Saturday, 27 December 2014

Turtle Gear and Hypno Gear

The next 2 gears I made are small ones.  Only 6 teeth each.

First, I have the "Hypno-gear".  Don't look at it too long, when it turns, it hypnotizes you!

The other one, is the "Turtle Gear".

Because of their size, I did not have to make these in multiple parts.   They actually fit in the 12x24 laser bed.  So these were a little faster to make.   Although the turtle one had a LOT of small parts.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Zodiac Gear

I designed and cut the next gear.   It is a 12 sided gear.    While I was designing it, I thought "What interesting slant can I do with the number '12'?"  My first idea was "there are 12 months", so I could do something with seasons.  

But then in a flash, it came to me...the Zodiac Signs!   So I made a Zodiac Gear.   Here it is:

You can see some of the details in the following pictures.   Each tooth of the gear represents a different Zodiac Sign.   You can symbols for each, as well as it's constellation.

In the center, there is a "sun".

I think this is my favorite gear up to now.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Magic The Gathering Card Box

My oldest son recently discovered "Magic The Gathering".   I really liked my D&D dice box, and thought perhaps I could make a card box for MGT decks, based on the D&D dice box.

Here is the outcome:

Once you open the box, there is room for a 60 card deck (with a few extra cards).  Unfortunately, the price label of the MDF was on the reverse side when I cut this, you can see it in the living hinge.  It's not too bad, since this is just a prototype, and I will eventually cut it with nicer wood.

You can remove the left hand side to easily slide the cards out of the box.

There is also a small hidden compartment at the bottom of the box.

If you open up that compartment, there is room for a 15-25 card "side deck".   MTG players can substitute cards from the side-deck into their main deck between rounds.

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Rose Gear

I designed the 16 sided gear, I call it the "Rose Gear".

The gear was divided in 4 parts.   But since it has multiple layers, in all there were 42 pieces, what were all glued together.   The laser-cutter was acting a little "weird" when I cut it, so some of the cuts produced a lot of charring.   I may have to re-cut this gear.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Dice Box

I'm still working my wall of gears, but I decided to take a small break from that and design something else.   I have some friends from work who asked me to play D&D with them.  With that in mind, I decided to create a box to carry my lucky dice, and my character miniature.

I want a box with 2 compartments, one for the dice, and one for the miniature.   I also saw some boxes with "live hinges" that I really liked, so I'm going to experiment with those as well.

Here is the design from SketchUp.

I made a few modifications, and added a magnetic hinge to keep it closed.

Here are pictures of the actual box, cut in MDF.

Here it is a little bit open, so you can see some dice on the left, and a miniature on the right.

You can also see some small rare earth magnets that keep the lid closed.   There are also some in the hinge, so that when it rotates, it magnetically "clicks" closed, and stays that way.

I really like the design, but I wanted to do it in some wood that was a little nicer.   I tried with MDF, with a Birdseye maple veneer glued to the top.   It looks nice, but in the living edge, the pieces are too narrow, and the veneer just broken in some parts.

I'm going to have to find some 1/8 solid wood, and try it out with that.   More to come on that later.

Monday, 3 November 2014

Lightning Gear

I'm continuing to work on my "Wall of Gears"!   I've now designed the 8-sided gear.   I call it the lightning gear.

Like the 20 sided one I previously made, this one was also too big for the laser-cutter.   I split it up into 4 parts (it looks like 8 in the picture, but some of the cuts did not go all the way through the wood).

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Wall of Gears

I'm inspired by this picture, which I found on Pinterest.


I want to have a wall of gears too!

Mine will be different though.   I don't want them to be symmetrical, and I want each gear to be very different from each other.

I want the gears to be pretty big.   The first one I designed is about 3 feet across.  Here is a picture of it:

Since the laser-cutter I use only has a 24x12 bed size, I needed to split the gear up into 10 different sections, plus a section in the middle into which all 10 outer sections fit.   I made 2 identical layers (each 1/4 in thick), and then staggered them, so the bottom layer supports the top layer when glued.

I also added some dark paper in each hexagon, to add some visual interest.

I'm happy with how this one turned out, so I'm off to design the next gear.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Round Mechanical Iris Box

I decided to make a round box.  It has 64 flat sides, which when put in a circle, gives it a fairly round look.  I also want to put an "Mechanical Iris" on the top, so you can open it in an interesting manner.

Here is the design from SketchUp.

The design has some green in it, because my initial thought was to put green paper behind those elements in the box.   I later decided against it.

Here are some pictures of the final box, cut in MDF.  Now that I know this prototype works, I can re-cut it in some nicer wood, like poplar, or Baltic birch.

I did end up using paper to decorate part of it, but it was in the iris parts, in red, and not on the main box.

The big challenge with this box was assembling it.   I actually ended up cutting a piece just to hold the 64 sides in place while I glued them.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Fortress of Redemption

This is going to be a long post.   I've been sitting on this one for a while.   I did not want to post anything, because this was a birthday present for my 11yr old son.   His birthday was yesterday, so I can now post something.

This project was replicating the Fortress of Redemption WarHammer scenery.   You can see the original here.

This was, by far, the most complex project I took on with the laser cutter.   Many parts are meeting at odd angles, and there are a lot of details.   It took me a LOT of time to model this one in Sketchup and Inkscape, and at least 7 hours at the laser cutter, cutting the different parts.

But I'm very satisfied with how it looks.  Here is the whole thing:

Here are the details:

I built it in a modular fashion, so that we can use the different parts separately.

Here is just the tower.
 Just the hex bases.

 The sides of the hex bases just come off.   I was thinking of putting magnets on them, but I have not done so yet.

Here is the center part.

The tower either fits on top of the center part, or a special base that I built just for the tower (that is not part of the whole structure above).

There are still a few things I'd like to do.  I have not yet done any weapons, like canons, that would fit on the circle in the hex bases.   I'd also like to make a "door" panel that fits on one of the hex bases' sides.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Insect Box

I asked my daughter what she would like as decorations on a box,  and she said that she wanted butterflies.   So my next multi-layered box is insect-themed.   I found some nice patterns for butterflies, bees, ladybugs, flowers and a dragonfly.

I'd like to find a way to add some color to it.

Monday, 1 September 2014


I regularly have a board game night with friends.   One of the games we tried is Tsuro.   This is a great family game, and I highly recommend it.  You can find it here.

I decided to make my own version of it to play with my kids.

The game is pretty simple.   There are a bunch of tiles, and a board on which to place them.   There are little game markers that move around on the tiles.   The concept of the game is that you are always placing one tile in front of your marker, and moving it down to the end of the path in front of you.   If you take a path that leads off the board, you are out of the game.   The last person who is still on the board wins.

Here's my version.  

I made a box to hold everything.

Here's what's in the box:
-65 Tiles
-8 Player Markers
-A bunch of border pieces.

Instead of making a whole board, I decided to just make the edges of the board.   It would be way easier to cut and store.  I did not want super-long edges, so I made them so that they can be split up into multiple pieces.  I also made the pieces different lengths, so that we can make boards of different sizes.

Once you have your sides, then you start to fill up the board with the tiles as you play.

With these pieces, we can make boards anywhere from 1x1 (which is the worst game of Tsuro ever), all the way up to 8x8, which is a really big board.   Typically, when I play with my kids, we make something that is 5x5, 5x7 or 6x6.   If we just want a really small game, sometimes we'll play a 3x3 or 3x4 game.  The 8x8 would be a good size to play with 8 people.