Category Archives: Crafts

How to Pick a Lock with a Hairpin

A lock is a security measure placed on a door or a container. It is used to make sure that the area is not opened without a key. A key is made by matching its notches to the internal parts of the lock. The ridges on the key will be used to turn corresponding parts inside the lock to unlock it.

Keys can be lost; thus, making it hard to open the lock. Some resort to breaking the lock or even the lid or the door where the lock is installed in. One alternative way is to pick the lock using a hairpin.

A hairpin can be used to pick locks because it is thin and flexible. It can easily fit inside the keyhole and can be bent into the shape the user needs.

To pick a lock with a hairpin, you must first straighten out the hairpin. Some pins have ridges on them to better grip a person’s hair. Depending on how strong the pin is, you can straighten them out by using a specific tool or with your bare hands. Be careful not to break the pin in half.

Insert the hairpin into the keyhole. Align the pin’s ridged side with the key’s ridge side. This may vary from one lock to another so be sure to check it cautiously.

Gently turn the hairpin in the direction that the key would normally turn. This will depend on the structure of the lock. Continue applying a gentle but steady pressure as you turn the hairpin. Vary the application of the hairpin until the lock opens.

Remember not to turn the lock too much to avoid locking it back again. If it becomes locked again, slowly remove the hairpin from the lock and repeat the above steps.

When you have successfully opened the lock, carefully remove the pin to ensure that it won’t get stuck in the lock. As a final note, once the right key for the lock has been found, try using it to make sure that the lock was not damaged in the picking process.

How to Carve with a Chainsaw

Chainsaw carving can be a rewarding hobby for those with the experience and the know how. Chainsaws are typically tools used for destruction and so special care is needed when using chainsaws to carve wood. Chainsaw accidents are more likely, than not, potentially fatal. Only those with adequate experience in carving and the operation of large tools should attempt to carve with chainsaws.

Required Materials and tools

  • Wood oil
  • Block of wood or lumber
  • Chainsaw
  • Safety helmet
  • Safety goggles or face shielding
  • Protective gloves and clothing (i.e. Chaps)
  • Steel toed boots
  • Chalk or pen markers
  • Ground stakes or sandbags
  • Wood grade sandpaper

Basic instructions for chainsaw carving

  1. Secure the wood or lumber piece. Most wood pieces used in chainsaw carving are still stumps rooted to the ground. For unbound logs, wedge it firmly using ground stakes or sandbags.
  2. Examine the natural grain of the wood and decide on a design that will flow accordingly.
  3. Mark the wood with your design.
  4. Carve out the rough shape of the design first, but not too deeply. Work successively in sections.
  5. While carving, ensure you are in a stable stance.
  6. Pare down the shape as you work to achieve a cut close to your desired design.
  7. Observe the wood for cracking and splitting and try to avoid further damaging those areas.
  8. To add detail to your work, use woodcarving knives and chisels.
  9. Remedy cracks by wedging and gluing wood silvers into them, then sand them down (commercial wood fillers may also be used).
  10. Sand down completed carving and apply a wood oil finish. You may also apply a layer or two of sanding sealer and optionally a coat of clear urethane finish.

Tips and Warnings

  • Before engaging in any actual chainsaw carving, acquire adequate training and proficiency in handling a chainsaw. There are woodwork guilds in many locations that conduct hands-on learning in the art and craft of chainsaw carving.
  • Beginners should never take on a chainsaw carving project unaccompanied. Companions should not distract the beginning artisan while they’re working with a chainsaw.
  • Choose a chainsaw you can handle comfortably. Get one specifically designed for carving if available. These usually have guide bars with narrower tips than standard chainsaw blades. The chainsaw should not be too heavy or too lightweight.
  • Draw your design on paper for reference. With more experience, you will be able to visualise the design without a reference aid.
  • Start with simple shapes and designs first. With consistent practise, you will become familiar with your equipment and the characteristics of different wood. In the future, you will be able to tackle more complex designs with better success.
  • Visit Buiditplans.com for tips on where to buy chainsaws, types of chainsaws to use and other important chainsaw carving information.

