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Turned Christmas Tree Tealight Holder – Adventure in the Workshop

Christmas is a great time for making things. So what better reason to introduce my olders daughter to the lathe in this newest Adventure in the Workshop? She makes a Christmas Tree Tealight Holder from walnut. Her patience for sanding is not the best, but as she says, this way you know you made it yourself. Please enjoy and share! And as always, remember to be Inspired!

Animate inanimate Things – Cthulhu-Wand

I know it looks like I made another magic wand, but with good reason. I use it to showcase a very simple technique that you can use to animate things, i.e. make them move. And even better, you do not need microcontrollers, servos or electricity for it – springs and string are all that is required. You can combine that with more high-tech ideas, but it is a good starting point for Halloween costumes and decoration.

Sharing this video would mean the world to me, and I greatly appreciate you supporting me this way. If you are in Instructables, you can check out the ‘ible for this project there, and maybe find answers to questions you did not even have yet (I would appreciate you liking it and following me there, too!). Thanks for watching, and remember to be Inspired!

Tintin Rocket LED Lamp – Fly me to the Moon!

If you ever read the Tintin story “Destination Moon”, chances are that the iconic rocket design with its slender curves and the bright colors stuck in your mind just like it did for me. When it was time to make a LED-based project for a challenge (hosted by HolzwurmTom), I decided to pay homage to this design, the Tintin Rocket. Enjoy the video, read more about the project below, and remember to be Inspired!

Design lessons learned from the Tintin Rocket

The most important thing I learned after finishing this project is that is is not as well suited as a reading light as I had hoped. It now serves more of a mood light function, which is okay, too. But to be a proper reading lamp, the light would have to be either more focused somehow, or more widespread as to cover the whole book.

During the design phase, there actually were a few iterations that would have worked in that respect, although looking back now they would have required a different kind of light source – a small LED “bulb” rather than a strip. If you can manage to wrap it enough – more so than I did in the final project – it might be possibly to use a strip, too.

The idea was to have the tip of the tintin rocket separate from the main body – say, the top 4-5 rings. This part would also house the light, and still be connected to the main body with a cable. You would then be able to lift it up and put it in a position to direct the light somehow.

I think the most promising way to achieve that, and the one I almost chose for this, is to have a triangle of three long dowels extending downwards from the top and a hexagon of holes in the bottom, i.e. two matching, offset triangles. One set of holes would be deep enough to accommodate the whole dowels, while the other would be shallow. In one position the tip would sit flush on the bottom, while the shallow holes would elevate it to spread the light a lot better. If you add to that a way to bend the light to one side you would have a proper reading lamp.



More Things I learned from this Project

The main lesson here is that unless you have inhuman precision and patience, having to get a cove to match a round face should be avoided at all cost. It might work if you have a pipe that stays the same diameter all the way, and a sanding drum of the same diameter (which you could make yourself). On the Tintin Rocket on the other hand, the diameter changes all the time, and the legs need to attach at the right angle, too. Sanding flat faces in these spots is the much easier solution, especially since you can use some kind of jig to keep the faces roughly aligned – even if it is just a piece of tape on the workbench or on a fence.

Also, screws are not always the answer, especially in tight places like the inside of a tube. I might feel good for a second to be actually able to get it in there and tight, but that short moment of gratification is not worth it at all. Not to mention that it makes drilling the holes for the wires much harder.


Need more Inspiration?

Don’t forget to check out my other projects inspired by some kind of media. You can find many cool ideas there, and I am sure they will inspire you to make something of your own – and if you do please let me know!

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

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!

St. Ambrose Figurine for my Beehouse

I made this to go on my beehouse come spring, and it is based on an exhibit at a local museum. As the patron saint of beekeepers, St. Ambrose will probably not improve my beekeeping game, but at least it gave my lathe a chance to run off on me. Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!

Unlock (Almost) any Door – with the Skeleton Key [from Skyrim]

In the vein of many a video game inspired project (which reminds me to upload the “What have I done” on that subject), I give you the Skeleton Key, an item from Skyrim that served as an arcane master key. I have not quite gotten it to work yet, but I believe I am almost there… Watch how I made it and share it if you liked it! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!

Lidded Box featuring a Hidden Feature!

This project started out as me turning a lidded box for this colorful indian spice mix that is supposed to help your digestion. It did help my turning skills, and to help whoever uses it to their helping I added a hidden feature to the central spire. Let me tell you, it has been hard resisting to make this any more clickbaity than it already is. Please share this project, enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!

Lathe Shavings – Gotta Catch Them All! (Fail?)

Dust collection is a big topic in the shop these days, and so it should be. But some tools do not play well with a dust collector, and the lathe is on the top of that list with all those pesky shavings flying this way and that. So I came up with a solution that did not quite live up to my expectations, but even though I stopped using it, I give you – the lathe shroud. Let me know if you find some use for this in your shop! And as always, remember to be Inspired!

The Balance Tree – A wibbly-wobbly Christmas Ornament

I wanted to clock some lathe practice while making a Christmas ornament. The Balance Tree is the result of that paired with my desire to use different wood species to make things look more interesting as well as adding a hopefully unexpected twist to it. Using springs, even though it is winter! Enjoy, and remember to be Inspired!