Hackaday Links: July 14, 2019

The M5Stack is a plastic box loaded up with an ESP32, a display, some pin headers, and a few buttons. Why does this exist? It’s a platform of sorts, and we’ve seen people adding LoRa to the M5Stack as well as thermal cameras. Hot from random online retailers is the M5Stick, a smaller version of the ~Stack that still has a screen, still has pin headers, and still has an ESP32. It’s a new development platform that’s using a USB C plug (hot trends 2019), and it still has all the features of an ESP32.

Ever wonder how they put designs on skateboard decks, or graphic designs on luggage? That would be a UV printer — it’s basically an inkjet that uses UV-curing ink, but the print head has a Z axis, and the bed is usually huge. [Scotty] of Strange Parts recently took a look at a factory that makes UV printers. Yeah, there’s a lot of wiring that goes into these machines, and yeah, you can do a lot with them. Remember: the cheapest UV printers are about $3k, and yeah, you can print designs on PCBs with them.

Virgin Orbit is the Branson-branded take on the Stratolaunch; this is a rocket that uses a single 747 to loft a small rocket into the stratosphere and send it off into a sun-synchronous orbit. This week, Virgin Orbit has completed drop tests to characterize how the rocket falls away from the 747. This is also called ‘a bombing run’, and we could have used a few GoPros on the rocket itself.

Last weekend was ‘LeHack’, a French hacker/infosec conference. There was a coffee vending machine there, complete with touch screen and an offer to pay via your smartphone with an app. You know what happened. It turns out, you can take over all the accounts using the app. You can also brute force the user’s pins. Lesson learned? Why the hell does a coffee machine need an app?

The New Pallet Wood! First off, don’t make anything out of pallet wood unless you know what you’re doing; there’s some nasty chemicals in pallet wood. That said, you can make a fortune with pallet wood furniture on Etsy, and that’s doubly true if you make a pallet wood resin river table. This is the new pallet wood. Hollow core doors are easy to disassemble with a table saw, and provide two large sheets of plywood, and enough sticks to make a frame for something. What can you do with all this wood? Build a guitar, of course.

Only 90s Kids Want Heelys Made From Pallet Wood

The kids are simply cooler than you. While you’re walking around using your feet like an animal, kids have shoes with wheels in their heels. These are called Heelys, and here’s how you make wooden clogs, with wheels in the heels, out of pallet wood. If you have to ask why, you’ll never know.

This build started off with a fairly large maple log, which would be the traditional way to build clogs. After taking this log to the bandsaw and looking inside, [Jackman] found a bit of spalting, or arguably aesthetically pleasing fungal growth. Whether the spalting would look good or not is a matter for debate, but either way [Jackman] decided to change plans and moved over to creating pallet wood clogs. A word of warning about pallet wood: you shouldn’t make anything out of wood from discarded pallets unless you know what you’re doing, and even if you do know what you’re doing there will be someone in the comments telling you that you shouldn’t use wood from discarded pallets. You can check out the comments to this article to verify this fact.

The construction of the clogs started with a few pieces of one inch stock glued up into a gigantic block, then several pieces of half inch stock resawn into quarter inch stock and laminated onto the sole of the clog. This was then shaped using a variety of tools from Arbortech; of note, we have the Turbo Plane, a wood shaping tool for a grinder that sounds more dangerous than it is, the Turbo Shaft, a plunge router or mortiser-sort-of-thing for a grinder that’s much cooler than it sounds, and the Power Chisel, something we can’t even believe exists and hold on here’s all our money.

These tools couldn’t get all the way into the toe of the clog, which meant [Jackman] had to saw down the middle and hollow everything out that way, but this did give him a nice flat surface on the inside to install the Heely wheels. This turns the clogs into something nine-year-olds simultaneously desire and don’t appreciate, because they’re kids.

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