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DIY Powder Coating Glasses Frames

October 23, 2014
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DIY Powder Coating Reading GlassesNo matter how good glasses frames look when first selected from the optician’s display rack, the surface coating and design inevitably chips and rub off with time.

That’s where home DIY electrostatic powder coating comes in handy!

Powder coat painting techniques are perfect for quickly revitalising run down steel framed reading glasses.  A huge array of powder coat paints on the market are capable of producing a stunning range of vibrant colors and textures.

With the right DIY workshop equipment, powder coating techniques produce results with many benefits over normal paint application techniques.

It is quick to apply; quick to oven cure and is as tough as nails forever and a day after that.

It took us less than two hours in the home DIY workshop to strip down, prepare and completely transform an old, yet favorite pair of beaten metal framed reading glasses into something new, fresh and exciting to wear.

After completing our DIY frame revitalization project, the glasses looked great!

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Banana Text Messaging Technology

October 23, 2014
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Banana Messaging Technology
Here is a fun DIY text messaging technology which any monkey can use. Banana messaging!

The fun part is the message remains near invisible when first written and takes time to develop. So it’s great for cheering up a your partner’s day as they first open the fridge in the morning (with your banana placed inconspicuously, yet stategically the night before), or for packing that extra smile in your childrens’ lunch box to be discovered later in the school day.

All that is required for writing a DIY banana messages is:

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Cat Paw Projects – Design for CNC – Free Download

October 1, 2014
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DIY CNC Cat Paw Drink CoasterRev up that CNC machine …. It is time to fill your home with DIY cat paw ideas and projects! 

We have made new DIY CNC machine designs available for download. Free home DIY cat paw drink coasters, DIY cat paw mouse pads, or DIY cat paw wall prints; the possibilities are endless.

We have provided two different design download options to allow simple CNC cutting of both DIY drink coasters and DIY mouse pads.  That means at least a joyful addition to the home coffee table, or more fun behind the computer.

Cat Paw Coffee Coaster CNC DesignWhatever project use you can think of for this versatile design, you can simply re-size the image file in your favourite vector graphics design software and CNC cut the design any size you need.

The vector graphic and GCode files are simple two level 2.5D cutouts which can be machined in the workshop in minutes.

These cat prints make great DIY gifts for cat lovers and kids.  Whether from aluminium, wood, or acrylic, they are quick and cheap to make.

We cut a matching mouse pad and drink coaster set from aluminium backed high density plastic sheet to automatically get a strongly contrasting color in our finished project (per photos). This really brought up the 3D effect we were looking for in the designs.  With a final wet and dry sand papered scratch finish on the aluminium surface, they look great!

As with other free DIY CNC design downloads from HomeDIYStuff, the design files are provided free for private, non-commercial use and are in CVR (Ventric Cut2D) and GCode text formats. (Sorry, there’s no DXF or PDF file for this specific project this time).

The free download zip files for the Drink Coaster sized Cat Paw Print design can be downloaded from here.

The larger Mouse Cat Pad Paw Print Design can be downloaded from here.

IMPORTANT: Pause, before cutting your paws! 

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DIY Parts Tumbler and Polisher

September 30, 2014
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DIY CNC parts Tumbler

Cheap and ugly, but it does a great job! Home DIY parts tumbler for finishing CNC’ed aluminium parts, polishing and deburring.

This is a home DIY parts tumbler and polisher which was made to prepare the surface of aluminium CNC machined parts prior to electrostatic powder coating.  It also has many other home DIY workshop uses.

It is a beast ugly machine which was made from JUNK, but it works brilliantly!

CNC machining often leaves burrs and sharp edges on designs cut from aluminium, especially once the CNC machine cutter bits start to dull. Using a parts polisher / tumbler is an effective way to clean up these unwanted edges, knock off burrs and round metal part corners to give that professional de-burred workshop look.

The main reason for posting photos of this DIY project is to show  that it isn’t always necessary to have expensive tools and equipment in the work shed to get excellent metal surface finishing results on DIY CNC machined aluminium parts. Professional looking jobs can indeed be achieved in the home workshop on the cheap. (And without hours of laborious use of a deburring tool!)

