Projects

Vegetable Garden Project – Getting Started

by on May.09, 2012, under Projects

My wife and I will shortly be moving into a new house. This house has nice side section on the side that is fenced off and I think will make a good vegetable garden, so I figured I’d keep a project log.
There are a couple of facts I need to make the reader aware of
1) Here is how this area looks now:

As you can see, it has been pretty neglected and left to run to seed.
2) The closest I have ever been to growing things has involved an animal-shaped pottery and some slimy seeds (http://www.chiapet.com/index.php/original-chia-pet). Since when it comes to growing things I am a complete dummy, it should come as no surprise that I will be using this book:

To guide me along.
My ultimate goal when finished is to have a garden of different types of vegetables (and maybe some fruit here and there) to supplement our groceries, help us eat healthier and make things more convenient than having to run to the store all the time for different items.
The first step (and most likely the hardest) is clearing out this area. Complicating things is that there is no telling what is hidden in the overgrowth, so until I clear the space out I will list the “treasure” I find each day.

DAY 1
TOOLS:
1 Gardening hoe (no jokes!)
1 Garden Fork
Based on the images above, I made the assumption that everything was dirt from the shed to the far fence. However, once I started, this is what I found instead:

Bricks and paving stones!

Bricks and paving stones!

It might be hard to see above, but click the image to see the large size – there are bricks and paving stones covering much that area. So, I will need to pull most of these up before I start planting. I will probably leave a small area for a path and place to put a small table and chair under the awning.
Even with the little surprise, I was able to accomplish what I planned for today – I cleared as much of the overgrowth from the fenced in section as I could and enough on the other side to allow both gates to open and close freely.
GOAL: Clear out fenced in section of overgrowth
Status: Mostly Complete, with a surprise!
Treasure: A 5ft long post hole digger(handles intact and metal in excellent shape), bricks/paving stones, a decomposing Croc, and some empty aluminum cans, vintage indeterminate
OTHER THOUGHTS: I should have brought a large blade straight edged and a curved edge shovel and a couple of shears/loppers of various sizes. Those will be included next time as I go to work on the saplings and brush that has sprung up in and around this section of the garden.

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DIY Home Audio Project – Tube Amp

by on May.04, 2012, under Electronics, Projects

Recently Roy and I set out to build set out to build a better headphone amplifier for our higher end Sennheiser headphones. A headphone amp simply boosts the power to the headphones a bit, this results in better sound on the bigger headphones. The design is built around a know design over at Diy Audio Projects. It is a Class A amplifier with a 12AU7 tube. We ended up puting a spin on the project and added a PCM2704 USB DAC (sound card). Sweet glowing tube action pictures are below.

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Adventures in Rapid Prototyping: Shaving Brush Stand

by on Apr.17, 2012, under Projects, Prusa

I have a badger-hair shaving brush that I’d like to keep for a while. I’ve read that the brush will last longer if it’s allowed to hang and dry versus being left sitting in the lather bowl. After looking around for a hanging stand I decided to make my own. My first model took over 6 hours to print at 60mm/sec.

Version 1 of my Badger-hair shaving brush stand

 It turns out I made the model quite a bit larger than necessary. After placing the brush and the razor on the stand, all the extra unused space is really evident.

Brush Stand V1 In Use

I decided to see how much time and material I could save on my next model so I tried to use circles and ellipses to minimize the printed area while still leaving enough structure. The new model has a hanger for the razor and a slot with drain holes for the extra razor blades.

Shaving Stand Version 2

This model printed much faster, it only took around two and a half hours at 60mm/sec.

Brush Stand V2

The stand works well enough, but I’m not happy with how tall and light it is, it’s too easy to knock over early in the morning.

Brush Stand V2 In Use

For the next iteration, I’m going to flare out the base a bit to prevent tipping and may increase the amount of material towards the bottom of the model. The blade storage slot needs to be deeper as well.

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Adventures in Rapid Prototyping: Banner Stand

by on Apr.17, 2012, under Projects, Prusa

We have a banner stand that is starting to fail at work. The plastic collar is starting to crack. Rather than simply replacing the whole stand, I figured I could make a quick replacement clamp. 10 minutes later thanks to TinkerCAD we have our replacement part model.

3D model for the replacement clamp

Once the stand was disassembled, I  switched out and replaced the collar. It’s a bit brighter than the stock part, but the stand is repaired!

Replacement rod clamp for collapsible banner stand

Once I saw how easy it was to create models in TinkerCad, I decided to get caught up with some of our other needs. This is a replacement clip for a hanging banner.

TinkerCad render of the replacement banner clip model

The original clip slides into a channel, the replacement slid right in!

Replacement clip for a hanging banner

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Mid-South Makers’ First Annual 24 hour Make-In

by on Mar.02, 2012, under Events, Meetings, Projects, Workshops

Mid-South Makers’ First Annual 24 hour Make-In

The Make-In will be 24 hours of concentrated space-based making from 12 noon on Saturday, March 17 until 12 noon on Sunday March 18.

  • Start and/or finish the projects you’ve been putting off.
  • Inspire, and be inspired by, other makers’ projects and progress.
  • Stay 24 hours, or drop by as you can.
  • Use the space as a maker with other makers.
  • All members are invited.

More info on our wiki

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Random Quote

A pessimist says the glass is half empty, a optimist says the glass is half full, and an engineer says the glass is two times too big. — anonymous