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This is a light I started building today for a client that requested the lighting to produce interesting rays of light in a small space.  I mocked it up with paper before I CNC plasma cut the pieces. Tomorrow it gets its guts and hopefully by next week the finish will be in place.

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This was a fun project!

My client is remodeling a 1960’s/70’s Arizona ranch house to fall into that rustic late mid-century modern design motif. I was asked to design three gates for the pool yard, and one security for for the master bedroom. After putting in my research, and running my brain down the washboard a few dozen times, this is what I came up with…   Enjoy!

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Last week I read a little article from an old Popular Mechanics magazine. The article explained how a person with limited tools and a kitchen stove could fashion a knife from an old file. I was half way through the article before I had started digging through my collection of bastard files to find one that I could part with.

I softened the metal as per the instructions over a stove (in this case, I used and old Coleman stove running “white gas”) until it was just past “blue” in color, and let it air cool.

I then drew out my design with a Sharpie, and cut it into shape with a 4-1/2” angle grinder. I chose a modified version of a tanto blade for several reasons, but that’s just my preference…

After cutting out its shape, I switched to a 120 grit flap wheel on the grinder, and did all the rest of the grinding with that (including the “glass breaker” on the tip of the tang).

Once everything was as it should be, I made up my own version of a paracord wrap for the handle, and then put the final edges on all three sharp sides.

At this point, I needed a way to transport and store the knife, and the article said nothing of what to use in that endeavour… So, after considering all the options of things and of materials I had in my shop, I came up with a patch of leather and got to work. By the way, this was my first leather project! After stitching it all up, and wet formed the sheath, and then grabbed my grommet kit and found a problem… All I had were bright brass grommets! I went back to my Coleman stove, and heated them up and quenched them in used motor oil, and then reheated them on the stove one last time to give them a nice “old” look. Let me note that the wet forming of the leather gave the sheath a VERY positive retention aspect, that made a retention strap/snap obsolete. 

When I got done trying not to cut myself playing with my new toy, I realized that the top stitches were vulnerable to the knife’s edge… This brings me to my last detail. I got out some copper wire, and gave the first stitch 6-8 laps, and now it’s done!

This project was super fun, and was actually free! I used only things that I had on-hand, and only pretty basic hand tools (an angle grinder is basic, right?). I am dying to make a few more now, and already know several things I would do different/ to improve the project.

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This was I little project that I did recently. 
I swapped out the plasma torch on my cnc plasma table for a router, and taught myself the programming to complete the sign. I had been wanting to try this ever since I got my table, and was finally given the opportunity when a local graphic designer came knocking. After some heavy thought, I got the router mounted and VERY slowly figured out how to make the program run the router.
The circle with the bird in it, is 1/4” hot rolled steel with a beeswax finish, and is flush with the surface of the wood.
The text near the bottom is 1/8” hot rolled steel, and also beeswaxed and sunk flush into the wood.

This was I little project that I did recently.

I swapped out the plasma torch on my cnc plasma table for a router, and taught myself the programming to complete the sign. I had been wanting to try this ever since I got my table, and was finally given the opportunity when a local graphic designer came knocking. After some heavy thought, I got the router mounted and VERY slowly figured out how to make the program run the router.

The circle with the bird in it, is 1/4” hot rolled steel with a beeswax finish, and is flush with the surface of the wood.

The text near the bottom is 1/8” hot rolled steel, and also beeswaxed and sunk flush into the wood.

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A credenza That I made for my wife for her birthday. Oh, and six shelves… If you look closely, the breaks between the shelves are staggered. This took more layout and attention to detail than you would believe! All of the shelf brackets are welded to the shelves, and had to be dead-on to hit studs. I chose to put the shelf brackets on top to act as bookends, and when books are actually in place, the shelf brackets disappear. This causes the viewer to see the lateral shelves as floating pieces of 10 gauge (1/8”) platforms with no obvious retainers.

The credenza is 3/4” square tubing, skinned with 14 gauge HRS, and the doors are 1/4” birch veneer plywood. I had to make custom bypass door tracks from scratch to accommodate my design. I plasma cut the counter top out of 10 gauge HRS, and finished it with beeswax. If you look close, you can see the cord grommet that I incorporated.

