Lookout the Lamp

IMG_1265My brother is the outdoorsy type, and for a few summers he volunteered at fire lookouts here in Oregon.

I found a photo online of a fire lookout that was contrasted nicely against a plain blue sky.  Then I used Illustrator to convert it into a vector image.  Spent some time weeding out the ‘islands’ and the super-narrow parts until I arrived at the finished product, then lased it out of thin plywood.

IMG_1268Usually when  making lamps, I put the diffusion material on the inside.  However, because of the thin, delicate strands of wood holding up the tower, I decided to put diffused plastic on the outside of the lamp to act as a protective ‘shell’.

Like almost all lamps I make, this is outfitted with the guts from a cheap Ikea glass lamp, and a CFL bulb.

Lessons Learned
Even though I used thin plywood and it’s up against the plastic, the silhouette is thick enough that it casts a weird ‘halo’ shadow when the lamp is lit.  I also cut my brother’s name out in the back so that it would project on the wall behind the lamp, but that part doesn’t work.  It just lights up the wall behind the lamp.

Mom’s Keepsake Box

IMG_1282Welp, here it is.  The reason I started woodworking in general.  For Christmas, I wanted to make mom something, so I decided on a jewelry box.  I didn’t like any of the plans I found online, so I decided just to make one from scratch.  Doodled up some blueprints at work, then got down to business.

The box is Cherry with Walnut lid, base, and edge accents.  I routed a very wide groove along the sides to accommodate laser-cut panels glued to the sides.  The oval emblem on the front had two cut passes; the first pass was to cut out the emblem, and the second pass cut out an expanded oval that I could use as a template for the guide bushings on my router.

IMG_1281The lid is a Walnut frame surrounding thin Oak ply with a Rosewood veneer inlay.  I cut out and glued a mirror pane onto the underside of the lid, and added a chain to keep the lid from flopping back too far.

I also lined the inside of the box with navy blue velvet, which I did after I took the picture at the top of the post.

Lessons Learned
There’s a lot of wasted space under the drawer, and the box sits taller than I’d like.  I should have made the Walnut part of the base shorter, and eliminated the gap between the bottom of the drawer and the walnut base.  Maybe making the box wider or deeper would make it feel not so ‘tall’.

I picked up the least-intrusive handle I could find, but in hindsight I probably should have used a dresser-style hanging pull that would have sat more flush with the front of the box.