PPPRS in KC at MF

Harbor Freight

We went crazy a few days before Maker Faire Kansas City and rebuilt a vehicle for The Power Racing Series. The boat that was a basket turned into a duck…

Of course no PPPRS trip is complete without a stop at Harbor Fright. We bought all the pink tires they had. You know the pink tires, the ones the destroy themselves? Yeah, those pink tires…

Duck Car

Duallies again! Brings back memories of Red Lotus, doesn’t it? But this time we did not destroy any pink tires. We destroyed other things, but we fixed most of them.

Duck Car

Ed was our primary mechanic and handled all of the electrical system stuff and most of the other difficult things. Ed has a lot of experience building cars and other things…

Duck Car

Lori (aka “The Lorry”, aka “The Truck”) has raced before in Kansas City, and it was good to have her back behind the wheel, er, well, handle bars… Unless you count the main drive wheel when we say wheel. Yeah, let’s talk about that bicycle hub motor that runs at 24 volts, and not 36 volts.

Duck Car

Kathy went full-on duck, but can you blame her? About that hub motor… It’s built for 24 volts, but after the controller malfunctioned we switched it out for a 36 volt controller, which would only work with 36 volts attached to it, so we added a third battery and went crazy. Things worked until they didn’t and the motor burned up, even though we kept pouring water all over it. Drat!

Duck Car

Well, that’s the way it goes in the PPPRS, you either taste victory or you smell things burning. We did manage to get within the top five during the Endurance Race, and maybe even hit second place at one point. It’s all a blur really, and honestly we care more about having fun than we do about winning.

See you in Detroit!

I Made Some Furniture

_I9H7511
_I9H7512After several months of working I finally got around to photographing some of the furniture I have been working.  I have been exploring the idea of raw edges and finished edges meeting.  To that end the tables are made out of slabs of ash cut in half and then one side flipped to the other so the raw edges are in the center and not on the side.  This is not a new idea of course.  Googleing the words “river table” will provide lots of examples of this style.  The wood grain of the ash gives the look of a topographical map with the glass serving as the water feature in the map.  I am also working on a floor lamp and entry way table that continue to explore this idea. _I9H7515

The end table features legs turned from ash with a raw edge left on a single leg.  The wood top is a cross section of a maple tree also turned on the lathe to leave the bark on part of the round edge.  I am really happy with how these pieces turned out and would be happy to talk anyone through the process.

end table

Finally the last piece is the table lamp that many of you have seen around the space.  It was fun to blend walnut and concrete into this project.   This was my first attempt at steam bending and it went well.  A couple plastic bags, a hose, a tea pot, and a electric burner got the job done just fine.
_I9H7547 _I9H7554

 

I made a thing!

This project began much like many of my projects at Milwaukee Makerspace have: an off-the-cuff discussion; in this case, with Lance Lamont about a possible project for Maker Faire Milwaukee. After a few rounds of discussion, we came up with the idea of an electromagnetic crane. I decided I’d attempt to build one similar to this style, and that I’d start off with the magnet. I purchased several small electromagnets from Tom‘s favorite website, Banggood. Thus, the MicroMagnetArray was born:

em_array

And failed miserably. Running at 18v (50% more than its rated voltage!), it was only drawing ~200mA, and could only lift 2-4 of the 7/16ths nuts I’d borrowed for use as ballast.

So my inner maker came boiling to the surface and yelled at me, “why not wind my own!?”… Continue reading

Nerdy Derby Wheels Keep Rolling!

checking-print

We’ve been printing wheels… lots of wheel! We tested some at Madison Mini Maker Faire’s Nerdy Derby event last weekend, and we’ve been using Son of Megamax to crank out little plastic wheels.

finished-wheels

Yes, we are printing 37 wheels at a time! And we’re using ABS filament from CoEx in Appleton, Wisconsin. They were kind enough to supply us with some spools of filament to keep SoM busying printing pretty much day and night!

webcam-wheels

I know you’re wondering how we keep an eye on all those wheels being printed. Well, when we’re not at the space we just check out the Milwaukee Makerspace Webcam. (As long as it’s pointed in the right direction.)

nerdy-derby-anime

Coex 3D Printing Filament
(Thanks again to Coex for the filament donation!)