Oh Xmas Light

Been out with the family looking at the Christmas lights.  Our house may be draped in them, but it is a modest affair compared to some places!
I was at one location recently, very intensive setup, with LED panels bought from China, powered by Arduino, a large light tree etc.  What I was interested in were the assembled reindeer and sleigh he had in the yard.  All made from ply, and not dissimilar to the designs I have been cutting on the CNC, so I got chatting with the owner.

He has been purchasing the plans from a different company than the one I use – MakeCNC (I missed the name of his source), who only supply paper templates rather than digital files, because of the amount of piracy that goes on.  Given some of the designs are 8-10′ high, that is some massive paper plans!

The guy doesn’t have a CNC, so resorts to making the cutouts by hand.

He had tried a bandsaw, but as it was one of those small crap things 8″ diameter, he could not get it to run true.  So all his plans are cut out old school, with a scrollsaw, and a jigsaw.

Given that he only started woodworking about a year ago (and prior to that was the obligatory pencil case in secondary school), it was a pretty impressive effort.

He had one recent problem – a supply of marine grade ply from Bunnings, that was a different supplier to normal.  Despite querying it, and being reassured it was right, making the sleigh, treating it, painting it and doing all the right things, it has already started delaminating.  Bunnings are apparently going to replace the ply for him, but that doesn’t come close to replacing all the work that went into building and finishing the sleigh.  Must be frustrating.

While looking to see if I can find the company he has been using, I came across Teds (16000 copyright violated) woodworking plans for sale.  There are a lot more very detailed descriptions of just what is wrong their whole approach to plans, but it primarily boils down to the issue that they are gathering up all the plans offered for free, then repackaging them and reselling them.  Just because they are freely available on the internet, doesn’t mean they are copyright-free.  They apparently have an active affiliate program- don’t get sucked in.

The lead up to Christmas has been busy – and the day itself is always a mixture of a massive amount of Torn xmas paper, a very excited daughter (and family), food, drink, and nary a thought of woodworking.  Hopefully Santa was good to everyone – after all, he knows the value of a well equipped shed better than anyone!

Merry Christmas to everyone, from Stu’s Shed!

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