I will be bringing the woodworking goodness to KIDFest on Sept. 24th at Veteran’s Plaza in downtown Silver Spring. Look for me there! Continue reading Woodshop Cowboy Goes to KIDfest on Sept. 24th
A number of safety posters for a variety of woodworking tools. Continue reading This Week in the Shop: Safety Posters
This is a scaled down, fun-filled air hockey table is a perfect summer project.
Two employees of Brunswick Billiards Co invented Air Hockey in the 1960s. The game field consists of a low-friction (usually by means of an air blower creating an air cushion under the puck) playing field with two goals. Each player has a striker, and smashes a puck at the opposing player’s goal. First player to a set number of goals wins. Air hockey tables are staples of entertainment in billiard halls, arcades, boardwalks, rec rooms and other places of ill-repute. Which is why I just had to make one.
I utilize a 5-gal shop vac as a blower, marker board, 1/4 plywood, one 10’ 1”x6” and some pin nails. A 3D printed part certainly helped with the fitting, but isn’t essential by any means. I also utilize 45 degree miters for a very clean look, but butt joints and screws might make a stronger, stiffer system.
Let’s play some air hockey!
Here’s a quick project to cut out on the scroll saw. Scroll saws are small, cheap, versatile tools that can cut through all sorts of thin materials, such as plastics, wood, plywood and cardboard. They have a very, very low … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: Paper Airplane Launcher
Some things are impossible, such as unicorns, bipartisan agreement on the greatness of bacon and getting small boys to fold their clothes. While I didn’t do the impossible this week, I certainly made it easier to master.
A folding board is a cool little device that helps you fold clothes quickly. This is great for young children and people with mobility issues as it minimizes the physical effort while maximizing effect…it makes folding fun. Better yet, a folding board can be made with plywood, cardboard or any other stiff, flat material. There’s no need to spend $20, just use some scrap wood.
Here’s a picture tutorial of how to fold a T-shirts.
This week, we built a game board which you can customize to play marbles, skittles, carrom, billiards, pool, shuffleboard, crokinole and more!
My game board features two games, marbles and carrom. Marbles has been played for thousands of years in various forms. Carrom is a “strike and pocket” game that evolved in East India. Both games provide hours of entertainment for young kids during rainy days and family game nights. Carrom Company of Ludington, MI has a 100-in-1 version of this board that many, many grown kids remember.
This game board uses vinyl stickers for decoration, 45 degree miters reinforced with pin nails and grooves. This construction technique can be used to make large playing surfaces. I used the same technique to make The DIY Knock Hockey project a few weeks ago, and it will show up in next week’s project.
On a hot summer day, nothing beats a cool, breezy scientific adventure. The Drain Pipe Regatta is a great investment for a classroom or backyard exploring space, as it helps teach the basics of fluid dynamics, buoyancy, motion and transfer of power. Connections to the great sailing ages in history, from the Polynesians exploring the Pacific, to Columbus’s crossing of the Atlantic, to the great whalers and galleons of Napoleonic Europe abound. This project is the base for a great mix of artistic creativity and scientific inquiry.
Boats can be made with nearly any craft material. I have made origami boat challenges, foam board & skewer boats and water bottle boats. Tweaks can be made with each regatta to reflect learning goals, materials or kids interests. The Cub Scouts of America hold a raingutter regatta every year. Scouts design small sail boats and race them down a 10 foot section of rain gutter.
Pirate-themed get-togethers optional.
Sooner or later during a Maker project, you have to stick it together. You need glue. Better yet, you need the right glue.
Some glues are formulated to work best porous materials such as paper, wood, or leather. Some are made to work between two different substrates, say plastic and metals. Some are made for smooth, hard materials. Knowing the difference can be the difference between a success and failure in the Home #Makerspace. Continue reading “Tool Primer: Understanding Common Glues for #Maker Project”
When the ice melts from the first burst of spring, the hockey fun doesn’t have to stop. Take hockey inside with DIY Knock Hockey, a wood table-top game which makes for hours and hours of fun.
This tutorial utilizes a table saw to create the necessary rabbets and miter joints. These are great intermediate table saw skills to learn, practice and utilize in your work flow. Strong, clean joinery really sets your project apart from the pack. While kid-focused, this project isn’t really designed to be made with young maker help.
I use this game to help teach basic concepts of physics, such as momentum, rebound angles, and friction. Game play teaches turn-taking and sportsmanship. Lastly, the rules are incredibly simple…but “house” rules unleash cooperative play and teach fairness.
This week I designed and built a quick bike rack to store my young children’s custom bikes from two 2×6’s. You can check out the two bikes in the DIY Bike Build.
This project uses the table saw, miter saw and impact drill. A very basic design, it uses a number of my favorite “great-to-have” materials, such as 2 1/2” exterior wood screws and 2x pine for quick construction.