carpentry

Electric keyboard stand

Just finished a stand for an electric keyboard. It’s made of recycled lumber from a crate, so material cost is less than $10 for some varnish, stain, and sandpaper.

Someone donated a keyboard with a broken stand to the nursing home. My executive director simply asked if I could repair the stand. I couldn’t resist the urge to build a new one.

The vertical post are 4 pieces of lumber glued together with miter joints, the kind that was used in Stickly furniture. The feet of the stand are actually simple boxes. Because of the Stickly design, I am able to threat the wire for the pedals through the hollow post, making the entire thing look a little neater.

As I said, the wood came from a crate. This explains the large number of knots in pine, but it adds character.

This stand was dyed elbony and finished with 5 coats of rubbing varnish. The patients I was working with learned how to make wooden pegs, peg screw holes and trim them flush, sanding, dye the wood and use rub on varnish.

 

 

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Wash Basin

I was inspired to do a wash basin for my toilet for quite some time already. I made the side, a little bit of the top; various parts were lying in my workshop at various degree of completion. The kick in the butt came when my neighbor living on the floor below me complained that my toilet floor was leaking. I needed to hack previous sink for the renovation.I can’t be living without a sink in the toilet, so I had to get my act together to finish this piece of art.

This piece is made of Burmese teak, which I read is used to make boats. The cabinet and doors are frame and panel construction. The joints are glued with titebond 3 and held with screws which are then covered by Ebony square pegs. Ebony square pegs are a hallmark of Green and Greene furniture design. The sink is actually a square box with proud finger joints. The sink sits on a flat top with breadboard end on one side to keep everything flat, Because of the urgency that I needed this piece of furniture, I did not do any cloud lift.  The entire piece is finished with 3 layers of epoxy.

Rocking chair – work in progress

 

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I am an occupational therapist working with patients with mental health problems in a psychiatric nursing home.. One of the main problems that the people I work with face is their poor cognition. Their ability to reason in a coherent manner, short term memory, reasoning ability and the ability to learn new task is affected due to their condition of schizophrenia, low IQ, among other diagnosis.

Their cognitive deficits also affect their psychosocial aspects as well. Because they are achieving much less than others, issues such as self esteem, self concept, self efficacy are also a problem. They may see themselves as being unable to achieve anything except whatever to take whatever handouts that the healthcare providers or volunteers give. They say something is too difficult even before they try because they lack the confidence to even try.

After analyzing these problems, I decided to work with them to build a rocking chair. I thought that building a rocking chair would let them see themselves as achievers. Inspiration for the design was gathered from the Maloof Rocking chair and that of  the Shaker rocking chair. I did not have a clear design on paper to work with. Instead what I did was to make a plywood model of the rocking chair, test it for comfort, before I sketch the curves on the plywood. After one side is done, my friendly router bit did the work of shaping the other side, using the first side as a template.

My patients did the sanding, lots of it. One or two of them help to drive in the screws during assembly. All of them felt that they contributed to the making of the chair in some way and they were all smiles when they sat on the chair and started rocking. One of them was heard exclaiming, “we succeeded, we succeeded!”

While the material cost of the rocking chair is really cheap (S$65), the amount of self esteem it brings to the patients is through the roof. Woodworking is indeed a good activity for patients with mental health issues.

 

Creative marbling machine prototype

There are many marbling machines on the internet. Most of them are table top. Shawn Yeo, who founded VINCO, an educational company that specializes in  creating environments that develop students to be independent learners, leaders and thinkers through tinkering approached me for this project.

Shawn explained the project to me enthusiastically. He wanted a marbling kit which could be attached to a whiteboard via a magnet. A marbling machine allows a marble to go through a set of obstacles, making a little noise in the process. They are also very interesting to watch.

The challenge of this project is the very very thin pieces. There are a lot of parts that are only 3mm thick.

Wave like wooden structure

This wave like structure was interesting to make. The shape was first cut on a scroll saw before being glued together so that the front and back are identical.

Diagram showing 2 grooves routed on a back of a maze like obstacle.

These 2 grooves are where the magnet will sit in.

Maze like structure

Parts were individually cut before gluing it all together with wood glue. Realised that the trick to doing 3mm cuts on a table saw is to cut on the other side, not between the blade and the fence.

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With the circular part only 3mm thick, it was a feat to cut. The trick, use a very slow speed, <500rpm on a drill press. I did spoil quite a number of them before getting it right.

Triangle shaped block with grooves on each side.

The triangle has a drain on each side.
Note the very thin front.

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This was quite interesting to make.I had to drill the hole at exactly the correct spot, then shape the rounded top on the router table.

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End Grain Pop Cake Holder by a Woodworker in Singapore

A friend of mine wanted to make pop cakes for her department year end party. She thus needed a pop cake stand. She searched the web and found a simple stand costing $50. It was a simple block of wood with holes and then spray painted white. She sent me a link and asked if I could replicate it.

“Of course I can, but why would I?” was my instant reply. So I designed a one that I could call my own design, taking inspiration from the end grain cutting board.

