Chevron Desk Takes Advantage Of Plywood For Patterning

Buying a desk is all well and good, but [WoodCraftly] found that the options they found online were too pricey for what was being offered. Buying the table frame from scratch was much cheaper, and just required crafting a top to match. That provided the opportunity to create this beautiful herringbone-finish desk created with some simple woodworking techniques.

Plenty of clamps were needed for the glue-up.

The build starts with a motorized corner desk frame that can be bought from amazon for just $550. To create the chevron-finish top, [WoodCraftly] grabbed some plywood sheets, and cut them into a series of 1-inch strips. These were then flipped 90-degrees onto their side, and glued together to create a panel that showed off the individual layers of the plywood. This panel was then cut into 3-inch wide strips at a 45-degree angle, and these strips were then placed back to back and once again glued up to create the attractive herringbone design.

From there, it was a simple matter of gluing up panels into the L-shape required for the desk, adding mounting holes, and rounding off the corners for a nice finish. The desk was also given a thick coat of epoxy on the bottom which soaked into the wood and helped give the desk some strength, and a top coat that was sanded back to a natural-look finish.

Overall, the final desk is just the product of some smart cutting and gluing steps combined to create a fun pattern in the end. It’s always fun to build your own furniture because you can express your own style in your creations. Video after the break.

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A segmented lamp made of circular slices of plywood. They are arranged as shutters around a long, skinny LED bulb in the center that gives off an incadescent-looking glow. A cord trails off to the left against the grey background.

Plywood Lamp Has Customizable Light Output

There’s something about light fixtures that attracts makers like moths to a flame. [danthemakerman] wanted something with a more configurable light output and built this Sculptural and Customizable Plywood Lamp.

In his detailed build log, [danthemakerman] describes how he wanted something “sort of like an analog dimmable light.” By using a stack of split plywood donuts hinged on a brass rod, he can vary the output and shape of the lamp. These shutters allow the lamp to go from bright to nightlight without using any electrical dimming components.

The plywood was rough cut on a bandsaw before being turned on a lathe. The light cover sections were then hollowed out with a Forstner bit and split in half. The tricky bit is the overlap of the cut on the hinge side of the shutters. Cutting the piece exactly in half would’ve required a lot more hardware to make this lamp work than what was achieved by patient woodworking.

If you’d like to see more ways to make light fixtures with plywood, check out this Hexagonal Lamp, these Upcycled Plywood and Glass Lamps, or this Laser-cut Sphere Lampshade that Packs Flat.

Tiny Wooden Laptop Packs Raspberry Pi

Building a handheld Raspberry Pi rig is practically a hacker rite of passage these days. Off-the-shelf parts keep getting better, and we’re now starting to see affordable compact LCD screens with decent resolution become common. [MakeFailRepeat] got his hands on a HyperPixel screen, and decided to whip up a neat project with it.

The result is a charming little laptop, packing a 4″ screen with 800×480 resolution. Input is via multi-touch, as well as an integrated keyboard. The frame of the laptop is wooden, with a 3D printer supplying parts for the hinge mechanism. To round out the aesthetics, the top of the device was given a decorative copper inlay. Power management is via a UPS hat, which allows the device to switch seamlessly between battery and mains power.

A project like this is a great way to learn a wide range of valuable skills. It involves woodworking and 3D design, as well as the basic configuration of a single board computer. They come in all shapes and sizes, like this tiny RetroPie handheld, or this slick laptop build. Video after the break.

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JigFab Makes Woodworking Easier

Woodworking is an age-old craft that requires creativity and skill to get the best results. Experienced hands get the best results, while the new builder may struggle to confidently produce even basic pieces. JigFab is here to level the playing field somewhat.

Much of the skill in woodworking comes with mastering the various joints and techniques required to hold a piece together. Cutting these joints often requires specialized tools and equipment – ideally, some sort of jig. These jigs can be difficult to build in themselves, and that’s where JigFab shines.

