Wooden Posters

DIY, New Item

I bought Lauan plywood a while ago to use as cheap material for constructing things in the workshop (e.g. work area in spray-paint booth). Using a cut off piece to test some of the settings on the laser soon changed my view of this material. The Lauan hardwood panels engrave very well – it is uniform and it allow for a very good scale of shades from light to dark. The wood itself is also nice when sanded and treated with some lacquer or oil. I thus started to use it to make engraved posters. The size of these are 30 cm x 40 cm (11.8 in x 15.7 in) but I am thinking of making large multi-panel maps.

Some of them are for sale here: BUY A WOODEN POSTER

See more MORE IMAGES HERE.

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I also made some book covers using this wood that can be seen here.

I am currently almost out of this wood but will probably get some more in the future.

R

A selection of notebooks.

DIY, New Item

Over the past year I have made a selection of notebooks all bound with Coptic Stitching. The first book I made was with a cover that I cut on a scroll saw. I have recently started to use a laser cutter to make even more detailed cutouts. This machine is also excellent for engraving and the range of covers have extended to include some very nice and detailed engravings. Many of the books are currently for sale here: Induku on Etsy.

In the future I will also make some kits with all the items (wooden covers, needle, thread, wax, bone folder etc.) to make your own Coptic Stitched book (excluding only the paper). Without the paper the weight will be low and the shipping cost will be much much less (I may even provide free shipping). The cost of the components and absence of labor (it takes me around 2 hours to bind one book) will also mean the price for a kit will be around 1/4 of the price of a book. Follow me on Facebook to see when the kits are available.

Here is all the Coptic Stitched notebooks that I have ever made (click on any image for a larger version):

 

R


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Induku Wooden Models – Strandbeest

Induku Wooden Models, New Item, Shop Stuff

Ever since I can remember I have been intrigued with mechanical models that have gears. One of my first experiences with gears, that I remember, was of my cousin who had three Lego gears in sequence. I was fascinated by this simple gear chain where all three would turn together when one of them is turned.

Now I am a bit older and I am still fascinated by gears. When I ordered a laser cutter I knew that some mechanical models with levers, pulleys and gears will be made on it. And now the first model for a new line of items (Induku Wooden Models) has been completed and made into a kit format: The Strandbeest – a mechanical beast that has a very cool walking motion.

A video with some instructions to make assembly easier is available HERE:

My interpretation of the Strandbeest:

The Strandbeest was developed by the Dutch artist, Theo Jansen using a evolutionary algorithm. While working as a scientist I wrote a few evolutionary algorithms and it is an extremely interesting and powerful method to solve very complex problems – I personally think it is underutilized (read more about genetic algorithms here). For the Strandbeest Theo Jansen used an “optimal walking motion” as the goal. Many different legs were evaluated and the best were used to make new variations until the leg that best fitted the motion was “found” (read more about it here). This is the essence of the Strandbeest motion and I used the leg parameter (scaled down) to develop a wooden interpretation.

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Wooden Strandbeest Model.

Making a whole kit from a few leg parameters is a bit of work. The first thing I did was to test if I could make a leg that would actually work. This was reasonably easy and quickly afterwards the first model was born.

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First step – needed a leg for it.

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First version.

This first Strandbeest model was too small to have large enough gears to have a good gear ratio. The wind required to drive the small beast needed to be very strong for it to move (note: another solution would have been to make the small gear smaller and have more small teeth on the large gear BUT working with wood has some limits – and decreasing the teeth size would make them break to easily). I thus made a second version of the beast and it worked much better.

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First four gears in the sequence – images from assembly instruction booklet.

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Closeup of large gear (c.a. 4 cm in diameter) – freshly cut.

After a bit of tweaking, the third version was made and the parts were ready to be placed in kit format. I also made a jig to cut all the dowels required as connecting rods and axles.

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Dowel cutting jig – ugly but functional.

Once this was done I spent quite some time on the packaging. This I found to be a whole science on its own. Luckily I can cut my own cardboard boxes on the laser and each Strandbeest kit, with all the parts, dowels and booklet ships in a box that fitts perfectly.

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Quite proud that I could design these – rock just to hold it flat.

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Small box with all the dowels for one Strandbeest – folded and ready to be packed.

As mentioned, a booklet is included (digital version here). This contains the assembly instructions and I completely underestimated the work required for this part of the project. I thus spent almost as much time taking photos of each step in the assembly, editing the photos and writing the description, as developing the Strandbeest model. But finally it was completed and I am happy with how the whole project turned out.

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Assembling booklets – multi-page, back to front, double-sided printing is hard.

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A complete kit.

The Strandbeest models are now for sale as kits (here).

But I am also working on the next model. It will be based on the whirligig that I made last year (see it here) and will also be sold as a kit. I am quite excited about this and it will have a few gears, crankshafts, levers and maybe even a shark!

Stay tuned to see how it turns out…

R


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