Sopwith Camel Article

The latest edition of The Shed magazine has just come out (in newsagents in Australia soon).

Has my 10 page article on the Sopwith Camel build.

Also includes the first two ever letters to the editor about any of my articles.  Unfortunately neither positive.  Seems coin collectors were concerned about my choice of materials (rightly so). Ah well – can’t always be right!

Photo 4-08-2015 01 46 17

Shed decoration

Stu-1

Stu-2

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.

Update – just to clarify, as there has been a bit of confusion out there it turns out….this is very much my own design, it has not been made from someone else’s plans.  It was primarily made on a bandsaw – the CNC helped with the motor obviously, but this is something you can definitely make with standard woodworking machines.

The full article, and my plans will be available in the next edition of “The Shed”

Sums it up!

The Multimaterial Dragon

From the recent video, here are a couple of images of the dragon, cut from acrylic, aluminium, corian, carbon fibre, brass, copper, MDF, ply and melamine (and the assembled dragon is acrylic and aluminium).

colour dragon02 dragonheadDesign from MakeCNC.com

Just been to the aluminium merchants, and picked up another $600 worth of aluminium sheet, from 1.5mm to 6mm thickness for some upcoming projects.

Corian

Been looking at a few different materials as part of this exercise on routing (CNC) a range of alternate materials and surfaces.  Had a closer look at Corian today, and while I was generally aware of the term, and the look/feel of kitchen benches made of the stuff, I didn’t actually know much more about it.  While this is unlikely to be news to everyone, a bit more information about what this product is may be quite interesting.  Not sure how I missed knowing more about it until now, but there you have it – can’t know everything!

Turns out it is around 50-50 polymethyl methacrylate with aluminum trihydroxide filler.  To put that in more common terms, it is around 50% acrylic polymer, and 50% alumina trihydrate, which is a product derived from bauxite.  Bauxite, as you may well know, is the raw material that is processed into aluminium.

Makes a lot more sense to me now why some people have been using it to make pens on the lathe!  Probably makes a bloody good pen if the truth be known, look, feel, finish and weight.

While it can be thermoformed into various shapes, it can also be machined relatively easily as well.  So I will be rather interested to see how it goes on the CNC, both in shaping, even 3D work, and engraving.  A number of router bits in my CNC collection are rated to handle solid surface materials, including the 3D cutters.  Think it will look rather interesting, and opens the door to combining it as another material in a mixed material project.  Especially given its machinability.

Owl’s Life

Bit of a test day today (isn’t every day?!)  Wanted to see how some new bits from Tools Today would go with the nested projects I have been working on recently.  Today’s test was on a scary looking bit – but not scary because it was big and mean looking – quite the opposite.

This bit is super fine, and a whole 1/16″ (1.6mm) diameter solid carbide cutting tip.  It looks way too fine and fragile to use, let alone in a CNC router!  However, I wanted to see if it could work, as it is currently the largest bit that I have that will cut 3mm MDF and not create oversized, and therefore sloppy joints.  This bit in question is the 45190 Amana Tool straight cutter – 2 flute, and is not up/down or compression.

Thought it would break in a heartbeat, but hoped not.  Even so, I slowed the feed speed down to 50mm/sec.

The result?  Not only did it survive perfectly well, it cut really cleanly, and did not have a tendency to try to lift or move the MDF around, even when the distances between components was at a minimum.

I’ll get more detailed views (and video) of the bit in action at another time.  What I was left with after my testing was this fellow.  The bit performed admirably – I’m sure they have a reasonably high attrition rate, but so far there have been no dramas, or casualties.

Owl-1

Owl-2Cool little guy, and probably not far off life size!  Still I might try him in 6mm MDF next!

Work in Progress

While I wanted to wait until the project was complete before showing it, I have just finished a mammoth step, so decided to share the progress.

Starting with a slab of American Walnut

DSC05827It has been resawn into two pieces, and joined together to create a slab of the required width

Then, after 24 hours of solid routing on the Torque CNC

DSC05838And a quick initial application of Danish Oil (as much to find where I need to do additional sanding), the result is starting to show some promise. (The gauges are only to test fit, they will not join the project until it is pretty much complete).  The top station (the celtic design within a circle) is not just decoration, it will also be a clock.  The gauges are all high quality German-made ones I bought from Carbatec.

DSC05849Exhausted getting this far, and I still have to have it finished by Sunday!!  And tomorrow is a day away from the shed :(

Big push at the end coming – how unusual………

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