Rebuilt the starter, put in a new valve cover gasket, and cleaned the poop out of that car. Even did the insides of the wheels. And look! They are made by BBS! Also threw that pretty bad lookin decal on the window. Oh yeah. DIY? Because we love to.
Laser engraved imagery
Luigi’s, in the flesh
So after many refined proofs (each with many variations), Luigi’s finally made it to production!
It started out as a fresh pile o bits. Some assembly required. Since my CNC machine couldn’t handle the size of some components, combined with the fact that my sister shop had the black acrylic we needed (drop from another project), I was able to ask my buddy Mike for a solid favor and he was able to route it all for me.
Then the backs of the main letters got acrylic standoffs, which would help give them a float off the backer.
Here’s the reflective red cut vinyl, mid-weed. Vinyl works by being fed through a plotter, but instead of a colored pen, you use a knife to cut you’re shapes out. Afterwords, you remove all the excess by weeding out what you don’t want.
At the same time I was setting up the letters with their standoffs. For targets, I placed partial depth pilot holes on letter backs, and then used a matching width bit to align the disk-spacer perfectly with the pilot hole. They had a full depth pilot hole of the same bit width all the way through them.
The vinyl fully weeded…
Topsheeted and cut out…
Next up was the braces / cleats. I didn’t document this part well, but during the design phase I planned for two 2×4 cleats to be mounted to the back to both give strength and an easy mounting system. I planned for the screws to come from the front through the backer, but to hide them I had to place their pass through holes strategically behind the center-most portion of the letter strokes, so that even looking at the sign from an extreme angle wouldn’t reveal much. However this also meant the pass through holes for front letters had to be adjusted to clear the cleats. This system also had the benefit of providing a leveling method; since the logo has no flat spots it is hard to tell what the correct mounting angle is. If you level the receiving cleat, the sign will hang true.
Here’s what the front looked like with the various screw heads visible.
During the final assemble process: I figured out to get it started, I would gingerly overhang the sign off the table, screwing up from below. Once I got a few opposite corners done, I could flip it up on its side to do the rest. Of all the targeted holes, only 1 was out enough I had to rebore it!
And the final result… Sexy time! I must say, it’s quite nice to see something made that you’ve spent so long developing.
I did get a few battle scars- routed acrylic is sharp!
But in the end, everyone was very happy with it. Add soon add the new trailing goes up, so will the sign.
Now, I just need to repeat that process one more time for the back sign, and then get on to the secondary signage, and THEN we are done.
powermatic 64a: landing gear
Powermatic 64a: Table Saw of the Gods
Not sure I’ve ever had a crush on a machine or tool before, but this thing is beast. Every part is heavy. Every part is either cast iron, made of angle iron, or a combination of the two. I’ve yet to actually true it up, but I did a rough build so I can see what parts I’m missing.
So far, it’s really just a foot that hangs off the back of the fence, providing a friction-free glide down the back rail:
There’s also one mismatched bolt on the back…
… but that really doesn’t matter that much, right? So yeah, I’ll be replacing that.
Also, the top it self needs a serious de-… I don’t know, de-gooking, or something.
When these originally shipped, they came coated with an encasing wax that the original owner never cleaned off. In fact, he BARELY even assembled it, and never even used the thing – it just sat in his garage, for seven years until I took it off his hands last weekend.
Oh and can we talk about that fence?
THAT is a fence. That right there. Surious bidness. So, where most fences operate on compressing across the entire width of the table, this guy handles it all up front:
The main fence shaft has an angle iron welded on at a 90, with two sets of two alignment screws at either end – white nylon threaded adjusters for leveling on top (visible), and black steel threaded adjusters on the back for left-right truing;
Additionally, it’s got a solid cam lock – that feels so good- and low-friction nylon fence walls.
That negative space off the left end I plan on creating a drop in that will hold the router table:
But that won’t be for some time. Also, I’ve been drafting up plans to build some sort of island, allowing me to both ditch all the legs for both machines, but also entirely self contain an on-demand vacuum system that is triggered when either machine is fired up. Besides having your typical storage options, it will also provide a way to build in a temporary lift based wheel system that allow periodic movement, but otherwise keeps things firmly immobile.
She a beast!
This here is a rather complicated sign we made for a client, Centrex Revenue Solutions, who had recently conglomerated, and come up with a new name, brand and feel for their business. Seeking something “high end” they ended up going with a 1″ PVC sheet with a brushed aluminum veneer laminated to its face. It was then reverse routed out to form a carcass within which we could attached the ‘push-through’ acrylic lettering – made of milky white .5″ acrylic, and routed in-house – and mount the electrics to halo light both the letters and the frame of the sign it self. While the lettering got a printed vinyl face, the rear of the sign was enclosed with another inset piece of milky white 1/8th inch acrylic to provide both rigidity to the sign in general, while also increasing the light diffusion out of the back of the sign.
