Friday, May 19, 2017


Japanese style toolbox made of fir to support my tool problem. I milled the fir sides from a tree.

Some of this style have a locking wedge. The lid fits snugly enough in both directions; a wedge doesn't seem necessary. Who knows what will happen as it ages though.

Feet (underside):

Also made a wooden prototype eggiknobule for someone:

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Honey Pot Lid

The knob broke off the honey pot lid, so I made it a new one of cherry:

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Belt Grinder

I got a KMG belt grinder a few months ago, and I've finally assembled all the parts. The motor is a 1.5 HP ABB. VFD is a dust proof AC tech.

The control panel is dust proof too, mounted with a wedge to the motor frame. I used a wedge in case I want to move it to a different position.

The motor base allows the motor to be removed without removing the base from the aluminum sub-plate. There's also clearance for a hex key so the whole assembly can be removed from the sub plate at once.

I made a beech frame for the motor and electronics. It was a bit of a challenge getting everything aligned. The motor mount position was determined by the belt length, which then dictated the position of the VFD, which dictated the position of the disconnect switch (the connection is rigid as you can see in the above photo). Everything lined up just right though, no bound screws. It was a squeeze getting all the wiring in, but it always seems that way with VFD's.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Opinel Modification, Headphone Repair

I've had an Opinel No. 8 with a lanyard for a year, and I use it all the time. I got it originally because I felt a need for a pocket knife--I'm cutting stuff regularly all day--but I didn't want it to be intimidating or flashy (and here I am blogging it).

It turned out to be a pleasant tool. The thin blade sharpens easily and cuts fruit and vegetables without much force. I sharpen it like a kitchen knife with a low included angle. If I need a cold chisel I use a cold chisel.

I don't like how it falls into my pocket and turns sideways, especially when I am biking. It also seems thicker in the middle than it needs to be, although it's comfortable to hold outside of a pocket.

Taking that experience, I present the new and improved!

With smooth, modern lines inspired by-

Handle thinned and diameter matched to the locking ring. The blade point is modified a little, edges broken, and a choil added.

I also fixed my "AmazonBasics" headphones. The frame was really fragile--probably intentionally--and eventually both earpieces snapped off. The speakers worked fine though. I thought I would make a new wooden frame for them instead of giving more money to The Man.

I put my head face-down on a piece of paper and traced it with a vertical pencil, as a starting point. I cut out a plywood template based on that, and turned it into a clamping jig:

I assumed the lamination would spring back some after gluing. It didn't. So I made a second one, to the exact size I wanted the finished headphones-

The lamination is three layers of maple joined with wood glue, just shy of a millimeter thick each. It's plenty strong and light, though the frame twisted slightly as it dried. Here is the prototype result:

They work great for about a half hour, before the ears start to ache. Ears are pretty sensitive, and the muffs have to sit on them just so--this design provides no adjustment. Even then, most headphones become uncomfortable after an hour or so. For now, I declare these Good Enough. I kept the glueing fixture for another attempt when I get tired of these.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Knife Repair

I got this knife to sharpen for a customer-it had sentimental value to him but was very dull and the handle was messed up. Either the leather on the handle shrunk, or a spacer fell off.

I made it a new spacer of brass. It looks nice to me, sort of WWI, but it made the knife back-heavy. If I could have done it again, I probably would have made leather spacers instead, but I am pleased with the result regardless.

It involved milling/filing a thin rectangular hole .75" deep, a bit tricky in itself. The knife was made roughly, so I didn't go all out on finish and precision. That said, the slot is a close slip fit and it only fits on in one direction as the tang is not entirely rectangular in cross section.