Hope you like it!

PS… I know my photos suck, but you get the idea!

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dustdb:
http://www.dwell.com/profiles/article/american-made-design-dust
DUST furniture in dwell!
Way to go guys! I still can’t believe you landed me a callout on the page too! Keep it up!

dustdb:

http://www.dwell.com/profiles/article/american-made-design-dust

DUST furniture in dwell!

Way to go guys! I still can’t believe you landed me a callout on the page too! Keep it up!

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We needed a few things to knock over at the range… The bottle cap on the left is for scale (it’s 5-6” tall).
Two pigs, and six chickens!
Chickens are placed at 200 meters, and pigs are at 300 meters. We generally shoot with iron sights, and show-up the guys with big $ optics.

We needed a few things to knock over at the range… The bottle cap on the left is for scale (it’s 5-6” tall).

Two pigs, and six chickens!

Chickens are placed at 200 meters, and pigs are at 300 meters. We generally shoot with iron sights, and show-up the guys with big $ optics.

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I was asked to make “pipe clamps” and “collars” for 8 16” OD pipes.

I designed the “pipe clamps” (1st picture) like a shaft collar with a compression fit. These are to stop the 3000 lb. pipes from sliding into a hole when placed upright.

The “collars” (2nd picture, and on the right), I used the same fastening system as above, but these guys have a different purpose… They are meant to clamp on the top of the pipe, and to attach 3 legs at 120 degrees of each other for “plumbing up”.

Then, they asked me to go ahead and design feet (3rd picture) for the “plumbing up” legs, and produce them as well.

That’s;

8- sets of “pipe clamps” for the bases,

8- sets of “plumbing up” collars,

24- feet for the legs

and I plasma cut all 278 pieces it took to make all 40 finished parts.

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I have needed a tool post grinder for a long time… So, I made up a simple tool holder last week to fit on my QCTP (quick change tool post), and it uses my old Dremel flex shaft.

Right after this photo was taken, I shut the lathe down, but did not shut down the grinder… When I rotated the work piece, my pinky found the grinder…

I have needed a tool post grinder for a long time… So, I made up a simple tool holder last week to fit on my QCTP (quick change tool post), and it uses my old Dremel flex shaft.

Right after this photo was taken, I shut the lathe down, but did not shut down the grinder… When I rotated the work piece, my pinky found the grinder…

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Jeans and boots… This is actually from January. Custom made jeans from Imogene+Willie, and Red Wings… That’s my Scottish Deerhound in the background.

Jeans and boots… This is actually from January. Custom made jeans from Imogene+Willie, and Red Wings… That’s my Scottish Deerhound in the background.

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Here’s the jig for the top of the chair. It’s all 1/4”  A36 plate. Still need to make the bending dies, and a stand for the whole thing… The chair only uses two pieces of steel rod, hence the two part jig.

Here’s the jig for the top of the chair. It’s all 1/4” A36 plate. Still need to make the bending dies, and a stand for the whole thing… The chair only uses two pieces of steel rod, hence the two part jig.

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So, I’m in the smack-middle of building a jig to bend steel rod into chairs. It’s a two part jig, the base (shown), and the top. Look close for the awesome joinery at the corners… Many more posts to come on this project!

So, I’m in the smack-middle of building a jig to bend steel rod into chairs. It’s a two part jig, the base (shown), and the top. Look close for the awesome joinery at the corners… Many more posts to come on this project!

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This project is a little cooling fan that I made for my 2”x72” belt grinder. It runs off the rear shaft of the treadmill motor that is the muscle behind the grinder. It forces cool air through the rear of the motor to flywheel at the front (where the contact/drive pulley sits). The blade pitch is 45 degrees (five blades in all), and is about 3” in diameter. I made a custom hub to attach it to the drive shaft, and I plasma cut the fan blade itself. I designed the fan blade in AutoCAD, and imported it to the plasma cam software. It’s pretty cool having fun tools to fix equipment with!

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A little lamp shade that I threw together with only about five minutes in design and fabrication. No welding, no tools, just a quick cut out, and hand bent with only my fingers.

A little lamp shade that I threw together with only about five minutes in design and fabrication. No welding, no tools, just a quick cut out, and hand bent with only my fingers.