A couple of months ago I needed a quick weekend project just for something to do, so I tried making a pair of puzzle boxes. The trick to open them is centrifugal force - there are pins that can slide in holes that are drilled into the lid, and no matter which was you tip the box at least two of the pins will be engaged and prevent the lid from opening. But if you spin the box around its central axis, centrifugal force will push the pins into the body of the box and allow the lid to be removed.
I built this desk out of another chunk of salvaged bowling alley lane. It's three feet deep and seven feet long, so it's a lot more surface area than my old desk - which should help a lot when working on electronics projects. It weighs a ton - I had to cut it in half (the long way) for Sean and I to even get it up the stairs.
I recently got a chance to get ahold of some slabs from old bowling alley lanes. As a first project just to get familiar with the material, I built this rolling toolbox for the workshop. The top is made of a chunk of the lane, and the drawer fronts are made from cutoffs of ambrosia maple from the bedroom set project. The lane material was interesting to work with - it isn't glued to together, only nailed. So it's a bit more 'wobbly' than you might expect. I ran screws up from the bottom in several places to stiffen it. Also, the old lane finish was very thick and tough as nails - I had to sand it off with a 50 grit belt on a belt sander. But once removed it sanded up nice and took some oil-based polyurethane well. At two and a half inches thick it should be able to stand up to some abuse as well!
This is the last piece of the bedroom set, and man am I happy to be done with that project! Between the bed, nightstands, bookcase, and dresser I think it took almost 5 months start to finish. The dresser is made of solid cherry, and the drawer interiors are made of ambrosia maple - just like the nightstands.
Last winter my Dad asked me if I would build him a bedroom set to replace his cheap store-bought one. I agreed, but told him that there were two conditions - it would have to wait until the fall, and I was going to build one for myself at the same time. For 20 years now, Lori and I have been using the same store-bought bedroom set we bought shortly after getting married. I've always wanted to build one myself to replace it, and my Dad's request finally lit a fire under me to do it. I built a queen size bed for him, and a king size for Lori and I, along with some nightstands for each. Everything is cherry, and the drawer interiors are ambrosia maple - and everything has received a finish of three coats of tung oil. Now we're just waiting the 3-4 weeks for the tung oil to cure before everybody can start using their new furniture. I've got more cherry coming to build Lori and I a bookcase and dresser to complete the bedroom set - should look great once the whole set is setup!
I saw a video on YouTube where someone was using a laser cutter to cut veneer for marquetry, and made this as a proof of concept. It uses six different species of veneer, and I built the box out of cherry. I used a photo I took of Mt. Eisenhower and Mt. Washington from the summit of Mt. Pierce. It worked pretty well, and I think I'm going to try more projects like this in the future.