Sunday, March 25, 2007

Magnetic Rubik's Cube

I made this after seeing the page over at Instructables. The dice are held together with neodymium magnets, and it snaps into position nicely.

Magnetic Rubik's Cube

Magnetic Rubik's Cube

Magnetic Rubik's Cube

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Machinist's Fridge Magnets

Here's another lunchbreak project I came up with; I bought some super strong neodymium magnets on Ebay to use as fridge magnets, but they are a little too strong to pull off. I milled a hole in the end of some 3/4-10" bolts and pressed the magnets in. Now they're really easy to take on and off and they look pretty unique too.

Machinist Fridge Magnets

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cryptex: Day 1

I have started the machining process. I spent the first day on a larger lathe squaring up the ends of all the 3.5" diameter discs, and drilling and reaming a hole through the center that I will use with a small fixture to hold them on a smaller lathe. These discs will eventually become the rings of the cryptex. I spent the next day turning down the outside diameters of the discs to 3". It will probably take a few more days to get that done, then i'll start on boring out the centers. The pictures below are from the smaller hardinge lathe, holding the discs with a fixture in the collet adapter.


Bird's nests are more fun to take pictures of:
Bird's nest


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Repeatable Camera Mount

I know very little about photography, other than that I like pushing the button on top of my camera. I made this mounting fixture so I can position the camera in a certian spot with repeatability and accuracy. The mounting block screws into the tripod mount on the bottom of the camera, and the two 1/4" dowels correspond to the accurately sized holes in the base.

Camera Mount

I made several base blocks, with the idea that I can mount them in different places and get several pictures from the same position, like the sunset view from my deck, and use them to create an animation or a slide show.

Mounting Base

The possibilities are endless as to where I could put the base blocks, I'd like to find an urban/public location somewhere that I visit often and hide a block to get some cool pictures. Once I've accumulated some pictures I'll post an example of how they turned out.


Monday, February 12, 2007

2GB ChapStick USB Flash Drive

I just bought a new 2GB USB flash drive, and it happened to be sitting on the desk the other day next to a tube of ChapStick. It looked like a perfect match once I got the drive out of it's case, but it ended up being a little too big to fit in the tube. I took it to work and bored the tube out on the lathe during my lunch break, made a few notches in the base and the bottom cap with the die grinder, sanded the edges of the circuit board a little, and finally got it to fit perfectly. Looks pretty good, even the LED shines through the bottom. Hopefully it will fare better when it ends up going through the dryer in my pants pocket than a regular tube of ChapStick does.

Chap Suck?

USB Drive

2GB ChapStick

2GB ChapStick

And yes, the cap does fit. I'd like to make one that twists in and out, but I don't think they make a drive that small (yet).


Friday, February 09, 2007

Cryptex: The Materials

This is the aluminum I have to work with for the Cryptex. I bought the 3" discs and the two Ø2.5" x 7" pieces for about $30. The big chunk was a freebie from work, hopefully I won't need it. I bought several more discs than I need for the finished project; some will be used for making holding fixtures. I hope to start turning down the discs next tuesday, but it all depends on how I feel at the end of the workday, and whether or not I really want to stay a few hours and work on this.

Cryptex project aluminum

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Cryptex: Preparations

In the last two weeks I've been hunting down aluminum, I found some at the scrap yard and I got some nice freebies at work. I managed to get permission to use a camera to document my progress, which is great for a no-cameras-allowed shop. My company is buying a new camera that they are going to let me use, so I'm waiting for them to get it before I actually start making chips. I'm guessing I will be starting by the end of next week. It's going to be slow going, because I'm probably only going to be working on this in 2 hour blocks after work 2-3 days a week.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cryptex: The Beginning

I have decided to make a Cryptex. After reading up on the internet and coming across Justin N's creations, I almost gave up because his are just too good. I'm going to try anyway. The concept seems relatively simple to me, but machining it is definitely going to be a challenge. I created some drawings in AutoCad and I think I have the basic design pretty much finalised. Currently I am figuring out how to get the material. The finished product will be about 6 inches long and 3 inches in diameter, made from aluminum. I will have it anodized or something to make it look nice. Here's a concept drawing; but be advised this is my first time using AutoCad, and I'm not good enough to add the lettering.