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tbockman
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 12:49:08 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Monster Truck!

What in the world could a radio control chassis...
be doing in wood shop?




Scott is at it again. Knowing that there is only one week remaining in the quarter, and that he will soon be changing classes in the rotation, Scott hurries to complete this Monster Truck.



His first plan was to disassemble the chassis and use the parts for his creation, but reason and time both made him rethink that and I can't wait to hear back about how it works at home.



157
tbockman
Posted: Friday, September 29, 2017 1:12:16 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Plinko!

Now I've had high school students make Plinko games for math class before, but never as elaborate as this 7th grade student's creation. Marshall decided to give this a try and has never wavered from working to complete it no matter what got in his way...including me. I wasn't too thrilled about it because of past experience.

Undaunted, Marshall carefully measures out where to drill for the pegs, then brings it over for me to check before proceeding to the drill press. I'm looking at it and telling him something is not quite right... let's draw a few diagonal lines. Yep, they were a little off and after making the lines, he quickly adjusts where to drill 1/4" peg holes.



Next comes the cabinet parts. After I cut grooves on the table saw for the top, sides and bottom, Marshall heads to the drill press and scroll saw to cut the slots.



Now we try fitting the cabinet parts together making sure everything lines up. So far, it seems to be alright.



And... to me it is impressive to see the puck bounce around plinking its way down the peg board during the test. It works way better than the high school ones thrown together by students needing extra credit to pass math. Their Plinko games were larger, but somehow a bunch of screws instead of actual pegs made them look awkward. They just didn't look or work very well.



No one has been more motivated than Marshall is... as he gets the newly purchased Plexiglas to the school the very next day. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone get materials for wood shop this quickly. The bottom trays are completed, the Plexiglas cut to size and installed and boy does it look and work nice. All that is left to do is assign points to the tray bins.



Impressive is what everyone thinks... as he takes it out of wood shop to his next classes. So impressive that he is asked if the school can use it in the fall festival. Now that's saying something.... and their plan is to put candy in the bottom trays that kids will be able to win during the festival instead of assigning points. Now there's a good idea.

I am so impressed by Marshall, and the way his project works that I may just have to try one for myself...Um ...I mean for a class prototype.
158
tbockman
Posted: Sunday, October 15, 2017 3:58:05 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
How to project a thriving multi-level woodworking program.

I recently rediscovered this collage image that was included with our grant application. I was hoping we might already have the funds, but not yet.



Although we are still in the running for a significant private grant for a whole shop exhaust system, a laser engraver, and a SawStop, the process is slowly working it's way to completion.... hopefully in our favor. At least my wish is to have good news soon.

As usual, I'll keep you posted.

***UPDATE*** Mid-December Good news! I have confirmation that we were selected to receive the grant for a complete exhaust system... and hopefully enough left over for a SawStop. Nope... no laser engraver unless I can find out more about the ones I'm seeing for the X-Carve. I'm checking up on that now. Funds should be available in the new year... 2018... so more post on the way as we put together our NEW exhaust system. Hurray!
159
tbockman
Posted: Friday, October 27, 2017 10:55:49 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Weighing in on a new X-Carve software option called Easel Pro

As X-Carve begins the take over of the planet... just kidding... or maybe not!

Early access

Inventables keeps improving their Easel software and recently added a new option. Having been invited early access to try out this new option for a month before it was launched, I had the chance to experience what I thought should have always been a part of the Easel package. It's called Easel Pro and is specifically designed for business to speed up the process and cut more of a 3D image using a v-bit. It reminds me of (but still falls a bit short of) the $100 add-on Center-line text software that CarveWright came out with.

Frustrations

My first Easel Pro project didn't go as planned and no one seems to know exactly why. Here is what happened. I got my software trial notification with a sample coaster design that looked kind of like something we at Franklin Phonetic School might like, so I tried it out, and unfortunately had a disappointing outcome.

I did make a couple of changes that shouldn't have altered the carve too much, as I switched the letter to a B for Bockman and took off the 2nd stage cut out. It was fun to watch the machine move in new mysterious ways and it looked as if all was going well, until about a forth of the way through the carve when Easel announced it was "complete".

Hummm.... doesn't complete mean doing the entire carve?

***UPDATE*** 11-4-17 I have since seen where other early users have posted that they have had this same issue, so it wasn't an anomaly.

Understanding that it was eventually going to be a subscription based service, I started experimenting with other software to see if there was a way around having to pay for Easel Pro which didn't seem to be working on my end anyway. If you have been following my progress on this thread, you know my school would never be able to afford a subscription. If they could, then why do I continually dumpster dive for materials behind the cabinet shop?

