Raw wood (i.e. as it comes from the tree) gives a nice, rustic aspect to objects made with it. It's cheap, easy to find, and easy to use.

In this instructable I'll show you how to make wood stuff by using wood directly collected from the ground (that is, died branches) and cortex (dead tree skin). The idea is to show you basic tips, convince you that you can do great things with no prior knowledge about woodworking, and provide some motivating examples.

If you want to do real woodwork and you're a beginner, check Some Basic Woodwork Skills, an instructable by Nachimir.

During the slides you'll see a few projects I've done so far:

  • a test tube rack (in which I store species to cook with) using some cortex I found in an eucalipto forest (pic below) Can you tell me what's the name of that in english??? Is it "tube holder"???
  • a table for "picadas" (in Argentina, a set of chopped salami, ham, and cheese, plus some bread and pickles, which are ingested right before lunch, usually before barbecue)
  • a digital photo frame
  • a rustic lamp (sorry, coming soon!)
  • a spoon (sorry, coming soon!)
  • a seat for my garden
  • a plants holder
  • my "real fake tree"

This instructable is in memory of my mom's father, a woodworker whose tools I inherited and I use sometimes.

Step 1: Basic materials

The followings are basic materials. Next slides may show a few other useful tools.

  • Some wood (can be logs, branches, recycled wood from ruined furniture, and cortex). The choice will depend on the availability of the materials and, most importantly, on what you want to do. In the examples here, I used eucalipto cortex (ca. 5mm thick) for the tubes container and for the food tablets, a v-shaped branch for the lamp, and a small log for the spoon.
  • Some glue and nails when the project requires separate pieces of wood to be joined.
  • Basic tools: One or more saws (look at captions in pic), sandpaper (may be a rough one and a soft one), a hammer, a plane, and extra things you may found useful at some point (like scissors for example, not shown in the picture).
  • Extra things your project may need (like lamps and wire for the lamp, or a screen for the digital photo frame)
There are food-safe varnishes available. You see them on some woodenware. The main concern is chipping (like on a cutting board) or not being dishwasher safe. Otherwise, the volatile chemicals, being volatile, evaporate. Of ocurse, a bad choice would range from unpleasant to near-lethal, so perhaps stick to ye olde salt...
mineral oil from the pharmacy, should be safe finish for wooden ware. Intended for consumption, to lubricate the digestive track, to make things "move" better.
Is the Pocket PC an HP Jordana?
flax oil (sometimes sold as linseed oil, but NOT boiled linseed oil, which has chemicals added), and grapeseed oil are some of the food safe wood finishes i can think of that would be suitable for this.<br /> <br /> When using flax/linseed oil make sure you don't leave a oily rag out. Put it into a sealed container with water, as they can catch fire.<br />
MAN, that is a cool planer!&nbsp;&nbsp; that thing is antique!!!<br />
did you use a plane to get the wood so thin?
what's really in those tubes? mm?
i am way, WAY, =WAY= ahead of you here. <br/><br/>Over march break last year i built an entire TREEHOUSE out of driftwood. I made a table for my keyboard out of wood i found lying around on the beach, I made my chickens a fake tree that they could sit in and play in (although they didnt use it) out of branches, my neighbor built himself a BED out of driftwood.<br/>me and my friends built a puppet theater that was about 13 ft long out of huge peices of driftwood!<br/><br/>well see theres a lot of driftwood where i come from!<br/>
Cool !! Maybe you could post some pictures of your treehouse, the bed, and the puppet theatre. Not necessarilly as an instructables itself, but rather as raw photos in a comment here.
Yes , yes! I'm with lucianoabed, good plan man :0)
sry i happen to be miles away from those things atm, and last year i thought they were a lot better. Plus the puppet theater got scrapped recently because it was too big, and my neighbour has now moved away and i dont know what happened to the bed.
Love the combination of nature and science in your project. Very well done! Thanks. BTW,does anyone have a link where I could buy test tubes? Oh, and you could use a baby bottle brush to clean the tubes-wait-too big hmmm what would be a smaller version of a baby bottle brush? Will think about a solution.
Thanks for your post! Buying test tubes? Look for any lab supplier, they are very common and cheap. If you know someone running a biochemistry lab, ask him/her where he/she buys.<br/><br/>By the way, have you seen my instructable &quot;<a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Hints-for-a-Complete-GOURMET-GARDEN-on-the-cheap/">Hints for a Complete GOURMET GARDEN, on the cheap!</a>&quot; I think you will like it.<br/><br/>
Just to let you know in case you ever need a new blade or whatever and don't know where to look, that saw on the left is a hacksaw. It is meant to cut metal, including most steels, if you ever feel the need. It's my precision all-purpose saw of choice, too!
Yes, I also use that hacksaw to cut glass tubes!
And that works? You have just singlehandedly solved my glass-cutting problem. I've got two cases of bottles to cut up, but I didn't want to ruin my blade.
No, I only meant for cutting thin rods of glass: you mar the rod and then crack it up with your two hands. I don't think this will work for bottles. May be I could make a short instructable on working with glass tubes... :)
Oh, I see. I was thinking more along the lines of cutting a tube for a bottleneck slide. I can't seem to score them and break them evenly.
you could try this (please tell me if it actually works)<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1031180/beer_bottle_glass/">http://www.metacafe.com/watch/1031180/beer_bottle_glass/</a><br/><br/>or this<br/><br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.metacafe.com/watch/968599/how_to_cut_a_bottle/">http://www.metacafe.com/watch/968599/how_to_cut_a_bottle/</a><br/><br/>Metacafe is a pretty cool site<br/>
You could try a file and a drill, I've had luck filing glass before and cutting it with a file, though it's tedious by hand you could pop together a lathe type thing for it from a few skateboard wheels to allow the bottle to spin freely, then spin with a small motor or by hand, I think the key is going slow but I could be wrong, also it'd be easy to incorporate a water drip to make a smooth edge in one go, a triangle file makes nice bevelled edges, a round one makes flat cuts with a little arc left on the inside, not great for some stuff but taking a half cylinder out of stuff can look nice, a flat file leaves a square edge and a scoring wheel makes a really precise cut, however it's hard to control as is, I'd imagine even harder on a moving bottle...
Very nice, but 1 question. Do you have any idea where i can get those tubes that were holding your spices?
do you know how to lighten roots ? some were lighten, i guess, from being outside but i want them almost white.
Old-school bleach or lye, I suspect.
Sorry... no idea !!
nice, although not really my style. for items that will be in food contact, another option would be to use a natural drying oil such as tung oil
Hello the tool you don't know the name of is called a plane! (over ere in england though lol)
Thanks for the info on curing wood. The spice rack is very beautiful.
the tool is called a plane...
Wow these are good looking and useful!
This is awesome - very resourceful, I especially like the bench.
Oh yeah that object is a test tube rack I believe. Just wondering, when did you post your instructable because I <a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Beginners-guide-to-BitTorrent/">posted this one</a> yesterday and still has not shown up. <br/>Thanks<br/>
Thanks for your kind comments and for the new word for my vocabulary! As for your instructable, I can access the page perfectly. May be you mean that it didn't show up at the main page of instructables.com; well, I think that only top-rated projects are displayed... just think, not sure.
Sure. I was actually talking about the recent list. I subscribe to the RSS feed for all of the new instructables (thats how I found this one) and I didn't see mine on the list which was kind of weird. Thanks Joe
Looks good!
Cool! Great Instructable! Maybe I will make one for mothers day! Thanks Joe

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