Intro to Fab. – Week 5

Materials & Fasteners

Took me a minute to come up with an idea for this assignment and I think I’ve finally settled on one. I knew I wanted to use wood plus something else — most likely cork or sheet metal, and I briefly played with the idea of industrial piping. I’m pretty sure I spent half an hour just staring around my apartment thinking of something to make — book ends, a container to put on top of my espresso machine (might revisit this), a wine rack — but I’ve settled on a desktop tool holder. Usually I just have my tools laying about or I have to go back and forth from my desk to wherever I store them so I thought I’d try and fabricate something that can live on my desk and house my most used tools.

Here are some random sketches plus some leading up to the plans for the tool holder.

It’s functional but also – hopefully – looks nice.

The three diagonal pieces are sheets of aluminum bent at two different points to mount on top of each piece of wood and to the side of the other. The plan is to cut out holes into these pieces of aluminum to hold some of my tools — needle nose pliers, wire strippers, diagonal cutters, screwdriver, etc. And if I can find the right sized rubber grommet I’ll put those in. At the end of the container will be an open portion to put miscellaneous things.

Also, I’ll probably put a thin sheet of cork at the bottom to prevent it from sliding around on my desk.

Made a bill of materials. Ordered from McMaster-Carr, Amazon, and bought stuff from Midtown Lumber and Home Depot. Also ordered some other wood from Woodcraft but it probably won’t get here in time, so I’ll save it for another thing.

Still waiting for the aluminum sheets to be delivered. But in the meantime, I’ve chopped up the pieces I need.

They should be delivered sometime today — so that I can start cutting it down to the sizes I need and bending them, attaching them to the wood, and then finally treat the whole thing with oil.

Finally got the aluminum sheets delivered. I ordered sheets of 12″x12″ corrosion-resistant 3000 series aluminum sheets at a 0.0250″ thickness.

Ben helped with using the sheet-metal-bend-brake machine thing whose name I don’t exactly remember, and cutting out holes using the drill press. (Thanks Ben)

I then used a hand seamer to make the two bends in each piece at the right angle I needed. My bends aren’t perfect, but they’re about the best I could get them to.

Back home, I worked on filing and sanding down the edges from the circular cut outs and beginning the assembly of the whole thing.

Once I got the three pieces put together, and after a long time hesitating because I didn’t want to mess it up — I started glueing everything down.

Well, it works as I intended. Is it the most practical holder for tools and such? No. But who cares. I would rather have a pegboard hanging on the wall holding everything but I don’t know that I’m allowed to do that in this apartment. Anyways, I digress. It fits on my desk and holds what I need it to and doesn’t look too bad.

Tomorrow, after the glue has had a chance to dry, I’ll sand everything down and clean it up before I treat it with either linseed or danish oil, and clean up the aluminum — might give it a brushed look, mainly because it’s already looking a bit beat up and I like the look of brushed metal. Will also add a layer of cork at the bottom.

Couldn’t oil it yesterday, so oiled it tonight (boiled linseed oil), and will let it dry overnight until class tomorrow, then maybe apply another coat after.

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