Testing and Fiddling
This week was filled with lots of research and development in my workshop. It mainly included testing, failing, and more testing; but I got things working in the end. I tried to develop a design for Toast Tongs that I could create on the lathe. After a few days of trying, I admitted that the design just wouldn’t work and there is a reason you can’t find them on google. So, it was back to keeping it simple and going with the old tried and true design that I came up with last year. There’s nothing wrong with the old design, but I was hoping to add something new to the design that I could use my lathe to shape. I found that with the materials I was using, the tongs were either too stiff to clamp down, or they were so brittle that I feared they would break. Well, I licked my wounds and moved on to making some out of the old design.
The Incredible Toast Snatcher
I originally made a set of the toast tongs for my Dad, and I frankly thought he was crazy when he requested that I make them. After hearing his reasoning, I got on board with the idea. They allow you to refrain from burning your fingers when pulling the hot toast out of the toaster. Not a bad deal!
My first Toast Tongs – I call them “Toast Snatchers” – to hit the Etsy store got a coat of food safe mineral oil finish tonight and will go up for sale as soon as I can get some photos ready. This is a sneak peak of them before getting the NV Woodwerks hand sculpted treatment.
Wedding Ring Boxes Ready
After getting my first ring box ready and up in the Etsy shop, I decided to revisit the design a bit. The original design was created spur of the moment with very little time to think much, and it was well received; however, I decided to add another version of the box that was a bit more traditional. The original is a tall and skinny box, but I wanted to create a more square box that looks more like a ring box just to provide some variety. So, I came up with a design and got it all milled and ready for the final touches.
This was where I hit the R&D testing mode again with lots of test, test, fail! The box itself was fairly simple to design and create, but I wanted to come up with a slightly better ring pad that the rings go into. The original ring box I made last year just had some medium density foam inserts, and I wanted to add some plush velvet to cover the foam with. This turned out to be a pretty serious crafting adventure. I now have every type of foam and glue known to man, and in the end I used materials I already had in the shop. I managed to get it to look great and hold the rings well; but the problem is it took longer to make than the box itself!
So, I’m still looking for a simpler way to create the ring padding insert for future boxes, but the overall design looks and works great. I also changed the clasp mechanism on the new box to include 1/8″ super magnets that don’t stick out visually as much but work just as well as the previous larger magnet system that the old design had. I just need to get photos of the new box, and it will be up and ready in the Etsy shop too.
Overall, it’s been a week of testing and trying out new things in the shop, and it paid off in the long run. I learned what doesn’t work, and I figured out what does. Now if I could only figure out how to avoid sanding altogether! That’s for another day in the wood lab.
I love to play in the wood lab because I always have new ideas that I want to try out. Another idea that has been rattling around in my head for years is a nail file, or emery board, made out of wood that has replaceable sanding strips. I am always annoyed that I have to go buy a new nail file when they wear out, and since it is really just a piece of cardboard with sandpaper glued to it, I felt there had to be a better way.
So, I finally looked into it a bit, and I am happy to announce that the wood lab will have lots of R&D to work on soon. I have the basic idea down, now I just need to fiddle with the final touches on the product. It will basically offer a snazzy looking handle that you don’t have to throw away when the sandpaper has worn out. You just pull off the old piece and stick on a new one without having to get rid of your nice looking file. Easy peasy! Keep an eye out for that in the upcoming weeks.
Thanks for stopping by to see what’s new in the shop. As always, if you have any questions or comments, just leave them below. I always respond as fast as possible.