Valentine's day was fast approaching. I knew I wanted to make my wife something special, from the "heart"... Along came this little project!
Somehow I just had to justify all those late hours spent in the shop creating my masterpiece that is my CNC machine! Alas, it's easy for me to make on my CNC machine... But what about those of you who don't have access to a CNC machine? Well, I'm gonna tell, nay SHOW you how you can create one of your very own using common workshop tools!
I wrote thisinstructable especially for the Valentines Day contest so if you enjoyed this please vote for it!
Step 1: Let's Gather Your Parts!
Things you are going to need to get her heart racing:
Wood: I used pine and aspen on the original and stained the pine a darker color to give a two-tone appeal.
Plywood would work well since it comes in different depths, as well as MDF and oak / poplar / aspen at your local home improvement store. A mix of 1/2" and 1/4" should do the trick. Paint is your friend if plywood is chosen as you can hide the ply sides easily. Cool part about using 1/4" is two glued together make 1/2", and three make 3/4"!
Dowel. I used a 1/4" dowel so a 24" piece from store would work!
Eyelets: Craft stores have them for a few bucks, you only need two but will probably have to buy a 10 pack – sorry!
Magnets!! (This is where the magic happens!!) 1/4” x 1/4” - Craft stores also have them in 6 packs and unfortunately you need 7 of them. You can opt for only 5 in the base but I chose to roll with 6 since I have small micro ones on hand for the smaller heart to use.
Tools: You can, in theory, make this with a pocket knife, but it would be a little quicker and easier with the following tools:
Band saw or scroll saw. A coping saw would work in a pinch but unless you have mastered the fine art of coping, best use a scroll saw.
Moser Labs PRO tip: Keep the kerf (blade thickness) as small as possible to make the cuts easier to maneuver. When you reassemble it you will wish for a small as possible cut.
Drill press. Again, a hand drill would work but to control depth and accuracy, a drill press is in order.
File, sandpaper, stain or paint
Love. I guess technically it's optional, but it really helps the motivation...
Step 2: Let's Start With the Base!
The base is probably the coolest part of the whole project and where all the magic happens, so let's start there!!
My base is 4" wide by 5" deep and 3/4" tall. Since this is a loose interpretation of the original, size really won't matter. So long as the base piece and the heart piece both line up and fit. Iz all good! (that's a saying of mine.)
Moser Labs PRO tip! Make sure to come up with cool sayings along the way. It makes the project go quicker and makes it more fun
Let's gather up some wood to organize the project! You're going to need a piece 4" x 5" that's 1/2" thick, another 4" x 5" that is 1/4" thick - both for the base. The 1/4" thick piece will have a heart cut out of it and then glued on the 1/2" base.
Decide what size your base will be and now you have a size for your heart. My heart is ~3 1/2" wide. (Not my real heart, my project heart. I bet my real heart is about 35" wide... Ya see, I had received a piece of a Dragon's heart when I was a child.... and ...)
Moser Labs PRO tip! Be sure to make up stories along the way. So when you show off your project you can have funny little anecdotes to tell your friends.
If you are artistic, you can draw it out on paper and glue it to the wood as a template.
If you are not artistic, google a heart image (not a dragon heart, they are too big...) in black and white about the size you need. Print out 2 copies and glue one on a piece of 1/4" wood.
Best approach is this: Base will be 1/2" thick, and the heart will be cut out of 1/4" thickness, and when glued up final piece will be 3/4" thick.
Using the same image printed out earlier, or the cutout piece to trace onto a piece of 1/2" wood. This one is going to go inside the one we just cut out, so make sure it's oversized.
Moser Labs PRO tip! You can always take off material, but it's not easy to add material back on. Keep it on the larger size and sand it to fit.
In order to do the two-tone look, you will need to decide which will get a dark stain and which will stay natural. Or paint scheme if desired. The base and heart cutout will get one color while the inlay heart will get the opposite color.
Step 3: Let's Cut the Inlay!
Since the base cutout was done from 1/4" material, a 1/2" cutout heart is in order. It should be raised above the surface and add dimension.
Use the heart cutout to trace onto 1/2" material to give the approximate shape (or if you printed out a second copy use that). Glue the base and the cutout heart piece together and while it's drying cut out the inlay heart with saw.
Give the glue about half hour to dry (needs 24 to fully cure) and test fit the inlay heart. It's probably going to take some sanding to get it to fit. I taper the bottom of it to assist in fitting in.
Step 4: Let's Play With Magnets!
Now that the inlay is cut and the base is drying, lets arrange the magnets! I used 6 on the base to help spread them out and make it dance better. You can use less or more, depending on how many you have on hand!
A drill press is a huge help here, and makes it so you can drill down 9/10 of the way down. That way the magnets are recessed from what will be the backside, which is recessed in the cutout. Make sense? If no drill press is available, you can use drill collars like these
If you have 1/4" magnets use a 1/4" drill bit. I didn't glue mine in, as they were a tight fit and were pressed into the holes. Take your magnets and by using one extra magnet and a sharpie or scratcher tool stick to magnets together. (No picture as I already assembled mine and can't get it back out now)
Moser Labs ROOKIE tip: Take a picture, THEN assemble the parts!!
