Fabrication

Are we square here?

Stumbled upon something I hadn’t seen before when Christmas shopping, but having no real need filed the idea away.

That idea, is mini speed squares. The speed square is without a doubt a handyman or construction workers most used tool. Layout, measurements, angles, checking square, and a great crosscut circular saw guide.

But sometimes, all you need is a 90deg or 45deg marking guide for layout, and dont want to carry a full size square. A lot of guys tend to use a 4″ slip square for that. I have for years. But its still a 3″x4″ chunk in the pocket, and without the angle guide, or saw guide.

Now granted, I’ve never used the angle guide more than twice in my life, and a 3″ square is not going to be a good saw guide. But I was still intrigued by a small light pocket square.

Enter 3D printing (yes, again lol) and I stumbled upon a mini and micro speed square design on Printables. There are actually several there, even metric versions. But these looked promising, with all the measurement and angle hash marks. One at 3″, the other at 2″.

I printed the big one, in red PLA.

Now, I was absolutely amazed. The precision of my printer setup hadn’t been the best, and I knew I had it pretty damn good, but this was still cool. I’d avoided printing anything with exact measurements for this reason(yes, printing parts to fit other parts, but not to a measurement without tweaking the scale for print error.)

Anyway, the measurement scale on it was dead on for a long ways, only walking a 1/64″ or less after the 3″!! yes thats off, and off quite bit in 12″. But when you’re always printing under 8″ and usually under 2″, a few thousands off per 1/16″ isnt too bad!

And also for carpenters tools, in construction not cabinetry, its fine. This isn’t precision machine work.

Now, the angles were something else. The 90 came out at 89, but the 45 was dead on. Which isn’t horrific! But even for a marking tool for construction, I wanted as good as I could get, at least within the tool… some drift 10 feet away is fine lol.

Some could be shift in my printer, again, its not 100% tight, and this process has inherent movement, that (can)causes drift as you go… momentum and sheer force on molten plastic.

Or the guys model could be out of square. I also wondered how accurate the average metal square is anyway. I’m using a digital angle gauge to check with, assuming thats pretty accurate.

All other squares in the shop were within 0.4 to 0.5 degree of 90. A couple were dead on. Thats a full size 1960s era Swanson speed square, a Craftsman or Stanley 4″ slip square, and a 18″ framing square. Good sampling of styles and costs, and sizes, seems half a degree is it.

So, I modeled a simple square myself, and printed it.

Same 1 deg off! 89.0 So. Printer? Maybe.

I basically decided to ignore my OCD on it and accept 1deg out for what its used for. I remodeled, added the features I wanted, and beefed up the structure(test print was fast and light), and re printed it.

And you know what? Thag sucker is dead on 89.9, and 44.8!!

Printed a second one smaller, just the same.

Now, I’m not saying the other guys model is out of square. I will go back and re-slice it finer(although it was at the same resolution as I just printed mine) and see if it comes out any more accurate.

At any rate, I had fun modeling, and testing, and got the features and size I wanted, without things I don’t use. One for the shop, and one for my tool bag, will see how much I actually use them.

Now, my models turned out to be less speed square than where we started. They are 2″, or 2.5″on the thin 90deg leg, 1/4″ overhang on the edge on one side, 1/2″ on the other for marking gauges. No angle or length marks. A simple and fast layout tool. Plus one hole for a caribiner or similar, if I can find a way to use it that doesn’t get in the way, or be too fiddly to remove and replace all of the time.

Any interest in the comments, an I’ll make my model file available. 🙂 Otherwise, there are so many out there, including the other one I started with, I see no reason to release it.

The other guys square is here; https://www.printables.com/model/312095-pico-squares-small-speed-squares Also, PLEASE NOTE There is NOTHING wrong with his model! It is fully within normal parameters, especially for a printed part… 30 seconds with sandpaper on a flat surface would make it dead on square! Heck, you might even print it dead on to start with. Given how many variables there are in this game, 1 degree is a fantastic low variance. I was just being super picky about it, and wanted to see IF I could do better straight off the printer. Not that it really needed to be any better. Hell, the next one I print of my model could be off farther…. 😉

Categories: 3D Printing, Construction, Custom, custom-made-tools, EDC, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, key-chains, Modifications, Multitools, New Gear, Pocketable, Prototypes, tool mods, Work Tools | Leave a comment

Poor Mans Plastic Parts, Round Two!

Aaaaaaaannnnndddd, Round Two!