How to Carve Antlers

Carving antlers is not a difficult project and is suitable for beginner to advanced carvers. Antler is stronger and easier to carve than most stone, and able to hold more detail than wood. Please note that deer, moose and elk shed their antlers every winter and grow new ones in the spring. Therefore no animals are hurt in obtaining antlers.

Materials

  • Deer or moose shed antler

Tools

  • Dremel
  • Dust collector
  • Protective clothing
  • Dust mask
  • Cutter package
  • Carving knives
  • Chisels
  • Files
  • Pencils

Basic carving instructions

  1. Draw your design.
  2. Decide what position the antler will have when finished, based on your design. For example, if you plan to carve out a panoramic landscape, it is best to have the antler in a horizontal position.
  3. Imprint your design on the antler by working with the antler’s grooves, using them as an advantage to obtain 3D effects.
  4. Retrace the design with power tools and, or carving knives. Once you cut out a piece of the antler you cannot replace it so be gentle and accurate when carving.
  5. Apply the final touches after you’ve finished carving out your design. For a smooth effect, use sandpaper on specific areas.
  6. Polish the carved antler and seal the it with acrylic coating.

Tips and warnings

  • It is best to take out the bigger chunks of antler first, before working on the details. As a beginner start with simpler designs.
  • Soaking antlers in water can soften an ordinarily tough material and make carving them much easier.
  • Antlers are less frequently used than horn for decorative work. The toughness of antler makes it ideal for making tool handles.
  • If you have no prior background in carving, read books that teach the standard procedures in carving.
  • Moose antlers provide wider areas for carving while deer antlers have cylindrical shapes. Choose which antler you want to use depending on your design and desired result.
  • Practice carving on soft wood first, this way antler material will not be wasted.
  • Before starting, acquire the most basic carving tools as they are paramount to achieving great results as a beginner.
  • As a beginner stick to the basic standards until you become more advanced, then you can experiment.

How To Make Friendship Bracelets

For years, friendship bracelets have been a very famous craft and often presented as a token of friendship. It is quite easy how to make a friendship bracelet using three to six colors of braiding rope or more. There are different types of knots to use in making bracelets. And, using different styles and colors of strings or threads, you can surely create a very nice souvenir that is inexpensive and less hassle.

Few materials you need on how to make a friendship bracelet:

  • Hemp
  • Clipboards
  • Yardsticks
  • Scissors
  • Braiding Floss
  • Beads

Step 1: Choose a design

a. The first step on how to make a friendship bracelet is to choose a design you desire. Use more than one color so that you can create a striped effect. About 8 to 10 strands can make your friendship bracelet more beautiful and colorful.
b. You can choose either of the 2 simple patterns: the round bracelet and the flat bracelet.
c. Cut the strings depending on the pattern you choose and desired finished length. However, from 25 inches to 3 feet long is the usual length.
d. Gather your strings up so that the ends will meet. With an overhand knot, tie the strings together nearly 3 inches from the end.
e. Attach the strings or threads the clipboard.

Step 2: Knotting

Another difficult part on how to make a friendship bracelet is learning the double half-hitch knot.
To do this, tie one string around another string or set of strings (we’ll call those strings B)

a. Wrap string A around string B twice using a double half-hitch knot.
b. Start with string A to the left of string B.
c. Hold string B tight in your non-dominant hand.
d. Pass string A in front and to the right of string, leaving a small loop thus resembling the number “4.”
e. Bring the end of string A back in front of string B and through the loop.
f. Keep holding string B taut and pull on string A until the knot is tight.
g. Repeat the process.

Step 3: Create the Body

How to make a friendship bracelet that is flat shaped

a. Tie your leftmost string around each other string, moving from left to right.
b. Repeat knot until you get to the end of the row. This results to a horizontal band or stripes in the color of your first string.
c. Choose the leftmost string and repeat steps a and b. The result: a second horizontal stripe.
d. Repeat steps a, b and c until the bracelet has achieved the desired length.

