Showing posts with label Workshop. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Workshop. Show all posts

FLIR TG130/TG165 Spot Thermal Camera

I have been seriously interested in the value of Infrared photography ever since I had my home inspection almost ten years ago and the inspector went around taking pictures with his ten-thousand dollar thermal camera. A DIY'er can know the value of insulating and caulking like a pro but to actually visually quantify and identify issues in your own home is amazing. So why didn't I just run out and buy an infrared camera ten years ago? Expense. Ten years ago infrared cameras were so price prohibitive that a home owner would never see the return on investment from energy savings.

Simple Desktop Power Supply Hack

Power Supply
If you do small electronics projects and you're just beginning you probably do what I did for years to power your projects while working them which is to cut the business end off the the cord on a wall wart power adapter with the appropriate voltage. This works but keeping around a pile of plug-less adapters for project possibilities is kind of a pain. There's the ever common 9 volt and 12 volt adapters, but who has a 3 volt adapter to test battery driven projects or god forbid; a drawer full of spare batteries to blow through while working out your latest design? If you've reached the breaking point and started looking at desktop power supplies you have probably noticed the stupid high price on most desktop supplies designed for the job or maybe you've stumbled across the PC power supply DIY option. I've seen both and I neither wanted to spend a Benjamin on a supply nor wanted a monstrous PC power supply sitting on my desk all the time. I came up with a quick hack that makes for a nice, small, inexpensive desktop power supply.

How To Make a Wooden Tap Hammer

If you work with wood you know that from time to time things must be lovingly "tapped" into place, sometimes a place a bit smaller than the thing you are tapping.  Luckily wood is a flexible material and can be coerced but tapping with a metal hammer can mar or dent the surface because of the higher density of metal. A wooden hammer doesn't mar or at least not as much and luckily making a hammer out of wood is simple and quick.

Sound Damping Panels

Sound is an issue with any workshop, power tools are cool but make lots of noise.  My workshop has the added benefits of being in a garage, close to neighbors and harboring a CNC table. My primary concerns are the air compressor, shop vacuum and the CNC router table since it will run patterns that could easily run 30 minutes, an hour or more. Luckily, I am designing a cabinet to hold the vacuum, compressor and most importantly the CNC table for both dust and sound control.  The empty pockets created in my 2x4 frame design will create great places for sound damping panels.

Central Pneumatic Air Compressor

Every good workshop needs a good air compressor, mine suddenly upped and died after years of abuse and no matter my efforts it refused to work. Drain valve stuck open, replaced it, power switch stopped working, fixed it, coupler jammed, cleaned it, engine seal blew and leaked oil everywhere....I'm so tired.....time to trash it.  I won't bad mouth the old soldier, it was long in the tooth, mistreated, over-used, ridden hard and put up wet.  I got my money's worth out of the old compressor but it was dead beyond my willingness to invest time, money and effort to keep it alive.  Time to replace it with what will hopefully be as good of a workhorse if not better. After shopping features and cross indexing prices, I came up with the Central Pneumatic.

 Central Pneumatic Air Compressor

World's Cheapest Noise Canceling Headphones

When I'm in the shop I usually like jamming to my music but the tunes don't sound good over the buzz of saws, routers and vacuums.  I do what I can to keep the noise down for my neighbors so turning the volume up to eleven is out of the question. Besides being rude to the neighbors, extreme decibel levels can be quite damaging to your ears.

I've tried wearing ear buds or headphones in the shop but even though you can still hear the music, you can also hear the tools and the two don't mix.  I looked at noise cancelling headphones but they can be insanely expensive.  What I needed was inexpensive headphones mixed with great noise cancelling capabilities.  I saw these inexpensive hearing protectors and when I ordered them they actually worked quite well, but still no music. I had some inexpensive headphones laying around and wish the two could be combined somehow.  Once I started playing, it was amazingly simple.

Removing Rust From Hand Tools

I was working on a project cutting quite a bit of plywood and I came to realize my circular saw had achieved the status of powered splinter maker, it was time for a new blade. My circular saw, like most, has a blade wrench tucked away in the shoe. When I went to remove the wrench, it offered quite a bit of resistance, more than was expected. I soon discovered my blade wrench had suffered a respectable case of oxidation, nothing that would ruin it, just enough to cause it to really stick in it's little holster. Well, I had been holding on to a chisel I had been using on the same project that had also rusted a bit, again, not unusable, just rusty. Time to clean.  I could use the old wire brush and a lot of elbow grease, but did I tell you I was in the middle of another project? Let's do a soak.

Flexy Slinky-Action Extension Cord

I was curious when I saw this product on a web advertisement and when asked, the nice people at Philatron were kind enough to send me a sample. A springy "slinky" extension cord that coils up nice and neat when not in use....gimmicky?  Let's check it out and see.

Simple Sturdy Garage Storage Shelf

The first part of making your garage into a usable workshop is making space to work. An easy and affordable way to do this is by using store bought storage totes for organization and building a heavy duty shelf to store those on.  I purchased a bulk pack of totes so I would have a uniform look and matching totes would also help maximize my storage with a uniform size.  You could always use mismatched totes, no big deal, just measure all the different totes and use the largest measurement in any dimension when sizing your shelves.


Great Prices on Tools

I'm a maker, I love making, I love making new things. There is a certain thrill of discovery when you make something new, something "outside of your wheelhouse" as a good friend used to say. One of the big problems with making new things is they often require new tools and tools can be crazy expensive.  So how the heck are you supposed to buy all these tools and still be able to afford the materials to make new stuff? I have several strategies, and I must be patient if I want a good deal.  Having a plan, even a vague one, long beforehand allows you the option of purchasing items at better prices before the project begins.  I have been known to buy tools without a project in mind because I knew I wanted to do something in the field of use the tool was designed for and I found the deal of the century.

Thein Baffle Cyclone Separator

CNC is awesome, it makes it easy for a guy that spent more time in computer classes than woodshop to make cool things.  One thing my experience with CNC used for wood or plastic is that they create a hell of a mess.  Since I don't like cleaning up after myself on a regular basis, I will be attaching a vacuum to my CNC to clean up as it goes.