Honeycomb tables are often found on laser cutters, where they provide a way for work material to be laid flat while not interfering with things like airflow. This leads to a cleaner laser cut and a nicer finish, but if one’s work depends on precise positioning and placement, they leave something to be desired because there’s no good way to attach rails, jigs, or anything of the sort in an easy and stable fashion.
The solution [Ed] found for this was to make himself some adjustable offset stops designed to fit into his laser cutter’s honeycomb table. Each consists of a laser-cut disc of wood, which is screwed off-center into an acetal “plug” sized to fit into the vertical gaps in the honeycomb table. This allows each disc to be rotated to fine-tune positioning. With the help of some T-shaped pegs that are also sized to fit into the honeycomb table, [Ed] has all he needs to fix something like a workpiece or jig into a particular and repeatable position.
The whole thing depends on a friction fit, so the sizing of the plug needs to match a particular honeycomb table’s construction. We think this makes it a good match for 3D printing, as one can measure and print plugs (perhaps employing the Goldilocks approach) that fit with just the right amount of snug.
Honeycomb tables are fantastic for laser cutting, but if you find yourself in a pinch for a replacement, an old radiator can make a pretty decent stand-in.
We are all aware of the typical wood shop vice, the type that is mounted underneath the workbench and takes forever to open and close by continuously spinning a large handle. These vises normally only open several inches due to the length of the operating screw. They are also not very wide because a cantilevered wide jaw would provide less force the further away it is from the center-mounted operating screw.
Wood worker [Andrew] wanted a very versatile and large vise for his shop. It needed to be wide, provide equal clamping force along the jaw and be able to hold very thick objects as well. One more thing, he wanted it to have a quick release clamping system so there would be none of that continuous handle spinning nonsense.
Spoiler Alert: [Andrew] did it! The end product is great but the interesting part is the journey he had taken along the way. There were 4 revisions to the design, each one making the vise just a bit better.
Continue reading “New Cable-Based Vise Improves Woodworking Workshop”
[Mike Douglas] joined the world DIY CNC machining recently with a FireBall X90 CNC router. Instead of buying an expensive aluminum T-slot bed, he decided to try something we haven’t seen before…
His local hardware store sells aluminum bar clamps designed for clamping wood together — the best part? Only $10 each. What he’s done is added the bar clamps along the two sides of his bed, by adding plywood braces attached to the outside frame of the machine. He is losing a few inches of his usable bed area, but the added convenience of a quick clamping system is well worth it.
With the clamps in place, all he has to do is add two wooden braces (the black bars in the image above) to hold his work piece in place. This wouldn’t work very well for cutting metal, but this CNC router isn’t designed for that anyway.
Too bad he didn’t finish it sooner — it would have been a great entry for our recent Hackaday Hackerspace Henchmen CNC contest!