chipKIT contest

chipKIT was kind enough to send us three of their development kits for their chipKIT design challenge.  we played around with it tonight and had a lot of fun.  the uno32 has a 32-bit chip and is compatible with arduino.  the I/O board especially impressed us with its many features such as four switches, embedded pot, temp sensor, and OLE display among many others.  we haven't decided what our project for the contest will be, but i'm sure we'll come up with something between now and january.

swedish torch

there are many good videos on youtube about these, but we had to try it for ourselves.  it's one of the coolest fire tricks we've ever played with.  you split a log into four sections then push them together and light the log from the middle.  once the fire is started it creates a natural draft in the cracks and burns the log from the center.  the flame gets very hot.and the top is an excellent flat surface for heating things.  it boiled water in no time and made a piece of all-thread red hot.  it leaves almost no mess and its easy to make..

satellite dish solar cooker

took a flea market satellite dish and spray glued aluminum foil to the face. the dish focuses the sun's rays to a concentrated area.  it gets  hot.  and it will blind anyone looking at it directly. we focused on a bottle of water.  eventually we have to add an arm extending to the focal point and place a platform for cooking food.  a Fresnel lens may be called for as well.

railroad spike knife forging

we made four knifes today out of railroad spikes.  heat them up in the forge and hammer them out on the anvil.  then use the grinder and belt sander to finish out the metal.  at the end we made handles from leather and sinew.

two teams of two on two anvils (anvils hacked from old railroad rail)

musical gun cases

we made a couple of gun cases out of a violin case and guitar case.  we cut the foam (salvaged) with a band-saw, sawz-all, and knife as needed.  then used some felt and spray glue to finish it off.

 cutting foam with band-saw


silver rings from silver coins

a great thing about having your own blacksmith forge is it provides a high temp heat source for other projects.  here we melted some silver coins using a carbon crucible in the forge.  then we poured the liquid metal into a mold made from cuddle fish bone to cast a ring.