School Garden Box
Jan15

School Garden Box

School Garden Box Our woodworking group (Diablo Woodworkers) will be teaching 75 elementary school students (and their teachers) to build a Garden Box. These students, 2nd through 5th grade, are already engaged in outside garden activities requiring each student to have a box to plant seeds and grow plants. The teachers see this as an opportunity to have students also experience woodworking skills. The school did not have a design, so SketchUp became an important collaboration tool. I was told that the box should be 12 x 12 – the only specifications – so there was much flexibility. The following image shows the final approved design, after sending several SketchUp views and dimensions. Also I’ve shown the prototype in Monterey Pine. SketchUp will also be used in the classroom building sessions, as it provides a step-by-step procedure for the construction at school. This should help teachers and children to orient and join the box components. Also it shows where woodworking tools are introduced, such as the hammer, awl, hand drill, and screwdriver. Step 1 – Position the Front piece flat on the floor with its top edge facing you. Insert the two Ends into the dado joints as shown. Make sure that the top of the Ends is vertical and facing you. Step 2: Place the Back piece on top of the Ends with the dadoes lined up. Make sure the top edge of the Back is facing you. Push down on that the Back so that it fits over the Ends. Step 3: Hammer the nails into the drilled shank holes Note: Make sure to hit the nail head with the hammer flat, not angled as shown below: Step 4: Turn the assembly upside down, and position the Base on the bottom of the assembly Step 5: Hammer the nails into the Base. Step 6: Place a pencil line across the Base as shown, to locate the position of the Feet. Step 7: Place the edge of the Foot on the pencil line. Step 8: With the Awl, poke through the hole to mark the location of the screw pilot hole in the Base. Step 9: Move the foot, and use the drill to make screw pilot holes in the Base. Locate the drill point in the mark made by the Awl. Step 10: Use the Screwdriver to insert the flat head wood screws. Step 11: Repeat those steps for the other Foot. Step 12: Use files and sandpaper to round over and smooth all the sharp edges. Tim @KillenWOOD Get woodworking tips, expert advice and special offers in your inbox × (Why?) Published at Thu, 29 Sep 2016 16:55:31 +0000...

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Rob on Franken Saw

Rob on Franken Saw We have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy and the protection of your information. Our email is permission based. If you receive a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings. If you believe you have received unwanted, unsolicited email sent via this system or purporting to be sent via this system, please forward a copy of that email with your comments to abuse@constantcontact.com for review. How can you stop receiving email from us? Each email sent contains an easy, automated way for you to cease receiving email from us, or to change your expressed interests. If you wish to do this, simply follow the instruction at the end of any email. How we protect your privacy We use appropriate security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of data used by our system. Sharing and Usage We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone for their promotional use without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information, and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you. Use of Web Beacons When we send you emails, we may include a web beacon to allow us to determine the number of people who open our emails. When you click on a link in an email, we may record this individual response to allow us to customize our offerings to you. Web beacons collect only limited information, such as a cookie identifier, time and date of a page being viewed, and a description of the page on which the Web Beacon resides (the URL). Web Beacons can be refused when delivered via email. If you do not wish to receive Web Beacons via email, you will need to disable HTML images or refuse HTML (select Text only) emails via your email software. (Why?) Published at Wed, 19 Jan 2011 01:02:08 +0000...

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Marv Kratky on The PowerLift has Arrived

