Archive for the ‘General’ Category

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So I had a desire to try my hand at a recycled material project. I really don’t know why, just had an itchin’. There has been a local club that has worked at creating a strong presence in the area as a place for anyone to come and participate in building and creating things. They are a fantastic group run by great people. Finding a permanent home in order to work from has been a priority lately so I decided to build them a shop warming gift for when they eventually secure a location.

I have access to lots of pallets and 55 gallon drums so I thought I would integrate those materials into a clock for the new shop. I didn’t have a really firm plan in place other then I was prepared, mentally, to let the fine details slide as I know that dealing with these materials things would not come out perfectly. I wanted to create an old school, vintage/retro, style clock that would be something you may see hanging in an old service station covered in dust.

So the following pictures take you through the process of what eventually turned into a shop clock. It just morphed into what it is today. I think it worked out to my liking and possesses the feel and look I was going for. On with the show.

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Once the pallets were all broken down and de-nailed all the good lumber sections were run through the planner to bring all pieces to the same thickness.

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All the planed boards were then run through the table saw to even up all the widths.

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Four sides done, 2 to go.

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All the lengths now went through the chop saw. Turns out I overestimated the amount of pallets required for the project. I will have extra.

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The dimensioned lumber was glued and clamped. My planer can only do 13 inch wide sections so the clock face would need to be done in 2 sections

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With the sections glued they were once again sent through the planer to flatten things up.

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With the 2 dimensioned sections they were now glued, clamped, and joined as one block.

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Broke out the jigsaw and trimmed out a 16″ diameter section from the glues pallet blank.

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The clock face was going to protrude from its metal surround therefore it needed to have a step cut into the circumference. Please note the quality looking radius guide I built for my router, you can tell I put a lot of time into it.

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Instead of hand routering out a pocket on the backside to accept the clock mechanism I opted to do a cleaner, and more precise, job using the mill..

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Since this is a recycling project I needed to come up with a clock surround. Opted to use the base of a 55 gallon drum. I bent a scrap section of 1″ flat bar and tacked it onto the barrel to act as a plasma torch guide.

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Slicing the base off a drum using the plasma torch takes less the a minute. Using the guide a clean line can be achieved.

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Trimmed off base is going to lend itself perfectly for the feel of the clock.

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Using my homemade plasma torch circle guide I sliced a hole out of the middle of the barrel bottom to allow for insetting of the pallet clock face.

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Here the 2 recycled materials are mated together. The look turned out to be what I had envisioned.

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Here we skip over a bunch of fabrication photos in order to get to this point. I wanted a “wing” type sign look to the whole project. I plasma cut out a backing by hand using guides. Then I fabricated “feathers” out of sheet metal.

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I struggled coming up with a good plan for the “numbers”. I finally settled on sprockets and machined round stock joined by round bar.

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With all the fab work completed it was time to move onto the finishing stage. The clock face received stain to give it a retro type look to it.

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A few coats later it achieved the look I was hoping for.

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The face was going to have the local clubs logo applied to it. I built a template on the computer and then cut out a stencil using my vinyl plotter.

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The logo was going to get airbrushed into the clock face. The stencil gets applied to the face, everything else was masked off, and then paint was applied using an airbrush.

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Here is what the airbrushed logo looks like. The vintage feel is what I was going for.

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With the wood portion complete it was time to finish the metal sections. The “feathers” needed an old school look so I decided to apply a rusting solution to them. Here they all got cleaned and sanded before receiving the treatment.

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Using a solution of hydrogen peroxide and vinegar I mixed up, and applied, a solution to the feathers. it took 2 treatments over 2 days to achieve the desired results.

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Rusted out feathers. Perfect.

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When it came to finishing all the metal everything was hung and then shot with a clear coat in order to preserve all the natural finishes.

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With some assembly complete the project was finished. Overall length is close to 4 feet. 2 mounting holes were drilled into the base at 32″ centers in hopes that if it gets mounted on stud walls 2 studs will contribute to the support.

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The following project is a little bit different when compared to the usual things I post about. Although there isn’t really any fabrication details I am going to talk about it still constitutes as a worthy blog entry and involves the garage and building cool stuff.

At the beginning of the school year I had talked with my daughter’s grade 5/6 teacher and offered to help out with any projects that he may find I was skilled enough to deal with. He had been teaching a renewable resource and a “Mission to Mars” unit lately and wanted to have the students build an electrical generator. He approached me with a set of plans that outlined how to build wind turbines that would power an LED light. After looking through the information I agreed to help out but it would have to be done gordsgarage style.