And, Easel Pro sounded so good until that incomplete carve incident, and of course our Fall break got in the middle of it too. I didn't feel like spending the break at the school playing with what may have gone wrong, but I did try to contact someone at Inventables. I never got an actual reply beyond the customary e-mail form letter acknowledgement. Disappointed when I didn't ever hear more, I vented my frustrations on one of the Inventables threads and one of the Inventables staff asked a little bit about what went wrong, so they did eventually get my message through a different avenue. The good news is Inventables listens to their customers and makes changes accordingly.

So is there a work around?

While on that same thread, I made contact with one of the most prolific non-staff commenters. He actually approached me first with suggestions on ways to work around Easel. He probably has more on-line comments at Inventables than anyone and he runs a business called, "Designs by Phil, LLC". Phil went out of his way to be helpful. He doesn't have to do that, but by golly he does it anyway and I can't thank him enough for all he did for me and my students.

Phil introduced me to F-Engrave and gave me a tutorial he made on how he actually uses it to generate G-Code and import it into Easel. F-Engrave also recognizes all the True Type fonts you have on your computer.

However...

F-Engrave is a little more complicated than Easel and it is much harder to see on screen results before a carve as the viewing pane doesn't show the material size or even the carve location. You have to rely completely on the home position which I had to adjust so the carve would not hug the edges, but instead be somewhat centered.



It can be a bit more confusing

I wasn't sure which download to choose, but took a chance and downloaded the one that looked the most like what I should use and then worked through his tutorial setting each item before saving it to G-code.

Before...

Before I show the product of that G-code carve, let me first show you what Easel and X-Carve does without the Pro add-on. It engraves with flat bottom results. This 2" high LOVE was carved in about 20 minutes with an eighth inch 60 degree V-point engraving bit. It looks very nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it other than how long it monopolizes the X-Carve during class.



After importing G-Code

Using the same eighth inch 60 degree V-point bit (I didn't have a better bit choice on hand at that time), here is what processing it through F-Carve does in about 4 minutes. I had to adjust the home position to properly center the carve. The students who saw this sample... preferred this one over the other samples. It does look better in real life than the photo. The V-groove is deeper and creates a good shadow that the flash doesn't show here.



This worked much better than I thought it might and one big advantage is that students can't change the G-code, so it will carve the same no matter what, as long as it is never erased. Since it is a separate program and kept in a folder on your computer instead of on-line, students wouldn't even know how to erase the original.

Easel projects stay on-line, and are easier to change or delete.

Watch out!

In Easel, your saved projects are kept on-line and if a student happens to save a project, but leave it open on the computer when they walk away, then another student can change it... not knowing they are ruining another students project... and it is then lost forever.

Not only that, but if the project happens to be oversized, it may look the same size on the screen, but because I use a quick release jig system, students can accidentally run the bit into hold down clamps and metal screws not realizing this project size difference they can't see on the screen is going to run the bit where they don't expect it to go. We have seen this happen twice!

***UPDATE*** 11-4-17 Easel Pro creates a whole new issue in that you can't make a copy when using new fonts or V-bits. The problem with that is not being able to shortcut the process since you have to manually re-enter all the settings. This causes more complications as it can get confusing for young students. Previously we could make a copy and make a few quick changes before running another student's project. That ability is gone (at least until they fix it) and that means more time on both my part and the students part. Bummer!

Using a larger V-bit

This next X-Carve experiment is an 8 minute V-Carve using a 1/2" 60 degree V-bit which adds depth. In other words, it is not a flat bottom but a V groove. It was created in Easel Pro and this carve ran to completion, so Inventables must have found and fixed the problem I was having earlier.



I try to be proactive and have since purchased Phils favorite... a Whiteside 1540 V-Groove 60-Degree 1/4-Inch True point router bit. Phil reminds us that most V-bits do not come to a true point. Now I'm ready to experiment more with Easel Pro... but can't see paying for it once the trial period is over.

***UPDATE*** 11-4-17 I upload this photo of the same project using the new 1/4" bit. The 1/4" bit in Easel Pro did an awesome job in less than 7 minutes, .05 depth... making the best looking out of the test set. The 1/4" V-bit is perfect for this particular use.



In X-Carveland dreams can come true!

What is this...? Can it be true? I made on-line comments of how this should be free to schools, and in my wildest dreams... during their live web announcement, they said education will have unlimited free access. Business will pay $19.95 per month and all other Easel users will get 4 free consecutive days of Pro per month and I think they may also have a plan where you can purchase just a few extra hours. That means non-business users can design and save up projects to carve all at once if they like. Cool!

