More stamps

after posting my little stamp, my friend asked if I could make her a stamp for Centro Cafe. I had some stamp material left over and I have dialed in the settings so it went pretty quick.

I etched my website on the back. hopefully I will get some hits from this project.

Rubber is cool

I have been trying to cast an aluminum wood burning brand. The detail is too complex and in reality is way too big to put my logo on my work in discrete locations. here are some of the failed castings

first attempt 

second attempt

I tried a third time but It didnt pour right either. The process I was using is called the lost foam process. It doesnt work very well for Aluminum in petrabond sand molds. There was a trap of gas from the foam and the foam didint burn fast enough as I poured. I can make a differnt mold and use bonded sand but I thought I’d take a different appoach. This different approach was to just use an ink stamp. 

I ran two passes on the laser cutter on laser cutting stamp rubber. My settings on the 60W laser was 300ppi 100% powet and 30% speed. this stamp is 2″ wide verses the aluminum brand which is 13″ wide. There is a lot of detail but most of it transfered from the stamp.  

I glued it to a wood block. Its not perfect but way better than what I had been trying to do.

overall it turned out pretty good.

Coffee Table Stand

I was asked to weld up a frame for a coffee table by a local woodworker Chris Econom. Chris planed a live edge slab of walnut and I designed and fabricated a stand. I built it in Autodesk Inventor then cut up the build of materials.

I drilled the angle iron and welded up the frame.

I tacked it up and the TIG welded it. I put plugs on the legs but I did not document the whole build.

Chris then sprayed the frame with conversion varnish and mounted the slab.

I would like get better pictures. I think it turned out well.

Sofa Table

I was asked to make a simple sofa table. The idea was to build something light and quick but not skimp on quality. I thought this was a good opportunity to pull out the spool gun and weld an aluminum frame. I took some measurements and just bought aluminum and got to work.

I cut down the aluminum square tubing.It had a 1/8″ wall. I drilled the top for screws. I setup the spool gun on my welder and then got to building the frame

after I welded the frame, I put a florentine finish on it. Using aluminum was great not having to paint it or put clear on it. The finish hides nicks and scratches from use. 

I then cut the baltic birch and edgebanded it. I then sprayed 3 coats of laqcour on the plywood and mounted it to the table.

The project was quick and simple. Welding the aluminum was a little tricky because of shrinkage but nothing I couldn’t handle.

Media Center

I have been wanting to make better space of the area under my window. I decided it would be a good idea to make a media center. I started out drafting a 3d model on Inventer. I exported the prints and started building it out of veneer core rift oak. I realized I needed to modify the plans so I had to change the deisgn in order to fit my files. I used dados and rabbits for joinery. I mitered the top edges on the sides. I then edge banded it with oak veneer. 

I then cut the door fronts, I wanted to do flush cut drawers so I rough cut them, scribed them 1/16″ then edgebanded them. I routed out the backs and put 1/4″ baltic birch ply. I cut holes for wires too.

I then stained the peice with ebony stain. 


I then made the the drawers out of 1/2″ baltic birch with toung and groove joinery.

I sprayed the whole thing with dull conversion varnish

I installed the hardware, stainless steel handles and under mount drawer slides.

I also mounted steel for filing folders

I am very happy with the result.

Bedframe

I was comissioned to design and build a bedframe from reclaimed lumber. 

I first designed a 3d model in inventor

I was given douglas fur and pine boards to work with. I used a metal detector to find nails. I removed the nails. i jointed the boards, rewsawed them and then planed them.

there was a lot of saw dust made in the millling process.

and more sawdust

I didnt document every step but I jointed the peices of the head board and footboard. the headboard was pocket screwed in yhe back but the footboard was biscuit jointed. I used a hand plane, hand held belt sander as well as a palm sander to flatten it out. I milled and glued up the legs. Then biscuit joined them to the footboard and headboard.

I joined and glued up the rails. I used biscuits as well.

