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Thread: Adventures in DIY

  1. #1171
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
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    Latest project: an end table for the living room. But not just an end table - this one will have an ultra-quiet fan in the bottom section drawing air through a high efficiency filter in the front and exhausting though a dust collection hose to the other side of the room. I'm trying to help the allergy situation in our house.

    I've built one of these years ago using a similar quiet bathroom exhaust fan and a 12" x 24" x 1" filter. That one is a stand-alone box that I move around as required. After years of operating sometimes weeks on end continuously, the fan still is as quiet as when it was new. Moves a lot of air, too. This new one inside the end table will incorporate a 12" x 12" x 1" filter. Pics when I have something to photograph. I'm making it out of white oak and will be using press-on oak veneer for the side panels. Never used veneer before so we'll see how that goes.

  2. #1172
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    Dec 2007
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    I hate it when I mess up measurements. I'm getting better at 'measure twice, cut once' but I still make mistakes. This time, it wasn't misreading a tape measure or the like; it was failing to account for end pieces of a side panel.

    For my end table project, I'd already made the top using the best piece of white oak I had. It looks nice and it's flat because the raw board was really straight. It also sets the dimensions for the cabinet below. Note that I'm not following a formal plan but rather winging it. Next I made the four end posts. So the side panels need to be just wide enough to allow a bit of top overhang. Except, as I said, I forgot to account for those posts. So the panels are two or three inches too wide and I can't cut them down, at least not enough. Arghh.

    Because the panels were much more labor intensive than the top - and because I would have to buy more white oak veneer to redo them - I'll make a new top. I have enough wood but instead of joining two wide pieces on end, I'll have to join three narrower pieces. The wood grain pattern won't be as nice and it won't sit exactly flat. I can use the old top for a future project, I suppose. Maybe I'll make another air filtration unit and give it away or something.

    Anyway, here's the two side panels. The veneering was super easy. I pre-applied a couple of coats of wipe-on poly, which is why the panel inserts look a bit darker.

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  3. #1173
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    I'm still working on the end table air filtration unit. Had a bit of a delay as it was pressed into service to help with the very unhealthy air from the nearby wildfires.

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  4. #1174
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    Sep 2004
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    I've recently changed jobs. Well, in fact I quit my job and now try to make a living for myself. Without going into details, I'm building robotic inspection tools. In my shed. So I'm nose deep into DIY adventures. I still use the same tiny workshop I've had for hobby use before. I learn a new skill every day as I have to do everything myself. The mechanical design, electronics design, soldering, programming, 3D drawing and printing, metal work (lathe, mill, advanced drill press...), wood work, vinyl plotting...heck I've done some heat forming and other exotic stuff. The end results on average look like contraptions rather than commercial products, but they work. And what I offer is the inspection service, not the tools as a product. So they only need to be functional for myself.

    If it ends up making enough money it's a great change in my life. I work a lot from home, no boss, I get to work with my hands, I stand and walk a lot more than before...The difference between work and hobby has become small, as has the difference between weekdays and weekends (in a good way). Due to the nature of the inspection tools I offer, I also get a lot of outdoors adventures on inaccessible urban or nature locations.

    This week I've been pestered by a very hard to trace problem that turned out to be a switching power supply interfering with an ethernet connection to the point where no data was coming through. Took me days to identify but now my new contraption works and will open up more possibilities for my services.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  5. #1175
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
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    19,241
    It sounds fascinating, a little like some of the mixed software/hardware troubleshooting I did years ago. I hope it works out well for you.

    "The problem with quotes on the Internet is that it is hard to verify their authenticity." ó Abraham Lincoln

    I say there is an invisible elf in my backyard. How do you prove that I am wrong?

    The Leif Ericson Cruiser

  6. #1176
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    Feb 2003
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    Depew, NY
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    It's not much of a project, but I need to take the A/C out of the windows and take down the hot tub for the year. It's more like drudgery.
    Solfe

  7. #1177
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    Jun 2004
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    The Great NorthWet
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    My projects for the (Northern Hemisphere) summer were to transform the old garage into storage and workshop space. Get rid of the rented storage unit! Make a place to build catapults and such!

    Net progress: Nil.

    Oh, well.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  8. #1178
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    Sep 2004
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    I've repaired a coocoo clock. And I still need to winterproof the pool hardware. Don't want to.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

  9. #1179
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    British Columbia
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    Finally made some progress. Hard to believe that I started this in December 2018. But sometimes months have passed between any attempts to work on it.



    I have a new appreciation for the work of people who build model ships complete with rigging.

    The propeller will spin! The bearing is made of maple and the shaft is mahogany.

    Remaining steps are to shape and attach the water rudders, apply a clear spray-on finish, and attach the propeller.

    I'd thought of displaying it on a stand, in a climbing turn attitude, but I'm now leaning towards just letting it sit on a shelf on its floats. That displays it as if taking off, and makes it more interesting to pick up and examine all my mistakes.

    I also recently refinished the oak dining table, something I'd been avoiding for about ten years.
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  10. #1180
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Finally made some progress. Hard to believe that I started this in December 2018. But sometimes months have passed between any attempts to work on it.
    Nice work. I'm the same way - it often takes years to complete a project. My chest of drawers took nine years. But I'm thinking I can have the model ship I'm building done sometime around EOP*.

    * End of pandemic

  11. #1181
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    Jun 2004
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    Nice work. I'm the same way - it often takes years to complete a project. My chest of drawers took nine years. But I'm thinking I can have the model ship I'm building done sometime around EOP*.

