I build it? What materials would I use? How much would it cost? I found a site that helped outline the assembly as well as where to get the parts. 

http://www.gbfans.com/wiki/Norm_Gagnon%27s_Prop_Plans

So I then started to gather the parts and materials needed to build it. 

I purchased a few items such as the Alice Pack Frame and a sound and light kit.  The rest would be created with materials you can get at your local home improvement center. 

So with the plan and materials in hand...I started the build.  I quickly learned that most of the pack would be built of Polystyrene Rigid Foam. So I needed a tool to cut foam.  I could have used my bandsaw but it would leave a rough cut on the foam.  So I researched and built my own foam cutter.

 The TITTIGER FC-2000 (I like to name my home made tools)

The TITTIGER FC-2000 (I like to name my home made tools)

Midway through I decided to buy a resin kit that included some of the parts such as: 

Ion Arm
Injector Tubes
HGA
Beam Line
Filler Tube
Booster Tube
Booster Plug
Vacuum Line
PPD
Resistors for Ion Arm
Booster Frame
Bumper Guard

I mentioned I also bought a light and sound kit along with a 12 volt amp and speaker.  It's pretty cool to fire it up and listen to the sounds.

  A wiring challenge...but well worth it. 

 A wiring challenge...but well worth it. 

 Getting Closer!   

Getting Closer!

 

Here's the final product.   I've enjoyed making it and I am glad it's done!

IMG_1003.JPG

Bowling Trophy Project

I was asked by my sister to make some bowling awards for her league.  I started with using my design software to come up with a program.   I found a bowling pin template with red stripes.  I decided to use the CNC router to cut out each pin and cut the groove for the stripes.   I used primed MDF for the pin and then later painted them with a few coats of hi-Gloss white spray paint.   Here's what they looked like before engraving:

After they were dry, I moved on to engraving them with the laser.   I made a template to hold them in the exact spot on the machine and then engraved them one at a time. 

 I blanked out the name of the recipient that went under "Bowling is for Life"

I blanked out the name of the recipient that went under "Bowling is for Life"

They turned out good so I boxed them up and shipped them to Georgia so that my sister could paint the stripes red.  Here's how they turned out after she painted them:

 again....I blanked out the name of the recipient. 

again....I blanked out the name of the recipient. 

 

 

 

Pergola Build - Part 1

Back in the fall of 2015 we bought a "demo" pergola from a lumber company.  They had built a pergola to show off a pretty awesome pergola. They were moving locations and didn't want to move it to the new facility.  I believe that the owner said it was close to $5000 worth of lumber and he sold it to us for $500.  It was a great deal and the only thing we had to do is take it apart.   

So one Saturday, my brother and I went over and disassembled it.  It was a monster.  It had 2 large cedar beams that measured 6" thick by  14" wide by 252" long (21 feet). They must weigh about 500lbs each.   The nice part about taking it down is that they had a forklift and used it to lift the large beams to the ground.  It was a HUGE help. It was all screwed together and we made quick progress of taking it apart. I believe we had it all disassembled in 2 hours. They delivered it to our house for free and we moved it to the backyard and covered it up for the winter. 

Once it warmed up, I started to layout the foundations and then dug them to code.  I went deeper and wider than what code specified as I knew there would be a lot of weight on the four 6x6 post. Over the course of 2 weeks, I slowly dug out four concrete foundations and then installed the 6x6 posts by anchoring them with large bolts to the concrete pillars.  I used a water level to cut each post to the same height. 

Once the post where in place, I started drafting plans for how I was going to lift the large beams into place. I didn't have a forklift and needed to engineer a lifting mechanism.  I decided to use three 2x4x16' and shape them into a tripod. I built two of these tripods. I purchased large lifting straps and a two come-a-longs to help winch the beams into place.  We would move the tripod into place and then re-enforce the legs with cross supports. 

On lifting day we moved the beams into position and placed the tripod around them. The cable was hooked to the lifting strap and it was wrapped around each side of the beam.  We then lifted the beams about a foot off the ground to check how the tripod was holding up. They didn't budge. I expected some flex in the 2x4s but all the bracing we put on it kept it solid.   So we began the lift...one crank at a time (keeping it level) from both ends of the beams. We lifted the beams above the 6x6 and then lowered it into position.  It was easy.. all my planning paid off.  It took us close to 3 hours to do both beams.  They were much easier to lift than I was expecting and the best part is that it was done safely and no one got hurt.   