The LED’s being used here have – essentially – never been used for this application ever, and we are a pioneer of sorts in the ‘thin & custom routed cabinet’ world. As in, if you want light to shine out of sign, you usually build a shallow box – a light box – and load some lamps and ballast in there, and call it a day. But to achieve decent diffusion without noticeable hot spots you need a minimum distance between bulb and face, which means an average box depth of 8 inches. I was able to nail it in 1. And if you wanted to go even shallower, ive got an example out of .5″ PVC – featuring both halo lit AND push through acrylic.
But enough of that – check out the photos!
Garage, Pt. 12: Power Tools
This is what a Powermatic 64a looks like, in the back of a 2003 GTI. Still weighs half a metric tonne, but is SLIGHTLY less horrible to move around when broken down into bits. Still, once I get what is essentialy their entry machine up and running (read: true, parallel) it will be one sweet deal.
Combine with the fact that i just inherited an awesome 1-2 double whammy: a Lincoln Electric Mig Welder, and a metal Chop Saw. Combine these with an angle grinder and youve got the epic basics for an epic furniture shop.
Garage, Pt 11: Proto-Bench!
So now that the lumber racks are up, it gave space for other shelving, namely what you see below.
The two metal shelving units came in, and were almost immediately filled, so I’ll probly need two more of those bad bwois… At least! Also, happy coincidence, the two matching white cabinets and the moldy old metal one are within 1/16th of an inch of each other height wise. So I slapped the two desk-like planks I had on top, screwed it all together, and I now I’ve got a pretty decent work bench, at least for the time being.
Those two monster timbers leaning on the bench will eventually make a kicker of sorts at the main entry. Right now the ply goes right up to the edge meaning that things going in and out are starting to chip away at the wood. I’m planning on dropping those in front, and then routing then to receive some angle iron so it will never chip again!
Garage Pt 10: Lumber Rack
So after a bit of research I came to the conclusion that 3/4″ pipe ( which measures just over 1″ externally) would be the strongest, cheapest way to get simple but effective racks into the wall, without adding much else. Generally speaking the systems I saw on line were stand alone meaning they got made and then installed, meaning I would lose another 3″ of depth off the wall – and in a small place that seemed unnecessary, especially considering the wall is already 1.5″ reclaimed construction grade lumber. Alternating studs as I went, I either used every other board, or on the case of the south west corner, every board as that area will hold more weight and thus the height limit helps act as a weight limit as well.
Below are photos of most of my big wood pieces, but I’ve yet to load in all the littler pieces still in the basement. Once I’ve up enough pipes to hold it all, I’ll move on to installing the old cabinets that are sort of strewn about the basement as well, as tool storage so the floor can be cleared up and tins can new live in fairly predictable places.
Garage, Pt 9: Electric Boogaloo 2
So last time i got all the receptacle holes cut, and now it was just time for the electrician! So he has since come and wired this thing up legit! Seems like there is no end to luxurious 4 plug outlets! (Actually its two per wall, with another outside, three for lights up above, and two explicitly for under-workbench electronics like computer and stereo.)
[EDIT:] Oh, and i fully forgot to mention that, yes, i finished the east wall as well, as evidenced below.
So once he had installed everything, i busted out my tall ladder (thanks H!) and attached 1 lamp per outlet primarily so i could immediately feel the impact of my newly installed switches! And of course, the funny part is that currently i have the exact same amount of light as before, just that now i have the ability to use a legit wall switch, one per lamp with a fourth out front for the floods, instead of a daisy chain of power strips, with one of their reset buttons as a my “power switch”.
Garage, Pt 8: Electric Boobaloo
Once i had finished the paneling on the back wall, i decided that going forth i would only build each remaining wall up to the point where i could place receptacles. This allowed me to greatly expedite the arrival of the electrician, and once all installed, would make for a much more comfortable working environment (ie, not orange cables running everywhere, because they all are dangling off the same ghetto switch, a power strip). The first two shots below are of the west all up to its only sockets, and the east wall just past the two that will be underneath the work bench.
At this point i had to start framing out the window so when the paneling closes in around, it will not only lose its otherwise noticeable not-centered placement, but also it will clean it up in general. However, this meant i needed to box in the sides a bit, leaving a cute little cubby underneath… but what to stash there!!!
So, after seconds on end of at-length inner turmoil and thought, i decided a time capsule was in order, targeted at whatever tired and hot fellows are hired to dismantle my garage:
The wall as it stands now, having completed up to where the switch receptacle will go (between door and window). I didnt get a shot of it (i was too busy working) but everything was pushed up to that wall to facilitate installing JUST the single strip of paneling at the apex of the roof, which holds the three switched receptacles. I only put in one strip up there (of 2x8x~60) which ran the entire length of the place, but even using my neighbors consumer-grade scaffolding meant i was working at about 4 feet off the ground and at full arm extention, and aiming up. If you are reading this you either can feel your back spasming just thinking about how much of a pain that was, or you have absolutely no idea how freaking difficult that was.