Progress: Space Desk Ornament

Since my last post, I sadly have not made as much progress as I had initially hoped. Last week was meant to be centered around gathering materials, playing with ideas, testing processes for building my design, and finalizing my plan. Instead, I got extremely sick. I had a high fever for a week straight that put me in my bed, rendering me completely useless and miserable. I started feeling better on Sunday, and I’ve spent the start of this week catching up on late assignments, lecture material, and group projects for all of my classes. I still don’t feel 100% yet, I’m most of the way there.

Despite this major setback, I was able to go out into the world today and collect some materials for my project for this class. I went to home depot and got some wood pieces. It was difficult to find a small square or circular piece of scrap. I didn’t want too much lumber since my project is relatively small and I want to save money, but I ended up buying something a bit larger than I hoped for. This piece was for the base of my design.

I also got a dowel rod that I will serve as the center shaft of my design. I will use a lathe to shape it into a more aesthetically pleasing figure. I got a 3″ wood screw to attach it to the base, although I will first recess a shallow hole in the base so the shaft fits snugly in the base before fastening it in with the hardware.

Dowel (Center Shaft) + Wood Screw

I also got a square dowel of redwood that I will attempt to cut into spheres to use as planets. I’ve seen people do this using a lathe and hole saw simultaneously, but I’ll have to see if the Idea Forge or ITLL will have the equipment to accommodate this kind of process. If not, I may need to find another way or revert back to my original plan of using ping pong balls.

Square Dowel (For Planets)

The delivery time on the metal rings I planned on using would have taken longer than I want, so I tried searching for something similar at Home Depot. They had nothing of the sort, so I headed to Michael’s next. They had what I was looking for. The rings are a bit smaller than I initially envisioned, but I think it will end up being okay.

   Metal Rings

While I was there, I came across another base that was already shaped the way I wanted, smaller in diameter, with a small hole in the center, and with a nice edge on it that will save me some time working with a router. I decided this would make my life easier in the long run, and I will just have to use the base from Home Depot on some other future project.

Wooden Base

Last, I found some thicker fishing line that has a nice metallic look to it, which I think will better compliment my overall aesthetic, so I decided to pick that up too. Even though it is a bit thicker, it is also a little stiffer than typical fishing line, which will hold the planets in place relative to one another, which I hope will create a smoother orbiting motion of the planets.

Metallic Fishing Line

The only other components I need for the design are a bead, paint, and a bearing, which I will take from an old fidget spinner. All of these are already in my possession. If the wooden planets don’t work out, I will pick up some ping pong balls from Walgreens. The next step is to get in the wood shop and start cutting, shaping, and assembling the pieces. I’m pretty confident this will work out just fine.

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2 Comments. Leave new

  • Ankit Karkhanis
    April 28, 2023 4:54 pm

    Hi Micheal,
    Sorry to hear about your health, hope you are doing well. Great job on procuring the components for your project. I look forward to your presentation on the ornament. The idea has been really intriguing since the design preview. You could consider golf balls as they hold some weight and could help your ornament be sturdy and robust.

    • Michael Dailey
      May 1, 2023 7:01 pm

      Thank you for the support. I’m feeling much better now. Golf balls would be fun, but then they are more difficult to fasten and hang without falling. I ended up going with ping pong balls due to time and money constraints. Thanks again for the comment!


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