Home #Makerspace: DIY Street Hockey Sticks

It’s winter here in Northern Virginia and my sons discovered a strange and wondrous sport of the North:

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Hockey!

To help them become familiar with the game, we’ve watched a few movies, plan on attending a game or two and we built a pair of matching shafts to fit a pair of hockey blades.

This is a quick technique to build a shaft with minimal tools.  Shafts built with this technique can be used in tool handles, lacrosse sticks, shovels, poles, furniture, etc.

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This Week in the Shop: The Split-Top Bench with Plans

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This week in my home shop I finished up a new bench project I developed for class at Nova Labs in Reston, VA.  While simple in design and execution, it does involve the full suite of woodworking tools and a custom jig to complete.  This great intermediate project uses the Fab Five of a powered woodshop:  table saw, band saw, miter saw, jointer and planer.

starred-photos1I built the entirety of this project at Nova Labs, Inc using their woodworking tools.

Nova Labs is a membership-driven all-volunteer makerspace based in Reston, Virginia that was founded in 2011 with the purpose of empowering everyone to Rediscover the Joy of Making Things!

The current 10,500 sq. ft. facility located at 1916 Isaac Newton Sq West houses classrooms, workspace, incubator offices and a shop that includes both common tools and advanced fabrication equipment. Members enjoy 24-7 access and help co-manage our space by teaching classes, maintaining equipment, and promoting making in the community.

I cannot say enough good things about the membership and openness of the culture they have built up.  It’s rare to find a makerspace that has such a grassroots structure and active volunteer culture.

If you are interested in learning woodworking, you can join me in class in 2017.

Nova Labs members support a wide range of open source development projects that benefit both the local community and the world! Consider joining today to learn how and meet the people behind these projects!

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Home #Makerspace: How to Saw (for Young and Beginning #Woodworkers)

I use Japanese-style saws exclusively in my classroom and home shop because I have young makers.  I love the quick bite and accuracy of a pull stroke, the low cost and high quality, but mostly, enjoy handing my saw to … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: How to Saw (for Young and Beginning #Woodworkers)

Home #Makerspace: The Fishing Rod Storage Rack

Last week, I built a small shelf using hand tools.  This week, I will use a mixture of bench and power tools to create a storage rack for my family’s fishing rods.  This rack has two assemblies, the upper rack and the lower rack.

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The lower assembly has three holes for accepting fishing rod handles.  The upper assembly has the same three holes with access channels.

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Using power tools, this project will take fifteen to twenty minutes to complete.  It can be completed with only hand tools, if so desired.  Young makers in the middle school range comfortable with hand-held power tools, especially the jig saw and power drill, could complete this project with minimal adult assistance.

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Home #Makerspace: A Young #Maker ‘s First Saw Kit

3 Saws and a Miter Box. A beginning woodworker needs enough equipment to make only two types of cuts; the cross cut and curve.   For cross cuts, I suggest a Japanese-style “pistol grip” carpenter’s saw for older makers, age 7 & … Continue reading Home #Makerspace: A Young #Maker ‘s First Saw Kit

Tool Primer: Hand Saws for #Woodworking

Every tool has a purpose.  The Tool Primer Series explores common #makerspace and #woodworking tools.  You can check out the entire series here.

When a problem’s too big in my shop, I cut it down to size with a hand saw.  Hand saws have several inherent  advantages over power saws.  They don’t run out of batteries, so makers can use them all day.  The light weight means novice and  smaller makers can comfortably use the tool reasonably safe.  Hand saws can make delicate joinery and also rip through 3” slabs.  No circular saw or table saw has that type of range.

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Hand saws are not made equal.  Each hand saw excels at certain tasks.  In this tool primer, we will examine the Western & Japanese-style divide, learn to match the saw to the cut direction and classify saws by type and function.

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Home #Makerspace: The Bench Hook is a Secret Weapon for #Woodworkers

Bench hooks are portable work surfaces used to make basic woodworking tasks, such as crosscutting boards and drilling holes, easier to perform.  As a bonus, they help protect the surface of your woodworking bench from bumps and dings.

In the makerspace, bench hooks can be used for numerous tasks and roles (such as a surface to solder on without ruining Mom’s dining room table).

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These week, my youngest and I made two bench hooks.  The most common design works best with saws that cut on a push stroke.  We also made and tested a bench hook modified for pull saws.  Bench hooks can be modified in numerous ways, so take the jump and get hooked!

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Home #Makerspace: Simple Kid’s Game Boards for Young Makers #Woodworking

This week, we made a quick foldable checkerboard inspired by my youngest child’s love of the game. This basic folding design can expanded and modified to play any board game. Just let your imagination run wild!

This project incorporates measuring, marking boards square, using a hand drill and hand saw, and an all natural, no-fuss stain (although it is stinky!). Super quick, super cheap and super easy for young makers between K – 3rd grade. Continue reading Home #Makerspace: Simple Kid’s Game Boards for Young Makers #Woodworking