Design | Home, DIY & Stuff


DIY Oven Build Using a Filing Cabinet

April 26, 2016
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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Making a Home DIY Metal Sheet Bender

January 26, 2016
Precision Folds from a DIY Sheet Metal and Acrylic Bender

Precision 90 degree bends in 2mm thick metal plate, made by a DIY sheet metal, plastics and acrylic bending machine.

We suddenly had the desperate need to bend stuff in the workshop!

We are talking 2mm steel sheet.  And we were not wanting to just destroy it with low quality folds either, but to effectively and precisely bend it at pre-determined fold lines to produce professional looking folds repetitively, piece after piece.

In material like 2mm sheet metal, precise 90 degree bends with quality edges would normally be a relatively difficult and frustrating task for home DIYer’s without the right equipment – as just happened to be the case for us.

So we decided to work smarter and put the DIY gray matter into gear.

After some quick mental design work and an hour or two in the workshop, we had made our new Home DIY Sheet Metal Bending Machine – See the project page here.

The tool worked extremely well and did fantastic metal folds. We later realized it was also great for bending acrylic and other plastics too!

As it turns out, we had produced an extremely simple, but very effective design.

Our DIY sheet metal bender provides sharp and professional looking bends in 0.5mm to 2mm thick steel, tin and aluminum sheet. It also does a great job of folding acrylic and plastic of up to 10mm thick (with external heat).  Maybe even thicker!

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Making DIY CNC Clamps and Knobs – Free G-Code Download

January 26, 2015
CNC DIY holddown clamp

Moving material blocks cause lots of failed CNC project attempts. Having ample CNC machine clamps on hand always helps prevent material movement problems.

There is nothing more frustrating than completing a lengthy DIY CNC design cut, only to find the wood or aluminium material block has moved during the program – rendering the material and entire project cut-out attempt  useless.

We “clamped down” on this problem long ago in our DIY workshop, but we always like to remind new CNC machine builders that you can never have too many clamps on hand.

The problems extending from small amounts of material slippage on a CNC table are often the hardest to identify.  The problems are often blamed on other machine components, such as faulty CNC motor driver controllers, slipping shaft joints, structural flex, or backlash.

We’ve found that many of these DIY workshop problems are solved by having ample clamps and clamping positions available for use on the machining table.  This ensures your projects stay securely in place and that they are cut correctly every time.

Hold down clamps in themselves are cheap and easy to make.  Three to six clamps made of 5-7 mm thick steel with a slight bend at one end (coated in a tough powder coat paint), is usually enough to hold wood or aluminium material blocks firmly in place for most projects.  Being made of steel, the clamps have some inherent ‘springiness’ in them making them easy to place on and off a part (unlike block aluminium clamp alternatives).

DIY CNC Hold Down Clamp Knob

Easy turn DIY CNC clamp knobs are quick, cheap and simple to make for yourself, with your own CNC machine!

Making the ‘easy turn’ DIY knobs for your CNC machine clamps is also super easy …. using your CNC machine!

With our free g-code, dxf and crv files available for download, you don’t even need to design the knobs yourself. You can download the files and import them into your CNC machine design software right now!

The downloadable knob design provided is sized for M8 bolt heads (ie: bolt shaft diameter 8mm, head hex width 13mm) embedded in 13mm thick high density plastic material, but the basic CNC machine g-code or crv design file (for Ventric and other compatible design software)  can easily be resized, recoded, or redrawn to suit other bolt sizes and material thickness’s. Read more »

DIY Powder Coating Glasses Frames

October 23, 2014

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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Cat Paw Projects – Design for CNC – Free Download

October 1, 2014

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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CNC Design using QR Codes – Free Download

July 1, 2014

CNC Free design download - QRCode - I Will Love You AlwaysQR Codes (Quick Response Codes) were originally developed in Japan in 1994.  They were made to improve efficiencies in part tracking in the automotive industry.  Since then, QR Codes have touched almost every aspect of industry and daily life across the world.

