Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Gaming PC mod

Back in the day, the only way to game with your mates was to lug your pc to their house, set up network and LAN. This meant 2 trips to the car and back to get the pc and the screen. To halve the journey time, I decided to strap my screen to the side of my gaming box. To ensure that the screen does not get damaged in transit, I made a cover to protect it.
I have used the case now for more than seven years. The innards has changed many times.
PC with the cover on, ready to travel
PC with the cover off ready to game
The handle is wrapped in rope to protect your hand 
The top sides swivel to the sides releasing the screen top
The screen lifts and tip forward, revealing the PC insides
The open box
The screen's transformer got strapped outside to lower the inside heat.
The straps that hold the cover is fastened to the bottom. The front feet is higher, tilting the box and the screen backward. 
The bottom has gaps open allowing for better air flow. Through this a sata power and data connector can be accessed, for an external hard drive.
The Gaming PC ready to rock!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

They have too much time on their hands

This phrase are normally leveled at people who build or do stuff that seems strange. 
A man spend years to build a functional batmobile and our reaction is that he has to much time on his hands.
What you are saying is that on my list of things to do, making a batmobile is really far down. He must have so much time on his hands that he has done all the things on the list that are more important and had time to build a batmobile.

Here's the spoiler, he did not. His list is different to yours.
I have a feeling that if you are honest, there is something on your list that is also strange, something you wanted to do or build that you have not told anybody of. Something that people will look at and say: you have too much time on your hands.
Now is the time to do/build it.

Get excited, make something!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Paper AK47

A new skill I saw and decided to try out is paper sculpting. I got this pattern for a life sized Paper AK47 and built it. As it was my first try there are room for improvement, but on the whole I'm quite happy with the end result. The pattern is really helpful in that it starts you off making the easiest parts of the build and ends with the most difficult, thereby training you as you build.

Here are some photos of the build.

The pattern
The trigger cut out
The trigger assembled
The body cut-outs assembled on the body
The main parts assembled
The gun half assembled
The final product

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Restoring a Tool chest

I bought an old tool chest from a friend of mine. It was made my his grandfather Stefanus Johannes Sutherland. He was a carpenter, wainwright, blacksmith and stonemason in the army (Sargeant Major or RSM) in Simonstown and then up at Wynberg Military Camp. All the gun carriages and wooden wheels that used to be at the entrances and embedded in the entrance walls were his work.

The chest was very well made but the time was not kind to it. It was painted a metallic blue once and had some water damage. All the glued joints was loose. The only thing holding it together was the long screws in the base. The base was cracked in multiple places so I had to replace it.

All fitting were removed and cleaned
The chest were disassembled
The paint scraped off
The planks cleaned
The chest reassembled
I needed to de-rust and paint the visible screws. To ease the spray painting I mounted them in a plastic lid so I could spray them together.
The visible screws
The reassembled chest. The base is a new plank that has been stained.
Varnished chest

Varnished lid and inside rack

The finished chest

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Slush casting

I have been investigating resin casting. The resin in question is AMT Composite's F16 colored black with Sure color. The technique is to pre-measure all the parts of the resin, quickly mix them together, pour it into the mold and rotate the mold until the resin has set. The rotation causes the resin to cover the sides of the mold forming a shell of the sculpture. The resin has a pot life of 15 minutes so you have to work fast. Luckily the if the resin has not covered the entire surface and you pour in a new batch of resin it does not form a visible line in the sculpture.

The weight mix proportions are: 
1 x  part A 
1 x part B
1.5 x mineral filler
1% colorant

Everything is ready to cast. The scale is used to measure the different parts of the resin
Compared to cement, the resin cast faster and produce a stronger product. It also does not need as much work to finish as cement. It is a LOT lighter and does not require an armature.

The de-molded sculpture
I'm quite happy with the end product. I think I'll use this technique in the future.
The cleaned and polished sculpture

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Box Shelving

I put up shelving in my workshop for empty Ice cream boxes. I re-used pallet planks and metal rods that pushed into the wall. 

The planks got cleaned up with a angle grinder sander

The off-cut rods got hammered straight

Rods were cut to length, attachment plates cut and drilled

Attachment plates welded to rods

Holes in the wall, measured, drilled, rods inserted and planks screwed to them