Skip to content

Recent Articles

20
Jun

DIY Grommet Machine

I needed a new grommet machine for a second grommet size I use. I was able to find some in my price range, but the machine’s throat was not deep enough. All I could find was about 8-10″ deep. That wouldn’t work.

IMG_20140919_133452

I got some T-Slot aluminum extrusions on ebay and made my own!

IMG_20140919_172341

The machine is air powered. I got a 4″ bore cylinder on ebay for cheap! I made a mounting plate out of some scrap 1/4″ thick angle iron I had.

IMG_20140919_134643

The depth of the throat of this machine is about 28″! The material slips down between the 2 sections of aluminum.

IMG_20140920_161144

I got a cheap machine table from harbor freight, and mounted the grommet machine to it. It works, but my compressor does not have the air capacity to power it to its fullest. That’s the next buy.

20
Jun

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.

IMG_20140716_194230

Step one, make a template.

IMG_20140716_195622

 

IMG_20140716_201435

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.

IMG_20140717_132254

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.

IMG_20140718_120709

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

IMG_20140717_155907

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.

IMG_20140718_163609

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

IMG_20140718_174612

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.

IMG_20140828_134227

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.

 

20
May

DIY Hot Knife Gun

I needed a hot knife to cut some polypro webbing. Looked on Ebay, couldn’t find anything for a good price. The target was VERY LOW!!

SO, yep … I made my own!

I went to Harbor Freight and grabbed a 200W soldering gun, for about $13.

IMG_20140521_095107

I had some 1/8″ brass rod laying around. Where the soldering tip would go, I used a 1/8″ drill to drill out the contacts. So the brass rod would fit inside them. The OEM tip was much smaller then 1/8″.

IMG_20140521_095457

Bent the brass rod into a basic U shape, to get the width I wanted for the cut.

IMG_20140521_095925

Then bent the legs back to match the opening of the soldering gun.

IMG_20140521_100412

Here was the tricky part! I smashed it flat on a vise with a hammer. But it didn’t work. The brass fell apart. So I made a new one. This time I put the cutter in the gun, pulled the trigger, heated up the brass. Then smashed it flat. IT WORKED!

IMG_20140521_101435

This thing works GREAT!! I cut on a piece of glass to keep from melting the table.

13
Mar

Modded Chinese 50″ LED Light Bar

A very good friend of mine came to me with an idea. He wanted a 50″ LED light bar for his Jeep, but he wanted it 100% UNIQUE!!!

Challenge accepted!

He was used to running diesel trucks with 3 amber marker lights above the cab. And that’s what he wanted this light bar to do.

IMG_20140313_152839
I took apart the Chinese 50″ light bar, and came up with a design for a “add-on piggy-back” board. This board would have the new amber LEDs and the drivers for them. The design was such that I needed to remove a few of the OEM LEDs to make room for my new board. It was also designed so that the new amber LEDs would line up with the OEM lens. Here is the gang board from a board house I use. There are 8 boards on this one PCB.

IMG_20140313_164054

Bench test of the board design with the light bar optics. I used 5050 amber LEDs.

IMG_20140313_174342

This is one of the 3 boards installed into the light bar. The little yellow things are the OEM LEDs. I took 2 of them out in this section. I just still 12VDC from the + rail.

IMG_20140313_220304

This is all three add-on boards installed.

IMG_20140313_220426

Another view.

IMG_20140314_201626

This is how it looks installed on the jeep, all sealed up (MUCH better then the OEM Chinese had done)

He LOVED IT!!

 

7
Feb

DIY Jeep Wrangler $12 Fuel Check Valve

My 1997 Jeep Wrangler had a problem starting, I would have to hit the key twice to get it running. Even if I stopped for a second at 711 to get a soda. :/

The problem lies int he pump, that’s in the tank. It has a check valve that keeps fuel from draining back into the tank when the Jeep is off. But, the pump is good. So didn’t want to spend the money of replacing it, I just delt with the hard starting.

But i ended up getting sick of that! So i started a mission to make my own “in line” check valve. I went to my local Ace Hardware, and started looking at some brass fittings. I grabbed some part, went home, put it together and BABAM!!!! it works like a CHAMP!!!

This is not a fix, its just a bandaid! One day the pump will die, that’s when I will replace it.

 

Parts list:

  • 2x – 5/16″ compression to 1/4″ npt
  • 1x  – 1/4″ npt to 1/4″ npt barrel
  • 1x – 1/4″ chrome ball bearing
  • 1x – 1 1/2″ spring.  *must cover the ball, but not spring out when installed.
  • 1x – yellow teflon pipe tape (DO NOT USE WHITE TEFLON TAPE)
  • Small tubing cutter for fuel line

The ideas is NOT to have a ton of pressure on the spring and ball, you barely need any at all. You are just helping your fuel system. To much pressure on the spring and the pump wont get enough fuel to the fuel rail.

