This Week in the Shop, I will peel the bark off my new digs in Northern Virginia. Last summer, my family and I relocated to Northern VA to be closer to family and pursue new jobs. It’s taken a while, … Continue reading This Week In the Shop: The Woodshop Cowboy Workshop & Studio 2017
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!
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.
This week, we took to the skies with a two simple mobiles.
Mobiles are kinetic sculptures which rely on and play with the scientific concept of equilibrium and center of gravity. The pieces often spin and flutter with the breeze, presenting a constantly shifting face and focus to the observer. Some mobiles are motorized, such as the spinning toys hung over a baby’s crib.
Here are two very quick and easy ways to make spinning mobiles in your own home.
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
This quick project makes a great starter box for grown woodworkers, but it especially shines as an approachable young person skill builder. This slick box teaches three major skills: measurement, accuracy in manufacture of parts and joinery. A teacher or parent can use this simple project to differentiate between beginning, intermediate and expert woodworkers by adding complexity in the appropriate areas.
The following instructions describe how to build this project with pre-k to 2nd or 3rd graders. The adult preps the wood, while the student assembles the pieces, learning to use a hammer, nail set, hand drill and hand plane. Older students can measure and cut their own wood using appropriate tools.