Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Star Braiding Looms

My son's teacher asked for some star braiding looms to use with the kids. I wasn't sure if it was for the class or something else. I think she said it was a club that uses them with her, but anyway I wasn't sure how many to make so I started with the number of kids in my son's class. She gave me the braiding loom she had and I used that to base the shape on. I wanted to cut circles with my bandsaw but the very last part I hadn't replaced broke so I had to figure out another way. I was thinking on it and wondered if my dad had some large hole saws (I needed about a 3.5 in. circle). He didn't have it but he was able to borrow one from work. I then knew I had some pallet boards made of oak that I was saving and decided to use those on this project because I felt with kids a harder wood would last longer. I then went about cutting out 22 circles. Thankfully my sister's father-in-law gave me his old drill press because even on the same rpm's my little drill press couldn't hack it. The bigger drill press sliced through the oak much easier.

Here you can see the hole saw and the circle it cuts.

One batch of circles. I used a forstner bit on the middle hole after cutting the circles because the hole needed to be a little larger.

Sorry this picture is blurry but I traced the pattern of the star from the one my son's teacher gave me and luckily I had the perfect sized hole saw to cut the scallops around the edges. I lined up the marks, clamped it down, and cut. Then I did the same around the whole circle.

Here are some of the circles on the left, then the star shape in the middle, and the darker star on the right is the one I was given to copy. All that was left was to cut the slits. This is where I wish I really had the bandsaw because it's saw kerf is larger making the finished looms easier to use but I ended up using the scrollsaw to cut the slits. Then I used my handsaw to make the slits wider but they would be better if the slits were even a bit wider.

There was a bunch of sanding to do and then I finished them with some shellac spray, which I like to use for anything kids will use as it's a natural but tough finish. I'm shooting for making about 37 more so that there will be two class sets of these. I absolutely love my son's school and I don't get to volunteer in person like I'd like to so this is my little way of helping out. 


Saturday, February 6, 2016

Nothing To Do With Woodworking

I've got a few projects in the works but in an attempt to reduce my screen time, I picked up a project I had abandoned a while ago.  I wanted to improve upon something my sister made for her daughter (now daughters). I asked if I could take a frame that she put what I think is wrapping paper in that was hanging up in her daughter's room. I took it home printed out a verse and went to put it on the wrapping paper. I guess it just seemed like a lot of work so I put it in my craft closet for another day. It has to be at least a year since I touched this project but I finally got it done.

 I think it's really important for girls to have high self esteem. In my opinion it's the most important thing. If a girl has high self esteem she'll always make good choices, maybe not always the right ones, but she'll have the confidence to make the choices that are best for her. So, I chose 1 Peter 3:3-4. "It is not fancy hair, gold jewelry, or fine clothes that should make you beautiful. No, your beauty should come from within you-the beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit. This will never disappear, and it is worth very much to God." Not that my nieces aren't beautiful, far from it, but I'm hoping they will see this everyday and remember how much they are worth when it's needed.

Here's where I picked up on the project. I taped the paper to the table. I had previously cut the words into strips and I just needed to tape them together to fit on the paper. I put carbon paper under the words and I also taped a paper hinge on the top in case I needed to check my progress, I could lift the whole thing up and it would go back in the right place. Then came the hard part, tracing every letter. I did a line a time, sometimes a word at a time because my hand could only take that much. Over the course of two days I finished copying everything.

This is Scabbers respecting my work.

I then took a sharpie and filled in the words which was much faster and easier on my hand since I didn't have to use much pressure.

Here I put it back in the frame it came in ready to hang up.