Tuesday, 29 July 2014
I tried to make make some cube shaped pumpkins last year but I built the box too large and it never really worked out. I've recut the box again this year using last years box and I got to my pumpkin a lot sooner. It's already developed flat spots on all 6 sides and I'm hoping it will grow out into the corners of the box soon too.
It'll add to our now 'freakish' collection of garden plants such as our 9ft tall sunflower and it's (now) 14 headed, 8ft tall neighbour, and our marrow sized courgettes.
Monday, 28 July 2014
I have a new and awesome supplier of poplar plywood. I'm so pleased with the quality and standard that I actually feel guilty that I didn't write the post 2 weeks ago when I first got the goods. My new preferred supplier for poplar plywood, mdf and birch plywood is Kitronik. For the longest time now I've been looking for a supplier who actually acknowledges that laser plywood comes in types and that the standard of the wood actually matters and Kitronik were actually listening.
As soon as I received my order I was pleasantly surprised. The wood came in a sturdy cardboard box sealed and taped neatly rather than the usual ensemble of salvaged cardboard wrapped loosely around sheets of wood. The sheets didn't quite fill the box so air bags were used to fill the voids and ensure no damage would occur during transit. Each sheet is clearly marked with a sticker to say exactly what material it is and what thickness. This is such a simple idea, I have a whole rack of wood sheets and I don't really know where is came from which makes it hard to reorder the nice things.
Now onto the real plus point, poplar ply wood. I ordered a 3mm sheet and a 6m sheet of poplar, exactly as I've come to expect from poplar both sheets were free of knots and blemishes, are a nice shade of white and have very pale grain so it's as good as any poplar I've seen before. The 3mm sheet is 3ply and the 6mm is 5 ply so feels pretty sturdy. I'm also pleased with the material thickness, the 3mm is 2.95mm thick (previous 3mm poplar came in at 2.6mm thick) and the 6mm is dead on 6mm thick. It should make slots and tabs much easier to calculate.
It's no secret that Just Add Sharks operates from the same unit at Kitronik, but this order was placed externally through the website like any other customer. Everybody can expect the same level of service and quality of materials.
Sunday, 27 July 2014
A leather working friend asked me if I would engrave some items for him. I merely added the lettering to these wonderful things the rest of the patterns were all added manually after they left me. I have some very talented friends and I'm pleased to help them where I can even if it means cutting stinky leather for them.
Thursday, 24 July 2014
Word of mouth filtered back some pretty exciting news for me this evening, my marble machine that was picked up by Solarbotics two months ago has now found it's way over to the Maker shed and I received a very complimentary write up in the weekly newsletter. It's a pretty big goal for me and I'm stoked, means the whole journey has been pretty worthwhile.
Makes me want to push on with my other projects now, these little victories are very encouraging. Hopefully see some of you at Manchester Maker Faire this weekend. I'll try to remember to bring my copy of this kit with solar engine.
Wednesday, 23 July 2014
Vale LRP has rather nice phys reps for their resources. I got fed up of throwing these test tubes full of powder into my storage box, knocking the corks out and being left with piles of funny coloured sand staining everything else in the box so I made these racks to hold the tubes securely and vertically. While I was doing one for powders I also did one for the resins too. I quickly discovered that I end up with a lot more than 25 of each resources over the course of an event so I'll be remaking them larger soon.
Tuesday, 22 July 2014
A few more foam items for Eldritch this week. They've been kicking around for a while so pleased to finally get them cut. Sadly I think the phoenix may be one step too far, I just can't seem to get the settings/order right to make a decent image.
Thursday, 17 July 2014
A new project came to me this week from someone I met through Nottingham Hackspace. It's potentially quite big and certainly lots of fun so I'm keen to take it on but I can't tell you guys exactly what it is yet I can only show you the bits I'm making. This is the first bit, a prototype turntable mechanism I knocked up quickly using parts from the garage.
The turntable is driven by a cheap 9G micro servo which allows it to turn from 0-180 degrees. This is cheap and nasty and judders while it turns but at least it's functional. The turntable itself uses a lazy susan style ring like the mini digger which prevents the load from being put on the servo, instead all the weight is transferred into the structure and the servo just has to turn a relatively low friction bearing. In testing it appears to be quite effective, rotating that 2.5Kg load without too much difficulty.
Saturday, 12 July 2014
It's almost as if we bought the Blacknose laser based on the fact it would fit in my car so neatly. This is JustAddSharks demo machine that we actually bought a long time ago but now it's finally been liberated and replaced with a new demo machine so that it can be put to work in my garage. I'm not entirely sure how things are going to fit in there yet but it will be better once I get rid of the HPC3060.
If anyone wants a second hand HPC3060, 50W, 300x600mm now is the time to speak up (email@example.com), I'll be hoping to get £3000 for it (£3900 brand new). It will be cleaned thoroughly and it will come with brand new, spare mirror, lens and laser tube.
Thursday, 10 July 2014
Eldritch has done an fantastic job painting and latexing the sword I laser etched for them. The hilt is also laser cut and looks absolutely amazing, apparently the gold and blue was a real pain to paint but it was definitely worth the effort. I'm loving working with them to make these beautiful things.
Wednesday, 9 July 2014
There are blogs of other makers that I really enjoy reading. Chris Holden of Nerdclub (http://nerdclub-uk.blogspot.co.uk/) is well worth reading while he endeavours to make futuristic interactive style board games using war gaming models. I can't wait to see a working prototype in person.
Anyway, this evening he was working on some roof shingles for a building that he was going to laser cut. His usual laser cutter is currently out of order so I stepped in and surprised him by doing the cuts for him tonight in several different materials. My favourite is the bottom row using 0.8mm spruce veneer and bit more delicate but the thickness is more appropriate for the scale.