Make A Fancy Wooden Rolling Pin

Make a fancy wooden rolling pin for those special cooks in your life.  They will love the rolling pins and you will have a great time making them.   If they don’t bake any more, make a hanging bracket and let them display the rolling pin as part of their kitchen decor.

They are easy to make and you don’t even have to be a good wood turner.  If you have a lathe and are at all experienced, you can turn a rolling pin.  The fun thing about them is that there are an infinite number of designs.  I make them about 19″ long and about 2 1/2″ in diameter, but there is nothing sacred about those dimensions.  You can make them any size and shape you like.

I have attached two pictures of finished pins.  Look at them and think, what would it look like if I used 3/4″ or 1/8″ wood instead of 3/8″ like I used.  What would it look like if I cut the blank in half lengthwise and turned one side around and then glued them back together.  What would it look like if instead of cutting it in half and inserting a contrasting colored wood on 2 sides to make a cross, I cut it in half on all 4 sides, or if I made 2 parallel  cuts instead of a cross.  There are so many variations that it never gets old.  I’m sure you will enjoy making them.

 

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I have also attached a link to a video that will give you some more information on how I build a rolling pin like these pictured.

 

How To Design A Band Saw Box Pattern

In my mind, there are 2 ways of designing a band saw box pattern.  One is strictly artistic, with flowing lines or a shape that doesn’t  resemble anything special, other than a shape that you like to look at. With this kind of pattern, I usually start with an idea or object in mind, and then just keep changing the lines until I get what I want.  The other is a pattern resembling a particular object.  For example, my cowboy boot or yin yang band saw boxes.  In this case I try to find a picture that I can copy and then figure out how to get the drawers into it.  I’m not enough of and artist to draw that kind of a pattern freehand.

When creating the shape of your band saw box,  and when building it,  there are a few things to consider.

  • One of the first things to consider is where will you make your entry point to cut out the drawers, will it blend in, and can you cut from one drawer to the next without cutting the drawer free.  When creating  a two drawer box for example,  make sure that the divider between the drawers is attached on one end.  If you cut both ends, obviously the piece will fall out.
  • Can you sand it?  Make sure that you can sand in the corners.    Use rounded corners where possible, rather than sharp inside points. This is particularly important in the outside shape of your box.  If you must have a sharp point, figure out a way to sand it before you cut the box.    On my model # 50, for example, cut the 5 out completely, leaving a matching indentation in the 0, so that you can sand the sharp “V” where the 5 and the 0 come together.  After sanding and rounding over the edges, you can glue the two pieces back together.

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  • Grain patterns,  try to put your prettiest grain patterns on the front.   Make the grain flow with the box pattern. If you have a pretty spot, such as a spot of burl, put it where you won’t cut through it.  On a pattern such as my  guitar where there is a section such as the fret bar where you want a strait grain or even a lined grain,  use Zebra Wood or Beli or African Mahogany to represent the strings.  Sometimes I decide which box to make based on the grain of the wood.

Backing The Band Saw Blade Out Of A Saw Kerf

When building a band saw box that has a drawer with a point on one end, such as my yin yang box,  you must cut into that point from both directions.   You have to back the band saw blade out of the saw kerf to the beginning point, and then cut from there around the other side of the drawer into the point.

You can back the blade out with the machine turned off, but I have found that you will probably have to hold the kerf open while you move the box to allow the blade to move through the kerf.   You can also back the blade out with the saw still running.   This is the way I prefer.   As you are backing the band saw blade through the kerf, just keep turning the box so the blade will stay parallel with the kerf.   If the blade rubs too hard against the wood, you may pull it forward and off the tire.  You must move slowly and carefully.

If the wood is dry, the kerf will generally stay open. If there is too much moisture in the air, the kerf will try to close up, making it very difficult to back the blade out. Where I live the air is very dry and I don’t generally have problems backing the blade. In the summer, however,  I cut early in the morning before I turn the cooler on in my shop. Once the cooler is on, it puts enough moisture in the air that I can’t cut boxes. I don’t know if this is a problem in very moist climates. It may be that the moisture content of the wood is higher to start with and is not a problem.  If it is, I’m not sure how you would handle it.

