Modifications

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. ūüôā 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…. ūüėČ

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

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

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.¬†ūüėČ

: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. ūüôā

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

Porter Cable 18V to 20V battery adaptor.

Been about a month ago, I’m trying to get caught up on stuff I haven’t had time or energy to post.

Got an adaptor to run my lithium 20v max Porter Cable batteries on my 18v (lithium, not the older NiCad ) PC tools.

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All assembled with a 2Ah battery and its not any(or much) bulkier than the original 18v 6 Ah.


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This was my test to see if it works, and how the quality was…

The tools work flawlessly, no issues I could see in a 10 minute test anyway.


I do actually still have 4 working 18v batteries for these tools, 2 in 6Ah and 2 in 2Ah. Not bad after a decade of use.. But they’re getting tired, don’t hold up as long anymore. I could have them rebuilt rather cheaply, but I wanted to try this, its simpler and easier(probably still cheaper). This thing was $21. Its nice cast/molded plastic, well made.(I expected 3D printed to be honest… surprised me its not!) This one is actually a 3 in one, takes Stanley, Black+Decker, and Porter Cable 20v batteries. (all of which interchange on PC 20v tools anyway, or nearly so with small mods IIRC.)


Works so well, I’m going to go ahead, as I can, and get the ones needed to cross all, or almost all my tools. I’m running Kobalt and PC 20v for work, Kobalt and PC 18v in my garage, and Craftsman in my home wood shop… And they get interchanged a bit too. I have more Craftsman 20V batteries than any other, but Kobalt batteries are the cheapest to buy, so I’ll get those crossed to my PC and Craftstman tools.. Or maybe just get what I need to use Kobalt batteries on everything if needed, then only buy the Kobalt batteries unless the Craftsman are on sale(both Porter Cable lines are no longer made/available anywhere). Ill figure it out.. lol.

Got the sucker here BTW, for anyone interested.
https://www.ebay.com/str/xtools99

Categories: Automotive Work, Construction, Cordless Tools, Customized, Modifications, New Work Tools, old tools, Remodeling, Reviews

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

Schmachtenberg Bros. Sleeveboard cleanup.

Finally did something with the blades in this Schmachtenberg Bros. sleeveboard I got last summer.

Before;

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Squared the ragged end off the broken main, and rounded the back corner off so its not sharp to hold anymore.

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Sharpened the pen blade too, and dropped its tip so its below the liners. Could have left it a higher tip, and dropped the kick, but that would have made it impossible to open without cutting a relief in the scale/liner, and I didn’t want to do that on this one, wanted the frame shape left alone.

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Categories: Customized, EDC, Folder Tinkering, knives, Modifications, old tools, Pocket knives, Repairs, Vintage

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.¬†ūüėČ

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. ūüôā


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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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