Resin printing still seems to polarize opinions amongst hacker types, with some considering such machines a good tool for the right tasks, and some just plain rejecting them outright. There are many arguments for and against, but like fused deposition modeling (FDM) machines, resin printers are improving in leaps and bounds — and so is the liquid resin itself. Nowadays low-odor resins are common, colors and finishes are varied, and now thanks to some dedicated development work, the brittleness that often characterizes such prints it being addressed. [Mayer Makes] has designed a super tough “engineering resin” that he demonstrates is so tough, you can print a nail and hammer it into a block of wood! (Video, embedded below, if you don’t believe it.)
This particular resin is destined for mixing, given its natural cured shade is a kind of greenish-grey, but it does have a neat trick of presenting a definite yellowish hue when not fully cured, which is very helpful. This is particularly useful when removing support structures as you can use the color change during the curing process to judge the right moment to snap off the thicker sections, minimizing the risk of damaging the print. The resulting printed part is also tough enough to withstand subsequent traditional post-processing, such as milling, giving greater final finishing tolerances. Try doing that with an FDM print.
One of the neat things about resin chemistry is that you can simply mix them in their liquid form to tune the resin properties yourself and they can also be colored with specially formulated dyes without affecting the other properties too much, so this new super-tough resin gives prototypers yet another tool in their resin armory.
When you think of machines you see around you every day, you probably think about your car, computer, or household appliances. However, the world is full of simple machines. One simple machine in particular, the inclined plane, shows up a lot. For example, think of the humble nail. If you are a woodworker or even a homeowner you probably have bags of them. They certainly are all around you if you are indoors and maybe even if you are outdoors right now. Nails have been the fastener of choice for a very long time and they are a form of a wedge which is a type of inclined plane.
What else can you say about nails? Turns out, there is a lot to know. Like other fasteners, there are nails for very specific purposes. There are even nails with two heads and — no kidding — nails with two points. Exactly what kind of nail you need depends on what you are doing and what’s important to you.
Typically, nails are purpose-built things made to hold bits of wood together, with their entire design focused on that purpose. However, [W&M Levsha] went in much the other direction, crafting one very fancy expensive nail in what we can only explain as a masterful demonstration of their skills.
The build starts with a piece of brass tube, which is engraved with a delicate pattern on an automated lathe. After clean up, the spiralling lines are attractive on the polished brass.A plug is then made for the end of the tube, which gets filed into a point to resemble a nail, hiding the seam between the plug and the tube.
The tube is then threaded to accept a nail head that screws into the top, allowing the “nail” to act as a fancy little stash, which [W&M Levsha] shows off by placing a bracelet inside. The project is finished by crafting a stunning wooden box to hold the fancy nail.
We’ve seen [W&M Levsha]’s handywork before; the cap-gun cigarette lighter was a similarly impressive feat of machining and craftsmanship. Video after the break.
As a hacker community, we are no strangers to beautiful and unique musical instruments. A sympathetic nail violin built by [Nicolas Bras] is a welcome addition to the eclectic family. Working up from the simple idea of a nail in a piece of wood and adjusting the pitch by hammering the nail farther into the wood, [Nicolas] expanded the idea. With careful planning and tuning, the nails can have sympathetic properties. These properties mean that when one nail is played via a bow, it causes other nails to sound, creating harmonies and sustains.
With a bit of careful woodworking and a scant touch of metalwork, an instrument was crafted. It offers vast flexibility as it can be played by bow, by plucking with your finger, or by strumming. There are several levels of nails, each level having a paired sympathetic nail. This allows for a diverse and versatile instrument.
Here at Hackaday, we seem to have a thing for tiny violins, whether physical or virtual. While the nail violin may not look like your traditional violin, we can certainly appreciate the wonderful music it creates.
If for some reason I were to acknowledge the inevitability of encroaching middle age and abandon the hardware hacker community for the more sedate world of historical recreation, I know exactly which band of enthusiasts I’d join and what period I would specialise in. Not for me the lure of a stately home in Regency England or the Royal court of Tudor London despite the really cool outfits, instead I would head directly for the 14th century and the reign of King Edward the Third, to play the part of a blacksmith’s wife making nails. It seems apposite to pick the year 1337, doesn’t it.
Why am I so sure? To answer that I must take you to the British Library, and open the pages of the Holkham Bible. This is an illustrated book of Biblical stories from the years around 1330, and it is notable for the extent and quality of its illuminations. All of mediaeval life is there, sharply observed in beautiful colour, for among the Biblical scenes there are contemporary images of the people who would have inhabited the world of whichever monks created it. One of its more famous pages is the one that caught my eye, because it depicts a woman wearing a blacksmith’s apron over her dress while she operates a forge. She’s a blacksmith’s wife, and she’s forging a mediaeval carpenter’s nail. The historians tell us that this was an activity seen as women’s work because the nails used in the Crucifixion were reputed to have been forged by a woman, and for that reason she is depicted as something of an ugly crone. Thanks, unknown mediaeval monk, you really don’t want to know how this lady blacksmith would draw you! Continue reading “Making A Mediaeval Nail”→
Here’s a blacksmith turning 4 inch framing nails into buckles. In the clip after the break he starts by heating and bending the nail around a square form. Next the excess gets cut off and both sides of the square frame are ground flat while in a vise. A smaller nail serves as the prong and a flat piece of metal is shaped so that this can be connected to a leather strap. This ends up as part of the support system for a full suit of armor.
We’ve seen a lot of great welding projects over the years, but today’s blacksmithing video leaves us wanting. If you’ve got a favorite project that involved this kind of work tip us off about it and we’ll see if we can get some more hacks for the Smithies out there.