Step 4: Finish Your Bracelet

A funny part about how to make a friendship bracelet is when you run out of strings, which means you’re done! Finish it off by tying off your beautifully created bracelet using a simple overhand knot.

How to Install a Steel Door and Frame

A door is very important because it serves as a point of entry right into homes and other kinds of buildings. Because of this, this part must be made up of a highly durable material like steel. In order to gain utmost protection from unwanted factors and elements coming from the outside, check out these simple steps and learn how to install a steel door and frame. This will help you live in comfort, security and convenience at all times.

How to Set and Install the Door Frame

The process of learning how to install a steel door and frame can be subdivided into two major parts. The first step is this. Carefully remove the old door as well as the existing frame. Take the rough and uneven edges out with the help of sandpaper. Use this item in the surrounding areas of the frame. Make the appropriate measurements including the door as well as the frame. Slowly cut pieces of wood that will form a very good frame. A miter box is perfect for cutting pieces for the parts at the corner.

Search for gaps and cracks at the sides where the frame is to be placed. Fill them with caulk for a smoother and nicer looking result. Be sure that the sides are entirely smooth before installing the materials for framing and molding. After this, use wood screws to attach them. In exchange for screws, nails can also get the job done.

How to Set and Install the Steel Door

We now move on to the second major part of this project. Get the jamb and then install it at the side of the frame. Put a door shim right in between the stud of the wall and the jamb. Get a nail and then push it through the jamb first, through the shim and then through the stud. Overall, put three jambs, one at the top, at the middle and the final one at the bottom. Preferably, start at the middle jamb. After that, do the same steps for the top and bottom jambs. Just like the previous step, push a nail through the jamb, shim and then all the way through the stud.

After this step, get the 3-inch screws. One by one, put them right into the hinges. After that, put screws at the side of the door as well. Check if the door is working properly.

Additional Tips and Information

Before starting with the second major part of this project, it is best to make pre-drilled holes in the jamb, shim and stud. Meanwhile, when handling the steel entry, additional support is necessary because such material is quite heavy compared to regular wooden doors.

How to Build a Stirling Engine

One of the household engines that homeowners can easily make is a stirling engine. The materials that will be used in making this engine are not difficult to find. If you want to know how to build a stirling engine, start with getting all the materials to avoid experiencing hassles while doing the project. Afterwards, follow the guidelines and steps carefully in order to make your own functional and efficient stirling engine.

Tools and Materials

Most of the things that will be used to learn how to build a stirling engine are scrap materials so there is no problem about budget or spending too much just to finish this project. The important materials are four small tin cans, three soft drink cans, straight pins and a balloon. In addition to these, you need high temperature glue, a coat hanger, a bolt, a washer, a pvc elbow as well as a silicon gasket.

Steps

After getting all the mentioned materials, start building the ring stand of the engine. To do this, get the soft drink can. Remove the top and bottom portions of the can. Cut the can into two. Cut and bend the sides of the can to make a ring stand. Make sure that the ring has three legs. As soon as the ring stand is ready, start creating the pressure vessel. Get another soft drink can and remove its sides with the use of a knife. Remove the top portion of the can to create the bottom portion of the pressure vessel. To do the top part of the vessel, get the remaining soft drink can and remove the bottom portion. In the center of the can’s bottom portion, cut a hole and insert a pin in the hole.

Use the high temperature glue to attach a small steel plate and a bolt to the pressure vessel’s top portion. The glue is very important to avoid the occurrence of leakage. To make the displacer, just use the same procedures with making the pressure vessel, but use two small tin cans. Be sure that the displacer fits in the vessel.

