Week Ending 20 May 2018 Update

This week was one rather devoid of shop time.  The day job was rather a bit busier than normal and wanted more hours from me.  Sometimes, that's just what happens.  Fortunately, I was able to do a bit of woodworking in the few open periods of time.

I made "the lollipop" which is a nice little key for the engagement box that will live inside the cryptex until it's found and it's purpose is to release the iris drawer.  It was a simple affair, just a small round disc about 3/4" in diameter with a hole in one end for a dowel.  I found it best to mark out the circle and then drill the whole before cutting the circle as it was much easier to hold steady with square edges.  Nothing fancy to cut this, just freehand close to the line on the scroll saw then finish on the sander.  Add a bit of dowel, sand it thoroughly and give the regular Danish oil treatment.  I'll let that cure for several days and top coat with a bit of Minwax wiping poly.

I managed to make another cipher wheel video, this one on creating a numeric index keyword cipher.  I used the symbol script to create a very unique looking cipher.   I do wish I had a better setup for capturing video but a new camera rig just isn't in the cards right now.  So, I'll make do with what I have.  I'm still editing with iMovie on the Mac, but I'd like to try using another tool called Shotcut on my Windows laptop.  Video is an area I feel I have a lot of room for improvement.

Finally I got a few hours to start working on the top of the engagement box.  The top is inset into the box and is made from walnut edging with cherry ply top and bottom.  The center will hold the mechanism to unlock it.  I still need to work out how the lock will function, but I have a few ideas to try.  I want to have it need 2 key objects that will be found in the locked side compartments of the box.  The top will also get some carving and laser engraving of a picture, so it has some neat things coming.  After that, it's just final fitting and and then sending the box on it's way to Australia.

Lastly I toyed with building a platform to hold short lengths of PVC on the CNC so I can cut the slots and drill the holes for more cryptexes.  I'll keep poking at this project in the coming weeks.  Having a way to mount and index the PVC on the CNC will make creating more of these much easier and considerable more accurate.  I find coming up with mounting, holding and indexing strategies for a CNC a lot of fun.  It's a lot like solving a puzzle.

I hope next week will have more shop time.  I'd like to work out that locking method and get that piece moving forward.   I've still got a set of partially built puzzles boxes to eventually get back to as well.