A Few Small Projects

It has been about 3 months since my last entry and I have made a few small things in the shop.  I had a few small pieces of scrap I have been wanting to use and I found a couple of perfect projects for them.

First, I had a small piece of Quarter Sawn White Oak I picked up from the shorts bin at the lumber yard ($0).  When I was testing the setup on my jointer a few months back I ended up getting a thin piece remaining from the board due to twist so I used the think stock to make a new pen/pencil holder.  For the base I had a small piece of Maple that had some neat grain in it so I flattened it, cut it square, and profiled the edges with a round over bit.

Once the sides were glued and dry I attached it to the base with a square piece of plywood at the bottom.  I finished it with a few coats of rattle can gloss spray poly and a final coat of spray satin poly.  A full walkthrough can be seen at Marc Spagnuolo’s site here.

The QSWO Pencil Holder
The QSWO Pencil Holder

My next project was a passive amplifier for my iPhone 5s.  I used the plans from a recent Wood Magazine article.  I used a piece of claro walnut that a friend gave to me (same wood from the stool seat seen here).  I liked the grain and since it was just wide enough for the project I thought it fitting.

The build was pretty straight forward.  The body of the amplifier was made with three 1/2″ pieces laminated together with the center piece cut out to hold the phone.  I used the left over piece from resawing the main parts to width to make the sound tunnel.  The edges were tapered and beveled at once with two separate jigs.  The first jig held each piece in one orientation and the second jig held the previously cut edge at the proper angle to cut a matching taper and bevel on the other side.

Before gluing the sound tunnel to the body the hole needed to be drilled and the bottom had to be beveled at 10 degrees.  After the whole process was finished though, I feel like the hole should have been drilled after the glue up of the sound tunnel to better center the hole or to make a larger one so it looks better.

The Passive Amplifier and the Pen/Clip Stand
The Passive Amplifier and the Pen/Clip Stand

In the above photo you also see a pen/clip stand.  This was one of the first things I made my wife for her classroom desk.  Version 1.0 had terrible round overs due to the wood dipping into the bit at the end of the cut and it had no finish on the cocobolo as my wife liked the raw wood look.  One day she brought it home and requested to have it “shiny” again.  This time I put a better and larger radius round over on the edges and finished it with rattle can spray lacquer.  I sprayed 3 coats and sanded the surfaces flat and smooth then sprayed a few more coats with some sanding between each coat and the last coat without sanding for a gloss look.  She loved it as she does not like to touch unfinished wood.  And yes, those are our kids in the photo card.

My next small project was a blue tape dispenser, also from an archived issue of Wood Magazine. I chose fiddleback spalted maple as the body and walnut as the spacer blocks for the tape. I started by transferring the shape from the article onto a 1/2″ piece of template material, rough cut the shape out at the bandsaw, and refined the shape at the spindle sander and with a sanding strip.  After the template was shaped to my liking, I glued the maple sides to the walnut blocks.  When the glue was dry I rough shaped the blank to the template and then at the router table I used a pattern bit to shape the dispenser to the template.

When the edges were rounded and the body was sanded, I cut a kerf in the front for a cut hacksaw blade to cut the tape. This was friction fit into the kerf no need for adhesive.

The finish I chose was spray lacquer from a rattle can.  I was pleasantly surprised with this finish on the spalted maple. I put on several coats and sanded lightly between coats then sprayed a final coat and buffed it with a 3000 grit automotive sanding pad for a less glossy finish.IMG_2986

These are just a few small projects I finished working late at night while the family slept. Enjoy.

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