Birth Of An Idea: Stretch Wrap Bongo Drum

The original idea was born in Harbor Freight with the stretch wrap in my hand, so I needed to try it! I agree a better head would make a huge improvement, but it WORKED. I not going to pretend to be anything short of excited about that. It's fun to see a crazy idea come together....


How To Make A Cotton Ball Snowman Ornament

The ornament almost has a stone quality to it with the ribbons of cotton running through the ornament. It was a pretty easy project and certainly one worth trying!

How To Make A Dropping Top

I first saw this toy demonstrated over on the Grand Illusions YouTube channel, and I knew I had to try my hand at it!

Walnut Dropping Top with wipe on ploy finish

How To Make A Death Star Christmas Ornament

Sure there are lots of iconic and memorable films out there, but when is the last one that actually change your outlook on the world? Every man I've ever met has had a secret fantasy that some old codger would find him one day, hand him a laser sword and explain he was the last person in the galaxy with the ability to save the universe from total destruction.

How To Make A Shot Glass With HDPE

This is my second HDPE project, and it was just a quickie. With materials sourced from milk jugs and coffee containers I turn a shot glass.

How To Make An Retro HDPE Wall Clock

I recently melted down some milk jugs and bottle tops to make a colorful block of material. I began pondering what I could do with it! This was the first I idea that grabbed me. A HDPE wall clock!

How To Recycle HDPE Plastic The Easy Way

After spending 2 hours cutting up a single milk bottle with kitchen shears, I knew I couldn't do it again.

 I felt like a late night infomercial and may have actually uttered the phrase, "There has to be a better way!"

How To Make A TRON Data Disc

Just don't let the MCP know what you're up to, or might just find yourself fighting for your life on the game grid....

How To Make A Three Position Box

The Bell Systems three position stool was a mainstay of the central telecom office. It was typically constructed from red oak and 2 inch screws. It was a was a real workhorse, just what I need...

How to Make A Shop Towel Bottle Stopper

What's absorbent, blue and covered in epoxy? Yep! A Shop Towel Bottle Stopper.

I think I might have a problem...

How To Make A Beer Mug From Recycled Coasters

When I first approached with this idea it seemed like it would be a simple project. That should have been a warning sign right there, but my brain just thought, "Make a functional pint glass from discarded beer coasters? I wonder why no one has ever done anything like that before." I now know the answer to that rather naive question.
33 coasters and 5 pieces of scrap cherry

How To Make A Phone Wire Bracelet

 These wires are from a 25 pair telephone cable that was discarded at the office. It just didn't seem right to toss them!

How to do woodturning with a strobe light


This is just too weird not to share. The lathe is running at 800RPM, but it seems to stand still in the light of the strobe. 
Lathe spinning at 800RPM's
 It is a strange sensation to force your brain into believing that the wood is in motion. Only the sickening feeling in your stomach from the flashing and the sound of the lathe betrays the illusion.

How To Make A Super Mario Mushroom Birdhouse

Making a Super Mario Bros Mushroom Birdhouse turned from a log. This build was a lot of fun and I think it will make a geeky addition to my garden!

Getting the last coat of lacquer
This was turned from a pear tree that came down in a storm a couple winters back. It is easy wood to work with and turned easy. The trick was hollowing out the base.

How To Make A Wooden Rope Puzzle

I made a run of these two ring puzzles about three years ago, and they were quite popular as gifts. The joy is, once you know the secret, you want to watch others labor over it. Turns out we're all sickos....

How to Make Vintage Dart

A dart board was hanging in my house since before I could remember. It was my fathers, and it was so well used that he had rotated the numbers a few times to keep twenty wedge from looking ragged.

Filling the Void

I had two really cool projects for last week! Flipping awesome ideas that jumped into my head and wouldn't let me go. I love it when that happens, and I even had a head start on Thursday night plus a ton of free time on Friday to make it all happen!

So I made a silly video with the intention of uploading something of substance the next morning...

Just as a side note, this is now my most disliked video EVER! :)

Ice Cream Pint Lock

They say that necessity is the mother of invention and while I don't claim to have invented the idea of a pint lock, this is the first one I've ever seen out of the wood. In addition I love how outrageous it looks with that giant old school padlock on it!

Copper Penny Serving Tray

Restoration projects can be very fun. Taking something with little value and modifying it. I take a garage sale TV tray and add 391 pennies, epoxy and a 12" length of copper pipe. No table saw, no band saw and no lathe. This is a basic tool build project!

$.50 TV tray from a garage sale.

The Cheapskate Woodworker

When it comes to spending money in the shop I'm as thrifty as they come. It's true I hate spending money, by mostly because I don't have any.

Wooden Money Clip

I've been carrying a wooden money clip for about 20 years or so. It's nice to not have to lug a wallet along for everything. You can get an ID, credit card and some bills in there with no trouble, and it fits in your front pocket where it is much harder to get picked!

Free Floating TARDIS

This is a free floating TARDIS desk ornament. It hangs suspended in time and space as if flying in the time vortex. Perhaps off to some Dalek infested back alley someone in Cardiff...