The plans he gave me, which outlined the build steps, were good in theory but lacked some serious user friendly build techniques. Lots of glue, time, and balancing techniques were used to come up with a turbine that might work but would take a week to complete. I decided to introduce the “lean thinking” philosophy and cut out everything that wasn’t required, streamline the build process, make sure that failure was not an option, that 28 could be built in less then 1 school day, and redesign the project so that the turbines would result in proud students.

As much as I would like to share the original, supplied, design the information is irrelevant. My design involved using cheap, some donated, materials that would provide a well balanced and rigid wind turbine. Using DVDs, recycled plastic tubes, MDF (medium density fiberboard aka wood), dowels, and wood screws made sure the project would come in on budget. In order to ensure the success of the project jigs were built to help the students “measure” and line things up as they fabricated.

The basic concept of the wind turbine is as follows. The turbine has 4 neodymium one inch magnets glued to the bottom of the lower turbine DVD. The MDF base has 4 coils wound from magnet wire that sit just below the magnets. As the turbine spins the magnets pass over the coils of wire thereby inducing a voltage.

So before I get you on board with what I all did I am going to start with the end. In the end the project was a success. Students each created a functioning wind turbine making 28 turbines in total in less then 5 hours. Although some of the turbines required some tweaking in the end to get there “spin”on they all generated a voltage and lit up an LED. I have posted a “how to” video towards the end of this post. I initially created this video as an instructional aid for the adult volunteers that helped with the success of the project. The video is just over 14 minutes long and I am not expecting people to dedicate that kind of time to watching it but it does clear up how all the jigs work and the entire process involved in the build. If you’re a hard core blog reader start by watching this video. On with the show!

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So here it is in all its glory. The wind turbine! Get Mother Nature cranking on this thing and it’s sure to move some electrons. Built from DVDs, plastic tubes, and wood it’s ow budget electricity.

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These are the guts of the system, 4 coils of magnet wire and 4 neodymium magnets get the juices flowing. The center wood screw that the turbine spins on allows for fine tuning of the air gap between the magnets and coils.

The following video gives you an basic idea on how the turbine functions using compressed air to spin it up.

 

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For those of you interested in the nitty gritty details here is the scope pattern I pulled off a turbine during testing phase (ha! I said phase)

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That’s right boy and girls, 1.620 volts! I actually got almost 2 volts out of it with a bit more spin. I never measured the amperage however it would be just enough to light up the LED.

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So on with the stuff I built in my garage. Much of my time was spent fabricating jigs. Pictured here are is mostly fabbed hardware that makes up the magnet wire coil winding machine.

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This is the flywheel for the coil winding machine. It was built from MDF wood to give it some weight to help the spin. It was built to provide an 8:1 wind ratio.The students are required turn the flywheel 25 times for each coil which results in a 200 winding coil. Multiple this by 4 coils per project and 28 projects this wheel was spun 2800 times in 1 day of building which resulted in over 22000 windings.

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This is the completed coil winding machine. The bulk magnet wire roll slides onto the lower right aluminum peg and the wire gets wound onto a bobbin.

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This is the bobbin which the 200 wound coil ends up on. I built is for quick disassembly and reload. If you want the see this machine in action you’re going to have to watch the dreaded 14 minute video near the end of this post.

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The next few photos involve making sure students would have success at using power tools. The MDF base and upper turbine support needed holes. Letting students loose with cordless drills didn’t seem like a great idea so I built this jig to clamp the wood in. The hole spacing, and depth, were all marked out so perfect, consistent, base prep would take place.

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Here the jig is opened up and the wood, and upper square dowel, are clamped in place. Again, if you want to see this in action then watch the video.

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In order to ensure the right size holes are drilled everything was color coded. Depth stops were also fabbed for some of the drills.

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Magnet safety was a big concern for me. I could picture the chaos that would occur if you let 28 students loose with 112 neodymium 1″ magnets. These things will pinch, and break skin, if they snap together. Since all the magnets would need to be handled I built a holder that was parent supervised. Each student could determine correct polarity of the 4 required magnets and then place them in the safety holder while gluing on 1 magnet at a time. This picture shows the internal guts of the holder.