Sealing Open End Grain Wood

If you cut an open grained wood, such as red oak, to a thickness of about 1/8″ or less and hold it up to the light, you will generally see light through the open pores in the wood.   This becomes a problem when you paint the inside of your band saw box drawers in order to flock them.  Some time ago I made a video on how to seal the open end grain.  Since the question keeps coming up, I decided to address it again and reference the original video.   If you are concerned about the paint breeding through the side or bottom of your drawer, just hold it up to the light and see if there are open pores that will bleed paint.  After you seal it with the yellow glue ( see video)  and want to make  sure you sealed it completely, just hold it up to the light again.   If you see little spots of light through the bottom of the drawer, it’s not completely sealed.

Some have asked if the yellow glue in the pores of the wood will affect the staining or finish of the wood.   I have never had a problem with  this.

Here is the video on how to seal wood with open end grain

What Size Band Saw Blade Do You Use?

Band saw blades seem to be the hot topic right now.  Recently I have had several inquiries about what size blades do I use and what brand do I use.

For most of my cutting, I use a 3/16″ 10 tooth blade.  It is fairly easy to control on a long cut and yet will cut a fairly tight corner.   As long as it is still sharp and cutting good,  it also works well for cutting the front and back off the drawer blank.  With the 3/16″ blade, I don’t have to keep changing blades, except , of course, for cutting the back off the box.  For a large box, I use  a 1/4″  4 tooth  blade.

As to what brand I use, I have used many different brands,  all of which are good, but pricey.   A few years ago I found a local saw shop that will make the blades up and ship them to me.  They seem to work just as good as the national brands and are less expensive.   If you’re looking for a place to get blades, you might give them a try.  Call  American Saw and Hammering at (801) 467-4903.  They’ll ship.

 

 

 

Heart Shaped – Two Drawer Band Saw Box

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Heart Shaped Jewelry Box

In answer to a customer’s request for a heart shaped box, I have just created this new two drawer standing heart band saw box.  It is about 10″ tall by 7″ wide and 3 1/2″ thick.  The top drawer is divided into two sections for smaller jewelry or trinkets while the bottom drawer is open for larger items.  There is also a hidden drawer in the back of the lower drawer.

I also have a short video which describes and shows the box in more detail.

For those of you that would like to build the box yourself, the pattern is available on my web site.

Smaller Necklace Jewelry Box

My new smaller necklace band saw box has all the features of my regular necklace boxes, but is only about 6 1/2″ wide.  It still has the ring drawer, the hidden drawer and the lift out tray, bIMG_2212ut has only one necklace drawer.

I have had several requests for a smaller necklace box, one that doesn’t take up quite so much room.  I think this box will answer that concern.  This beautiful box is only about 6 1/2′ wide by 11″ high and 3 1/2″ deep.

I also have a short video that will tell you more about this new jewelry box.

For those of you that would like to build a necklace box, but do not have a riser on your band saw, this box is only about 6 1/2″ wide.  The pattern is available on the web site.

 

Copy Pattern Onto Wood With Carbon Paper

The best way that I have found to transfer a band saw box pattern to your wood block is with old fashioned carbon paper.

I demonstrated using carbon paper to transfer the band saw box pattern to the wood in my ” How to build the Yin Yang band saw box” video.   The question I got from the younger generation was, what is carbon paper?  From the older generation, is it still available and where can you get it?

It was used with typewriters to make copies,  before we had copiers and computers.   Am I dating myself?

To use it, put it face (carbon side) against the wood.  Lay your pattern on top and trace over the lines of the pattern, transferring the image onto the wood.  I find this easier and with  less clean up than gluing the pattern to the wood.

The best place I have found to get carbon paper is on Amazon.com.  They have it  in smaller quantities than the large office supply stores.

 

 

How To Build My Yin Yang Band Saw Box

Model # 35 Yin Yang - Afrimosia and Ash

Yin Yang Band Saw Box

I have made a 43 minute video on how to build my yin yang band saw box.  It starts by showing how I build the block of wood, using two different woods,  from which I cut out the yin yang band saw box, and  how I add the pattern.   It covers cutting out the box and the drawers, including the hidden drawer, and  then re-assembling the box, the drawers and the hidden drawer.  I cover the building of the hidden drawer from beginning to end.   I also talk about sanding and shaping the box and drawers and rounding over the edges before final sanding and staining.  It concludes with finishing the box and drawers and flocking the inside of the drawers.

I also include several little tips that I think will make building your yin yang box go faster and easier.

You can purchase the video by going to the “How to Videos” listing on the web site.  I will send  you the Yin Yang pattern with the link to the video.  The video, of course, demonstrates how to build the yin yang box, but the principles can be applied to any band saw box.

 

This is a short seven minute introduction to the video.