Wanted to build a little socket set for part of this kit to go with a 3/8″ impact driver. Needed a way to keep them all in their side of the box. Couple/three hours (not sure, 3 projects at once…) modeling and test prints for fit, 3 hours printing lid and support blocks, 1/2 hour assembly. Supports have captive magnets, and are screwed and (hot) glued in. Magnets press fit into the lid. Good and secure, can put the sockets in it and lift that side of the case! Can also put the sockets in it turn it over and shake the heck out of it, but not the sockets; lid stays put! OpenSCAD modeling, Cura slicer, Elegoo Neptune 2S printer. Hatchbox Blue and Silver PLA.

Had some bed adheashion issues, and layer adheashion issues, that resulted in the scars(once one layer is scarred it just continued upward with the scar till the top… It didn’t smooth over them. )Its clean enough for a functional print, IE not having to be purdy just solid. I don’t like it in principle, but in application I don’t mind it, it adds character.

Categories: 3D Printing, A.I.O., Automotive, Custom, Customized, Design, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, Modifications, OpenSCAD, PLA, Plastic Parts, Prototypes, Re-purpose, Tool Boxes, tool mods, Truck EDC, Truck gear | Leave a comment

Introducing, The Grangler.

 A couple months ago, soon after my shiny new 3D printer arrived, (yes, yes, need to post about that in details, I know…) with new flashlights, and playing around with carry concepts, I’d found I needed another Prangler. its been my favorite EVER for keychain carry, I have it at 11oclock on a belt loop all the time. Always secure, never a problem, I’ve never lost it off of me, but its the fastest easiest access.

Decided I wanted that for my flashlight, which has for years been caribinered to a belt loop at 9oclock.(southpaw!)
Yes, I’ve played with different carabiners and clips before. Just before this I had gone out and found THE perect caribiner, and also, had splurged for one new Prangler.(looks like that post about caribiners missed being Here… Will try to get it uploaded!)

Whats new now, was I found I needed about 3 more of them. 1 on keys, and one to swap around on 4 or 5 flashlights is a PITA.
But I’m unimployed for the year, and funds are short for Titanium trinkets… For a while now I was going to ask Eng1nerd Designs if he minded If I just made myself another Prangler, maybe in brass or copper. But I couldn’t do it, felt too cheeky.

((ANyone interested in a titanium Prangler, let me know in the comments and I’ll get you in touch with Zach, AKA Eng1nerd 🙂 ))

Also recently, winter had finally caught up to us, and I re-discover another issue, that I’ve had with ‘biners, and now the Prangler; its 0F to 10F out and I’m wearing heavy gloves. I CAN opperate a biner with them, but its annoying. I do the prangler for my keys pretty well, because most places I need them, I can’t get the key I want, or unlock a door with the gloves on.. So gloves off for them is fine.

But for the lights, I’d like to stay gloves on if I can.

Also something else I’ve thought about, is I have NEVER used the Pry feature on the Prangler. Actually thought about grinding the tip off the 2nd one I had just got.

So, you might see where this is heading…

I took what I liked and needed, in basic form from the prangler, added, subtracted, and designed my own belt loop dangler. 

:D

Enter, the Grangler.
G(rippy D)angler.

First was to sit down and copy the Prangler.
and do a test print on my geometry, I wanted the same slot/loop hole size and shape, it works so perfect on the Pranglers.

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Then, add and subtract what I need and don’t.
Rounded off the top end, no more pry bar.
Removed the mid and upper holes, since I’ve never hung anything from them, to me it gets too messy/bulky and rats nests too much.

Then, added a wide grip area to that side.
And realizing the holes if nothing else provide grip texture, put them back, but in 1/4″ hex holes.
No I don’t intend to ever use them as a driver, after all its in 3mm plastic… But in a pinch its possible. I just wanted traction.

Voila!

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As I went the thickness progressed, from the same as the Pranglers, up a bit, then a little more. The thickest one I have is about 4mm(3.81mm or 0.150″), and I used two different “fill” patterns for strengths… can’t tell any difference, they’re all about the same strength. The narrow side bar on them all is springy side to side(width of the bar), and a little more top to bottom(ie with the thickness) which is still fine. I can pull on both bars as hard as I can sideways(direction it would pull if I snag what ever I have on it) with just the finger grip I can get, I can’t break the sucker off!

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The outcome is perfect! The grip is great, even with gloves, they hang just like the Prangler, safe and secure, but easy on and easy off, AND with the gloves on its no hitch whatsoever!! I had been a little worried about the PLA in the cold, but several weeks now of constant use between 30F and -40F, and you figure the only heat these get is anything radiating off my hip… not a lot lol, it never seemed brittle, or anyway I didn’t notice if it was, didn’t seem to bother it at all.

