Monday, September 19, 2016

Another Fun Military Trophy Project!

This is all we had to work with - a faded photograph of an wooden trophy,  possibly from the 1950s, with a military medal held inside it. The photo was old and wrinkled, but the message was clear - make another one of these!

The fellow who brought it to me had tried to make one, but he lacked the equipment to duplicate it.

And the daughter of the now deceased man in the photo wouldn't lend the medal out. She was terrified of it being lost. So she'd had a small disk of plastic made, to use for sizing. 

Luckily, Denny's Legacy CNC was able to cut the top wheel, and engrave the soldier's name into it. 

But that was just the start - the base had to be made, and several details needed to be solved. The base was about 3" tall, and the daughter wanted the new medal holder to be pretty close to the actual size of the old one. So we found a piece of 12/4 African Mahogany - almost unheard of in the part of the desert! 

That's 3" thick!

It's best to round it out the blank before starting to turn it....

Of course - I forgot to take a pic of it when it was done. 

To make the connection between the base and the top, I needed a pin on which the top could swivel. As much scrap metal as I have in the shop, I couldn't find anything to use, so I ended cutting the head off of a 1/4" bolt. 

Call me MacGyver!

And - BAM! we have the body of the trophy pretty much finished. 

I added a little milk paint to the lettering, to make it pop, and some stain to bring out the rich color of the mahogany. 

And finally, we needed to figure out a way to mount the medal. I had some of these glass retainer clips, and I hammered two of them flat, and mounted them from behind.  The little retainer bolt was too long, so I cut it shorter; it worked perfectly!

And finally - another completed project and a very happy customer!

Thursday, September 01, 2016

Doing the woodshop shuffle...

As my friend Julie up in Canada says - I get the coolest projects!  Like this motorcycle seat I'm working on, 

or this petrified wood table that is on the bench right now. 

(More about that later....) 

I've just wrapped up teaching the busiest session I've ever had - with great students who were filled with creativity. It's pretty awesome to give someone a one-on-one lesson on the tablesaw and watch their confidence explode. 

For me - that's what teaching is all about. 

But in addition to all of that, I've had some ridiculously fun projects come across the bench - like this sword that a local metalsmith made for his wife. 

He wandered in, in need of a better handle than the one he made. 

The tang of the sword was beefy and tapered, 

so I laminated a blank of wood that fit the tang perfectly. After turning it, I drilled a few holes, to pin the two pieces together. 

The swordsman eventually used some threaded rod for the pin, and alas... this project was in-and-out of my shop in a matter of days. Sometimes things happen so quickly - I don't have a chance to see the finished product.

But... wait'll you see what Denny and I did recently - when someone came in with this old faded picture from the Korean war...

Stay tuned!