Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Homemade Lightbulb

I made a lightbulb out of the base from a dead CFL and a neon indicator. It is a large version of this Neon Indicator Lamp I saw on eBay.

Float Switch

Now that it is air conditioning season once again, I decided to set up my condensate system. I used a tub and a pump. Last year, I had a manual system. Every time the tub was full, I had to plug in the pump, run to the tub, and watch to see if the tub was empty. Then, when it was empty, I had to run back to unplug it. This year, I've added a float switch so that the pump turns on automatically when the bucket is full and off when it is empty. I got this float switch from Amazon.com. This switch contains a stainless steel ball and a Honeywell microswitch. It is rated at 13 amps at 120 volts AC. The color of the switch could make it dangerous because it looks like a toy and a little kid might fall into the tub trying to reach it. The bricks are to support the switch and contain any spray where the pump connects to the hose. They also manage the excess pump cord. This system is designed to refill my pond by reclaiming condensate from the air conditioner. This should keep my fish alive when it gets to be very hot in the summer.  
plug stack

Here is a link to the website of the company that made the switch:

Amazon link

Picture of switch and mounting hardware.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Austin Maker Faire 2016 and Mom's Fractals

Griffin really likes Maker Faires, whether they are large or small. He attended the San Antonio Mini Maker Faire on March 26th. He has had a booth at several Austin Maker Faires starting in 2008, including one last year. But this year, it's Mom's turn to pick the project. Mom decided to do a presentation on fractal art. Griffin is a member of a Fractal Fun Challenge group on Facebook, along with his mom and grandmother. Although he enjoys making fractal movies, animated gifs and 3D prints with Mom, he'd really rather play Minecraft instead.

Here's a link to Mom's blog with more info on her fractal art: tcolello.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Spray Light

After the success of my drill light, I decided to make another one. I had purchased a paint sprayer from Goodwill that didn't work. I was able to turn the electrical components and case into a light similar to the drill light, except with a switch and a shorter cord. In this picture I used a 75 watt light bulb, but it can handle 85 watts.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Melted Plastic Art

Today I did more melting of random stuff. Last year, I made a video of melting a turkey timer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwXu0Ougwsc. By far, my favorite thing to melt is unrinsed yogurt containers. I think the pattern of the burnt yogurt residue is interesting, but Mom thinks it's gross. This one folded back on itself as it melted and the label curled up and fell away.

I melted a plastic cup. It looks more like a flower because I cracked it first. The cup and yogurt container were done at about 350 degrees F (about 177 C).
Another one I did a few months ago was from a battery backup front panel and today I turned it into a refrigerator magnet.
I also tried melting leftover PLA plastic from a failed 3D print. It stuck to the foil. I tried to saw it in half but it kept binding the saw.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Minecraft Pulse Generator

I built this pulse generator to run some stuff- harvesters and my repeater-chaser with a chicken in a minecart design. When its input signal is off, its output is off so that the pistons are retracted.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Minecraft Sugarcane Farm

 All of my sugar cane farms run on the same pulse generator I figured out how to make the harvesting system from watching a youtube video. I changed it to have different sizes, from a single cane harvest to a much larger one that I forgot the size of. A piston comes out and chops off the sugar cane that is in its path. The harvested cane goes into the river and then to a hopper and then into a hopper minecart.
medium farm

medium farm 

huge farm

small farm

contaminated with eggs and ink sacks

Spray Painting Water

This is a marbling technique that can be used to create scenes that look like water. For this project I used all the cans of spray paint I had available in my shop. I wanted the largest piece of paper that would fit in my tank, so I used a pallet divider from Sams Club.
First I filled a shallow bin with water. Then I spray painted the water and the paint floated on the surface because the solvents are lighter than water. I did this outside on the deck of my shop for better ventilation. Then I dipped the paper white side down into the bin, and the paint stuck to the paper. It took a long time to dry because it was cold and humid that day. The paper curled when it dried because only one side came into direct contact with water. Framing might make it flatter.

Minecraft Storage

Here is a floor that I made mostly from crafting tables. The tops line up and make an interesting design, and it is convenient. Since I play creative mode, resources are unlimited. The center is a hatch for the path to my firework testing room. The back wall has a button panel. Each button is for a separate ingredient. The button sends a signal to the dropper, which dispenses the item to a large chest (not shown in this picture). 

I have a large supply of sugar cane from my 4 sugar cane farms. I connected hopper pipes to the sugar cane and other ingredients that I have a lot of. Each hopper can hold 5 stacks of 64 of most items.
All the images below are the storage rooms.


Friday, November 13, 2015

Dust Collector and Dust Blower

The dust blower that was built in to the scroll saw did not remove much dust. I used my airbrush compressor and assorted irrigation tubing and a bolt to improve it with an external pump. The power box I built to turn on my dust collector and scroll saw needed to be expanded so I plugged in a three outlet splitter. I plugged the dust collector directly into the outlet since it uses more power. All three devices do have their own switches, but this way I can turn them all on at the same time and I don't forget to use the dust collector.

Side of saw with wiring compartment. Loose tube is for blowing dust out of the inside of the saw if it accumulates any dust.

Dust bin, shop vac, blower pump.

Front view of saw.

Using the light mounting hole to run tubing through and secure the connection. To use the tubing to blow dust out, I disconnect the white tube from the black tube and then connect it to the loose tube. 

Dual outlet switch box.
Scroll saw - shop vac - dust blower