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Upcycled Workshop Stove Experiment – Five Years On

Posted: December 7th, 2017, by Bongo

It was time to do a bit of maintenance on the shop stove, so I thought, why not make something of an assessment video. It was always very experimental after all, and its been a while since the last Stove update. If your interested in making a wood burning stove, or are ‘fire-nerd’ inclined, get yourself a drink, sit back and enjoy.

Watch the video

Basically the video involves checking …Continue reading »

Camera Phone Lathe Crocodile

Posted: December 1st, 2017, by Bongo

This is the concluding video of the wall mounted camera phone tripod I made. First impressions are that it works well, but could do with a few tweaks.

Click here to watch the video.

If I was to do over, the most serious change would be to make it somewhat shorter. At the moment it’s a bit longer than necessary and that puts undue leverage on the wall mount (and indeed the mdf wall panel it’s screwed to). This would hopefully reduce flex and therefore unwanted movement at the camera head. Anyway, I have written an instructable about the build process, so if your thinking you might like to make one yourself, or are interested in any other elements of this articulated tripod monster, you can check that out here: Camera Phone Lathe Crocodile.

 

 

Workshop Jazzin’

Posted: November 26th, 2017, by Bongo

There have been a number of things happening recently, that have kept me from doing much on the FE blog. Primary among these has been the building of an epic CNC router. It’s not done yet but well on the way, as you know if you follow along on the FE Facebook page. In other news, I’m tentatively making a commitment to making new videos once a week.

Here’s the latest:

Watch the Camera Phone Lathe Crocodile video

We’ll see how this goes. I still think there is loads to be gained from a detailed written blog post, long and packed with techniques and information. That’s what I have been aiming for in the past, but that all takes a lot of time. So lets jump into the video world a bit more: roll up and subscribe – here’s the link to our channel!

Another recent one is to do   …Continue reading »

Fixing Twist in a Slab

Posted: November 17th, 2017, by Bongo

I published an instructable, with a video, detailing a little-talked of method for removing twist from big wooden slabs or boards. I haven’t seen this anywhere on line, or even in old school woodworking magazines, so I thought I’d share. The instructable goes into a fair bit of detail but the basic gist is to strategically weaken the board and then force it flat. This can be done with either a permanent frame to which it gets fixed; or with temporary clamps, then rout in splines to hold it in the new flattened shape. It’s harder to put in words than to show in pictures, so check it out.

Fixing twisted slabs instrucable

Which scrap aluminium to use for casting?

Posted: January 14th, 2017, by Bongo

Simple answer: whichever you have already or can get for free! With a few caveats:

The kind of scrap you use will affect the properties of your casting. Fluidity when molten and machineability when solid are two that don’t get thought of as often as strength, but can be just as important. Lets take this little lost foam casting (below) as an example.

Lost foam castings

This lost foam casting is one of a pair, that will form wonderfully unusual coffee table feet. Note how the Aluminium has flowed into the cells of the foam and taken its surface appearance. The central square is where the sprue has been cut off with a hacksaw.

Don’t waste lots of time collecting aluminium beer and soda cans – they can work (forgive the pun) but there is a fairly strong consensus among …Continue reading »

Lost Foam Vs Green Sand Casting

Posted: January 6th, 2017, by Bongo

It has been a while since I first melted bits of scrap aluminium and cast them into a shape. I have had some triumphs in my DIY experiments, but also plenty of learning experiences (read fails), so I wanted to share some of the lessons. The two main methods I have tried, are “Lost  Foam” and “Green Sand” casting, and I should say upfront I’m a convert to “lost foam”.  Lets talk about the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The DIY Propane furnace melting some scrap aluminium.

The DIY Propane furnace, lid off, melting some scrap aluminium.

Both methods involve heating up scrap aluminium in a DIY furnace until it melts, which is roughly 660oC,  1220oF. My furnace is made from an old steel …Continue reading »

The Warlock’s Bed

Posted: July 13th, 2015, by Bongo

There are a few things that I haven’t had time to blog about lately (but check out the photos on the facebook page). Here’s one: The Warlock’s Bed. I don’t quite know what genre this fits into – its not really rustic – as it has some fine joinery and involved plenty of careful, precise work, but it certainly isn’t a traditional style furniture piece either. The new owners said it was like a warlock’s bed, so I’ll go with that.

oak bed

A little whirlwind tour of the build process in photos: …Continue reading »

Making a Large 20″ Disc Sander

Posted: April 6th, 2015, by Bongo

Here’s a tool we built that’s been on the to-do list for ages. It all started when we found a discarded floor scrubber/polisher in a skip. It was soaking wet and needed a good dry out, but after that I tested it… and it worked great! Since then the motor has sat in the corner for years waiting to be ‘disk sanderified’. During that time every project I have worked on has ‘required’ a disc sander, and we haven’t had one. Oh the woe.

No more! We have made a disk sander, and published a complete build log on Instructables. http://www.instructables.com/id/BIG-Disk-Sander-Build-Use-and-Tips/

Large Home Made Disc Sander

As far as shop built disc sanders go this one is BIG. It has a 20” disk, which was the largest size of abrasive I could easily get hold of for a sensible price. This makes it more versatile, but also means it needs to be …Continue reading »

DIY Chisel Tip protectors

Posted: September 29th, 2014, by Bongo

There are a few special travelling chisels that don’t stay safe in their case at the workshop, but are stashed in my ‘tool box’ (which is actually an 18v drill case) and come with me everywhere I go. Tired of them banging about against other tools and acquiring small dinks in their finely honed cutting edges, I decided to make some tip protectors for them.

Plastidip and sugru chisel protectors

There is an established method using plastidip (see this Popular Woodworking 2011 article by Christopher Schwarz) and we also thought we would give sugru a try to see how they …Continue reading »