***UPDATE*** 11-4-17 Watching someones video made me notice something I previously missed. The feed rates can be changed during a cut so if you see the project is running smoothly, you can speed it up and make the run time shorter, if you are also keeping the same quality output. I have yet to find and try this feature.

Skip all the way back to the first X-Carve post from January 4, 2016.
160
tbockman
Posted: Friday, November 10, 2017 9:51:11 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
What a Kick!

I found this idea on-line and thought the kids might like it. It's a Karate phone buddy as I have shown on the phone buddy post. I'm just getting around to making the prototype because the 2nd quarter students are starting to want Christmas projects and I thought they might like some simple phone buddy alternatives that work.



***UPDATE*** 12-1-17 ... I have remade this to include a mortise to attach the kicker to the base. Now there isn't even any glue involved, just a dry fit, tight, snap together project.

This is another alternative phone buddy.



Here is another idea I made into a prototype and is is quickly becoming the new favorite project.



I like keeping many project choices to hold interest, create fun, and provide motivation for any and all students.
161
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017 6:59:01 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Jewelry Box

Sage is in the middle of making her jewelry box. Having mastered making the corner finger joints, she has also found a way to incorporate the X-Carve.



We have since routed the top edges, and started the base. I will update this post with more photos as she moves towards the finish.
162
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, November 18, 2017 11:19:49 PM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
A New Take on the Old Penny Bank

One of our 8th graders has really gone out on a limb preparing this Gear Penny Bank and he doesn't even know if it is going to work. The gears were cut on the X-Carve. The slot delivers the coin right to the center of the upper gear. He is expecting the pennies to drop onto the paddles which as it is turned, will deliver the coin down to the next level and so forth... as long as they don't get caught in the gears.



It was somewhat of a trick to get the turning crank made as someone walked away with the first one. I have to say that's a first... having someone take something off the project shelf like that. Perhaps they just weren't thinking when they took it since it was separate of the shaft at the time. Here is a remake...



The "hand-shaped" handle spins freely on the screw and works well.

Below is a close up of the gears. The drive gear is the small one on the bottom right. Washers help reduce friction and a simple straight sewing pin is pushed through the shafts to keep the gears in place.



Jose has also provided a few spacers and ramps with the hope they will coax the coin to go the right direction downward and stay out of the gears. It's going to be very cool, even if it ends up not working.



I'll keep you posted.

***UPDATE*** 12-1-17 Here is the final product and it works! Sorry about the glare. It's too bad I didn't see that until I enlarged the photo.



Now everyone wants one!
163
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, December 16, 2017 8:06:32 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Wood ball Stirring Drum

I'm always on the look out for something really different for my students to make and one of the 8th graders simply wanted to make a slot drum.

After getting it down from the shelf, she wanted to know if there was something she could do to cut the slots in a more creative way. I told her you can find almost any slot configuration idea on Google. She went to start a search and ended up showing me this...


Click to see video of this instrument.

Here is another example video with a very different tone.

Wow.... no that is different! Call me sheltered if you want, I have never seen anything like this before. I hadn't come across the videos until after I started this post.

Here is what she came up with and it sounds terrific.



And while I was attempting to get a 2nd photo for just in case, in pops Maddie... to help celebrate the moment.



Good job, but now I will have to get to work to make one for our project choice shelf display.

I think I'm going to try making shorter thinner tongue pieces like the video to see how that sounds. That will also use less materials.

It's a good thing I used screws for assembly. Now we can remove and replace different tongues, or even make adjustable tongues. Once I have the sound the way I like, future instruments can be glued to further reduce the cost.
164
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, December 16, 2017 9:20:14 AM
Rank: Newbie
Groups: Member

Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Enhance projects with the X-Carve

From trash to treasure!

It has been a while, but I finally finished the prototype. Here is an old favorite with a simple new twist... the heart box. Students have loved this project even before we had an X-Carve. Now it is even more fun for them to make.



This is a simple project using scrap materials the cabinet shop would normally throw away. What better way to say I Love You than to recycle garbage and give it to others.

This open heart will be a wonderful Christmas or Valentines gift. Who wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of this recycled gem.
165
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, December 16, 2017 11:09:20 AM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
A little broken heart!

I suppose I should put a little time between posts on this site, but time doesn't seem to be my friend lately and I have to fit things in when I can and when I am able. So this next idea is totally from the mind of 4th graders and really goes well with the last post.