Marv Kratky on The PowerLift has Arrived We have created this privacy policy to demonstrate our firm commitment to your privacy and the protection of your information. Our email is permission based. If you receive a mailing from us, our records indicate that (a) you have expressly shared this address for the purpose of receiving information in the future (“opt-in”), or (b) you have registered or purchased or otherwise have an existing relationship with us. We respect your time and attention by controlling the frequency of our mailings. If you believe you have received unwanted, unsolicited email sent via this system or purporting to be sent via this system, please forward a copy of that email with your comments to abuse@constantcontact.com for review. How can you stop receiving email from us? Each email sent contains an easy, automated way for you to cease receiving email from us, or to change your expressed interests. If you wish to do this, simply follow the instruction at the end of any email. How we protect your privacy We use appropriate security measures to protect against the loss, misuse and alteration of data used by our system. Sharing and Usage We will never share, sell, or rent individual personal information with anyone for their promotional use without your advance permission or unless ordered by a court of law. Information submitted to us is only available to employees managing this information for purposes of contacting you or sending you emails based on your request for information, and to contracted service providers for purposes of providing services relating to our communications with you. Use of Web Beacons When we send you emails, we may include a web beacon to allow us to determine the number of people who open our emails. When you click on a link in an email, we may record this individual response to allow us to customize our offerings to you. Web beacons collect only limited information, such as a cookie identifier, time and date of a page being viewed, and a description of the page on which the Web Beacon resides (the URL). Web Beacons can be refused when delivered via email. If you do not wish to receive Web Beacons via email, you will need to disable HTML images or refuse HTML (select Text only) emails via your email software. (Why?) Published at Mon, 24 Jan 2011 01:17:52 +0000...

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Turn on a Lamp with a Gesture-Controlled Harry Potter Wand
Jan14

Turn on a Lamp with a Gesture-Controlled Harry Potter Wand

Turn on a Lamp with a Gesture-Controlled Harry Potter Wand Photo by Hep Svadja To say Harry Potter is a cultural phenomenon is an understatement. It’s simply part of our culture, arguably as beloved as any other media franchise in history, inspiring many of us to try to capture some of the magic on our own — which is what this project is about. After a recent trip to Universal’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter, my daughters and I decided to create a project that could use the interactive wands from the theme park, at home, to control our own props and gadgets. We called it Raspberry Potter because it was powered with a Raspberry Pi. We demonstrated the project last year at the Minneapolis/St. Paul Mini Maker Faire and this article — Ollivander’s Lamp — is the latest extension of that project. Using wands to flush a toilet in the window of the Weasleys’ Wizard Wheezes joke shop at Universal Studios Florida. Photo by Sean O’Brien Here’s how the Raspberry Potter works: 1. Using an infrared camera, the Raspberry Pi computer looks for small circles of reflected infrared light in its field of vision. 2. These small circles of light get tracked for movement, using OpenCV computer vision software. These patterns of movement are the gestures or “spells,” and you can make them using the reflective tip of a wand. Figure A. Step shots by Sean O’Brien 3. When the predefined patterns of movement are matched, a “spell” is cast (Figures A, B, and C) and the Raspberry Pi runs code that controls a connected device — in this case our magic lamp. Figure B Figure C What About the Wand? Figure D If you don’t have an official interactive wand from the park (Figure D), don’t worry! You can easily make your own wand by gluing a sequin to the end of a stick. Any wand-like object will work fine — it only needs a reflective tip that can be used to reflect infrared light. Just make sure the sequin is shiny and flat; the faceted ones don’t work well. You can also use a “pearl sticker” such as these. Figure E We 3D-printed this wood-grained wand from Thingiverse and it turned out OK (Figure E). The Make: Labs used these cool-looking ones from Etsy, intended as party favors. Or check out the Raspberry Potter website for a link to my new book with detailed instructions for making your own wand. PREPARE THE ELECTRONICS 1. Set up the Particle Photon Figure F Let’s start with the Particle Internet Button, which will double as our light source (Figure F) — in...

