Archive for the ‘woodworking’ Category.

CNC decision: Blacktoe 2′x4′

Welp, I decided on which CNC rig to go with. I wanted to keep my options open for the future, so I decided to go with a bigger rig than I had originally planned on committing to. I decided that I could commit several continuous days in a row to assembly, setting up a major section of my garage, and purchasing a couple-few extra things to accommodate the buildyourcnc.com Blacktoe 2×4.

Here’s the timelapse of the build:

Here’s the first run:

And here’s the first real job I ran with it:

Biiiig beatseqr signage!

Woohoo! Very happy!

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epic newbie CNC comparison chart

After inquiring around about prices for lasers, I’m coming to the realization that maybe what I need isn’t a laser but a CNC rig.  I’m lucky to live near enough to Techshop that making the occasional drive up there is doable, but not a sustainable ongoing possibility with my family time needs.  So take a look at the research I’ve done into who the top contenders for desktop CNC could be for an almost total n00b to the sport.

Alright, so I know the G-code exists and that most every interesting machine that I want to work with understands how to work with that, so now it’s up to me to complete the equation. This list isn’t meant to be exhaustive, and by no means am I an expert on the topic, but based on what I could digest from their websites, this is what I took away from it all.   When I priced things to be as ready to run as possible starting with no previous equipment, here’s the ballpark figures:

machine x y z priced ready
to run
notes link
DIY! ? ? ? $100 to
$1,000
while the price may be right, the time and skill involved just don’t make this an attractive option for me right now. Don’t let my schedule and skill stop YOU though. click here
Lumenlab MicRo 10″ 12″ 2.75″ ~$2,143
+ software
I’ve known this company since I made my LCD projector, so it was interesting to see them move into this arena. Honestly, though, details are sparse. Their blog about the build is just weird. Make a formal demo video, guys. click here
Probotix FireBall V90 12″ 18″ 3″ $1,174
+ router
+ software
This inexpensive unit won an award at the Maker Faire Austin, so that seems to bode well. There seem to be a lot of parts that you can add on, which seems to indicate that it’s not as turnkey as I’m looking for. If you already have steppers and are looking for a solid new gantry bed, maybe this would work well for you. That’s just not me yet. click here
Buildyourcnc.com’s bluechick cnc 12″ 24″ ? $1,465
+ router
+ software
If you have more time than money, this unit seems like a *stellar* system to check out. The fit and finish isn’t the point here, it’s inexpensive and customizable. click here
Buildyourcnc.com’s blacktoe cnc 24″ 48″ (!) 5 7/8″ (!!) $2,300
+ tools
+ software
Holy crap, look at that. Bad. Ass. I don’t know where else you’ll find that big of a CNC rig for that price. Now, it requires a lot of assembly, but their extensive library of videos on that topic should help. I’ve been studying this machine all week and I’m drooling over how nice it seems. It can accommodate a real router, not just a trim router. It’s huge. And cheap. click here
Next Wave Automation’s Shark cnc 13″ 24″ 4.5″ $2,800
all inclusive
This unit comes in a bit more expensive than the others, but three things I like about it. 1. it ships ready to run with software, 2. assembly apparently consists of 12 bolts, period. 3. Rockler sells it, so that probably means it’s a high quality tool. click here
Next Wave Automation’s Shark Pro cnc 24″ 24″ 4.25″ $3,800
all inclusive
This unit is the bigger version of the above unit. the extra $1,000 gets you almost twice the width and apparently “more power”. It also ships with software and presumably is the same 12 bolt assembly. The reviews I read for the smaller unit were all positive with one person saying “I just wish I’d gotten the bigger one” which makes me just wonder if I’d end up there too. If you’re in for $2,800 … I dunno. maybe. click here
Craftsman Compucarve
Woodcraft CarveWright
12 feet! 14.5″ 5″ $1,500 to
$1,900
These are somewhat intriguing. I’m a little skeptical of the feed table, but maybe it’s ok. I dunno. I just… don’t know. These do have some built-in functions like cross cut, rip, and jointing. And a proprietary, but nice, quick tool change technology. Reviews seem mixed. Update: No G-Code import of any kind, and no plans to add that. So it’s a closed system with their own bits and software. Definitely a carving-centric hobby machine. click here

These prices assume you already have a computer… duh. And they don’t really take the cost of software into consideration, which is probably ok because there are a lot of software packages out there so I’ve heard. They do different things and cost different amounts of money… so it’s hard to factor it in easily. The other thing I haven’t factored in here is speed. And because I’m inexperienced, I don’t really know how to gauge that, other than to see that the Blacktoe is fast as hell. Ok, so I get that these machines all have an “inch per minute” speed rating… I would suspect it would also depend on 1. your router, 2. your gcode, and 3. the material you’re milling… so given those parameters, what does “high speed traverse” mean? Just how fast the machine does what it needs to do when it’s not doing a cutting maneuver? That’s my best guess.