Build a crankshaft from a coat hanger. Cut two tin cans in the middle and punch holes in the can. Attach the crankshaft to the cans. Glue the crankshaft and the support to the top portion of the vessel. Get the balloon and cut it into a disc shape to make a diaphragm. Connect the balloon to the crankshaft. Afterwards, heat the vessel’s bottom part for 30 seconds and push the wheel. Do not forget to place ice on the top part of the vessel to avoid overheating.

How to Carve Fruit

Knowing how to carve fruit is simple and easy. What is important in this special activity is to learn the basic steps and get all the materials and tools needed to make a beautiful fruit carving.

Tools and Materials

Before starting with this activity, there are some materials and tools that you need to get like a knife and a washable marker. Aside from these, you need wooden skewers and a spoon. Above all, you will use a fruit like a watermelon, melon or cantaloupe in this special activity.

Instructions

Learning how to carve fruit is easy if you are willing to commit time in doing this activity. The initial step is to search for patterns that can be used for carving the fruit. For amateurs, make sure that you can easily follow the pattern that will be used. To have a background on the beautiful and attractive patterns for this activity, you can look at books and websites about fruit carvings.

As soon as you decide the pattern to be used in this special project, get the marker and use it to outline the pattern on the fruit. After making the outline, get the knife and be sure that it has a sharp blade. Use this tool to carve the fruit. Follow the outline when carving. Afterwards, use a wet cloth to erase the unnecessary lines on the fruit.

Remove all the seeds from the fruit with the use of wooden skewers and a spoon. Get a plate and place lettuce on the plate. Put the fruit carving on the lettuce and place the centerpiece on the table. Slice fruits like mangoes and melons. Place the sliced fruits around the carved fruit to make it more attractive and alluring.

Tips and Warnings

As a reminder, be sure that the pattern or design that you will choose in this project will fit the size of the fruit that you have selected. Aside from spoon and wooden skewers, you can also use a melon baller to eliminate the seeds after you carve the fruit. To improve the knowledge and understanding of amateurs in this interesting activity, read informative books and watch educational videos about fruit carvings. In addition, to learn how to carve fruit, it is important to ask professional artists for tips on strategies and techniques that are helpful in doing the activity successfully.

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How to Carve Wood

Wood carving is a form of three-dimensional art that allows people to show their artistic skills by using wood to create or make attractive and interesting sculptures. Some of the most popular methods of wood carving are relief carving, chip carving as well as caricature carving. Below are the materials needed and the instructions that you can follow if you want to learn the basics on how to carve wood.

Materials and Tools

In this special art project, you will need some tools and materials like a piece of wood, a sand paper and a pattern or a design that are commonly used in wood carving. In addition, you should have different tools that are useful in making wood sculptures such as a sharpening tool, a chisel, a knife, a gouge and Veiner. To finish the surface, you will need rasps or other types of smoothening tools.

Steps

To make an interesting and alluring wood carving, it is important to have a background on the factors to consider when choosing the piece of wood to be used. Wooden pieces come in various sizes and shapes. When selecting the wood, consider the shape and size of the pattern or design. In addition, it is best if amateurs use softwood because it is easier to shape and carve than hardwood.

Get a pencil and make an outline of the design on the wood. Do not forget to allot enough spaces from the edges of the wood. Carefully follow the outline with the carving knife. If you are using hardwood, it is best to use a chisel when marking or following the outline. Do not apply too much pressure because it can cause damages in the wood.

Carve the details of the design. Use a gouger to carve the surface of the material. To cut deep gouges, it will be convenient to use a veiner. When making decorative and artistic cuts, it is best to use a V-tool.

After carving the wood, the next step is to cut the portions of the wood that are unnecessary for the design. Remember to finish the edges of the wood with the use of rasps or other available smoothening tools.
You can use a sand paper to smoothen the surface and other portions of the wood carving. To add beauty to the sculpture, apply polishing materials and natural stains on the surface of the wood. Aside from natural stains, you can also use walnut oil and linseed oil to polish the wood carving.