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This is the assembled holder where 1 magnet gets loaded at a time. The center MDF ring then gets rotated to the next detent so the magnet is held for safe keeping.

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This jig is used for gluing magnets and washers onto the upper and lower DVDs. The lower DVD is sandwiched between the red base and upper aluminum spacer. Items can then be hot glued in place to ensure perfect alignment. The red base then gets flipped to provide a different jig for the upper DVD.

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My original turbine blades consisted of 3″ cardboard tubes however I eventually got onto plastic ones. These are the inside tubes of 3M automotive paint protection film rolls. I have friends that apply this stuff so they were kind enough to collect the left over tubes for me. The plastic made way better blades. They were light, clean, and easy to hot glue.

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The long plastic tubes needed to get cut to length and then split down the long way to make 2 halves. I built a wooden jig to aid in cutting the tubes on the radial arm saw.

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This is the jig used to hold the turbine blades in place while gluing on the upper and lower DVDs. Again…watch the video!

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If you’re gonna do it then do it right. I decided to use my vinyl plotter to create some station signage.

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Magnet safety again. Once the magnets get glued onto the DVD base I felt as though kids would be holding a loaded gun. The solution was having each student keep their project in a plastic shoe box during the entire build.

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All supplies were cut to length, counted out, and organized for each build station.

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I had timed myself to see how long it would take to wind a coil. After the calculations were made it would appear that there would not be enough time in the day for each student to wind 4 coils. I opted to pre-wind some coils in order to ensure the project could be completed within a day.

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The day of the build finally arrived. The fabrication shop was set up in the school gym. Stations were created, and run by parent volunteers, for each step of the build process. Here students stated by prepping and drilling the MDF base.

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Station 2 consisted of gluing the magnets and alignment washers onto the DVD.

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Station three consisted of joining the prepped DVDs to the plastic turbine blades.

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Station four turned out to be the magnet wire coil winding bench.

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And station five was where everything came together in the end.

This brings us to the dreaded 14 minute “how to” video. If your interested in seeing how all the components fit together to create a functioning wind turbine it is highly suggested you watch the video. It’s actually not that bad, I’ve got some catchy music and I tried to keep things flowing to prevent boredom.

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This blog entry is a bit out of the ordinary however it still involves the garage and building things. Today’s project involves a mission I have been on for almost a year and a half and it involves introducing the love I have for metal, building, and mechanical things, into other parts of my life. As the title suggests it was a lesson that came at a price however that is of little concern to me. It was a project worth completing.

It all started with the exposure to the unlimited amount of “body” products, and soaps, designed, and available, for women. It’s endless! I personally do not have a desire to have the same products available to me however I thought that if something was available that was to my liking I would potentially appreciate it. There is always a small line of men’s soap products available but it is limited plus I would never take the time to actually purchase it.

So like I said I wouldn’t take the time however I have no problem spending countless hours designing and making my own soap that I would consider worthy of being used. And so this brings us to the current blog posting. Soap making 101 gordsgarage style.

Of course with any project there is always research and planning involved. Since I had no idea how to make soap from scratch I decided that would be a good place to start. Flipping through the course catalog advertising adult weekend classes I found the course I needed which would teach me the basic skills of soap making. Turned out this class is not all that popular with the guys as I was the only one. Didn’t matter to me, I was on a mission and had a bigger plan then just leaving a class with a few bars of scented soap in the shape of flowers.

So the training course was very good and in approximately 6 hours I had a decent understanding of the process, equipment, and supplies required to turn out all natural soap. I tooled up and made a few batches at home to ensure I could produce a decent result on my own. No problem. Now it was time to put the project into motion. The plan was to turn out handmade, all natural, gear shaped soap made to look like machined metal.

I admit this is not the usual type of garage project I share mostly because it doesn’t actually involve metal however it does involve the garage, fabrication, R&D, and most importantly the learning of a new skill. I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

 

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The start of the gear soap required coming up with a blank that I could create a soap mold from. I had created a 2D model of what I wanted and then got in touch with my friend Jason over at The Gahooa Perspective. Jason just happens to have a very nicely equipped shop which includes a CAMaster CNC router table. Jason had agreed to help me out by routering out a blank from some High Density Polyethylene. The photo is a screen shot from the CAM program used to generate the G-code for the CNC.

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Jason managed to cut a couple of samples for me. They worked out fantastic, the cut quality was perfect for molding.

