I am seeing a lot of interesting laser-cut acrylic earrings in the forums and on social media right now. There is a range of interesting and intricate designs. They are, however, all quite flat. I wasn’t sure if people just hadn’t thought of heat-shaping them or, if there was some extra challenge in doing so. I have done some heat-shaping on other acrylic projects (like the VR Headset Wall Mount and the Paper Towel Roll Holder) and, thought I would give some simple heat dishing a go.
Long ago, my grandfather showed me how he was doing silver piercedwork jewelry and, I later did something similar with hand-cut paper earrings I was making. A wooden dishing or dapping block is great for this sort of thing.
If you are curious or, want to give it a try, I made a quick (3 minute) video showing how I produced these dished/domed acrylic spiral earrings and skull earrings (it is October, after all).
TL;DW (too long; didn’t watch): heat gun on low, moving constantly with the center over the outer edge (to avoid overheating the center), about an inch away, for 30-40 seconds. When the acrylic starts to droop, apply pressure to hold in the desired shape. Then, allow to cool for about 40-60 seconds to re-solidify.
I have a fair amount of custom-embossed Celtic key pattern velvet left from the pillow project. I was thinking some of it might make a cool drawstring bag. I may have gotten a little carried away with the details:
- Silk-lined round-bottom bag
- A new Celtic knotwork ring design for a laser-engraved faux-leather bottom
- Kumihimo braided drawstring
- Customized skull beads
- Second set of skull beads from scratch
There is a separate post with the design files for the floss separator I made for this, in case it is of use to anyone else.
It was a lot of fun and, I’m happy with the result. Of course, I shot video of every step of the construction of both versions of the bag.
This is a quick, simple tool to assist when separating skeins of kumihimo (or embroidery) floss into working clusters with the desired number of strands. The upright is a sandwich of a piece of EVA foam between two pieces of 1/4″ stock (MDF here but, something like Baltic birch ply or acrylic should work, too). The EVA is sliced with a razor blade in the middle of each channel. Then, just glue it all together with wood glue. Some clamping is likely required while it dries.
It is probably best to clamp it down to a table when using. Knot the end of the skein/bundle of strands and, slip it into the cut in the EVA. That should keep the end in place while you separate the full length.
Someone made a paper craft version of the “Let Glue Dry” block Laura Kampf uses in her shop awhile back. I immediately thought of making a pop up card version that could be stored flat. I did one with a simple block font but, later, made another version where I reproduced the hand lettering from a photo of Laura’s block.
I sent one of these to Laura back in March. I am going to assume that it’s okay to share these unless I hear otherwise.
Although I cut my cards on the laser, you could do this entirely by hand with a craft knife. You can even skip the white stickers. The letters could be cut from white paper and glued on. The letters could be colored in with an opaque white marker or paint.
There are two version of each design. The regular one has everything aligned in one image. That is, the score lines for the back show aligned where they should be on the front like a standard OA pattern. The jig-in-place version has the score lines for the reverse flipped for production on a sign or laser cutter.
I made my cards using the jig-in-place technique. In brief, I:
- Stuck the black stock down to an adhesive mat in the Glowforge.
- Disabled all operations except the score lines for the reverse side and the card outline.
- Ran those two operations.
- Flipped the card over in place, aligning it with the hole from which it was cut.
- Placed a strip of white polyester sticker over the face of the card where the white letter would be.
- Disabled the reverse scores and outline cut. Enabled the other operations
- Ran the operations.
- Removed the card and weeded the white polyester stickers.
- Folded the finished card!
I started to make a video of the jig-in-place technique but, it is not super clear on the black stock. I will likely do a video showing how this is done when I have another design on a lighter-colored stock to run.
A recent recipient of the Arrow of Light wanted a plaque + shelf to hang in his room for display. There didn’t seem to be anything easily available that fit the bill. So, despite limited experience with woodworking, I agreed to take a run at it.
I did a quick visualization in Fusion 360 but, patterned the parts in Inkscape.
The back is three layers of 1/4″ Baltic birch plywood glued together. The name and sunbeam design are cut through the top layer with additional details engraved in the corners. I put cut-outs in the back layer so the hardware can be inset and, allow for flush mounting against a wall.
The shelf and brackets are two layers of the same plywood, laminated with glue.
My original intent was to use countersunk screws to connect the bottom layer of the shelf to the plaque, then put the second shelf layer over that to create a good mechanical connection. With all of my countersink bits MIA, though, I ended up just using wood glue. A few quick tests suggest the ply will fail before the glue does.
I applied birch edge banding – my first experience with edge banding – to all of the exposed edges for a more consistent look.
This was shipped unfinished so that the recipient can stain it himself to match his room decor.