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Sliding Barn Door Picture Frame

June 13, 2016 by Feddie

I recently finished the picture frame project.  It is made from reclaimed barn wood.  This happens to be the coveted wormy chestnut.  I built the sliding hardware from scratch.  I think it turned out great.

I have created an “as-built” Sketchup file if you would like to try this yourself.  You can get the file here: http://www.redneckdiy.com/downloads/sliding-barn-door-picture-frame/

The build video will be posted on YouTube soon.  Stay tuned……

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Harley Davidson Glow Sign

July 17, 2015 by Feddie

I have seen a few projects lately that involved the use of glow powder and epoxy.  The projects I have seen have been tables that had recesses and blemishes filled with the glow epoxy.  I wanted to give it a try but wanted to do something a little different.  I have never seen this technique used on a sign so I made this Harley Davidson sign for a good friend of mine.

It took me three attempts to get this thing right.  I train wrecked the first two signs.  The problem was out of control epoxy bubbles.  It took me some time to figure out what the problem was but with a little help from my buddy Andy over at Boatworks Today, I figured out that the wood was “gassing off” and leaching air from the wood fibers.  The epoxy gives off heat as it sets up.  The heat causes the wood fibers to start “exhaling” air.  The problem was further complicated because I kept trying to use a heat gun or a blow torch to pop the bubbles, thus forcing even more heat into the wood.  It became a viscous circle that let to epic fails.  On the third attempt I got it right and here’s how I did it……

The first thing I did was cut the sign on my CNC machine.  After that I applied General Finishes Van Dyke Brown glaze.  That gave it a nice rustic look.

DSC_1512 DSC_1524

To solve the problem of gassing off, Andy told me to first seal the wood.  I thought applying a few coats of poly would do the trick but it did not.  I wrecked project number two.  Then Andy told me to seal it with epoxy.  I got some of the West Systems two part epoxy and painted it on the entire sign with a foam brush.  The next day I sanded it and put another coat of epoxy on the sign and sanded it again the next day.  Two coats of sealer worked pretty good but three would have probably been better.

Then I mixed up eight ounces of Envirotex Lite with one ounce of Ultra Blue glow powder by Glow Inc.  I filled a 200 ml squeeze bottle with the epoxy mixture and carefully began applying it to the engraving recesses.  Once bubbles began to form I did not reach for a heat gun or a blow torch.  Rather, I grabbed a straw.  The carbon dioxide in your lungs will pop the bubbles if you gently blow on them and it will not add significant heat to the wood.  I carefully and gently blew on the bubbles as they formed over the next several minutes.  That alone took care of the bubbles.

Harley Davidson Glow Sign Harley Davidson Glow Sign 2

 

HD Glow Sign Thumb

I let the epoxy set up and cure for two days and then applied several coats of General Finishes Polyacrylic.  After a seven day build I ended up with a very cool, unique, and one of a kind Harley Davidson sign.  I sent it to my buddy as a surprise and it was a big hit.  I have a build video below that you ought to take a look at and the materials I used for this project are also listed below.  Lemme know if you would like one of these signs.  Or if you want to try it yourself then I’d be glad to cut you a blank and let you take it from there.  Good luck!

 



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Build a Better Circle Cutting Jig

April 3, 2015 by Feddie

A while back I built a jig that would allow you to cut a circle with your router.  That first generation jig was very basic and somewhat rudimentary in its design.  It wasn’t very versatile either since it would only cut circles in quarter in increments.  It was also somewhat complicated and time consuming to build.

 

Circle Jig Circle Jig Cutout

Based on the popularity of the video I created of that project and the feedback I have received over the last few months, I decided to improve that original design to make a better jig that was more functional and easier to build.  I drew the design up in CAD and Sketchup so I could create a template that could be used as a stencil to cut out the key components of the jig.

Circle Jig - Dewalt DWP611-2

The template I drew up was for a DeWalt DWPXXX trim router.  I also made on for a Bosch Colt.  While these hole patterns are specific, you could use my template with success for about any router.  You’d just have to use a simple method (described in my video) to locate your own hole pattern.

I started with a board that was 24” long by 7 1/4 wide and planed it down to 3/8” thick.  Once I printed the template, I used a light coat of spray adhesive to secure the template to the blank board.  The template allowed me to locate the critical center points in the areas that required drilling and milling.  I used a punch to mark those areas for later.