So, those are the current contenders. Did I miss anything substantial? Leave a comment and let’s get it on the chart.

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kinetic wave sculptures

This was too cool not to repost:

Arduino Project Box

Hey, check out my fine art blog to see my new arduino project box. Here’s a little preview video:


arduino project box construction timelapse from stevecooley on Vimeo.


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it lives… and breathes

I’ve been working on my projector like crazy because of my upcoming Chabot show date. Here’s a photo of the first test firing with optics, but no LCD yet:
IMG_1189IMG_1190

then here it is from last night with the major wiring completed with switches for fans and the bulb. This lets the projector run fans after the bulb is off… glad to get that taken care of… plus I got a cool looking lighted switch to boot.
IMG_1202IMG_1209

I wish it were actually this bright.. that’s probably too long of an exposure to capture the brightness accurately.
IMG_1203

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DIY iSight Tripod Mount

Well, as you may know I like to shoot a timelapse video now and then…  I’ve been using an earlier version of this iSight tripod mount for about a year, so today I thought I’d share the new and improved version:

Isight Tripod Bracket2 Isight Tripod Bracket1

It consists of a couple of pieces of hardwood braced at a 90 degree angle…  I have one piece of wood with two holes in it (the mounting plate), and then a piece of wood that is 90 degrees to the mounting plate for the iSight bracket to grab on to, and then two triangles (with the corners cut off)…

Isight Tripod Bracket4

On the mounting plate, I drilled a hole slightly smaller than the mounting screw on the tripod.  The idea was to make the hole small enough for the screw to bite into, and then force it into cutting the mating grooves into the wood.  The second hole is for the little pop up doodad to help with  alignment.  If your tripod doesn’t have this, it probably isn’t making sense, and it’s probably nothing to worry about anyway. Just screw the mounting plate down nice and tight, and you’ll be in good shape.

Isight Tripod Bracket3Isight Tripod Bracket5

I got to thinking that if you turn the iSight bracket around the other way, that mould make it easier to adjust the camera if you were recording something like woodworking, or sewing, or what-have-you. I think I’ll probably end up leaving it like this.

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Shop Notes 73 minilathe cutting diagram

I probably should have posted this a long time ago, but here it is.. Click here for a PDF of a helpful if not totally scientific cutting diagram for ShopNotes 73’s Mini Lathe. It doesn’t include the dimensions of the pieces, so you’re still going to need to buy the back-issue, but, this is the best thing that I did to ensure that I was able to complete the entire project… Also, double check my drawing before you start slicing up plywood. ALSO, I’m not responsible for your over-eagerness. Exercise caution when operating powertools, don’t be stupid, etc, etc, etc. I’m providing this diagram for informational purposes only! make sure you know what you’re doing, yadda yadda yadda.

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lathe photos on make:zine blog

Phillip Torrone posted a link to the photo gallery of me making my lathe! thanks Phillip!

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DIY Treo 650 headphone adapter leash

I admit I have a hard time sitting still. When I find a problem with a solution within reach, it’s hard for me to not solve it.

the stock treo 650 holster is.. good… at only holding the treo, and nothing else, whatsoever. I think I’d love a treo holster identical to the stock one, but with two pouch pockets on the outside for the headphone adapter, and the earbud mic/headphone for hands free phone usage.

Failing that, I wanted a way to keep my headphone adapter on me at all times for emergency Bhajis loops and Microbe music creation urges. Boy these headphone adapters are expensive for what they do, and holy crap is it easy to lose them… no more!

