Making, Crafting, Creating... aka Whatcha workin' on?


My music box Pi project has been on hold because it’s been too cold for spray paint, plus it’s working so taking it apart to finish it hasn’t been appealing.

Meanwhile, I’ve started a Pi crate case for another Pi2. Starting with a $2 plywood 4" crate. Initially the plan was to mount the Pi and display together with the ports sticking out the side of the crate, but it proved too tricky to get the ports and display right while holding the Pi securely. I mounted the Pi to the crate, and I’ll run extender cables to the display, mounted on a foamcore backplate.

For paint, I’m thinking gloss black, with brass on the corners. (Because those are the paints that I have, as well as radioactive green.) A dremel tool with a cutting wheel would have been perfect for the port hole in the back, but what I had was a drill and a keyhole saw. It’s a bit raggedy, but I’ll glue some bits back on and smooth before putting the paint on.


Display mounted with wire harness. Ugh, that’s going to take some hot melt glue to hold the pins in the display socket, and the foamcore needs a bit of velcro behind it. (No, I am not posting this from the Pi Crate.)

Eventually it’ll get a foamcore frontplate to hold the keytops for the switches.


Another acacia bowl:

Previous pistachio dish used for scale; I didn’t have a banana…


I have been working on fixing up a lathe that had been scrapped and stripped of anything that would come off. Most of the parts I used were also scrap from various sources, or manufactured by myself. But it runs now, and I should be able to use it to make the remaining required parts.

This is a big step up from my old lathe. And it was more or less free.


Impressive machine! And that vehicle in the background looks pretty sharp too ;).

Mine’s been paused a while, too. I’m using piCorePlayer; you?


Mopidy, because the amount of plug-ins is hard to beat. Getting it to share the sound output with other apps (speaking the weather, schedule items, etc) was a pain, but I have the proper ALSA incantation now.


More woodturning; camphor laurel pot.

Still no bananas, so again with the ashtray-sized pistachio bowl for scale.


I am working on primitive bow #s 13 and 14. #13, shown here is a hickory recurve, #14 will be a cherry longbow.

Actually, I think #13 may well join its 12 siblings in the hall of shame- the material of the upper limb is behaving very oddly. Perhaps a period of seasoning at elevated temperature will convince it to be reasonable, but I’m not optimistic.

I’m sure that #14 will beautiful…


Hickory’s super tough, but unpredictably variably elastic, isn’t it?

Your tools are all much nicer than mine. I like the shaving horse, does the seat slide?


That is a beauty! Have you thought about retro-fitting motion control to it to make it a CNC lathe? Motion control for a lathe does not have to be integrated with the machine’s core electronics, cranks and dials. You could manually get everything set up and rotating. But then the machine axis controls the knife. That way you would get 100% consistent results. Or, swing the motion control parts away and run the lathe manually.

A friend of mine has retrofitted lots of mills with “optional” motion control. He also has a couple with integrated motion control. I have not personally seen an old lathe with it, but know it could be done. I’m sure there are YouTubes.


I haven’t worked enough with the hickory to say for sure. Previous efforts seemed predictable, or at least the failure modes of those bows were not related to the elasticity of the wood. It is super tough and is absolutely murder on tools. I had to re-hone my drawknife twice while chasing the back of that bow, and it seems like the card scrapers need a new edge every 20 minutes. Even my farrier’s rasp is starting to look dull.

I’ve been building the shop for twenty years, give or take a bit. I started out with some low quality hand-me-downs and have been replacing them with better stuff as finances permit. I’m still missing a jointer and a planer, and I’d dearly love to trade in my contractor’s saw for a nice cabinet model, though how I’ll get that into the basement I don’t know.

The shaving horse is based off a design I found online. My version is less refined than the original (Fine Woodworking I think, and solid maple), but a whole lot cheaper. The work-rest ratchets to accommodate different material sizes and the seat is movable. If you’re interested, I can dig up the information.


Thanks for the offer, but no. I don’t have room left for a shaving horse, and I have a nearby friend who’ll let me use his. :wink: It looks great, though; gotta like that shaped seat!

My big tools are nearly all stuff I got in a non-functional state and did the absolute least possible fix on. So I have a smooth-cutting table saw with a nice clean top and a quarter inch of grimy rust on the stand, and that sort of thing.


I have thought of upgrading to cnc controls, but I am focusing on learning to use it the traditional way first.


I really want to build an English war bow someday. I have not yet worked up the nerve or found the time to start the learning process to make a proper one. Anyone who can make a good, functional bow impresses me.


Speaking of making and creating, I was with my daughter’s team at the First Robotics world championship last week. Here is the crowd at the final match:

There are a bunch of kids who are actually learning to solve complex technological problems. It gives me some hope for the future, unless they just end up building the machines that finally enslave all of us.


If you’re interested in making a bow, I recommend getting a copy of The Traditional Bowyer’s Bible, Volume 1.It’s not exactly a great read since it tends to assume the reader is already familiar with the subject matter, but it’s chock-full of information. Another good resource is the Primitive Archer bulletin board. There are a lot of knowledgeable folks over there who can answer some of the questions you’ll probably have after reading the book.

And while I am by no means an expert, I have found a number of ways not to make a bow and will gladly give you the benefit of my experience.


Dunno if it counts as “Making”, but my SO is from the Phillipines and curious about eating all kinds of fish. As it happens, I like to go fishing.

So I made American style maki rolls. Smoked carp + Cream Cheese for one roll type, and Mayo + Pressure cooked carp + chili threads for the other. (The latter was far superior)


Thanks for the info, I just ordered the book. I have been lurking on for a while, and have been trying to work myself up to actually get involved. I have a strong boatbuilder and luthier background, so I have the basics of bending, shaping, and laminating wood. But this is next level craftsmanship.


Cheese and chili threads, yum! That looks like the best way to eat carp!

I noticed you have a claw hammer ready in case the fish objects :rofl:


The hammer was paired with the big knife to spike him through the brain. These things are tough. He’d been out of the water a few hours, and still was fighting me.

It’s also why I censored the photo. You can see a little blood on the tip of the knife.

Turns out, for best flavor, you should bleed them from the gills, or toss them in a chest of ice. I had a trim a lot of red meat off the filets (no biggie; more catfish bait)

It’s my second or third experiment so far. It’s a tie so far between the chili threads rolls and Indian fish curry I made last time.