photos and sketchup model here for now
Step 1: Get Wood
Cut 4 pieces, I then used a block plane to get them the same width, but this really isn't necessary as your going to be sanding them to size later anyway, so don't bother.
Step 2: Get Into Shape
Then you can use this first shape as a template to make the others, you will need 8 in total, mark them out but don't cut them out yet.
Step 3: Make Pivot Holes
My initial idea on how to do this was to use semi circles of wood cut out with plug cutters on the drill, the bottom one 15mm and the pivoting one smaller, unfortunately the smaller piece was just too small to handle and didn't provide enough glueing surface to make a satisfactorily strong connection.
The solution I tried next was driving a nail through the top pieces and into the larger semi-circles, then cutting the nails to size with the cut off wheel on the dremel, but this also didn't work well as the top now had a nail head showing, which looked rubbish, and the two top pieces wanted to rotate around the nails rather than as one piece.
Step 4: A Lathe Would Be So Useful..
I marked out where I wanted to thin out the pivot, and set about it, using a saw, sanding, various attachments on the dremel, nothing seemed to be particularly effective or precise. Then I had a brainwave, I could use my drill as a lathe! this kind of worked, but it didn't feel particularly clever or safe, and I don't recommend it. For a start my drill is a normal drill in a drill press stand, which is kind of wobbly and not great in the first place, so now I have a drill pretending to be a drill press pretending to be a lathe, and I've never used a lathe nor do I have much idea how to use one. Anyway it got the job done this time.
Then sawed carefully the piece into two halves, obviously the two halves will not be exact semi-circles as they will be missign the part the kerf of the saw took away, the correct way to deal with this might be to make two pivots and saw along the line on both to make two exact semi-circles but it took me too long to make just one so I'll have to make do.
I was rushing. take your time and do it better. :)
Step 5: Make It Fit
I then used the sanding disc to rout out the space in the top pieces to accept the top of the pivots, there is probably some easier ways to do this but I couldn't think of any at the time (rushing).
When I was happy with the fit, I glued up the pivots and waited for the glue to dry...
Step 6: Show Your Face
Step 7: Magnets!
I used 4x neodymium cylinder magnets 2mm diameter x 8mm long, which gives a nice firm hold but still allows the halves to rotate smoothly. Drilled the small holes for them and dipped a little super glue on them before pushing them into place.
With the magnets in place I set about making the main pivot for the two halves of the object, I decided to use a nail for this, put one end in the vice and bent it into an L shape, then carved the shape into the middle pieces on one half of the object, and carved the shape of the nail and head into the other. I'm sure I took photos of these steps but seem to have lost them (probably again as I was rushing).
With that done I put the L shaped part of the nail in place and glued up that side of the object with wood glue and waited for it to dry a bit.
Step 8: Shape Up
Once set, I set about sanding the shape up more evenly, checking it in both shapes.
I also intended to chamfer or round over the edges but didn't have time, I intend to sneak it away again to finish the edges off more tidily at a later time.
I then added a little danish oil to make it look a little more finished.
Step 9: Done -ish
But not quite, as you can see in the photos it's not perfect, some of the edges need tiding up, as well as the centre to take out those gaps, also I still think it needs more rounding on the edges to make it more finished looking, and more polished.
I will hopefully be updating this when I am happy with it with some more photos of it, but who knows when that will be, maybe in time for mothers day?!
Step 10: Update
I also rounded off all the edges on a powered sander which makes it look much more finished and feels better in the hand.
It could still be done a lot better though, and it's something I intend to have another bash at someday and make a better job of it, the parts need to be made much more precisely to get a more positive movement with no play or looseness.