Building a cyclone system for my shop vac

Every time I empty my shop vac I have to deal with cleaning out a clogged filter. I've always wanted to try a dust cyclone, but avoided the expense. I decided to try a low-cost cyclone from BangGood.com, which they gave to me for this video. I had some trouble getting my hoses to connect to it, but through some custom 3-D printed connectors, I was able to make it work. To hold the cyclone setup, I built a minimal "trailer" to attach to the shop vac to hold the cyclone. Overall I'm happy with the system and the final result works great.

High Efficiency Cyclone Powder Dust Collector Filter Top: https://goo.gl/wpKkir

More Budget Home Appliances: https://goo.gl/fsu3m4

Desktop Laser Engraver Repair and Upgrade

Several months ago I ordered a small laser engraver from an online auction for a project, and it died after a short time. When BangGood.com gave me the chance to pick out some free merchandise, I jumped at the chance to try some of their laser components. Thanks to some new parts I was able to get this machine working again. I also got out in the shop to make some new acrylic mounting plates, and designed and 3D-printed a new add-on for the laser.

Products used:

EleksMaker® LA03-2500 445nm 2500mW Blue Laser Module -- https://goo.gl/JM9DZg (10% off coupon: EleksMaker)

EleksMaker® Blue-violet Laser Goggles -- https://goo.gl/AMZruJ (15% off coupon: Suleve)

EleksMaker® ManaSE 2 Axis Stepper Motor Driver Controller Board -- https://goo.gl/ZTddQU (10% off coupon: EleksMaker)

More Budget Laser Equipment -- https://goo.gl/cAu5nt

Harbor Freight Belt Sander to Shop Vac Dust Port Adapter

My Harbor Freight 3 x 21 belt sander (Chicago Electric, #69859) has served me well, but the dust collection could be improved. I wanted to hook it up to my Shop Vac's 2" hose for a bigger sanding job, so I turned to 3D printing to get the job done. This video takes you from the design process through to a finished working part.

Get the STL file here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2338492
 

Pentagon Pencil Cup in Walnut and Aluminum

Recently I was motivated to get out in the shop by a cup build-off put on by Izzy Swan's Tool Masters Association. There was a prize up for grabs and it was a fun excuse to get out in the shop. I had some rough walnut from craigslist and a desire to play with some interesting geometry, so I got to work on this walnut and aluminum pencil cup.

Overall I like how it turned out. If I were to build another one, I'd get some thicker aluminum, as the scraps I had on hand were pretty thin. Other than that, it was a fun project. Since the aluminum was embedded in the panels, I had to clean the dust off well before finally coating it with spray lacquer.
 

Custom Designed 3D Printed Pens [2017 No Lathe Pen Challenge]

Get the 3D designs here: http://www.thingiverse.com/benbrandt22/designs
Get the pens here: http://amzn.to/2lndAQm

Bill Livolsi over at One Car Workshop challenged the maker community to get creative and try making a pen without a lathe. My original plan failed, so I decided to dive in and spend some time with my new (new to me) 3D printer and see what I could come up with. As you may know, I enjoy designing things in 3D in Fusion 360, so I came up with a couple interesting geometric pen designs, built to fit the ink from a cheap pen.

For more inspiring pen projects, check out the No Lathe Pen Challenge playlist:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Khokap7AP5o&list=PLHoCZ7LR6hNrJHIlhZxW876wEhs9ReQTt

For those of you who are interested in the printing details, these were printed in PLA with 100% infill and a high detail resolution. I didn't use automatic supports because they were generated inside the pen body which would have been too hard to remove. Instead the supports were manually placed around the outside and that was sufficient. The hexagon pen was placed flat-side down and only had supports added to the two ends.