Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Made a Terminator's Hand

A good friend of mine's birthday was coming up a few months ago and he remarked that it would be awesome if I could make him a terminator's hand as a birthday gift half-jokingly. I thought about for a few days off and on and eventually worked out that I could probably pull it off. I managed to get it done before his birthday and I think it came out very well. Everything's as close to proper scale as I could make it except and the sizes of parts are right about the same except where I simply didn't have the right materials to go with. Finding something similar to some of the parts made out of either stainless steel, chromed steel, or at least galvanized is hard. I did just so happen to have a nearly exact match for the ball joint in the wrist though. Here's the comparison of the real deal and what I made:

The whole thing took a lot of time, planning, grinding discs, little pieces, and having to go search around home depot and the flea market to find appropriate parts for finger joints and tendons.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I'm Making a Public Appearance

After going to a couple local art shows and some encouraging words and praise from a few professional artists I've gotten a place to show off some of my stuff at the Downdown Jacksonville Art Walk. It's short notice, but I'll be out there between 5pm and 9pm today, so if you're not doing anything and would like to check out some of my stuff as well as paintings, music, and all sorts of pet-related stuff this time around. It's good times and you get discounts on the post-art-walk pub crawl after 9 if you save your flyer.

Come say hi and enjoy the rest of what's going on.

(PSST.... Over here... I'll also have some stuff I've been working on that I haven't had a chance to put on TheStuffIMade yet too, so come check it out before maybe it gets sold!)

Saturday, July 24, 2010

I Made a Catapult

One more thing to check off my bucket list, I now have both made and fired a piece of siege weaponry. A trebuchet to be exact. A couple of bed frames, bits of channel stock, a dirt bike chain, freon tank filled with water, an old rim, and some parts from a treadmill. The arm is on a ball bearing pivot and flings things ever so smoothly. The farthest shot thus far is about 60ft, but I'm hoping to improve that with a proper sling and a couple of heavy old batteries for the counterweight as soon as I get some from work. It's still a work in progress, but it's pretty awesome even as it sits now at roughly 12ft tall. Once I get it really tuned up maybe I'll post some videos. You can also see Mighty King Tiki Toki Tookie behind me too.

EDIT: I've vastly improved it with two large truck batteries for a counterweight and a sling instead of a simple hook. It now slings objects about 150ft. Also, BRIGHT GREEN!

I Made a Tiki Burn Barrel/Outdoor Fireplace/ Steel Drum

This guy's pretty awesome if I do say so myself. Two propane bottles, a pile of bits and pieces from other stuff, and some thoughfully made slots in the top add up to Mighty King Tiki Toki Tookie!

There's a door in back to load in fuel for when you're enjoying his "roaring" flames with a stainless handle to keep it from getting insanely hot, a set of tongue drums cut into the crown of the head so the good king can be played for some interesting sounds similar to this, and a handle on top to make keeping him out of the way easy and less sooty.

After burning many a pine cone in him I wire-wheeled the paint off since it was mostly just dust by then anyway.

Please note, Mighty King iki Toki Tookie is best appeased with pine cone sacrifices rather than virgins.

I Made Dogs

Nuts and bolts dogs, made the same way I do the model motorcycles. Burnt my left index finger pretty well on one of them. Springs are very hard to weld without melting them and I'm amazed it was so hard to find 8 matching bolts of the right size when I have so many that are all very close.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Made a Bigger Motor Fit

Got a new toy recently on craigslist. A Chinese clone of a Honda SS50 that hadn't been run for over a year and had a broken sprocket hub on the rear wheel, but was all still intact otherwise.

I got it home, got it to start roughly just on the old gas left in it, and called it a night. The next day I went to the local motorcycle junkyard CycoCycle, and managed to scrounge up a close match to my broken hub, only it was cast with about twice the aluminum and looked much sturdier. After getting it fitted and installed I managed a shaky and sputtery ride around the yard with the motor jumping around under my feet.

One cleaned carb, properly replaced engine anchor bolt, fresh oil, a newly fabricated chain tensioner, fresh gas, a new fuse, cleaned fuse holder, and a new battery, and I had it running..... WORSE. Actually it was running much better, but I'd managed to lose the carb settings while cleaning it, and couldn't manage to get it idling properly. It would get up to 40MPH without trouble, but that's all it had. Not bad for about $150 invested in it including gas and oil, but I was wanting more and not wanting to mess with tuning a carburetor if I could help it.

I went online to Planetminis.com and found a nice looking 110cc motor that looked like just the trick and got it for a decent price with the carb and all pulled right off a running bike. A few days later I dropped the original motor and heaved the heftier 110 in place. Then all I lacked was finishing.