The codes are essentially a clever two dimensional bar code, which can be easily read by most modern smartphones.  All that is required is installation of any number of readily downloadable QR Code scanner apps (eg: Qrafter or QR Reader for iPhone and Android, or equivalent).

The square blocks of digital information in QR Codes can be designed to hide  any text, URL link, or information, along with pictorial graphics if desired.

I recently used my own freshly created 2.5D QR Code CNC design to make a new wood block art piece.      Go direct to free CNC design download –>

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Flying Japanese Ibis – Free CNC Design Download

February 9, 2014

Flying Japanese Ibis - Free Download for non-commercial use.If you were one of our happy DIY readers who last week downloaded the free Japanese themed Soaring Ibis Bird project for home CNC machines, then no doubt you will be happy to see this post too!

We have now released the next similarly themed Japanese Ibis bird design for CNC machines in CRV, PDF and GCode file formats.

Follow the links to download the new Flying Japanese Ibis design files here, boot up that CNC machine in the work-shed and get this second bird flying!

Remember.  Check, check and re-check all CNC and software settings before you make any cuts on this project.  It saves time and materials, and potentially any damage or injuries too!

Good luck!  We hope you have as much fun cutting this DIY CNC project design, as we had making it.

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Japanese Ibis CNC Design Series – Free Download

February 4, 2014

Soaring Japanese Ibis CNC designToday, we have made available for download, the first design in a series of three CNC designs.

Following our earlier cat design series, we decided to give things more of a Japanese touch.  This series is of Japanese Ibis birds with the first design being of this magnificent bird soaring high in the sky.

We chose to produce a CNC design series of the Japanese Ibis not only because the bird is an absolute icon of Japan, but because it is a bird which is commonly sighted in the rural areas from around where we produce this website.  The adult Japanese Ibis birds can often be seen nesting in treetops on river banks, or wading in green rice paddies while feeding on frogs, fish  and insects during the Summer months.

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Roosting Japanese Ibis – Free CNC Design Download

February 3, 2014
Japanese Ibis Bird on Stump - Free CNC Design Download - Zip File Containing DXF_CRV_G-Code_Files

Japanese Ibis Bird on Stump – Free CNC Design Download – Zip File Containing DXF, 2D-Cut CRV, and CNC Cutter G-Code Files

Home, DIY and Stuff offers yet another DIY CNC design download in the Japanese Ibis series.  Download the Roosting Japanese Ibis sitting on a tree stump here.

The design is available free for non-commercial use, and for a minimal fee for commercial use.

We’ve had this design in mind for some time and just needed a little time to get it onto the CNC machine.  Now it’s done, we love it.  We hope you do too!

If you missed the earlier free CNC design downloads in the Japanese Ibis series posted some time ago, they are available from links under posts for Free CNC design download – Soaring Ibis and Free CNC design download – Flying Ibis.  You can also find other designs here.

The latest Roosting Ibis design was initially created with a large, narrow wall space in mind.  Our DIY CNC cut ended up being approximately five feet high to fill the space.  It was cut from particle board and now that its painted black and backed with soft lighting for a silhouette effect against the wall, it looks simply fantastic!

Just a heads up.  Since the design is quite long and narrow, the design files are arranged with the tree stump in two pieces.  This is to allow cutting of a large design on a smaller CNC cutter base.  It also means that a shorter, rectangular material block can be used more efficiently to produce the long design.

Should you have a large CNC table in your workshop, or if you only want to cut the design as a small project after download, feel free to re-join the parts in your chosen design software.
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Cat Sitting – Design for CNC – Free Download

January 24, 2014

Download file for CNC Sitting Cat for 2DCutThis is the third part of the DIY CNC comical cat design series I have posted on  Although this CNC cut design is running hot on the heals of the last cat playing and cat walking CRV, DXF and GCode designs, I thought it might be useful if all designs were up and available should anyone wish to blast out the whole set at once.

There is no doubt, having a set of any design on a wall is far more interesting than just having one of a design cut.

As beforehand, the download files are provided free for private, non-commercial use and are in CVR (Ventric Cut2D) , DXF and GCode text formats.

The free downloads for this CNC design can be found here.

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