I was very inspired by the tiles that we were shown in class. I thought it was very beautiful to see a simple shape be grouped together in multiples. I wanted to create my own simple pattern and create multiples of it. I decided on Douglas fir because it was a little bit more stronger than pine. I also did not want to work with the knots that are in pine. I wanted more straight streaks in the wood. I really enjoyed the light natural wood color that this wood offered.

I bought a long piece of 1.5" x 2.5" Douglas fir that I then cut into 8" chunks. It was a good size to deal with and it fit my tile piece.

My original design turned out to be quite boring looking and too flat for my liking. I wanted to make a much more dynamic shape with much more highs and lows.

I went back to the drawing board and created another design that I liked much better. It was like a blooming flower and I really liked that. The shape also gave the wood an opportunity to show off the streaks.

I cut out the tile on the bandsaw and also sanded out the curves on the inside. I huge issue I had was that the wood was very soft and streaky, so it didn't sand out very smoothly where the curves are.

I used a natural wood finish because I wanted to bring out the patterned streaks. While they were out drying, the were mistakened for cookies. I think the finish really gave that the effect.

More 4 Axis Mill

I made a terrible mistake this week regarding what I was going to mill. I thought that making my signature was a great idea but turns out, I didn't think it through too well. I started off with the Oculus Medium. It was such a useful tool and I was able to make shapes that I have never imagined before. I got really excited and decided to make my signature since it was unique. What I didn't account for was the thickness of it. Another issue I had was that all the shapes made in the Oculus Medium was in a certain orientation so I had to shift the shape in many ways in order for it to work on the machine. It was very confusing and I spent a whole hour just playing around with the orientation.

This was when I started worrying. I knew that the wood would just fly off at one point so I taped it down.

And this is where it broke off

It's partially completed. I think I have gained enough experience from this to figure out what can be printed and what can't. Definitely a learning experience for sure If I had to do it again, I would make LARGE tabs through the whole piece and make the model so much thicker

4 Axis Mill

I started off with simple circles and extruded them to look like mountains. I wanted it to have different levels. I didn't want anything complicated due to the time.

I then put the block on the machine. It was a very sofet wood so it was very easy to manipulate. At first, I wanted it to be big and detailed but then the project would take over 2 hours. I thought it was ridiculous that it would take that long to make this simple shape, so I made it smaller and the quality lower.

I then decided to put the setting to hard wood because when I set it as soft wood, the cuts were very deep and it did not sound right. That extra long cut in the front is from the first attempt.

It started cutting like butter after that and every thing went smoothly. It took about half an hour because I kept pausing to vacuum.

The end result was not exactly what I imagined, but it still looks very nice. The striped from the wood was a very nice touch.

Wood Lathe: Foosball Players

When I started this project, I knew I did not want to follow the pattern of what we were given, but I know I needed to keep the dimensions. I started sketching what I wanted to make on top of the dimensions to see if it would work. I was afraid that the neck was going to be too thin so I started sketching a bit more to see what could work. I knew I wanted to have a cat with a fat belly.

I started off with a piece of firewood, and I used my digital caliper to make sure I didn't cut off more than I needed to work with. I did the same thing for the previous assignment, so it was a lot easier this time around

I then used the drill press to create the holes needed for it. I started off with small bits and slowly upgraded to bigger bits and eventually got to the size I needed.

I then drew in the piece of wood I had so I could estimate the shape on it. I then put it back on the lathe and carved out the shape. I made markings on the wood on the major points. The more I cut, the more cracks in the wood I saw. I originally wanted to have a smooth piece of wood, but then I saw the beauty in it.

I also wanted to wax it because I loved how it looked when Ben did it in class. Due to my sweaty hands, the cat flew off my hand a few times and it created more cracks. At first, it frustrated me but then I learned to embrace it.

I wanted to add details to the cat using wire because I wanted a delicate look to it. I used wood glue and I really pushed the wire into the wood. The wood was very soft and it went through and stuck the wire in there.

We then installed all the foosball players onto the table. It was very exciting and it was great to see that the measurements for the holes I made fit perfectly.

The game was very fun to watch and my team won! My cat stayed intact and everything stayed on. This was the most fun project I have done so far it was great seeing what everyone else did.

Week 7: Wood Lathe

The wood lathe is the most interesting machine I have used in this class so far. I like how you have to have a feel for it and physically manipulate it by hand. I also enjoyed the symmetry it gives to the pieces you make. I started off with firewood that Ben provided.

I then marked where I wanted the center to be and put it on the lathe. This part wasn't too difficult to do. What WAS difficult was working on removing the bark. It went flying everywhere and I was very timid at first with the chisels. It was a very slow process at first because I was very scared. However, I finally got used to it and gained more courage to dig deeper into the wood. It took more than an hour to actually get the wood to be smooth. My wood was too big to make a handle, so I decided to make a baseball bat.

