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Random Rushing - Various House Projects
 

Various House Projects 

I have found it hard to really get to any projects lately. I think my main problem is this sitting in my back yard. It just seems hard to get up the energy to remove myself from the pool. Oh well.

Projects around the house though are pushed through by my overeager wife so I have made some progress on those fronts. For your perusing pleasure continue on.

First off is the flowerbox/pentagon flower bed built from left over wood beams when we bought the house. This was a simple project that got rid of random junk lying around and provided places to plant things.

Second was the flowerbox/lattice assembly. This obscured the neighbors view into our pool and again provided places to plant things.

Third was a retaining wall behind the pool. This was needed because the stones in the back were constantly being pushed into the yard by dogs and weather. Its not quite finished yet but is on going. This also provides planting space (see a pattern here)\

Fourth was some shelving for the garage. Nothing fancy just shelves.

Fifth was a desk built into a small nook. I got to use my new router and router table on this project. It turned out surprising well for my first time with the router.

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Blend a little 

Well Canoe Trip 2k7 went well although I was a little disappointed with the gas powered blender. I think I tried to make it do too much. I should have left off the propeller device and stuck to the main goal of heavy drinking. I had routed out the wood to hold the propeller support stationary; little did I know that this affected the height that the blender coupling engaged. So OTB (on the boat) modifications required the blender to sit lower to engage the coupling, this required shaving the block with my knife which destroyed the routed section which helped stabilize the blender during startup. It ended up taking 3 people to run the blender, but it finally worked. I believe Stef has pics, If you are reading this email them to me and I will put them up. Thanks!
Also props (haha props) to Bean for his automatic margarita dispenser which kept everyone well lit.

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Vroom..Blend..Kaboom 

Catastrophic failure of propulsion device happened today during water stress testing. (Blending device still intact)

I had stepped up the size of the prop because I thought last years device needed a larger propeller. When the prop was inserted into the water the small 1" piece of drive shaft not covered by the drive shaft support bent at 60 degree angle. Straightening and shortening the drive shaft worked (although a slight bit wobbly) but the load under water was too much to keep the engine going even at full throttle. I calculated and the max prop size I could have is theoretically 3" with a max speed of 6.2 Knots using my 1hp weedeater engine spinning at 8000RPM with a perfectly pitched prop.

Since I am cheap and limited on time I think I will try to cut down the 6" 2 bladed prop that I have to something like a 3".

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Vroom...Blend...Vroom.. 

It's Alive. If not a little ghetto looking.

After a few iterations of the drive shaft, I got it working without tearing itself apart and flinging parts everywhere. Actually it eats ice like crazy now.

I found that the featherlite weedeater does not contain any type of clutch (although some other brands do). I also found that no clutch is necessary when using it as a blender. I was afraid it would be difficult to pull start if there was ice around the blade but the blade characteristics shoot the ice up with very little torque so no need for the drill clutch. Sweet.

If you note the high tech bungee cord holding apparatus you may wonder why I choose this holding method instead of something more permanent. Well I also made this attachment. The bungee cord was the easiest method I found for attaching both.

First attempt at using it in my pool caused the prop to fall off. I have since revised and left theaded the attachment point.

Total cost: ~$10 plus blender top.


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Darts 

Occasionally I get bored at work. I happened to have this 3Ē neodymium donut magnet (it was supposed to be used to manually open a solenoid valve on our water system if the electric mechanism ever went dead. It works but is completely unneeded). It has been used in various stupid tricks and was most recently my paperclip holder. Well I turned it into a great game called Lilliputian Darts.
It's surprisingly fun, I won the tournament today but I do get to practice more than most. Here are the instructions we have come up with also.
Oh yeah I got the magnet at http://www.allelectronics.com which has awesome deals on random crap.
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Vroom...Vroom... 

So big canoe trip going on at the end of the month and I usually like to take some random thing along that I have built. Last year I made a small electric power outboard from PVC. It worked but not well, I think I needed a larger propeller.
Anyways an idea was brought up this year for a gas powered blender. Been done before and can be bought commercially but much more interesting to do it myself. First thought was to use the gas lawn mower engine I had earmarked for the generator but the design would be the same. The unit would have to fairly large since the shaft is downward facing and I would have to use a pulley system. I figure 24x12x18, I don't think the canoe rental people would be welcoming with such a large contraption.
Turning to trusty ebay (Paul suggestion) I found this and got it for 5 dollars. Sweet.
I disassembled my blender at home, took the entire think apart trying to get off the drive coupling from the motor before I realized that it was just a left handed screw. Twisted right off, no tools needed.
This unit should be small enough to fit in a dry bag I have and can be sneaked on the boat easily.
I am fairly concerned about operation though. I don't have any type of clutch system so the coupler will always be turning. Do I have to shut off the engine to attach the pitcher and then try to start with the ice in it or can I attach the pitcher to the already spinning coupler. Does the weedeater have a built in clutch? Maybe I need to figure out a clutch, I am thinking a clutch from a drill.