Tumbling and polishing makes a big difference to the final look of metal surfaces on electrostatic powder coated aluminium parts.  The tumbled metal surfaces are generally left clean and even, and are generally ready for powder coating and an oven baked finish after a quick soap water wash and scrub.

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DIY Oven Build Using a Filing Cabinet

September 7, 2014
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Cheap and extremely effective! A DIY Oven for DIY powder coating, wood drying, acrylics and plastic; you name it!

Cheap and extremely effective! A DIY Oven for DIY powder coating, wood drying, acrylics and plastic and any other idea that needs heating or baking in future.

You did what?  Hacked a filing cabinet to make a home DIY workshop oven?!

Yes, perhaps we are crazy, but this DIY oven really IS made from a standard office filing cabinet and it works like a dream!

It is great for powder coating CNC milled metal parts; melting plastics; bending acrylics; scorching wood, sealing natural bamboo wood wax and any number of other DIY projects where oven heating is required.

See more about how we made this DIY oven from a filing cabinet here.

Industrial, or even DIY hobby ovens are extremely useful in a home DIY workshop. Unfortunately, they are also usually unjustifiably costly for most small projects.

Cheap toaster ovens can be used for small scale applications as a ‘make-do’ alternative, but are often not physically large enough to fit many DIY projects.  They also usually offer very poor thermal efficiency.  A big downside when working over longer periods as the units tend to get hot inside as well as out.

We recently cut some large aluminium parts and components using our home built CNC machine. We wanted to coat the metal parts using an electrostatic powder coating system to give them a lasting professional finish. Powder coat curing however, requires parts to be heated to high temperatures for extended periods. (And strangely, the cooking department said the kitchen oven was considered off limits well before we mentioned curing powder coat paint or the carcinogenic gases they produce….)

We needed a large, cheap DIY solution. A robust, purpose built DIY oven capable of maintaining high, evenly dispersed temperatures for lengthy periods.

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Rice Harvest in Japan

September 3, 2014
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summer-season

A Japanese rice farmer begins harvest of his roadside rice paddy with an open cab rice harvester.

A Japanese rice farmer begins harvest of his roadside rice paddy with an open cab rice harvester.

As Summer draws to a close, the most important event in the Japanese farming calender has arrived – the rice harvest.

Rice crops grow rapidly in the heat and humidity of the Japanese Summer. As the rice develops, crops becomes heavily laden with grain and eventually start to dry and yellow.

The soil beds of the paddies remain moist, but are generally no longer flooded or soaked through.  Farmers have allowed the water levels in the paddies to drain and evaporate in the sunshine as the rice has matured.

The rice harvest does not begin until the the moisture content of grain heads fall to around 20-30%.  Once dry enough however, there is a sudden burst of determined activity and the rice harvest is on for another year.

Farmers, harvest machinery and trucks can be seen scurrying around the rice paddies; harvesting and moving the precious rice crop as quickly as possible.
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Super Storms Risk Rice Crops in Japan

August 24, 2014
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A storm super cell approaches rice paddies in Japan.

summer-seasonWeather presents major risks for any farmer and their crop.

Rice plants become heavily laden with maturing rice grains.

Late season rice plants become heavily laden and top heavy with maturing rice grains.

For Japanese rice paddy growers, the unsettled weather and violent storms which occur regularly in Japan’s late Summer can be soul destroying.

Massive super-cell storms suddenly develop out of no where. The ferocious storms couple wild winds, flickering lightning and damagingly heavy rainfall.  Precious rice crops can be destroyed in minutes.

Intense rain downpours at fall rates up to 4 inches/hr (100 mm/hr) and winds up to 100 mph (170 km/hr) are not uncommon in Japan.  On top of localized storms, passing typhoons also bring further potential for widespread crop damage throughout the country.

The weather related risks for rice farmers are usually greatest just prior to rice paddy harvest in late August and September.

As rice paddies yellow, the mature rice plants become drier, more brittle and heavily laden with grain. The plant stems and leaves are thicker, but also more easily bent, broken and shredded under their weight.  The top heavy plants are prone to damage from both flooding and high velocity wind squalls (and even the occasional tornado!).
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