Cheese Press

We had a lot of extra milk this summer, so Mary Cate tried her hand at cheesemaking. The results were pretty good, especially for a first attempt.

To facilitate further attempts, I’ve made her a cheese press. It’s designed to put and hold free weights on top.

It’s made from hardwood dowels, oak that I salvaged from some old shelves, and plywood that I salvaged from old church cabinets.

Published in: on 23 December, 2009 at 2:13 pm  Leave a Comment  


This fall, Mary Cate tried tanning leather from our goats to make buckskin. The first hide was, well, a learning experience, but the second one turned out much better.

Part of the tanning process involves scraping flesh away from the skin.

This is a scraper that I’ve made for her. The blade is a 15″ planer blade that I got when the local sawmill shut down. The wood is the same mystery wood I used in the legs of the toy grasshopper .

The blade was too hard for me to drill, so I just epoxied the handle on.

Published in: on 23 December, 2009 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s Mallet Time

A mallet like this was one of the first projects I ever made on a lathe, with my father’s help. I gave the mallet to Mary Cate, who used it in the kitchen (you’d be surprised how often a mallet for whacking things comes in handy in the kitchen).

Unfortunately, this was during the time when our youngest liked to toss things in the trash. At least, that’s why we assume that it disappeared forever within a couple of weeks of me making it.

So years later, I made two more. One is for the kitchen, and one is for me in my shop.

The heads are made from maple. The handle of the one on top is ash, and the one on bottom is oak.

Published in: on 21 December, 2009 at 12:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

It’s Grrrrate!

Last year I busted in the back window of my pickup while picking up a load of firewood. Ever since, I’ve been really nervous whenever I’ve loaded anything like that, often coming back with less than a full load instead of risking my window again.

So I needed a grate to protect it. I went down to the local metal recycler and go some old metal railing and some expanded metal grating. I cut it to size, painted it, and attached it to my lumber rack.

I kinda felt like I was in an episode of The A-Team, tankifying up my vehicle for the big battle at the end of the episode.

Published in: on 12 December, 2009 at 2:37 pm  Comments (2)  

Patience, Grasshopper

This is a grasshopper pull toy that I’ve made for my daughter. She saw a picture of one and fell in love with it, so now she’s getting one for Christmas.

When it rolls, the legs go up and down. It’s quite fun.

The wheels and eyes are made from Corian, the body is saman, and the legs are some mysterious hardwood from something I salvaged for its wheels.

Published in: on 6 December, 2009 at 3:46 am  Comments (2)