Category Archives: Projects

Walnut Frame for Painting

We've got a friend who paints, and she gave us this painting recently. I made the frame for it out of a piece of walnut that hand a big knot in it, that I haven't been able to figure out what to do with. It worked perfectly for this project. This is now hanging in our bedroom.

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Bluetooth Speaker

After shopping for a bluetooth speaker lately and being somewhat shocked with the prices of anything better than a toy, I decided to try building my own. This one is made of oak and mahogany, and has a 4 inch full-range driver. I found an off-the-shelf little board (for around $20 or so) that handles all of the bluetooth details. It sounds great. The range is a little low, but that may have to do with having to receive through 3/4 of a inch of red oak. I can probably only get around 10 feet away and still have it work - but I can live with that. We put it on this shelf in our living room. It really looks pretty nice over there.

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Geometric Shelf

I built this shelf a few weeks ago, based on one I saw online while surfing for inspiration. I love how this design provides lots of little nooks and crannies, with varying elevations for displaying things. We've been slowly acquiring things to put on it as we come across them - we've still got room for more, but we're in no rush. All of the joints are reinforced with biscuits - which a couple of the joints really hard to get together. I actually broke one joint while trying to assemble it, but I was able to repair it and if you didn't know where to look for it you'd probably never see it.

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Game Chest of Drawers

I've been calling this thing a "cabinet", but apparently it is more officially called a "chest of drawers" - as to be called a cabinet something has to have doors with shelves inside. Regardless, I built this thing over the last few weeks. Over the Christmas break the kids and I bought an old Nintendo and Super Nintendo off of Ebay, and have been having a lot of fun playing old games on their original hardware. We've slowly been acquiring a decent collection of games since then, and I built this chest of drawers to keep it all organized and "living room acceptable". It's made from local red oak and contains two drawers (the bottom for Nintendo, the top for SNES games), with a shelf for the consoles and a tiled top - which will eventually be topped with a lamp and some plants. I was going to experiment with making a concrete top for it, but it was too cold to get concrete to cure and I didn't want to wait until spring.

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Neopixel Mood Lamp

I built one of these Neopixel-based mood lamps for my desk at work, and another for my sister for her birthday. The three dials use the HSV (hue, saturation, value) model of light - each dial controls one aspect. It's a much more natural light model for humans to grasp than a standard RGB (red, green, blue) model. The wood is cherry, and the diffuser is just sanded plexiglass.

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Leather Wallet

I made myself yet one more leather wallet, and I think my skills have finally progressed to the point that I am satisfied with this one. I finally got the hang of stitching, and got the leather dyed consistently, my stamp (Cthulhu) came out clearly, etc., etc. I've been using it for a couple of months now, and it's been holding up well - in fact, it still looks just as nice as the day I finished it.

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Kitchen Floor

The kitchen floor in our house has always been sort of a mess. It was 20-plus year old linoleum, and has seen a lot of abuse. Even when we first moved in, we wanted to replace it immediately. Every year I talk about replacing it over my Christmas break, but never do. Well this year I finally tackled it. I put down a floating laminate floor that looks like time - actually, it's the same flooring I put in our bathroom last Christmas break. It makes a world of difference in how the kitchen looks.

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Christmas Ornaments

A few years ago I made a bunch of little bird house xmas ornaments on the lathe, and gave them out at our family Christmas party. Every year since, I've wanted to do something similar again but couldn't find the time to make all of those ornaments. This year I tried something different - all of these were made on either the 3D printer or the CNC machine. Some of the wooden ones still need a little sanding and some lacquer, but overall they came out pretty cool, I think.

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Leather Notebook Covers

To play around with leatherworking a bit more, I made myself a couple of leather covers for Moleskine notebooks. I haven't done the edge treatment on them yet, but they came out ok. I like the character and texture in the leather in the right-hand one, but fastening strap is a little wimpy and I'm afraid the snap might pull right out of it someday. The one on the left has a better closure, and the color is nice and even.

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Laser Engraver – Take 2

This is take two of the laser engraver, rebuilt from the ground up. The old one used to bind up a lot on the x axis, and had a limited work area. With this one, I've used what I learned on the CNC machine to rebuild it. This one is far more reliable, and doesn't seem to have any binding issues at all. I've also hidden away all of the wiring this time, and included a control panel with an emergency stop button, control for each of the (two) fans, and a laser override button, so I can force the laser off when necessary.

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