We recently went on a field trip To Peroba Reclaimed out in Richmond. They specialize in reclaimed lumber and live edge slabs ethically harvested. The staff was lovely and helpful. And really patient with us digging through their off-cuts pile. We were on a mission to get affordable wood to use in Ace project-based workshops. Not only did we find affordable products but really pretty options we can feel good about spending community money on. We definitely recommend going out there when you are ready to level up your solid wood projects.
This is an aquarium stand that I built at Ace Monster Toys. It is made of maple 3/4 plywood and walnut edge banding. I used the old craftsman table saw and the ryobi router table to cut and shape the parts. If I had to do it over again I would use the CNC router. It would be far far safer, faster, and the results would be cleaner and more square. I would probably also use strips of 1/8″ walnut instead of the iron-on edge banding, because it would be much more durable and age better. After designing the piece in sketchup, I made some test pieces to practice edge banding on. The idea is to use the edge banding to hide the screws and the ugly edges of the plywood. It was a challenge to cut up the 4×8 sheet of plywood with a handheld power saw. A panel saw would have been better. After getting the pieces small enough to fit in my car, I took them to AMT and cut them to size on the table saw. The problem was that, even with my own brand new blade, the saw would not cut perfectly square, and the measurements on the fence were not accurate. It was very frustrating and the results were not perfect. I used the router table to cut dadoes and rabbets where the walnut strips would go. After assembling the box, I used an iron to iron on the walnut edge banding, which I trimmed with a razor. At this point I took the stand home for finishing, and added some wheels. The stand contains my canister filter and CO2 tank. I am very happy with the result, but if I had to do it over, I would use the CNC.
As Makers we see the potential in everything which leads to hoarding. I will admit to hoarding stuff far more than I should and one of those things I kept around longer than I need to was hardwood flooring samples. Such beautiful wood! We can make things out of this beautiful wood! And finally, years later, we did.
All these coasters where made on the big CNC router out of flooring sample boards. You can get these for free or really cheap off the interwebs, the downside is you are constantly emailed and called by flooring salesman in followup. My first attempt was in doing the full AMT logo in a fine cut using a 0.9mm bit. Having such a large machine use such a small bit was funny in that Laurel and Hardy kind of way you expect. I found that I was breaking bits constantly, even when changing around the feeds and speeds. Eventually I gave up and switched over to using just a 1/8″ down cut spiral bit for engraving the top with the logo and for cutting out the coaster when done. These are less fine detailed but do have the advantage of not destroying a ten pack of bits. I used spray adhesive on the back to glue down a shelf liner backing.
That works… sorta and for a short time. Need to come up with a better solution for putting a non-stick backing on these guys. Overall I’m pleased that we still have most of them around AMT, I thought they would be gone in a few weeks but here we are months later and you can always find a coaster upstairs when you need one.
Now what to do with the box of flooring samples I still have….