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So far I have about a dozen of them on various flashlights, knives, and tools. In 4 different matterials, and almost a dozen colors. PLA and wood fiber PLA, PETG, all work fine. The translucent white ones up above are even Glow In The Dark!

Categories: Adventure Metal Works, custom-made-tools, Customized, Danglers/carabiners, Design, EDC, Engineering & Design, Fabrication, key-chains, New Gear, New Products, OpenSCAD, PETG, PLA, Plastic Parts, Preparedness, Prototypes | 2 Comments

Slip cases for batteries.(3D printed)

Anyone need some slip top battery carriers? 

I did. 

Well, kinda… This was a drift of another project I did in the last few days, a small cartridge box. Realized the same design could be made to hold just about any cylendrical item… like a battery. SO I remodeled from the ground up to give me a fully parameter-izable model. Now I just plug in numbers and I get different sized cases. 

I Have wanted a safe way to carry a spare 18650 for a while(not that I HAVE a spare but thats besides the point… I have ended up with a loose cell some days and its annoying. )

Anyway. 

battery cases! 

I did 3 basic designs for me, a 4xAA box, a 3xAAA box(headlamps anyone?) and a 2×18650 box(somehow, not shown… hrrm.).  Need to go back and do something for 2 or 3 16340 or CR123, just in case I ever need it. OR wait till I need it… lol. That was the concept to an easy to use pre modeled file.. Print as I need things instead of 2 days of modeling every time. 

These are printed in PETG, a little stronger than the other plastic I have(PLA), with a good heat resistance, and a bonus of being resistant to most chemicals, and waterproof(most soda and water bottles are PET or PETG).

To be geeky; they are printed from a 0.4mm nozzle at a whopping 0.8mm line width(everything says not to go over 150% of nozzle width, which would be 0,6mm… I haven’t had a single issue with 0.8mm. Tempted to try a full 1mm.) in vase mode(Spiralized outer contour in Cura) at 0.25mm layer height, 235C nozzle, 70C bed temps. Filament is Sunlu 1.75mm PETG. All from a Elegoo Neptune 2S.

I’m trying not to totally 3D geek out in these printing posts, but will tell you a little about the mechanics, and the trick I found, for getting these to print in a different style.Normally these would take about 1.5 hours to print top and bottom, and use about a dollars worth of plastic. IN “Vase Mode” they print in 1/3 of that time, and use half the plastic, or less. The thing is, that Vase mode, normally only prints the outermost surface of an item as one continuous line. It compketely ignores the insides no matter what it is, and can’t print any horizontal surfaces beyont to base/bottom. Thanks to a guy on YouTube, I now have a trick. You slightly change the structure, by slitting into the side of the object, connecting the inner and outer surfaces, in essence tricking the software so it prints both. No top surface, and Slight loss of structural integrity(although the clearances could be tightened so that the lines touch and fuse at the ends! ) but for most things the difference is negligable…. UNless its something you plan to run over with a tank… then this might not be a good approach. 😉

Anyone interested in the print files,both STL and the fully parametarized OpenSCAD file to create different boxes, I have it uploaded to my account at printables.   A big bonus, this will make cartridge boxes, just need dimensions of the cartridge in question!

https://www.printables.com/model/358094-parametric-vase-mode-battery-casesopenscad

Categories: 3D Printing, Batteries, CAD, Cura, Custom, custom-made-tools, Day Bag, EDC, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, New Gear, OpenSCAD, PETG, Plastic Parts, Preparedness, Slicing, Vase Mode | Leave a comment

A new way to make plastic parts.

For me anyway!

Something I’ve wanted since they came about, but could never afford or really justify. Until now!

When you come to two new projects, and re-visiting 2 old ones, that you couldn’t finish,and need to sit doen and carve parts from micartan or acrylic blocks…

You just finally buy a damn printer, and be done with it. 😉

:D

one of these
https://www.elegoo.com/products/neptune2s-fdm-printer

is now on its way!

Did a lot of research, watched a ton of videos, got the opinion of a trusted friend thats into printing, etc..


Think I made a good choice for a Non bare bones kit, entry level printer. We shall find out!

Categories: 3D Printing, Adventure Metal Works, Custom, Customized, Electronics/Media, Fabrication, MacGyver, Materials, Modifications

Poor mans custom plastic parts.

Sooo… What do you do if you need fancy custom fit plastic parts but don’t have a 3D printer?