The following video shows the CNC table set up Jason has in his shop. The CAMaster Cobra is a work horse of a machine and is fascinating to watch. I would highly recommend you all visit Jason’s blog, The Gahooa Perspective, to check out his cool projects.

 

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So here are the mold blanks. 2 of them Jason cut out of HDPE and the 3rd one (blue) was done on a 3D printer by a friend of his. The 3D printed one had fairly precise lines however the finish, to make a mold from, was not as good as the CNC routered ones.

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So now comes my time to put some effort into the project. I need to create silicone molds of the gear and therefore need someway to house the blank in order to pour silicone. I decided to build a housing out of a toilet flange since it was cheap, easy to machine, water proof, and had a great finish to release the mold from. The flange required some clean up on the lathe prior to building the rest of the housing.

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I required a method of securing the gear into the center of my mold housing. On the back side of the gear I drilled and installed a metal 1/4 x 20 threaded insert.

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Here is my completed mold housing. It is fairly simple. The gear and the flange both get bolted onto the base plate. The only change I made that is not shown in this picture is that I applied some white vinyl to the steel backing plate in order to allow for clean release of the silicone.

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And here we go for the first run of mold making 101. I have never done it so I am not completely sure what to expect. I am using Mold Star 16 Fast which is a 2 part silicone that sets up in approximately 30 minutes.

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Ready to go! I am doing this in the house since the silicone is fairly temperature sensitive to ensure proper set up. The garage is just a bit on the cooler side.

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Mixed up and pouring. In 30 minutes I unbolt the housing and remove the mold.

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Tick Tock

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I spray the mold with a mold release prior to pouring. This is a shot of the base plate removed. Everything slides apart nicely.

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This is a completed mold. The detail is fantastic! I made sure to build the mold walls thick enough the ensure good support of the liquid soap.

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Although this is only a single picture in a blog posting of 30+ shots it represents where most of my time on the project was spent. What you are looking at is a run of soap in its natural color. I performed many test batches of soap to ensure I would be able to get the detail from the mold into the soap. I struggled, a lot. Although I could achieve good results in the teeth and body of the soap I could never get the “GG” and “bolt holes” to consistently release from the mold and produce good consistent results.

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Here is the result of many failed attempts at building “GG” soap. I felt after performing multiple different techniques to get the soap to release properly I hade no choice but modify the design. It pained me to chuck up the blank in the lathe a machine off the face of the gear. My deepest apologies Jason, if there was any other way to solve the issue I wouldn’t have cut up your work.

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And here you can see the result of what 5 minutes on the lathe turned out. No more “GG”

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Back to running new molds. I had previously made 3 molds of the “GG” design. This time I am going all in and doing a run of 7 molds feeling fairly confident that this design will work.

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And here is the new, simpler, design.

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So now a word, or 2, about the actual soap. Since this is “garage” soap it is being made in the garage all from raw ingredients. I use a basic soap recipe that produces a good cleaning, scentless, and lathering, soap. Because this is gordsgarage soap I felt it was appropriate to add my own signature to it. I wanted something that you wouldn’t be able to find in someone else’s soap and wanted it to be distinguished from others therefore making it truly garage soap. Although cleaning your body with engine oil and cutting fluid would be considered unhealthy I opt to put 1 drop of Relton cutting fluid and 1 drop of Mobil 1 engine oil into every batch of soap I make. This way when you are singing in the shower you can feel connected to that part of your life that brings you so much joy. A batch of soap produces 7 gears and therefore 2 drops of oil is hardly enough to cause any issues. I have been way more exposed to the stuff just working in the garage.

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It was also time to start adding the color to my soap. My initial plan was to find a color combination that would look like freshly machined 6061 aluminum. This was harder then I expected. I ordered up some powered mica in various colors that would allow me to experiment with colors. Here I weighed out some Polished Silver for a base color and then some Pearl Basics to give it some sparkle. It’ll take many batches before I find the color I like.

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With all my fats and oils weighed out it was time to add the drop of cutting fluid and engine oil. I should probably mention that I’m not going to cover the actual soap making process, there are a bazillion websites out there that already cover this and I probably couldn’t do it any better.

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With everything, but the lye, added into the pot it was time to start heating things up. I use the same hotplate for soap making as I do for anodizing.

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With everything brought to within 100 degrees Fahrenheit it was time to bring it all together and start mixing. The lye gets added to my fat/oil solution, mixed, and then my color is introduced.

