Monday, January 14, 2019

Drill Press Laser Guide


This a Laser Guide for my Drill Press which projects a cross-hair where the drill bit will contact the work piece. I designed this project in Fusion 360 and printed it on my Prusa MK3 3D Printer.

Instructions for this project can be found at Drill Press Laser Guide.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Remote CNC Stop and Monitor

This project provides an inexpensive means of remotely performing a STOP (ALT+S) to Mach3. This is accomplished with a Raspberry Pi (RPi) + Camera connected to a PC via a USB cable. Monitoring and activating the STOP on the CNC is done with a video streaming web application running on the RPi. Using this solution should be done at your own risk. I highly recommend contacting the manufacturer of your CNC, and purchase and install the recommended remote emergency stop specified.

Full instruction can be found at Remote CNC Stop and Monitor.

Note: This is not the same as an Emergency Stop (EStop) wired into your CNC control panel, but the execution of a hotkey to perform a STOP of Mach3.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Woodturning Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar

I needed a means of holding and turning long thin spindles in such a way as to reduce chatter and vibration.  Live centers can introduce some problems if the tailstock is over tightened compressively.  Therefore, I wanted a means of holding the stock securely and without axial compressive forces which would contribute to vibrations and chatter.

My solution was the combination of a Collet Chuck and Live Center with a Drawbar.  Mounting this combination in the tailstock and securing the work piece in the collet chuck.  Next, move the quill on the locked tailstock  away from headstock and create some tension in the workpiece/spindle.  As a result, the workpiece is held firmly and steadily by the collet chuck.

One thing I noticed after turning very thin pieces (5/16" or 8mm) was the thin spindles demonstrated the ability to oscillate axially when the lathe was stopped.  Exerting a small amount of torque to the collet and releasing it would cause the spindle to oscillate axially in the fixture.  In any case, I have been very happy with the performance of this live center.

Live Center with Collet Chuck and Drawbar holding a spindle.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Digital Vacuum Regulator

This is a Veneer Vacuum Press (Vacuum Pump) which has been modified with a Digital Vacuum Regulator to operate with a selectable vacuum pressure. This device is a replacement for the Vacuum Controller in my DIY Veneer Vacuum Press built with plans from or These are great plans and the pumps operate very satisfactorily as designed. However, I'm a tinkerer, and I wanted to enhance my pump with the ability to easily and readily control the pressure settings (without a screw driver) over a wider range of pressures with a digitally controlled regulator.

Instructions for the project can be found at Digital Vacuum Regulator on Instructables.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

CNC Carved Spoons and Spatuloons

These spoons were my first two sided project
attempted on my CNC Router.
Spoons provided me a challenge to create a two sided project to practice and learn the skills necessary to attempt my Continuous Arm Windsor Chair Seat with CNC Router project.  My first attempt at cutting out spoons was with 3D models purchased from TurboSquid, and proved to be satisfactory for my test purposes as well as practical cooking utensil.  However, I wasn't satisfied with someone else's design, so I created my on with Blender.

Digital Bandsaw Blade Tension Gauge

This is a electronic/digital gauge to measure the tension of band saw blades in order to get the best performance from the blade and the saw. Once installed, this device provides a convenient method for measuring the force or tension a bandsaw blade without interfering with the blade guides or attaching something to the blade. This gauge/scale can be setup to display either imperial (default) or metric.

Details of this project can be seen at Digital Bandsaw Blade Tension Gauge at Instructables.  Information about this gauge can also be found at BANDSAW TENSION GAUGE USES RASPBERRY PI AND LOAD CELL at Hackaday.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Wood Lathe Duplicator with Angle Grinder

My version of a Lathe Duplicator was inspired by The Homestead Craftsman, and his video entitled Homemade Wood Lathe Duplicator using an Angle Grinder.  Basically, the only things I changed from the original design is the grinder blade, and the table surface of the duplicator.  My modifications were made to create turnings with a little finer detail and less clean-up, which the carbide cutter provides, and more versatility and adjustability for mounting the pattern to the table top.

Laminated 16ga steel table top and pattern secured with Magswitch Model 150 magnets.
The angle grinder has a Viel Tools Model D-15-80-5 Carbide Cutter.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Converting a Wood Cutting Band Saw into a Lapidary/Diamond Band Saw

Converting a SKIL Model #3386-01 9" Band Saw into a wet cutting lapidary band saw for cutting rocks and glass.

The saw in operation