Portable Wood Fired Pizza Oven

This page may contain sponsored links that help offset our expenses at no cost to you.

This video shows how I built a portable wood-fired pizza oven that’s inexpensive, easy to build, weighs only 7.5 pounds, and can be carried easily in a backpack. And it makes fantastic pizza too!

Materials List

Here are the materials I used to build this oven. I recommend getting these materials locally but in case you can’t, I’ve included links to amazon.com.

Tools

These are the tools I used for this project, again with links in case you have trouble finding any of these items:

Potting Bench


I designed this bench to be used for potting plants and general outdoor use. The top is 48″ x 30″, and the lower shelf is 70″ wide.

Materials

I used preservative-treated wood for mine, and a rot-resistant species like cedar or cypress would also work well. The table is made entirely from 1″x4″ (nominal size) boards andyou can substitue lumber of another size such as 1″x6″ without changing the cut list, except that you would need fewer boards for the top and shelf. The following pieces are needed, with all measurements in inches:

Quantity Length Description
4 44 Frame long
8 27.75 Frame short
8 34.5 Leg*
4 5.25 Foot
8 70 Shelf long
2 44 Shelf short (rip to 2.25″ wide)**
2 21 Shelf cleat
8 48 Top

*The specified leg length gives a 36″ high table when using 3/4″ thick boards for the feet and top (adjust if desired).
**Don’t be tempted to leave the short shelf pieces full-width and notch them so they extend beyond the front of the frame, or your shins will be sorry. Guess how I know that…

You can cut all the pieces from 17 boards 8′ long with minimal waste as follows:

Boards Cut 1 Cut 2 Cut 3 Cut 4
4 48 – top* 48 – top*
2 34.5 – leg 34.5 – leg 25.25 – frame short
2 34.5 – leg 34.5 – leg 21.25 – shelf cleat 5.25 – foot**
2 44 – frame long 44 – frame long 5.25 – foot**
1 44 – shelf short 44 – shelf short 5.25 – foot**
6 70 – Shelf long 25.75 – frame short

*It’s okay if the top pieces are slightly under 48″
**This cut list yields one extra foot piece – this lets you discard one in order to cut around bad knots etc.

Assembly

Start by making two frames as shown from the 44″ long pieces and 27.75″ short pieces. I used 2 deck screws at each joint. The inner short pieces are 14″ on center from the outer pieces.

Assemble four legs, offsetting the front boards 1/2″ in from the edge of the side boards. An easy way to do this is to lay a scrap of 1/2″ plywood on a work surface to support the front board, then stand the side board on edge and screw together. I used 5 screws for each leg.

Place the top frame upside-down on the floor and attach 4 legs, with just one screw per leg joint at this point. Then support the shelf frame at the desired height, which can be adjusted as you wish.I spaced them 16″ apart to give 15.25″ clearance after the shelf boards are attached, which is enough to fit a 5-gallon bucket with a lid on the shelf. Attach the shelf frame with just one screw per leg, and then square everything up as well as possible before fastening with more screws. Use plenty of screws for each of these joints to make the table rigid. I used 1-3/8″ deck screws here so the sharp ends don’t protrude through the other side. Attach the feet to the legs (these help prevent the table from sinking into soft ground).

Flip the table over and attach the shelf boards as shown. I used two screws at every joint, to help keep everything flat. Attach a cleat under each end of the shelf to hold the ends even:

Finally attach the top boards, spacing them evenly across the top:

Powder Coating

This page may contain sponsored links that help offset our expenses at no cost to you.

This video shows how I powder-coated the steel housing of the 4th Axis that I made.

Links

I used my Eastwood Dual Voltage Powder Gun to apply the powder coating, andthe color is Ford Dark Blue.

My air supply is filtered with this Coalescing Filter and desiccant dryer combo, which supports the high airflow that I need for plasma cutting but it’s larger than would be needed for just doing powder coating. I added a small pressure regulator and replaced its gauge with a low-pressure 0-15 PSI gauge so I can accurately adjust the pressure to about 8 PSI / 55 kPa.

For masking the areas that I didn’t want to powder coat, I used Polyester Hi-Temp Masking Tape.

The video shows the Temperature Controller that I used along with a Solid State Relay to control my kiln. These are widely available and most any of them would work for an application like this, provided that you get a relay able to handle the maximum current of the oven.

Welding Cart

This page may contain sponsored links that help offset our expenses at no cost to you.

I built this welding cart to hold my new Everlast PowerPro 205S TIG Welder and Plasma Cutter as well as my Lincoln MIG Welder. The cart features a large work surface and five hitch-style attachment points for mounting accessories such as a bench vise and camera supports.

Resources

I used SketchUp software to design the cart, and here is the model file: WeldingCart.skp. You are welcome to download this model and customize it any way you like.

Here’s a link to the Menard’s Masterforce 30-inch Five-Drawer Mobile Tool Cabinet around which this cart is built.

I used a 4 in. Swivel Vise with Anvil from Harbor Freight. It’s an inexpensive vise but the quality is good enough for my purposes.

