Wednesday, 30 January 2013


My Battery Watcher app just hit 500,000 downloads.  The download rate has slowed down quite a lot recently as I've not had any time to devote to updating it but I'm still amazed that it was so successful!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Cherry bowl

Cherry bowl by fasaxc
Cherry bowl, a photo by fasaxc on Flickr.

Had a good time on the lathe yesterday. I turned this bowl from cherry. My first try at a decorative rim went quite well and I was pretty happy with the shape.

Unlike the previous two bowls that I attempted out of zebrawood, it neither smells bad (zebrawood smells like cheese), nor did it explode and go flying off the lathe!

Monday, 14 January 2013

Some of my recent projects

Here are some of my recent pieces of woodwork.

Pair of random-strip chopping boards:

Chopping boards

I was really proud of how these turned out. Here's what I did:
  • Start with boards of different coloured wood.  I used walnut, purpleheart and maple.
  • Plane them all to the same thickness.  Tip: run all the boards through the planer without changing its height, you won't be able to find the precise height a second time.
  • Rip to random widths using the table saw.  Start by ripping thin widths ff the side while the board is still wide; it's much easier than trying to split a thin strip into two.
  • Spend plenty of time arranging the pieces for the best effect.  I think I spent more than 30 minutes on this step and I feel like it paid off.
  • Glue and clamp (I used Titebond III).  Tip: the ten-minute working time of the glue passes very quickly; try a dry fit first and consider gluing the board up in two halves and then gluing them together.  I wasn't quite quick enough on the bigger board and the first joint wasn't as tight as it should be.
  • Plane the glued up board.
  • Cross-cut on the table saw to trim the ends.
  • Use round-over bit in the table router to round over the corners. Tips: 
    • If your boards are as thin as mine, use the fence rather than a bearing to set the round-over distance.  If you don't, the bearing will be in empty space when you flip the boards over to do the second side.
    • Do the endgrain first.
    • Follow the piece with a scrap block to prevent tearout.
  • Sand to desired grit.
  • Finish with butchers block oil.

Christmas snowman ornament:

  My, that's a nice scarf

This is one of my favourite turnings.  I finally got the hang of cutting beads and then finished him off with a pyro pen and a purpleheart hat.

A bowl and turned apple:

Yesterday's turnings