Category Archives: Projects

Bowls!

And not the smoking type! I decided this year that I really wanted to learn something new – turning wood bowls. I found the biggest piece of maple I could find, chopped it in half, planed it then stuck it on the lathe. At first it was horrifying to gouge into a giant mass of spinning wood. Slowly, it became more comfortable, and the wood peeled off in strands. After shaping and sanding the outside, I flipped and did the same for the inside. After taking great care to dry out the wet green wood, the bowls looks great!

Beds for the pebble

Let me describe how to get to the pebble, the off campus house that I am renting for my remaining years at Dartmouth. It is not HARD to get to per say and neither is it far from campus, but the route is pretty entertaining, so here it goes. To get to the pebble, you can get there easiest from the engineering school. From there, you continue down the road, cross the highway and go onto west street. Turn right on the second driveway and go back past their barn. You have now reached the Commando Route. The Commando Route is a legal public passageway, because people have been walking up the trail, which resembles a cliff for years. From there go past the rock, which is not a rock at all, but an off campus house which is full of hiking club people and you will see the pebble next to grandma’s house. As you can guess, juxtaposed with the rock, the pebble is a pretty tiny place.

Since the house has two room and has the potential to be big enough for three people, I decided to design some beds that way. The beds I had in mind were fold away murphy beds, but not just any fold away murphy beds – ones that would bring up a desk when you folded it away. I spent the next two weeks learning a computer design program, Solidworks, well enough to design them and the next two weeks after that building them. The first rush is finally over and once I machine the side pieces and install the counter weights, I will post a final video.

The Ultimate DIY!!

Two years ago in high school started an obsession. I loved stand up paddle boarding (SUPing) and wanted to get into longer distance paddles, but really didn’t want to buy a board per say. I discovered hollow wood SUPs on an online discussion panel and I just about jumped with excitement. THIS was something that I could definitely do. I downloaded all the necessary design tools and got to work making my tourboard. Before long though, I realized that I just didn’t have the space to do such a big project. The project then went on the back burner, but as soon as I saw the shop here at school, I knew that it needed to be rekindled. Finally, here I am with a final project. I took lots of pictures along the way and even made a how to pamphlet for future SUPers! Video to come!

SUP on!

Burly Bowls

Every farmer’s market may look the same and smell the same (kettle corn anyone?), but the individual artisans always have a story to tell. With my parents up for a visit, we decided to see the gallery of one such artisan, a bowl shaper. What made this guy different was the fact that he not only made traditional salad bowls, but he also crafted bowls on the lathe from hardwood with burls. Burls are the knotty part of a tree where it has been attacked, a branch has been removed or at the base.

After meeting the guy at the market, we knew that his shop was going to be an adventure, but we didn’t expect to see a pile of burly hardwood that could burn down a sizable city. As a fellow woodworker, I ogled over his collection of old school lathes, including a junker from the 1800’s, and tried to absorb as much of the process as I could. He takes green (live) wood, fits it to a lathe bit, gives it a rough shape then lets the wood dry slowly in as humid a place as he can find. After a few years of sitting he then reshapes the bowl, since it has warped, and gives the piece a finish.

His finishing process is just as interesting as his junkyard. Instead of coating the pieces, he fills each bowl with the finish, until it runs all the way through. That way when he puts on a coat on the outside of the bowl, he isn’t trapping air and humidity inside and the finish will never wear out. Now that I have seen such beauties, I am chomping at the bit (get it?) to get into the campus shop and give it a whirl (all day!) myself!