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Fridge/Oven/Peltiers that bean said would not work 

So I finally got the components for making my peltier fridge. Both items I got off of ebay extremely cheap, the heat sinks are from Pentium3 coolers and the peltiers are from who knows what. There is a picture of the items here.
Now I also have a picture of the Liconic robotic oven in question which I also got off of ebay real cheap about a year and half ago. The oven does work nicely, I wrote a program to control all robotic functions and graph temp stability and sensor positions which works nicely as well.
On a side note, I love Ebay.
Now the idea is to sandwich a peltier between 2 heat sinked fans (with some thermal paste), one to blow the cool air in the fridge the other to cool off the peltier so it can continue to make coldness. I have enough to make 15 of these little guys and they can be powered off of 8Vs although they require 3 amps. That may make it tough to find a transformer. oh well I have a adjustable power supply for testing anyways (Got it off of ebay also).

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CNC Update1 

Well I made some progress on my CNC machine the other day. I got the spindle mounted to the Z axis. It actually a die grinder. , spins at 30000rpm has some crazy power. I was cutting though some steel with a 3 in circular blade on it and it was just eating it up. I have a more limited Z axis than I did before so I will have to see how that works out but I don't want to run until I have the water cooling because it will burn up bits. I am probably going to have to make a speed control for it also...

I also procured this. Its a vacuum clamp that uses compressed air to operate. It has a ventura valve in it and will hold any non porous material. Its surprisingly strong and gets good reviews best of all it fairly cheap. Check it out.
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Engine 

I have a 4hp gasoline lawn mower engine (runs good) that I need a project for. Suggestions?
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Fridge problems 

Just a quick post. Note to self, forget about taking apart normal fridge for use.

Apparently the makers of fridges do do want you to tear them apart. I opened the bottom no problem, Compressor is now only attached by the copper line that goes to the coils. Now I can't cut the line because I will release the coolant and then the thing is worthless. So I open the door and rip out the insides, no problem there other than the fact that the fridge smells like dead fish. Then the copper line disappears into the middle of the fridge between the freezer/fridge section. So I rip out the middle divider which is apparently structural support (whoops) and is also filled with mold. So now I got the Saws-all out rip most of the top half off. The line then disappears into the back of the fridge. For crying out loud is there a more convoluted way to run this fucking pipe.
Anyways I gave up. The coils where encased in some kind of foam insulation crap that looked like more work than it was worth. Goodbye Fridgy. Sorry I forgot pictures, not used to blogging eveything yet.

New idea. I bought 15 used pentium 3 heatsinks and fans ($0.99) and I am going to attach them to peltier coolers. I figure 10 of these should freeze a beer in my oven/cooler in a hour if I don't regulate them. Sweet, plus I can power them without an outlet if needed.


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Flame tube 

okay so number 2 was the custom 8 ball but I don't have any pictures for that yet. So the Flame tube music player is basically a real life frequency graph. I am not really doing anything different with this one just using it for nice visuals.
Basically you take a pipe drill some holes spaced evenly apart, cap one end. Attach a flexible rubber membrane to other side of the tube then attach a speaker the diameter of the tube to the membrane. Then you fill the tube with propane (or other gas) and light. When the music plays the flames vary in height based on the frequency of the music. This is based on an old school physics experiment to show standing waves. It is also known as the Ruben flame tube, named after H. Ruben, who published the demonstration experiment in Annalen der Physik in 1905.
I plan on building a fish tank like cabinet with wheels and a glass top. The cabinet below will house 2 speakers 1 receiver (it blew the right amp last year) and the propane. The glass enclosure at the top will house the tube (no top).
I figured music outside in the afternoon would have some nice visual effect while swimming in the pool. Also would give off some nice heat to warm up to if need be.
The wife is afraid of fiery explosions but the likelihood is low plus the pool is right there to put it out if need be.

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CNC 

Okay some of you may have seen a picture of my old version. It worked, I cut some wood, some aluminum, and acrylic but it lacked stability. The cutouts at the front caused the frame to flex under high stress and/or speed causing my cuts to be out of line.
I just happened to have laying around a giant box made from bosch extruded aluminum (it was borrowed from previous employer when I left). The box was originally going to be a giant terrarium coffee table but the wifey was not happy about the idea and it did seem like a lot of work. Anyways it looked like a good replacement frame. Well it ended up about one inch to short in the X direction so I ended up with a compromised hybrid.
It is unbelievably stable now. I have yet to attach the spindle motor yet because I am changing from the dremel to a cutoff saw thing which will increase my cutting power exponentially.
Another drawback to cutting was excessive heat so this version has a pump to squirt liquid at the bit when cutting.
Also new will be limit switches which I had before but never hooked up, this should allow a stable home position and allow repeated work as opposed to one offs.

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Monstrosities 

Alright, I started this blog for a running tally/list of my build projects. It seems that I am always working on one thing on the other. My list seems to be ever growing since I donít like to finish things. Currently on the list are:

1. CNC Machine (rebuild)
2. Custom Magic Eight Ball (this is actually work related)
3. Flame tube music player (built on the sly because wifey afraid of explosions, I told her the pool is right there to put the thing out)
4. Beer fridge thrower (multiple people asked for this and I have a cool automated oven already that I can convert to a fridge plus a working fridge I am throwing out)
5. Various house projects, (Shelves garage, flower pentagon, retaining wall)

Most of these things are in various states of completion
There are others but nothing that comes to mind right now. Yet me know if there are others I should add.

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HA 

I have a blog. Take that bitches. I am still trying to figure out how to work this damn thing. I get some more content later.
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