In life, we depend on one another to succeed and to simply survive. This is true in small communities, and in the greater scope of human existence. The goal of this vase is to demonstrate the notion of interdependence and the importance of community. No single unit functions without the support of others.
For this project you will need:
A large block of hardwood ( 3 or 4 inches square and 10 inches long is probably pretty good)
About 4 feet of 1 inch acrylic tube
22mm OD by 18mm ID by 5mm diametrically charged neodymium magnets (I had to order these custom form China)
Clear Acrylic Sheet
Sphere Drilling Jig (https://www.instructables.com/id/Sphere-Drilling-Ji...)
Drill Press, Wood Lathe, Metal Lathe, 1 Inch Forstner Bit, Laser Cutter
Step 1: Turn the Bases
I find wood turning to be quite a meditative experience. Take your time with this step. Turning steadily with sharp tools will produce a more satisfying result than trying to speed through it.
The bases should be roughly tear drop shaped. A rounded bottom is the most important part.
I had a long enough piece of wood to turn three bases at a time. It is relatively easy to turn the bases in this way by chucking up the wood between centers and using primarily a roughing gouge and bowl gouge. Having them all in a line like this makes it easy to keep the size and shape consistent between bases.
Many turners frown upon sanding but I would say go ahead and sand when you need to.
Step 2: Cut and Drill the Bases
Once you are satisfied with the shape of your bases go ahead and take them off the lathe. A band saw or hack saw is probably the best way to cut them apart from one another. If there is a small bump on the bottom of the base you can take it off with a belt sander pretty easily, but be careful not to flatten the bottom too much.
Use a sphere drilling jig (https://www.instructables.com/id/Sphere-Drilling-Ji...) to hold the bases vertically under the drill press and use a 1 inch forester bit to drill a hole about an inch and a half down into each.
Step 3: Cut the Tube
Ten inches is a pretty good length for the acrylic tubes. You can mark the tube with a knife and cut it with a chop saw or hack saw.
Step 4: Turn the Tubes
Ah, the metal lathe. If the wood lathe is primarily an artistic tool, the metal lathe is it's precise, scientific cousin.
I used 1 inch tube and 22mm magnets so that I could create a pocket inside the tube for the magnets to rest. With the metal lathe I was able to make this be a press fit connection and eliminated the need for glue in this step.
First I faced off the end of the tube to create a smooth and clear surface. Next I used a boring bar to cut the precise internal pocket in each tube.
Step 5: Cut the Caps
I used a laser cutter to create perfectly round 1 inch circles to seal the bottom of the tubes but you could order these online if you don't have a laser cutter at your disposal.
Step 6: Tube Assembly
The pocket for the magnets was cut precisely enough to be secure by simply press fitting, but the circles for the bottom of the base required some epoxy to make the seal watertight. Simply mix some epoxy and adhere the base circles onto the end of the tubes without the magnets. Acrylic cement (which I ran out of) would work as well for this step.
Diametrically charged magnets are important because they are all able to connect with one another without flipping half of them over. The vase would function with axially charged magnets (which are more common) but they are a bit harder to arrange in a stable formation that way.
Step 7: Finishing
I find finish application to be one of the most rewarding steps in any woodworking project. The grain and color of the wood really comes alive with finish.
I used danish oil on this particular piece. Most oils call for rag application rather than brushing.
Apply multiple coats as suggested by the manufacturer.
Step 8: Assembly and Filling
Once the finish and epoxy are dry, the final assembly is easy. Simply press the sealed end of an acrylic tube into each wooden base.
Filling the vases in the sink isn't hard but I found it was easier to fill them with a small pitcher.
Step 9: Flowers
Add your favorite flowers and have fun moving the vases around, but be careful to maintain a stable formation.