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Workbench Part 2

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The legs are dimensioned and cut to length.

The last beam becomes the braces between the legs -- two long and two short.

Braces ready to join.

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Workbench Part 1

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Last winter, a very generous friend of a friend let us haul away a truckload of old oak timbers.

The timbers came in a few lengths all over 1m and with varying conditions at the ends. Some had fancy looking old joinery that was still viable and some were decomposed.

A little TLC revealed lots of very usable oak. These will be the legs of my new workbench.

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iPhone app MIGHTY MATCH

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My good friends Mike & Mali and I have started making iOS apps. Here is the first one - a simple matching game showing off Mike's iconic illustrations of alphabet letters and vegetables.
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New Jack Swing Force Directed Graph

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Here is a scratch-built force directed graph showing New Jack Swing artist and producer relationships. This uses the Raphael library to build and update the SVG. Use the sliders at the bottom to manipulate physical properties of the elements.

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Building a Wooden Bench Plane

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The best tool I own is probably my Lie-Nielson block plane. I've been taking some time lately to hone my sharpening skills and encountered the idea of building my own hand planes. It's a very attractive idea since good handplanes are anywhere from very to extremely expensive, and being able to make my own would allow me to build any variation of specialty plane I might want to try. Plus, my CNC router makes forming the basic shapes as easy as digitizing my idea into CAM software.

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CNC Part 15: Aztec Calendar

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The g-code for a detailed aztec calendar is a well-known benchmark around cnczone.com. To cut this pattern, the machine has to make thousands of movements staying within a few hundredths accurate. I tried cutting one for my parents' xmas present from some nice brazilian cherry. I joined two planks to get the required 16" width, flattened the top and sprayed a light coat of polyurethane to help avoid chipping during the lighter detail passes. Next time I would apply a thick layer of poly since a few detailed places show some chipping.

These were taken about an hour in.

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CNC Part 14

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Here is cutting a little drawer that turned out great.

I inadvertently learned that this FLA-100 clone will cut steel when my 1/4" carbide tool path intersected one of the 5/16" washers I was using to hold down the work. At 60ipm there was an ugly chatter but no steps were skipped and the job completed perfectly. I'm pretty excited about trying some aluminum now.

CNC Part 13

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There is a great cable tray design shared online by Kronos Robotics at http://www.kronosrobotics.com/krmx01/krmx01upgrades/dragoncable/

This made for a perfect "first cuts" project with my router. One learns a lot of things quickly in the first few hours operating a router like this. Work has to be held down very firmly to produce the shape accurately. And a cable tray like the Dragon is very necessary to keep cables safely away from the bit and from being stretched across parts of the machine.

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CNC Part 12

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Motors installed and wired to controller / controller connected to PC. I jogged each axis end to and repeatedly to shift things into place, tightening a little each trip. Things are looking pretty well square after building a sharpie holder and jogging in large rectangles. Here is an old javascript/easelJS drawing pattern I made, now adapted to output g-code. Router mount on the way. For now, I have an overly powerful plotter / sharpie ruiner.

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CNC Part 11

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I have been waiting for today a LONG time. Electronics have arrived. Tonight there will be movement.
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