Category Archives: Tools

Shop Quickies 1 – mallet holder

Since I moved a shelf in my shop IMG_2560I have to find new homes for stuff that used to sit on it. One of the tools I have at hand is a mallet from Shenandoah tool works. This mallet has a double grip (triple actually, I hold the head for fine work) and needed a forked holder. I used a simple technique to do this one.

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More tweaks for Pen Decorator

CNC Pen Lathe v2The next set of tweaks is done on the drawing, we’re going to try to get the new carriage assembly set up and cut out in the next couple weeks, and this time around – we’re planning to mount a Dremmel with a grinding burr as part of the test. (Prior to that I have to make up some blanks with paper taped on, and create a marker holder that can be mounted to test some of the pattern logic out. I’ve uploaded this plan to the 3D Warehouse for those that are interested.

Pen Decorator – Reworking the Drive strategy #2

IMG_2383I modified the original carriage to accept the timing belt approach. To do this I had to rotate the drive motor 90 degrees and mount a timing pulley on the shaft. The belt needs to thread through the carriage sides, and since it forms a loop, there are two holes on each side. The belt needs to be attached to the drill platform and loops over the timing pulley on the drive motor. The other end needs to wrap around a free turning idler bearing (or a very smooth/no-friction surface). Read more…

Pen Decorator – the Carriage Assembly

The next stage of development is in progressCarriage_Assembly.JPG – I got most of the code running on the test jig this week, and once I got it to a point that most functions seemed to work – it was time to put it into a practice jig. But before that happened, I got two micro switches to use to detect when the drill platform hit the far right and left points. Originally, I was just going to mount these so that I could tell when the drill platform hit the ends  Continue reading

New Project: The Pen Decorator

Pen Decorator

Ok, I admit it. I don’t just do woodwork. I also like playing with photography, and have a ham radio license (KC8MNS). It’s the latter that got me in trouble – because coupled with my professional background as a software systems architect (computer programmer) and the love of building stuff, even with electronics, I was ripe for the picking… read about it here

The Hag’s tooth

(I think I was turned on to this by Shannon Rogers in the Hand Tool Workshop – and since then, it’s been a go to item in my kit.)

Its one of my favorite tools, because of it’s simplicity and general utility is a router plane. I have a pair of small ones that I use for close in work, hinge mortising and fine trim work. I have a pair of largers ones set up with optional fences and with different style blades. They excel as working on the bottom of flat surfaces that need trimmed parallel to a higher face.
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Quick tip… when you have to drill stepped holes backwards

Stepped hole

I drill out lots of these holes, and the process is simple. Start with the largest diameter bit, then when done, move to the next smaller size and drill further, using the center point remaining from the first bit.

But what happens when you need to drill the shoulder, after the smaller hole is already there? If you’ve tried it, you know that the bit will wander mercilessly when you try to start.

My solution? Use a second block of wood as a guide. Drill the larger hole through the second block all the way. Now, center the hole in the second block on the first hole in the original piece. Clamp the blocks together. Now you should be able to use the second block’s hole the capture the bit, and guide the starting cut into the original!