Sharpening Jig/Station

I had to use my adjustable height bench for my work at home desk so I bought a Workmate 225 as a temporary substitute for a workbench.

I made my first jig for it last Saturday, sharpening jig that holds down my diamond plate at one end, and a glued on strop on the other end.

Work from Home

For obvious reasons I am now working from home. I spent 2 days re-arranging, and cleaning, my home office so I could add a second workstation.

I decided that for now I would use my Husky adjustable height workbench. It has a couple of advantages:

  1. I can use it as a standing desk
  2. I wouldn’t waste time, and money, looking for something new, online or in person.

Vacuum Upgrade (part 2), The Baffling

I use a vacuum to keep my CNC bits cool and clear of sawdust in addition to vacuuming up the dust. The vacuum I use is a little shop vac that is really loud and as I explained in the previous Vacuum Upgrade post the exhaust was too powerful. I just wasn’t getting enough negative airflow for the suction at the back of the hood.

I hoped to solve both problems with a sound baffle that I could mount to the top of the vacuum housing. I decided to add a 2 inch baffle to the lid of the vacuum enclosure.

Some weather stripping and caulk sealed up some air leaks and a couple of coats of paint finish the project.

I took some measurements along the way with a decibel meter app proving this project was worth the time and effort put into it.

The shop vac outside of the enclosure was particularly loud even for a shop vac at 93-95dB.
With the enclosure but before the baffle it was 80-83dB.
With the enclosure and the new baffle it dropped to 63-65db.

I consider this 30dB drop a major success!

The Iron Rocking Horse pt. 3

Here’s where production slowed big time. I kept fine tuning parts and the ways to mount them but the big problem was designing the base and the way I was going to mount the motorcycle to it.

Eventually I asked a neighbor to weld a piece of 2″ angle iron and 3/4′ black pipe into a kind of inverted cross. I used a long 3/4″ boring bit to drill out the hole vertically from the bottom of the chassis and epoxied the black pipe in to the hole. The angle iron ran perpendicular to the bike and was sandwiched in between some 2″x6″ pallet wood.

I had pallet wood I was going to use for the runners but they were badly twisted so I bought a 14′ long 7″ LVL and shaped them into the runners tied together with more of the 2″x6″ pallet wood I had.

There was a lot more sanding and fine tuning, then it was time for paint…

I really love the way this turned out despite how long it took to make and the fact that I pretty much designed it on the fly.

The Iron Rocking Horse pt. 2

I wasn’t at a complete standstill though. While I was endlessly debating the sissy bar , the fork length and the handlebar rise (not to mention how i was going to attach the handlebar) I was making progress on the other parts.

The seat
I made a couple of patterns and laminated the seat out of some pallet wood.

I decided to mortise/tenon in a different kind of sissy bar.

The Iron Rocking Horse pt. 3

The Iron Rocking Horse pt. 1

Many years ago I decided to build a motorcycle style rocking horse for my grandson. Unfortunately it took much longer than I had anticipated to build it.

I had seen several different kinds online, many folks were selling plans or kits for ones they had designed. I wanted to style mine differently from all of them, and make it much bigger. Designing it from scratch was no small task. I made several mistakes along the way. Finding a safe way to attach the handlebar to the motorcycle, and then the motorcycle to the base was much more difficult than I had originally planned.

I also wanted to make it more functional than just a simple rocking horse. I wanted things like the saddlebags to be usable, the engine’s heads and crank case covers and other items to be removable using regular mechanics tools.

The biggest problem I had with the whole build was actually the very first part of the build. Or rather, what I made it out of. I wanted to use as much re-claimed material as possible. I had a ton of 1/2″ and 5/8″ pressed board in my scrap pile so that was my primary material for the chassis , wheels, and engine parts. Pressed board is just too porous, brittle and susceptible to tear out. I had to stop and re-design so much of this project because I used particle board A combination of hardboard and MDF would have been a much better choice the project would have gone much more smoothly and quickly.

I was actually stuck at this stage for way too long. I was too indecisive.

The Iron Rocking Horse pt. 2

Vacuum Upgrade – CNC

I finally got around to stage two of the vacuum system for the CNC machine.

First I built an articulating arm for the vac exhaust. I used nothing but scrap wood. Well, except for the knobs and bolts of course.

Articulating Arm

Unfortunately the exhaust is a bit too powerful, the suction doesn’t quite keep up and some dust is being blown back out the front.

I had been thinking about building a baffle for the vacuum’s exhaust anyway with the hope that it would cut the noise level more. Perhaps it will also cut the exhaust speed enough to create a negative airflow from the front to the back.

Well, maybe next weekend.

CNC – A couple of upgrades:

I wanted to see what I could do to quiet this setup. Using some scrap 1/2″ OSB and Styrofoam I built a box and cut some holes for the 1-14″ hose I found at Home Depot.

CNC Workstation
I hope to get a “hood” built for the backside that will suck in the dust. The mount for the blowing attachment is temporary. I think the permanent one will be mounted on the dust vac box. Probably some kind of articulating arm. I’m still working on the design for that.
Swithes for CNC and Vac
$10 worth for the 4-gang box, 2 -switches, 2- outlets, and an hour or two later I had two switched outlets, one for the vac, the other for the CNC. I’ll mount it farther away from the CNC later. I don’t want to have to reach across the CNC machine to do an emergency stop of the machine.

The Saw Stops here

I have never been happy with the switch configuration on my table saw. I was always fumbling around trying to find the off switch after making a cut on it while trying to make sure my cut pieces didn’t drift back into the blade or fall off of the table.

I finally decided to make a switch paddle so I could easily shut the saw off without fumbling around blindly or taking my eyes off of the blade and materials.

I had seen several prototypes for them on on YouTube but none for the particular Jet saw I have so I had to design my own.

It’s not fancy, well it is made from some scrap Walnut I had, but it is a pretty simple device.

I should have done this a long time ago!

T-Track and miter insert for Router

T-track insert
Almost a year after adding the router insert to my table saw I finally routed out the dado for the combo T-track/Miter Track for my router top.

It’s rather unlikely that I’ll ever use the miter track but the t-track can come in handy on a router table.