Also from Harbor Freight I bought the 8 in. Deep Throat U-Clamp and 12 in. Deep Throat U-Clamp for under $10 each. The 12-inch clamp is deep enough to reach almost anywhere on the 25-inch wide work surface of my cart. Their quality seems pretty good for the price.

Woodworking

Far and away the main thing that comes out of my workshop is shavings and sawdust, although my portable lathe lets me do most of my rough turning outside now so I don’t spray shavings around the shop quite so much. Here are a couple of shots Liz took of me making a 14″ black willow bowl on the lathe:

Here are some bowls I’ve made from catalpa, spalted beech, and spalted paper birch:

And these are black willow, ailanthus (tree of heaven), and silver maple:

Here’s my first “real” woodworking project, a Sheraton table in butternut that I made for Liz; and a couple shots of the cherry sewing cabinet we made for my Mom:

I’ve made about 20 Native American flutes but I haven’t figured out how to photograph them well. They’re just too long and skinny to make a “normal” shaped picture. But here’s one of my earliest and still one of the most dramatic-looking, made from a piece of spalted apple wood:

Custom Circuit Board Graphics

This video shows the process of turning graphics, starting with a design as a Scalable Vector Graphics file, into a custom-made circuit board. As an example I show a circuit board badge that I made for the members of my local ham radio club, the Riverside Radio Amateurs.

Links

I used Inkscape to covert the original SVG file into separate image files for the circuit board layers.

To prepare the circuit board design I used Eagle, which Autodesk licenses free for non-commercial use with boards up to 100mm x 80mm.

My PC boards were made by Elecrow, and I have been satisfied with their prices and quality. Before settling on Elecrow, I used PCBShopper to compare prices and reviews of many different PC board manufacturing services.

Also see Building with Surface Mount Devices for more info about building custom circuit boards using surface mount devies.

4th Axis Harmonic Drive

This page may contain sponsored links that help offset our expenses at no cost to you.

After finishing my Modular CNC Controller I built this 4th axis attachment for my CNC router and my milling machine. This will let me machine parts such as gears, and carve 3D patterns wrapped around cylindrical shapes. In the Part 1 video I build the main drivetrain components, using a harmonic drive gearbox to get precise angular positioning and high torque with low backlash.

In the Part 2 video I weld and machine the steel enclosure, install the harmonic drive system, and try it out.

In this video I apply Powder Coating to the housing.

Documentation

The Harmonic Drive web site has detailed information about the style of gearbox that I used. The Catalog link on that page provides detailed documentation about this family of ultra-low-backlash gearboxes.

I bought the 3-jaw front-mounting self centering lathe chuck from Shars. Any similar chuck should work, provided that it can be mounted from the front.

I bought my stepper motor on Ebay after quite a bit of searching to find one with the specs I wanted, including the 8mm output shaft to fit the coupling on my particular gearbox. Here is a link to a similar Nema 23 stepper motor on Amazon.com, but with the more common 1/4″ output shaft.

Garden Folly

October 8, 2012
Jay and his brother Dave decided to build a folly to support a wisteria vine in the garden. It’s going to be a dome-shaped structure about 8 feet in diameter and 8 feet high, made of rebar with decorative scrollwork. Jay bent the S-shaped scrolls from 3/8-inch rebar with a plywood jig. Using 52-inch lengths of rebar, he first bent one end into a spiral around the jig.

Once the first spiral was bent, he reversed the piece and bent the other end in the opposite direction. To make the folly took a total of 28 of these.

The folly will consist of two pairs of arches crossing at a right angle. Each arch is made from a 20-foot length of 1/2-inch rebar, with an 8-foot length stretching across the bottom. Once Jay had bent a few scrolls, Dave started welding the arches together while Jay continued to bend.

Each of the two sections has 10 scrolls and about 50 double-sided welds. By late afternoon both sections were fully assembled, but not joined together yet.

October 9, 2012
After aligning the two halves and clamping them together at the top, Jay welded the intersections to anchor them together. Then we put cross braces along the bottom to join the ends of the arches into a square base. He welded 2 more scrolls into each space between the arches to fill in the dome shape.

We used the tractor to move it from the driveway into the main garden just south of the house. It may take the wisteria vine a year or two to cover it, as this is an American wisteria that won’t get as large as the Asian species.

Here’s a close-up of the scrollwork joining the arches, and a view looking up from the bottom.

Garden Trellises

This page may contain sponsored links that help offset our expenses at no cost to you.

Below are some photos of metal trellises that we built years ago when we lived in Wisconsin.

This was our first garden metalwork project, a hanging trellis made of welded 1/4″ steel. It is 18″ wide and 32″ high. The design is a real circuit called a Darlington amplifier. The plant is Mina lobata, which will get yellow and red flowers that hummingbirds love.

Here are the second and third trellises we made, 73″ high and 30″ wide. The first circuit is part of a Geiger counter, the second circuit is a crystal calibrator, and the vines are morning glory.