Finishing turned out to be a little more involved than I originally planned for. I had to rewire the stator plug from the original (my cheapo 12v impact wrench was fantastic for this), pulling the flywheel to make sure I matched the correct wires to the original plug. I then installed a fuel cutoff valve since the original was MIA, swapped the original motor's drive sprocket on, installed the throttle cable, and was then struck with some problems:

* No spark
* Clutch cable won't reach on new motor
* Mounting bracket hole for muffler doesn't line up
* Foot pegs won't fit between bigger motor and exhaust pipe

I wound up having to figure out the pinout for the gear indicator light, which also acted as a kill switch if the bike wasn't in Neutral when kicked over. After that was sorted I just wired the N pin to ground and wrote "ON" over the neutral light. Now I won't forget the key in there! :P

The clutch cable wasn't too hard to fix. It would have had the same amount of travel even with the right cable, it just needed to be a couple inches longer. After sizing up the situation I ground a notch in the side of a bolt, welded a nail to it, and slipped it in place between clutch arm and clutch cable. Works perfectly!

The muffler mount just needed a notch cut in it so it could slide far enough forward to meet up with the slightly longer motor and still meet up with the bracket's bolt hole.

The foot peg was a serious pain. After trying to shave down some meat to make it fit for about an hour so I wouldn't lose the proper positioning of the peg I gave up, lopped the original right peg off before it bowed up to hit the motor, and welded a new bit of steel rod sticking out while it was all bolted in place so I knew it'd have to fit cursing and burning myself with the welder the whole way. I then eyeballed the foot peg and welded it in place, putting solid beads in with it all in my vice so I wouldn't have to curse and burn myself as much. After that it slides in place great through.

Now on a test run through the neighborhood I can get it up to 50 and I'm guessing it'll make it between 55 and 58 on the open road. Once I toss an air filter on there I'm not sure if I'll sell it or keep it around and put new tires on it. It's very fun to drive and is nimble enough to almost treat like a dirt bike.

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Made Motorcycles

Well, a model of a motorcycle anyway. Gears, a ball bearing, and some various hardware bits combined to make this fine little bike. I forgot to add foot pegs and exhaust pipes, but I may go back and do that. To give credit where credit's due, I got the idea from these guys in Thailand. They're really talented. It's about 20cm (8") long.

Edit: Made this one too.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I Made a Bicycle

Barbara gave me the steel frame of an old "Romana" brand bike. It's very proudly Italian according to the stickers on it. Seems like it's a 70's era department store bike. It was basically a frame, crank, and bearingless fork when I got it. After a bouncy and bangy ride in the back of my work van and showing it off to Daniel I got to work around 6PM trying to get it road-worthy. Over the next three hours I did the following:

* Unscrewed the top of the head tube
* Figured out it had no bearings at all
* Broke down the bars, bar tube, and fork from another bike for parts
* took parks from original forks and parts bike to bodge together a working bearing/hardware set
* Pumped up spare tires, found front has a bad tube
* Tried temporarily fitting another front wheel, holds air but tire too big
* Pulled tube, put in correct sized front wheel using butter knife handles for tire tools
* Found out front fork is a little crooked, still in an adjustable and usable range
* Put on rear wheel
* Borrowed chain from my trusty, rusty, squeeky, creeky, blue bike
* Tightened the handlebars, stuck the brake (minus seat and brake pads since they didn't fit well) on and rode around the yard and sidewalk a minute to see if everything was holding up
* Pulled the most road-bike looking seat from my junked kids bikes I use for welding material
* Ground the gap in the seat post clamp wider so it could properly clamp
* Installed and adjusted seat
* Cut a brake mount tube from junk bike, welded in place under the bike's original mount. Cleaned and painted to avoid rust.
* Installed brake caliper
* Made brake cable from two short broken cables with a bolt, washers, and nut in the middle to hold it together
* Rode it up and down the road some to see what needed adjustment
* Adjusted a few things.


Tossed bike in my car, rode downtown to watch Anderdown do their thing. I rode it around the Veterans Memorial Arena and it's parking garage a little after the guys had played and it's smooth riding and feels very narrow to ride on. Up next I'll strip it back down, toss on some new brake pads, maybe or maybe not weld in a kick stand mount, clean up the chrome, and re-paint the frame and fork, and re-assemble the whole thing. Not a bad bike for 3 hours of work and some parts that were slated for the scrap pile otherwise I'd say though. More pics to come as I get more done.

UPDATE 4-28-10:
I got some silver hammered paint and after some sanding, grinding, wire-wheeling, and taping I've got the bike looking pretty good. I went with a flat handlebars and brake handle since I'm not one for using drops and the drop bars I had were too narrow for me. I need to replace the rear axle bearings since they're pretty shot, add bar wrap, new brake pads, and clean up the wheels, but to have under $7 invested in it so far I'm very happy with it.

Frame prepped for paint.

Glamor shot in the front yard.

Detail of the orange bands and crank.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

I Made a Jacob's Ladder

Found an old oil HV transformer at the local junk shop "Shep's". Hooked it up with some hardware from mega-lo-hardware and made this nice Jacob's ladder.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I made "art"?

