3D Printer Ordered

I’m not sure why, but I just bought a 3D printer kit.

One of the bloggers that I follow just bought a Prusa i3 clone from China for a pretty good price and he said the quality was pretty good.

I found the one he bought but they wanted $90 for shipping it and that pushed the price a little higher than I wanted to pay. But then my friend Bil pointed out that there was one for $360 with free shipping on the same site.

It’s a different manufacturer but it’s still an i3 clone and the reviews were good, so I bought one.

Just what I needed, more projects. Hopefully it will arrive before my ShapeOko v3 so I can build it and play with it for a while.

Another Motorcycle?

Yesterday (yes, in January,) I drove home my latest motorcycle acquisition.

I got forwarded a screaming deal on a 1998 Moto Guzzi V11EV motorcycle with a Hannigan Classic sidecar attached. I’ve been jonesing for another sidecar and this deal was too good to pass up. So I checked with Liz, who pretty much said “a sidecar? Fun!” and I bought it.

It’s in great shape. The bike just turned over 40,000 miles on the odo as I pulled into the driveway and runs great. It pulls the sidecar down the freeway at an indicated 65 MPG with go to spare.

I’m super excited about it.

Assembling a Dust Deputy

The Oneida Dust Deputy is a small molded plastic cyclone-style dust separator for use with a shop vac. They claim it removes 99% of the dust from the vacuum flow before it reaches the shop vac filter. I don’t know about 99% but it does a pretty damned good job.

Removing the dust before it gets to the shop vac keeps the filter cleaner and thus the vacuum is more efficient. You also don’t need to clean or replace the filter nearly as often.

I finally took the plunge and bought one the other day. They cost less than $50 and Menards had a sale going on, so I clicked the buy button. Continue reading

Possible New Z Axis Design for the ShapeOko

I’ve been thinking about how to upgrade the Z Axis on my ShapeOko for a while now and I finally started drawing up some stuff in Inventor. As a side note, it’s way cool to build assemblies in Inventor and create parts in-place and on-the-fly. So much fun.

The main reason for the Z axis upgrade is to increase rigidity. There is too much flex in my current setup.

I also want to use the new v2 design that flips the makerslide around, but I had issues with the travel limitations with the stock spindle mount plate. Additionally I want to move the motor off to the side with the new Z axis pulley drive. I also purchased a DWP611 router motor (you can buy just the motor on Amazon) and a Precise Bits collet set for it.

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Porter-Cable Profile Sander Repair

I have a Porter-Cable Model 444 profile sander. I’m not sure where I got it, and I’m not sure I’ve ever used it. I think I either bought it used, or got it from my father.

In any case, I wanted to use it the other day. I got it out, put some sand paper on it and got to work. Suddenly it started making a different noise and shaking really badly.

The head was really loose and shook from side to side. That’s not right.

So what do I do next? I take it apart to investigate.

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528i – Replacing the Headlight Adjusters

Since the 528i is a BMW, it’s a little overly complicated. Because it’s German. Why make it simple when you can make it complicated?

The headlights on the 528i have a auto-leveling feature. Which means that if you load the trunk full of stuff, thus lowering the rear and raising the front, the auto-leveling headlights will compensate and you won’t blind on-coming traffic.

Which is cool, I guess, but it also adds more stuff to break. And break it does.

When I was polishing the headlights I heard some rattling in the right one. So I opened it up and took out some chunks of white plastic. Since I’ve spent some time surfing the various BMW forums, I knew what that meant.

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528i – Polishing the Headlights

About 6 weeks ago we bought a 1999 BMW 528i wagon. I really love this car. But since it’s 15 years old it has some issues. Nothing major and I’m working my way through them.

One of the issues is that the headlights have plastic lenses (as do most cars starting about 20 years back) and they are fogged and pitted. They are not too yellow, but they were pretty foggy.


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