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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Letting the creative out.

I was looking around recently at a gazillion headphones online and noticed something odd. It appears that no-one has ever made engraved or carved headphone cups. Pipes, bowls, guns, knives, glasses and such like have a long and illustrious history of fine engraving work... headphones? Nothing! Well, if that's not an opportunity I don't know what is. So off I went to my local woodcraft store and bought a small Proxxon engraver to go with all my other Proxxon mini tools. It's a nice little thing, 12v, very light and much easier to handle than the pro rotary tools I already had. I also bought myself a variable temperature wood burning kit with three pens. A little pricey but much better than the cheapo soldering iron variants. Between these two I should be able to do some interesting things to my cups because sometimes, even expensive wood needs some help. There are a couple of examples of this work on my site, I think it looks pretty nice myself and breaks up the monotony of general cup work.

I haven't done any proper woodburning yet, just practice boards until I get the technique down. The engraving or power carving is also a bit of a challenge because the bits are constantly trying to worm their way out of your desired target. A spinning cutter going at 20,000 rpm can wander or catch if you're not concentrating so it makes a good zen process. I find it oddly relaxing in an intense way and it's very rewarding if it goes right. I have a whole bunch of 'went wrong' practice cups now ;) The biggest problem with all this is that it can be a bit distracting when you really need to get things done and finished. I always seem to be backed up and few things go as quickly as I plan or imagine. I guess that's the same with most peoples projects. I'm working on more realistic targets to keep on top of things.


  1. would you be willing to sell "went wrong" cups, if they've got a goof in the engraving but are acoustically fine? perhaps for less than the price of a basic kit? i'd buy.

  2. Unfortunately, all the 'went wrong' cups turn into practice cups, usually to total destruction.

  3. You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

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