After building and sanding glue I stained the footboard headboard, side rails and then put conversion varnish on them

I put mounting ancors on the footboard and put mounts on the rails and legs. I cut the rails onsite and just used a little bit of touch up stain on the ends.

I still need to take better pictures but the project turned out really well.

Maple and Walnut cutting board

I was asked to build a cutting board. End grain cutting boards last a lot longer so seeing that I was about to build a long lasting peice I went with that type of design. I wanted to do a contrasting design so I found a strip of walnut left over from work and bought 5/5 hard maple. i jointed the boards, ripped them into 1″ sqaure strips then setup a stop block  to 1.25″ on the miter saw and just cut a lot of blocks. 

it took me some time and thought to figure out a layout. 

I dont own that many clamps, its just something I haveny invested in. Instead if borrowing some, I thought I could get away with making a jig and using wedges. 

I had some help gluing all of the peices up because I was concerned that I would take too long exeeding the glue up time.

I then took the butcher block to work and ran it through the drum sander.

I then used a router with a collar. I ran that around a plywood template hot glued to the top.

I then removed the hotglue and template and sanded cutting board. I also used a little dremel to sand out the burn marks from the router. I rounded the corners with the belt sander.

After sanding I laser etched my logo in the corner. I applyed beeswax with my waxing iron and removed the excess.

The end product turned out really nice and the client was very happy.

Coffee Table

I recently was asked to make a coffee table. I Started with a digital rendering like always in Autodesk Inventor
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I wanted to try something new and take advantage of the 4’x8′ 3 axis CNC at Milwaukee Makerspace. If you do not know what a CNC is it pretty much is a robot that can cut things. My friend Simon recently joined the organization and learned how to operate the tool. I learned how to use the tool about a year ago when I joined Makerspace but I never really got familiar with the tool. Since I had the model pretty much built all I had to do was learn how to program the CNC which I used Autodesk Inventor HSM for the CAM work. Once I made the code for the CNC Simon and I tried a few test runs on pink foam.
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Unfortunately  I ran into a few issues with the lumber but I was able to resolve it.
I cut up the maple boards, used a biscuit joiner and glued them up.
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I then drum sanded the 7/8″ boards down to 3/4″. I brought them to Makerspace, Simon and I then milled them on the CNC.

I cut up the metal for the frame. I also decided to use the Bridgport mill at Makerspace to drill the holes for the bracket.
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I then Brought the metal home and welded them up.
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I then painted them with primer and silver paint.
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I sanded the shelves  and did numerous coats of satin lacquer, sanding in between coats. I also put the same finish on the frames.
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I then mounted the wood on the frames and screwed them in.
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It’s been a while

I haven’t posted anything since the doll house bookshelf but I haven’t put a hold on my work.  There are few things I have made since then and I don’t know where to start.  I was asked by a friend to help him out and build a little free library for the Urban Ecology Center. The Urban Ecology center has a small stash of lumber that is from old projects or just donated. Looking through the supply I noticed that they had an abundant of red cedar. Cedar naturally is great for outdoor use do to it’s inability to rot and the smell wards of insects. Knowing what I had to work with, I then made a 3D model in Autodesk Inventor
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I like modeling in inventor because I can build every part and then print off prints from that assembly. here are the prints that I came up with.
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The prints don’t go exactly in depth as to how I made the cedar shingles and I did put a brace in near the vent but it was a very good way to start.
Once I had my build of materials I took the cedar to Tiffin Millwork, a local cabinetry shop that I tend to go to time to time to use some of their tools. I planed and drum sanded the cedar to 3/4″
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after milling all the wood to size I brought it home, sanded it down and then started cutting it up according to the the prints. here is the progression:

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I didn’t take photos of the face frame progression but I used mortise and tenons to join the wood. I also then cut a piece of baltic birch for the top.
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I Then cut up a lot of cedar shingles and nailed them to the top using stainless brad nails.
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I then made the doors and mounted them along with the hardware. I used a type of plexiglas for the windows.  Here is a photo of the joinery on the doors and faceframe.

