Thursday, December 6, 2012

Merry Christmas

3D-printing is fun and takes a lot of time:-)

Here is my latest print plus a little painting afterwards
Same on table for a better view.
The three kings are bringing gifts to new born child. Of course they also have their Camel with them.
And of course the Christmas Crib with the new born child and his parents.
And a Google Sketchup screendump
Have fun

PS: I am not the designer of the set. I found it on a site with lots of ideas of what can be made with a 3D.printer.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The new black

Ever since I heard about 3D-printing many years ago it has been in my mind that someday I would join the wave.

Now it is time for exploring the posibillities of 3D-printing.

I have spent a few hours on the net studying several designs but most of them fails because they are build using 3d-printed components. Chicken and egg problem.

Yes I could go to Ebay and buy a kit but ...

Then I found this Mendel90 design that uses mdf for the basic structure plus (again) lots of 3D-printed plastic parts.By studying the design I soon found out that all the parts can easily be replaced by either wood- or metal-parts.

Basically a 3D-printer is a glue-gun that can be moved in three dimensions so the first challenge is to build a structure for that. The same challenges as for my CNC-machines stable structures with precise movements of a tool..

Here is the very first mockup for my first 3D-printer. A simple T-shabe from two sheets of plywood.

In front of the vertical sheet is some of the parts I will use for the vertical movement of the glue-gun, extruder in 3D-language.

The plywood-sheets is held together with this ingenious "Ikea" screw and nut.
In german the bolt and nut is called "Quermutterbolzen und Rundmuttern". It took me quite a while to find out :-)

Can it be used for miniatures? Maybe.....

3D-printed Queen Anne Chairs in 1:48 scale.

More to come.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Hinges (Nightmare)

It is hard to get small hinges in the right size or shape. When I started making miniatures I bought a lot of hinges from several sources because then I just could go to my hinges drawer and select the right hinge for the piece I was working on. Reality is another story :-)

Below is a mockup to see how the hinge fit in the current project. To the right is the smallest hinge I had in my stock and I didn't like it. The hinge is too large.

So I had to make my own. First I draw the hinge parts in the right dimensions and then cut the parts from a piece of  0.1mm brass-sheet using my cnc.  That was an expensive experience because I broke a milling-cutter in the first try. But I made a hinge in the right size.

The hinges was then made using the photo etch technique. Here comes the nightmare :-)
The first sheet I etched from the same 0.1mm brass sheet had parts for 96 hinges but after etching and trying to assemble the first hinge I discovered that the brass was too thin. When opening and closing the hinge it just fall apart. Then I tried etching 0.2mm brass using the same layout.
Doubling the thichness to etch also doubles the etching time and that gives problems with socalled underetching and I haven't thougt about that. So back to the drawing board and after a few more trial and errors I managed to make this sheet of hinge parts.

For assembling the hinges I made this needle nose pliers. It is ground from a cheap fleamarket find (don't take the best from the toolbox).

5 hinges before next step

To ensure that the pin stays in place I decided to solder the pin in place.
Why not glue? Because glue is hard to control in small spaces and can easily make the hinge unusable.
For soldering I use solderpaste normally used for soldering small electronics. The solderpaste contains flux and pewter and can be applied very acurately in small amounts. I got mine from ebay and despite the small container says something about a shelf life of 6 months and cool storage it works well after about two years in a drawer.

Here is some solderpaste on a bottlecap (diameter 28mm) Half of the paste that the red arrow points to is placed on the hinge.

The hinge is placed on a heat resistent surface.
The hinge is heated a few seconds with a heat blower.
Solderpaste before heating
Solderpaste after heating. The solder flows nicely into the hinge,
After the other end of the pin is cut off  the hinge is ready for use.

Have fun

Monday, September 3, 2012

Another powertool modification

First I'm so happy using my small tablesaw but because of my small workshop there is no more space on the table!
Solution: Laptoptablesaw :-)

Another power-tool in the closet I use from time to time is the Proxxon Disc Sander.
Problem is sometimes the piece needed to be sanded is better handled on the right side of the sanding disc and then because of the rotation of the disc the workpiece is pulled away from the table.
Then it hit me. All the other Proxxon tools I have uses direct current motors (DC-motors). DC-motors is easily reversed. The two wires to the motor should just change place.

The  backcover was unmounted and yes the motor was a DC-motor and better there is lots of space for mounting a switch besides the on/off switch and speed-controller.
A hole is drilled and the switch is mounted.

The red and black wires from the circuit-board to the motor is unsoldered and replaced with two new wires that goes to the switch.