The main board was made from the end grains of pine wood. This is frame with a teak border. Lengthwise, the teak border sits in a dovetail groove. This gives it space to expand and contract as wood naturally does. The ends tongue and grooved and held together with spots of glue and panel pins which hold them in place but still give them sufficient space to expand and contract.

So there it is. An end grain pop cake holder. I hope she likes it.
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Balcony Table and Stool Set for Sale in Singapore

One table and two stools

Greene and Greene inspired table and stool set

This beautiful and unique table and stool set was inspired by the cloud lifts of Greene and Greene furniture. This piece is made from solid Burmese Teak which is a strong and lasting wood. It’s nice golden brown adds warmth to any room. The combination of good quality teak with the beauty of G&G cloud lifts  has a special grace that beckons you to sit and have coffee. The legs are inlayed with purpleheart which gives a nice complement to the golden brown teak wood. The joints at the legs are solid mortise and tenon joinery. All surfaces are rounded and hand sanded to 240 grit making the edges inviting to touch.

Dimensions
The table is 710mm high and has a top 595mm in diameter.
The stool is 460mm high and 335mm in diameter.

Price
Table: S$600
Stool: S$400
Entire set: $1400
Please note that this is NOT outdoor furniture. Do NOT use in wet weather.

Stool with nice wood grain

Teak wood, nice grain

Stool with clould lifts

Note the shape of the legs

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Cloud lift

Cloud lift

Cloud lift

Table with view of grain

Like the wood grain of the table top

Table top showing wood grain

Like the wood grain of the table top

Table with legs

Can you see the Purpleheart inlay?

Set of table and stool

Isometric view

Side view

Side view

Table and stool set taken from a lower angle

Photo taken from a lower angle

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Burmese Teak Stool and Table Set. Price: $1400

Burmese Teak Stool and Table Set. Price: $1400

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Table and stool with cloud lift pattern

Note the Greene and Greene inspired cloud lift pattern

Nice balcony table and stool

Will look good in your balcony

top view of table and stool

Top view

Picture of table and stool set taken from a low angle

Front view

One table and two stools

Greene and Greene inspired table and stool set

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Table for Easter Baptismal Font in Singapore

IMG_0515Cloud lift on undersidetable legsUnderside of table Purple heart edgingTable from the front

The above are clearer pictures of the baptismal font that I made in my previous post: Easter Church Furniture. A bowl is placed on top of the table to collect the water.

Plans are underway to improve the table such as a self draining wooden bowl to match the table. Front and side pannels with baptismal related icons (dove coming down onto water) are also in the plans. So stay tune.

It is a table approx 33 inches in height and a diameter of 14 inches. The difference from previous stool design (the prototype) is that the legs are an inch larger than the diameter of the top. The previous design places the legs in the same vertical plane as the top. This design is more stable than the prototype.

I’ve also added cloud lift to the stretchers under the top for visual interest. The bottom stretch was intentionally left flat so that a shelf can be installed in future. The future plan is to add side covering and conceal some form of container to collect the run off water from the self emptying bowl on top.

Easter Church Furniture in Singapore.

Wooden Greene and Greene Table with bowl

Baptismal font. The table was inspired by Greene and Greene. You can’t see it but the top rail has cloud lifts on it. It’s made of Burmese Teak, very good Teak. Inlayed with purpleheart. finished with 5 layers of varnish and a coat of wax

Baptismal font

In this photo, the purpleheart inlay is clearer.

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This is what it’s all about….

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Easter deco, the effort of Holy Family’s Art Ministry.

Easter Fire Stand

Made of Kapur wood using Mortise and Tennon Joinery. A bit of an overkill for a simple stand like this but the joinery will last a long while. Finish is also five coats of varnish and a layer of wax.

These photos were taken with my iPhone as I was setting up the stuff today. Will get you better photos next time when I have a bit more time for a photo shoot. Any comments about the design. Questions and comments about their construction are also welcome.

Happy Easter.

Machine tool workbench

Cross saw sled from the front

Simple cross saw sled which is
functional

Workbench with cross saw sled

Workbench front view with cross saw sled

Workbench front view

Workbench front view

Circular saw

A circular saw mounted on a zero clearance insert

Sanding table

A vac is attached to the table to draw air downwards.

Machine table top

Saw, sanding table and cross cut tracks

Pic showing hole for vac in sanding table

Hole where the vac is attached to for sanding table

Clamping stiles to clamp the workpiece using F clamp. Can't  afford a vice

Clamping stiles to clamp the workpiece using F clamp. Can’t afford a vice

Front view

Front view

Pic showing isometric view of the machine bench
workbench with cross saw sled

Crosssaw sled

This machine workbench came about when I needed a workbench at my workplace. My boss’s instruction was simply not to spend too much money.

I figured that I needed something to saw with. So the best thing I could do with the limited budget and space was to overturn a circular saw. Then sanding was a dusty affair as there’s no dust collection system so I designed a sanding table in as well. I couldn’t afford a vice to clamp my stuff so I simply added two stiles where I could F clamp my work to. I sometimes have long pieces so a table extension was also needed. The entire thing is on wheels and allow some form of extra storae.

Well, that’s what I use in my assistive technology workshop. It’s a small lift lobby outside a storeroom as you’ll see from the photos above.