Thursday, July 20, 2017

Have a nice summer, from me and Scrapy, see you in September

It's been a productive season. I would like to thank you all for your love and support.

I wish a happy summer to all.

See you again in September with more woodworking projects!


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

How I made my first Greek fishing boat model

I have always wanted to make a traditional Greek boat model. I made this one out of plywood and spruce. 

I would really like to thank naftotopos for the information I found about naval modelism.

First of all I designed the templates of the hull based on a basic blueprint.

I then glued the templates on a piece of plywood and cut out the pieces of the centerboard out of a piece of 6mm marine plywood. This is actually called the fish bone of the boat.

I then sanded the parts and glued them together.

Using a feather board on my table saw, I cut thin stripes of spruce.

Using nails as cIamps I glued the two upper pieces of the carcass.

I then cut more thin stripes. I bended them to shape using a pair of pliers. One side of the pliers was covered with a brass piece to prevent the pliers from cutting the wood all the way. I also used a chisel to shape the strips to my needs. I used pins to act as clamps for glueing the stripes in place.

Using my rotary tool, I sanded everything with a mini drum sander. I glued in small pieces of wood for the big gaps and then filled the rest with wood filler. After the wood filler dried I sanded everything smooth.

I then cut a couple of spruce pieces on the bandsaw to make the paddles. I cut as much material as I could on the bandsaw and then finished shaping them with a sharp knife and sandpaper.

I then cut the pieces of the base on the bandsaw. This will act as a display base for my boat.

I glued the floor pieces of my boat. Using the rotary tool I cut out grooves on the ribs of the boat. On those grooves I glued the side pieces.

To create some wider stock, I cut two thin boards on the bandsaw. I jointed them on my hand plane (which was mounted upside down in my vise). I then glued those pieces together. I clamped them on a clamping jig I made. The jig is two boards screwed on the bench. A wedge is hammered in place to force the two pieces against each other.

I then glued the back and front pieces of the top of my boat. To bend those pieces to shape, I dipped them in water and forced them against the tip of my heat gun.

I then glued on the rest of the top. I trimmed the top flush using a chisel and my rotary tool with a drum sanding bit.

I then glued a few more details in place and cut the twarts of the boat in shape.

I then shaped the handle bases on a piece of sandpaper. I then glued them in place.

To make the handles, I chucked a piece of square stock on my drill and turned it to shape with a piece of sandpaper. 

I then painted my boat using oil paints. I did that because those paints are water proof!

I used the traditional colors of the Greek fishing boat. White, blue and red.

At this point my little model boat was ready. It came out nice for a first attempt on the subject!

I hope you like it!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Donating my old X-Carve to Automation Engineering Department

Recently Inventables sent to me a new X-Carve cnc machine. So I decided to donate my old X-Carve

 to Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (Technological Education Institution of Piraeus) Automation Engineering Department. And to be more specific to the Mechatronics-Robotics-CNC laboratory.

The guys there do really interesting work and I think their lab is the perfect home for an X-Carve

I want to thank Inventables once again for sending me the machine in the first place.

I also want to thank the people from the Automation Engineering Department.

Many thanks to:
Georgios Chamilothoris
Professor, Department of Automation, TEI Piraeus.

Makis Chatzopoulos
Makis is involved in the laboratory teaching of the 'Mechatronics'
and 'Motion control' courses.

Kostas Ntontos
Eleni Simeonaki

Monday, July 10, 2017

How I made an experimental wooden fidget spinner

First of all I cut the basic shape of my fidget spinner on my new X-Carve cnc machine. I cut it out of a scrap pine piece.  The cnc leaves tabs behind in order for the cut piece not to get loose.

I used a sharp chisel, to remove the tabs.

I then sanded the piece using a sanding block.

I chucked a wooden dowel on my drill and used it as a lathe to sand the dowel until it fitted snugly inside the metal bearing. I then hammered the dowel in the bearing.

I then mixed some two part epoxy and glued the bearing inside the spinner.

To make the caps of the fidget spinner, I used a straight chisel on the lathe to make a cylinder that fitted my needs. The using a drill chuck on my lathe’s tailstock I drilled a hole. I then used the parting tool to part off the two caps.

I then glued the caps on the fidget spinner using wood glue. After the glue dried, I trimmed the dowel flush, using my flush trim saw.

I then made a small pot from a piece of sheet metal. I cut it’s basic shape using sheet metal scissors. I then used a ball headed hammer and a curved plate. I hammered the pot against the plate and made it curved.

I then added copper pipe solder in the pot and using my blow torch I melted the metal. I casted the metal in the inner cylinders of the fidget spinner. This metal parts give the wings of the spinner more weight and as a result it spins better.

I sanded the excess metal from the casting flush, using my disc sander.

My little experimental fidget spinner was now ready, I hope you like it!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Assembly and Review of the New X-Carve cnc machine

The company Inventables sent to me their X-Carve cnc machine back in 2015 to test and review. Recently they sent me the 2017 model of the X-carve. They have also sent me their new dust collection system.

