52 Create – The Wrap up

I started on 52 Create last January as an attempt to make something each week for the entire year.  There weren’t many guidelines, and it was mainly meant as a way to get me to find time to make stuff (which I love doing). Along the way we sold our house, packed up my tools, moved across the country, then across the world, so needless to say there was a bump or two in the road.  For the first half of 2011 there was a full woodshop stocked with tools and lumber, while the second half I had a leatherman and cardboard (or whatever else might my neighbours might be tossing in the garbage).  This led to some less ambitious designs, and even some slim weeks where nothing got made at all.  Did I achieve my goal? Read on…

Obviously goal #1 was to create 52 things.  I made 33 things during the initial 52 create weekly phase, then I made a further 24 things as part of my daughter’s Craftvent Calendar, so 57 total, check!  Did I make more time for myself to make things… yes undoubtedly, and even better is that I made time while without tools or materials.

So what were the popular posts?  Top item I made (in terms of page clicks) was the VW Camper Van Toy box.  Number Two was the flat pack rocking chair, and following in third was the Wooden push Bike, although the hockey stick cutting board has been making a surge over the last few weeks.

What’s in store for this year? Well knowing there is no new workshop in sight, I won’t have any ambitious plans, but I do have some projects to be posted over the next few weeks as well as a Day Planner I’ll be selling on Blurb with some of my photos from our Parisian adventures, so stay tuned!

The Russians are Coming!

Lately, my Flat pack rocking chair has been getting a whole lot of love from a Russian woodworking site.  From what I can tell it’s a forum post on flat pack furniture that people are adding to daily (over 18 pages last I checked).  What are they saying about my chair? Who knows I don’t speak Russian, and Google translate isn’t much help either.  I’m hoping it’s something along the lines of “Wow, what an amazing chair, I want to buy 10,000 copies and I’ll pay $500 each, let me just go to the bank and fill an enormous brief case full of money so I can send it to this incredible man to make me these chairs”.  Yeah, that’s probably what they’re saying…

Playgoda – If you really loved your children, you would buy them one…

 

How awesome is this climbing frame?  All flat pack birch plywood, put together without screws or glue.  If you really loved your kids, you would buy them one… or you’d head out to the workshop and make a custom version for them…

 

Check out more of Gregg Fleishman’s creations (especially the furniture!)

 

 

 

52 Create – Flat Pack Stool

52 Create – my weekly creative project for 2011.  Last week I brought you the wildly popular Flat Pack Rocking Chair, which is up on my Etsy store, and getting huge traffic (don’t worry I will put up more chairs as they sell).  So this week I thought I would continue on the flat pack idea and make a small stool for a toddler (ie. my daughter).  Anyone with kids in the 12+ month range knows how much they love to sit on things, so why not make a little piece of furniture her size?

The stool is made out of 1/2″ baltic birch, I was going to use 3/4″ but at the last second opted for the thinner stock.  I’m quite glad I did as it is still plenty strong enough (I can stand on it) and it keeps it nice and lightweight (my 18 month old daughter can lift it easily).  It’s 8″ x8″ x 8″ and is just perfect for your average 18 month + child.  I really like the design and may enlarge it to make some end-tables for our living room (I’d use 3/4″ and likely 16″ pieces).  The entire stool collapses into a pile of wood 1/5″x8″x8″ so very easy to ship and even easier to put together (no glue, nails, screws, or tools required).

 

I want to tweak a few design aspects on this one before I list it on Etsy, but I think it will be a hot seller just like the Flat Pack Rocker!  I’ve got a couple of commissions coming up so the next few projects may be a bit scaled back compared to the last couple of weeks, come back next week to see what’s coming out!

 

My other 52 Create Projects

My Etsy Store

52 Create – Flat Pack Rocking Chair

52 Create, my weekly creative output for 2011.  I guaranteed something more ambitious this week, and here it is!  I call it “For those who Like to Rock”.  It’s a flat pack rocking chair made out of baltic birch plywood.  It’s sized for a toddler (1.5-4 years) and assembles without and glue or screws.  I’ve had several different variations of this in my many sketchbooks, and I even made a prototype a few years back, however this is a full finished product.

 

This rocking chair is now for sale on my Etsy Site, feel free to stop by and make a purchase….

 

My other 52 create projects…

DIY CNC machine? Build it yourself!

A CNC machine is basically a router  that moves in all three axes over top of a material to carve out the shape that you desire.  The router is controlled by a computer so that very precise and consistent cuts can be made.  I have wanted a CNC machine for about 10 years now, so what’s stopping me? Well they cost about $10,000. So until I have a lucrative furniture design business, this isn’t likely going to happen.

Unto this Last makes all of their creations using a large format CNC machine. The materials are plywood or other sheet goods and the computer optimally cuts out all the pieces.  This is a key element to their products as they can arrange the cuts so as to not waste any material whatsoever.

In the last issue of Make magazine, they had an article about DIY CNC machines. These very precise instruments were something that I had never dreamed were possible to be made at home, however the author assured the readers that they are not only possible to make, but fairly simple in their construction. I was absolutely hooked, I read the article about 10 times…

My next step was to visit their website where they had vast tutorials and how to’s involving DIY CNC machines.  The site is being constantly updated and has tons of helpful stuff on it.  It’s nice to see feedback from other DIYers saying what works/doesn’t work on their machines and simple work arounds.

Finally I couldn’t help myself, I went online and bought their newly written book Build Your Own CNC Machine.  I’ve read it all the way through already!  The book is well laid out with easy to follow instructions as well as helpful suggestions on where to buy some of the more hard to find parts (motors, etc.).  The design in the book is for a 2’x4′ machine, however the website shows bigger versions as large as 4’x8′.

So what’s my next step? Well, I obviously can’t get started on this till after our Parisian excursion, but I’m planning on building this in the fall. I’ve already set aside some money for the electronics, while I have most of the wood already laying around the garage.  I’d like to see if I can upscale the design to build it for a 5’x5′ sheet so that I could use sheets of baltic birch.

Over the summer I plan to do some reading and playing with CAD programs as well as work on some designs to test out the new machine once it’s built.