Sen - Sword Making Tool

Russ has been working on making a sword.  After all the knifes we've made, it was time to ramp it up.  I'll put a link to the post here when the sword is complete.  But in the process, he made another tool called a Sen from an old metal file.

Basically a Sen is like a draw knife but swords blades.  As a metal on metal operation I found it kinda crazy.  "We're supposed to cut this metal blade with another metal blade.... in a woodworking way?"

After making the tool and trying it for a bit, we got kinda bored by it and opted into modern power tools and such to shape the blade, but it was a cool venture into sword making history.  Here's an article about Sen making and what they're used for. (There seems to not be a wikipedia article about the Sen... challenge anyone?)

here's one from the article linked above
Russ did the main grinding on the wheel, then went to belt

here's the sword partially hammered out

that crazy idea of scraping swords in action


Global Hackathons Prepared To Carry Forward The Work Of Aaron Swartz

Fredhack will be participating in this global hackathon.

I think most Fredhacker's have a pretty strong EFF type stance on internet issues, and Swartz was an activist on many fronts to that end, but his JSTOR article downloading especially caught my eye.

The price of academic journals are fairly outrageous and a lot of these articles on the internet are hidden behind paywalls.  For those of us not privileged enough to be in an academic institution, it's tough to get access to this stuff.

I've often daydreamed about getting that locked down academic information more public, but Swartz did something about it.

Supporting initiatives such as the EFF and Open Access Journals is one way to go about carrying on his work.  Here's a link to the EFF article.

Electric Wheel Chair Reconstruct - Robot?

This electric wheelchair has been laying around Freachack for a couple of years.  Russ decided it was time to get her going again.  It was running no problem after a quick trip to radioshack to get some switches for steering, a few modifications to the chassis, and cutting out a platform.

Russ hasn't decided whether to turn this into a man-carrying full-sized dalek, a tank-track style rover, or some other robotic incarnation.  We shall see, but for now its fun just driving it around the garage.  Spinning in place is not recommended.

attempted to add temp chair - didn't really work

Architecture Modeling Kit

I saw this basic architecture modeling kit and thought it would be cool to build one.  A nice feature is that its magnetic.  At first I considered 3D printing, but why use up all that printing time when it could be made just as easily out of wood.

When its finished a set of house plans can be taped on a sheet of metal and then the model can be erected on the plans using the magnets in the bottom to stick down.  This will turn a regular set of house plans into something more physical.

I made the scale 1/4" = 1' so that each basic panel would be 1" by 2" and represent a sheet of 4'x8' sheet of paneling.  That gives a decent representation.

The 3mm Neodynium magnets were ordered from ebay and listed as "For Warhammer Figures".  At $3+shipping this was much cheaper and a better scale for the project than what was available at the hobby store.

So basically I cut out a bunch of rectangles at correct dimensions, used the drill press to make holes for the magnets at the bottom, then glued them in.  I still need to cut some doors and windows in with the scroll.  See the example set up on the Fibonacci Cabin floor plans below  

used a discarded computer box panel as the metal underlay
here it is on the Fibanocci Cabin floor plans

Dovetail Cutting - Making Lathe Parts with Mill

Russ made this dovetailed platform for the metal lathe using the mill.  He prototyped using wood then started the slow process of cutting this out of metal using a special carbide cutter.


Surfaces, Surfaces

In our 2nd annual FREDHACK winter cleaning, we added some workbenches and got organized.  Other than the THREE new work benches, we added some pegboard, made a hanging wire-rack, and labeled cabinetry for our tools.  Look... you can see the floor!


Sand Casting 1st Attempt

Pics from an afternoon of Sand Casting.

box of sand
get it wet, mix it up
carve some foam for "lost foam" casting
place foam models in sand and cover
pour in melted aluminum beer cans
remove sand and admire work