Thursday, October 3, 2013

Detangle Thread By Running it Through a Dryer Sheet

Detangle Thread By Running it Through a Dryer Sheet

If you've ever patched a pair of jeans, you know how easy it is for the thread to get tangled while you work. However, if you keep a dryer sheet or two in your sewing kit, this will never be a problem again.

After you thread your needle, run it through a dryer sheet before starting to stitch. Just as a dryer sheet can keep your clothes static-free when you do laundry, pulling the thread through the sheet eliminates the static cling that can cause it to stick to itself. If it doesn't seem to be working, try running the thread back through the sheet an extra time or two to make sure it's all being treated.

New Uses for Dryer Sheets | Real Simple

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Add Wireless Charging to Your Smartphone

take safety precautions and do not do anything you are not certain of.
i cannot be held responsible to any damage you may cause to your device or to yourself !

(now, after i covered my ass, we can begin)

there are a few projects similar to this one on the net. I've drawn ideas from everywhere and incorporated some of my own.

the whole concept and basic design is based on Palm's technology (although there are other manufacturers offering similar solutions). the Touchstone is a Palm charging dock meant for the Palm Pre smartphone, which supports wireless charging via a separately sold back cover.

there are a few wireless charging technologies made by different manufacturers that all rely on the same physical concept but they are not cross-compatible, you cannot mix coils and docks (I've tried).

i will not bore you with the physics behind the concept (although it's quite interesting) and there's nothing i can write that's not already available with more professional descriptions on the net, so if you want you can google "wireless charging" and read all about it.

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Making an atabaque from A to Z

An atabaque is an Afro-Brazilian drum similar to a conga, but not as refined in the sound or the manufacturing process (but that does not mean it does not sound or look good). It's the 'rough' appearance that makes it stand out from other drums. 
It is used in Capoeira and Candomble (Afro-Bahian religion) as well as some other activities.

First off, I'd like to express my gratitude to Chapa de Frente for his tutorial on how to make an atabque.
I did quite a lot of research on the topic, watched a good amount of footage and DIY videos 
(links are given on the last page) here and there and the work of Chapa de Frente was the more reusable.

Still, all units and materials are specific to the US, and being in Australia, I just couldn't do the same.
Also, there was a number of things I wanted to attempt in a different way.
Lastly, there is no word whatsoever on the metal work involved. I tried to get quotes for that here in AU, and it was ridiculously expensive (like 100$ for a ring that costs 6$ a meter at the shop).

In Australia, capoeira is still developing and not as widespread as other places, but import restrictions are EXTREMELY tough. Wood and Skin are an absolute nightmare to get through. It's also very expensive to buy an atabaque in the first place (say 800$ plus shipping).

For all these reasons, I set out to build 'meu atabaque' from scratch, using methods explained in various places (including coopering ) and in the beautiful tradition of sharing for others to try themselves, I present my humble (sometimes very humble) construction methods.

It will cover
- build methods for both body and stand
- woodwork
- metalwork
- ropework
- notes on skin (unfinished)

I do not have any prior instrument-making skills, but I like a good challenge and above all I like fixing and tinkering.

If you're keen to make your own atabaque for a cheap price, read on. Bunnings has most of what you need.
The information presented here can be used in pretty much any country, providing you are motivated enough to find the materials and a way to use them to achieve the same result.

Targeted end result
A 24 staves atabaque that looks the part, 1m tall, 300mm at its widest point, 250mm at the skin, rope tensioning system and a matching stand.

A word on materials
The list presented here is probably not the most suited for the task, but it did the job.
The wood I used for example, is Tasmanian Oak because it is a local wood, cheap, pre-cut to the dimensions I needed at  Bunnings. My research indicated that atabaques made in Brazil used to be made out of Jacaranda timber, but being now a protected species, nearly all of them are made of Pine. Bunnings has pine (that did not look good or flexible/strong enough to bend without breaking) and then Tassie oak. That's it. Short of going to an expensive special-purpose timber shop (that I have since found), the oak had to do it.
The metal is mostly scrap I collected. If you can buy it to the right dimension, go for it.
The skin remains an issue. I have not sourced a skin (calf/cow) yet and used a large piece of leather instead. It does the trick but I think the sound would be sensibly better with a real skin. Since it involves re-heading and thus re-doing the ropework, I'll save that for later :)


Drum Body
8x 40x10x3000 Tasmanian oak boards
3x 10mm x 10m Sisal rope
1x 6mm x 5m Sisal rope
1x 12mm x 1000mm steel rod
2x 10mm x 1000mm steel rod
4m 1mm x 30mm steel strip
7mm x 4mm steel rivets
wooden glue
wood stain
wood varnish
1x 700mm diameter skin/leather piece
black metal paint
hard wood for pegs

3x 40x10x3000 Tasmanian oak boards
1.5m 2mm x 30mm steel wrap
7mm x 4mm steel rivets
wooden glue
wood stain
wood varnish
tapestry nails
200mm x 1000mm leather piece
black metal paint

(the more the merrier)
circular saw (better: bandsaw, even better, router)
drill with drill bits and countersunk bits
sand paper
hand saw
hammer (large heavy for metal work, smaller ones for other work)
ropes and ratchets

In the course of making the drum, I had to make multiple jigs, for cutting, bending, adjusting etc. I had to get creative for some of them. You will likely find a better way to achieve the same result based on your own resources. Assess them !