After seeing my heart box prototype, a couple of my 4th graders who think I can literally make anything, decided they wanted a heart puzzle, so I sent them to look for ideas on Google. When they found a really great simple puzzle, I helped them trace it and they cut this...



What I liked most about their research was that they did it on their own and came back to me with the perfect and easy to make example. I know that I should have done this the other way around by making a template first, but I was so caught up in the moment that I instead drew out their example and then later made the template by tracing their completed project. After tracing and cutting out a template, I made the prototype you see above. Now everyone can get in on the fun.

One of the 7th graders just loved this idea so much that she just had to make one for her father. I thought it would be great to add some words like... When I have a broken heart, help me to put it back together... or something to that affect.

When I checked in on her a few minutes later I read something that literally broke my heart. Mind you these may not be the exact words, but she said something to this effect... You broke my heart. Help me put the pieces back together.

It breaks my heart to think of her broken heart, and that she and dad will be doing a little crying on Christmas.

Divorce is always hardest on the children.
166
tbockman
Posted: Saturday, December 23, 2017 8:38:37 AM
Rank: Newbie
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Posts: 0
A star is born!

Here is another 4th grader designed project. This time it was made into a template first, then made into a prototype and then a project.



Oh... and it is harder to put back together than one might think. I put cheater numbers on the back of the template so it is easy to set up for tracing. Several older students didn't know they were numbered on the back and they couldn't get it back together. Funny!

Since the template and prototype took up most of the time, the first puzzles were started on the last class of the last day before break and only one other star puzzle (that I know of) has been completed by the designer. That makes two separate designs in a week. She is so proud!
167
tbockman
Posted: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 8:33:14 PM
Rank: Newbie
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Joined: 11/17/2006
Posts: 0
Merry belated Christmas

I know... but better late than never... right?

I was hoping to make this post before Christmas, but didn't have access to the photo. This 7th grader has done a tremendous job with her first lathe experience and made her woodworking grandpa very happy. I know, because I am also a woodworking grandpa and I would love for my grand kids to have a woodworking class like this, but so far... it hasn't happened.

That's right, none of my grandchildren "so far" have had access to a school woodworking program like we have at Franklin Phonetic School. In fact, they live over 12 hours away in two different directions, so even seeing them is getting to be a real problem. Thanks to Skype for little family reunions once and a while... but I digress. The topic here is not who has access to woodworking programs, but who takes advantage of them when they can have access.

So let me start again by saying... This 7th grader has done a tremendous job with her first lathe experience!



Following some examples that one Prescott Area Woodturner left in my room, and going above and beyond to capture the best look for these five ornaments which the family will forever cherish, Ashley knocked this one out of the park.

With results like this, it really is hard to believe this is her first woodworking experience. I often hear stories from the girls in class about how they go home and ask dad or grandpa if they can use their woodworking equipment and how surprised their dad's and grandpa's are by what they now know and what they now can do and how they know safety and they can be safe while using the scroll saw, lathe, band saw, etc... out in grandpa's garage.

$20,000 WHAT?

Oh, and by the way, it's a Christmas miracle... and we did it...! A check for $25,000.00 arrived at our school yesterday. That's right, $25,000.00! A phone call came from the office during 3rd hour class.

We got the grannnnnnt! And there is enough to get the whole shop exhaust system with cool "top of the line" ducting and hopefully with enough left over for a SawStop. I believe they were focusing in on safety. There isn't enough to get the laser engraver, but maybe that will happen next year. I can always dream.... can't I?

As usual... I will keep you posted on the progress of this new adventure. To begin, my contact with Oneida has been a most pleasurable experience. They waved the design fee and the first quote has already gone down because the expected rise in prices didn't materialize in the year since I first made contact. This saves us about a thousand dollars which can now go to other upgrades, such as some modular hose flex tubing that stays where you put it and it has an anti-static line as well.

Then I found this...



I swiped this photo is from Peachtree Woodworking. It's modular snapped together links that make flexible hoses for anywhere there might be dust and debris like at the drill press or the scroll saw. It looks to be the same anti-static material. The whole thing you see is $39.99 and extra snap links, or different ends can all be purchased separately if you scroll down their page. This may very well be a better deal, especially if you buy only what you need and manufacture your own mounting bracket. $16.99 for the mount seems excessive and it is so easy to make one yourself, so if like me, you are trying to stay within a budget and have to buy a dozen, you can save over $200.00 just by making your own mounts. Here is the mount I made for home.



I decided there are a few questions that the photo doesn't answer, so I'm e-mailing this to www.peachtreeservice@aol.com .

Here is a copy of that request...

