The Tormach Training Begins

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It has been amazing to see this group purchase come together over the last 6 months.  This mill is a great example of what we can achieve together.  It all started with one member stepping out on a ledge and offering to match funds raised by the space for a CNC mill.  If you see Larry walking around the space make sure to shake his hand and say thanks.  Because he stepped up we all have a new tool to make things with.2 imagesNow that we have a big fancy Tormach CNC mill it’s time to make some makers.  Our very own Larry will be donating his time to give one on one training starting this week.  Your first project will be your name engraved in a block of aluminum created using the conversational mode.  As someone with some milling experience it was a straight forward process and Larry was a great teacher. Don’t be intimidated by the big scary mill, Make something.  I would encourage you to not stop at the milling.  Take your name plate and buff it or powder coat it to make it unique.  Contact Larry via email or at a Tuesday night meeting to schedule a time to get checked out on the mill.

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A special thanks to Tormach for helping us get this mill.  Without their help the money raised by our members would not have got us such an amazing tool.  We look forward to sharing all the things we make with the mill with them and supporting them any way we can.  TORMACH IS THE BEST!  For more info on Tormach and the cool tools they make click here.

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

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_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.

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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.
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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:

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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