Friday, 2 September 2016

Headphone Winder

I guess I'm a runner now, it didn't really happen overnight, I completed the NHS couch to 5K program and just didn't stop. I do recommend it if you want to increase your fitness. Anyhow my headphone cable is too long and it bugs me while I run so I made a winder. There are two sets of loops, one to shorten the cable and hold it there and one to wrap around the outside for storage. It's made from polypropylene so it's lightweight and won't slow me down. It might be a little big but I can just scale it down on the laser in the future. (svg here)

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Chess Set

I had a request to make a chess set, the pieces had to be stack into a column so they can be wrapped into the middle of a flexible chess board. With the challenge accepted Doug gave me dimensions and artwork for the tops of the tiles. Each piece has a 1.5mm birch disk, engraved with the relevant symbol attached to the top and a corresponding ring on the bottom, this allows the pieces to stack together without falling over.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016


Here is a prototype for a porthole I'm currently making. It does have a functional hinge made with a 6mm dowel but the catches aren't functional yet. The window is made from 3mm perspex and the rest from 6mm poplar although I'll be moving over to birch shortly to get a more woody effect from it.

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Laser Power Meter

At first glance this might look like a turkey temperature gauge and you'd be forgiven for thinking that because that's basically what it is. It's actually a laser power meter which is essentially a thermometer for laser beams.

The large black block on the end of the thermometer is a thermal mass to hold the heat and it is placed in the path of the laser beam (usually before mirror 1). The beam is fired for a specific length of time and the laser heats the metal. The temperature change of the metal block is directly proportional to the amount of power being output by the laser. The whole gauge is calibrated to the dial by the length of time to fire the beam, in our case 15.3 seconds.

You have to let the gauge cool down between measurements, although you can hurry that along by dunking it in cold water. There is also an adjustment knob on the back which allows you rotate the scale so that zero lines up with the needles current position.

This also qualifies as a laser cut item, Dominic dropped it the other day and smashed the glass. I bought it home and 30 seconds later we had a new perspex screen to go into the gap :)

Monday, 29 August 2016

Burr Puzzle

This simple burr puzzle is cut from 9mm poplar (mostly because I couldn't find my 10mm perspex. It is made from 12 identical pieces but the parts need cuts in 2 axis. This is achieved by cutting the first side and then flipping the piece within the hole.(svg here)

This picture shows the various steps number from top to bottom, normally I would cut 6 pieces at once and this picture is for illustration only.
  1. Cut the outline and the cut outs for the first piece.
  2. Remove the piece, being careful not to bump the outline
  3. Remove the shrapnel from the hole
  4. Insert the puzzle piece back into the hole but rotated through 90 degrees.
  5. Cut the next set of cut outs
  6. Remove the finished piece from the outline.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Just Add Sharks Stencil

Another A2 sized stencil cut from Mylar material. You'll be seeing where this one actually gets used in the near future but for now it'll allow us to mark up some of the things around the unit.

Block Dice for Blood Bowl

Here is a set of block dice for the game bloodbowl, They're cut from 16mm Beech cubes.