Be Inspired with Dominic

Find all the inspiring projects you are looking for here, as well as some of the more unexpected things I have made in my shop. And as always, remember to be Inspired!

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Stackable Wooden Shot Glasses – with a Dragon!

Want to turn something useful and stackable, following an easy pattern? Then the wooden shot glasses are just the thing for you (and you can ignore the dragon part, too). Beverage containers on the lathe are not that new, but these are also easy to store because they stack! And in addition to that, they can be customized in different ways and this technique will still work!

Watch the video, and read more about the planning of this and possible finishes!

Garden Obstacle for Kids – Adventure in the Workshop

In this new Adventure in the Workshop, Nina, Sonja and I made a garden obstacle for them to play horse, featuring variable heights, scrap use and a lot of “horsing around”. Please share this if you found it useful, find more information below the video, and remember to be Inspired!

A Note on Tools and Materials

I think the circle cutter is a nice tool to introduce kids to the different ways of cutting holes. At the very least it adds a little novelty to the build, otherwise using tools that are pretty common. If you do not have a circle cutter, though, or do not feel comfortable using them around kids, you can have them cut out the holder pieces on the scroll saw as well. In fact, these pieces do not even need to be round at all. You can get away with a v-shape made from short lengths of slat.

I used a lot of scrap pieces (which I think is most obvious in the way the corner pieces look). The L-shape gives them stability, but you could get the same result using small beams. You could also glue or screw two scraps together to make that L if you want your garden obstacle to be a little more stable.

Lessons learned from the Garden Obstacle

One thing I did not take into account was how the base board would react to living outside, exposed to the elements. It started to cup in such a way that both sets of obstacles started to come together and the whole thing would rock slightly. I could have screwed another board to this one to keep is straight, but I chose to take advantage of the dowel connections and bend the holders out slightly. This way the obstacles are at a distance again and the whole thing can still be used.

Those dowel connection, meant to allow the thing to come apart if a kid hits it the wrong way, do not work very well in practice either. Most likely due to moisture making the dowels swell, in addition to the hole being a really tight fit in the first place. But as it turns out, the kids hardly ever hit the wooden pieces at all, so at least in my experience this feature is unnecessary.

Want more?

Check out the other Adventures in the Workshop for more ideas on what you can make with your kids while teaching them the basics of tool use and making.


Thanks for reading, and as always, remember to be Inspired!

Two Colors – Simple Technique

Having multiple colors in a single project is fun, but what if you need crisp edges between two colors in somthing you carved or routed out? This works for anything from a simple letter up to complex logos, and does not even require much work. Check out this small logo I made, and find out how easy it really is. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!

Improvised Thickness Sander – Quick & Dirty

In a project I was working on (the tintin rocket) I had to flatten some segmented rings. I ended up using the thickness sander method I am showing you here, using a spindle sander or a sanding drum. I hope you find it useful and share it with your friends! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!

Ways to improve your thickness sander further

One major problem with this kind of sanding is that it is easy to push the piece faster than the sanding drum can remove material. Forcing it can cause the sandpaper to overheat and clog up with sawdust, which will in turn make it even harder to remove material – and ruin the sanding sleeve quickly. It can also cause deflection by pushing the axis out of alignment, resulting in skewed pieces.

The best way to avoid both problems is to take it slow. If it requires force to push a piece through, back off. Turn the screw back a notch and try again. Taking 10 light passes will get you better results than 2 heavy ones, and in the end it will not take you that much more time.

And while we are talking sandpaper, here is a neat trick to clean used sandpaper to make it last longer, and it works for any kind of sanding implement as well.


What not to do

You probably noticed already that you should always put in pieces against the rotation of the drum. Otherwise, your thickness sander turns into a workpiece accellerator, which means you either get shot at by your tool or have to play fetch every time you let go of your workpiece.

The same applies if for some reason you get the idea to use your belt sander for this, which is something I would not recommend. Although it is probably possiblbe with the right amount of care and accuracy.

Want more Dirty quick?

Have a look at my other Quick & Dirty projects for more inspiration and simple ideas in the workshop.

Thanks for stopping by, and remember to be Inspired!


Fidget Spinners are EVIL!

Disclaimer: if you are taking this (or fidget spinners in general) too serious, you might need one of those alternative spinners to relax.

I cannot stress how important this video is! Everyone needs to see this, for whatever reason! Spread the word so that everyone knows about this subtle erosion of morale and merit in our society! And remember not to be spinning a fidget spinner!

Why Fidget Spinners are Evil!

Would you rather hop on a treadmil or walk around outside? It is not a perfect example, because it might be pouring outside, or the treadmil could be squealing. Or the treadmil could be standing outside, allowing you to enjoy nature anyway. But I digress.

Would you rather watch a documentary about volcanoes, or hike up the steaming path up to the crater, where the last thing you see is lava coming up at you, and all you can think before you evaporate is “good thing I brought the ring”? Not the perfect example either, but it illustrates a point. Somewhat.

I guess what I am trying to say is that fidget spinners are simply going too fast. Yes, I know, it can be fun. But have you ever held one against the tip of your nose while it is spinning fast? That is the definition if a mildly-uncomfortable-yet-intriguing sensation if ever I saw one, and there is no telling where it might end.

It all boils down to this: if it was easy to proove to you that fidget spinners are evil, then everyone would do it.


The somewhat preferrable Alternative

The spinner I made skips all the devilish traits of those fidget spinners, and gives you a true sense of accomplishment. I encourage you to get into microprocessors and other modern stuff in order to make one that actually tells you how many miles you have walked on it, but believe me, the plain old wooden version does the trick just as well.

Of course you can make this with a little more effort and attention to detail, like sanding or finishing. Just like fidget spinners, you can make this look any way you please, and if you do, you will know that you deserve it. You deserve the satisfaction that this kind of spinner will bring, unlike the empty, hollow feeling that a fidget spinner leaves behind in your very soul.


Want more Weird in your life?

Check out my other weird projects or videos. Some of them are okay, I guess, but you have been warned, though. Actually, chances are that you wanted to see them, which is okay, too.

Thanks for checking by, and as always, remember to be Inspired!


Frustrating Garden Tool Storage

I have had my share of fails so I do not expect a project to work as expected (although my expectations resulting from that are a bit of a conundrum at this point), but even something that does not actually fail can turn out to be very frustrating. I hope you can draw something from this garden tool storage solution, at the very least that it pays to throw yourself at something till you stick. Which is probably not the best analogy out there either. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!


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