Episode 107 Miniature Copy Bit


Making a start

Ever find it difficult to take that first step to getting a project underway?

I really want to build the Hummer, but have been procrastinating about kicking it off.

So I got the plans out again last night for another read-through, and to work out how I’m going to tackle it. Once I make the first cut we’ll be away.

So I just have to get thoughts of the cold shed, the articles I need to write, the videos I need to shoot, and the shed organisation all put aside (all the start-avoidance behaviour), and get into it!


Addition and Subtraction

The battlefield of the very near future could be quite a different place indeed.  At least as far as logistics and materiel supply is concerned.  I imagine it will be even more profound for the Navy, who have a stable working platform (stable by our standards!)

Where once, a battle was fought only as far as the supply chain could stretch, and every spare part imaginable was carried, it will soon get to a point that all that will be required is the generic raw material, and the ability to fabricate any required part in the field.

The age of one-off part creation is upon us.  It may still be in its infancy, but RP (rapid prototyping) and RM (rapid manufacture), in the form of 3D printing is about to become an unbelievable growth industry over the next 6-10 years.  Even the Formula 1 is taking it very seriously.  They already use 3D printing for prototyping parts for their vehicles, but it won’t take long before the cars themselves have 3D printed components on them, especially where it comes to recovering from an accident.  Cars are occasionally knocked out of the big event due to a crash during practice, and the inability to get the required spare.  This costs the team a fortune in lost exposure, lost advertising, let alone potentially lost championship points.

3D printing is a form of AM – additive manufacturing, where raw material is processed and added to build the required component, layer by layer.  This is no longer restricted to plastics either, with companies now able to utilise titanium 3D printers.  This results in products that goes far beyond prototyping and concept models, and results in fully functional products, some which cannot be made by any other method, with moveable components in seemingly impossible locations.  Impossible if traditional fabrication methods were used.

So where 3D printing is an additive manufacturing process, CNC routing is a subtractive process.  You start with a block of raw material, and carve away everything you don’t want.  Each have their advantages, and CNC machining has now been around for decades, so is a very mature process.

Soon, both additive and subtractive computer manufacturing in my workshop.  The Redback CNC will give me the subtractive process, (in spades), and a soon-to-arrive 3D printer will let me start to become familiar with additive manufacturing.  The rolls of filament arrived during the week, so hopefully the 3D printer is not too far behind!

Redback CNC


Some news!

There will shortly be a new CNC machine (CNC router) on the market.  Once that is Australian designed, and made as well.

Comes from a pretty interesting stable too – the same inventor behind the Torque Workcentre, and his company, YAS Engineering.  Now Keith (for those that don’t know) is actually a specialist in CNC machines, and has been making custom builds for years from the small, to the very large.   This design is one for production, rather than custom builds, and it is only about 6 weeks or so away from making the transition from prototype, to the first production machine.

And that machine will be making its way down to sunny Melbourne, to a modest shed that I am somewhat familiar with!

The bed on the CNC is 600x900mm, although the overall cutting capacity of the machine is more than that (yes, more, not less).  That means it can work over the end of the bed, so working on the ends of boards etc will be possible.

Thinking Aspire would be the best product to get to really showcase the capabilities of the machine, rather than just sticking to VCarve.  Have played with VCarve already, looking to jump to the next dimension (the third dimension) with my CNC routing!

More news as it comes to hand!


Own Goal

Had a plan today- test out some improvements to the video setup for the shed (lighting, cameras and sound), then get a video in the can.

Started with the lights – a couple of theatre lights I have, set on stands and providing what looks to be good, even light to the scene. Check.

Next, spent quite a bit of time working on the sound. Tried a few mics I had kicking around, and couldn’t get them working- not sure why- not my area of expertise. However, the remainder still provided a good collection. On the video camera, a reasonable XY mic so that at least the primary video has a reasonable sound track attached.

Next, a boundary mic feeding into a small Behringer mixer on one channel, and a wireless lavalier mic feeding into a second channel.


Camera 1 is the standard solid state video camera, with the mic discussed above. Set to a wide angle to get in the whole scene.
Camera 2 is an SLR with telephoto lens, set close-up on the working area (with SLRs these days able to shoot HD video). The output from the Behringer mixer is plugged into this camera.
Camera 3 is the GoPro, stuck to an overhead beam providing a top- down view of the work area.

Camera 4 (& 5?) are still to come. Primarily a second SLR, able to take another lens from my range, either stationary providing a different perspective, or on a powered slider (which is currently on its way from the US). If there is a 5th, it will be something like another GoPro. The second SLR is being funded by a few things I am selling, such as the last of my old dive gear. Didn’t get as much as I was hoping, but that is always the risk of eBay. Hopefully a few other sales will cover the second body cost.

So then it was onto the tools. I haven’t used the Festool OF 1400 since I had a short play with one years ago, but I was impressed at the time, and have been keen to add one to the lineup. It is great for handheld work, so I finally bit the bullet, and had Ideal Tools send one through. It is as nice to use as I remembered.


Finally, all ready to go, lights, camera, sound, action, and snap. The router bit I was going to film broke while routing through a meer 2mm of MDF.

Dang it!!!


ManSpace Mag

The mags are coming quick & fast- the latest edition of ManSpace Magazine is now available.


Includes the third and final article on the shed build, and making a dartboard cabinet.

Raising some revenue

I’ve had the tool section running for a little while now, and it has been good to (slowly) move on some items.  I’m going to keep the section running, as there are always a few odds and ends (spare components primarily) that can find another home.

I am looking to really ramp up the production quality of the videos again, and have new lights, new mics, and am now working on adding an extra camera as well. So I’ve turned (once again) to eBay to move a couple of things to assist.

One is the radial arm saw.  It may go for less than it was offered on here, maybe more (although I’d be surprised).  It is currently at $8, with 5 days to run, so is quite the bargain (if you want a radial arm saw that is!)

FirefoxScreenSnapz006Radial Arm Saw on eBay

The other item currently listed (which has nothing to do with woodworking, but at least the revenue raised will!), is the last of my dive gear, which I used to do a lot of deep diving with.  Currently at $270, with 2 days to run.

FirefoxScreenSnapz007Dive Gear on eBay

Sad to see it go, but I’m not using it, and one past hobby can help fund a current one.


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