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Soap is then poured into 7 molds and allowed to set up for 24 hours.

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Once the 24 hours have passed, after pouring the soap, the gears get removed from the molds and then set aside for 30 days to allow for the saponification process to occur. After 30 days the soap firms up and is ready for use.

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Here is an example of where R&D went wrong. In my quest to find some aluminum looking mica to dye the soap with I had ordered some mica that actually contained aluminum in it. As I know from my anodizing experiences that lye (caustic soda) and aluminum do not get along. There are always warnings that you are not to clean aluminum with caustic soda. I use it on aluminum to remove anodizing simply because it eats into the aluminum. In the case of my soap making the aluminum mica reacted with my lye solution and turned my soap into a huge foaming failure. Took me awhile to clean all the molds out. Lesson learned.

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So with the soap making under control I figured the finished product should get some packaging. This is were I get my brother, Brian, involved as he it the guy you want to know when it comes to graphic design. I asked for his help to get a label design built. Between the two of use we were able to come up with the following.

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This is the computer generated sample of the soap label. This is what I will be supplying to the label manufacturer to have printed up on 2.250″ circular vinyl.

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I sent the file off to the printers and in a couple weeks I had myself some professional looking labels.

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With the label created and printed I needed to come up with a protective packaging material. Initially I had wanted to use brown paper tool wrap with wax paper on one side. This stuff is known as VCI Paper (Vapour Corrosion Inhibitor). I think it looks totally old school and would suit the project well. The down side is that it hides the beauty of the gear shape. I settled on using a heat shrink type of plastic that snugs up around the soap using a heat gun. This way the soap is protected yet still visible.

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So with most of the hurdles hurdled it was time to start cranking out production. Still not sure what color I will officially settle on. I continue to make each batch different. I think I am liking the darker ones more and more.

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So I made the mistake of purchasing a 36” slip roll capable of handling 16 gauge (at least that’s what is advertised, I haven’t actually tried it yet). The mistake being that I am in a serious state of running out of shop space for equipment. The machine actually sat in the middle of my shop for a good 4 months until I finally decided it wasn’t going to find a home for itself. One Saturday I just sucked it up and built a steel frame for it and added some wheels so that I could stand the unit up on end and roll it into a corner.

Anyway…this post isn’t actually about the machine but more about just messing around with random stuff. I figured I should actually try out the slip roll since I paid money for it. I did not have a current use for it, only brainstormed ideas where it would be required at a later date. I plasma chopped a chunk of 20 gauge sheet metal out and set it up in the slip roll. The intention was just to watch the metal bend, be satisfied, and then recycle it.

Well the bending and satisfaction part worked out as planned but the recycling was harder to do. On a side note…I am a sucker for scrap metal bins. I know of multiple good bins in my area which I frequent. I have access to lots of brake rotors so I exchange what I take with rotors. The bins get paid out to whoever owns them based on weight therefore I make sure I leave more weight then I take. The point being that I feel sorry for scrap metal and find it hard to watch it go to the recyclers. I want to save it all and build it into something cool. Well I have learned that I am only one person and that I can not save all the metal on my own. I try to frequent the bins less often as I find the less I know the better off I am. The whole point of this is that I couldn’t bring myself to scraping my slip roll sample.

So this post is how I couldn’t let go of a chunk of scrap sheet metal. After I inflicted my Big Brother powers and forced the steel to comply with my agenda I took a second look and figured I may be able to turn it into something useful. The following pictures take you through an impromptu garage session. Meh.

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So this is how the unplanned project began. I simply wanted to see a section of steel get bent in my new 36″ slip roll. It started out so innocent.

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Once the steel was bent I figured I would weld it into a tear drop shape and then trim the top up, free hand, with the plasma cutter to give it more of a unique shape.

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This is what the shape came out to be.

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The time came to transform the tear drop cylinder into something more than just a shiny piece of metal. I used some ER70S 3.2mm TIG filler rod and started twisting it up and tacking it on.

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Just kept bending, twisting, and welding as I went along.

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Finally decided I was finished once I had a fairly uniform design built.

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Next I spray bombed on a clear lacquer finish to give the bare steel some protection, and shine.

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As you can see from the foliage poking out the top I recycled my steel into a vase cover. I used a glass cylinder with the proper diameter which slid perfectly into the tear drop as the holder for the water. My creation is simply a facade for the murky water that will inevitably appear.

