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!