Smartphone Microscope Mount

I needed to get decent images off a microscope in fairly short order. Though I was in a “rush”, it still took a full day to get to a working solution. It is still incredible to me how much time it takes to make something that doesn’t obviously suck.

img_7309
Phone mount clamped to eyepiece. Unfortunately I couldn’t show a phone in place because I need my phone to take the shot. The phone mounts between to two cork pads.

Continue reading

Emco Maximat V10P lathe QC gearbox bearing replacement

Years back I managed to find one of those “dream” home shop machinery deals. An Emco Maximat V10P lathe was sitting in a dusty pile at the back of a bike shop in Alameda, CA. This is a very much sought-after home shop machine. The shop owner said the machine was taking up space, so we made a deal and it followed me home for a more-than-fair price. It’s been a great lathe, but was in far from tip-top shape and has needed some TLC and upgrades. One thing that I’d been meaning to address for long time, is that oil constantly dribbled out of the quick-change gearbox onto my bench. What follows details that fix.

3e8be564-966d-477d-bff0-cffeb5a18695
Emco Maximat V10P after most of the fixes/upgrades

Continue reading

Bose L1 Tower PA Repair

This is a repair of Bose L1 tower PA system. These skinny tower speakers are somewhat of a marvel because they are designed to stand behind the musician (aimed RIGHT AT the microphone) and don’t generate feedback (in most situations). Ah, the miracles of DSP.

It turns out these PA’s have a frequent failure in their power supply. Read on for details.

bose-l1-model-i-586400
1st generation Bose L1 tower PA system

Continue reading

Tormach PCNC 770 DIY Enclosure

I recently got a Tormach PCNC 770 CNC milling machine. So far, I’m very happy with it (but have not cut much yet). I figured that since I wouldn’t be using flood cooling, that I could get away without a full enclosure. But even with mist rather than flood, chips were shot everywhere, so I decided to roll my own enclosure using 80/20 parts https://www.8020.net/

There are lot of similar designs on-line, but the one I used most for guidance was by sauni68 on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FddiAAuI2Rg

His was a design for a PCNC 1100, but his video still has several good tips that are appropriate for the 770.

Photo Feb 19, 4 47 45 PM

Continue reading

TouchDRO Machine Position Digital Readout for Emco Maximat V10P Lathe

This is a outstanding machine DRO for hobbyists, not just an outstanding DIY project, but a super DRO even compared to high-end pro machines. The beauty of TouchDRO is that it uses a (cheap) Android tablet for the display and control (I used a 1st-generation Nexus tablet – $50 on eBay) while the scales connect to a small (user-built) box that wirelessly sends data to the tablet via Bluetooth. The extra cute thing about this particular DRO installation is that all that parts are very small don’t interfere with any travel distances or setups on this already smallish machine.

2014-09-25 22.18.32

Continue reading

Brass Rod Bender for Banjo Hooks

This is bender specifically made to put a very tight radius bend in 5/32″ brass rod for banjo hooks. The original design was modified from this:  http://www.micromark.com/universal-bender,8229.html  but required a few revisions to get the desired result. Finally, when I was able to force the rod into a tight radius bend, some would crack. I learned that they needed to be heated with a torch before bending, but don’t have to be bent while hot.

The key difference between this and the little universal bender (besides less “slop” and tighter-tolerance fittings) is the movable round die is a “cam” that can be pivoted (with a 3/4″ wrench) and forced tightly against the stationary die while the bend is being made.

This was also my first exercise with hardening O1 tool steel. There are tons of guides on line covering this topic so I won’t go into detail here. Having the working surfaces hardened may not be necessary for bending brass but I wanted to play with O1 steel and this was pretty forgiving applications for a first try. It went quite well.

IMG_5702

Continue reading