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Personalized it with a gordsgarage decal.

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A friend of mine sent me a link to a video that he thought I may like. Part of the reason he is a friend is because he happens to know exactly what I like. He was thoughtful enough to share with me so I thought I would share it with you.

My fascination with the garage is not always what is going on inside of it but also with the mechanicals that spill out onto the streets worldwide. For me, the following video by Giorgio Oppici demonstrates the serenity that binds people and machine together.

Giorgio Oppici was born in 1960 and since 1979 he has devoted most of his thoughts to communication. Today he lives, and works, in Valpolicella over the hills in the North of Verona, Italy. Apparently the wine is really good there.

The video was shot at the ASI Moto Show. It is the international event for classic motorcycles that has been organized for the past 13 years by ASI Automotoclub Storico Italiano. The event is held in Salsomaggiore Terme, a town and comune in northern Italy.

I could rattle on and write about all the aspects of the video that I like but I would rather you enjoy it in your own way. After all videos like this do not need explanations. Enjoy!

BTW: Thanks Doug!

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Hello cyber world, it’s me Gord, haven’t checked in for awhile so I thought I would poke me head in and say hey! Has much changed out there? Is the information still free flowing?

I am not much of one for excuses so I find it is best to just come clean. I haven’t updated the blog since April 1st. Garage projects, family, work, and life, continue to trickle along. I made a conscious decision to let the updates slide for a bit in order to allow me to focus on higher priority items. I have received many comments that I have not responded to. When I started the blog I set a goal of responding to every comment that ever was sent my way. I have let this slip therefore…I am publishing an official apology to the following people; Dustin, Tony, Darcy, james a, Larry, howder1951, forhire, mikesplace2, jason k, jason, and Luis. You have all sent me comments that I have failed to promptly respond to. After this post is published I will continue to get caught up and work through the responses. I beg forgiveness.

As far as actually projects that have taken place I still managed to keep the pictures snapping. I have very few of the actual build process but I have shots of the finished projects. So in staying with the picture theme I will let the photos, and captions, do the talking. The following is some of what I have worked on during the past 5 months. Here we go…

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I stumbled upon an ad for this barn find 1965 CB160. the guy wanted $100 for it. I was all finished my own CB160 build but figured a parts bike may come in handy down the road.

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As I stripped it down it turned out that the bike was actually not a 160 but instead it was a 125. Oh well, still had some usable parts.

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This is what I was left with as far as usable used parts. What is ironic is that the fuel tank knee pads of my Cafe CB160 both had slight tears and were the only sub-par part I never replaced during the build. The barn find bike pads were in very good shape and so they ended up being the only parts that found their way onto the Cafe racer. I figured I got my $100 worth just in the tank pads.

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This ended up being my garbage pile.

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I ended up having to perform some shop clean up. I had this old welding gas gauge that had been kicking around for years. As I cleaned up I tossed it in the garbage. 5 minutes later I saw it staring at me with a tear in it’s eye. I couldn’t turn my back so I retrieved it from the trash and gave it some special attention.

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First order of business was to strip it down and separate its anatomy.

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Next all the brass and chrome spent some time getting massaged on the buffing wheel.

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A couple scraps of steel were plasma cut to size.

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Used the milling machine to drop an end mill in and achieve a 2″ slot.

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1/4″ NPT fitting was welded in along with a vertical support.

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Some sandblasting and flat black powder coating cleaned things up.

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The plastic gauge face was polished up using the lathe and some plastic polishing compound.

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Next marrying of the two components took place.

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And finally I was left with a business card holder that gave a welding gauge a second chance on life. I ended up giving the card holder to a parts person friend of mine.

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Sometimes I blog about my outdoor projects, no it’s not metal work but it still provides a certain level of satisfaction. The city property right next to my property is where the community mailboxes sit. I take care of it as it were my own and make sure the snow stays clear the surrounding area is taken care of. Most people access the box from the road and not the sidewalk. The cheap sidewalk blocks drive me nuts and I figured it was about time to volunteer some community service.

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It took an entire weekend but with help from my neighbor we were able to lay down a 7 foot paving stone pad that allowed access from both the street side and the the sidewalk. The neighbors were appreciative and the paving stones look much better. By now the grass is filled in and things are back to normal.

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The next set of pictures involve a long drawn out project that has been on my list to complete for years. Unfortunately it isn’t actually finished yet but it is getting close. It all starts with an idea, some aluminum, and some stainless steel.

