This Week in the Shop we build small cabinet. Cabinet making epitomizes fine woodworking, as it rewards accuracy, consistency, and attention to detail. Cabinets can be found in the workshop, in the kitchen, as furniture, as built-ins. Great cabinets add value to the home and definitely have the wow factor.
While cabinet making may seem like a inscrutable dark art, basic cabinets are a breeze to put together if you have a few select tools. This cabinet build relies on the table saw and the router and showcases the versatility of shellac as a finish.
This particular cabinet will hold my son’s growing fossil & gem collection. Shallow shelves with scoops hold common tool boxes. This would also be a great workshop project and the skills are transferable to other pieces.
Continue reading “This Week in the Shop: The Fossil Cabinet”
Every woodshop, makerspace or garage could use more storage. If you have an unfinished wall in a shed, garage or basement, this project is for you! This Week in the Shop we build open shelving using simple brackets made from 2x10s with a table saw, power drill/driver and miter saw. This project easy to build, cheap to build and useful. Check out the build video!
Continue reading “This Week In the Shop: Open Shelving”
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!
Continue reading “Home #Makerspace: DIY Air Hockey Table for Under $40”
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.
Continue reading “Home #Makerspace: The DIY Folding Board”
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.
Continue reading “Home #Makerspace: A DIY Carrom or Marbles Game Board!”
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.
Continue reading “Home #Makerspace: DIY Drain Pipe Regatta (or Rain Gutter Regatta)”
A quick jig can make the difference in a woodshop. This height gauge helps measure and set cutting tool heights and thicknesses for rabbets, dadoes, chamfers, etc. Since it incorporates a digital caliper, the dial is easy to read, precise and accurate.
This tool came in handy building the light box project – I hit the rabbet depth and thickness dead-on each time.
In the next few weeks, I will be developing new projects for NoVA Labs and this blog which utilize more intermediate woodworking skills. Build this jig now and it will be used over and over again.
Continue reading “This Week in the Shop: DIY Height Gauge”
This week, I built a 8 box set of stackable makerspace boxes. This design can be accomplished using three power tools (router, miter saw and jigsaw) and the design can be adjusted to fit your space and needs.
The dimensions given work for boxes made with 3/4″ plywood. If you use thicker or thinner plywood for the sides, your dimensions will change. Double check your measurements before cutting.
At some point, you have to cut that board in half. Learn to do it right in today’s Tool Primer: The Power Miter Saw.
Continue reading “Tool Primer: The Miter Saw”
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!