Photo/Postcard Holder

Today’s fabrication project is to create five of something. I decided to create a photo/postcard holder out of wood.

My first thought is to cut up a long piece of hardwood into pieces and cut the slits for the photo later on. This proves to be a terrible mistake. It turns out that I can only cut the slits when the wood is still in a big piece. The miter saw that I was using is too dangerous to be used on a small piece of wood. Back to the drawing board.

Original cut wood (the mistake), I made six of these

After some consultation with Ben, I decided to cut the slits first using the miter saw and only after the slits are cut, I’d cut the wood into pieces. Unfortunately, I made the mistake of only getting 2.5x the amount of material that I think I’d need (the rule of thumb is to get 3.14x the amount of material). This resulted in one of my pieces to be smaller than the others. After cutting it up, I sanded the holders using the belt sander to round off the sharp edges and smooth out the surface.

Miter saw setup
The holders after they are cut-up and sanded with the belt sander

Luckily, after this stage, Jake offered up some of his wood stains so I didn’t have to buy my own. I tried it out first on my previously cut wood to see how the color would turn out. After I’m feeling confident, I painted it on my holders. After letting it dry for 12 hours, I gave the holders some final sanding with a fine-grit sanding sponge. The final product looks pretty good!

Me staining the wood with Jake in the background
The finished product, notice how one piece is a bit smaller than the others. Can you spot it?
Finished product working in action

As you can see, the finished product looks great. I’m really happy with how it turns out (other than the mistake). If there’s anything that I learned from this exercise, is to truly abide by the “Multiply everything by pi rule” – when acquiring materials, always try to get 3.14 times the amount of material that you think you’ll need.

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