IT TAKES TIME so don't rush it. you WILL get stuck at some point. You WILL make mistakes, be it in the preparation, cut or assembly. It's OK. just think before you act. Take your time. Between week ends and evenings, it took me 6 months to make mine.

On to work
This is how we are going to proceed:
1 Making the Base Stand
- woodwork
- metalwork
- finishing
- leather padding
2 Making the Body
- woodwork
- metalwork
- finishing
3 Heading the Body
- metalwork
- ropework

Chronologically, I made the stand after making the body. But this does not matter much.
There is a fair bit of specialized metal work that I completed using very humble means. People with more experience and machinery will likely laugh at it, but I got the job done nonetheless.

I had to pull trigonometry and primary school math to get it done. It was sort of fun. Angles and dimensions are approximative but they do work as intended.

Diameter at the base:
Diameter at the top:
Staves: 24
Stave length: 300mm
Stave cutting angle: 7.5 degrees (180/24)
Stave cutting point at the top:
Stave cutting point at the base:
Metal hoop cone angle: 5~6 degrees

Diameter at the base:
Diameter at the widest point:
Diameter at the top:
Staves: 24
Stave length: 1000mm
Stave cutting angle: 7.5 degrees (180/24)
Stave cutting point at the top:
Stave length from top to mid-section:
Stave cutting point at the base:
Stave length from mid-section to the base:
Metal hoop cone angle: 5~6 degrees
Metal ring diameters: (top) (below top) (bottom)

Total weight after assembly: (need to check)

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What Can I Do with a Smartwatch and Should I Get One?

Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.Sorry, I could not read the content fromt this page.

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How to calibrate the Extruder on your 3d Printer

Gather the following Materials:

- A No. 1 Philips Screwdriver 
- Metric Caliper ( Metric ruler will also work)
- Sharpie or other marker
- Pen and Paper
- 3d Printer
- Computer


- Drinking Straw
- Scissors

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3D Printed Ornithopter - Micro UAV Drone

100_6047.JPGIn the past couple years there has been quite a bit of activity into r&d of tiny insect/drone/ornithopter type vehicles. Two intriguing designs I've been following are Harvard's RoboBee and Cornell's Ornithopter. While some designs, like Harvard's, are out of reach of the average DIYer (check out their white paper, it's awesome) the Cornell 3D printed ornithopter is attainable and I took it as a challenge to make my own. Cornell's use of 3D printing techniques makes it easy to try out and make modifications. Unfortunately they don't give out their files and they built theirs on a 3D printer that cost 100k. My work has been to model my own design off of their work, but make it using commonly available 3D printers. You can see the results below. Quickly I would like to discuss how amazing desktop 3D printers are. So far I have been able to make two versions: the first is blue and printed by my schools 3D printer (6.07 grams), the second is clear plastic and made by a Makerbot Replicator 2 (4.729 grams). For a reference point Cornell's weighed 3.89 grams. Between my first and second designs the weight of the wings has gone from 4 grams to 2.6 grams because the wing thickness went from 0.02 inches to 0.008 inches (200 microns). With the last batch of prints I also made a test wing with a 100 micron thickness that weighed 0.477 grams, multiply that by 4 (for the other half of the wing and then the second wing) and you have a total wing weight of 1.908 grams. You can see pictures of these measurements below.

I have drawn up another version (you can get the files on the next page, all the parts have 'Ver3' in the title. Unfortunately I have not been able to use a Rep 2 to print again, but if my Ver3 model is printed with the 100 micron thick wings it will weigh an estimated 4.037 grams (the previous 4.729 grams minus the difference in the wings (2.6 - 1.908) grams) to make it only 0.147 grams off of Cornell's weight! I am not done with this project yet and would really love to get a design that flies, so please give me your comments and ideas! I hope to have access to a Rep 2 to print out another version of parts and update it, but I thought this project was at a stage where it was beneficial to post it. Thanks!

100_5927.JPGThe majority of the parts for this design are 3d printed. The rest are as follows.

Motor - The exact one Cornell uses I coincidentally already owned and is ideal. It is a 1g pager motor with a planetary gearbox that can be found HERE.
Paperclips - Try and find very thin ones. Unless of course you happen to have some carbon fiber wire laying around like the fortunate Cornellians.
The rest are 3d printed.
Batteries - Can use anything around 3V to test and 7.4V for test flights. The arduino's 3.3V pin or a power supply can also work. Power supply is definitely the best but not needed.

3d Printer - Pretty vital.
Drill - With some smaaaalllllll drill bits.

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