Wooden Circle of Death

A wooden chakram made from maple and mercilessly hurled in the oncoming enemy hordes... and watermelons!

Book Tablet Holder

Tablet stand made from a 400 page book and some epoxy resin. Paper micarta is the proper term for it, but it doesn't really capture the essence of the idea. Those 400 pages hold but a single story, and now they can upright a device capable of holding thousands of stories. And with only a book and 30 some odd ounces of epoxy, you can make your own! Just don't use a book that is one of your favorites. Which  honestly is why I picked this one, and the fact that the name was well suited! Really it's the ultimate upcycling!

Confetti Pen

Confetti Blank

It broke, but after I glued all the bits together.... I sorta salvaged it.

Still it was a good idea, and I offer it up to the community.

Copper Etched Box

Okay, I've got a lot of things going on in this box.

First I wanted to give my copper pipe to sheet another go. I think I'm getting the hang of it! This is easier than the first time!

I like the finished project. My only do-over would be the green paint.

Sacrificing to Oops

I originally wrote this post in 2008. It seems oddly applicable today! Is your shop time plagued by a similar scourge?
 There seems to be no shortages of people places or objects to bestow your esteem, regard, respect, approval or reverence. So how is it that I ended up here? Recently I find myself making sacrifices to a god that I didn't even know existed until a few moths back. This god is now the ruling force in my workshop, second to none with the power to change the outcome of even the smallest of event. That's right, the god of Oops.

Plexiglass LED Light

Do you need a geeky plexiglass LED light? What am I saying? Of course you do!

Marble Note Holder

This came out really cool! I was originally trying to create a baked marble effect. (a sort of cracked glass look) Apparently it is not noticeable in black marbles. Which make perfect sense in hindsight (as most things do!)
Finished with wipe on poly, the oak and mulberry seem to go well together!

Blue Jean Bracelet

I'm very pleased with this project! It's just so interesting!

The epoxy and jean turned very nicely with my bowl gouge and I was actually getting nice shavings off it!

Turns great on the lathe!

Copper Pipe Box

This is actually the second box I made this weekened. The first one came out great, but I had a major allergic reaction to it. So much that I had to toss the wood and wait a day to get back in the shop to make a second. As good warning, some woods are more prone to this than others...

So I ended up using my leftover from my wine barrel blank. As such the shop smelled strongly of wine during most of the build.

I suppose I can pretend that is the reason for me acting a bit silly on film!

The copper was just a 1" copper pipe from the hardware store. Cut open, pounded flat and heated with a torch. I also got to try mixing epoxy with coffee grounds. I helped fill some gaps in my copper inlay, and also smelled quite nice.

Although I forgot to film it, I did spray the box with two coats of lacquer. I guess I just got a little ahead of myself!


New Videos & New Horizons!

So I posted what I thought would be a fun video on You-Tube last week: A ring made from colored pencils:

What I didn't anticipate was how well received it would be! As of this point it has 190k views and about 125 shares. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

 Also thank you to all of you who subscribed! I have a ton of new ideas. They are one part woodworking and one part crazy. I think many of them will prove to be interesting.

At the very least I hope to stimulate some other ideas, or get people motivated to risk failing at something themselves! So stay tuned, and thank you again for the support! I hope I live up to it!

-Peter Brown

Steampunk Desk Lamp

OK, so it’s one part wood turning and one part crafting and not to everyone’s taste but I really dig the outcome.
Light on my desk. I need to make some space for it...

I bought some cool Edison style light bulbs a while back and just thought I needed to try this industrial thing. My office is very modern and it works for me.

I wanted it to look like someone was locked in a basement with a bunch of junk and needed light, so they cobbled together whatever they could and came up with this. In all truth it’s kind of what happened!

I raided my shed and found a bunch of electrical and plumbing parts that I mashed into useless gears and buttons. I already want to build another one, maybe a bit more refined this time…

Star Wars Wall Clock

I spent Saturday making a Star Wars themed wall clock. It's the symbol of the rebel alliance, and it came out pretty good. It's currently hanging at my work. I can see the imperfections, but I'm just calling them my signature homemade style!

My first time with scrolling cuts at the band saw. Yeah, I could use some more practice!
2+ hours of rasps, files and sandpaper. I need a spindle sander...
UPDATE: On a whim, I posted it on my Etsy page, and it sold. I ended up re-sanding the imperfections, adding a better mounting solution and fixing some finishing flaws so I feel it will be well received. But that's not the strange part. I miss it. I think I will have to find some time to make another one in the future...

UPDATE: It's July and I completed it's replacement. This one will not be for sale, it is now part of my office decor.

Not the pint glass you deserve, but the one you need.

I did some glass etching this weekend...

If I knew how easy it was going to be, I'd have done it months ago!

UPDATE: I made a second glass etching for my bride one night last week. This time a stencil of the new Doctor Who logo (DW in the Tardis shape)
About 30mins totally time invested. I have to say its just too easy!