Rachelle Dooley of TinkerLab is one of my go-to arts blogs and one of my favorite small-person maker-educators. She has a fantastic book, Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors, and blog, TinkerLab. She recently posted a skill building tutorial for glue guns in small hands. Check it out here.
My boys and I took her idea and moved it over into the “Dad” realm. We used natural materials, stone, sticks, bark, and some scraps from a recent rocking chair repair to create some “rock gardens”.
According to my sons, dragons eat the rocks that grow in rock gardens. And if dragons derive energy from rocks breaking apart, that means they have somehow created controlled nuclear reactors in their stomachs. Which is the start of a Hollywood Sci-Fi movie script, and if it’s not, it should be.
After the jump, check out a few tips and safety pointers for glue guns at different developmental levels.
Continue reading “Home #Makerspace: Natural Material Sculptures & Glue Gun Safety”
They say when it rains, it pours. For the past six months, I’ve inundated myself with cutting boards at every turn, in every one of my woodworking shops. At home, I made cutting boards as Christmas presents. At work, cutting … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: The Simple Cutting Board
The newest piece to walk out of my home workshop. A dining bench up-cycled from a bed frame. If you are interested in seeing plans, drop a line to me, my contact is below. Make it safe & keep the … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: Dining Bench Made from Upcycled Bed Frame
Earlier in the year, the great folks at Canyon Mesquite donated a number of spalted red oak boards to make furniture out of. It took a while, but we finally made some great use of them. Finished with Howard’s Feed-N-Wax. … Continue reading This Week in The Classroom: The Simple Coffee Table in Spalted Red Oak
This project was for my mother. In order to do it though, I had to build a woodworking shop for my father. Interesting how that works out. All told, this project cost under $50. My father’s garage stuff collection netted … Continue reading This Week in the Shop: A Quiet Place
In the late 1800’s and into the early 1900’s, a number of furniture makers, craftsman and artisans reacted against the massive mechanization and industrialization of (their) modern world to create a type of furniture called Arts & Crafts, Craftsman or Mission style furniture. Gustav Stickley in New York, the Roycroft community and others created furniture, which to my eyes, can’t be beat by anything that’s ready-to-assemble.
While I find my heart and soul called by Mr. Morris’s chair, other artisans were getting in on the action. With so much intellectual rebellion running about, some energy had to flow into pottery, right? I’m not a big pot fan (yep, that reads differently than it did in my head) but I do appreciate the art tiles. I just had to find a way to make one without using actual clay. I don’t have the sculpting skills, tools, a kiln or materials for such work.
So how did I do it? I used some of the latest and most innovative prototyping methods known to man.
Continue reading “This Week in the Shop: Ceramic 3-D Printing via Shapeways.com”
Of the three or so classes I’ve taught at TX/RX Labs and the twenty to thirty projects I’ve taught at work, the simple bench project remains my favorite. It is an intermediate level project which can be reached by absolute beginners, it’s cheap to build (approximately $15 w/ finish) and it lends itself to multiple machines (tablesaw, bandsaw, drill press) and hand tools. I present the latest and greatest class yet: Special thanks to Pratt for building extra supports for himself and everyone else, shout out to Sean for the intense questions, my teaching assistants, and everyone else in the … Continue reading Community Watch: Build a Bench Is Complete!
Are you in the Houston area? Ever wanted to get started woodworking? Maybe you just enjoy benches as much as I do? Join me for the Wood Workshop at TX/RX Labs on Sat. & Sun. May 25th & 26th (5/25 & 5/26) from 9am-5pm. The Finished Bench I will be walking you through how to build the simple bench project, start to finish. As TX/RX so elegantly put it: Build a simple bench using both hand tools and power tools. A perfect intro to woodworking, we will cover basic tool usage both hand and power along with learning the basics of … Continue reading Community Watch: Build a Bench this Memorial Day Weekend!
In my Applied Mathematics class, woodshop has put the shop in applied. During a unit on fractions, I asked students to build a number of these try squares, all different shapes and sizes. In order to assess my students ability to read a ruler and calculate fractions, I made all the dimensions wonky. No 8″ cuts for my students! Dimensions looked like 8 3/4″, 4 3/8″, 5 “1/16 and all sorts of foolishness. Once I felt my students had mastered the build process, we took our show to Houston’s Mini-Maker Faire! The construction process for a tool like this can … Continue reading Classroom Project: Try Squares
Today at TX/RX Labs, I’ll be leading a class in building a few of these tea boxes. I’m sending a box to one random contestant on WoodshopCowboy Facebook page, just in time for Christmas. Remember to like WoodshopCowboy on Facebook! And remember: Make it safe & keep the rubber side down this weekend. Continue reading Community Watch: It’s Build a Box Day!