You dig out a glue gun and some dusty Lego plates!

Needed a hinged lid to close in one half of a Kobalt bit driver case. Voila;

Used a hinged bit holder insert that I didn’t need as the hinge, built up a riser and door, and a stop/latch block. Hot glued the riser/door to the hinge and the stop in the other end. Magnet and a stacked nut/washer for right height glued in for safety latch.

brown stripe because I couldn’t find another black 2×16.

Where it opens to/sits on its own.

where I can hold it open to;

This little recess here;

Fits this little latching nub on the other half off the case;

Now I have closed in socket storage;

Clears everything on the opposite side

Magnetic latch;

Latch might get a re-design.. Will see how it holds up.

More on the kit itself later. Its a companion setup for a specific power tool in a specific application. Need to finish figuring out what sockets I want in it, and collect them, along with a couple other drivers.

This kinda rough, and a bit of a redneck hack. But it works! And thats what counts to me. 🙂

Categories: 3D Printing, Adapters, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, LEGO, MacGyver, Modifications, Plastic Parts, Re-purpose, Tool Boxes, tool mods, tools-bit kit, Truck EDC

Custom truck bed cargo divider bars.

Got this a couple/three weeks ago, cargo divider bar to keep gas and water cans in place in the truck. PITA to always be strapping them in. Looked at building something, but I didn’t have any viable scrap on hand and buying even electrical conduit or black water pipe and needed fittings cost more than this thing!

$25 @ Lowes. Easier to move it around than what I would have been able to build too. Adjustable from like 50″ to 72″

Did learn much to my amazement, that my bed inside width is wider than 72″. Hell, the outer width if the flatbed is only 72″, and I swore it was wider than a stock box. This box might actually be sprung an inch or so, but still…

But yeah, the feet on the ends have holles in them already, assumedly for what I did; screw them to 2×6 chunks. Little less grip than the rubber grippy feet, but it works fine so far.

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There it is with my improvised sideways divider, to separate diesel and water jugs… A scrap stove pipe support bracket I brought home from work, already made up. Didn’t quite clear my 5th wheel hitch(gotta get rid of that soon) but if you flipped it around and sat it at a slight angle it worked for most arrangements.

Most…

I got tired of it not fitting all the cans I needed, separately, on the right sides… And it all still had to be strapped somewhere.

Went browsing online for parts ideas(Lowes app is a rube goldberg/macgyver designers dream for finding hardware! )

Between black steel pipe and SteelTek structural pipe, I figured I could make a couple L shaped dividers that would slide on the sucker, outer L sitting on the bed floor (2 because there are the two telescoping tube sizes on it) and lock in place with some set screw/knobs.

Thats sorta what I ended with..

I did buy a chunk of pipe, a couple pipe fittings, and one steeltek fitting… but my total for one divider was over $30…

On the way out of the store, I decided to hell with it and got another of the ratcheting dividers for $25, too.

I’d already found that the feet are just pinned on with a rivet(the pipe bottoms in the cup on the foot first, pressure is dirrect, not held by thd rivet/pin). I’d removed the feet and hair clipped/bolted them back on the first one. Easier to move around and be able to put it in trough the other frame without the 3m2x6 ends on it…

With the second one, I found that with the feet off, the inner pipe will slide out the back of the outer one…

So I got to measuing and cutting.

Liked the idea of an adjustable divider, I can put the main bar further forward and still use it… Would have liked to leave more length, but to get it to shorten enough to trap the cans, it left me with just about 30″ max. Thats with it cut to be a minimum length of 16″, 1″ over the 15″ gas cans…

The bigger bar OD is 1.25″, small inner one is a touch over 7/8″.
Unfortunately Steeltek(and plumbing pipe) specs for 1.25″ are off… Its ID of their pipe. So all the fittings are much bigger!! And 3/4″ pipe OD is even bigger than 1.25″ OD, so i couldn’t just drop a size.

Could have used 3/4″ water fittings IF I drilled or machined the threads out, then the dia would work. Too freaking much work. 

So yeah, the smaller pipe goes into the steeltek T, with about 3/8″ of play, but locked in with the set screw on the short one… the other two screws on the cross bar are snugged up, but so it can slide.

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So, maybe $55 in actual used materials, got me one bar and one divider, that I can move on one side of the main bar. If I need the divider past center to the other side of the truck I can just flip the whole affair endo. If I need divider on both ends after all, I’ll think of something for a slider T then… maybe weld one up.. and cut down another ratchet bar, or use the water pipe I got… will find out at the time. 