Found a piece of particleboard and used some 1x3 boards I charred with a torch along with spray paint, gears, other bits of stuff, and not much talent to make what you see above. Good? Great? Art? Trash? Terrible? Just silly? Who knows. It was pretty fun to make though. I might keep adding to it to see what I can come up with. Anyone know of a genetic algorithm for spray painting?

I Made (another) box

Sometimes I think living in an apartment would be nice. No mowing, raking, or other yard work, you get better heating and cooling because of the neighbors upstairs and next to you helping insulate your rooms. But then I realize I wouldn't have room and space to make things, and that apartment dwellers have to part with some pretty cool stuff because they're either not handy enough or don't care enough to do anything with it.

I was stopping by my buddy Mike's place yesterday to watch a movie and saw such a thing in their appartment's free-for-all junk pile. I've gotten angle iron (bed frames) and lumber pieces from there several times, but this time there was a couple of wine displays someone had tossed. A Cruzan Rum display box, and an unmarked 1x2 shelf held together with brads and glue, but with a few pieces fallen off. Looked like they'd go together well to make a nice box.

My neighbor Mitch let me make use of his table and miter saw while he regailed me of his nearly causing an international incident between the US and USSR with a cardboard tube pointed at a Russian helicopter when he worked in the navy. I cut down the 1x4s and bradded them in place. I reused the box's display holder for the front after ripping it thinner. Rope handles on the sides and it's all nice and clean looking. Now what to keep in it?.....

Thursday, April 8, 2010

I Made an Archer

It's been a long while since I got my welder and since then I've gotten a good deal better at using it and know what works well with. I've also gotten my scrap pile back up in size and there's been some nice goodies on it from sources as different as the woods behind my house and the local Harley Davidson dealership. Three of the best pieces to it were a pair of slightly scraped up exhaust pipes and a chunk of a motorcycle frame that reminded me of a slender torso.

I'd been thinking about getting a decent bow and arrow set to practice and get some stress off with, and with a pair of pipes that looked like a set of legs and a chunk of frame that looked rather like a fit chest, I decided that those and some motorcycle handlebars could be used to make a nice sculpture of an archer. I figured a human figure would be pretty cool to make and since I just so happen to be in such a shape myself I also had a decent pattern to go on too. As I was making it there were countless little moments I'd check the angles and shapes of things I'd done against how I'd do them myself. This photo of myself (taken by Bri Miller) was actually very useful in getting the positions of the arms right. I hadn't realized the drawing arm was basically turned upside down before seeing myself doing it.

As with the dinosaur, I started from the feet and worked my way up. The feet are made of hardware from a garage door with their angles and positioning modeled with my own as a rough reference. The left arm is a truck jack, and the right arm uses a small shock absorber to spring back and hold tension on the bicycle chain that is the bowstring.

The head was easily the most difficult part to make. I didn't have anything that already looked something like a head, so I had to find all sorts of little bits and burn my hands holding them in place while I tacked them together. having on welding gloves made it too awkward to not let some parts slip. I especially like the way the eyes came out. One is part of a bicycle's crank and the other is a ball joint from a car's steering rack.

The fingers were all made from motorcycle chain. #420 for fingers and #428 for the thumbs. The arrow head was the only part made from plain stock specifically to look like it does.

When it was all said and done, I moved the archer off of the temporary wooden base I made for him and welded up a steel base made of railroad tie plates my friend Barbra gave me and an old motorcycle highway bar with a nice twist in it. I also ran over the whole archer with a wire wheel to get the bulk of it's rust off and sprayed it all down with some gloss clear coat. He's looking pretty snazzy in the front yard now taking aim at passing cars, bikes, and one bright orange dinosaur.

Barbra also came by to see the archer and take some very nice photos of it just after the first sun-shower of the year. The first photo of this post is one of hers in face. They came out very nicely and you should definitely check out those any other stuff of hers here ,here ,and here. She also did a nice backdropped photo of my orange dinosaur here.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I Made a Wave

Whilst perusing one of my favorite news sites, I came across this post, which I showed to my roommate, and after we'd agreed on it's awesomeness, we also decided to see if we could re-create it. Bed sheets, a former toga, and loads of white laundry in various stages of clean went together with the smallest surf board in the house. It's not as pristine as the waters in the original photo, but Jacksonville's surf is never that clear anyway. Putting it together was fun, but next time we do this (if we do it again) we'll use a better camera and lighting.

The "I'm a surfing wizard" one is from user Transfuse on Reddit. Pretty funny compared to the original.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Made More Things (and took pics with my phone)

A clock from goodwill that I replaced the face of with a Enameled Mustang sign. The rivets make nice points for 12,3,6, and 9. I made it for my roommate Daniel.

ROYGBIV. I noticed we had shampoo, body wash, and conditioner bottles of enough colors to set them up in a rainbow pattern

I rebuilt a drill battery for my brother Roger at work. His old one makes a great example of why you shouldn't let your drill batteries get wet.

I made this little cabin with my nephew James a few years ago. It's about 1'x1'x1.5' in size. We got the rough edges by splitting up some old 1x6 lumber scraps. It makes a nice frog house at my dad's house.