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Overall I think the project turned out nice and I’m sure people love using it. Here are more photos of the final project.

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As for the next few bits of news in that time that I started working on the little free library I graduated from MATC with my welding technical diploma.  I was able to pick up this bad boy.

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It’s the Lincoln Electric Power MIG 210 MP. I was fortunate to have got all of the accessories to. The 210 MP is a multi-process welder meaning it can do MIG, TIG and Stick welding. I also have the Aluminum Spool gun accessory so I can MIG weld Aluminum. This tool has definitely come in handy.

Going on to another process, I was asked to make a long board for someone. I had only enough emulsion for one more screen print and I had used up all of the screen material for this so this is the last print I’ll be making for a while. I made the board but I don’t have many pictures of this project unfortunately. Here is the dark room setup I have.
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I then burned the transparency on my exposure table that I built not too long ago.

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after burning the image I washed it out so the image remained

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I don’t have any photos of this longboard unfortunately.

After this print I decided it was time to put the printing press in the crawl space and make room in the garage.

I have been working on getting an aluminum furnace up and running. I decided to go with a charcoal fueled furnace.
I built a crucible from some steel and I built some tongs with scrap at school.

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I recently built a shank for pouring the crucible too.

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I did try to melt some aluminum with the furnace I built with my friend Simon but we didn’t wait till it got hot enough. here are some of the photos of the furnace we built and it’s first test run.

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Seeing that we didnt have a lid, it didnt get as hot as it should have. We also didn’t have the shank so it didn’t pour very successfully.

This project has been set to the side now that I can pour at Milwaukee Makerspace. I do want to finish 2 other castings I have been working on before I start another sculpture though.

Since I have gotten some new things in the garage I tried changing things up a little. I converted my large work table to a welding table which is kind of unsafe seeing that I only just put sheet metal on top of plywood but I mostly just TIG weld and weld thin metal so I don’t smoldering an issue. It works for now

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Since I have decided to convert my main work table into a welding table I needed to get fiberglass welding blankets to cover things. I also built a cabinet for my dust collection system. I used 3/4″ baltic birch with a white oak faceframe
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A couple months ago I had upgraded my exhaust system for painting. I was able to buy some old furnace blowers for really cheap and I made a housing for them in the window.
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I don’t have any other pictures of the final exhaust system but It works fantastic. I put filters in it . All of the air really moves and the paint fumes go straight out the window.

putting good use to the exauhst system I did some touch up work on my Dad’s car. I removed the rust, primed it feathered in the fender and clear coated it.
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I bought this airbrush and I’ve Been trying to learn how to use it but mostly I have been using it for touch ups.
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I fabricated a reservoir for this liquid cooled computer and helped put together the cooling system
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I bought this oxyacetylene setup off of a co-worker for a pretty good deal.

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I replaced the motherboard on this hp laptop

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I also sold this flower pressing, It is a hydrangea mounted on baltic birch ply framed with a hard maple frame.

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I’ve taken up a new trade blacksmithing. I haven’t explored much of it but I have made some trivets which turned out quite nice. People tend to like these little things so they have been selling pretty well. I can put a beeswax finish on it or a high heat black. If your interested you can buy them on etsy http://etsy.me/1kLLL0K
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I also did some pumpkin carving this Halloween.

b3here is a painting did in collaboration with my friend Maria
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I recently just finished a coffee table which is on sale right now on etsy http://etsy.me/1kLerXQ

I started with a 3D model
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I had some curly maple left over from the pentagon coffee table and so I cut it up, glued it together and then milled it at Tiffin Millwork.
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I then cut the 1′ square tubing and then welded up the frame.

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I test fit it just for a mock up before painting. I started with primer, then base coat, then finished with high gloss clear.
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I had to do a few coats on the wood with wet sanding in between. I screwed on the wood to the brackets and it here are the final shots.

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So that’s what I’ve been up to, I hope to keep this blog more current. It took a while to sift through everything I’ve done in the past months.