What I’ve done is to cut a piece of the good 3/4″ birch plywood into a general pill shape, sanded down to have no rough edges… (10 minutes modelling done in second life)

Second Lifescreensnapz001

then I’ve drilled a hole big enough to fit the headphone adapter into,
Second Lifescreensnapz002

and an adjacent smaller hole.
Second Lifescreensnapz003

Into the smaller hole went a zip tie, not cinched all the way down so as to form a loop, and trimmed down to have no “tail”. The locking part went into the the hole in the plywood so as to prevent further cinching, then I glued it in place.
Second Lifescreensnapz004

Likewise after the drilling was done, I’ve glued the headphone adapter into the larger hole to prevent it from.. well, ever coming out….
Second Lifescreensnapz005

Next was to locate a cheap carabiner and to loop it into the side of the treo holster. Functionally, the next step would be to pop the now leashed headphone adapter into the caribiner, but, aesthetics kicked in, and I painted it black with some acrylic paint and a brush.

Second Lifescreensnapz006

Here’s the final product:

Photo 060105 001Photo 060105 002Photo 060105 003Photo 060105 004Photo 060105 005

Hopefully you’ll be able to keep your headphone adapter with you at all times too! :)

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drill press table time lapse video

Last weekend, I shot more timelapse video of myself as I built another table for my drill press. I’d built one a couple of months ago, but we decided to move it to the side of the house to use for our small grill and as some additional storage for fold-up chairs. This new table is shorter and has a 2’x4′ pegboard built in as well. It’s so much more comfortable than the last one I built.

I really can’t say enough good things about those simpson strong ties. They’re awesome. I wish I had space to build bigger things that needed some of the other products they offer. :)

more posts on timelapse video are here.

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lathe time lapse

I broke out the lathe this morning and had some fun turning a block of wood I salvaged out of some firewood from earlier this year… click on the link to check out the timelapse video.

more posts on timelapse video are here.

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Tactus Multimedia Studio introduces the iWoodKiosk

Tactus Multimedia Studio introduces the iWoodKiosk: “
iWoodKiosk

Hungarian kiosk developer, Tactus Multimedia Studio, has unveiled a new product in this week — the iWoodKiosk. This unique stand and enclosure for the Apple iMac G5 gives the desktop Mac a stylish ‘back to the nature’ modern sculpture esthetic.”

(Via MacMerc.)

beautiful!

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battlestyle turntable coffin

Now, I’m not really a big dj’ing guy anymore, but every time I do get some time on the decks, I always walk away feeling good. I wish I had more time to play music on turntables, but two things are for sure: One, if my gear is covered in sawdust, that’s going to make me sad, and two, I’m not going to want to have to clean it up for an hour of playing beats. The best solution is to create an enclosure for my junk so that when i want to play, the gear’s ready to rock, clean, dry, and all plugged in.

Enter the turntable coffin.

Turntable coffins are like a giant box that encloses everything. The biggest problem was that last time I looked, battle-style coffins are hard to come by… AND, they’re expensive. This was a perfect project to bust out the big clamps and get some more of that practice, practice, practice. I had all the stuff already… my estimate is around $50 in materials. Hey, here’s the obligatory timelapse movie of me cutting the lid, attaching the top, hinges, and testing it out.

couple more images here: one, two

After the timelapse movie, I added the fold-up laptop stand and the hold down toggles. I built the case big enough so that nothing touches when it’s all folded up and closed down. I’m really stoked on this. :) So, now I need to figure out, to line with carpet or not. Hmmm.. maybe paint? I dunno.

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DIY needs on-demand streaming

to: DIY network

too bad Dish network treats you like an uber elite channel and wants to charge me the highest tier possible for access to your broadcasts. Why would I pay for 60 sports channels when all I want is DIY, science, TLC, discovery, and food network? I won’t.

I hope at some point in the future, it will become economically essential for your success to get your shows to me one way or another without regard to the political ramifications of the broadcast and satellite-cast media distribution channels. Take a lesson from the “other” entertainment industries and let me buy a subscription to your content directly on-demand.

here’s a good place to start for finding someone to enable you to do this:

http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&safe=off&c2coff=1&q=secure+streaming+content&btnG=Search

-steve

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Beginner’s guide to planes

Beginner’s guide to planes

(Via Del.icio.us Tag: woodworking.)

I went to Big Nerd Ranch PHP Bootcamp with the author of the destination of this bookmark! Holy crap it’s a small world.

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