I milled out a slot with a quarter inch uncut spiral router bit all the way through the blank running the majority of the length of the body.  I followed that up by milling a pocket about 1/8” deep with a 1/2” straight cut router bit on the surface of the slot.  Then I drilled a 1 1/2” hole where the router is mounted for the router bit to lower through.  After that, I located my mounting holes and bored a 1/2” pocket with a forester bit and follow that up by drilling a 1/4” though the center of that pocket.  The jig is now ready for mounting the router.

Circle Jig Blank Cirlcle Jig Holes

This jig works on the concept of a pivot pin that runs along the slot in the body of the jig.  This allows the jig to be adjusted to any increment and any size circle within its capacity.  The pivot pin was made by starting with a piece of 1/4-20 threaded rod and turning down one end of the rod to 1/8” on a lathe.  The pivot pin is then threaded into a sliding t-nut, sent through the slot in the jig, and secured on top with a knob.

IMG_3202 Pivot Pin 1

 

Pivot Pin 2I also developed a alternative pivot pin assembly by using a sliding t-nut and a piece of 1/8” brass rod.  This method can be made without the use of a lathe.

The design turned out great and is very functional.  I tested both pivot pin assemblies and they each work without issues.  You might want to watch by build videos of this project to see a step by step tutorial on how to build this jig.  They are on this page below and also on my YouTube channel.  I have also listed the tools and materials I used in this project below.

If you would like to build this jig yourself the follow the link below to download my CAD and Sketchup template.  If you want me to build one for you or if you would like to buy the hardware kit (pivot pin assembly) then follow that same link to my RedneckDIY store.  Good luck!

 

Follow this link to download the template or buy the components.

 



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VIDEO SERIES COMING SOON!!!

Fireplace Surround

January 26, 2015 by Feddie

 

My brother is planning a major renovation of his shop/mancave and he needed something for the project to revolve around.  I was hanging out with him over Christmas drinking about some things when I noticed his gas logs insert sitting in the floor.  Just the firebox and logs.  That’s when the idea came to me to build a fireplace surround.  I have a lot of reclaimed barn wood from a barn that used to be on my property.  I saved most all of it when I tore it down.  I decided that would be the perfect use for some of it.

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I snuck and took some measurements that night and the next day I started building the frame.  I built the frame using 2X4′s and pocket holes/screws.  Once the frame was built I skinned it in 1/8″ plywood.

Framing Skin

At that point I started working with the old barn wood.  I first had to joint one edge before I could rip the trim pieces.  Then I planed those pieces down to 3/4″.  I used those pieces to frame out the entire top of the surround.

Jointing Ripping

Then I has to plane down planks of various widths to 1/2″.  The old oak was rough on the planer blades.  I spent more time planing than building!  I filled in the frame with planks with no particular logic or order.  I placed quarters between each plank to give it a bit of a gap.

Planing Planks

The fireplace needed a cool mantle so I built one to look like an old rustic weathered beam.  I used “off the shelf” whitewood.  I called it ole trash board because it’s not good for much except maybe a trim board on a house.  But!  It’s rough appearance combined with its ability to take dark stain worked to my advantage and helped me make something that turned out even better than I envisioned.  I also used the CNC to make a sign for the mantle.  It set everything off and enhanced the “man cave” feel.

Mantle Mantle3

Once all that was done we took it over to his house to finish it up.  We got everything set up, put the firebox in it, hung a flat screen, and stoned the bottom of the surround.  The stone we used was called Air Stone and it came from Lowes.  It glues on and was much easier than having to lathe the frame and mortar the stones in place.  It is also much lighter than most cultured stone.

StoneDSC_1276

We had it all ready for his New Years Eve party and was a hit.  Everyone really liked it.  Now we have to finish the rest of the renovation.  That’s gonna be the real work.  I made a video of the build and posted it below.  Take a look at it.  I have also listed some of the tools used in this project below.  Thanks for reading my post!