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I’ve had this idea to build a fully machined, double walled, vacuum filled “thermos”. I researched insulating properties and determines that a vacuum filled unit is more efficient then an argon gas filled one. Here the machining of the caps begins.

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Next was onto the top and bottom flanges.

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Holes were drilled in order to clamp the assembly together using stainless steel fasteners and 5/16″ 6061 aluminum rods.

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Sections were milled out to reduce weight and create a cool design.

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More holes milled to accept the connecting rods.

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The two stainless tubes were faced on the lathe.

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The assembly was clamped into the mill in order to take measurements for the connecting rods.

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And here is a poor picture of the unfinished thermos. The unit was assembled in order to be leak tested. I wanted to ensure liquid would not leak into the vacuum chamber. Turned out it was sealed perfectly.

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Everything was then disassembled and polished.

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Time to pull out the anodizing equipment. Here is the power supply I use for the process.

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All the aluminum parts got thoroughly cleaned.

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And into the acid bath for a 2 hour soaking.

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After anodizing everything received a dip into orange dye.

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And here is were the entire project went sideways. Something happened with the dye job. Things got blotchy and the dye was very uneven. I am still currently working on a repair/solution.

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Here is the final shot I am posting. These are the flanges, and lid, with all the o-ring seals that keep the liquid, and vacuum, contained.

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Moving onto shop organization. My metal inventory was getting a bit out of hand so a weekend was spent cleaning up the metal racking. Soooo nice now, what a relief.

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While anodizing my thermos there is time to kill as processes process. As I stared around the shop looking to pass the time I thought I would play on the lathe. I turned out this 6061 aluminum bottle opener.

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Since I still had more time to kill I found an old ammunition shell so I machined, and press fit, a bottle opener head into it.

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I was just starting to get good at this. I built another one but before I machined it I pressed in a .500″ solid brass rod into the center. The brass rings not only look cool but it also gives the opener some good weight.

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Why stop now? Lets go with an automotive theme shall we?

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It took 3 pictures to show this one off. I built this for a friend of mine.

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I am not a smoker however I figured those who partake would probably appreciate an emergency cigarette with a nice cold one.

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The smoke fits comfortably and protected inside the opener.

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Let’s do the next one out of steel shall we? Perhaps drilling some holes then pounding in some .250″ copper might be in order.

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A bit more milling and then a session on the buffing wheel turned out this version. I’m telling you the ideas are endless!!!

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Time to switch things up. This one is steel and works great.

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All you really need are 2 points and some leverage.

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Time to give the bottle openers a rest. This idea came from the opener with the hidden cigarette. I call it my 5 shooter smoke holder.

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I love the detail, super clean.

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What holds the smokes in you ask? Keep scrolling.

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There it is, a pocket size smoke holder made for a friend of mine.

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Okay…no more openers or smoke holders. This next one is a little project I have wanted to try for awhile.

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It is my version of a classic “yo-yo”. I am familiar with the pro units and their construction however I wanted to give the amateur something cool to play with.

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This “yo-yo” worked out great. I think there are more in my future.

So this sums up a bit of what has been going on in the garage for the past 5 months. I still have a list of bigger projects that I need to continue with. My 1935 CCM bicycle weighs heavy on my mind as well as my aluminum furnace. I figure that as long as I am building in the garage I am where I belong. Till next time…hopefully sooner then 5 months.

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So I am not trying to blog this CB160 thing to death however there was one final step to complete before I could lay this project to rest. I figured the 65revive rebuild deserved some decent photography so in keeping with the theme of “garage built” it was only fitting to set up a photo studio in the workshop.

I decided to call upon my brother, Brian, who does photography as a hobby. He does fantastic work and enjoys unique challenges just as I do. One Thursday night we hauled all his studio lighting and backdrops over to my place and set things up. The next evening we spent about 4 hours shooting the bike.

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The pictures turned out fantastic thanks to my brother’s ability to not only shoot great pictures but also his extensive experience with digital darkrooms. No touch ups were made to the bike itself only to some flaws in the backdrop along with a few other blemishes (not to mention cropping of the kickstand) It is fun to see how “pro you can go” in your own little amateur space and in my case I am content with the level of quality in both the bike build and photo shoot. Thanks Brian!

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The pictures posted below are part of a gallery so if you click on one picture you will be able to scroll through a larger format. Enjoy!