Sunday, May 19, 2024

Step-by-Step Guide to Crafting the Perfect Book Thumb

So, what is a book thumb??? A book thumb, also known as a thumb book holder, is a reading aid that allows you to hold a book open with one hand. Some folks claims that using one can help reduce strain in neck, arms, back, and shoulders. They make great gifts for the avid book reader.

Supplies and Equipment:

Step-by-step Guide for making the Book Thumb

  1. Print the Book Thumb Templates, and select your book thumb model. Mount the selected pattern on your wood blank. Cover one side of the blank with painter's tape. Mist the back side of the pattern with spray adhesive, and mount on the taped blank. The painter's tape makes removal of the pattern easy without leaving any sticky residue.

  2. Cut the straight sides of the book thumb using the bandsaw.

  3. Cut the curved thumb recess using the scroll saw.

  4. Sand the cut surfaces using the disc sander.

  5. Using the disc sander, gently round the outside corners just enough to remove the sharp points.

  6. Sand the inside curved thumb recess using the flexishaft and a sanding drum.

  7. Apply a thin coat of finishing wax to the book thumb, and buff using the angle polisher with a lambswool polishing disc.

  8. Grab a good book, and enjoy reading using your new book thumb.

Sunday, May 5, 2024

How to make a simple learning game for the kids

 Hello again,   How about we make one for the kids today.   It's going to be a simple tic tac toe game using symbols that are recognizable to children.  Actually if the kids are not too little, let them choose the theme and help with the painting.

The first thing I did was to make the frame for the game.  This is really easy using the proxxon mini chop saw.  Ive tried a million times to make a decent mitered corner using any number of tools, but always one or more angle was slightly off or bowed a little bit so it just wont fit tight.  But with the Proxxon mini chop saw it is a simple task and if measured correctly, I guarantee it will fit perfectly.  But first, lets cut it to size using the proxxon mini table saw.

Oncw the boards are cut to the proper width move over to the Proxxon mini chop saw and set the guage to 45 degrees and make your first cut. Then measure (the short side) and set it up to cut the proper length.   Measure only the short side.  The long sides will take care of themselves. (refer to picture)  If you are using my measurements, short to short will measure 10'     


Put the frame together around the back piece, glue it then clamp it until it dries completely.    Next we will work of the dividers.

I used the proxxon mini band saw to cut out the notches,

I put it together with glue then put it aside while I work on the tiles.  This is easy using the proxxon mini chop sawWe are going to make (10)  2 1/4" square blocks.  And while we are at it, I am going to cut (10) 2 1/2" long 1/4" diameter dowel pieces. 

Using a drill, I made 1/2" deep holes in the upper right corner of each of my 10 blocks.  This just makes it easy to place the tiles during a rousing game of tic tac toe. 😵

Next, paint, stain or do whatever you or the kids like to decorate your board and the tile pieces.  We opted for dogs and cats, (you need 5 of each) so we painted them on our tiles.  We painted the board black.  We fisinshed it all with krylon triple thick gloss spray..

I think it is done, except it would be nice if we put a stand on the back so it can be verticle.  Lets do that.  I just cut a piece of thin wood.  Using a hinge attach it to the back, just like any old picture frame that sat on the living room tables.

Well that was  fun and not too hard. Im ready to see if the kids llike it.

thanks for visiting today.  Hope to see you next month.  Carol

Sunday, April 21, 2024

How to Recycle Scrap Lumber and Make the Perfect Rustic Farmhouse Shelf

This rustic farmhouse shelf unit is a great project for using lumber scraps. The size can also be easily adapted to the scraps that you have available.

Supplies and Equipment:

  • Proxxon Chop and Miter Saw KSG 80
  • Proxxon Disc Sander TSG 250/E
  • FolkArt Monument Gray Milk Paint
  • Liquid wood adhesive
  • Clamps
  • Hanging hardware
  • Scrap lumber
  • Instruction for making a rustic farmhouse shelf:

    1. Gather lumber scraps. I used slats from leftover lattice.

    2. Cut the blanks for the shelf using the chop saw or Proxxon Table Saw FET. I'll share my measurements, but they are easily adaptable to your needs. The lattice slats were 1½" wide and 3/8" thick. I cut two 7½" lengths for the bottom of the box; one 7½" length for the back brace; two 3" lengths for the sides; two 8¼" lengths for the front and back of the bottom box; and, two 11½" and two 8½" lengths for the back.

    3. Set the longitudinal fence stop to ensure the blanks are identical lengths. 

    4. I did a minimal amount of sanding since I wanted a rustic look, but used the disc sander to smooth out any gross splinters.

    5. With the blanks all cut it's assembly time—glue, clamp, dry, repeat. Start by gluing and clamping the two bottom pieces. 