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Fine Woodworking Miter Saw Station

September 5, 2014 by Feddie

 

The one tool in my shop that I use by far more than anything else is my miter saw.  For the last four years I have had my miter saw set up on a contractor type stand.  It’s a really nice stand but it’s more suited for a job site scenario than it is for a woodworking shop.  A few years ago I picked up a copy of Fine Woodworking Issue Number 209.  In that issue they had a really cool modular type miter saw stand.  I’ve been wanting to build this thing for a while but just never found the time. Finally, with the arrival of my CNC machine imminent, I realized I had to make the time to build it so I could free up some space.

Folded 2I like having the ability to fold the table up and shuttle the cart around to wherever I need it.  I incorporated the Kreg fence/stop system on my table.  I am a big Kreg fan and really like almost all of their products.  I am really excited to have the Kreg stops.  I use stops all of the time in my projects, but until now, a stop to me has been a block of wood and a clamp.  The Kreg stops will allow me to have much more precision and confidence in the knowing I am cutting identical and repeatable parts.

The entire project can be built with two sheets of 4X8 3/4″ plywood.  I used a cabinet grade maple plywood for mine so it would look a little more polished and nice.  The plans called for assembly with drywall and wood screws.  I prefer using pocket screws because I think they make a better and stronger assembly, so I broke out the Kreg Jig and went to town.

 

Fully Extended FenceIn my research leading up to the project I found a couple of guys who are smarter than me who had taken the time to write the project up and post it on their own blogs.  I am not going to re-invent the wheel here because they have documented the project in words and pictures much better than I could.  Rather, I am going to send you to their website for that (links below).  The one guy, Jeff Branch, made a Sketchup drawing of the project.  He did a bang up job!  You could build this project from his Sketchup drawing and using my video (below) as a companion.  You won’t even need the Fine Woodworking plans!  I’ll put the Sketchup download link below also.

 

StopsThis was a fun project and I am very pleased with how it turned out.  It’s not the kind of project you can build in a day.  It’s definitely an entire weekend project.  I’ve put Amazon product links below to the various components I used so take a look at those.  If you take a notion to build this then look at my video series too.  And be sure to lemme know how yours turns out.  I’d love to see a picture of your finished project.  Good luck!



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LINKS TO ADDITIONAL RESOURCES AND SKETCHUP MODEL:

https://jeffbranch.wordpress.com/2013/06/23/miter-saw-stand-getting-started-2/

http://www.woodworkerswebsite.com/Miterstand.html

https://3dwarehouse.sketchup.com/model.html?redirect=1&mid=d6c623ec3ab249f2912bf37629776903

 

Build a Drill Press Table

July 23, 2014 by Feddie

 

Since buying my Jet 17″ drill press about a year ago I have been wanting to build a table to go on it.  It’s been hard to make the time to dedicate to this project.  Many of my projects involve repetitive drilling of the same thing over and over again.  And now that I am producing a fair number of stair jigs every month, anything I can do to save a few seconds on each piece has become important.

Drill Press Table FrontI wanted a decent sized table/platform to work off of but not something ridiculous in size like some of the drill press tables I have seen in the past.  I want this table to remain mounted most of the time so I wanted a reasonable profile and footprint of my drill press that is not out of control.

Drill Press Table Iso

I took a little bit of time on the front end to draw my concept in Sketchup.  I’ll have a link below where you Drill Press Table Backcan download that file and a materials list.

The overall dimensions of the table is 25.5″ wide X 19″ deep.  I wanted the table surface to be flat, stable, and smooth, so I used 3/4″ cabinet grade plywood.  There are two pieces of this glued up and laminated together to give an overall thickness of 1.5″.  I edge banded it with a 1X2 pine to give it a classy fit and finish.

I used Kreg Mini Track on the bottom surface of the table as a means to mount the table to the drill press and also on the top for channels the fence could ride in.

 

Drill Press Table Stop

 

 

 

In order to accomplish my needs with this table, I needed it to have a fence that was adjustable and a way of setting up a production stop.  The fence is made from two strips of plywood that are 2.5 inches tall by 24 inches wide.  They are joined together with glue and pocket screws.  The fence also incorporates a section of Kreg Top Track so accessories like the Kreg Production Stop can be used.