:)

Ir bows the main bar out a little, with the ball pivots on the feet, and the center joint only being overlapped a couole inches lets it flex. Just have to remember to just snug the divider, not torque it in. The only real downside now is since its tightened against the tail gate, it drops every time you open the gate, and has to be re-ratcheted in place when you close it. Only mildly annoying. I might get another T and put a foot/leg under the end.. maybe.

Going to get a female/female coupler somehow, maybe find some pipe that will slip over the 7/8″ tube(maybe machine out a short chunk of 3/4″ steeltek pipe?) And I can butt joint the piece I cut off, back on at times… and use it as an extension, have a longer divider that way, with some adjustment still… will have to play with it.

Categories: Adapters, Alaska-Life, Automotive, Automotive Work, Custom, Customized, Fabrication, Improviser, MacGyver, MacGyverism, Modifications, truck, Truck EDC, Truck gear

Damascus and Copper Bear MGC Trapper, part 7!

This knife has a looong history of mods with me. I first got it in late 2005, or early 2006. I think in 2006.


It was the fist traditional pocket knife that I really carried a Lot and worked a Lot.  We started building our garage tgat summer and I remember the lighting fast cuts it made opening cement bags… A highly abrasive task that never seemed to phase it.

It is made by Bear MGC, Now Bear and Sons. Its a Damascus steel 4.125″ 2 blade trapper. It was built with brass liners, nickel silver bolsters, and thick swell center burnt stag bone handles.

Within a week I’d ground the stag down to smooth “normal” profile, and retoasted them a light caramel.

Within a couple years, I’d taken it apart to rehandle it in sonething else.

About 10 years later, I had gotten back to it after purchasing another like it that I did in moose stag.

At that pointvid picked out materials, etc along the way, knew what I wanted to do, had just never had the time or gumption to do it.

Finally in 2015, I decided what the heck, and did it.

The saga of that build can be seen here;

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/02/slim-damascus-trapper-started/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/04/damascus-trapper-update-2/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-3/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-4/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/11/bear-damascus-trapper-part-5/

https://ak-adventurer.net/2015/12/13/bear-damascus-trapper-part-6/

I think I’ve carried it five times since I built it like that. Used less. When I did it, I left it Really thick toward the back, for a tapered fatter grip, which I thought I’d like.

It was OK to grip, but not great, and turned out horrendous to pocket.


The best couple pics at the end of the above posts, that show what I ended up not liking,  are these I think.



Aaaannnnddd… where I started this time;


I carefully sawed slots in the “pins”(corby bolts!), cranked them apart, and took the sucker apart. Thankfully I had a hatred for glueing knife scales on, so no trouble there.

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Cut and filed the uneven bolsters the same length(damn close)

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evened the scales lengths, made spacers for the gap, made/modified pins(bolts) to fit, thinned the scales out.

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Looks like I missed pics of cutting, stacking, and installing the fiber spacers. That was tedious but i got them a tight fit.

Before;

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During, attached together to match the profile, thicknesses easier, blue tape the super glue that together.

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After;

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Got into some porosity… semi super glue filled after I was done.

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Top bolt was the same as the lower when I started, had to lathe them so the shanks were longer. Half this hardware was in the knife when I took it apart. The other half was pirces Id screwed up the first time around that I had to mod/fix.

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Made a short brass spacer from a loveless bolt set even shorter for a corby bolt I had that wasn’t long enough to reach through the second liner… spacer is threaded so when its all cranked together its the same support and grip as the corby shaft being longer..

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Assembled and had actually sanded the scales too short from the spacers(freaking fine sanding to fit the angles) so I came up with a secret weapon, and filled the gaps.. color even works ok with these scales.

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We’ll see how durable it turns out to be.

Assembled and ground the corbys off, still no epoxy in it in case I want to have it apart again someday. (Not likely!!!)

Finish sanded and thinned it some more, hand sanded everything @220, and buffed lightly…

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Need a clean buffing wheel, will set that up and buff the bolsters to high gloss… someday. 😉

But for now, she’s done again! Its a lot cleaner of a build now, and friendlier in hand and pocket.



I like it a lot better!! Its a much better grip, still thicker than a single blade trapper would be, it feels like a slightly thick two blade folder, or a thin fixed blade. And it basically disappears in pocket too.

Maybe after about 15 years,  I might get to carry it again. 🙂


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(Wood filler is the thin tan lines between the bone scales and the first red spacer)

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Categories: Adventure Metal Works, copper, Custom, Customized, EDC, Fabrication, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, Pocket knives, Repairs, Sentimental

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