Wednesday, 14 May 2014

How to make a milk tooth holder...

Just a quick post on how to make a little pot / holder for teeth,which may sound a little macabre,but if like us you practice the offering of baby teeth to the tooth fairy then perhaps not so much.

Here's the one I made for my daughter -

Vaguely tooth shaped.

It was really easy to make,although I did use my lathe to make the lid,but you could always hand carve the lid,or you can use a power drill to shape the piece of wood,although this may not be the safest way to do it.

The holder part is made from a small cube of pine with a hole in it for the coin and the bottom is shaped to resemble the root of a tooth.

To make it you'll need a cube of wood that measures about an inch on all sides,you'll need a forstner bit or a spade bit to make the hole for the coin,which needs to be big enough for a pound coin,inflation what can you do? when I was a kid a few coppers would have been great especially as you could still get half pence sweets back then.

Once you have your cube you need to find the centre of one of the sides,this will be where you make the hole for the coin.

Block already marked up - 

Needs a hole.

Hole drilled - 

Bit off centre,but not to worry.

Remember to make the hole deep enough to get the coin in with the lid on,around 15 to 20 mm in depth should do it.
To shape the holder I used a sanding drum to make the groove that looks a bit like the root of a tooth,and I rounded off the sides and edges on my table sander,but you can do this by hand or with a multi tool.

Ready for shaping - 

A small sanding drum is great for shaping things.

The next thing to do is make the lid,as I said I used my lathe,but you can stick a piece of wood on the end of a drill and use small files and sand paper to make a lid,or you could do it by hand,and if you're feeling really adventurous you could build your own lathe (which I've done,currently working on the mk2 mini lathe)

I have also seen small lathes that are powered by drills for about £50, Axminster make one that would be good for small turning projects,like this one (opens in new window)

Here's the finished milk tooth holder - 

Took about 20 minutes to make.

And that's all there is to it,they are simple to make,I made two from a small off cut of wood,in all they probably cost about 30p to make the both of them,you can leave them in plain wood,you could as I've done with the one for may daughter paint them in your kids favourite colour (my daughter loves pink) you can paint faces on them,really the sky is the limit,and it's much easier to find one of these under pillow than fumbling about for a tiny tooth.

Here's the two I made,which only took about 30 minutes to make both of them,I wasn't happy with the fit of the lid on the pink topped one,so I added an 'O' ring to make it a bit tighter.

Two milk tooth holders - 

A simple project,would be great for kids to try.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Simple pea and bean frames...

I thought I'd do a quick post on the pea / bean frames I've been using for a number of years,they are simple to make,and in my opinion a lot less hassle than using netting.

As I said I've been using this way to grow peas and small bean types (French beans as an example) for a number of years and they seem to work well,there are occasions where we have to help the odd plant get hold of the string,but in general they work well.

Here's some I recently put in at our allotment -

Doesn't really get much simpler.

You can see that they are just bits of wood stuck in the ground with string threaded through them,one of the reasons I like them is because when I want to move them I can just pull them out of the ground and roll them up,but I guess you could do the same with plastic netting.

To make them all you need is a drill with a large drill bit (makes feeding the string through easier) a saw so you can cut the wood to length and obviously some wood and some string.

For mine I've been using random bits of wood I had lying about,these bits where from an old pallet and were quite wide,so I cut them in half,and luckily they were already long enough (more or less a metre) so I didn't need to cut them to length.

Here they are ready to be marked out for drilling - 

These six bits of wood will make two frames.

Next I marked out where to drill the holes for the string,I measured a couple of inches down from the top of each piece of wood for the first hole,then I put marks roughly 4 inches apart (about 10cm) down the length of each piece,making sure to leave enough wood to stick in the ground,if you have a square it saves time if you just measure out where you want the holes on one piece of wood,then just transfer the marks onto the other bits.

Marked out - 

Ready for drilling.

Once marked out it was just a case of drilling a load of holes,I used a 12mm spade bit,but a 10mm drill bit would do just as well.

Drilling has commenced - 

Nearly done.

And that's about it really,after I had all the holes drilled I gave the wooden posts a coating of teak oil,just to protect them a bit so they last a bit longer,then I started to put them to use.

I made some for one of the small beds in our garden - 

Ready for peas to climb.

I also planted a few French beans in this bed,and used slightly longer posts - 

All done.

I've only used two posts in the garden beds,because they are only small,for wider rows you'll need to add more posts,which is why the ones I use at the allotment have three posts per frame (one at each end and one in the middle) if I didn't use the extra middle post the string would sag too much and not support the plants,you can also tie strips of plastic or carrier bags to them to help deter birds from pecking at the plants.

Here's the one I put in at the allotment,with what will be another crop of peas,all be it a small crop.

Just waiting for the peas to grow - 

The plot is almost fully planted now.

Thanks for reading.