Juggling club keyrings

Next Wednesday will be my goodbye party at Glasgow Juggling Club. Since I’ve been doing a lot of turning recently I thought I should get round to making some juggling club keyrings as gifts for the guys I’m leaving behind. It’s a project I’ve been meaning to do for ages and I had the mini eye pins and keyrings ready. I chose pine because it turns easily so I could get them finished in a day. The grain is also really nice!

I used a 4 jaw chuck to hold the blank in the headstock and a live centre on the tail stock. After completing most of the shaping I ‘cut’ the wood and the knob end of the club and move the tail stock out of the way. I didn’t use the parting tool to completely separate the club, instead, I took the whole piece of wood out of the chuck and cut it with a bandsaw. Finally I used a disc sander to tidy up the end. I needed to get myself one of those skinny parting tools but until then I trust my bandsaw and disc sander to do a cleaner removal! I used the morse taper drill chuck in the live end to make a small pilot hole for the eye pin screw that connects the club to the keyring.

I used relatively coarse sand paper (120 grit) and single coat of mineral oil as the finish. I don’t think beeswax would have lasted given the application and it would have also added time to the making process. I need to invest in a wider variety of finishes, I think I a good lacquer might be valuable for a projects but like this. However, I need to educate myself further on this topic! On the whole, I’m pretty happy with the outcome.

Burr Bowl

AThis is the first time I’ve turned a burr, it came out quite well! The inside is not perfect because I didn’t sand it enough and it’s not a continuous curve. However, I now possess a power sander attachment so future bowls should be perfect! I like the bark feature on the outside face, it came out really well.

Before turning:

After turning:


Dumfries to Sanquhar cycle ride

I needed to drop off and pick up some wood from someone at Sanquhar so it seemed like a good excuse to get the road bike out for a long trip. I spent 2 hours chatting so that should be taking off my time!

Total distance: 111.35 km
Max elevation: 337 m
Min elevation: 60 m
Total climbing: 2646 m
Total descent: -2647 m
Average speed: 21.24 km/h
Total Time: 07:19:23

Glenkiln heart rate monitor test

The Glenkiln loop that starts from Dumfries is my favourite road ride just now. This isn’t the fastest time I’ve made it round but it was the first time I have tried it while wearing my new heart rate monitor.

Total distance: 39.54 km
Max elevation: 217 m
Min elevation: 9 m
Total climbing: 487 m
Total descent: -488 m
Average speed: 26.65 km/h
Total Time: 01:29:03

Party Popper Alarm Clock

Start your day with a bang and possibly a heart attack! I made this years ago (before I had access to a 3D printer – the structure is a bit ugly) but I though it would be worth posting on my new website.

You can find more information about it at Letsmakerobots and it was also featured in The Latest in Hobby Robotics where it was described as a “classic” that has “silly written all over it”. That’s praise that I am happy to receive any day!

Omega Man Unicycling

This video was a one man job.  I rode, filmed and edited! I’m not happy with the colour balance and exposure from some of the shots so I’ll need to work on that. I have lots of practice using my Canon EOS M for photos but not videos. It was filmed at the Omega Man at the end of the Red Route in Ae Forest.

DIY Radio Show Mixer

One of my friends, David, has just bought a second hand Berlinogo. It’s a great car but doesn’t have any modern multimedia connection capabilities, only a CD player. I took it upon myself to start doing “radio shows” with the free DJ software Mixxx and burning them to CDs. The look on my friends’ faces when my voice came over the car speakers was priceless! Controlling the faders, volume levels and buttons with a mouse is tricky and I wanted something a bit more professional so I made this little gizmo. The case is made from 3mm plywood cut with a laser cutter (file here), the white knobs are 3D printed and the microcontroller is an Leonardo Arduino.

Right click the image to save the OpenSCAD code.
Right click on the image to download the code. You will need to install the libraries mentioned in the code.

sub-2 hours Ae Red Route on a unicycle

One of my unicycling goals has been to do the whole red route (no sneaky shortcuts) in less than two hours. Unlike the two-wheel cyclists on Strava I start the clock from the car park next to the cafe, not the one along the short drive. This is not so I have an excuse for the extra minutes on my time compared to theirs, it’s because my parents like to have their lunch at the cafe! I will do a longer unicycling post sometime soon but I wanted to test out the fancy new GPX viewer I installed to WordPress.

Total distance: 19.72 km
Max elevation: 395 m
Min elevation: 177 m
Total climbing: 1012 m
Total descent: -1009 m
Average speed: 10.16 km/h
Total Time: 01:59:14

Lathe turned thread ripper handles

I made these as a short afternoon project on my lathe. It was the first time I used the drill chuck I bought a few months ago (the project it was bought for is on hold!) and it performed perfectly. The stitch rippers were originally purchased from Poundland (the ones pictured are actually from Morrisons but are very similar), I simple removed the nasty plastic handle from the metal “ripper” part and made my own handle from some scrap wood. It was a nice simple project and they will come in handy for the sewing projects lined up over the summer.