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Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
Strawberry Orange Banana Lime Leaf Slate Sky Blueberry Grape Watermelon Chocolate Marble
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Groundhog Day

Joe Candrilli


This was a stupid idea.


Sorry, that was wrong of me.  What I should have said was...


This was a REALLY stupid idea.


OK, in all seriousness, it is not THAT bad.  It is only about 200 segments the size of my pinky nail that have to be cut, sanded, and glued into 10 rings...per koozie.  I honestly found that I could get into a rhythm.  I would cut  one 1.5x.5x24 strip of oak into 3 strips, then cut those int segments.  Once the segments were cut I divided them into piles for rings.  I sanded down the cut edges of one ring, which was about my breaking point for handling small pieces on sandpaper, then I would glue the 18 segments into a ring...


Side note:  Bad Husband tip #1.  If you want to do a project like this go right now into the kitchen and swip your wife's silicone baking mat.  Seriously.  Promise her you will buy her three more when the Pampered Chef rep comes back (yes three, you will likely want to swipe one of those too!).  I tried gluing these on both brown paper and wax paper and both were an epic, frustrating fail.  Those silicone mats are awesome.  Get one (or two) now.  


End Side Note.  Gluing the rings was fairly simple.  The sled makes sure the angles match, I will trim the inside diameter and turn the outside diameter on the lathe.  So my only concern was thickness of the ring itself.  As I get better cutting on the band saw the segments get closer to identical, meaning less sanding.  Once glued I zip tied each ring as the dried.  I hammered the ring flat so I had one side close to even when I sanded.  Once dry I used my Ryobi combination 4X36 sander and sanded each side flat with 80 grit.  My biggest concern was sanding one area of the ring more than another causing the ring to be lopsided.  So I constantly checked ring thickness with my digital caliper.


Side note #2:  It dawned on me many times during this project where the separation between a hobbyist and craftsman lies.  This was one of them.  I really want to do a good job on every project I undertake, but I am also limited on time.  I like finishing projects, and therefore I tend to make some allowances in my work.  Case in point, I made sure each ring thickness was close (within 0.02") but really stopped trying to shoot for perfection.  It may come a time later where it shows I was wrong and needed more attention to detail but at the time I could not justify the extra time at 9pm. 


End Side note #2.  The rings each sanded down to something slightly larger than 0.4"  It took about 10 rings, considering I used 2 rings that were smaller than 0.25" as accent rings.  I made the bottom ring with a smaller inside diameter so the can has a lip to rest on.  


Now that rings are glued and sanded flat we finally get to turn something!!!  I do not have the experience or tools to smooth the inside of the koozie after the rings are assembled so I chose to trim the inside rings individually.  The issue with this is I have no real control on accuracy here.  Each ID may end up slightly different in the end.  I minimize the risk of this by 1) the original ID is the exact size of the OD of the can before trimming so cleaning up the ID of the ring creates room for the foam koozie insert I plan on using, leading to 2) I am assuming the foam koozie will absorb any differences in ring size between each ID.


I picked up a set of large jaw plates to mount on my Barracuda 2 chuck.  This allows me to hold the outside firm and flush against the face allowing me to trim the ID of the ring.  I tried using a parting tool but it was too haphazard, it kept bouncing all over.  I ended up using the square cutter to trim most of the ID before flipping the ring in the chuck to trim the last bit.  I figured it was a pretty dumb idea to trim to the plate in one go since there was a chance the tool might catch a gap and fling it across the shop.  Yes, this was another 'hobby vs craft' moment but I usually default on the side of safety when I can.  Flipping each ring takes more time, but overall less time than removing my carbide cutter from whatever wall it may get lodged in.


Finally, rings are flat and ID is round.  Time to glue.  I feared this step more than any of the previous steps.  The number of variables here are difficult to manage all at once.  I wanted the gaps to overlap resulting in a layered brick type of pattern.  However, we all know that wet glue tends to slide a bit here and there while wet.  My fear was that I would set up all rings exactly how I wanted them, then try to clamp them down only to see each ring shift slightly resulting in a bad 4th grade art project.  Yet again I find myself in a 'hobby vs craft' moment.  The right answer is to glue each ring separately making sure each one is in exact position before moving on to the next.  Of course that means about 6 days of gluing and drying to finish this.  So anyway, I decided to go for it and assemble all at once (hobbyist!).  What I found out is that my fears were mostly unfounded.  I was able to glue a ring, put it under pressure for about 30 seconds (in this case a 25lb kettlebell) and then I could make slight adjustments without it moving freely.  I could independently glue and press each ring without affecting  any layers below it.  I plan on letting it sit overnight to completely dry, but first glance it looks pretty good.  Tomorrow I will need to figure the best way to mount on the lathe for turning.  Once again, thanks for reading.







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