Archive | August 2014

Sign Time

Needed a sign for our home daycare to put out front that looked a little more permanent. We had a plastic printed version on a set of plastic stilts but it was kind of cheesy looking and I think it looked too much like a realtor sign, so over the Aug long weekend I put one together. 

Here’s the final product planted out front. 

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It was a simple build. Made use of some 1″x10″ pine boards. Used the router to cut 1/4″ channels along the side rails. These fit the sign as well as the tenons on the ends of the cross rails. 

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Here are all the bits after staining. I used Minwax 233 “English Chestnut” for the stain, and followed that up with three coats of Helmsman Spar Varnish. 

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The varnish really shined up well, here’s hoping it does well against our Canadian weather. 

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Sensory Board the Prequel

This is a board I made up for the kids in my wife’s daycare. It features alot of the stuff kids are typically being told not to play with like light switches, buttons, knobs, wheels, and those spring door stoppers that even I like to play with every now and then. In fact, if the whole board was spring stoppers I think the kids would have been just as happy. The switches turn on a few high intensity LEDs that are mounted behind a set of trailer reflectors. Button 1 turns on a small PC fan mounted behind some hardware cloth. Button 2 turns on an electro magnet in the center of the board which picks up the piece of chain dangling in front, although that part isn’t as easy to use as I hoped it would be. The black holes on the left top and bottom of the board are openings to a piece of 3″ ABS pipe that’s big enough for a tennis ball to roll through. The little wooden knob is pressed onto the shaft of a stepper motor which is connected to another LED under the third reflector. There’s no external power there, the stepper just works as enough of a generator that when it’s spun it lights up.

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It’s a little more rough ‘n ready than the more recent one I made, but it does the job. The kids seem to love it.