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Showing posts from November, 2016

Post in evidenza

Router table with power lift, built around Ikea BEKVÄM and parts from old drafting machine

This is my (quite) completed router table built around IKEA kitchen cart BEKVÄM and a precise drafting machine cannibalized.

Router is a Bosch POF 1200.
Router table is equipped with power lift feature (missing only router support in the photos).

IOT RECIPE: 01 Introduction - Sensor web interface

I'll start a new series of posts on IOT matter from the end.
This is the web interface running on my local area network.

Running the site is a mini flask web server running on a Raspberry PI. In the screenshot, charts are provided by and Justgage javascript library.

In this series of posts i'll cover all the ingredients of my recipe:
- Sensors overview (DHT22, Energy, Light, Barometric pressure, Pellet height)
- Raspberry Pi data acquisition with Arduino
- Launchpad Tiva CC3200 with WiFi
- Node Red Engine
- MQTT, Mosquitto, Paho
- Rrdtool, circular timeseries database
- Flask server
- Charting with javascript
- Debian unit files
- Telegram Bot Api

OUTSIDE: Dan Gelbart, marvellous craftman

Check out a series of 18 videos on prototypes by Dan Gelbart.

With simple language and real examples Dan will capture you as nobody did before; his videos are not only about prototypes or machinery: each time i look at Dan's videos, he says to me that if you really believe in yourself, you can spend all your life doing what you like and be proud to share your achievement with others like you.

My favourite one is #5 on spot welding.

Check out Dan Gelbart Youtube channel for other videos

PEATOL/TAIG: Milling attachment 1220

Milling attachment Part # 1220
From Taig: The milling attachment is used to hold the workpiece while the cutting tool is held in the headstock spindle. The attachment provides vertical travel of approximately 1 3/4 inches. The dial provides travel in .001 inch increments.
The cutters (end mills) are held in the spindle with collets to provide maximum rigidity. Miniature end mills come with 3/16 inch diameter shanks and various size cutting diameters. The end mills will cut all materials steel, aluminum, brass, plastic and wood.

Milling on a lathe? If you already have a mill, you will find are needed more passesand lighter cut with this attachment.
The attachment may also be used for gear cutting. Check out this video by xynudu on youtube:

OUTSIDE: Making gears at home

Making gears at home is quite difficult and a lot of tools and machinery are needed.

At least you need a rotary attachment for a mill or lathe with a specialized tool (involute gear cutter).
Another drawback is that to cut a specific gear you need a specific size of involute gear cutter, so a complete set (normally 8 pieces, around 100 bucks) is needed.

Chet out this great video by Tubalcain:

Another option is to build a small spur gear hobber machine (project already in the wishlist) like this beautiful one by Jack Hayes:

Also in this case, only the hobber, quite difficult to find, at least requires 80 bucks.
Solution? Not for helical or spur gears, but there is a particular set of gears, called worm gears you can machine at home. 

From wikipedia: "Worm-and-gear sets are a simple and compact way to achieve a high torque, low speed gear ratio. For example, helical gears are normally limited to gear ratios of less than 10:1 while worm-and-gear sets vary from 10:1 to 500:1"
Is possibl…

ELECTROMAGNETIC CLOCK: Kundo (Germany) clock

A vintage Germany clock from manufacturer Kundo, around 1960's.

This particular and clever kind of clock keep time as mechanical watches do, with a swinging pendulum. But there is no mechanical winding: instead a magnetic force applied by the solenoid inside brass cylinder to the pendulum arm, gives to the pendulum a momentum maintaining pulses during time.

The solenoid is mechanically activated by a micro switch linked to the pendulum on the upper side.

Accuracy is provided by the brass bell, which is screwed on the pendulum. Each turn right raise the bell on the pendulum linkage, keeping the period shorter. On the other side, each turn left lower the bell, keeping the period longer.

I've replaced original battery (visible in the photo) with two AA size 1.5V batteries, and i've never replaced them in 4 years now.

PEATOL/TAIG: Radius turner 1210

Radius turner Part # 1210
From Taig: The round nose tool bit can machine a radius at the end of the workpiece by swinging around the material. The bearing's inner race on the radius attachment bolts to the crosslide and then the entire base can rotate with the bearing. The rotation is done by hand.

If you want to see a radius turner in action, check out this video from ElationProduction on custom built ball turner for taig.

COIN-OP: mini arcade cabinet update

Just finished an update to the COIN-OP

I've replaced the switch plate covers with a metal one. The metal plate is a thick (20 gauge) stainless steel, cutted with Air sheet metal cutter and bended with Sheet metal bender.

On the bottom side i've completed the small window to recover coins.

Actually i've programmed the coin op with old 500 lire (out-of-course). I was surprised to realize the coin acceptor can recognize this kind of bimetal coin (bronzital - acmonital).

The girl on the coin obverse depict Republic: this kind of coin was common until Italy switched to euro on January 2001. In fact the coin acceptor is an educative trick to limit the children time spent into the game.

