When I was a kid both me and my brother had all kinds of neat things we never played with. One of those things was our wood burners. I kind of regret that now, but I can see how when I was Roan’s age I would have rather played hockey or video games. As I mentioned earlier, my mum recently got me a new wood burner, which I then promised to make her something nice with. Although I still haven’t done what I’d like to, I at least got a start on “paying” her back the other day.
It was her birthday on Saturday just passed, and I decided a while ago that I’d like to make her a card out of wood. I originally planned to make her something and frame it, but I liked the idea of a card. I made her the card you see above. It’s made from bass wood and has some copper jump rings for hinges. I messed up the first attempt, but I’m pleased with how this one turned out. I think my mum really liked it too.
Just a week before was Geoff’s birthday, so I asked Holly if I should make him a Green Lantern card (which I thought was his favourite superhero), and she said a Robin card would be even better. I found the above image, and got to work right away. I was excited to be part of the gift (as it’s usually Holly doing all the shopping and card writing), and to have a chance to test my card idea. Unfortunately at the time I was broke, so instead of nice bass wood, Geoff’s card is made from scrap plywood Roan found in his grandpa’s workshop.
It also has homemade hinges I fashioned out of aircraft-grade stainless steel wire, so it should be good up until about 35,000 vertical feet! I also didn’t have time to stain it before I gave it to Geoff, but he brought it over the other day so I could finish it. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it before I gave it back, but it basically looked the same colour as my mum’s above.
Holly has suggested that not only should I list my magnets and other things on Etsy, I should also offer a custom wooden card service for people who want something similar. I don’t know if anyone would be interested, or if they were, what I would even charge.
Want your own Custom Cobra Cardâ„¢ ?
When I cleaned up the laundromat with my parents and brother, I brought home a bunch of tools my father kept in the office and back room there. Among them was a soldering gun that once belonged to my grandfather. I have soldered maybe a half dozen things in my life, and only twice was I trying to fix or create something. The rest of the time I was just playing.
I decided to use my newly inherited soldering gun to attempt some wood burnings. It was a fairly bad idea. I found it hard to be accurate at all, and impossible to do any fine details with, not to mention its stupid duty cycle of – 1 minute on : 4 minutes off. I managed to make a clock for my shed, but that was about it. I called my mum one day and asked if she still had either mine or my brother’s old wood burning kits. She looked but couldn’t find them, so being the awesome mother she is, she went out and found me one. I promised to get good with it, then make her something nice with it.
I started messing around with it immediately after she left. All I had was scrap wood, so I just made some cartoon-y dudes killing each other with axes and chainsaws (I may post photos of these later… I’m not sure). Once I felt I had the hang of it I decided to try transferring a drawing onto wood, then burning it. I used some designs from Roan’s drawing book, and they turned out so well I wanted to do more. I asked Holly to take me to Michael’s to get some wood and magnetic tape, and then got busy making all the things you see in the top photo.
At first I mostly made insects, but then I had the urge to try some different things. The idea was for me to post all these things on Etsy and see if I could have a self sustaining hobby, but I’ve been too lazy to look into setting that up. It would be cool though, as I really enjoy making things. It’s even better when they are things people like.
I’m not saying I know people are going to like my stuff, but I do have a pretty good feeling some will. I’ve been surprised thus far with the reaction of my friends that have seen them. Most want one, or say they would definitely buy one if they saw them somewhere. But if you know me, you know I think everyone is only ever saying nice things about me or my stuff because they are being polite, and not because they mean it – I have issues.
I took lots of photos of all of these (for when/if I get around to posting them on Etsy), but rather than have this post be a mile long and take six hours to load, I’ve decided to post only the ones that I no longer have (minus the moth, which I’m considering keeping).
The camel above was given to Tony Mike after he saw my little display out in the shed. He thought it was awesome, and although I was supposed to be selling them, trying to recoup material costs, I was so pleased to hear that someone liked it I told him he could have it.
This turtle was given to our friend Laura for her birthday a few weeks ago. She also claimed to love it, and seemed to think I could be doing decent business at craft shows and things like that, or on Etsy. I was just relieved that she didn’t look at it and go “What the fuck is this?… a magnet?… why?”.
And finally, this great white shark was a gift to my friend Dave. He’s obsessed with sharks, and was one of the first people to tell me he thought the stuff I was making was cool. I asked him if he wanted a shark magnet, he said “Fuck ya, I do.”, so I made this specifically for him. Before Dave got out of the driveway his 9 year old son claimed the magnet as his. Luckily they share the same fridge, so they have a few years before they have to settle the ownership dispute.
Expect a lot more wood burning (pyrography) related posts. I’m having a lot of fun with it right now.
