Archive for the ‘Carpentry’ Category

We thought we’d take some better photos (ie not with our phone) of our new tile now that it’s grouted, cleaned and sealed.

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My dream CNC DIY project just got a whole lot more real.

I’ve been dreaming of doing a 3 axis DIY CNC build like many of the ones on instructables.com, but holy crap this will be so much more precise.

But that’s all its been is a dream in the back of my head for something that would really cool and handy to have. It can be used for cutting templates, dies for an extruder,  carving plaster molds, and so much more, all super precise and repeatable.

It was recovered from the trash before heading to a landfill by my brother in-law Steve.  It just needs a stepper controller ($80 ebay) and a milling machine ($30 harbor freight).

It’s just a few projects behind the kiln it’s sitting on.

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We’re putting a polished concrete window sill in the bathroom we just finished making tile for.  There’s only room for a 1 inch thick slab so we had to put a extra 2 inches of reveal on the front so the sill will look 3 inches thick.  We also gave it a gentile curve to the face.

Angi mixing the concrete.

Concrete in the mold before the first screed.

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Time Flies

The beginning of October marks the one year anniversary of our venture into wheel thrown pottery.
It seems like longer ago that I built this to get us started.

It’s been a fun ride so far.

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Quick and easy plunger style tile cutter. I saw this design in a book called Handmade Tiles by Frank Giorgini. It’s made from a scrap of 3/4″ plywood, galvanized sheet metal, masonite, dowel rods and a paint stirring stick.
We wanted 6″ square tiles so I cut the plywood to 6-3/8″ to allow for shrinkage. Then I cut a strip of sheet metal 1-3/4 x 26″. Line the metal up with one corner and the top edge of the plywood and staple or nail the metal to the plywood. You then bend the metal around the first corner. I had a piece of ply the same size that helped with using a hammer to bend the metal nice and square. Nail the second side and repeat for the third and forth. Then wrap the excess over the first side. Cut a piece of masonite a tiny and I mean a tiny bit smaller than the plywood. If you make it too small you will see an indention in the tile. Drill a couple 1/2″ holes or what ever size match the dowels you intend to use. Hold the masonite up against the plywood and use a pencil to trace the holes onto the masonite. Drill holes in the middle of the markings with a countersinking bit so the drywall screws don’t stick out. The hardest part is drilling holes into both ends of the dowels. You have to do it or they will split. Stick the dowels through the plywood and screw the masonite to the dowels, then attach some sort of handle.

For use we cut a piece of paper 6″ square and laid it on the slab where we wanted to cut and position the cutter over the paper and push down. Lift by the handle and move the cutter to a board and hold the plunger down while lifting the cutter. The paper will assist by not letting the clay stick to the masonite.

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We are making some bevel tiles for a client.  I was not happy with the little jig we had been using to bevel tiles and we had a lot to make so a new tool was in order.

I’ll make another one NOT out of pressure treated wood but this will do for now. The cutter is a head pin for jewelry making.  Just slide it along the tile.

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45° Trim Tool

As a woodworker I hate butt joints, so when I tried making these slab style vases I wanted to use 45° miter joints. After making the tall squarish vase on the left I thought there had to be a better way to cut the joints rather than an xacto knife.   So I came up  with a new tool.

I took a short strip of 1/2″ plywood and used my miter saw to cut a 45° angle on one end.  Then attached a scrap of 3/4″ pine with some 1″ staples at a position that would allow the razor blade to scrape along the top of our work table.  The razor blade is one that is perforated so  you can snap off the tip.  It had a hole already in it.  I had to use the nut and washer as a spacer so the shortest screw I had wouldn’t poke out the other side.

You just place your clay slab on along the edge of the table and slide the tool towards you holding it firmly against the bottom and side of the table.  You can loosen the screw and turn the blade down while not in use.

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