 

Felt Buttons Can Improve The Looks Of Your Band Saw Boxes

You can improve the looks of your band saw boxes with the addition of some small felt buttons or pads.  (Like those used to cushion your cabinet doors.)  Buttons on the bottom of the drawer will even the space above and below the drawer as it sits in the box.  A button on the back of the drawer opening will move the drawer forward so that the face of the drawer will be flush with the front of the box.  Buttons on the bottom of the box will protect your fine furniture.

Most hardware stores will have these little felt buttons, some will be listed as felt pads or furniture protectors.  When you buy them, get some that are 3/8″ in diameter by 1/16″ thick, not 1/8″ thick, the thicker ones will cause the drawer to bind as you insert it, if it will go in at all.

I have attached a short video to demonstrate how I use them.

 

Band Saw Boxes With The Wood Grain Vertical

There are times when it is preferable to run the wood grain vertical in your band saw box.   Sometimes it is just for esthetics, but sometimes it is essential.   If you are building a box such as my Model 05 Chest of Drawers where the front is open,   ( see below ),  the only vertical support is the back of the box.  If you run the wood grain horizontal, moisture may cause the back to bow and narrow the drawer openings on the front of the chest.  This will make it so that the drawers no longer fit.   In this case, it is essential that you have a vertical wood grain.

The reason for this article  is that after my blog article on cutting vertical grain wood, it was suggested that I just not make boxes with the wood grain running vertical.  That would solve the problem.  As I mentioned above, there are some patterns the require the wood grain to be vertical.  There other patterns that just look better with a vertical grain, and others where the box will be stronger with grain running vertically.

Model 05 - Black Limba and Oak

Videos On The Hidden Drawer And Necklace Box Drawers

I have just completed two new videos, one is on how to build the hidden drawer in your band saw box and the other is on how to build the special drawers in the necklace box.  I have decided to make them available with my patterns. If you purchase the pattern for a box that has a hidden drawer, I will include the video on how to build the hidden drawer.  If you purchase one of my necklace box patterns, I will include the video on how to build the special drawers in the necklace box, ie: necklace drawer, hidden drawer, ring drawer and the lift out tray.  These changes are explained further on the patterns page on the web site.

For those who prefer printed instructions,  you can still purchase my  instruction set on how to build the hidden drawer.   Those instructions will now  include a link to the hidden drawer video.

I also still have available printed instructions on how to build a small trinket box or gift box.  With those instructions, I will also include a link to my video on how to build small band saw box.

I have included a short video on what these new video’s contain.

Get A Smooth Cut When Cutting Vertical Grain Wood

When you cut vertical grain wood on a band saw, this is when the grain runs parallel to the saw blade,  you will quite often get a wavy cut line.  This is especially true when cutting oak or ash, or other wide grained woods.  When you cut with a narrow band saw blade, the blade wants to follow the grain in the wood.  When you cut across the grain, you generally get a smooth cut.  The best way I have found to get a smooth cut when cutting vertical grain wood, is to position the wood so that you are cutting across the grain,  even if only at an angle.  If the piece  you are cutting is too long to stand up vertically, hold it at about a 45 degree angle as you cut.    This will give you a smooth cut when cutting vertical grain wood.

One CAUTION, your hand will be under the wood to support it, so make sure it is back away from the blade

I have attached a short video clip to demonstrate.

Sanding Inside Narrow Openings

Several of my band saw boxes, such as  the  Models 01- Mother and Child  and  Model 27 – Open Space  have narrow openings that can’t be sanded with a palm sander.   Others have drawer openings that come to a point on one end.    I can  do the initial sanding and shaping inside those narrow areas with a spindle sander,  but it doesn’t  leave a good  finish.   I found several years ago that the Bosch Sander model # 1294 VS,  that has a 3″ by 1″ finger,  will go into these narrow openings and give me a good finish.  There are other sanders that will probably do a similar job, but the Bosch has done a good job for me.    I got mine from Amazon.com.

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Model 01 Mother and Child

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Model 27 Open Space

 

I have made a short video that demonstrates the sander and also shows you how to save some money on the sand paper it uses.

 

Building A Small Band Saw Box – How To Video

For those of you who would like to build your own band saw box,  I have just made my “How To Build A Small Band Saw Box”  video available on You Tube.  This “how to” video will explain in great detail how to build a small band saw box.  It will take you from building the block from which you cut the box, to completion, including how to flock the inside of the drawers.  It also has some little tips on how to make your band saw box a little nicer.