All that was left was to temporarily support the beams. I decided to use the 2x4s from the tripod to support the beams. I didn't think the beams would really move much as they were all fastened at the tops of the post..but I didn't want it to move around until I added the internal infrastructure.   Part 1 is complete.



Christmas Train!

If you didn't know...back in 2013, my family won the ABC Great Christmas Light Fight reality show.   That should give you a good idea as to how much my family enjoys putting up Christmas lights.

IMG_0866.JPG

 

So for 2016 they want to add a train that runs on tracks around the yard.  They asked me to build one for them and I got started right away.  So I searched the net for plans for a garden train.  I found a train in the August 1965 issue of Popular Mechanics. It's designed for little kids to ride on but I had a good idea that I could scale it and use it for the Christmas display. 

     

 

 

I wanted to build a train that met the following requirements:

1. Battery powered
2. Controlled via a WEMO MAKER
3. Have a safety sensor to shut off the train if something jumps in front of it
4. Play sounds like a train

I started by gathering the components for the build.  

  1. 12 volt battery
  2. 12 volt relay
  3. wemo maker
  4. 18ga wire
  5. 12 volt geared motor
  6.  Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board
  7. 12 volt amp with speakers
  8. miscellaneous on/off switches
  9. IR switch (used for the safety switch)
  10. Magnetic Switch
  11. multiple axles, pulleys,  chains and sprockets.

I took the plans and scaled them using Matthias Wandel's Big Print program

From this point, it was pretty easy. I just pasted the templates on some 1/2" plywood and cut out with the band saw and jigsaw. I also used the laser printer to cut the the train name and number.

Here's where it stands:

After the I partially completed the woodworking part, I started on the electronics.  Here's a short video of the train's electronics in action:

After I got the electronics working, I shipped it to Georgia.  I will finish the build when I go out to visit this spring.

So that's it for now. I will post more pics once I start working on it again.   

Thanks for reading!

 

Floating end table present.

For Christmas my sister wanted some end tables/night stands for her bedroom. She found something close to what she wanted on Pinterest and sent me the pic.  

image.jpg

She gave me creative design control and the measurements. I decided to borrow a design I did for a behind the sofa table I made about a month ago.  

Here's the rough concept and measurements:

52" tall

12" wide

16" deep shelf.

image.jpg

I wanted to used reclaimed wood for the front so I started with 3/4" ply.  You don't really need that thick of plywood, 1/2" would have been perfect. I just had a bunch of plywood leftover from another project.  This made it it super heavy.   

I then cut the plywood to the approximate shape and then glued and tacked on the oak pallet boards.  Once the boards were on I trimmed the boards to their final dimensions.    The picture below is the shape prior to the edging that will go around the sides and the front. 

image.jpg

Next was to add a french cleat system on the top and bottom.   The bottom part of the shelf could be unscrewed for transportation (it was shipped to Georgia from Colorado).  The bottom piece had a french cleat.  This would be a tricky install. 

 

 - Screw Locations to attach the bottom to the top.

image.jpg

- Finished product (prior to applying the satin polyurethane)    The sides are about 1/8" shy of the back so it can be right up against the wall and appear to be floating.  

image.jpg

Finished and hanging on the wall:

IMG_0053.JPG



Behind the Sofa Table

I was commissioned by a friend to make a table that would fit behind her sofa and between the wall.  It couldn't be more than 5" wide and woudl wrap around an "L" shape sofa.  She didn't want it to push the sofa out and take up valuable living room space. 

I built this out of reclaimed oak.  Mostly oak pallets.   I stripped the pallets, resawed them to 1.5 inches wide and then glued them to a solid 1x5.   Since the legs wouldn't be seen, I would made them out of pine 1x3.  I mitered the ends to let the top wrap around the sides.  The stained used was General Finish Gel (JAVA) and satin top coat. 

Over all, it turned out nice and my client loved it:


Learn to Climb Bridge

I was commissioned by a local day care center to build a "Learn to climb" bridge.   The bridge would be used for little ones to learn how to climb stairs.  

Their criteria:
1. It had to be safe for kids
2. It should have smaller steps for little legs
3. It should have a tunnel.  

