Posts Tagged Sherline

More Tommy Bar Handles

Having used a nail for far too long, this is a definite step up for my machinist vises:

Tommy Bar - machinist vise

Tommy Bar – machinist vise

The vise knob has a hole just barely passing a length of 3.4 mm = 9/64 inch mild steel rod from the Small Box o’ Cutoffs.

While I was at it, I made a handle for the parallel jaw clamps:

Tommy Bar - parallel jaw clamp

Tommy Bar – parallel jaw clamp

Those knobs pass a 3.0 mm = 1/8 inch rod, similarly sourced. Inexplicably, one clamp expected no more than a 7/64 inch rod; a brief introduction to Mr Drill Press persuaded it concerning the error of its ways.

I should have made the handles distinctively different, because they’ll get mixed up in the box of vises & clamps. Next time, fer shure!

The Tommy Bar handles use the same solid model as the Sherline Tommy Bars, with hole diameters as noted. Cyan PETG is definitely easier on the eye than red PLA, although it does fade into the background clutter around here.


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Vacuum Tube Lights: Duodecar Rebuild

You’ll recall the LED atop the 21HB5A tube failed, shortly after replacing the bottom LED and rewiring the ersatz plate lead, which led me to rebuild the whole thing with SK6812 RGBW LEDs. So I printed all the plastic parts again, because the duodecar tube socket’s pin circle can fit into a hard drive platter’s unmodified 25 mm hole, then drilled another platter to suit:

Duodecar disk drilling

Duodecar disk drilling

The hole under the drill fits the 3.5 mm stereo socket for the ersatz plate lead, so it’s bigger than before.

I’ve switched from Arduino Pro Minis with a separate USB converter to Arduino Nanos with an on-board CH340 USB chip, because the fake FTDI chips on the converters are a continuing aggravation:

21HB5A base - interior

21HB5A base – interior

Adding those wire slots to the sockets definitely helps tidy things up; the wires no longer need a crude cable tie anchoring them to the socket mounting screws.

I wanted to drive the LEDs from the A7 pin, rather than the A3 pin I’d been using on the Pro Minis, to keep the wires closer together, but it turns out that A6 and A7 can’t become digital output pins. So I used A5, although I may come to regret the backward incompatibility.

In any event, the 21HB5A tube looks spiffy with its new LEDs in full effect:

21HB5A with RBGBW LEDs - cyan violet phase

21HB5A with RBGBW LEDs – cyan violet phase

I dialed the white LED PWM down to 32, making the colors somewhat pastel, rather than washed-out.

The Arduino source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Check Your Zero

A recent OpenSCAD mailing list discussion started with an observation that the dimensions of printed parts were wildly different from the numeric values used in the OpenSCAD program that created the STL. Various folks suggested possible errors, examined the source and STL files to no avail, and were generally baffled.

Finally, a photo conclusively demonstrating the problem arrived:

Caliper - digital vs. analog scale

Caliper – digital vs. analog scale

Note the difference between the digital readout and the analog scale printed on the body.

Turns out it’s his first digital caliper: he simply didn’t realize you must close the jaws and press the ZERO button before making any measurements.

We’ve all been that guy. Right?

FWIW, our Larval Engineer can probably still hear me intoning “Check your zero” every time she picks up a caliper or turns on a multimeter. Perhaps she’ll think fondly of me, some day. [grin]

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Bandsaw Worklight

Having hacked back the end of the USB gooseneck extension, a tweak of the COB LED heatsink mount for my desk lamp produces a smaller version for a 1.8 W LED:

Chip On Board Heatsink Mount - Bandsaw Lamp - solid model

Chip On Board Heatsink Mount – Bandsaw Lamp – solid model

That fits half of a random heatsink, bandsawed just to the far side of the middle fin and milled flat.

Ream out the 5 mm hole with a #8 drill for a snug fit around the gooseneck, jam gooseneck in place, dab epoxy on the corners of the recess, mash the heatsink in place, solder wires to LED, smear epoxy on the aluminum backplate, clamp while curing:

USB Gooseneck - LED assembly

USB Gooseneck – LED assembly

And it looks pretty good, if I do say so myself:

USB Gooseneck - on bandsaw

USB Gooseneck – on bandsaw

The hook-n-loop tape holding the cable to the bandsaw gotta go, but should suffice until I conjure a better mount.

The alert reader may wonder how a 9 V COB LED runs from a 5 V USB cable with nary a trace of a voltage booster to be seen. Well, that’s not really a USB cable any more; I paralleled the red+white and black+green wires for lower resistance, then hacked a 9 VDC power supply into an old USB hub:

Hacked USB hub - PCB mods

Hacked USB hub – PCB mods

I ripped out the upstream USB plug, hotwired the 9 V supply where the 5 V USB wires used to be, soldered jumpers on the downstream sockets to short the outer two pin pairs together, razor-knifed the power leads going into the epoxy-blobbed USB controller, and declared victory:

Hacked USB hub - in use

Hacked USB hub – in use

Admittedly, that “In Use” LED runs a bit brighter now.