Wiring of the switch
And then the cover can be remounted on the sander.

In the process I pulled too much in the wires so the speedcontrol broke. So unsoldering the white and black  wires is a good idea :-) It doesn't matter how the white and black wires is soldered back to the control.

A little theory: Reversing a DC-motor.

The switch used is a Double Pole Double Throw (DPDT) switch.

DPDT switches are available in 'toggle' or 'slide' types, as shown in the picture below.  Both types have six connections - three for each pole of the switch.

The upper, toggle switch is easiest to mount :-)

This circuit shows how to connect one DC motor to a DPDT switch.

At last my Proxxon disc sander with a new miterguide.
 And result of first use.
But that's another story.

Have fun

Friday, August 24, 2012

Crosscut slide for the small tablesaw

Well.Sometimes you have to change your mind.

For years I have ignored the small Proxxon tablesaw. It was too small to use for serious work was my opinion, so it was just stored in the back of the cupboard.

Well, yesterday I made miterslides for the saw and in short time I cut miters for six frames! Usually when I make special moldings I make at least twice the length to be sure I have enough for replacing errors. Yesterday I sat back with the whole second length of molding.

So todys project is to make a few more accessories for the tablesaw.

Crosscut slide:
Simple! Two rails glued to the back of a piece of 1mm aeroplane plywood. When the glue has set the plate is mounted on the tablesaw and the bottom fence glued to the plywood. Of course square to the sawblade. Then the slot is cut. Ready for use.


This is a very clever device that makes very fine adjustments possible. Micromark sells one for the Microlux tablesaw. The Microlux tablesaw is nearly the same as the now discontinued Proxxon FKS/E tablesaw. If you are in the market for a small tablesaw and find a Proxxon FKS/E; Buy it now, because it is better than the new FET in my opinion.
Here is the parts for the accurizer.
 And the accurizer mounted on the tablesaw with the fence close to the sawblade.The accurizer can be mounted anywhere between the sawblade and the right side of the sawtable.
Loosening the two screws the slider can be moved to the other end so the fence moves about 5mm away from the sawblade.

The slider can be locked any place between the two ends

Have fun

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Miter slides

For a long time i wished I had a alternative to this miterbox.
So I dug out the old small Proxxon tablesaw from the cupboard
Then I took the tablesaw apart.
Because I wanted a groove in the left side of the table too. The groove is a little smaller than the original in the right side but that doesn't matter.
Assembled the tablesaw again.
And made a fixed 45degree miter slide to fit on the right side.
And another for the new left groove.
Ready for cutting nice clean miters on small parts. (width of the strip is 0.75mm)
Have fun

Friday, August 17, 2012

Door frames

More details about the doors. While studying the photo of the cabinet with open doors it looks like the frame is made from two vertical posts joined by two horizontals, top and bottom. Probably joined by tenon and mortice. The frame is then veneered.

Best seen in the middle door.

Here is the parts I made to simulate the original door.
Front view:

 And backview:

Dry assembly of the middle door.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Back to the workshop

 During the last weeks I haven't spent much time in the workshop. Been around in the city and country.

Sinner is found! 

My tablesaw had a burn mark on the top.  Looked like someone had left a burning cigarette on the saw.

Then the other day when I entered there was a smell of burning wood but no smoke and no fire. Looking around I foind this piece of wood with a burnmark on the tablesaw.
And above was the sinner. My magnifying lamp.
So always remember to cover the magnifying glass or turn the lamp away from the window! Actually I don't use it very much.

New (old) computer for the CNC.

I was tired of rewiring the laptop every time I wanted to use my small cnc-machine. So I decided to use our old TV-computer as a dedicated cnc-computer instead of standing in a corner waiting to be old enough for the dump.
The computer is placed on the top of the cabinet and an old monitor was mounted on the wall. Time will show if the computer can stand the heat up there.


In the process of investigating cnc-software i borrowed a licence for a very interesting piece of software Vectric Aspire. With Aspire it was very easy to make moldings.
The molding is drawn the cad program, in my case Qcad.
Then imported into Aspire.
And with a few clicks with the mouse the toolpath for the molding is generated ready to be cut in the cnc.
I cut one and began cutting miters when it hit me: W"hy cut those miters by hand?" The machine can do that and more precise than with the handsaw and old miterbox. So back to the drawingboard (cad-program).
And shortly after this was produced. The frame for one of the carved doors.
A little cleaning up.
And a little glue.
Cutting the moldings isn't fast. On my little cnc this small molding takes about 45minutes.

The frames placed on a printout. 

Have fun