Next step: T-mold all over the laminated wood (not so easy to find here).

PEATOL/TAIG: Steady rest 1190

A photo review of the Peatol Taig Steady Rest (Part #1190). Capacity: 3/32" to 1 1/2 " - 2.38 mm to 38.10 mm
From Taig: The Steady Rest is used to support long workpieces that extend out from the spindle. The support is needed so that the cutting tool does not deflect the workpiece as the carriage is traversed away from the spindle.

If the standard steady rest does not suit your needs, check this awesome work by Joe D Link to
If you want to modify this steady rest to use roller bearing, check out the encyclopedicCartertools blog:
Finally check out the original PEATOL/TAIG lathe post back to 2014 on this blog.

OUTSIDE WOODWORKING: The Samurai Workbench

Gorgeous build, as he says: "A once in a lifetime woodworking project. It was one of the best, most rewarding experiences of my life."

Ten satisfying minutes of woodworking

TOOLS: How to cut sheet metal with air

Sheet metal is difficult to cut. The key is obviously to have a good tool.

I've tried with metal jigsaw: yes you can cut sheet metal with jigsaw but vibrations are very high, you need a powerful tool and a good support to the sheet metal. If something goes wrong (the cutter lock to the sheet metal while cutting) you will have a dancing sheet metal on your hands, so be really careful and use personal protections.

I've tried another option: AIR NIBBLER

You can buy the nibbler online for only 30 bucks, but you must have a good air compressor:

it consumes a lot of air, in my experience something like 250 l/min or 8.9 requires an high pressure (minimum 6 bar or 90 psi, up to 10 bar or 116 psi).If you don't have a powerful compressor, you have to stop cutting and wait for the compressor to refill. Cutting with a lower pressure may lead to lock the punch in the sheet metal, which is difficult to release.

The product itself is a heavy piece of metal equipped with a reciprocating…

DIY Sheet metal bending brake

While ago, i built a sheet metal brake from scrap. The design is simple and effective.
To build it you only need: Three pieces of L profiles, equally cutted (In my bender 3x1 meter long or 40 inches);One robust weld-on hinge (splitted in half use a piece for the left side, and a piece for the right side);Two pieces of threaded rod (25cm or 10inches);Minor profiles for the supporting stand and for the lever; I've only used an angle grinder to cut the pieces and a MIG welder to compose the sheet metal bender. This tiny sheet metal brake can easily bend a large sheet metal of 1.5mm (3/64") or a narrow (5cm or 2") but thick bar (5mm or 6/32").

I'll improve it soldering on the back side two removable and adjustable stop bar to hold the upper L profile in place: while bending also an horizontal force is applied and sometimes the friction force applied vertically by the threaded rod is not sufficient.

The only drawback with this kind of sheet metal bender is that you cannot…

REVIEW: Rhino Industrial 5200

I bought an industrial label writer after a bit of research.
My choose was to buy a RHINO INDUSTRIAL 5200 Labelwriter. The package includes: Rhino Industrial 5200 Label Maker3/4" White IND Vinyl Label Cartridge3/8" White IND Vinyl Label CartridgeUser Manual CD-ROMQuick Reference GuideAC AdapterCarry CaseRechargeable Lithium-ion Battery Overall impression.The value-for-money is high, i bought it for 99 euros on Amazon, considering also that are included 2 cartridges. The only missing feature is the usb connectivity, available on the model 6000 for the double of the price. From the manufacturer description: "It's just as easy to print module and fixed-length labels, horizontal and vertical wire wraps, terminal and 110 blocks and much more. Print Code 39 and Code 128 barcodes. Access 100+ industry symbols, fractions, and punctuation marks with a few quick keystrokes." ProsThe Rhino 5200 is a rugged object, and the hard case kit is really well made.I like the rechargeabl…

Announcing a new blog: PRO TOOLS REVIEW

I've just created a new blog: Extensive review of workshop power tools with interactive charts, deep technical data analysis, photos and comparison. In the first post: 29Circular Saw comparison: Makita, Bosch, Hitachi and DeWalt

DIY: Stove fan

Our living room is equipped with an old wood stove.
The stove is placed in a corner and the room is very long.
Sitting in the middle of the room, i cannot feel the warm. This because the heat goes straight up to ceiling, and only a fraction of heat (radiant) directly arrives to the body. After a couple of hours the room is quite warm but remains a gradient in the room based on the distance, so too hot near the stove, too cold far away from it.
Another problem is that i have to leave a cup of water on the stove to keep the air humidified.
On the web you can find quite a lot of heat powered stove fan, based on thermoelectric effect (peltier) or based on simple heat engine (stirling). The price is between 50 and 150 bucks, and none of these provides humidity correction.
My solution is reasonably priced (zero, using items found in garage), and guarantees horizontal air movement and air humidification at the same time. The only drawback is that is powered by a small phone charger and is not heat …