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Thread: making my cracker holder

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180

    making my cracker holder

    Several folks have sent me PM's asking whether they have permission to make my cracker holder and also how I do it. Yes they do, and here are a few pics of how I do it in case others are interested. I resized all the pics so most are 100K or less, so even dialup shouldn't have a problem. Many steps are missing but obvious, like sanding etc. Not sure how many pics I can insert in one post, so I'll split it into two.

    I make almost all my own lumber from blowdowns and found logs, so I start with rough stock. First I get them into roughly 4 ft long, 6-7 inches wide and 5/4 width using the radial arm and resaw bandsaw.


    After jointer one face, planer to 1 1/8 and jointer one side I rip into 2 3/8 stock on the table saw.


    Mark the stock with a template and then bandsaw to within about 1/8 inch of the finished product.



    This is the jig I built for making a ton of these at a time. The large wooden nuts tighten the template down onto the bandsawn blank and then it's run again a spiral upcut pattern bit on the router table to get the exact handle dimensions. If you're only making a few of these of course this jig is not necessary, you can clean up the bandsawn surface on an osc spindle sander or even by hand.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
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    180
    continuing...
    I hog out most of the holder with a forstner bit. I use a Grizzly low end metal mill/drill machine as my drill press. After doing 40-50 at a time, the machine and floor is covered with chips 3 inches deep.


    The next three pics show how I finish hogging out the holder using a 1/2 inch spiral upcut bit in a router with a router table insert attached to it, with the blank held tight in a jig I built for it. Again... if you're only making a few of these you have other options. One would be the way I made hundreds of them before I built this jig. I would cut off the handle and end with a good miter blade, then hog out the holder using several passes on the table saw with a 3/4 dado stack. I would then glue the end and handle back on. As crude as this sounds it wasn't as difficult as it would seem, and if you keep the grain oriented right when you glue them together it looks fine after sanding and coat of kitchen oil.




    I then sand to 180 on a 6x48 belt and the handle/ends on an osc spindle sander. Put a 1/8 roundover all edges, drill a hole in handle and finish with edible kitchen oil like saflower or walnut oil you can get at the supermarket. Either of those will dry overnight if you brush the oil on and then wipe off excess with a paper towel.

    Last edited by Dave Kauffman; 03-03-2008 at 12:45 AM.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,443
    Nice walk through. You really like crackers don't you.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
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    30,015
    Thanks for the pictures, Dave. There are several tricks in them that can be applied to other projects, too.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Tokyo Japan
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    15,807
    Dave, that is a great tutorial, thanks so much, lots of good info for sure!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Thanks for taking the time to post the pics Dave. That last shot looks like some kind of cracker holder invasion ;-)
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  7. #7
    Thanks for the info and the demo. I see now how you can peddle them so cheaply and quickly.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Fort Washington, PA
    Posts
    180
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Simpson View Post
    Thanks for the info and the demo. I see now how you can peddle them so cheaply and quickly.
    I have to admit that for me, designing and making jigs is the most enjoyable part of working in my shop. Not only does it allow me to make product faster, thus sell a bit cheaper and/or make more profit, but it's FUN. There is usually at least one iteration after the jig goes from paper to real world. Once the jigs are built and I go into semi-mass production mode knocking out product for a show, while I still enjoy working wood, it's less of a challenge at that point and more like a job that has to get done. I don't like monkeys on my back, got too many of them at my day job. To make it worse, I'm also a huge procrastinator. Instead of making product for an upcoming show like I should be doing, I'll putz around designing or improving a jig to either allow me to make the piece faster or more precise. Then I'm running around 2 weeks before the show in frenzy mode evenings and weekends. In other words, I like to "play" instead of work That's one reason I don't rely on profit from the 5-6 shows I do a year for bread on the table. They basically allow me to upgrade and buy new toys, that's about it.
    Build it Break it Fix it ...repeat

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