I was given a picture of a bridge they thought looked cool and that's what I used for a reference. I did a lot of research on gap sizes for the hand rails and steps sizes for little legs.  I wanted to make sure this bridge was safe.  It took me 2 weeks and It turned out looking great.  They LOVED it. :)

Here's the pictures of the bridge:





Beetle Kill Pine - Big Green Egg Table

Many of you who follow me on Facebook noticed the Big Green Egg table I made for Ace Hardware.  I was able to sell the table to Ace and they ordered 2 more tables. :) 

The next table is of a similar design but made entirely of local beetle kill pine.  The pine has beautiful streaks of blue, red, and black caused by the fungus carried by the pine beetle.  These are trees cut down after the beetle killed them.  

I posted some picture below of the tables and of the Beetle Kill Pine.  I will post another picture of the completed table once it is finished. 

Here's my cedar table on display at the Cherry Creek Ace Hardware. 

New table in progress. Once the clear polyurethane is applied, the color of the wood will pop. 

Beetle Kill Lumber before it was milled down to size: 




Stickers or Pencils?

I watch a lot of YouTube videos of other makers and woodworkers.   I've noticed a trend that people are sending out stickers to other creators.   I did have a few (4 of them) printed and I did get on Jay Bate's metal sticker cabinet

image.jpg
image.jpg

I like stickers. But besides sticking them on a tool or cabinet, they don't do anything for me.  What I do need a lot of are PENCILS.   I go through a bunch.    So I purchased (amazon $18 for 72) white carpenter pencils and used my 40 watt laser cnc to engrave my domain name and social media icons on them.   It was a pretty easy job.   To see if I could start a trend, I sent a few out to creators that I watch.

To name a few:

- WWMM - Wood Working for Mere Mortals with Steve Ramsey
- Shop Time with Peter Brown
- Jay Bates (Jay's custom creations)
- April Wilkerson (wilkerdos.com)
- Chris Pine (The Chris Pine Workshop)
- Izzy Swan (Think Woodworks)
- Chad Schimmel (Schimmel woodworks)
- Steve Carmichael (The Carmichael Workshop)

We will see if the trend takes off. :)

Video of my machine engraving the pencils:

Bike Trailer Project

I was inspired by Andrea Arzensek's DIY Bike Trailer video to build my own bike trailer.  I thought that this would be handy to use in the city.  I could run up to the market, take picnic stuff to the park, and even carry my dogs (Lucy and Molly).  

I went to a pawn shop and picked out a used bike for $20.  I took off the wheels and chunked the bike in the scrap pile.  

I started the build by working on the frame. For the wood, I used the leftover oak from the ceiling project. I then painted it black with an exterior paint. 

The brackets for the wheels were made out of 1-3/8-in Plated Steel Slotted Metal Flat Bar from Home Depot.  Two bolts for each bracket holds it secure.

The box for the cart was made out of 1 in. x 6 in. x 8 ft. Tongue and Groove  from Home Depot that I got as CULL wood for 70% off.   I think some of it was Beetle Kill Pine.  I didn't paint it but rather put a 3 coats of General Finishes' Exterior 450 Satin water based top-coat.  

The finished product cost me:

$20 for the Wheels
$8 for new Inner Tubes
$10 for all the bolts and washers
$8 for the Plated Steel Slotted Metal.
Paint: Free
$10 for the cull tongue and groove wood. 

TOTAL: $56

Here's the build video.  ENJOY!   Please like and comment on my video in YouTube as it helps me get seen by more people. 


image.jpg

The Great Pallet Sofa Adventure! - Rain, snow, a baby and appendicitis.

Immediately coming off the Little library project,  I jumped in to building the next project on our list: The Outdoor Pallet Sofa.   I didn't make it far.  I had a multitude of delays including finding pallets, 5" of snow, weeks of rain, the birth of my nephew :), and even my own health(appendicitis).   It took some time, but I made it to the end of the project.  Here's my story:

This all started a year ago when we bought some cushions from my brother. He had bought new cushions from Lowe's for a patio set but decided they didn't work. Instead of returning them, we decided to buy all 4 of them from him.

  allen + roth  --     Navy Deep Seat Patio Chair Cushion   Item #:   492056   |  Model #:   05201055   $57 each (QTY 4 needed)

allen + roth  --   Navy Deep Seat Patio Chair Cushion
Item #: 492056 |  Model #: 05201055
$57 each (QTY 4 needed)

 

We wanted to use the new cushions on a pallet sofa for our yard.  So I started by designing the frame in my sketchlist 3d program.  I knew the size of the cushions so I needed to build the sofa to accommodate them.   We wanted a big, cozy sofa that held our 4 cushions. Here's a digital pic of the frame design:

After I received design approval from Beth, I began the journey of building the frame.  I used pressure treated 2x4s for the frame.  I wanted something that could hold up to years of winter and summer abuse.   It made it a tad bit heavy, but we were OK with that since it wasn't moving anywhere..  

