Happy Valentines day!
Tonight, I had to make some wooden toy cars for a birthday party.
I have always had a little trouble when using pre-made axles for toy wooden cars. I either sink the first axle too deep and the wheel will not turn. That, or I sink it too deep when I flip the car over to drive in the second axle. I needed something to stop all this silliness.
I cut a notch in the end of two tongue depressors and laid them on the car body with the notch around the axle. When you drive the axle into the body, the tongue depressor stops it with just the right spacing. I made two so I can leave the first one in place when I drive the opposing axle in. This keeps me from sinking the first axle too deep when driving the second one.
I think that they will be well received at the party.
So, if you are making toys with little wooden axles – get yourself some tongue depressors.
And now for something completely different…
A few years ago, I bought a loom for someone as a gift. About once a year, as it starts getting cold out, I borrow it and make something.
This year, a scarf of Donegal Tweed yarn – felted.
I wove this on an Ashford Rigid Heddle loom. It is about eight inches wide and plenty warm.
Someone asked if I would show my arrow shaft making jig today, so here it is:
I start by milling the wood that I am using to 3/8″ by 3/8″ by about 3′.
Here are some milled shafts with a square blank in the center.
The jig itself is a straightened piece of hardwood (anything will do probably) with small blocks affixed to the side with screws. I drilled through the center of each block and lined them with bronze bushing parts that I found at my local hardware store.
On my router, I replaced the base plate with a 3/8″ thick piece of Lexan. I drilled a hole in it and I drive a machine screw through to affix the arrow shaft jig to the base (In the previous picture, you can see I used a wing nut to tighten the machine screw) :
This machine screw is really critical. It allows me to pivot the base of the jig closer or further from the router bit. This allows me to fine tune the jig to get the exact thickness of shaft that I need for the arrows I am making.
I run a few test pieces through, pivoting the jig back and forth until I get the precise thickness I want. Once it is just right, I clamp the jig to my router table tightly:
Using a round over bit, I run all the shafts through. The line of bronze bushings is there to keep the shaft from whipping around as it spins at high speeds. Without these, things get kind of emotional. Ask me how I know…
I use a 3/8″ allen wrench head socket bit in my electric drill to hold my square stock. I chuck it into the drill backwards, with the allen wrench bit in the drill, and put the square stock into the socket end. This works just great to spin the square stock across the moving router bit:
All this allows me to make traditional archery wooden arrows from hardwoods that are difficult to find or just really expensive.
Here are a few from this jig: