As part of mentoring out High School’s First Robotics Team Andromeda One I have learned Solidworks. Since we have a Jet Mill converted to CNC (running GRBL and a Chinese controller) and several of the other mentors, including myself, having CNC routers like the ShapeOKO 2 and X-carve we wanted to be able to have a one-stop shop for doing our design and CAM toolpath generation. There are some generic postprocessors for Solidworks but none seemed to support exactly the post processing options and syntax I wanted to see. As such I embarked on writing my own post for Solidworks.
When installing it is necessary to install it as Administrator. If you do not it will not install properly/fully and may not work properly. I then used this tool to edit a Postprocessor from scratch and compile it into something Solidworks understand. Note, this was not very straight forward and resulted in several iterations of trial and error until I got it close enough. I’m still getting syntax errors on comment lines. For some reason the line starts with an “*” then the line number and then the tool comment. I cannot determine where this “*” is coming from in the post or how to get rid of it. The second issue is the line numbers, These are very much a personal preference but even if they are disabled in the post configuration they still appear on the output in Solidworks. In the end the postprocessor output needs to be post processed to run on my CNC with a text editor to fix the tool comment lines.
I created this heart shaped box in November 2017 and never shared it here. This box is laser engraved on my 2.5W Laser in Meranti and CNC’d inside and out. Each side takes about 8 minutes on the CNC with 4 Minutes on the laser. This is version 1.0 of the box and I think I’ll be refining the design and possibly adding more depth to it this year. This whole design was done in Vetric Vcarve including the laser toolpaths. Finish is boiled linseed oil. Box is unlined.
I recently found some nice hard pine thrown away from a wood processing place down the road and a scrap piece of what looked like an aluminum awning track at my local transfer station/dump. The channel fit the exterior grill mount so I decided to whip up a quick table with the discarded pine I had found. This mounts on the exterior of the camper with the channel and a paint-stick extension. The paint stick serves double duty along with a brush head to remove the debris from the slide-out before pulling it back in. The construction was simple and was built based on some quick measurements I did.
I recently purchased a 2015 Jayco Jayfeather X213 Camper. This trailer has the prefect sleeping configuration for our family with a King Size slide-out and 2 Bunks. This allows us to setup and not have to break-down the table or convert a sofa for sleeping quarters for our two children every night. The two bunks are nice but getting into them without assistance can be difficult for a child and downright impossible for an adult. To remedy this situation I looked into several commercially available ladder solutions such as the following:
But at nearly $60.00 and made of ugly metal that didn’t match the interior of the camper I passed. In addition this ladder was wider than it needed to be and needed to be fastened into one location. I found several other options while searching the internet but none fit the bill so I sketched out what I wanted on paper and came up with the following requirements: Read more
I have a Danby DKC14SLDB 5.2 cubic Foot Single Draught Kegerator I purchased several years ago. Several times a year I find myself with two pony kegs of homebrew I want on tap. Only having a single draught faucet was really cramping my style. I decided instead of purchasing a whole new tower with two faucets ($90) or an adapter ($70), which would have required the additional faucet anyhow, I would make it work on the cheap. I set out by purchasing the following items form Beveragefactory.com (note I have been home brewing for a long time and as such I have some old Coca-Cola pin-lock kegs that I normally use – please purchase whatever keg coupling is appropriate for your application): Read more
I needed a disc sander to clean up some edges on several wood working projects I was working on. I didn’t have a bunch of money to spend or more space in my shop for another tool so I decided to fabricate what I needed out of scraps for my Atlas 10″ lathe. I started by using a backing plate for the lathe I had around. I drilled several holes through on my drill press about halfway between the edge of the plate and the through hole. These holes were later used to join the plate to a 9″ round 3/4″ MDF disc I cut out on my bandsaw. Why 9″ around instead of 10″? Because standard sandpaper sheets are 9″ wide and doing something larger would require cutting down a larger paper disc or would leave gaps at the edges.
The backing plate was affixed to the MDF disc with some 3/4″ Wood screws and mounted on the lathe. I sprayed the back of a sheet of 100 grit paper with some 3M spray adhesive let it set and attached it to the cut MDF sanding disc. A utility knife was used to trim the edges of the paper. I now had a basic sanding disc but no table/rest. I found some 6″ wide scrap wood in my scrap bin. I cut some thin strips of scrap to fit the ways of the lathe glued and tacked it together. Now in 45 minutes my Atlas lathe is now a decent disc sander. I plan on adding some dust collection to it as well by blocking off the left opening and making a hole for my shop vac.
I made this nice cantilever wine bottle holder out of 3/4″ walnut and engraved it for my friends wedding. I ripped off a 2 1/2″ piece of black walnut from a piece of walnut I had purchased from The Woodery in Fitchburg. This isn’t an advertisement, but I do take notice when someone has excellent customer service and a fantastic selection of hardwoods, softwoods and exotics. I could spend all day in there picking out lumber. Read more
I found my self in need of a small router table to clean up edges of some small parts. I have a pretty nice Porter Cable 890 Series router and adjustable base already and wanted to be able to make use of it for these smaller parts. How hard could it be to build a router table? I didn’t want to spend upwards of $100 for a piece of junk and it turns out a decent table can be built for far less. I think the total bill of materials came out to be around $20.00 including hardware. I also wanted something that would take little or no room to store.