Shed decoration



It was a bit of a hard slog to get this project across the line in time in the end, but the project was completed (at least to this standard), photos taken, and a 3400 word article submitted for the next edition of The Shed magazine.

I didn’t try rushing a finish – it will pop even more when I do, but I think it looks pretty good as it is!  This one is destined for the shed.  I’ll add some guns to it (the Sopwith Camel had Vickers machine guns), and hang it in a banking turn, probably dog fighting a pteranodon or similar.

Pleased how it came out – a solid nod towards the original aircraft (with a wooden toy emphasis), down to the 9 cylinder Clerget 9B rotary engine.

Killer Bees & Thirsty Camels

Been flat out the last couple of weeks, juggling life’s typical chaos, while trying to knock off a couple of projects.  One is for my daughter’s school science class, and the other as the next magazine article I am writing.

Here are a few sneak peeks.


Lube Job

I’ve been gearing up for another crack at routing non-ferrous metals on the CNC- primarily aluminium, but also brass & copper if the opportunity presents.

There are a couple of areas that did not get sufficient attention first time around, that along with feed rates and depth of cut, resulted in a few bit breakages. 

The primary culprits are chip clearance, and lubrication.  

I picked this up on eBay for a massive $10, including shipping (from Hong Kong)

Which is a misting unit.  Compressed air entrains oil in the air stream, and simultaneously lubricates the cutting area, and blows the resulting chips clear.

For the price, it is worth the experiment!  I have some upcoming projects that I want to do with aluminium, so hopefully this proves to be a good solution.  If not, there are other solutions out there that don’t cost a lot more (although some are a lot of dollars for very little more). 

You have to shop around on eBay- the one I bought for $10 is also sold for $40 from another supplier!

You can get something called a “FogBuster”, which in a practical sense is no more complicated, comes with a few extra parts (including a reservoir), and costs over $400.  Not saying that it is a bad solution, and it may have some significant benefits, but I’ll start at the $10 mark and work up!

Hmm- I wonder where this is all leading? (And no, that is not a rhetorical question).

ManSpace TV is coming back


SawStop – as in Stop that Sawblade!!

Driver cheats death on Chinese motorway as huge saw blade cuts into car bonnet – Asia – World – The Independent.

SSYTC082 Australian Animals Series

(A slight delay in the SundayCNC post!)

The Australian Animal series, from (scroll down a bit to the Australian Animals)

A really nice set of designs, with some real standout patterns.  By far and away, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo is the most impressive, at least in my opinion.  However, it was the Echidna that I had to make a second time, because the first was ‘requisitioned’ by one of my work colleagues, as being “too cute”.

I really like the delicate magpie, and the facial (and mouth) detail of the Tasmanian Devil.  But I’m sure everyone will have their own favourites.

I would say these are more advanced patterns, as they take a bit more effort to assemble, but slowly and surely each can be bought together.  I occasionally shaved some pieces down just a little to loosen the fit, as I was gluing them, rather than leaving the models so they could be disassembled at a later stage.

Routed on the Torque CNC 9060, using the 1/16″ straight, 2 flute 45190 cutter from, running at around 40mm/sec, and 12000RPM.  Each cut from 3mm MDF, with most being able to fit either 2, sometimes 3 to a 900×600 sheet.  Except for the Cockatoo – that took pretty much an entire sheet on its own.  Of course, there is no reason why you cannot go bigger if you choose – cutting from 6mm, 12mm (or thicker) MDF.  And you don’t actually need a CNC to make use of the patterns.  A laser and/or router are all very well, but you are not limited to computer controlled machinery.  Print out the designs and stick them on stock timber, and you could cut them out with a scrollsaw or bandsaw.

The animals in the series are:

Sulphur Crested Cockatoo
Frilled Neck Lizard
Salt Water Crocodile
Kangaroo with Joey
Tasmanian Devil
Koala Walking
Koala in Tree

A fun series, with some real standout designs.

AA-1 AA-2 AA-3 AA-4

A Momentary Lapse of Concentration


On the turning away
On the CNC router
And the words we say which others won’t understand
“I don’t believe what I’ve just done
Another bit is now suffering
I’ve mixed up the axis again
And now it is gone”

That moment, 2 seconds after clicking a button, and hearing the tip of the bit hit the wall of the shed.  When you have moved the tool in the Y axis, and not the Z.

And another 1/16″ bit bites the dust (literally, and figuratively).


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