Monthly Archives: May 2018

Fun with the MakerLab Laser Cutter

In going through pictures on my phone today and came across a few pictures of laser cutter projects I did while I was at Santa Clara. I didn’t do a post on them at the time, so I thought I would rectify the situation.

The first project was a Smaug hanging I made for Lloyd. I went all out for this and went to Woodcraft to buy nice wood since it was a gift. I then cut this into a rounded rectangle with two holes in the top corners for hanging and followed by a negative image of Smaug that gleaned from The Hobbit. I had to collect all the little pieces of wood cut out during this process and keep them in order so that I could use them in the final design later.

Next, I cut out the same image of Smaug in transparent red acrylic. This required a few tweeks of the laser cutter settings to ensure the acrylic fit snugly into the wood. This acrylic outline was fit into the wood first followed by all the little wood interior bits. I was then faced with the problem of how to hold all the pieces together. My solution was to take a piece of white card stock and cut it down to just cover the dragon image. I glued this to the back of the wood so all the small pieces could be glued on the back side rather than worrying about having glue show on the image. Since the card stock was relatively thin, it also allowed light to shine through the red acrylic when in was held up to a window.

I was very happy with the result and feel like it’s one of the nicer things I’ve made in the MakerLab.

Smaug the terrible!

Smaug the terrible!

My second project was also Lord of the Rings themed. Lloyd and I decided we’d like a nice set of coasters so we both searched for our favorite line drawings from Middle Earth. Once we found images we liked, I chose a plain white acrylic for the coaster interiors and a pale wood for the bottom and border. First, I cut four plain wood circles and four circle outlines. The outlines had the same outer diameter as the plain circles. Then I cut out four smaller circles from the white acrylic and rastered our chosen images  on them. I used paint to make the images stand out more so they would be visible sitting on a coffee table. The ring was the hardest to do since I used two colors. Finally, I sealed the wood to protect it from moisture (a definite occurrence for coasters) and glued the assembly together. We were happy with how these turned out and have gotten a lot of compliments on these coasters.

The mithril gate of Moria, Sauron's eye inside the one ring, the white tree of Gondor, and Smaug again.

The mithril gate of Moria, Sauron’s eye inside the one ring, the white tree of Gondor, and Smaug again.

Knit Buttoned Cowl Redux

My purple cowl has gone missing, so I decided to do the sensible thing: order the same yarn and knit myself a new one. While I was looking at yarn, I decided to go ahead and order a couple more skeins and make a second cowl since I got so much use out of the first one. This time, I decided to make an ombre cowl that faded from burgundy to charcoal. Other than that, the cowls are the same. And now I have two beautiful new cowls! Just in time for summer. *sigh* Such is the way of my knitting projects…

Have you seen my twin? I don't know where it's gone.

Have you seen my twin? I don’t know where it’s gone.

I really like this color combination. And knitting stripes.

I really like this color combination. And knitting stripes.

Westport, Wa

As a change of pace from our normally hectic life, we went to the beach this weekend! It is a bit weird to think about, but for all the time we are on the water in the Sound and Lakes around here, we still hadn’t made it out to the Pacific for the first year and a half.

We remedied that in Westport, a sleepy little town about a two hour drive to our west. It was just far enough away to feel properly in the country which is always enjoyable when you spend most of your time in the city or dense suburbia.

The beach was fantastic – as long as you like your beaches partially foggy, partially sunny, cool, and blowing. We didn’t do much (any) swimming in the stereotypical Pacific Northwest Ocean, but it was a delight to wade around in the water and lounge on the sandy beach.

The town wasn’t all that bad either. It was clearly 99% tourist focused, but the greater Westport area hasn’t seemed to lose its soul like many other beach towns that we have been to. And to top it off, our dinner one night was a dozen fresh local oysters on the half shell at our rented flat; I will definitely vote for coming back as I am easily bribed by oysters.

The beach was very flat, so at low tide it was a trek to the water.

The beach was very flat so it was a trek to the water at low tide.

The view from our rented beach house. Feast your eyes on an abandoned whaling pier.

The view from our rented beach house. Feast your eyes on an abandoned whaling pier.

If you hadn't noticed I love the water.

If you hadn’t noticed, I love the water.

Bald Eagles apparently also like the Beach. There were innumberable terns feasting on smelt just off shore so I don't think those eagles were going hungry tonight. Also sometime I wish I had a telephoto lens.

Bald Eagles apparently also like the beach. There were innumerable terns feasting on smelt just off shore so I don’t think those eagles were going hungry that night. Also, sometimes I wish I had a telephoto lens.