Thursday, January 28, 2016

Introducing MakerFreak

Letters FRK and below that the words Maker Freak
I've been interested in carving out my making in a more structured way for a while.  MakerFreak is that way.

I've started a new YouTube channel and will be posting things under the Maker Freak label. Projects will also be posted here on the MakerFreak page of

Why Maker Freak
My making doesn't really have a single focus.  While I do woodwork, I also cook, sew, home repair, electronics and general exploration and making.  The other part of making for me isn't just the technique, its the mindset and the process.

The mindset of a maker is bigger than just creating.  When I read or think about the skills which leaders need and what the future will require, the maker embodies these.  Makers are curious, willing to try new things, willing to learn, willing to fail.  Makers are explorers and artists.   They use critical thinking to understand how something works and create something new.  What they don't know, they learn by reading, researching, talking to others or experimenting.

The process of making is about being observant of the world around us.   Makers question.  The Maker Freak channel will be a reflection of that mindset.

Subscribe to the MakerFreak You Tube channel

Monday, January 18, 2016

Cribbage Board Build

close up of cribbage board top and four pegs
I’ve wanted to do something for the last 10 years with scraps of mahogany I’d salvaged from our house.   It was wainscoting from the dining room, though didn’t appear to be original from the house, so I didn’t feel too bad about not returning it to the dining room once the room was redone.   So, instead, it’s been sitting in my basement.  I’ve used small scraps over the years, but haven’t made a substantial dent in it.  You’ll see a little of the disassembly in the video.  Even after all of these years, those rails and stiles were very tight and I ended up using a circular saw to separate some of them because I couldn’t get the bond to break.
So, when I’d decided I wanted to make a couple cribbage boards as Christmas gifts, the magohany seemed like a good option.   I coupled it with some scraps of oak left over from redoing the stairs in the old house and used some old nails I’ve recovered from flooring removed from the house as well.   I painted the tips of the nails to differentiate the players, and gave them three colored sets and one natural. 
This was my first try at finger joints.  After getting the basics from YouTube, I’d decided I didn’t want to make a complex jig (one for adjustability and reuse), I needed only to get the job at hand done.   So, I built a small finger joint jig.  My first pass at the joints left them too tight to assemble and the second a little loose, but nothing which glue couldn’t fix. 
I’d thought about using a wood burner to draw the lines and other markings on the boards.   My past experience (as a kid) using  a wood burner  weren’t great.  I remember it being hard to achieve a consistent line thickness as well as a straight line.  I decided that keeping a clean board without the lines and without the risk was the best way to go.  (I did get a new wood burning tool for Christmas, so plan on replacing those old memories with some new skills.)
All and all, I’m pleased with the project.  It took far more time than I’d anticipated (when doesn’t it), but that’s fine as they were gifts.   I am glad to know a bit of our home is in their homes.

two cribbage board boxes closed with pegs in the board
Cribbage Board closed

inside view of cribbage board box showing two decks of cards and space for the pegs.
Cribbage Board open

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