The setup is completely reversible! Simply take out the spring and ball, and use the compression fittings to link the fuel line together.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.

Here are the parts of the DIY check valve.

IMG_20140218_130712[1]

Stating of assembly. Ball bearing is already inside the brass, under the spring.

IMG_20140218_142952[1]

Installed in the Jeep!

 

7
Jan

Birth of a 3D printer – Part2

IMG_20131211_191948

This is the CPU mounted on the bottom of the printer.

IMG_20131211_201758

The hot bed is installed. The hot bed keeps the parts inplace while printing.

IMG_20131203_163322

Mocking up the towers before making the wooden frame.

IMG_20131205_154222

ALMOST DONE!!

IMG_20131202_143516

First running of the firmware for the CPU.

IMG_20131205_144747

I had to modify the switches to work with my printed parts.

Its all coming along nicely!!

 

20
Dec

3D Printed Case For Quadcopter Flight Board

On www.thingiverse.com I found a protective case for the flight board I used for my quadcopter. It’s the MultiWii PRO board from HobbyKing. So I printed off a copy … and away we go!

The GPS tower was not part of the case, it was a different “thing”. But they work well together. I had to mod the files a little to use some aluminum rod to hold up the GPS pod.

 

IMG_20131222_114002 IMG_20131221_173219 IMG_20131220_204637 IMG_20131220_082524 IMG_20131218_154358

 

28
Nov

Birth of a 3D printer – Part 1

I have been looking into DIY 3d printing for some time now. I have even went as far as to gather a few parts here and there over the past year. But now I have a real need for one, so I have decided to pull the trigger and get it done!

Originally I was looking into making a ORD BOT style of printer. The cost of the wheel bearings and the MakerSlide t-slot materials was going to cost to much. That’s why I have been putting off the project for this long.

In mid 2012 the Rostock Delta Printer was developed. http://reprap.org/wiki/Rostock The printer featured high speed printing and a very low part count for building it, lower then ORD BOT. Thus I decided to make the Rostock instead.

To save on the overall cost, I sourced all the parts over the internet, rather then buying a complete kit. The only downside to this is that all the part will show up over a 2 week period, and not all at once. I will show case the build in parts, starting with  the parts I have on hand.

 

IMG_20131127_153412

I ordered the main parts kit on EBay.
I have already installed the metric screws and one of the motors.

IMG_20131126_093713[1]

I went with the 8MM sliding bearings, but instead of using precision rod, I used 5/16″ cold rolled rod.
The kit came with a printed Nylon bearing. But it seemed to bind up when it was sliding.

IMG_20131126_154040

The yoke ends need a rod to connect the 2 together. Some people use wooden dowels, or fiberglass rods from the RC store. I used some 1/4″ aluminum rod I had laying around. It was to big to fit in the yoke, so I had to turn down each end of the rod to fit it on to the yokes.

 

IMG_20131126_165945

After gluing the rods to the yokes, I needed a way to keep ALL the lengths the same while it was drying. I layed out some nails on a board, to keep them inline.

 

IMG_20131126_164423

Since I am useing printed parts, the holes are a little off form the true size. I dont have metric drill bits, so i can up with a quick fix. Take the metric screw i am going to use, chuck it up in my drill. Put a washer on it, and drill it into the hole. Let the threads do the cutting. It worked great!

 

 

IMG_20131127_134655

After looking at the rods, having the plane aluminum look, and pure board-um, I thought it wold be cool to buff them to make them shine. This should also help reduce wind resistance. LOL

IMG_20131127_143518

I should have done this BEFORE gluing the yoke ends on -__-

IMG_20131127_155832

The Rostock is belt driven. I needed a idler pulley for the take up of the belt. I made one from a bearing and a fender washer. I chucked it up in my lathe, and turned down the face of the washer to create the step for the bearing to move.

IMG_20131127_160136

Here is the step in the washer.

IMG_20131127_130544

The electronics kit I ordered did not come with ANY instructions, not even on their site :/
So in an effort to figure it out myself, I toasted the 5v regulator on the Arduino 2560 board, you know… the board that controls the entire printer -__-
I had to order a new one form Digikey, but I did learn how to look up the limit switches.

 

 

9
Sep

Bluetooth Module Breakout Board

This is just a simple breakout board for the RN-42 Bluetooth Module. I designed it with Eagle CAD, and made it on my CNC PCB machine.

 

IMAG0453

22
May

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.

image
image

image

image
image