Saturday, 31 March 2012

Friday, 30 March 2012

Hinged metal maggots

Hinged metal maggots
Originally uploaded by rosemarybeetle

Made with Paper

This is a small scale version of an animatronic maggot, based on a human sized one I saw at a festival in Arnhem once. That freaked and groaned impressively as it ground round, powered by a washing machine motor

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Making an Arduino power supply cable look wooden

Gluing wooden casings onto plugs Wooden power unit for Arduino head
With nice wooden plugs an ugly black plastic lead is not really what anyone wants!

The black lead on the left was revamped into the lead on the right by sawdust coating it using latex as a flexible bonding agent.

Latex and sawdust forms a composite material which is much physically robust than either on their own. The latex provides flexibility and the dust gives bulk and resilience.

Pouring latex
Liquid latex from an art supply shop was used, without any thickener adding. It uses ammonia as a suspension fluid which does smell rather strongly. Use in a ventilated space!

Dipping cable in latex
Latex was poured into a shallow container

Sieving sawdust
Sawdust was sifted to get a fine powder.

Making a wood-effect power cable
The sawdust was dusted over the wet latex.

Wood-effect power lead
This was left to dry, then the process was repeated.

Animatronic head reading lamp
Eventually after three coats it ended up looking rather tasty and root-like!

Animatronic head reading lamp
A close-up of the joint with the mains plug.

Animatronic head reading lamp
Here is the head complete with swanky new cable.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Adding wooden plugs to the power unit

Cracked wooden casingThe casing for the power supply to the wooden head has cracked. This was pulled apart completely on the crack, and glued back at the same time as gluing the casing onto the power unit transformer.

Gluing wooden casing for mains power plug
Here it is being held temporarily in the vice, while a cramp is attached.

Wooden casing for 5V end power plug
A conical casing for the %v end of the power lead had been turned, which had also cracked. This turned out to be helpful, as it was the easiest way to fit the plug

Cramping wooden casing while gluing

A pair of locking grips was used as a cramp to hold it while the glue set.

Gluing wooden casings onto plugs

Once glued and cramped, they were let to dry

Wooden power plug casingHere is the finished mains end of the plug (face side)

Wooden power plug casing
Here is the business end of the finished mains end of the plug.

The transformer is held in place firmly using hot glue

Wooden power plug casing

And finally the finished end of the 5v plug

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Creating a new oak casing for the new power unit

Testing animatronic head with wooden mains plugThe head finally has a working wooden power plug.  The first power unit was burned out by soldering a new lead on before it even got the oak round it!

The second stopped working after it was encased in oak. It was not obviously damaged externally. It is likely it was broken inside by vibrations from the sander, as the plug was in situ, when it was subjected to some serious RPM.

See below for the steps undertaken to create this...

Routing out void to fit plug into wooden casing
A new casing in the vice, being routed out to fit the plug.

Note the guide rail cramped to the bench. This is a guide for the handheld router to keep to a reasonably straight edge

Routing out void to fit plug into wooden casing
A close-up of the inside of the casing, partly routed.

Fitting wooden casing for mains plug
Fitting the plug to test the depth

Wooden casing for mains plug separated
The casing with routing completed, prior to finishing.

Wooden casing for mains plug
Checking the plug fits with both halves of the casing in place.

As the last unit was killed by vibrations, this one was to be finished without the unit in it though

Sawing off screw head to make guide pin
To do this, the two halves of the casing needed to be sanded whilst kept aligned. The plug had done this in the previous attempt, but was not in place in this version.

Tow screws were inserted in one half of the casing to create guide pins to keep the halves aligned whilst sanding.

Wooden casing with guide pin in place
The guide pin after the screw head has been removed. This is to fit into a hole in the other half of the casing. (there are two of these)

Wooden casing showing guide pins
To mark the other half of the casing, the two halves were aligned, then pressure applied in the vice.

Detail of wooden casing showing guide pin impression

This created an indentation, to mark where the alignment hole needed to be drilled.

Wooden casing for mains plug, showing guide pins
The completed halves.

Wooden casing for mains plug, before finishing
The completed casing, ready to be finished

Orbital sander
The orbital sander responsible for destroying the last unit with vibrations.

Wooden casing for mains plug after finishing (cracked)
The finished casing after planing and sanding. Unfortunately it cracked when the router bit in a bit too strongly. This cracked was later glued back together

Friday, 2 March 2012

New power supply

Having screwed up three power supplies so far, here is the new one...

5v 2.5A power supply

Here's the previous plug, with delightful casing, but defunct supply!
Wooden power plugWooden power plugWooden power plug

I believe this time it was the vibration from the sander breaking the innards of the supply :(