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Compose Synthy Samples with a Lego Sound Sequencer
Jan14

Compose Synthy Samples with a Lego Sound Sequencer

Compose Synthy Samples with a Lego Sound Sequencer Photography by Brian McNamara I’ve been designing original electronic instruments ever since I made a toy sequencer for my daughter’s first birthday called the R-Tronic 8-Bit, and got it published in Make: in 2008. That one was a simple step sequencer that uses shapes to put sounds into a sequence that makes up a little song. [embedded content] Since then I’ve built about 50 one-of-a-kind synthesizers, loopers, and sequencers, some that I’ve shared as DIY projects, and others that I sell on Etsy, such as the Wicks Looper, the Automaphone, and the RotoSeq — a rotary sequencer that you program by placing (or removing) marbles in the path of 4 different light detectors. Fun fact: I’ve made a Beat Destructor for Adam Horovitz of the Beastie Boys and a Ruptutron for Thom Green from Alt-J. This project is a Lego reproduction of my original RotoSeq that’s simpler and smarter at the same time — it uses only a single sensor, but that sensor can detect 8 different colors. Little towers made of colored blocks are placed at the end of each arm, and as each block passes the color sensor, the sound that corresponds with that color is played. The variety of sounds and sequences is endless. The Lego RotoSeq uses the Lego Mindstorms EV3 Intelligent Brick as a processor to do 3 things: control the motor that spins the arms, receive the data from the EV3 Color Sensor, then play the sounds from onboard WAV files. Of course you can easily substitute your own sound samples to create your own never-before-heard beats. The First Roto Seq My original RotoSeq is powered by a hand-cranked generator. It’s got 8 time slots and 4 sounds and uses 4 light sensors (light-dependent resistors or LDRs) connected to a Picaxe microcontroller to make sounds. In a way, it works oppositely to the Lego version — you start with a turntable filled with marbles in every position (no sounds) and then when a marble is removed from the turntable a sound is made that corresponds to that position. Each color represents one of 4 preprogrammed sounds, and each position represents one of 8 slots in the sequence. At the heart of the RotoSeq is a Picaxe 28X processor, which takes information from the 4 LDRs, and generates the 4 lo-fi sounds in the sequence. LEDs provide a constant light source for the LDRs, and a modified servo is used to move the platform. I still use the original RotoSeq, but the motor was a little noisy so I’m building a new version with some really...

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Laser Cut a Slot-Together Octopus Lamp
Jan14

Laser Cut a Slot-Together Octopus Lamp

Laser Cut a Slot-Together Octopus Lamp [embedded content] I love octopuses and often try to work them into my first projects with any new tool. Recently, I acquired a laser cutter and was able to materialize an idea that I’ve had for a long time; a simple modular lamp that was shaped like an octopus. To make one of your own, you’ll need the following items I started with nothing but the concept in my brain and a little bit of knowledge in Autodesks Fusion 360. I’ve been binge watching videos of how to use the software for design and CAM, and picked up a few tricks. Most notable and useful of the tricks are the “user parameters”.  You can create a user parameter that can be changed at any point. As you’re designing, you can assign this parameter to any dimension, allowing you to change many of them on the fly. This doesn’t sound that exciting but with a design where all the material needs to slot into other pieces, a change in the thickness of the material can completely ruin the design. By making all of the slots adjustable with a single number, I can adapt the design to fit my material. [embedded content] In the video below, I struggle with how to use Autodesk Fusion360 to layout a job for exporting as a DXF for laser cutting. If you’re a regular user of the software, you may find this video painful. Luckily, Taylor Stein from Autodesk saw this and offered to help me with a better way, which you can see further down below in part 4. [embedded content] Even though I stumbled through my initial attempts to export a proper, clean, dxf file, my first test cuts came out great. I can’t express how exciting it is when a new tool works as you expect and your design actually fits together. [embedded content] Here is the correct way to export DXF files for laser cutting. This right here might need a whole article just on its own. I’ve had several people contact me since I put this up, explaining that it answered questions they were having and alleviated some frustrations on their part. [embedded content] One of the problems I had to solve with this project was how to engrave both sides of the material. I had the option of engraving one side, flipping the material over and attempting to line up everything and engrave the 2nd side before cutting. However, my laser doesn’t have a “spot” for accurate positioning yet, and I thought that sounded like a huge pain. Instead, I took a hint...

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