I have a few other tools on that bench in need of LED lights; when I build ’em, they can all plug into this hub. No reason to invent new connectors & cables & all that. It may need a power switch.

Turns your stomach, eh?

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:


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Pot Lid Repair

For reasons not relevant here, we (temporarily) have a set of pots with glass lids. One of lids had a remarkable amount of crud between the glass and the trim ring under the knob, which turned out to be corrosion falling off the screw. Trying to remove the screw produced the expected result:

CKC Pot Lid - broken screw in handle

CKC Pot Lid – broken screw in handle

For whatever reason, they used an ordinary, not stainless, steel screw:

CKC Pot Lid - corroded screw

CKC Pot Lid – corroded screw

I figured I could mill the stub flat, drill out the remainder, install a new insert, and be done with it. The knob has a convex surface and, even though this looked stupid, I tried clamping it atop a wood pad:

CKC Pot Lid - precarious clamping

CKC Pot Lid – precarious clamping

Two gentle cutter passes convinced me it was, in fact, a lethally stupid setup.

Soooo, I poured some ShapeLock pellets into a defunct (and very small) loaf pan, melted them in near-boiling water, and pressed the knob into the middle, atop some stretchy film to prevent gluing the knob in place:

CKC Pot Lid - ShapeLock bedding

CKC Pot Lid – ShapeLock bedding

That’s eyeballometrically level, which is good enough, and the knob sits mechanically locked into the room-temperature plastic slab. Clamping everything down again makes for a much more secure operation:

CKC Pot Lid - clamped ShapeLock fixture

CKC Pot Lid – clamped ShapeLock fixture

A few minutes of manual milling exposes the original brass insert molded into the knob, with the steel screw firmly corroded in the middle:

CKC Pot Lid - screw stub milled flat

CKC Pot Lid – screw stub milled flat

Center-drill, drill small-medium-large, and eventually the entire insert vanishes in  a maelstrom of chips and dust:

CKC Pot Lid - OEM insert removed

CKC Pot Lid – OEM insert removed

Run a 10-32 stud into an insert, grab in drill chuck, dab JB Kwik around the knurls, press in place while everything’s still aligned in the Sherline, pause for curing, re-melt the ShapeLock, and the insert looks like it grew there:

CKC Pot Lid - new insert installed

CKC Pot Lid – new insert installed

Wonder to tell, a 1 inch 10-32 screw fit perfectly through the pot lid into the knob, with a dab of low-strength Loctite securing it. Reassemble everything in reverse order, and it’s all good:

CKC Pot Lid - repaired knob

CKC Pot Lid – repaired knob

Well, apart from those cracks. I decided I will not borrow trouble from the future: we’ll let those problems surface on their own and, if I’m still in the loop, I can fix them.


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TCRT5000 Proximity Sensor Mount

Having a few TCRT5000 proximity sensors lying around, I used one for the Color Mixer so folks could just wave a finger to flip the LED colors, rather than pound relentlessly on the top plate:

Color mixer - controls

Color mixer – controls

The stem fits into a slot made with a 3/8 inch end mill:

Prox Sensor Bezel - Slic3r preview

Prox Sensor Bezel – Slic3r preview

You move the cutter by the length of the sensor (10.0 mm will work) to make the slot. In practical terms, drill a hole at the midpoint, insert the cutter, then move ±5.0 mm from the center:

Prox sensor panel cut

Prox sensor panel cut

A bead of epoxy around the stem on the bottom of the panel should hold it in place forevermore.

The rectangular inner hole came out a tight push fit for the TCRT5000 sensor, so I didn’t bother gluing it in place and, surprisingly, it survived the day unscathed!

The OpenSCAD source code as a GitHub Gist:

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Vacuum Tube LEDs: 6H6GT Dual Diode

Having accumulated a set of octal tube base clamps, it’s now a matter of selecting the proper clamp for each tube:

Octal tube base V-block clamps

Octal tube base V-block clamps

The process of shell-drilling the tube base, drilling the hard drive platter, printing a tube socket and case, wiring up the Arduino and base LED, then assembling the whole thing requires a bit of manual labor, assisted by some moderately exotic shop machinery.

The getter flash atop this small 6H6GT dual diode tube rules out a cap and there’s not enough space for a side light:

6H6GT - on platter

6H6GT – on platter

Fortunately, the base LED completely lights the internal glass:

6H6GT - purple phase

6H6GT – purple phase

The slowly changing color would make a fine night light:

6H6GT - cyan phase

6H6GT – cyan phase

It must be Art!

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