Create your own mini woodshop.
We All dream of having our own shop to build all the things we dream up but most of us just don’t have space for a shop. No reason to give up, just think a little smaller.There are so many projects that you can do on the small scale. Plus anything that can be made out of wood can be made from sheets of acrylic. One of the problems I see from people that own 3d printers are that it becomes the only way they make things. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else. I use the excuse that if I had space I’d build a shop and then I’d make more things. I make the mistake thinking that wood is a large scale material. Houses are made from wood after all. Well, I’ll come up with some projects and some small tools that can be easily setup for an afternoon of crafting.
3D Printed Tablesaw
Let’s Start with the Tablesaw Remember we are working with small projects. This can easily be used to cut PCBs, Balsa, other soft woods, and acrylics. Most of us have a dremel already So this makes life easier. It’s small enough that you can leave it on the corner of a desk or put it in a small woodworking tool locker. I would be careful trying to cut metals with this as they will heat up and could melt the top of your mini table saw but you can easily use it to cut small nuts bolts and other thin metals. Overall this is a great little tool and even a good companion for larger shops.
Mini-Dremel Milling Machine
Here is where things get a little more complicated. you need to buy some extrusions and some nuts and threaded rod but while slow it is a mill. With patience, you can easily craft all kinds of things or make etching a simple task. The industrious among us could make this a little CNC as well. whether manual or otherwise this is another handy tool to have in your expanding mini woodshop.
Microlathe – The Parametric, Printable Lathe
This lathe is very simple to setup. If you want to try your hand at Lathe work this is a great place to start because the skill is scaleable. Anything you learn to turn on a small scale you can turn on a larger scale. This is also a tool that while low cost and made from plastic can be used to make some very nice items. You can then sell to buy better tools. Pen Turning is a popular hobby that can bring back a nice profit. There are lots of people that buy custom pens for their desks or offices. If this interests you I’ll have a link in the sources section.
Drill Abrasive Drum
This isn’t really that special but having a drum sander in your shop can make things much easier when you’re trying to get those corners sanded. The best part here is you can just replace the paper when done no need to buy more expensive premade drums. They have a drill mounted to a table but you can just as easily clamp one in a vise or freehand if you are feeling lucky.
This is one of those simple things but very useful. You can easily make this from wood or other materials as well. but it’s a tool you should have even if you just 3d print things. Having a tiny sanding tool around makes cleanup on a 3d print much easier. and on small woodworking projects, a must have. Even hardware stores often don’t have small sanding blocks so this is an easy print to solve that problem.
So what can I make with these tools
It’s plain to see that the size of these tools limits the size of your projects but that doesn’t mean you can’t craft some awesome things with them. I have a couple projects that you can do right away with just these tools. Of course, there are much more projects but these are a few I found that looked fun.
Wood Phone Case
With the table saw and the mill (or just a dremel), you can easily make your very own wooden phone case. Or make it out of G10 or micarta. you can easily turn the buttons on the late and mill any of the other features. From here it’s a simple step to making a custom Gameboy case or other fun tech reskinned in wood. When it comes down to it you can make a lot of cool small projects with these and then store them away in a small tote or storage container for another weekend of crafting. What do you want to make with this little wood shop?
Drill Abrasive Drum