Random Projects

This page is a place where I can through some pictures online to show off some of the projects I have completed without writing up all the details. If you are interested in more details, email me.

Bike powered battery charger
Wine cork window cover
Maple spoon
Wine glass spears
Owl to scare away gardens pests
Cold Frame for starting tomato and basil
Compost Bin
Apron Hanger
Wooden Cross
Draw knife
BBQ mini cooker
Work Bench / 3 leg saw horse

Bike powered battery charger

I made this for my father in law. I found a dc motor on ebay and bought a v pulley and belt, the motor mount and the part that attaches to the bike I made. We tested it and it will light up some bulbs when attached in a circuit. Pretty neat.

Wine cork window cover

This is the second iteration of a cork window cover. The first one I tried to put together using staples and nails. That one fell apart. This one I have together with bike spokes that run through almost the entire length.

Maple spoon

A simple little spoon I made out of some maple. Probably never use it as it is not very economical for eating, perhaps as a sugar or salt spoon.

Wine glass spears

I got these stainless steel wineglasses from REI for Margaret and I to use at concerts at the square and for other picnic type occasions. Problem is (well, actually I have not used them yet but I foresee this as a problem) they tip over if you put them in the glass. So I made a stainless steel replacement bottom that screws onto the glass just as the store bought base does. I used the metal lathe to do it. The idea is to stick the pointy end into the ground. We will see how they work. If they don't, I have a plan B --> drink all the wine and lay the glass on it's side.

Owl to scare away gardens pests

Yes, that is a paper bag with two big eyes I made with a sharpie. It works and it took me less than a minute to make.

Cold Frame for starting tomato and basil

Nothing fancy, just some scrap plywood I found supporting an large piece of plastic I found in the garbage. The plastic was from a projection television. I also "harvested" the large lens from the projection television...waiting for a sunny day and some free time to play with that! Anyway, back to the cold frame. Yes, there are spaces between the cold frame and the house so it is not the best for keeping in heat. When it got below 30 degrees (which it did several times) I put a blanket over the plants or over the entire cold frame.

Compost Bin

I hate to buy fertilizer when I can make it for free from Margaret's cooking scraps and Sticky Buns bedding/poop. I toyed with the idea of starting a compost but was a little afraid due to the stink. I got around to making one in the form of a pile of compostable matter at the end of my garden. Not optimal. I eventually fenced it in but it looks like crap (and a lot of it literally was). There is a construction site close by that I pass on my bike (or running) daily and they are always throwing out wood. So I got as many good looking 3x1 inch boards as I could find out the the dumpster on day and made this box. I used a cedar 4x4 I had laying around from the last tenants to make the corners.

All done. Much better looking than the chicken wire. I didn't paint it or line it with plastic so it will rot out in two years I expect...but by then I will be outta this apartment.

Apron Hanger

Margaret had been looping her apron threw the fridge door or stuffing them in some closet. Not handy or neat looking. I mentioned I could make her something and a few months later I finally got around to it. I made this from apple wood from a local orchard. It is attached to the wall with a wood screw (which will leave a nasty hole that I will smear wall filler in before we leave this apartment...) and there is an aluminum plug for the screw hole. The aluminum plug has the same angle as the wood part, first time I made such a cut using the metal lathe.

All done with an apron hanging on it.

Wooden Cross

The wood I used to make a cross for my friend going to be a priest. This wood is Wisconsin Black Cherry.

One more arm to go. Each part was turned on the lathe. I turned the center first (the tenons were pre-drilled before turning the center down to size).

The finished cross. I was lucky to have a pretty knot show up on the center piece. I think it adds some character.

Draw knife

So I had this log of cherry, which as you can probably tell I have used for a lot of projects (including the handles for the draw knife shown here), that needed to get debarked in order to be worked on without getting bark all over the lathe or the band saw... I am cheap, so I try not to buy wood, and I am cheap so I didn't want to buy a draw knife. I got this horizontal bandsaw blade (it was dull and in a junk pile), cut four holes in it, fitted it with some cherry handles and I was off.

It works! A little springy, but it got the job done.

Good for making a mess.

BBQ mini cooker

I made another BBQ smoker "mini" for my parents. This time I used the gloss engine paint instead of the high temperature grill paint since the grill paint did not have a gloss finish. I would suggest using a primer (like the can says) if you use the engine paint. Mine seemed to be a little chippy (when I used the engine paint w/o primer), but not so for the grill paint w/o primer. To see more detailed plans on this,click here.

Work Bench / 3 leg saw horse

Tired of bending over on my front stoop, I made this workbench/saw horse. 3 legs for stability. 2x12 top and spine, 2x6 legs.

The bench is light enough to carry from my basement storage unit and high enough to be used as a work bench.