Walnut Serving Tray / Centerpiece?

Trying to take decent photos of this thing was a problem. That’s a 2” thick cutoff to one of my walnut slabs that I used for a river table.


Surfacing the Top Layer of the Epoxy Resin Table

I’m currently surfacing the top of the table using my Shapeoko XXL, an 800w watercooled spindle and RC-2265 slab surfacing bit from Amana Tools.

This surfacing bit makes a huge difference vs say a normal router bit due to the carbide inserts.

.5mm DOC | 300ipm | 14,000 RPM

Also I’m going to need a bigger CNC machine and shop area.

Designing the OneWheel Stand

There’s this thing called a OneWheel. It’s not to be mistaken with a hover board. These don’t shutoff on you or cause a fire while charging. They’re also entirely designed and built here in the US. Riding one of these will be the most fun you’ll ever have!

There was only one problem. It takes up a lot of room. So I set out to design my own stand for it. Sure, Future Motion sells a stand of their own, and it’s quite awesome looking. But If I can build something, I’d rather build it than buy it.

So I’ve gone through a few different iterations of my take on the OneWheel stand. The First version is probably the most appealing in looks, but when I started to cut the pieces, it came apparent that the angles I designed and my crappy math education, it was impossible.

OneWheel Stand out of wood

The second version was to layer and glue plywood sheets together. Did the math and that came out to a lot of expensive plywood. Kinda cool looking but not really. But it would have worked.

One Wheel Stand out of plywood

So the design sat for a few months. Ideas came and went. Hundreds of miles racked up on this OneWheel. Last week I came across furniture designed with black pipe from the hardware store. Instantly fell in love with the industrial and simplistic look.

OneWheel Pipe Stand
onewheel xr pipe stand
OneWheel Pipe Stand
Onewheel stand out of pipe
Onewheel stand out of pipe


Maple Bow-Tie Inlays

Next step was to make the bow-tie inlays or at least design and map them out for placement. There wasn’t much information on dimensions or specs they should be to be effective. It doesn’t matter too much for this project but it would have been nice to know for any future projects.

I designed a couple in Illustrator, printed and cut them out. I then used some glue stick to temporarily stick to the board while I trace them with the razor blade.

This whole process is so time consuming. I often wonder why butcher blocks and other bow-tie inlayed things are so expensive and this is why.

Then I took my chisel and hammered some deeper lines to cut the wood fibers as best as I could.

I don’t have a picture of the process but I then routed out the bow-tie with a 1/4″ down spiral 2FL endmill

Used the chisel to finish the corners, It wasn’t as easy as the youtube videos show.

I chose to laser cut the maple bow-ties and I think that wasn’t the best idea unless you cut them over sized and then sand each of them down to get rid of the burn marks. I think next time I’ll cut them on the CNC and clean up the sharp inside corners with the chisel.

Time to glue them in. I made some walnut saw dust to try to patch the corners and small voids the laser cut burned out.

You’re going to want to put a chamfered edge on the bottom side of the bow-tie because the inlay isn’t going to be a perfect 90 degrees.

What’s next? Epoxy filled!

The Butcher Block Project

I’ve decided to make it a cutting board/ butcher block. It’s a big chunk of walnut coming in at 20″ x 12″ x 2″.

I stared at it for a couple hours trying to figure out how to put my own creative spin on it and have decided to go the bow-tie inlay method. It’ll have bow-ties on both sides. They will not only hold the block together but it will also improve the appearance in my opinion. The bow-ties will be cut out of some western maple.

The board had some wobble to it so it needed to be planed down. I wasn’t sure if it would fit through my planer so I decided to use the trusted Shapeoko XXL to do the planing. I actually only did the CNC planing on one side and found that it did indeed fit in my Dewalt planer so I finished the other side that way.

Another tip. Use hot glue undernethe the board to keep it from rocking while planing with the CNC.

I had originally thought it was heavy enough that I didn’t have to mount it down to the spoilboard but it slipped a couple passes before the end of the planing program.

Always keep some scrap wood laying around. This lathe wood from a couple projects ago worked perfect!

Then if you ever want to preview what your walnut piece might look like after it’s finished, wipe some water over it and it will bring out the grain.
This is going to be an awesome board!

Next Project

I finally found a local live edge lumber saw mill/store and raced over there to check it out. I’m pretty sure I found heaven. There were all different species of live edged slabs. I saw prices from $30 all the way up to $3000.

I wasn’t sure what I wanted to grab but I wanted a small project to start with. I came across this beautiful piece of walnut slab with a crack right down the middle. It was perfect but I didn’t know why and I bought it anyway.

The Shapeoko XXL is an Absolute Monster!

I recently started teaching myself Rhino3D & Grasshopper. When I first dove in, it was very confusing. Basically, in order to make a parametric 3D model, you have to make this wiring diagram with the features of your 3D model. There is no 3D modeling per say like Fusion360, where we draw and extrude etc. Actually there is, but I didn’t go that route because I like making my life complicated for some reason. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s all by laying out features and functions and then drawing wires connecting them all. Kinda hard to explain without getting into further detail.

While learning, I came up with a cool wave function that I liked and decided that it might be cool to make a big sculpture that hangs on the wall. Put a spot light off to the side which in turn creates highlights and shadows due to the wave pattern. Being a pro photographer, I took immediate interest.

It was a huge stretch but I decided that I was going to make this thing 50 inches wide by 25 inches tall. I would then use 3/4 birch plywood and cut everything on my brand new Shapeoko XXL. This was like.. my first project. I didn’t have a clue how the machine would handle this massive idea of mine. Details to follow.

Anyway, I had figured out how to slice the model by the thickness of the plywood I would be using.

When I say it was a big project, it was the biggest project I have ever done on a CNC machine. If you take 50 inches wide and divide them by 3/4 inch thick material we’re left with a total of 67 slats. What was I thinking. Onward!

It took 37 hours learning how to use Grasshopper and get something decent designed. Mainly because when teaching yourself, you don’t know where to start. You might start at building block #20 while skipping the first super important “getting started” building blocks. Trying to figure this out was a mess.

The project used 2 full sheets of 4×8 birch plywood. This could have been reduced a little bit if I fully nested the pieces but I wanted to cut each one in numerical order to avoid getting mixed up. And I could have cut every other one but remember, complicated?

Carbide Create/Motion does not give an estimated time per piece but I timed a few pieces and averaged them to get 17 minutes to cut out 1 slat.

That gives us a total machine run time of 19 hours! And that’s not including vacuuming/securing next birch panel, burr removal and cleanup, etc.

And, finally it took just over 3 hours to assemble.

I was a little hesitant because my water cooled spindle is much heavier than a big box store router that everyone else uses. But the machine had 0 hiccups or mess ups!! Absolutely blown away.

Enjoy the photos!

Pencil inserted for scale

Rolling Shop Flip Cart

I’m running out of space for all of my tools so I designed a rolling flip cart. You mount machines on both sides and when it comes time to use the other machine, you just flip it over and lock it down. Power cords get routed through itself and only flips 180 degrees. It’s fully parametric in #Fusion360 which means I can change the width height and/or length to be any size and the cart adjusts to that size. I did my previous worktable parametric as well.