Hello,

I recently received a grant to purchase dust control equipment and I am very interested in what I am seeing in your photo...

https://www.ptreeusa.com/dust_drill_press.html

My question is... at the back where the hose connects, there appears to be a 90 degree bend... yet in the separate parts, this is not shown?

Is there a 90 degree fitting that comes with this product?

(Side note... It's hard to tell from Peachtree's small low resolution photo, but it looks as if the hose may actually be making that 90 degree bend. Dust control 101... Avoid vacuum hose as much as possible and have smooth gradual curves as much as possible. Now it could just be the angle when taking the photo, but the 90 degree bend that looks as short as theirs is probably too extreme for proper dust control and vacuum hose is not smooth on the inside, so it should be limited on how long it is, not be used for tight bends, and it should also be supported to keep the path as wide open as possible.)

It also looks as if the flexible hose doesn't bend far enough to pick up the dust right at the drill bit.

What is the bending radius for this flexible hose?

Would I need another link of two on each machine to allow a tighter bend?

I am so interested in what you have to say and I might just purchase one for my home shop first to try it before getting a dozen or more for the school. I'm also posting the information to the woodworking teachers website and so far I'm endorsing your product.
http://woodworkingteachers.com/default.aspx?g=posts&t=1942

I will happily report back your answers to my readers... and then after getting the product, will write a product review there as well. Your answer is greatly appreciated as this money is burning a hole in my pocket and this appears to be one answer to part of my problem.

Happy woodworking!

T Bockman
Wood shop teacher
Franklin Phonetic School

Two e-mails edited together

From: peachtreeservice@aol.com
To: woodshopteacher
Sent: Monday, January 15, 2018 12:01:51 PM
Subject: Re: Drill press dust control question...

Tom

Sorry for the confusion. There is not a 90 deg fitting at the back of this item nor is there a hose that bends that sharp. When we took the photo the web master cleaned it up a bit to make it look smooth. We do not have any of the bending radius on any of the hose we sell. I can tell you the snap together hose does not bend that tight. A standard flex hose from a shop vac will work well with this item.

Customer Service
Peachtree Woodworking Supply Inc.
6684 Jimmy Carter Blvd.
Suite 100
Norcross, GA 30071
770-458-0870
www.ptreeusa.com

OK... that means the stiff mount that goes on the drill press is not really the best way for it to be mounted, but if the mount were made to swivel, and you add a couple more links, I'm betting I could make the hose reach the spot. That means buying some here and there possibly mixing the two to get the best prices for bulk or cheaper by the dozen.

It is going to get exciting around here!

Now... where to store the boxes as they arrive, in an organized way... to allow smoothly following the plan during installation.



If you haven't taken the time to look back at some of the updates I have been making to each post, then you are missing out on some really great stuff. I recently figured out how to make links within this site, that will go directly to each post. Slow connections or Internet speeds might require a little patience to load, but using the back browser arrow brings you directly back to where you left off reading. For example.... here is a direct link to the crankyman automata post and the back arrow brings you back here.

These links help clarify or point out ideas without a lot of fumbling around on your part. Now this makes me wish I would have made the posts smaller, concentrating on a single concept/issue/project, but doing that creates more pages. However, I could further direct teachers to these concepts in greater detail... so maybe some day I will be able to break it up into smaller sections. Doing this as an after thought would not keep them in chronological order. That order is part of what I think makes it more fascinating.... to watch a budding program thrive from day to day, week to week, etc... and work within the constraints of the times.

It's also too bad that DivShare has messed up their site. If any of you have been trying to get material on the broken links, let me know. I found my stash of material on one of my external hard drives, so I should be able to send them over e-mail. As I have time in the future, I would have uploaded this material to photobucket and remake the links, however, photobucket changed the free user agreement and I'm unsure as to what will work and what won't. Contact me so I can send material directly over e-mail.

Here are some general page short cuts for you...

Go to page 1 ... 2 ... 3 ... 4 ... 5... 6 ... 7... 8



A message to new wood shop teachers who may have stumbled onto this site!

Because of spam... this site has been closed for quite some time now, but if you would like to join, we could use some new blood. The older guys have been retiring and thinning out the ranks. I didn't ask permission to post this, but I found out from a new member that he did this to gain access.... Send an e-mail to @woodcraft.com NOSPAM september_fleming. I've purposely mixed it up, so put the name first and make an e-mail address out of it without using the NOSPAM. I have noticed that this is helping new members get into the site while keeping the spammers out.


I've seen at least eleven new members have signed up since making this notice.
woodshopteacher@cableNOSPAMone.net
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