All posts in Woodworking

I Need My Space!

I’ve been a huge fan of the space program since I was a little kid. Here I am playing as an astronaut with my spacesuit, headset, and maneuvering backpack:

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I wanted some space program ornaments for my Christmas tree and couldn’t find what I wanted, so I decided to make my own. A little time in Illustrator, some prototyping on the laser cutter, and voila!


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The Laboratory Lamp

First created in 1860, the Erlenmeyer flask has come to symbolize chemistry, and by extension science as a whole. I wanted to use that symbol to create an item of functional decor, and what better for that than a lamp, with the relationship between the light bulb and the “aha!” of an idea?


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Kickstarter: Portland Bridge Clocks

They don’t light up like a lot of my other projects, but the collection of Portland, Oregon bridge clocks I just launched has been a great way to test the Kickstarter waters. They’re laser-cut from bamboo, and you can get one of every bridge in the Rose City. Check them out for yourself here:

The Portland Bridge Clock Series


The Giant Spirograph

What’s eight feet across, has 90 teeth, and makes beautiful designs? Not a shark with an art degree, but this giant version of the classic Spirograph drawing toy. Chalk is the medium, and streets and sidewalks are the canvas.

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The Abacus Bracelet

Hey, hipsters! So that 1980s calculator wristwatch you’re wearing isn’t retro enough for you anymore? Time to go waaaaay back in time with your wrist-worn calculating devices, all the way to the abacus.

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Bamboo Prototyping Board

I like to do a lot of my electronics & Arduino work on a laptop, either on the dining room table or spread out on the living room floor. Between the Arduino, the breadboard, and who-knows-how-many components, it’s a hassle to get all the pieces moved when project time is over.

I’ve seen acrylic plates for mounting a half-sized breadboard and an Arduino (here’s one at Adafruit & here’s one at Sparkfun), but they don’t appeal to me. First, I prefer using a full-size breadboard, and second, I don’t like the look of  the acrylic. Time to make my own.

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The Big Chair – Building Your Own

I’ve gotten a few emails and comments asking for plans for the giant adirondack chair I built. The trouble is that I prefer building things to documenting them. But because I love you all, I buckled down and made some plans. Don’t get too excited, because these aren’t formal blueprinty plans. To do that right would require building another chair to test everything out, and there’s only room for one of these in my yard. So instead I measured the already-built chair, tried to remember what I’d done (and in some cases what I’d do differently), and rebuilt it in Google Sketchup.

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Screen Printing Press

After doing some freezer paper printing* on a shirt for my son, I wanted to do some more intricate designs and maybe even sell some of them, but didn’t want to spend a lot of money buying a press. So what do I do instead? Spend a lot of money building a press!  Click the “continue reading” link for some details on the construction of my homemade screen printing press.

*cut a stencil in some freezer paper, iron it onto a shirt, dab on ink, pull up the stencil, set the ink with an iron.

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The Big Chair

The chair at SD Botanic Gardens that served as my inspiration.

On a trip to California this February, my wife, son, and I visited the San Diego Botanic Garden in Encinitas. She was immediately taken with one of the installations there — an oversized adirondack chair.

I filed this attraction of hers away in my head, and like Roy in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it started to eat away at me.  I collected plans for dozens of different styles of adirondack chairs (all normal scale), I drew my own plans both on paper and on the computer, and I stood staring at the hardware store’s lumber aisle envisioning how the different sizes of boards would work together.  No chairs were built from mashed potatoes, but only for a lack of that dish being on the menu.

I would have to build this chair, and Mother’s Day gave me a perfect excuse.

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Railroad Crossing

My two year old son loves, and I mean L-O-V-E-S trains and all things train-related.  What could I give him for Christmas that was a little more special than another Thomas the Tank Engine?  After a drive down to the train station with him to watch some freights go by, it hitme — a railroad crossing sign to hang on his wall!

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