I didn't go with exact measurements. I just marked general areas with pencil and edited the look as I went. I was really getting a feel for the wood and I felt like I connected with it. I then noticed the small bits of color that the bark left and I really loved it. This bat isn't meant to be fully functional and it was more for display purposes anyway so why not leave the pretty parts. I also found a hole in the wood while I was carving into it. I thought it was beautiful and I wanted to leave it in the bat.

aAfter about three hours, I finally got what I wanted. I think I did a pretty good job considering that this was my first time using it. I will definitely be using the lathe again for future projects. My hands are very sore and my face got hit with the chisel, but the end result was worth it.

Midterm: Key Holder

The original idea for this project was to create a frame for a mirror. However, I ended up getting inspired and doing something functional. Every morning, I have trouble finding my keys because I always forget where I leave them. I decided to do a key holder to solve that issue.

I was very inspired by some of the mechanics I saw online for key holders, and I wanted to make my own.

I decided to draw out the shapes in Illustrator. I originally wanted to pocket the key, but then I noticed that it might be more interesting for it to pop out instead. I thought about pocketing the space around the key, but then I couldn't figure out that design to incorporate the keyholes on the bottom in a seamless way.

I really wanted to use natural wood for this project but I guess I was still very scared. I still have a huge fear of machines, and using anything I haven't used before would be even more out of my comfort zone. I stuck with MDF because I have used it previously and I am comfortable with the way it's supposed to sound and feel. This would be the first time I work alone, so I wanted to stick with familiarity. I will definitely use new and interesting materials for my future projects.

I used a 1/4" bit for this project because of the size of my shapes. I created the file so that I maximized the use of my wood by not creating too much waste. My shapes were very close together, but I accounted for the size of the bit so that everything still cut out nicely.

The biggest problem I had was making sure the pieces didn't fly off. It helped a lot to pause the job and taping down the shapes. It also didnt help that since my shapes were so close to each other, I still had a lot of small pieces that flew off anyway.

Another issue I had was that I had to constantly vacuum. The MDF was so dusty and I was afraid it was going to burn. I constantly had one hand holding the vacuum, and the other hand on the mouse for the pause button. Some thinner and smaller pieces had to be closely monitored because I was afraid that it was going to move and that the bit would mess it up when it moved.

I had to modify the files a few times just to make sure everything fit properly and I even printed multiples just to make sure. The shapes looked really good after they were done, but I still had to sand them.

The sanding was the most satisfying part. It really heightened the quality of the pieces and made it look much more polished. I also used the drill press to drill holes into the circles but I couldn't get a picture of the process since I was paying really close attention due to the pieces being so small.

I then started gluing the pieces together. It was so satisfying to see the whole project start coming together.

I was very happy with the final result! I think the things I would have to chage for the next time I redo this project would be to use better wood. I would have also liked to actually make keychains instead of using string, but I am overall very proud.

Week 4: CNC Joinery

Making these joints were a huge challenge. Swapna and I decided to work together again and we chose two joints to recreate. The corners were a real challenge because we realized that in Illustrator, we had to make the holes for the corners as a separate shape than the hole. When we did merge the shape together, the CNC router did not make the corner holes. We tried several times to make it, and each time was very different and we eventually made very successful joints. Some were so successful, we were unable to take them apart.

Week 2: Othermill

Using the Othermill was a lot more difficult than I thought it was going to be. It was mostly because of my own stupidity. I accidentally used a drill bit instead of the bit for the Othermill.

At first, I thought it was working perfectly fine, but then I started smelling smoke. It was the same burning wood smell as when I burned the wood using the hand router. Since I was very familiar with that smell at this point, I realized that something was wrong so I paused the job. At first, I thought it was just me not vacuuming enough, so I cleaned all the sawdust and continued the job. Soon enough, I heard a loud clicking noise and I quickly stopped the job once again. Turns out, the bit broke. I was very devasted because I thought I did everything properly. However, the guy working next to me quickly told me that I used the wrong bit. I will learn from this experience and always use the proper materials and be very aware of what I am doing.

Week 1: Router

Having never taken fabrication before and never using tools of this caliber, this was a difficult assignment for me. I worked with Swapna and we both worked together and helped each other out. It was really helpful having her there to watch me and guide me.

At first, we burned the wood from cutting too deep. However, it was such a useful lesson to us since it made us experiment with how much we should be cutting every time. I also found out that vaccuming the sawdust once in a while helped too.

I think the biggest challenge for us was figuring out the best way to go about making the shape. Using the router was probably the easiest part. The hard part was figuring out how to cut the shape and what other tools we can use to help achieve what we want. we used a lot of wood and hammered a lot of nails to help make it work. although it may not have been very efficient, we got the job done. I would say that I will be much more prepared and confident if this assignment pops up again.

I am extremely proud of the end result, and I have gained so much experience from this skill building exercise.