Cleaner Air

I’ve been soldering more things, and with soldering comes fumes that you don’t want to breathe in.

So, after a couple of hours in CAD, sixty hours of printing, 3.75kWh of electricity, and a few minutes of assembly, I have this beast.

Inside is a 140mm fan, so it’s nice and quiet, and 130mm replacement charcoal filters for a commercially available fume extractor. The filters friction fit in front of the fan, so it’s easily changeable. I have a 12V wall wart power supply and a switch on the back.

I’ve got a project in the works for my side hustle, with the parts coming this weekend, so this is just in time.


Model on Thingiverse

An update on a bad print

Previously I posted the corner clip. After that post, I went at it with a knife. Unfortunately, it ended up splitting along a layer line. But actually, it was fortunate. I was able to clean up the spinning insert, and using some CA glue, fix where I split the layers. I used it in building the frame for the enclosure and it worked perfectly.

Continual improvement.

Take a picture of a thing being made

There are downsides of having a 3D Printer on the workbench in a “woodshop.” One of them is losing a workbench. The other one is dust. Dust, everywhere.

Ever had a shop so messy you don’t want to take any pictures of it? Here, have a Fusion rendering instead.

Deciding to solve these problems at the same time, I built an enclosure for the printer. It is super simple, cobbled together with pocket holes. The walls are acrylic I found at Lowe’s, with some cheap hardware for the door. Currently, all of the electronics are still inside, something I plan on changing. I want to move the control panel outside of the cabinet for convenience, as well as create an interface panel for OctoPrint to control manual XYZ movements. And a big red button for stopping jobs. Everyone needs a big red button.

Speaking of OctoPrint, not being on the workbench means I need a new place for the camera, as well as some lighting. To provide the lighting, I bought some cheap LED strips on Amazon which I’ll affix to the inside of the cabinet. I found an old computer fan. after fitting with an air filter I want to use it to create some positive pressure to keep the dust at bay.

With the lights and OctoPrint, I obviously need a camera too. I had a Pi camera from another project which I decided to use instead of the Logitech camera I was using previously. But, with a Pi camera, you need a way to hold it up.

This is the best part of the project for me I think. I found a model of the camera PCB on GrabCAD and it was perfect. I was able to import it into Fusion and design a mount around it perfectly. On the first print, I got a perfect articulating joint and bracket and a perfect fit around the camera. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this. My only regret is that I built it at 0°, but it is one part to reprint to adjust the angle.

I posted the camera mount on Thingiverse.

Failing to print…

Sometimes, it doesn’t go according to plan.

So this was the plan. I saw in a catalog a widget that would let you clip your tape measure to a corner so you can easily check square. “I could make that.” And so I tried.

It kind of worked, but not as well as I wanted.

This was my first attempt at a print in place assembly, where the swivel clip sat inside the main body, but was supposed to have enough margin that they would print as two disconnected bodies. If you look closely, it didn’t work. I tried loosening it up with a knife, and if it still doesn’t work I’ll have to do an autopsy on it.

Continual learning, right?

I have a bench.

This is the best image I have!

Back in January, I posted a rendering of my plans for a bench. By early March, I had “finished” it!

Since the picture to the right, I completed the dust box and insert plate for the router, added T-track, installed electric and dust collection, and ran the jigsaw into it while cutting a piece (oops).

The table saw stands just proud of the table, making an excellent outfeed table. Dust collection for the saw routes to a blast gate just to the right of the saw, and there’s electric just behind it.

The dust box for the router is connected directly to the 2″ pipe for dust collection. With the Shop Vac, it catches a huge amount of dust off the router (it misses the larger chips but that’s fine). I mounted a safety switch on the center leg, which turned out to be perfect height to hit with my knee to stop the router.

I found myself working primarily on the “back” side of the workbench between the miter saw and the bench, so there’s also a dust port over there, as well as electric.

I still need to build a fence for the router, and I need a better place for my 3-D printer.

Need it? Print it.

The other day, I got frustrated trying to connect my vacuum hose to my Kreg Jig. I looked at the spring clamp I was using and sighed, then grabbed my calipers.

Based on this Reddit thread, I purchased an Ender 3 from MatterHackers. So far my most successful prints have been vacuum adapters and a Raspberry Pi case.

Speaking of Raspberry Pi, before my printer had even shown up I had discovered OctoPrint, a program to manage your printer from a web interface. Being able to see my printer (through the webcam interface) from anywhere, abort a print if it is going haywire, and fine-tune nozzle or bed temperatures has really made it easy to work with the printer. I’d highly recommend it. Oh and of course you can print your own case too.

Being able to print whatever I want (reasonably), whenever I want (reasonably), is amazing. The future is here.

I need a bench…

So here’s my plan. I’ve combined a bunch of things:

  • Chris Harpster’s mobile shop. He mounted his bandsaw on a French cleat, and I want to do something similar. I’m also putting dust collection in there and power and a router table…
  • Steve Ramsey’s mobile table saw cart. I’m going to make some sort of scheme to anchor this to the workbench so they move around as one unit.
  • Shawn Stone’s router fence. Instead of the dust collection going down into the router lift, I’m going to have a hose out the back. Because I’m thinking about using a Kreg plate, I won’t want to put a large hole in my worktop.

There isn’t enough room for a Dust Deputy under the workbench, so I’m still thinking of my plan to make a dust cart. The workbench is going to use some sort of shore line power system (20A twist lock is overkill, right?), and I’m going to use that for dust collection as well.

One of the reasons for not integrating the table saw into the main workbench is a size constraint. Someday we’ll be moving out of this house, so a 3 foot by 6 foot by 5 inch workbench will be manageable to get out of the basement.

Its a snow day weekend, so I’m going to prep the basement for construction.

A return to an old hobby

Not only do I have a blog again (that no one but my mom will probably read), but I’ve picked up a hobby that I haven’t touched in probably 15 years: woodworking. After spending all day staring at computers, the last thing I really want to do is stare at another screen, and this seemed like a good outlet. I went on a deep binge of YouTube, made a list of the tools and safety gear I needed to acquire, and started making plans. Quite literally.

Turns out, AutoDesk Inventor from my 9th grade engineering class basically lives on as Fusion 360, and its free*. Combining my minuscule CAD skills with Cate’s creativity will mean big things for the future. The first project I’m attempting is based on this balance board. Start simple, right? I’ll have pictures and such when it’s complete, possibly along with the files I used.

I’m also going to cross post other content I create here too, kind of as a central repository I guess. (After all, I have a podcast and made some YouTube videos for the past cross season.) Maybe some race reports. I’ll use categories, I promise.

Happy New Year!