I could write a lot more about how to build this table but it might just be easier to show you.  Scroll on down to the bottom of this post and you will find a two part video series on exactly how I went about doing it.  Better yet, visit my YouTube channel and watch all kinds of interesting videos.  There’s also links immediately below to the exact Kreg items I used to build this cool drill press table.  Good luck!

Get the materials list and Sketchup model here:



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CNC Router Table (or a really bad ass workbench)

July 9, 2014 by Feddie

 

Download the Sketchup model here.

When I ordered the CNC Router, I wanted to get the most machine that I could afford.  I ended up going with the Cadillac of the CNC Router Parts lineup, the PRO 4896 with V-Con linear motion parts and NEMA 34 motors. It’s a big machine!  One of the areas I had to sacrifice in order to get all this machine was the table.  They sell a pretty nice looking metal table but it’s pretty expensive.  I just did not have the money to buy that too, so I decided to build my own out of wood.  I think it will serve the purpose until I can have one fabricated locally.

Table Iso
Table FrontOne of the things I have read about regards the importance of a stable and stout table that will not move.  Apparently, that can affect the accuracy of your cuts.  I like the design of my table.  It’s heavy, beefy, and it doesn’t seem to move when I shake it or beat on it.  Time will tell.  I can’t take credit for the design.  I came across some project photos on the Kreg Owners Community by a guy named Dennis Megarry.  He built a table for his CNC machine.  I don’t know if he has a CNC Router Parts machine or not.  He never says, but I like the design so I set out to build it.  So thanks Dennis, wherever you are!

Table TopTable Side

 

Dennis did not provide dimensions or a bill of materials so I laid it out to suit my needs and drew it up in Sketchup.  Cory at CNC Router Parts told me to build it 49″ wide and at least 124″ long.  It’s 34″ tall.  I wanted to build it out of laminated lumber because that stuff is dead straight and stable but I don’t have a source for it here.  Instead I  used the straightest 2X4 premium lumber I could find at Lowes.  All of the joints are connected via glue, pocket screw joinery, and lag bolts.

I wanted to have a way to move and maneuver the table to I bought four trailer jacks and put them on the table so I could raise and lower it to move it around.  I actually works pretty good.  Yeah, that was an expensive addition but if you think of the cost of putting big heavy industrial casters on all of the legs then it’s a comparable cost.  Here’s how it turned out.

CNC Table Iso 1CNC Table FrontCNC Table TopCNC Table Jack

CNC Table Front Raised

Time will tell if I have a good table or not.  I guess I will know after I start making cuts with the machine.  For now I am satisfied.  And whether or not you are going to set a CNC machine on this table, it would make a really great design for a work bench or assembly table.  If you would like have the Sketchup model of the table to get all the important dimensions and layout then click here: CNC Table

Here’s the materials required:

2X4X8 – (30)

2X4X12 – (4)

Pocket Screws – (6)   Kreg 2 1/2″ Course thread.  Lowes item number:  71600

Lag Bolts 2 7/8″ – (1)  Lowes item number:  201402

Lag Bolts 4 1/2″ – (1)  Lowes item number:  206145

Decking Screws 2 1/2″ – (2)  Lowes item number:  17365

Trailer Jack – (4)   Northern Tool item number:  148824

Wood Glue – (1)

 

 

CNC Sellout???

July 9, 2014 by Feddie

I made the plunge.  I ordered a CNC router.  It’s not here yet so I’ll keep you updated.  I’ve looked at these things for years.  Back in 2006 when they first hit my radar I wanted one to play with.  A big boy toy to make RC airplane parts with and maybe a cutting board for mom on Mother’s Day.  With the improvement in machine technology, linear motion components, stepper motors, software, and electronics, the potential for a mid-line machine for ordinary folks like me (working out of a small basement shop) has moved from simple play thing projects to building cabinets, furniture, signs, and art!  Now I see more potential to use it to make a little money with too.  I have some ideas!

Now I’m not going to pretend to be an expert.  I think if I were classified as a “CNC newbie” that would be generous.  I have a steep learning curve to climb.  Getting into a CNC machine is not for the faint of heart.  Aside from the cost, there’s software to learn (yes, the software is expensive too!), tooling to learn and understand, concepts of feeds and speeds to grasp, electrical and mechanical engineering, linear motion disciplines to learn, and on and on.  Did I mention the expense?!!!