The workflow is straightforward and quite modern. A piece is designed in Autodesk Fusion 360. Various joints can then be defined in the model between individual parts. JigFab then generates a series of laser cut constraints that can be used with power tools to easily and accurately cut the necessary parts to build the final piece.

It’s an impressive technology which could rapidly speed the workflow of anyone experimenting with woodwork and design. There’s even smart choices, like having a toolkit of standard predefined elements that reduce laser cutting time when producing new constraints. If you’re eager to get stuck in to woodwork, but don’t know where to start, don’t worry – we’ve got a primer for that. Video after the break.

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Hexagonal Lamp Is A Stylish Application Of Plywood

Lamps are useful things, and can be a great way to add style and lighting options to a room. Where overhead lights have to provide enough illumination for all manner of tasks, a subtle table lamp can add a nice moody glow to a room when it’s time to kick back and relax. Oftentimes, a stylish lamp can be let down by having a run of the mill plastic switch hanging off the power lead, but it doesn’t always have to be the case. [Emiel] designed this hexagonal lamp with a hidden switch, which works remarkably well.

[Emiel] starts by laying out hexagonal paper templates on plywood and perspex sheet. The plywood is cut on the bandsaw, while the interior cuts on the perspex are made on a scroll saw to avoid unsightly cut entry lines. The outer half of the lamp slides up and down on a pair of steel rods. Springs hold the outer half up, and it can be pressed down to activate a switch inside to turn the lamp on and off.

The build has a clean and attractive aesthetic, with the LEDs hidden inside, glowing through the perspex slices built into the body. It looks like something you’d find in the rooms at the Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino. If regular lamps aren’t enough for you, however, you could always consider building something interactive. Video after the break.

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Glasses Frames Crafted Out Of Wood

Most glasses and sunglasses on the market make use of metal or plastic frames. It’s relatively easy to create all manner of interesting frame geometries, tolerances can be easily controlled for fitting optical elements, and they’re robust materials that can withstand daily use. Wood falls short on all of these measures, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use it to make a beautiful pair of glasses.

ZYLO is a company making wooden eyewear, and this video from [Paide] shows the build process in detail. Modern tools are used to make things as efficient as possible. Parts are lasercut and engraved to form the main part of the frames as well as the temples (the arms that sit over the ears to hold them on your face). A special jig is used to impart a curve on the laminated wood parts before further assembly is undertaken. Metal pre-fabricated hinges and screws are used to bolt everything together like most other modern sunglasses, but there’s significant hand finishing involved, including delicate inlays and highlighting logo features.

In contrast, Manuel Arroyave works very differently in the creation of his Cedoro glasses. Sheets are first laminated together, before the shape is roughed out by a special horizontal axis milling setup. Even small details like the hinges are delicately hand-crafted out of wood and fitted with tiny wooden dowels.

It goes to show that there’s always more than one way to get a job done. We’re tempted to break out the laser cutter and get started on some custom shades ourselves. Perhaps though, you’re too tired to put your sunglasses on by yourself? Nevermind, there’s a solution for that, too. Video after the break.

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Make Your Own Dowels At Home

Dowels are a useful woodworking technology making it easy to connect several pieces of timber, particularly with the aid of adhesive. However, depending on where you live, it can be difficult to come by a wide variety of stock. This is particularly important if you’re concerned about appearances – cheap pine dowels could spoil the look of a delicately finished hardwood piece, for example.

Thankfully, it’s easy to make your own dowels at home. [Pask Makes] has used a simple dowel plate before, but this time, decided to build the deluxe version. A thick steel plate is drilled with a series of holes, and then mounted to a wooden block. Square stock can then be forced through the holes to produce the dowels.

[Pask] notes that there are several methods to use the dowel plate. Hammering the wood stock through the holes works best for hardwoods, while fitting the square stock into the chuck of a power drill and forcing it through while spinning gives a better finish on softer woods. There are also useful tips on how best to produce dowels, with notes on strength and grain orientation.

It’s a useful tool to have in your workshop, and means you can turn just about any wood into dowels for your woodworking projects. If you’re fresh to the world of wood, worry not – we’ve got the primer to get you started. Video after the break.

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