Tiddle or Fello?

December 10, 2011 Leave a comment

I have been playing Fiddle for a little over a year now. It has been a fun experience and I am getting to be pretty proficient with it.

Being a sucker for new experiences, I have now purchased a Cello. I want to use it for folk/country and jazz/blues. You can not take a Cello to a guitar jam, so Jamie (my wife) suggested that we rename it the Tiddle (Tenor Fiddle). I am a little concerned that it sounds like something that a naughty pekinese might do on your carpet. The other option is Fello (Fiddle Cello). I have time to work on it, as something must be wrong with the Cello, as every time I try to play it is sound terrible. I am sure it can not be me 😉

Categories: Uncategorized

A Clockwork Mahogany: Making a digital clock

September 17, 2011 Leave a comment

I don’t know what time it is!!! If only I had a clock!
But not just any clock. A four foot long digital clock made out of antique mahogany wood. Guess it is time to make some sawdust!

I bought a board of reclaimed mahogany from woodcraft:

Then I created a pattern for the led segments:

I used a scroll saw to cut the segments out of the wood, and a plunge router to hollow out the back side of the wood:

Add some wood varnish to the top side:

I used little pieces of brass super glued into holes that I drilled into the digits to connect them:

Here is the result:

HH:MM:SS (okay, this picture is terrible…)

It is all well and good, but kind of hard to tell time with no electronics.

Take some plexiglass:

Cut it to the shape of the LED segments (I used the scroll saw):

Get some LEDs. I am using blue:

Drill holes in the edge of the plexiglass and super glue the LEDs in the holes:

Sand one side of the plexiglass and paint the other side with metallic craft paint:

Apply some voltage:

The two bright LEDs will be hidden behind the wood, so that the LED segment will be nice and smoothly lit.

The whole thing will be wired up to and Arduino controller and various microchips.

I now have to build 45 more LED segments…

Updates to follow.

Fiberglass 101

May 22, 2010 3 comments

I have spent a lot of time researching fiberglass on the internet, reading books, and asking experts for guidance. I have learned that NO ONE anywhere will ever tell you how many layers of glass and what type is right for your application. I think people are afraid to get sued…

I am covering a wood and foam Teardrop travel trailer with 3 layers of 1.5oz chopped strand mat (CSM) with polyester resin. I really don’t know if this is enough or too much, but I think it will do for my purposes.

I chose the CSM because of cost and ease of use. Since I am using a wood sub structure and there are no load bearing areas I feel like this should be suitable.

If you attempts this, please make sure you get a good respirator and use it! This stuff smells awful and the material safety data sheet reads like cancer in a bottle.

Get a good aluminum roller to break air bubbles and smooth out the fibers.

Acetone is your friend. The resin turns into a syrupy goo that sticks to everything and will not wash off with soap and water. If you get it on your skin, and you will get it on your skin, there is no way to clean it off. I used acetone on a disposable rag to clean it off, and the fire was gone like that. Also, any tools or spills will turn rock hard after a couple of hours if not cleaned with Acetone. I should note here that the Acetone clearly says “Do not let this contact your skin”, but it can not be as bad as your skin melting from the MEKP reacting with the resin on your hand.

This leads me to the next item. Get a Tyvek type disposable suit! I taped mine up at the wrists and wore latex gloves.

Make sure to take a picture to show to your friends and family.
Read more…

Rockin the 8-bit processor!

Bet you think you need the newest Macbook Pro because you need more speed and power. Remember when you were impressed by the NES? Never had a problem with frame rate, crashes or load screens.

Truth is, your software is the problem. You can do downright amazing things with a 20Mhz processor with 32k of memory.

The Atmega 328 from Atmel is a $5 chip that can just about run your whole home. You could create a security system, control your home automation, or perfect your swanky 60’s super automatic bachelor pad like Catcher Block’s in “Down with Love”.
Read more…

Categories: Robotics Tags: , ,

Who says toys are for kids?

May 12, 2010 1 comment

So when you were a kid (if you were a boy) I bet you dreamed of making your own robot to do your bidding, clean your room, finish your homework and whatnot.

So what happened? Here you are old enough, smart enough, and with enough spare money, and yet no robot!

Follow along and you too can live the life of leisure, while your robot servant does all the heavy lifting.

First, get yourself a cheap toy with a cute face

Read more…

Categories: Robotics Tags: , , ,

Teardrop Trailer Build – Let Me Explain… No, There is Too Much. Let Me Sum Up

May 12, 2010 1 comment

So one day I was surfing the net and ran across an image of a Teardrop Travel Trailer, and thought it was the coolest looking RV I had ever seen. This caused me to search for more at which point I found an entire community building these little retro beauties in their garages at home. I was inspired to give it a go and after several months of design and planning, I broke ground on the trailer in September of 2009.

I believe that a picture says a thousand words, so I will keep this brief. It is a wooden cabin just big enough for a queen sized bed, cooler, AC and stove built on a custom designed trailer frame.

Google Sketchup extract of the initial design:

Read more…

Categories: Teardrop Tags: , , , ,

WesGrimes.com begins

May 12, 2010 2 comments

Welcome to WesGrimes.com!
Professionally, I am a C# developer building applications in Eclipsys Objects Plus and MLMs. My personal interests are in Robotics, Teardrop Travel Trailers, Woodworking, Steampunk, Boating and books.
This blog will be a collaboration of all of the above and then some. I will try to keep everything categorized neatly to help sort the randomness of it all.
Thanks for visiting, and I will try to get some worthwhile content soon!

Categories: Uncategorized