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Etching DIY Circuit Boards (PCB)

November 29, 2014
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PCB Screen PrintingElectronics hobbyists who have never ventured into the realms of making their own circuit boards, are missing out on half the fun.  Here, we present a quick step-by-step guide to the UV light transfer and Ferric Chloride etching method for making your own printed circuit boards.

Home DIY electronics projects can be a lot of fun for discovery and learning.  They can also be extremely useful for those  extra buttons and remote devices in your home.

What is even better, is being able sit the project components on a printed circuit board (PCB) that you also made yourself.

It is extremely satisfying seeing a finished DIY electronics project which looks so professional it could have just as easily come from the nearest electronics store.  Learning the skill of etching your own PCBs will help you obtain that same satisfaction in your home electronics projects too.

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Looking Inside a Lead Acid Battery

November 21, 2014
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lead acid car battery cut awayHere’s something just for interest’s sakes.  Photos of a modern, but humble lead acid car battery and its internal electrode plate arrangements for those who may not have seen similar before.

Common lead acid batteries in cars and trucks work by developing and storing electric potential between sets of positive and negative electrode plates.  The electrodes are commonly made of Lead (Pb) and Lead Dioxide (PbO2) mesh and paste, separated by a non-conductive porous material to stop them touching and short circuiting.  The battery cells are submerged in approximately 35% Sulphuric Acid (H2SO4(aq)) which acts as an electrolyte and allows electrons to flow between the plates and to deliver current when the battery terminals are connected to a circuit.

The basic energy storage and delivery concept of lead acid batteries was invented over a century and a half ago by French physicist Gaston Planté.  Since that time, this kind of battery chemistry has been developed to become a standard and efficient workhorse in everyday life for us all.

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Japanese Miso – DIY Fermentation Project Complete

November 20, 2014
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winter-season

DIY Japanese Miso Cracker Dip

We have completed the fermentation of our DIY Japanese Miso Paste from raw soy beans.  The Miso making was a great success.

Many readers could be forgiven for reacting with an “Eeuuuwwwww!” upon seeing some of the photos of this process, but believe us, the final miso paste product is extremely tasty.  And healthy too!

It has been almost a full year since we started making our paste. The fermentation started in cold Winter months early in the year, soon after when we first discussed home DIY miso making. We later provided a full DIY how-to of miso making guide” when we started the mix, where we showed the ingredients required in the preparation and the techniques used.

Time has flown by. We provided a half year report on the progress of our fermentation project when the soy bean paste received a good mixing just prior to the arrival of Summer’s full heat. At the time, being exposed to only cool temperatures, little had changed in our premature miso paste and there wasn’t even a thread of flavor altering mold to be seen.

Given five extra months of development and an a blast of Japanese Summer heat in between, and that all changed!

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Home DIY Electrostatic Powder Coating

November 2, 2014
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Electrostatic Powder Coating Spray Unit

DIY electrostatic powder coating requires some upfront investment in workshop equipment, but the surface coating results are worth every cent!

brush-100x100We can’t rave enough about electrostatic powder coating in our DIY workshop.

Why? Because even when most liquid paints let us down completely, electrostatic powder coat paints consistently give our metal DIY parts and projects an extremely professional looking finish.

There are no spray cans, liquid solvents or messy paint brushes involved in powder coating.

The paint is supplied as a dry, finely milled powder and applied using a specially designed electrostatic spray gun.

The array of powder coat colors available, with finishes, metallic effects and textures to suit any DIY project desire or need, is stunning. Powder coated finishes are quality coatings which are thick, vibrant and extremely scratch resistant.  They last!

With powder coating equipment available, a fully protective dimpled coating in an exotically wild metallic red or green color over a metal surface is simple to achieve – whether with or without an holographic like lustre! As is a a more conservative, yet very professional looking coating of silky matte black.

The ability to spray this level of coating quality at home expands all sorts of DIY project horizons.

Unlike liquid paints, powder paint can be applied evenly in one shoot without the risk of dripping or sagging. Over spray can be easily swept up and re-used.

Following a paint shoot, the coating is cured by heat treatment. Then, after just 20 minutes in a workshop oven …. the job is done!  The parts are good to go!
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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 design and coating inevitably chips and rubs off over time.

Fashions also change and those ‘hip’ frames we bought a while back, although still functional, often just aren’t ‘with it’ any longer.

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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DIY Oven Build Using a Filing Cabinet

October 15, 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 curing electrostatic powder coating on 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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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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