Magnetic Storage for Dowel Centers

I recently bought a couple sets of dowel centers for use in some woodworking projects with dowel joinery. While they work great, I don't have a nice way to store them until now. In this video I walk through the 3D design/modeling process of my storage solution for these dowel centers, using Fusion 360. The main body of the holder is 3D printed, with a series of magnets to hold them in place when not in use.

Overall I'm happy with the end product, though if I were to make it again I might make it bigger and thus easier to hold, and I would add labels for the sizes as well.

The dowel centers I used: http://amzn.to/2hLTUT6

Yard dice with inlaid wood

For Christmas 2017's batch of homemade gifts, we set out to make "Yardzee" sets of big yard dice for our extended family. Rather than settle for dice with painted-on or burned-in dots, I wanted to try inlaid wood for the dots. It was a lot of work, but I really like the result. This was also an interesting exercise in making things in large batches.

The white dice were made from a 4x4 post of untreated pine with walnut dots cut from a dowel. The "red" dice came from some old posts I had replaced on my kids' backyard playground. The bottom ends of the posts had rotted away, but I saved the rest and reclaimed it for this project. My best guess is that they're redwood. The white dots came from birch dowels.

Center Finder using a Dowel Center

I've been working on a larger project that requires some dowel joinery, so I picked up some dowel centers. I also needed a center finder to mark the middle of the edge of a board. Why not use the dowel center to make the mark? In this video I design a 3D printed center finder that uses a dowel center to mark the wood.

The center finder was designed to fit the 1/4" dowel centers from this set: http://amzn.to/2hLTUT6

If you'd like to print your own, the 3D model can be found here: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2667068

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.