Dresser tool chest isn’t as ghetto as you’d think

toolchest

A dedicated rolling chest for one’s tools is among the most indulgent yet worthwhile acquisitions. Having everything mobile and organized for quick access improves efficiency and keeps the shop tidy. But holy living crap, have you priced these things? Even a mediocre setup costs more than the gross national product of some small nations!

Here’s a project that tarts up a dresser into a passable tool chest. Using casters, modern drawer pulls and a tidy paint job, they turn a nasty old dresser into something presentable. It’s nowhere near as slick as the commercial units…no ball bearing glides, not chemical resistant, and your macho grease monkey friends will just roll their eyes…but if you’d rather spend your hard-earned money on more and better tools than a pretty box to put them in, this might be just the thing. From across the room, you’d hardly know the difference.

A good tool chest will include several shallow drawers so that all the tools are visible at a glance and not buried in a jumble. If searching for a piece of furniture to re-use, look for something with multiple slim drawers rather than just a few deep ones; a large jewelry chest might work well.

[via Craftynest]

CNC hot wire cutter from scanners

hot-wire-cutter-from-scanners

[Raul] built a CNC hot wire cutter that he uses for cutting shapes out of foam. His device uses two flat bed scanners to provide two planes of motion. One scanner arm has the foam mounted on it and provides the Y-axis movement. The other scanner has the hot wire mounted on it and provides the X-axis movement. The cutting wire is mounted on a flexed bow made from heavy gauge coat hanger wire.

He tapped into the logic board of one scanner to gain access to the motor movements. The other is connected through a couple of H-bridges. Both are controlled by an Atmel AVR ATmega128 which in turn takes its commands from a connection with a computer printer port. A python program uses vector graphic files in SVG format and traces the outline for cutting.

We’ve got a video of this in action after the break. At our request, [Raul] took some time to post a set of pictures and make comments on them. Thanks for the hard work and great job! [Read more...]

10gui: multi-touch for all ten digits

10gui-multitouch-for-10-digits

The race for the next revolutionary input design is an ongoing event. [Clayton Miller's] newest offering in the contest is a multitouch concept that separates the display from the screen and is meant to utilize all fingers. His video explanation includes a description of the physical input device, a software implementation, and a demonstration of how a finished system will work. After the break we’ll look at the hardware, the software, and the concept video. [Read more...]

DSO nano oscilloscope reviewed

dsonano

We’ve been eyeing Seeed Studio’s DSO nano digital storage oscilloscope with a mix of intrigue and skepticism. A pocket-sized $89 storage ’scope? This is a joke, right? Hack a Day reader [Blair Thomson] has written a thorough review based on his experience with one of the beta test units, and it might be a winner after all.

[Blair] feels the unit compares favorably to buying a similarly-priced secondhand analog oscilloscope. The DSO nano wins major points for ease of use, a good range of functionality, and of course the whole portability thing (the enclosure is a repurposed portable media player). Can’t say we’re entirely convinced though. As a single-trace ’scope with 1 MHz bandwidth, the DSO nano may be extremely limiting for anything but basic hobbyist use…which, to be fair, is exactly how they’re marketing it. We can see a place for this the same way there’s a place for $10 multimeters — an inexpensive, toss-in-the-toolbag second ’scope to quickly test for vital signs, something that might complement but not replace a good bench unit.

Awesome robots love Fanta

What you are seeing above is not a commercial for Fanta, though we think it would have been a good one. It also isn’t being played at an accelerated speed. That is a real time demonstration of the accuracy and speed the ABB robots achieve. We were surprised, even shocked, when we clicked play. We don’t know who came up with this idea, but we want those robots, and we want some Fanta.  We’re a bit curious what industry needs beverage tracing robots though.

The last time we saw such amazing feats of robot awesomeness, they were bouncing balls and catching stuff in mid air.

Shift powered pumpkins

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[Garret] and a couple of friends totally stole our idea wanted to light up their pumpkins a bit differently this year. They used some ShiftBrites and all the corresponding shift hardware (who knew there was so much shift out there) to bring their carved orange minions to life. Yes, this could be done a lot less modulated by using a regular LED and perhaps a PIC. Maybe it’s not the most technically challenging, but hey its in the spirit of Halloween – one of our favorite holidays. Speaking of which, doesn’t that fence look familiar? Check out a video after the break. Seriously, Mutton Chops? [Read more...]

Build your own wristwatch

surface-mount-wristwatch

[rgbphil] has done a great job detailing how he built his Microdot wristwatch.This project is a lot more approachable than the pong watch we saw last month. If you’ve made a few printed circuit boards, but haven’t yet tried working with surface mount component, this is a great way to give it a try.

The parts count is pretty low, a few switches, resistors, capacitors, LEDs, a watch crystal, and a PIC 16F88 microcontroller.[rgbphil] is using a charlieplex so that a separate shift register is not needed to drive all of the LEDs. He goes into detail about the process of laying out the circuit. Some of the problems he encounters include how to manage all of the charlieplex connections in a simple way, how to program the chip once it’s on the board, and how to layout the controls for the device.

The display looks great in the video we’ve embedded after the break. We’re going to add these components to our next parts order and make this project part of the plan for getting us through the long cold winter ahead.

[Read more...]

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