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. 


No comments:

Post a Comment