A while back there was a little stray that showed up in our neighbourhood. The people who live across the street fell in love with her, but are highly allergic. They decided to get her spayed, then asked everyone in the area to look out for her. She’s adorable. For a while, she was coming over hourly just to say hello. Then one day Shakespeare got a little rough with her, and IÂ haven’t seen her back here since.
Come back little kitty, I miss hanging with you in the shed.
When I was a teenager, my mum quit her job where she felt overworked and under-appreciated (which is probably similar to how she felt at home), and my parents bought a laundromat. She ran it (mostly on her own) for the last 14 years, and for the most part I think she enjoyed it.
Unfortunately, the newest owner of the property they rent is a total douche. He attempted to raise the rent an insane amount, forcing my parents to close the doors for good. Although my mother was looking forward to not having to go to the laundromat one day, this wasn’t her idea of how it would happen. Instead of selling a profitable business (which it was) and making some decent money to retire on, they were forced to find buyers for everything as fast as possible.
Luckily they managed to sell everything, and didn’t end up having to store it somewhere while they found buyers. I’m sad to see the laundromat go even though I was never a big part of it. My brother on the other hand was always helping out and looking after the place when they were gone and I think he had a harder time dealing with it. I’m mostly sad because my mum isn’t happy about how things ended. She had different plans.
Hopefully things will all work out for all of us one day.
There was a time when I would rest my feet on anything I could reach with my impressively skinny long legs, but that time has come to an end… dead is the legacy of Drill-Press-Foot-Rest, an industrial machine intended for destruction, torn from it’s roots and thrust into the position of comfort administering apparatus…
Thanks to a revolutionary material called: Freedepotwood, and my inability to just sit and relax, I now have a new stool for my ever so important feet. I even went the extra mile and included a sweet pyrographic Starfleet insignia for additional comfort and warp capabilities. Now if I could just sit and relax, I could test it out instead of using it as something to hold my drink and telephone.
Recently I discovered the gold mine that is the back of Home Depot. They put all kinds of stuff out there that is mainly scrap, but some things are still very usable. A couple weeks ago I found a large pile of 2″ x 6″ x 42″ pieces of pine, so I grabbed a bunch. First I made a bench which has thus far been used in the shed, but was intended for the yard, then I made this footstool for the newest version of my nephew – Mighty Mobile Felix. He’s started walking on his own recently, and has even taken up sprinting at times.
A while ago, my brother and I discussed how cool it would be if I made Felix a turtle shaped footstool akin to the ones our grandfather had made years ago. I still plan to do so, but the one day I had free Depot wood, and an urge to play with my router so I did this.
I wish I had an enormous workshop.
Roan is fairly obsessed with guns and weapons (as most young boys are I think), and I’m fairly obsessed with making things. Sometimes this results in some pretty neat creations. The image above is a perfect example of one. I dubbed it the Elast-O-BlastÂ©. I got the urge to make him one a while ago, but until just the other day I hadn’t seen a wooden clothespin in years. I can’t remember where I found it, but the minute I did, I put it in my pocket and then set it aside in the shed for the next time Roan asked if we could build something.
That ended up being the next morning.Â I got to work and ten minutes later he was blasting everything in sight. He must have liked it because not only did he show it off to everyone who came by over the next few days, he also left it behind when he went to his dad’s just to make sure it didn’t get ruined. That’s pretty amazing. I also overheard him bragging to his friends “Yea, it’s awesome, and it took us like less than ten minutes to make. We’re going to make a huge one next, and then a bunch more little ones.”. For the record, I’m game for both.
Before any girls start flooding my inbox with naked pictures of themselves because they think I’m amazing, I feel it’s only fair I point out that I didn’t design the Elast-O-BlastÂ©. I borrowed the idea from a very similar design my grandfather came up with when I was a little pain in the ass kid.
Want your very own Elast-O-BlastÂ©?
Before ANYONE says anything like: “I thought you love animals… ” or, “I can’t believe you actually…”, please just fuck off. I didn’t eat the fish. I didn’t bait the hooks. I didn’t drive the boat. All I did was reel the big ones in that no one else wanted to fight with. That being said, I sure did have a blast punching the shit out of those stupid fish.
We all got to catch a bunch, taking turns based on the size of the fish. Roan took all the wee ones.
I got all the monsters.
And Holly and Gage shared the in-between-ers.
After about 4 hours on the water we hauled in almost a hundred pounds of fish. All of it salmon and trout. The charter guide filleted them all on the side of his boat once we were back at the dock, and we took home around sixty pounds of fillets. I had a ton of fun and would definitely do it again. None of these fish are going to waste so I don’t feel too bad.
And this has got to be my favourite fishing photo ever.