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Posts from the ‘Machine Work’ Category


DIY Fermentation Chiller UPDATE

Update for the DIY Fermentation Automatic Temp Controller:

Turns out you cannot buy a stopper with a 1″ hole in it. LOL

So, I guess I will have to make my own. <sigh>

I ordered some #10 stopper and some 1″ OD stainless steel pipe. Cut off a small portion of pipe and turned the ID into a inner bevel. Then used a 1″ flap wheel to make it smooth.

I put the new cutter, which is basically a “cork bore”, into my DIY air powered grommet press. Using a chunk of cutting board below it, I pressed the stainless pipe through the stopper.

Seems to have worked like a champ!


I was not 100% happy with the way the plug cutter cut. So I put it back into the lathe and made the edge ever sharper! I also printed a holder for the stopper to help keep its shape. While cutting with the old cutter, i noticed that it would deform when pressed, as you can see in the photo above. So the printed part now keeps the stopper from deforming while pressing. It is made with 5 inner and outer shells with 80% honey comb infill.

Only way I can think to make the cutter better is to add a shank to spin it while pressing. Could be done on a large floor drill press. But alas I have no way to weld stainless steel.

NOW it seems to have worked like a champ!


OpenFeeder – Open source SMD part feeder for OpenPNP

I owned some great Pick and Place equipment about 15+ years ago. My contract ran out for SMD manufacturing, so I sold all my machine. Now I have need for SMD PNP again. So I looked toward some opensource alternatives to the commercial machines. I can across The software so far seems great. But it is still in the BETA stages.

I gathered up a part list of thing I will need. Like motors, drivers, wire, t-slot…etc. I did some more research and started coming up with a design for my machine. But it seemed like there was not a great SMD tape feeder. Thus the OpenFeeder was born!

I wanted a feeder that could do lots of things, expandable and adaptable.

Here are some features:
-Simply made form .250″ acrylic sheet on a laser cutter (3d printable too).
-Easily accessed and cheap components for the drive system.
-Easily changed over to different size tapes, 8mm 10mm 12mm etc.
-Adjustable tape height, from paper resistor tape to tape with electrolytic caps.
-Designed to work with 20mm T-slot.
-“Almost” infinite feeding distance. Able to feed tape form .05mm at a time to 5mm at a time.
-Very smooth feeding, even at a very high speed.
-Most likely over engineered! 🙂

It is still in the testing stages, I will be releasing the files soon.

IMG_20151025_141420 IMG_20151025_141410


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Grommet Machine Auto Feeder

I own a grommet machine form the ’40s. United Shoe Machine Model F. The thing is a beast! A true work horse. I bought it on Ebay for $85, but it cost me almost $200 to ship it. But it is well worth it! The machine even came with the correct dies I needed. But it did not come with the auto feeder attachment.

This machine is is still popular. There are a few places that still have parts for it. I called one of them to get the feeder. They said it would be $2k!! WTF!! So I said no thanks. LOL And I embarked on making my own.

This design is close to how the OEM feeder would work. Since I had nothing else to go off of.


Step one, make a template.




Using the template, I made the body part from birch plywood. I then wrapped the outside edge of the plywood with 1/8″ aluminum. This is the part that the grommets will ride on. I counter sunk and screwed the aluminum to the plywood.


I took 1/16″ Aluminum with make the keepers, to keep the grommets on track. I used some spacers to keep them elevated off the main track.


So good so far! Gravity feeds the grommets to the lowest section, at the die.


I notched out the delivery end so the die will grab the grommet when the machine is activated. The machine has a cam at the top to move the feeder out of the way when the grommet is pressed.


Made a platform for the mixer. This will separate the grommets into the direction the feeder need.


Racked my brain for a while on how to make the bowl for the mixer. BAM! 6″ PVC clean out, even has a lid. Cut a small opening in the PVC for the grommets to exit ONLY in the orientation I want them to.


On the bottom of the mixer I installed a gear reduced 12VDC motor. The shaft is connected to a 4 prong head, with rubber gas holes ends. The motor turns the bowl full of grommets and spits out ONLY the ones in the correct orientation for the feeder.



DIY industrial sewing machine zipper guide

I needed a zipper guide for my walking foot sewing machine. So I made one!

Took a piece of cutting board material. Put it in my small CNC machine and machine out a groove just wide enough and deep enough for my coil zipper material. Then using some aluminum angle material. I developed a mount to mount it to the presser foot on the sewing machine.

The main idea behind this is to keep the material and the zipper specifically distanced apart, along the length of the coil zipper.





3D Printing and more coming SOON!

I have some great projects on the horizon!

-3D printing

-1 axis expansion board for a standard CNC to make it a 3d printer. I think i may make it open source!!

-My own 3d printer design, with unlimited expandability for X-Y-Z axises!

-Finish the LED light bar! (I need the 3d printer first) DONE!

-Put MORE crap on here!!! LOL

This new year is going to be GREAT!!!!!