I ultimately decided on a semi-DIY machine from CNC Router Parts.  I say semi-DIY because their kits come in a ready to assemble type format.  I have to “build” it, but I don’t have to fabricate it.  They also have a plug and play electronics kit.  I am weak in my knowledge of electronics so that option is what I chose.

I went the semi-DIY route for a couple of reasons.  First, I could not justify or afford the expense of a Shopbot or a Laguna “ready to run” machine.  Honestly, I was at my upper end of “justification” with the machine I ordered.  No regrets, but I really pushed the envelope of what I can afford.  Second, CNC Router Parts has a great reputation in the DIY CNC community.  It seems to me to be well earned because I’ve had great response and attention from them so far through the process.  Finally, I want to “build” this machine so I can gain an understanding of all of its components and the areas of technology that are foreign to me.

PRO4896-14-1I wanted to get the most machine that I could afford and I ended up going with their Cadillac, the PRO 4896 with V-Con linear motion parts and NEMA 34 motors. It’s a big machine!  But I will be able to cut cabinet boxes for my buddy’s cabinet shop and make a few bucks on the side that way.  One of the things that cracks me up when I read these CNC forums is all the, what I call, “CNC Technophiles” who spend endless hours dialing in every setting so their machine will cut to ridiculous accuracy.  I am not criticizing them.  I’m really not.  God bless them, but I don’t have the knowledge or the patience to do that.  I want to make stuff as soon as possible!

And with that, I have reached the moral dilemma.  Don’t worry, it’s just another one of many in my life.  I’ve gotten used to handling them over the years.  Ha!  Seriously, is a CNC machine for a woodworker the ultimate sellout of a craftsman?  I don’t think so.  No more than the router and table was to the craftsman of 100 years ago.  It’s just another tool in the toolbox as I see it.  Furthermore, I have never been what I would consider a “fine woodworker”.  The things I make do not require super meticulous attention to detail and old school joinery.  There again, patience is the issue for me.  I think learning and retaining those skills is important.  You ought to know how to set up your saw for a dado or cut a dovetail or do a mortise and tenon.  But the truth is, technology is making those skills less and less relevant, just as a power planer made the hand planer an artifact.  I’m probably pissing off some folks here.  Sorry.

This machine will not be the end all one stop tool in the shop.  I realize that, but I do recognize that it will allow me to cut some interesting profiles with much more accuracy that I could ever get with a bandsaw.  I’ll be able to save time on large repetitive cuts and dados.  And I’ll be able to make the mundane time consuming tasks/cuts just a little more interesting.

So, CNC sellout?  I don’t think so.  BTW, most furniture and cabinet manufacturers are using them these days……

 

 

Willys Jeep Grill Wall Art

June 20, 2014 by Feddie

I have been wanting to do a fun project for a while.  Unfortunately, I never seem to pic something easy to do for fun.  And these “fun” project always seem to grow in scope and complexity.  That’s okay though.  It keeps my skills honed and forces me to learn new techniques.

So I was cruising around the internet one night and I came across a picture of an old WWII era Willys jeep.  Willys_Jeep_1943I remember when I was a kid I had an uncle who had one and I thought it was the coolest thing ever.  In fact, it’s how I learned to drive a stick.  It made my creative juices start to flow.  Could I build the grill out of wood?  Now that would make a pretty cool footboard for a bed, or the front of a small bar, or the ultimate piece of wall art for a man cave, office or rec room.  My brother Da-Da has  a birthday coming up and this would look pretty cool hanging in his shop with all his biker trash paraphernalia.  So with that I set out to build this thing as realistic as possible with the limitations of working with wood.

Jeep Grill 3D As Built

I started by drawing the front end using Sketchup.  I actually downloaded a model that was already drawn but I wasn’t crazy about it so I used that as a guide to draw my own model.  I could not locate an actual engineering drawing so I had to kind of piece together the dimensions from various sources.  I believe I ended up with a fairly accurate dimensional representation of the actual grill.

Once I had the Sketchup drawing to my satisfaction I printed out scale templates of the complex parts (the sides where the lights go and the top/bottom pieces of the grill).  I used these paper templates to create wood templates.  Then I used the wood template on my router table and a flush cut trim bit (with a bearing) to make perfect copies of the wood templates. There’s a link below to the exact bit I used.

