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Machined Christmas Gifts?

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  • Machined Christmas Gifts?

    Seven grandkids. First year of my retirement so I finally have the time to machine some gifts/toys. I just need ideas. Suggestions?

  • #2
    We ran an article in the The Home Shop Machinist magazine, July/August 2019 issue, by Roger Taylor titled, "Get the Kids Into the Shop." In it he covered making yo-yos and included the drawings for his design. If interested, you can pick up a back issue by calling, 800-447-7367.
    George
    Traverse City, MI

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    • #3
      For adults I like a heavy stainless steel bolt action pen with a Space Pen refill. For kids or younger people it really should be tailored around their interests.
      *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

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      • #4
        For adults , I made a nice candle holder out of 4 inch aluminium bar, with lots of nice radii on it , then polished.
        kids may like Hex stock nut cracker, with a screw, and T bar.. you can use a 1.5 inch or 1.75 nut... but steel can be real heavy.

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        • #5
          A cannon and a pound of black powder would have been my ideal gift when I was a kid!
          George
          Traverse City, MI

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          • #6
            I made one in school, a few pounds of gunpowder we went through. It was 3.21 for a pound of XXXX in a red tin, we were like 13 or 14..no problem buying it.

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            • #7
              Gyroscope, spinning top, for an older relation perhaps a marking gauge of the type that is a steel bar with a sharp rotating disc at the end. For an even older one that has that already a granny's tooth router. Quite a lot of woodwork 'gimmick' tools you can make if you browse through a catalgue.
              If they are into Meccano or USA equivalent a few part made parts with invitation to be shown how to finish them.
              Beware them returning the favour with junk 3D printed at school.

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              • #8
                When my grandson was about five I decided that wood blocks were a very good toy except that as a kid I never had enough to actually build a house, barn, castle etc. So I decided to make him a set, cutting up 3/4" x 1-1/2" poplar into blocks 1-1/2", 3", 6", and 12" long. $200 worth of wood made about 800 blocks. The toughest part was sanding them smooth, and I tried every power tool I could think of. The only way I got them the way I wanted was by handing sanding, 20 or 30 blocks each weekend until the arthritis made me quit, for MONTHS! Next time I'd use a cement mixer and tumble them.

                The result? Best toy he ever got. He played with them all the time until he was about 13. When he had Hot Wheels he built tracks. When he got radio controlled cars we built tracks and towers literally to within an inch of the ceiling, which we then toppled with the cars.

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                • #9
                  Another idea if the kids are interested in space. A paper rocket launcher. It uses a quick exhaust valve and two pieces of 1/2" threaded pipe. One piece is capped and you pressurize it with an air compressor or bicycle pump. The other piece goes in the exhaust port and you introduce air through the control port. When you depressurize the control port the valve fires into the exhaust port. Rockets are made from writing paper wrapped on a 1/2" PVC pipe. Interestingly a paper tube with the nose blocked flies poorly no matter the shape. Put a couple paper fins on and it goes almost out of sight! I can post a picture if anyone is interested.

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                  • #10
                    a brass diamond,


                    a turners cube

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                    • #11
                      I don't know how old the grandkids are but if they are older and into guns I make a lot of these paperweights in 223 and 40 caliber. I use aluminum and brass and polish on my balder buffer. I have sold a lot of them to fellow officers and given them as gifts. they are very popular. Paul
                      You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.

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                      • #12
                        A piggy bank made from 3' or 4" black iron pipe. copper mug, ring made from a coin (see you tube videos), pencil holder for a desk, Small mystery box with a gift or two in it but not to be opened until they reach 16, 18 or 21 years old or something like that (my brother makes these and they are treasured gifts. Moving target for a BB gun, I made one for my grandson and it was hugely popular for him his friends and his mom and dad. I could go on and on but I'll stop now.

                        Ron

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                        • #13
                          Well, it is machining wood, not metal but
                          in 8th grade shop I made a lamp styled like an old west water pump...
                          fast forward many years later....
                          All four grand daughters (1.5-3 years old) LOVE grandpas lamp, they would sit for hours flipping the lever on and off...and fight over who gets to do it
                          so what is grandpa to do but make some lamps :-)
                          the dark one is the original
                          the one with the short base is what happens when you measure once and cut twice (or something like that)



                          (if pictures don’t load, try https://www.dropbox.com/sh/ne0koydhk...jEQQQMgga?dl=0)

                          You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 2 photos.

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                          • #14
                            Not really useful but the grandkids might think a “turners cube” is kind of cool Nick nack

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by oxford View Post
                              Not really useful but the grandkids might think a “turners cube” is kind of cool Nick nack
                              Might be a bit beyond their ability to understand what’s so cool about a turners cube
                              on the other hand, by the time my skills will let me make one, they will be old enough to “get it”;-)

                              thanks
                              F


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