Monday, October 27, 2008

Project with the Kids - Nesting Boxes

My two younger daughters, ages 7 and 4, are always interested in working with me in the shop. I thought it might be fun to make a couple of birdhouses with them. After looking around on the internet a little bit to learn what size and style to go with, I settled on a style called nesting boxes. From what I understand, a nesting box is design more for the actual birds needs rather than going with a traditional “house” type design that is typically made.
Click here for one of the websites I used in putting this project together.

Once I got my ideas all together, I started working on cutting the pieces needed to make a couple of nesting boxes. Having quite a bit of that baltic birch ply still available, that is what I used. I also figured the girls would want to paint the nesting boxes when they were done, so I wasn’t overly concerned on the longevity of the ply.

After I had all the pieces cut, I laid out and drilled the nail holes and the bird entrance. Considering that I got the wood for free and already had the nails, I really didn’t want to have to go out and by hinges for this project. I decided that it could be cool, and much more LumberJock like to have a French Cleat system to hold the house to the backing board. Then it was time to introduce the girls!

I had already walked myself through the assembly order, so it went fairly smoothly getting the girls to follow along. We attached the sides to the bottom and the houses side of the French Cleat. Then using the house as a guide, the girls attached the mating cleat to the backing board. The top was added next followed by the front.

The two bird nesting boxes I made with my daughters

A view of the French Cleat system used to access the nesting box for cleaning

The girls both seemed really happy with their houses. Now it’s time to paint and put them in the wild!

Here’s Violet holding her nesting box.

And Lila with her's.

Here are the two girls together.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dungeon Happenings

I know that based on the numbers of posts rolling through this blog lately you would be hard pressed to think anything was happening at all in my little dungeon of a workshop... and you'd actually be wrong!

I actually do have a few projects in the works!

~ I have a couple of pens that I need to get finished. They really should have been done a long time ago, but sadly they kept getting stuck on the backburner.

~ I have another set of Adirondack chairs to do. This set is going to be painted white. They are for one of the girls at work that has already purchased two others. She also wants a couple more foot rests to go with them. The foot rests aren't quite as far along as the chairs though...

~ I have another small table in the works also. Similar in size to the table I made for my daughter, this one is being made with some oak that once was a hand rail in a local college.

~ I also have that dresser from oh so long ago that I would like to make some progress on. In a way, I'm actually glad that project got halted. I've found a few ways to overcome some perceived obstacles in that project that I feel fairly confident in tackling now.

So if I can stay focused and busy, I might actually have some interesting posts coming up soon. It would be nice to end the year with a barrage of completed projects and postings!

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Prototypes - Scallops

I have seen other penmakers use this scallop techinique and thought I would give it a try. To start out I wanted to get an idea of what size I need to use initially to know what to expect when the blank is turned down. So far I like how everything is looking. I want to try incorporating this and a couple other segmenting techniques I used to come up with something a little crazier than I’ve done previously.

I’ve got several long weekends coming up so hopefully I should have some time to play around in the shop.