I used my homemade circle cutting jig to cut the holes for the headlights and a hole saw and drill press for the running light holes.  The headlights work and the way I did that is pretty slick.  I used a recessed shower light housing, cut a lens out of acrylic, and “fogged” it with 220 sandpaper.  I also cut retaining rings with my circle cutting jig.  I used night light bulbs and they put out the perfect amount of light.  It all plugs up to a regular house outlet.  The running lights are 2 1/2 inch utility trailer lights wired up to a 9 volt battery with an on/off switch.

Jeep Grill 3I approached the assembly like a face farm with rails and stiles.  Using that approach allowed me to use pocket hole joinery to assemble the components.  Once it was all together, I hit it with a a few coats of OD Green paint with the Fuji Mini Mite HVLP sprayer and several coats of General Finishes satin polyacrylic.  I also stenciled some lettering on the bumper using a military font.  Classic 4077th MASH!  I had never used a stencil before.  It turned ok but I need to improve my technique a little.  I got a lot of overspray and scatter.  I’ll keep practicing on that.  The last step was to staple some screen behind the grill to black it out and make it appear that there’s a radiator behind it.

 

 

 

Jeep Grill 2 Jeep Grill 1

I’m really pleased with how it all turned out.  I’d be writing all night trying to tell you how to do it so why don’t you just take a look at my YouTube videos on how I did it.  It’s a little more comprehensive than I could ever write here.  If you would like to try this yourself then I have the Sketchup drawings and parts list available for download.  Yeah, I’m charging a little bit for it.  Five bucks is all.  Come on, it helps with the cost of these projects and keeps me motivated to keep on making cool stuff and great Redneck DIY videos.  Good luck!

Here’s the download link:  Willys Jeep Grill Materials

PS.  If you would like to have one but don’t have the time or tools to do it yourself, then shoot me an email and lemme know.  I’ll make you one…….



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Circle Cutting Jig for a Router

June 19, 2014 by Feddie

It’s not often that I need to cut circles larger than what I can accomplish with a hole saw, but every once in a while I have a project that calls for it.  Sure, a jig saw or a band saw will work, but if you are like me, it’s a challenge to cut a perfect circle.  That’s where a simple jig for your router comes into play.

To cut a circle with a router you basically need to have a leg to mount your router to with a means to anchor the assembly to a fixed center point.  This creates two points of a radius.  When the jig is rotated around the center point then a perfect circle is created.

I started with a piece of 1/4 inch acrylic and ripped it to the width of my router on the table saw.  I think it is about 18 inches long.  That’s too long.  About 12 inches would be ideal.  Then I made it mount up to my router.  I used a forstner bit to recess holes for the mounting screws so the jig would lay flat on the material I would be cutting.  Then I used a hole saw to cut a large hole for the router bit to go through.

Circle Jig Router Mounting HolesCircle Jig Router Mount 2

Circle Jig Pin HolesThen I marked the center line of the jig and router.  I mounted the router to the jig and put a 1/4 inch straight cut bit into the chuck.  I selected this size because that is the size bit I will routinely use to cut holes with this jig.  It’s kind of important to make a decision on the size bit because that will affect the next step, measuring for the radius anchor points.

To do this you need to carefully measure from the outside cutting edge to the centerline on the jig.  For example, measure back 2 inches and make a mark.  That mark represents a 2 inch radius, thus it will cut a 4 inch hole.  I made several of these measurements in 1/4″ increments so I can cut holes in 1/2 inch increments.  I took the jig to the drill press and drilled 1/8 inch holes through the jig.  If there’s ever a need to cut a hole on a 1/4 inch or other increment I can simply drill the corresponding hole for it.  This hole will have an 1/8 inch pin that will go through it and into the material being cut to anchor the jig in place.

The jig turned out great and it works really good.  In fact, I used it on the Willys Jeep Grill project and it made all the difference in the world.  Sure, you can buy these things and they are a little more polished and slick, but for a fraction of the cost you can build one of these fine redneck engineered circle cutting jigs.  For a more detailed explanation and step by step instructions on how to build one then take a look at my Circle Cutting Jig Video.  Rock on…..

Circle Cutting Jig

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