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Project Information

A simple project that is just in time for the holidays. The idea was taken from an article in FWW many years ago. They made a huge hit. I ended up with so many that we were tying them to the bow on presents. I still had so many that I made mobiles out of them. Now all I could find was this small collection of cast offs and one lowly stick, so I drew the stick assembly in CAD.

To start, select a clear grained board about 6 to 10 inches wide and about 3/4 inches thick. I used basswood. Tilt the TS blade to 30 degrees. Crosscut the board to end up with parallelograms where all four sides are equal. (Don't rip as you want the flakes to be long grain.) You will know you get the stop block or fence set to achieve the perfect size when the cut off piece can be flipped and then placed long grain next to the original board's end grain and they are the same height. When this is set, crosscut away. You need 6 per flake.

At the router table, use a variety of bits to route grooves in the sticks. You just need to do the same groove on both sides, so that's 12 grooves per bit set up. I marked the inside and outside of the end of each stick to keep it straight. Raise and lower the bits, move the fence, use combinations and bits you always wondered what you were going use that for. Cove and Vbit were the most used. I made an angled sled pressed against the fence to help hold them.

Apply a thin even coat of yellow glue to the inside edges. Glue the sticks together and clamp the bundle with masking tape. When dry, cross cut them on the bandsaw. I used another sled here to help hold it. Drill a small hole and insert a loop of fishing line.

For the mobile hangers I turned half inch wide by eighth inch thick rings of various sizes, say 4 to 10 inches, and even suspended one inside another. I found it easiest to use one long piece of line and sewed it up and down through the flake then the hanger then the next flake, etc. Now you only have to tie one knot and you can adjust the flakes to be different heights.

If you have any kids in the house, this is cool:
http://snowflakes.barkleyus.com/

Steve

Gallery

Comments

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Ok, Steve, you sold my wife on the idea!!! Maybe sell them at the Christmas bazaar, huh?
 

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easy, hard, easy, hard,,,,,,,,,
looks difficult!

that site is really cool
 

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Thanks for sharing! These are neat.
 

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Thomas, I bet they would sell like hotcakes. Everyone wanted me to sell them.

MsDeb, Kind of inbetween. Once you get going and figure it out, they really start flying out all over. Did you notice at that website that you are supposed to Report Offensive Snowflakes? Yikes.

Branden, thanks.
 

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These are terrific. Sadly, I found that site more than a year ago and have a few flakes buried on it somewhere. Also sadly, the thought never occured to me to do something wonderful like this. Very creative thinking.
 

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Cool ideas all around.
 

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very nice ... 6 point s !!!
 

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Those are awesome! Looks like a good craft project for scraps.
 

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I did a bunch of these a while back, aren't they fun
 

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I Favorted this project a LONG time ago and finally tried it. My first attempt it pretty simple and still a bit rough. Mine are also some what fragile. Tiny end grain glues joints. No way around it I guess.
 

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Ho Ho.

I had forgotten this. Yours looks great. Nice photo too.

But those are really long grain glue joints, the face of the flake is endgrain. I had built a little jig that would hold them for sanding. Basically a board with thin triangles (cutoffs) glued to it, and then used my ROS and 220 grit.

Thanks for the smile,
Steve
 

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I'm confused. "Crosscut the board to end up with parallelograms where all four sides are equal. (Don't rip as you want the flakes to be long grain." I initially thought of ripping the board to create the parallelograms but it appeared that your instructions were to cross cut. Wouldn't this give you end grain glue joints. I assumed you wanted face grain flake faces so each pedal would be stronger. Wouldn't you have to rip the board to get endgrain flake faces?
 

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Oops. Your are right Spaids. I was looking at your flake and I got mixed up. Sorry, it's been a while. I should have read my own directions. I guess I just don't remember them becomming unglued. Maybe it was that the basswood took glue so well.

Face grain flakes will be stronger as you say, and they should be prettier.

I did sand them, although.

Sorry,
Steve
 

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Well like you did I also had to make a jig to hold these little things when I pushed em over the router. I didn't think about making a jig to hold them for sanding but they would look a lot nicer if I did. Thats a good idea.

Thanks for the instructions and the project.

Waid
 

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I did one more. The second try came out a litte better.
 

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Just saw something like that in a show recently and had figured that was about how they were done, but will be great to have clear directions like these when I give it a try.

Thanks.
 

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Sweet.
You do it justice, my man. And nice photos too.

Steve
 
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