Make sure to keep track of the poles of the magnets. The key to assembly is to have the magnets repel each other. I stick them together, stick them into the hole and then mark the side that wasn't stuck to the magnet as the OUT for the mini heart. That way I know they will repel each other. Or just make sure they all get into the holes in the same pole orientation and worry about the mini heart magnet when it's time to assemble that.
Step 5: Let's Cut the Uprights!
Now that the base is complete let us start on the uprights. The concept is pretty simple: It'll have a flat spot at the bottom to glue to the base (see first page - completed image), an arc and hover over the top of the heart. Any design should work but I would try to keep it on the lower end. ~10" - 12" height would be best.
Trace or design one on paper or wood and cut one for a template. Using the template, trace it and replicate it on another piece of wood. I used 3 pieces of 1/2" plywood, but you can do a 3/4" inside and 1/2" outsides, or 1/4" outsides. I wouldn't go much wider than 1 3/4" wide as it would over power the design...
Once all three are cut out you can align and clamp them together to sand. I used a spindle sander to keep the inside contours and a belt sander to do the outside contours. A hand sander would work well too, or a file. or sandpaper...
Once complete they can be painted or stained in any color combination you desire. I matched the two outsides with the inlay heart (the one with the magnet) and the middle piece matched with the base piece. When dry they can be glued together.
Step 6: Let's Make a Lil Mini Heart!
Since we have a big heart (not dragon sized, but whatever...) we are gonna need a mini heart to hang on the pendulum. Using the same image you made the big heart, scale it down to about 1 1/2" wide. My original was 3/4" deep but you have artistic license here.
Moser Labs PRO tip!: You don't need to apply for an artistic license, or take any tests. You just tell yourself you have one and PRESTO! You have an artistic license. You can also print one out and hang it on the wall if it helps....
Using either 1/4" (3 copies) or a 1/2"and 1/4" piece or just a 3/4" piece of wood, cut out the mini heart. The bottom doesn't have to come to a point, since we are going to drill it out and insert a magnet.
Drill the butt part (not sure what the top of the heart is called - so I make up my own parts...) ~3/4" deep to allow adjustment of the rod once it's all assembled. You want a distance of 1/8" to 1/4" from the base to the heart.
Rotate the part and drill the tip. You only want to drill down enough to recess the magnet into the tip.
How to align the magnet! Take a magnet, stick it to the top of the Inlay heart, and that side that stuck to the base goes INTO the mini heart hole. You want to make sure the magnets face each other with same poles. This way they repel each other and dance. Reverse this and they will attract each other and not move as much...
Moser Labs PRO tip!: Use wood glue and sawdust mixed together to hide the magnet and reform the tip
Step 7: Let's Finish Them Pieces!
Now that everything is cut out, it's time to sand and paint / stain! The image at the beginning of this Instructable gives you an idea of the scheme I used. Base and middle of the uprights were stained a dark color, and the inlay and outside uprights were left natural, lighter wood. If plywood was used, you can paint them to hide the plys.
Moser Labs PRO tip!: This project is easy! 90% of it is cutting parts. It's the 10% finishing that will make the difference between a nice project and a REALLY nice project! Take your time, there is no hurry!
Let the paint dry (don't watch it, it's SUPER boring ZZZzzzzzzzz) and when it's dry it's time to glue them up!
Moser Labs PRO tip!: Don't be afraid to use your finger on the glue. It helps spread it, it's fun to do AND it's delicious!
The uprights attach to the base as shown in the image. I use a clamp to align the two pieces and mark the point where the eyelet will go.
(Side note, I didn't glue the inlay heart to the base. It was a snug fit and just in case I had to remove it at a later time I left it unglued)
Step 8: Let's Finish This Off!
Now that everything is glued up we can get this thing assembled! You will have to open up one of the eyelets to allow the other to hook on. Simple to do with a pair of needle nose pliers or side cutters. Just enough that the other eyelet can slip thru and hook on...
The top overhang and the dowel are going to need holes to accommodate the eyelets. I used a 1/16 drill bit in a hand drill. If you have one even a smidge smaller it would be beneficial but there isn't much weight on the hooks so it's not crucial.
Drill a hole ~1/4" deep and screw the eyelet into the hole. Do this for both the dowel end and the top of the upright.
Clamp the upright to the base (as seen in the picture) and hang the dowel from the eyelet. Put the mini heart on the base and mark the dowel an approximate length. You will need to add a 1/4" to this as the dowel needs to go into the heart. Since the dowel and heart are both 1/4" and you drilled the heart ~3/4" deep you should have room for adjustment.
Step 9: Let's Give It to Someone You Love!
Let the glue dry and take it to someone you love! Don't have someone you love?
Moser Labs PRO tip!: Shower more than once a week and you have a better shot at getting a girlfriend. Or just friends...
Thanks for reading this and make sure to vote for this the Valentines contest!!
Moser Labs PRO tip!: Make sure to also click follow! I have a SUPER awesome project I am working on for another contest that is gonna BLOW your MIND!!