The rear tire of my bike was flat before our morning ride and pumping it up produced a hissing sound with a spray of tube sealant:
We run Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires on the rear of our Tour Easy ‘bents, because otherwise I’d be spending far too many hours repairing flats by the side of the road. Searching the blog for the obvious keywords will produce many examples of what it’s like to ride a bike in Dutchess County NY.
Schwalbe says the tires have 5 mm of “highly elastic special rubber” and claims “Even thumbtacks can’t puncture it.” They use the term “Flat-Less” in the sense of “flat less often”, rather than “not flatting”, which seems disingenuous at best.
Flatting less often may be true, but they obviously haven’t tested against Dutchess County road debris:
It’s not quite 5 mm in the longest dimension, but it was embedded deep enough in the tire tread to cut through the armor belt and nick the Michelin Protek tube:
Of course, the hole is dead-center between the two bumps that are supposed to compress around the puncture while the goo fills and seals the void.
Before taking everything apart, I tried gently inflating the tire and putting the puncture at the bottom to let the sealant fill the hole overnight. In the morning, the tire was once again flat, although the floor wasn’t covered in goo. Pumping the tire up produced another spray of sealant.
It’s likely the Protek tube got me home with a slow leak on the previous day’s ride, but it definitely didn’t solve the problem and, frankly, I’ve had ordinary tubes do the same thing. Given the trivial size of the puncture and the complete lack of permanent self-repair, I don’t know what kind of damage it’s supposed to cure.
I’ve already discarded two Protek tubes with slow leaks through the valve stem and no punctures, so they’re definitely not worth the hassle. Michelin no longer lists the tubes on their bike tire site, so it seems they agree.
I made up a boot by punching a 5 mm polypropylene disk, sticking it to a small tire patch, then sticking the patch over the puncture on the tire. With a bit of luck, nothing will line up with the gash and punch through the boot.
I recently replaced all four tires on the Forester, slightly ahead of schedule for reasons not relevant here, and it’s worth noting that a Marathon Plus tire costs about a third of what I paid for a car tire; they’re not to be discarded lightly.
It turns out that the outer diameter of CD platters isn’t quite as perfectly controlled as you (well, I) might imagine, although the differences between CDs from different sources amounts to perhaps ±0.1 mm. Of course, instantly after putting the tape-down fixture into use, the next few discs atop my stack of scrap CDs were just large enough to not quite fit.
The Sherline’s workspace can’t maneuver the holder’s perimeter around the spindle, so embiggening the OD calls for the rotary table. The general idea is to clamp the center of the fixture to the rotary table, run a small end mill about 0.1 mm into the fixture’s OD, spin the table one revolution, and be done with it.
Of course, the rotary table’s 3/8-16 threaded center hole doesn’t match the fixture’s 6 mm center hole: we need an adapter. Start with a 1 inch long 3/8-16 stainless steel hex bolt, center drill the end, peel off the hex head, then turn to 6 mm OD, going down far enough so the threads don’t stick up out of the table too much:
The Sherline uses 10-32 screws, so poke a #16 drill 15 mm into the bolt to get maybe 25% thread depth (because it’s a blind hole into stainless steel for an application requiring minimal strength and I hate breaking taps), tap 10-32, clean out the hole, and call it All Good:
Find the trim plate from an old faucet to reach around the central boss, stack up enough flat washers to meet the nut, snug a Sherline spherical nut + washer set (because it’s within reach), chuck up a 1/8 inch mill, and have at it:
The fixture sits atop an aluminum plate cut to fit a smaller version of the table riser, but this requires zero fancy alignment. The 6 mm adapter centers the fixture on the rotary table and the cutter sits at a fixed radius from the center wherever it contacts the fixture rim; just spin the table and it cuts a neatly centered circle.
A test fit showed the oversize discs fit perfectly:
Which looks exactly as you think it would in real life:
Admittedly, masking tape doesn’t look professional, but it’s low-profile, cheap and works perfectly. Blue painter’s tape for the “permanent” hold-down strips on the platform would be a colorful upgrade.
It’s centered on the platform at the XY=0 origin in the middle of the XY travel limits, with edges aligned parallel to the axes. Homing the 3018 and moving to XY=0 puts the tool point directly over the center of the CD without any fussy alignment.
The blue-and-red rings around the center hole assist probe camera alignment, whenever that’s necessary.
The DRV8825 stepper driver chip has a -Home output going active during the (micro)step corresponding to 45°, where both winding currents equal 71% of the peak value:
Unfortunately, pin 27 is another unconnected pin on the DRV8825 PCB, without even a hint of a pad for E-Z soldering.
It’s also an open-drain output in need of a pullup, so I globbed on a 1/8 W 10 kΩ resistor in addition to the tiny wire from the IC pad to the left header pin:
Read it from the right: brown black black red gold. Even in person, the colors don’t look like that, not even a little bit: always measure before installation!
The right header pin is firmly soldered to the PCB ground pin I also used for the 1:8 microstep hack. The whole affair received a generous layer of hot melt glue in the hope of some mechanical stabilization, although hanging a scope probe off those pins can’t possibly end well.
The general idea is to provide a scope sync output independent of the motor speed, so I can look at the current waveforms:
The alert reader will note the pulse occurs on the down-going side of the waveforms, which means I have the current probes clipped on backwards or, equivalently, on the wrong wire. The point is to get a stable sync, so it’s all good no matter which way the current goes.
The lip around the bottom part rests atop the tool clamp, with the spring reaction plate sized to clear the notch in the Z-axis stage.
The solid model looks about like you’d expect:
The New Thing compared to the MPCNC holder is wrapping LM6UU bearings around an actual 6 mm shaft, instead of using LM3UU bearings for the crappy diamond bit shank:
I cut the shank in two pieces, epoxied them into 3 mm holes drilled into the 6 mm shaft, then epoxied the knurled stop ring on the end. The ring is curing in the bench block to stay perpendicular to the 6 mm shaft.
The spring constant is 55 g/mm and it’s now set for 125 g preload:
A quick test says all the parts have begun flying in formation: