February 16, 2020 Shop Log

Measuring for kerf

I realized that I was accounting for the kerf of the laser cutter, or the amount of material removed during the cut. While the laser cutter removes little material during cutting, nevertheless, it still removes some, enough to affect the tightness of joints. How I measure the kerf is draw a 100mm by 100mm square in Lightburn and then cut it out of the material I am working with. The kerf will be different for different materials.Then after the cut measure the dimensions of the cut square with calipers. The square will be slightly smaller than the 100mm drawn. The difference is the kerf. In this case, the kerf for 5mm thick plywood is 0.26 mm.

February 14, 2020 Shop Log

Designing with the iPad

A snow storm hit yesterday, dumping over a foot of snow and some across the area. I grabbed my iPad and Apple Pencil and started designing an andon lantern frame, using Shapr3D. My idea is to create a standard frame with the ability to easily install and swap out custom panels..

First Rendition

Using some scrap plywood, I cut out my first rendition of my idea. On the laser cutter. While on the right path, I still had issues to solve, such as how to easily secure the bottom and top pieces to the upright (hence the use of rubber bands to keep the frame together). I also wanted the two pieces that made up the corner uprights to be better aligned with one another.

Mistakes were made.

I thought I would integrate finger joints along the vertical corner of the uprights to provide be alignment of the corner, but I learned during the prototyping process that I designed the joint incorrectly.


At the top and bottom of the frame, I created panels with holes to accommodate the angled uprights, which locked the uprights in position. Solid side panels would also add support to the frame. Progress was being made, but there was still more tweaks that needed to be made.

I figured out where I went wrong with my upright finger joints and made the necessary correction. I also added small corner caps to provide some symmetry to the corner overhangs.

February 10, 2021 Shop Log

The latest few days I have been working on designing a LEGO minifig display, and here is my first attempt

One of my biggest misgiving about this first attempt is how I oriented the LEGO brick I used to hold the minifig on the display. I positioned the 4×4 brick so that the minifig would be attached to the brick at the back of the legs rather that from the bottom of the feet. The issue is that this doesn’t allow the minifig to stand straight up, but is bent slightly forward. Back to the drawing board…

Rather than orientating the mounting LEGO brick vertically, I needed to orientate it horizontally. However, the 1/2” MDF board was not going to provide enough depth. To get more depth, I made the display out of two 1/2” MDF patterns and glued them together. I also created a paper backing (think of it as wallpaper) for each minifig space, because of the difficulty to sand and paint the inside of each space.

January 8, 2021 Shop Log

I have had this drill bit set for the last couple of years, and getting bits out of the index has been a royal pain in the ass. The bits held tight, making me grab a pair of pliers in order to get one out with scraping my knuckles. Then I read an interesting hack. Using the 9/32” bit, ream out the bit holes in the index. Works perfectly. I can now easily remove a bit from the index without struggling.

January 3, 2020 Shop Log

I reused the wheel base for the dust collector, which I no longer needed since I mounted it to the wall. I added sides to the base to create a rolling bin that fits perfectly underneath the RTJ-1390I Laser Cutter. I will use it to store scrap material for the laser cutter.

Sindhu Kuhle and Patty Barrett came over to finish their quote signs this morning. Today they applied finishing wax to their signs. They went from their ideas laid out on Easel to a physical sign in two classes. They seemed pleased with the end results.

I started cutting out the fly rod rack from the Oregon white oak boards on the X-Carve CNC Router

I ran a practice burn on a scrap piece of the oak. I think I want to engrave a Norman Maclean quote along the belly of the top trout.