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Sunday, March 17, 2013

My most recent event was hosting the Webelos pack 139 for a day in the wood shop. We made wood cases for  their belt loops and pins that they earned for various academic and sports activities.

The frame was made of 2 x 4 pieces and the belt loops hung on cord, stretched across two of the sides.  The pins could be stuck into the felt and cork backing. 

This picture shows the finished product and all the belt loops that the kids can earn.  It was my idea to get these boys to use as many skills as possible in constructing their cases.  Safety; sawing; measuring; marking; hammering; assembling; drilling; and careful workmanship were all necessary and they did a great job!!

I did the power saw cutting of the basic pieces but had them measure and mark the cuts necessary on the short sides.  They had to use a tape measure, a square and a pencil to mark the line where I was to cut.  They got a chance to at least see and hear a big power tool in operation.  I cut the short sides for them on their lines.
This done, the next step was to pre-drill holes for the nails for putting the four pieces together.  Each long side required four holes.  I left out one for them to drill with the drill press.  Each person then had two holes to drill.

The  next step was the most fun.  With the hammers they brought from home, they now had to insert nails in the drilled holes, line up the sides just right, and knock them home.  This was the part that needed the most concentration.  And it needed some parental help as "clamps".  It was a great learning and sharing experience for both parties.  We found that the concrete floor was the best place for hammering.
When the guys had the final square made, it was time to show the pictures of the monkeys.  I had to get picture of the kids "framed" in their projects.

After the basic square was made, then I asked the guys to measure for the nails needed for the strings that stetched across the frame. This was where they were to hang their belt loops. After they made their marks then it was their job to hammer in nails part way at each point, then stretch the string back and forth tightly, twisting it around each nail. To finish the job, the nails were hammered home to hold the string taut.  
Of course you learn how to pull bent nails out when you need to.

To finish the project they had to put on the back which was made of felt backed by a square of cork.  This gave them a nice surface to push pins into and the color made the whole work brighter.  I helped this part along by showing them how the air stapler works.
This is a picture of the "gang" with their final projects.  Now they can paint it or decorate the way they want.  It can stand on the table or hang on the wall to show everybody their achievements.  It was a fun project and not at all costly.  You need plenty of room with lots of work surface and nerves of steel when working with all those boys wielding hammers. 
Congratulations to the guys in Pack 139, Great job, Great projects!!!





Sunday, March 3, 2013

This is a project in which I was enlisted to re-do the interior of this armoir.  These folks had gotten a really good deal on this beautiful walnut piece but the inside had been much abused.  A mirror on the back had been taken off and the mastic remained.  The lighting was in disrepair and some up-graded shelving was needed.

Much of the bottom level was still worth saving but hinges and glides needed repair.  In all, the quality of the cabinet made the rennovation worthwhile.

This is the finished interior.  I was able to salvage the lighting and, with the addition of glass shelves, add to the dispersed light on the inside.  Now glassware had a home and, you had enough light to work on the counter.  The hinges were adjusted so the large doors closed accurately and everything shined with TLC.

Now with the large doors closed the beauty of the walnut wood delights the eye.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Push stick tip #4

Building corner cabinets can be a nightmare especially when the angles are not 45.
I was trying to get corner shelves fit into this cabinet and forgot to allow for the 1/4 inch backs.  This led me to the problem of then cutting 1/4 inch off of each of the long sides on all the shelves.

To solve the problem and to keep all the good sides up I turned to my trusty push stick.  I always have a number of them with different thichness sides so I can rip narrow pieces.  This time the piece was only slightly over 1/8 inch.  The pusher that I made had 1/8 sides and so worked quite well in helping me with this task.

Take a look at how things worked out, in the video section.  The method takes careful technique.  If it doesn't feel right don't try it.  The pusher keeps the cutoff from flying up or back.