I was getting ready for a birthday party for this 1 year old I know. Our conversations are one sided, he is a little short, and fails to reciprocate on high fives. Still, he has more hair than I do, and a pretty cool set of parents. So we got him a gift. I was bagging up said gift when I thought of a cool way to add a little personal touch to the tag.
I dug around my scrap bin and came up with some thin maple I had from a resaw project. Some quick hand hand planing and I had a really thin sheet of wood to make a tag out of. I think it was about 1/16″ to start with and was a pretty consistent 1/32″ when I was done. Still heavier than card stock, but a pretty impressive thickness
I cut it out and gave it those beveled tag edges along with a whole in the center. I wrote out the message in sharpie and gave it a quick spray lacquer coat. That was an error in order of operations. The solvent in the spray lacquer lifted the sharpie and let it bleed out. It isn’t horrible, but is noticeable. Next time, spray first, let dry, then write the message.
My miserable handwriting is probably the worst offense. Do they teach handwriting classes for adults? I might have to plan out some resawing and make a stack of these tags. Buying a small section of veneer would yield a lot of cards for a little cost, but I would rather start with some 3/4″ stock and do the milling myself. Yet another project for the woodworking pile. I need to craft more time so I can get out in the shop regularly. I have been terrible this year.
I recently bought an iPad for use during travel and for things around the house. One such thing is for use as a recipe holder while I cook. I have slowly been collecting my various scraps of paper and bookmarks into an organized google drive collection. Most fit nicely on a single page in portrait mode. I needed a way to prop it upright and started with a nice swoopy 3D printed part. I liked the shape, but it was a little too light and the color clashed with my kitchen.
Unusual for me, I built a test piece first. Typically I just launch into this sort of thing head first and start making mistakes. The pine shape was made using the green 3D print as a tracing template. I liked how it came out and proceeded with maple.
As I was cutting the groove on my router I made a huge mistake. I wanted to rout the groove a little wider, and moved the fence closer to the bit to make a second pass. CHOMP!
I forgot, when I moved the fence closer I used the wrong side of the bit. When pinched between the fence and bit, the bit bites in and drags everything forward. I made a little graphic below to show the issue. The bit rotates counter-clockwise. Keep out of the red zone and use the green side.
I recovered by starting over and moving on to a new piece of wood. This time without any issues.
Once I got the groove completed I tapered the back a little. It doesn’t need to be 3/4″ thick all the way across, so I thinned the back end down. I like the effect a lot, but in retrospect I could have gotten a lot more aggressive.
With the tapering done I used the green printed part as a template to lay out the two curved cutouts of this part. I made the center cut wide enough to help lighten the look, and provide a cutout around the speaker ports at the bottom edge of the iPad. I was able to orient the front to show off some lovely rays (little speckles in right hand picture) in the maple.
I am really happy with this, a past version of me would have cut the groove and called it good. The block would have been functional, but chunky and brutal. This is lighter and more elegant. Truth be told I could have done more lightening and still had a functional part, but as always it is a learning-by-doing experience. A spray coat of lacquer sealed the deal.