    6. Next, glue the 3" side pieces in place.

    7. Attach the hanging hardware to the back brace piece.

    8. Assemble and glue the six pieces of the back unit. You can get creative with the four vertical slats for the back. Make them equal or uneven lengths. Square the tops or cut them at angles. This is a rustic piece—they can be a little wonky.

    9. Next, glue the front and back pieces to the partially constructed box.

    10. Finished the shelf as desired, or leave it unfinished. I used a one-to-one dilute solution of milk paint and water.

    11. Display and enjoy your rustic farmhouse shelf.


      Saturday, April 6, 2024

      How to make a simple spice rack

       Hi folks.  My friend has asked me to make a spice rack for her kitchen.  Says she is tired of all the spices falling out everytime she needs one.  And if hers is like mine, I can never find the one Im looking for until I drag them all out.  So, today let's make her a spice rack.

      The first thing I did was sort through my wood on hand.   I found a piece of 1/8" oak plywood and a couple pieces of some pine I felt would work.  

      1st step was to cut my piece to length.  I left the plywood piece as is thinking that it was as good a size as anything else.  so I will cut my wood for the outside "box", and shelves to fit it.

      The plywood (back), measures 23 1/2 x 15" x 3 1/4 "  Sides will be 24 x 3 1/4  Top and bottom 15 1/2 x 2 1/4 x 3/8    There will be 3 shelves which measure 14 7/8 x 2 5/8" x 1/8"


      I used the Proxxon mini table saw to cut my wood.   And Ill be using this saw in the next steps also.

      I need a way to put these thin boards together.  I know I cannot use nails or screws so I am going to make some grooves where the pieces will fit together.  
      I set up the Proxxon table saw to make some cuts partway through my wood.  I move the saw blade so that it is about 1/8" high.   then I move the fence to 1/4" away from the sawblad and run one long side of each of my sides, top, and bottom pices..  The groove is not quite wide enough to secure the plywood back piece in so I moved the fence out just a little and ran them all through again being careful not to make my groove too wide.  I want my pieces to fit snugly.

      Looks like it fits but before we glue it we need to make the slots for the shelves.
      Do this in the same manner.  I took 2 passes to make it the right width.  
      Make sure both sides are exactly the same.  


      Now glue the sides, top and bottom together and let the glue dry well.  Then slide the shelf pieces in.

      I painted it with white primer.  My friend will paint it whatever color she wants.   Look how it looks when I put some spices in it.

      I added 2 sawtooth hangers on the back.

      Thats all folks....Thanks for visiting.  Come back soon and see what we're making next
      Thanks Proxxon, awesome tools.   Carol


      Sunday, March 31, 2024

      How to Make the Perfect Mother's Day Plaque

       Honor mom with her own special plaque made using Proxxon MICROMOT tools.

      Supplies and Equipment for making the MOM plaque:


      1. Print the plaque template.
      2. Mount the template on your wood blank. Cover one side of the blank with painter's tape. Mist the back side of the pattern with spray adhesive, and mount on the taped blank. The painter's tape makes removal of the pattern easy without leaving any sticky residue.

      3. Cut out the template using the bandsaw and scroll saw.

      4. Use the belt sander to sand the edges of the plaque.

      5. Finish as desired. I used FolkArt Home Decor Antique Wax.

      6. Present to mom to let her know how special she is.


      Sunday, March 17, 2024

      Creating Tiny Porch Posts Using Proxxon Tools


      Hi everyone! Today I wanted to show you how I turned tiny porch posts on the Micro Woodturning Lathe. I'm still building one of my tiny houses and I thought this would be a nice addition instead of just a plain wooden dowel. Let me show you how I made them.


         Proxxon Micro Woodturning Lathe DB 250
         Proxxon Scroll Saw
         Proxxon Five Piece HSS Chisel Set
         Wooden Dowel
         Sand Paper

      First, I determined the length of the posts and cut two pieces using the Proxxon scroll saw.  I added on an extra inch because I can't tell exactly how long they need to be until I put the base on the house. That won't be till I'm further along.  

      The next thing was I needed to determine the center of each end of the dowels and mark them. My lathe came with a small tool you use to mark the centers.

      Once I had the centers marked, I attached the dowl to the lathe and tightened it on. With a pencil I marked 2 lines where I wanted the turning or carving away the wood to be.

      Using the chisel set, I chose the parting tool.  This chisel is flat but cut at an angle. Resting on the tool rest, I started to carve in the details.

      I also used a piece of sandpaper against the wood to taper the dowel.  Then finishing up again with my parting tool.

      I took the dowel off the lathe and attached the second dowel. I marked it again with a pencil so I could try and copy the first dowel.  I repeated the whole process.


      Now I've got two porch posts that are finished and ready to be attached. I still have some work on the porch before I attach the base, so the posts will go on after that. Once I can tell exactly how long each post needs to be, I may turn a small detail at the bottom also.

      Thanks for following along.  Till next time...
      Colleen  :-)