So take a look at my ‘How To Video‘ and try building a box yourself.    After you’ve done a few, check out all the band saw box patterns on my web site, and give one of them a try.

How Thick Do You Make Your Band Saw Boxes?

 

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“Golf Club” – Block Made From Four 4/4 Boards

 

I try to make all my band saw  boxes between 3 and 4 inches thick.     Most of my boxes are made from 4 pieces of 4/4 wood.   If at all possible, I buy unfinished wood at 13/16″ to 15/16″ thick or more.    By the time I flatten it,  and glue it up, I generally end up with a block at least  3 1/2 ” thick.

If I am using a solid block of wood, I try to make sure it will end up at least 3 inches thick.  Any less than that and the drawers are too small.

When I started, I used 5 pieces of wood, but that was too thick, and since I use two different woods, I didn’t like the way the grain lined up.   Four pieces of wood gives me a better grain pattern.     I also had trouble sanding five pieces with a 4″ belt sander and with a 4 1/2″ spindle sander.    Three and a half inches thick works out really well.   It  fits my equipment, the drawers are a decent size, it looks better, and it’s easier to handle.

Do You Make Custom Designed Band Saw Boxes?

All of my commissioned band saw boxes were custom designed.   The ideas have come from many different people and for many different reasons.  Some were made to fit a certain type of jewelry, such as my Necklace Boxes.  Others were made to honor special people, such as the Fire Engine for my Fire Captain brother-in-law, or the Ol Paint Horse for my grand daughter.

If  you are interested in a custom designed band saw box, there are a few things we need to do.

  • First – Send me a picture of you idea.
  • Second – I will review your picture and draw up a pattern to see if I think it can be made into a band saw box and if I can get drawers into it.
  • Third – If I think it is possible, I’ll send you a sketch of what I think it will look like.
  • Fourth – We can communicate back and forth till we reach a consensus on the shape, size, wood, etc.

I will let you know the cost and what my schedule is so we can agree on a delivery date.

 

For more on this subject, go back to an earlier blog post titled “Something New”.

 

Don’t Waste Sand Paper

In my “How To” videos, I use a little strip of sand paper to do small sanding  jobs.  After viewing one of the videos, a woodworker asked me why I tore my sand paper into strips instead of using the full sheet,  just folded  up. That’s a good question, but I don’t tear up good sand paper, I use scrap paper.  When I take the used sand paper off my palm sander, I tear the unused edges (from under the clamps) off and use them to do my small sanding jobs.  I can’t see throwing away my used sander sheets before removing the part of them that can be reused.  Sand paper is too expensive.

I made a short video to show you what I mean.

Build Small Band Saw Boxes From Hardwood Blocks

Last week I mentioned that I had some small hardwood blocks from which you could build a small band saw box.   The video I attached last week  shows you how to make a box from one of the blocks.   In this blog post, I have attached another short video to give you some ideas on how to modify the blocks to create your personal design.

Many of the blocks just need to be sanded and squared up.  Others require only small modifications to the shape.  Some will need to be completely shaped to fit your personal design ideas.

Again, the blocks sell two for a dollar plus shipping.  If you are interested, contact me through my web site.

 

Hardwood Blocks For Building Small Band Saw Boxes

I sell a lot of small hardwood blocks that people use to make little band saw boxes, or other small wooden items.   Some are even shaped and ready to cut.   They are mostly left from the inside of drawers, or cut offs from around larger boxes.  Most all are made from 2 different species of wood.   I generally put the prettier, more exotic woods, on the front and back with a domestic wood in the center. They vary in size, but most will be from 1″ to 3″ high by 3″ to 6″ or 8″ long and about 2 1/2″ to 3″ thick.

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I just thought I would let everyone know they are available if you want an easy way to build same small band saw boxes.

They are only fifty cents each, plus whatever it costs to ship them to you.   The shipping will generally run almost as much as the cost of the wood.   That may seem expensive, but if you consider the cost of exotic wood and the time it takes to build a block, you’ll find that these are really quite reasonable.

To help you get started, I have created a video on how to build a small band saw box, and made it available on You Tube.   It covers each step in detail from beginning to completion.

For those of you that are creative and like to come up with new ideas.  Here are some uniquely shaped cut offs that you may be able to make something out of.  If you think you can use them, let me know and I’ll send them to you for the cost of the shipping.

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If you are interested, contact me through my web site at designer-wooods.com, or by e-mail at designerwoods@gmail.com.