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How to Carve Bone

One of the most popular, interesting and earliest forms of art, bone carving is also considered as a fun, profitable and enjoyable hobby. Many people try this hobby to make attractive three-dimensional artworks. Learning how to carve bone is easy. By collecting all the materials and tools beforehand as well as following the simple steps and guidelines, you can easily make an attractive and beautiful bone carving.

Important Tools and Materials

To make sure that you will make an interesting bone carving and to avoid having hassles while doing the activity, get all the important tools and materials before initiating the project. Engraving chisels, a coping saw and an etching knife are some of the carving tools that artists commonly use in bone carving. Aside from these materials, you can also use scrapers, a hand drill, round files, a sandpaper as well as scrapers.

Instructions

Search pictures in books and websites for the design that you plan to use in the project. Visualize the style, size and appearance of the output before you start carving the animal bone. Remember that bone carving is a three-dimensional visual art so the activity requires your full attention.

The first step in this activity is to prepare and clean the bone. Depending on the measurements and size of the design, use the saw to cut the portions of the bone that will not be needed in the activity. Get the scrapers and clean bone fragments and marrow. Pour a liter of water in a basin. Add a teaspoon of liquid soap in the water. Put the bone in the pail for at least 24 hours. Wash the animal bone and expose to sunlight to dry.

Cover the table where you plan to work with a leather mat. Place the bone on a cutting board and start outlining the design on the bone. Get the etching knife and files. Use these tools to remove the parts of the bone that are not important to the design. With the use of the chisels, follow the outline and carve the bone. Clean the surface of the bone with a sand paper. Make sure to eliminate scratches that were caused by chisels and the etching knife.

Animal Bones Used in Carving

In the early times, artists use bones of walruses and whales in bone carving. However, since environmental laws concerning the rehabilitation and protection of marine animals were implemented in different countries, most artists today prefer to use bones of other animals like cattle and camels. In addition to these, other carvers use bones of deer as well as sheep in their projects.

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How to Make a Paper Airplane

Each one of us at some point in our lives has tried to make a paper airplane and has sent them soaring in the air. There is just something exciting about folding an ordinary piece of paper and transforming it into a graceful flying machine. You don’t need an introduction to aviation to fold your own paper airplane. Just follow these simple steps and you’ll be sending your own airplane into the air in no time.

Materials Needed

  • Notebook or printer paper
  • Ruler
  • Crayons, colored pens, or color pencils

Steps to Make a Paper Airplane

  1. Get a piece of paper that is shaped like a rectangle. Paper from a school notebook or computer printing paper fits this shape perfectly well.
  2. Spread the paper on a table or flat surface. One of the long edges should be closest to you.
  3. Fold the paper in middle lengthwise. Make a sharp crease with your thumb along this fold as the edges match up.
  4. Open the paper. Take its upper left corner at the top then fold it diagonally towards the center crease. Use your thumb to make a sharp crease on the new fold as the edges match up. This should produce a small triangular flap.
  5. Do the same for the paper’s right upper corner. This is a mirror of the fold that you did in step 4.
  6. Pull the apex of the diagonal folds down toward the center crease. You should be able to form an upside triangle, with its base on top and its apex pointing towards you.
  7. Fold down the upper left and right corners at the top of the paper again towards the center crease. You should have triangular flaps that mirror each other.
  8. Tear off the tip of each triangular flap that is closest to the center crease. This should expose the apex of the upside down triangle that you’ve just folded over.
  9. Lift up the apex and crease where the tear ends. This should form a small upright triangle.
  10. Turn the paper over and fold the paper along the center crease. The paper should look like a rectangle with one of its ends angled diagonally.
  11. Lay the paper lengthwise, with the flap opening upwards.
  12. Make the wings by pulling down one of the diagonally angled ends towards the base. Use your thumb to make a sharp crease on the new fold as the ends match up.
  13. Turn the paper over and repeat the same to make the other wing.
  14. Hold the paper along the first crease that you’ve made. Allow the wings to flare out.

To launch the airplane, hold it near the tab and toss it forward with an overhand, horizontal motion.