I asked for the 500mm x-carve because that fit’s my needs best.

I begun the assembly with the working area. Moved to the side plates, then the x-carriage and the z-axis. I then assembled the gantry and the rails. I moved to belting the machine.

I added the new Spindle which a more powerful router by Dewalt. This makes the machine much stronger and faster than the previews model.

I then added the wiring. The wiring is much easier this time because the wires are nicely labeled and easy to fit were they supposed to go. I also really liked the new drag chains which are able to open from above. This way it is really easy to place all the wires inside them.

A really cool new feature is the x-controller. This is actually a box that contains all the electronics of the machine. You can also pause and resume the carving process from this piece of hardware. The whole thing is mounted on a side board. 

Those new features make the machine much more ergonomic and compact compared to the previews X-Carve.

I then calibrated the machine and I was ready to carve. 

Finally I added the dust collection system. This is a really cool new accessory. It reduces the dust and also cleans the carving area, which let’s the carving bit do a better job.

Overall the 2017 X-Carve is much easier to assemble and also is a faster and stronger machine. It’s hardware is much better quality and the whole thing is more compact and ergonomic.

Also Easel ( Inventables online carving software ) has become much better with many new interesting apps. I would still like it to be able to carve more complex 3D designs though. I hope in future it will.

Overall I loved the new X-Carve. There’s always room for more and better development of the tool. I am sure Inventables will keep on evolving their awesome machine.

Many thanks Inventables, I hope I will put the X-carve in good use!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

How to make a DIY tripod mount for your smartphone

I made this simple mount using scrap pieces of plywood, a spring, a threaded rod, bolts and nuts.

I removed the plastic piece that connects my camera with the tripod. 

Using a caliper I took some measurements and transferred them on a piece of plywood. I cut the piece to it’s basic size, using my table saw and the cross cut sled.

I cut the grooves underneath the piece using my table saw. This time I completed the cuts with several passes, while moving the fence back between each pass.

I then mounted my rotary tool on it’s routing base. Using a straight bit I routed out the necessary slots. Because the rotary tool does not have enough power for routing, I had to complete the process with several light passes.

I then used a sharp chisel to clean up the piece.

I hollowed the bottom of the piece using a chisel and a mallet.

I then drilled a hole for the threaded rod on my drill press.

I gave the top of the piece a nice chamfer on my disc sander.

I painted the piece black. Black is suitable for photographic equipment because it makes it easier to keep it unseen in the shots.

I then used the bandsaw, to cut the jaws of my mount. I cleaned them up on the disc sander. I used a pen as a sanding block, to sand the inner curved parts of the jaws.

I drilled the holes on the drill press and painted them black as well.

I then assembled all the parts together. I saw that spring mechanism from homesteadonomics channel. So thanks Joe for that! :)

I also added a crew on the back of one jaw. This locks the jaws from moving around.

The mount was now complete and works great. The spring forces the jaws to grab on the phone while with a light pressure they can also release it!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How to make a turned candle holder out of two contrasting woods

I made this desktop candle holder, out of lime tree and niangon wood.

First of all I planed flat one side of the niangon using a hand plane. I first planed perpendicular to the grain to remove much material fast. I then smoothed the surface by planning with the grain.

I then planed one edge to establish a 90 degree angle between the two planed surfaces.

With two edges jointed I moved to the table saw to cut the piece to size. I completed the rip cuts with several passes while lifting the blade up as I went along. This helped the saw to cut a little bit easier.

I then used my homemade drum sander to sand and flatten the piece to the thickness I wanted to.

I repeated the previews process for the lime tree pieces.

I then glued the three pieces together with wood glue and clamps.

After the glue dried, I used the hand plane to joint one edge of the block.

I then moved to the table saw and cut the piece to size. I used a cross cut sled for the cross cuts and the fence for the rip cuts.

I marked the center of the pieces with the diagonals.

I tilted the blade of the saw at 45 degrees and rip cut all four sides of my block, this procedure saves me time on the lathe.

Using my cross cut sled I cut my blank to it’s final size.

I then mounted the blank on the lathe between centers. I used a roughing gouge to turn the blank cylindrical. I also used a flat chisel to create a tenon to fit my chuck.

I then secured the piece on my chuck. I begun the turning process by using a pencil to mark my basic measurements. I then Used the skew chisel to establish a few key elements of the design. I used the spindle gouge and the bowl gouge for the curves. I also used a flat chisel as a scraper to smooth things out.

I mounted a drill chuck in my tailstock. With a forester bit I created an establishing hole on the end grain. I then used flat chisels to create the hole that receives the candle. I also used the bowl gouge to flatten the area.

I sanded the piece with 100grit, moved to 240, then 320 and finally I applied a coat of yorkshire grit. To do that I applied the paste with my hand, set the lathe at the lowest speed and then with a paper towel I polished the piece.

Finally I removed the tenon on the bottom on the disc sander.

My candle holder turned out really nice, I hope you like it too!