Thursday, April 12, 2018

Dust hose reel

With many tools mobile, use flex hose is a must, and 4 inch flex hose is very hard to store. Fastcap come up with the great solution about storing 2.5 inch hose with a reel. Unfortunately they don't sell one for 4 inch hoses.

So I made one for 4 inch hoses. All the stretcher pieces are made from 2x4, can be cut to any length. The reel connects to the bracket by a 4 inch lazy susan bearing. After I made the reel, I realize if I integrate a blase gate into it will be very useful. And since the reel is mounted at the ceiling, I made a pivot blast gate with long handle, so I can still operate it with arms reach.

After couple month of use, I really like the reel, it easily put away the hose when I'm not using it. And I only need to pull out the length I need to reach the tool, so there's no hose on the ground. But to reel it back it a pain, so I cut out some gear and made a motorized one. The first version is using wind shield wiper motor, it is a bit slow and it does not keep track of the position of the reel. So I made the second one out of stepper and arduino. Surprisingly the price of the Stepper+driver is almost the same as the wind shield wiper motor + a speed control board. I'm still working on the code, but now it knows the position, and can move the reel to any position between 0(all retract) to 6 turns (all hose pulled out).

gift for new born

It's kinda a tradition that I'll make a wooden name block frame for friends and family when they had a new addition.
The design is very simple, but I think it's great for a new born gift:
  • It's like a jigsaw puzzle, you can put them in any order
  • It can help teach how to spell their name.
  • It can be used as teether.
  • When they grow older, no longer want to play with them, it can be hung on the wall as art
  • And it doesn't take too long to make

Of cause, I tweak the design on every iteration:

V1: Hand shaped, flat
First ever attempt, the letters are chucker and surface is mostly flat, I only sanded to round over the corners. Since the letters are flag, they can be put in backwards.

V2: Hand shaped, Dome
I want to make it more friendly and playful, so I tried to round the top surface, they looks better, and feels great too. I free hand bandsaw to cut out the rough curvature and sanded it smooth.
The other change in this version is to just drill out the tight corners, since the corners are really hard to bandsaw smooth, and hard to sand. The drill hole worked great.

V3: CNC cut, Dome
I want to create more consistent curvature, and make the process more repeatable. I tried CNC, the top surface is part of a big sphere. I use a small step over to remove most of the material, then use about 0.1 step over to smooth out the surface. I love the curvature, but it didn't really speed up the process. The hand sanding after CNC cut still take a long time.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Manual tool carousel

Eventually I want to build a functional ATC carousel, but for now I still need somewhere to put all my tools (I have 7, and growoing).

Instead of drill couple holes on a piece of wood and sticking my tools on that, I decided to make a manual carousel. I figure I'll need the basic structure for the motorized carousel anyway.

It all start with designing the clamp for the tool. I want the right force to retain the tool. Many iterations later, I settled on this design, with two tension relieve channel to reduce the force so it's easy to load/unload the tool. The arm are 25degree over half circle to secure the tool in place.

The base of the carousel are two piece of 1/2 plywood sandwiching a 9 inch lazy susan bearing. I added detent on the top piece inner circle to stop it from spinning if the tools are not loade balancedly (the whole carousel is installed at a 15 degree angle to make it easier to access the tools)

After loaded 7 tools I have, the whole setup becomes much heavier than expected, the little detent is not enough to keep the carousel from spinning, if I do it again, I'll make it deeper, or maybe just remove the lazy susan bearing all together, rely on friction to prevent it from spinning. (But I think I still want the bearing in motorized carousel, for accuracy and smooth of motion.)

Dust hose reel

With many tools mobile, use flex hose is a must, and 4 inch flex hose is very hard to store. Fastcap come up with the great solution ...