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How to Make Solar House Number Signage

I have always maintained that farmers are the most innovative people on the planet, so maybe I have some farmer in me too. I often seem to be coming up with ideas or at least bringing a couple of different ideas together such as this one. I have no idea if someone else has ever done this, I'm sure they have, it's not that far fetched, but it does work great ... AND for someone it could even be a bit of a cottage industry. I could easily see someone making these little boxes and selling them at produce markets, swap meets and flea markets. They are cool little project and they could even save someone's life.

I don't actually have plans for this except what I have told everyone in the video. This was another fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants project. I only knew a one thing, the numbers need to be bold and about 5 inches or 12 cm high so with that ....

Presentation Box for St Patrick's Day

presentation boxI was asked to make a "quick and easy" presentation box. I'm not exactly sure what that means, so I simple set about, with the objects that I had, and made something suitable. I was give a bottle of spirits and a couple of Irish Coffee wine type glasses. Rather than simply make a box that these would be hidden in, I wanted to make something that would make them stand out, after all, it is a presentation of some sort so the box or case would should have some kind of a wow factor.

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After measuring the glasses, I knew the approximate size and I had an idea in my head that I wanted to try out. I wanted to make a small mini 2-door display box and lucky for me I had just received a box of veneers from Oak Wood Veneers.
This is the first time I have seen their veneers and the quality is simply outstanding. More on this later ... for now I needed to make a carcass or box that fit the spirit and glasses, and that when transported would not crash around and break.

Because this is a smaller box, I opted to us 1/2" maple material that I had on hand. The box would be approximately 14 inches square and 4 inches deep, and because there is a fair bit of weight I decided to use box joint corners to make sure the structure was good and solid.

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Making Mini Computer Speaker Boxes

iphone speakersMaking speaker boxes isn't anything new, many woodworkers have been doing this for years but in most cases they have been making BIG speaker boxes for LARGE stereo systems. In out case we are going to make small speaker boxes for ... oh, a computer, MP3 Player, an iPod or iPad, a Tablet or even an iPhone if you have the correct adapter. The ones that we made sound at least as good as the the ones that we used as donator speaker boxes, and they look good enough that you can put them out in public and now have to apologize for plastic speakers.

So! the first thing we had to do was to find a suitable set or donator speaker boxes. We wanted something small and of course they needed to "powered speaker", that is, they either needed batteries or a small transformer wall plug to power the speakers.

Of course your BIG speakers for you larger stereo systems do not need to be powered, there is more than enough juice in a full blow stereo system to power the big speakers. We found our donator speakers at a yard sale for, I think about $3.00 There are TONS of these little speakers around some with and some without the transformer plugs, but even if you get one without, you can still get a transformer plug to drive the speakers rather than using batteries all the time. The advantage with the ones that take either batteries OR use the transformer is that you can use these, with batteries, at the beach, at the cabin, hiking, canoeing or whatever.

Completing the Pedestal Table

In This article and the associated video we finally get to finish our little three legged - Pedestal Table. We have taken three videos and associated articles to arrive at this point, but it has all been worth it. We got to try a variety of specialty techniques like creating a round table top by using the circle jig that David Cooksey provided plans for. We showed how to make sliding dovetails which we used for the legs of the table and we showed how to create a 6 sided, or hexagon shaped column that we then turned on our lathe. Then of course we assembled the the table and finally finished it with Osmo, one of our favorite finishing products.
In this article we will only touch on the aspects we went through in the video primarily because we feel the video is self explanatory.

This was a great little project and the end results are well worth the effort. Nothing was terribly difficult but you will need to take your time to make sure all aspects turn out to your expectations.

Making a Round Table Top With Circle Jig

Well, we finally get a chance to use the router circle jig to cut out our round table top. For this we are using a 1/4" pure carbide bit. If you are really not familiar with carbide, it is not like some form of steel. The structure of carbide is that it is more like a crystal. This means it will break before it bends, unlike steel that will take a massive force, bend and bend and then finally break. Carbide bits are much more sensitive to side pressure and if you push them too hard, they snap and are now useless. The good thing about carbide and the reason we use it is that it has a very high boiling point. This means, that unlike steel, you can subject carbide to very high temperatures and it won't melt like steel does. When steel bits melt, even partially they become dull and that's why we like carbide, it stays sharp much longer than similar steel bits.

 

Remember, the point to cutting this table top is to ultimately use this top as part of our 3-legged pedestal side table which you can see in other related videos.