Tuesday, 25 August 2015

So Many Apples

What can you do with them? Well, in addition to drying them, and making apple pie, you can have a go at apple cake...

It's not too bad either. Four apples have gone into this cake, which was made in a pretty big cake tin, so ended up quite thin.

The recipe turns out to be pretty easy too, just equal quantities of butter, flour, eggs and sugar. Beat butter and sugar together, add eggs and then flour and cook for an hour (or 90mins as I did, too long) at 180C.

Money Pig

Inside every five pound note is an animal, struggling to get out.

Mendel Problems

The problems with the 3D printer continue. After yet another overheating problem the filament just won't come out of the hot end properly. I've ordered some replacement hot end parts so will try that. I'll then examine the ones that don't work very well.
Maybe it's old damp filament?

Thicknesser Accessory Box

I bought a thicknesser recently to help with the chair project. When you buy these tools you always get a set of bits and tools and so on, which I tend to put somewhere and lose. In the spirit of my new 'everything in its place' and a place for everything' idea, I decided to quickly make a box for these bits.

The base is a pine plank with recesses routed out for each of the biuts that come with the thicknesser.
A plywood lid holds everything in place when it is closed.

I now need to add a catch to the lid and have some on order. Fixing them to the plywood can be tricky, though.

Friday, 21 August 2015

Mendel 3D Printer Problems

My Mendel 3D printer has been working fine for a while, apart from an over temperature moment when a thermistor went open circuit. Recently, though, I've wondered if the platform stepper belt was a bit loose. As things were still being printed I didn't worry too much. The printer is in a box that has filament reel holders and so didn't flex too much when I moved it about. Now I have a new workshop and a dedicated place for the printer to live, I moved it to it's new home. I haven't had time to start it up recently, but yesterday I decided to run it up and install the software on a new control PC. After powering on I popped to the other workshop room for something and when I came back noticed that there was a 'hot PLA' smell. Not good. Here we go again I thought, thermistor problem. Power off, multimeter out to check the thermistor resistance. The problem was obvious when I started to probe the thermistor screw contacts: the wires to the thermistor had fallen out. Not good. The second wire down in this picture was hanging out:

This meant that the thermistor was open circuit and the control electronics seem to always be performing the PID (even when hot end is off) and with the open circuit it drives to max temperature. Which is quite hot.

I reconnected the thermistor wires and started again. No smell this time.
All started off quite well and I tried printing a badge holder. No luck. Twice I got a mis-alignment of later layers, like this:

Platform stepper belt I thought. Turns out I was right, and I have now found out where the M3 nut I found came from. The stepper belt connection blocks are under the bed and I hadn't noticed that one had fallen off. As the connector block has a tooth that engages with the belt teeth, it looks like it had only jumped a tooth or two. 
After removing the bed and re-tightening the connector blocks it looks like the printing is much better, no misaligned layers yet, and a much tidier print. It's working more like I remember from just after I built it.

Saturday, 8 August 2015

I'm going to have a go at making some more spoons. These are for cooking and being used, rather than decorative. We have some ash and sycamore in the garden that came from a couple of trees we had taken down. 

I cut a length off and then sliced some planks off, all with my Japanese saw:

I cut some more planks for later spoons:

The first planks was spun up on the lathe:

After a lot of chips, and about 40 minutes later or so (I didn't time it), we have a basic outline:

Then, the slow carving of the bowl:

To be continued (two more times)...

Thursday, 6 August 2015

There is a plan to make some dining room chairs and a table. After much research on chairs, a rough design was settled on and I decided to make some models, to firm out the design. I had some plywood that matched the sizes required for a 1:3 model and made one to the first design.

Plywood was difficult to work with so I changed materials for the second model.

This wasn't quite correct, so work is under way on a second model in MDF, with some alterations.

These will have seats and be stained in the future, so we can get an idea of what colours would be good for the full size chairs.