As you can see below, we modified the sofa plans from the original computer layout. We lowered the height of the armrest to arm height. Shortened the depth of the back of the sofa from 12" to about 6" and finally added one more spot for a 5th cushion.  Here's a pic of the frame before shortened the thickness of the back. 

Finally, to cover the frame, we decided to use reclaimed pallet wood.  The hunt was on for pallets! And LOTS of them.  To help with breaking them down, I invested in a Pallet PAW.  We removed all the nails, planed them down to the thickness we wanted,  sanded, stained and sealed .

Stained Used:   General Finishes, Gel Stain, Brown Mahogany
Top Coat Used:    General Finishes,  Exterior 450 Satin, Water based top-coat.

To fasten the pallet boards to the frame, I used stainless 18ga nails to fasten the boards to the frame.  Below is the video and pictures of the final product. Note: I started recording after the frame was built. 

 About  halfway completed. 

About  halfway completed. 

 Getting closer!   I Need more pallets for the back. 

Getting closer!   I Need more pallets for the back. 


Total Build Cost:  $450 (pressure treated wood, stain & topcoat, PLUS the $285 for the cushions.)



image.jpg

Lazy Susan Tool Workbench

In a few of my videos I show my lazy susan workbench.  I have a bunch of tools that serve a common purpose.  Mostly sanders to be exact.  I didn't want to store them and pull them out as I needed them OR have them all lined up on a single traditional rectangular workbench.  I decided to make a lazy susan so that I could spin it around to the tool I need.  

Here's what I did.

First, I needed a table design that was easy to build and could support a lot of weight.  I borrowed the table building concept from the wood whisperer's outfeed table video.  I think he even borrowed it from Norm Abram.  It's an easy way to slap together a table using plywood.  

Next, I needed the lazy susan components.  I found on Amazon a lazy susan bearing ring that supports 1000 lbs.   That's more than I would ever need.   Also, since the table top circle would be 48" diameter, I wanted support at the end of the table.   So I bought 1"  roller bearings. 

Lazy Susan Ring Link

Roller Ball Link

So - the concept is pretty straight forward. Build a table and round table top, add the lazy susan ring, and support the outer edges with the 1" roller bearing.    I used a square block of wood between the table and the 48" plywood circle.  I made sure to compensate for the thickness of both the lazy susan ring and the bearing.  So I had to use my planner to remove material from the block of wood until it was putting the plywood circle just on top of the roller bearings.     

I then drilled a 2" hole all the way through the center.  I don't worry about cords twisting as I tend to pull one way to get to one machine and the opposite way to get back.  It's worked so far without any severe cord twisting.

Until recently, I used the space underneath for lumber storage.  I just threw boards down there and let them pile up.  This was driving me crazy so I created some dividers with scrap wood.  

See Below. 

I created a PDF file from my cad program.  This will help you with the table design. it's 48"x48"x48".   Feel free to change it to meet your needs. 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxcGyrPz4aY0cm5PaHllOUVrQ1k/view?usp=sharing

Safety FIRST! Tracking the number of days I still have all 10 fingers.

Since my move into the new Denver workshop, Beth has been tracking my safety record on my dry erase board attached to my shop door.  So in honor of Woodworking Safety Day (This Friday - May 1st), I decided to make an official sign to track the days I don't cut off my fingers.  This sign will remind me to focus on safety in the shop. 

I designed it on my CNC software (vCarvePro 8) and milled it on a peice of pine.  Here's a picture of what it will look like after the CNC machine carves it. 

Check out my video below and the wood whisperer's site for official info on Safety day.

 MAY 1st is Woodworking Safety Day!

MAY 1st is Woodworking Safety Day!