    * End of pandemic
    The pandemic has had the really stupid result of demotivating me to actually DO anything while I have time on my hands.
    I don't think I'm the only one.
    Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

  12. #1182
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    Oct 2001
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    British Columbia
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    You aren't the only one, Treb. For the last six months, every time I've thought of doing something constructive around the house, I've found an excuse to put it off to the autumn or winter, or next summer. I did draw up plans for a woodshed a friend wanted to build, thinking that would helpful, but despite liking the plan, he couldn't bring himself to part with the cash, especially now that the cost of building materials has gone through the roof.

    I think I've found my motivation again with the changing weather, completion of this model, and a desire to complete some of my home furnishings plans. I'll be looking for some more birch for the bow table I've been imagining for a hallway in this house, ever since Brett built that one a few years ago and shared his plans.

    When the light improves here, I'll take pictures of the completed model and post.

  13. #1183
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    Oct 2001
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    British Columbia
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    Many coats of finish later, the basswood model feels bulletproof, and is now sitting on a shelf in one of the oak bookcases in my office.





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  14. #1184
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Many coats of finish later, the basswood model feels bulletproof, and is now sitting on a shelf in one of the oak bookcases in my office.
    Very nicely done, but I wouldn't recommend shooting it.

  15. #1185
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    That's beautiful!
    Solfe

  16. #1186
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    Thanks for the kind comments. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, though of course I am familiar with every mistake I made along the way...

  17. #1187
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Thanks for the kind comments. I'm really pleased with how it turned out, though of course I am familiar with every mistake I made along the way...
    Well, when it comes to art, no knows what mistakes you made along the way.
    Solfe

  18. #1188
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    Dec 2007
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    Bend, Oregon
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    I've finished my air filtration unit/end table. Turned out OK, especially given it was a ground-up design of my own. I made some mistakes along the way. The unit is a roll-around piece so I popped some casters on it after these photos. White oak with a Broan super quiet bathroom exhaust fan inside. A 12" x 12" filter sits on top of the fan. The suction (and gravity) is enough to keep the filter sealed against the fan body. Air exhausts out a 4" port in the back; I'll attach a duct collection hose and run it behind the sofa to the other side of the room. Although I made this to help out with allergens in our living room, the unit has already been used mid-construction to help with Oregon's recent bout of extremely unhealthy air from wildfires.


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    Looking for a new project ...

  19. #1189
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    Nice! I imagine the exit port continues in that round format because of the design of the Broan unit inside. Is the airflow so high that you need to direct it elsewhere via a hose?
    That combined switch and plug will make moving it around with a lamp on it much simpler.

  20. #1190
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    Dec 2007
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torsten View Post
    Nice! I imagine the exit port continues in that round format because of the design of the Broan unit inside. Is the airflow so high that you need to direct it elsewhere via a hose?
    That combined switch and plug will make moving it around with a lamp on it much simpler.
    The fan actually has a rectangular outlet. I fashioned a small box around it an attached another 4" duct port to the box with a short hose running to the side of the cabinet. The air flow is significant but super high. As with my previous unit, I like to discharge the air on the other side of the room to promote better circulation and filtration efficiency. Otherwise the unit might have a tendency to filter the same air over and over.

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  21. #1191
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    Feb 2003
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    Depew, NY
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    I'm going to brag for my brother-in-law. The one I like and the one who is still married. He built his sons a pair of beautiful computers. The wiring is incredible, the fan lights up to illuminate the inside, the knockouts have screws so you don't literal "knock them out". He custom painted the cases to match the color of fan lights, so it has this unearthly glow about it. It has a crazy amount of RAM and each stick has it's own little case with a handle. I've never seen that before. Each component has a color coded wire so you don't have to tug and guess. Even the USB ports are wired like that.

    Anyway, he has two sons, so he has two matching computers. He won a 4k monitor and needed a new graphics card. Somehow, he couldn't get the graphics card installed after all of that work and brought the computer to me. "It's the motherboard... I know it!"

    I took a look at it and could not get the driver installed. I threw in a thumb drive with Linux to see if it could detect the card. Nope. I connected it to the TV and it work fine, which was confusing because the system wouldn't detect the card. I popped the case and discovered there is no graphics card inside the machine. As me and my boys marveled at the interior, my brother-in-law showed up to get the machine. He had put the card in the other machine and while he was out, his boys installed the driver, connected it to the new monitor and were playing Minecraft of all things. Minecraft! With a 4K monitor!

    I've been chuckling about that all week. That like misplacing a tool or the car keys while having "a moment." Except, wildly more complicated.
    Solfe

  22. #1192
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    Dec 2007
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    I bought a propane tank for the first time in my life - and I'm midway through my seventh decade. It's for a small firepit we also recently acquired. So, of course, we needed a small table to hide the tank and I needed a new woodworking project. Made of cedar and I left the wood completely unfinished. Two are planned.

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  23. #1193
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    Feb 2003
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    Nice! I love those long straight lines of wood on the sides. Simple, but pleasing.

    I can't even do simple woodcraft, at least not to human scale. Models are more my thing.
    Solfe

  24. #1194
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    Sep 2004
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    I bought some old H0 scale model trains in a thrift shop. Both DC and AC. I already have a lot of DC trains, the AC were collateral damage. I'm currently getting all of them back to running order. then I'll try to swap the AC and the "steam era" DC for industrial era DC which is more my thing.

    Those AC trains are interesting, with the relay to switch direction. DC is far more simple in that respect. Anyway, all but 1 AC train are running again. I'm not talking about a full restoration, just running and pulling alright. I'll do the full restoratin only on the locs I'll keep.
    With sufficient thrust, water towers fly just fine.

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