Dallas Makerspace Show & Tell - February 2019

Post a picture and description of anything you are working on this month at the 'Space here!

It can be anything from a small craft project to a large CNC router project to building a table to 3D printing to a science experiment and so much more. There are lots of people doing cool things at DMS all the time, but most of us don’t get to see it. Post it here and share the interesting things you are doing at Dallas Makerspace this month!

Posting here helps not only promote Dallas Makerspace, but could inspire others to make something. It will also help PR post a monthly look at what can be done here on a blog post (with attribution to each maker of course).

:bulb: NOTE: Please try to include the following on each post, to help make for richer blog content!

  • a decent QUALITY photo
  • a notation about WHAT you’ve made
  • WHO you are (for attribution on the blog)
  • HOW you’ve made it
  • and WHY

I made a set of helping hands for soldering. Took a model from Thingiverse and modded it to hold 100 pennies in the base as ballast.

Used cheap Loc-Line style tubes (made for directing coolant on CNC mills) as adjustable arms. A 3” magnifying glass from Tanners helps my aging eyes (and would not work without the extra weight from the pennies). Alligator clips are epoxied onto the ends.



The Dynatorch needed a new ground rod, at least the indicators point that way. So I bought some cheap SDS masonry bits from Harbor Freight to make a sacrifice. I needed a SDS Plus ground rod driver. So I cut down a 3/4” SDS masonry bit, Then used a piece of a 1/2” nipple to create the cup. This is so I could use my Hammer Drill to drive the ground rod into the ground. I cut the bit off with a cut off wheel on the grinder. I then took the bit over to the Lathe & machined the surface flat. I spot welded the nipple to the bit all while attempting to keep it below the point that the “Hardened” steel would not aneal. I then drilled the hole in the concrete & drove the rod into the ground using the Hammer function. It drove the 8ft rod in almost flawlessly, The spot welds broke due to vibration & quickeness of the in & out of the weld.


So my Locker for my Jeep was left in my Jeep, unbeknownst to me. So it got surface rust on it. I put it through the Vapor Hone today. With the help of @yashsedai we got it cleaned up & found some other issues with it.

Now I need to just order replacement thrust washers for the Spider gears.

Button making jewelry class with Sue- Valentine Day gift (don’t tell the wife)


Sunday, along with my windex wiping chops during laser maintenance, was my maiden voyage outputting a project on one of the lasers. With lots of supervision from @bramsey and patient advice from @JoshW, several cutting boards were laser etched with customized messages.
The friend who had requested assistance in the first place made a time-lapse video on her phone of the process. We were pretty impressed at the “cool” factor produced. (and I’m impressed that I managed to find a way to convert the MP4 file to an animated GIF so it could be posted to TALK.)

And this is what one of the finished products looked like.

I learned some useful tips along the way. Like if you are using an Illustrator file, delete all of the guide lines you may have drawn to create the art.RD Works interprets all the guidelines as part of the design. And sizes everything to be the size of the laser working area, instead of making the desired image big and readable on-screen. I think I made the right call in advance, by not only converting all the text to curves, but also using Pathfinder to “unite” all the individual shapes-that-were-formerly-letters into larger shapes.


Wish I’d known you needed to drive a ground rod. I have a full scale electric jackhammer and the ground rod attachment.

Nice work making one.

This class was so enlightening! Can’t wait to practice on my microwave fused glass pieces.




My cordless hammer drill has a hammer only function. It took long to drill the hole than to drive the rod in. Can’t be to optimistic with a 1” harbor freight bit. Had it been a Bosch, Milwaukee, Hilti or DeWalt bits I’d imagine it would have been quicker.

But 20$ for a sacrificial bit was worth it.


8 foot ground rods into dry soil are a 90 second or less deal with the rig I have. Got it for ham radio, having had to put in a few without having the right tool. We’ll get some use out of that once the E-lab moves.

Didn’t know the hammer drills would just hammer. Interesting.

Once you get to SDS, it becomes a feature. The ones with drill chucks are a poor imitation of a hammer drill, and can’t hammer only.

Yes SDS for the win.
This is the one I have.

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Finally got around to finishing my desk. I bought a motorized based to stand as well.


Where’d you buy the base?

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Lessons-learned from a reject pot.

Segmented turning (especially in miniature) is a trade-off between bravery to turn the vessel thin enough and discipline to stop before it flies apart (and obviously the knowledge of whether your glue job is adequate).

  1. Turning strategy.
  • This one flew apart. I usually make the rim the thinnest part of the vessel. No one can really tell if the walls are 0.025" thick at the base, but if it’s 0.010" thick at the top, then the entire pot looks good.
  • I should have planned my turning strategy better. I should have worked the rim thinner before I worked the lower section. That way when the lower section blew apart (because it was <0.010" thick), the rim would have been usable. The rim on this one is about 0.030" thick - see how clunky it looks?
  • I glued it back together, put on an unplanned CA finish, and parted it off for the reject pile. Needless to say, with a fragile glue joint on 0.010" thick walls, I wasn’t going to turn the rim any thinner.
  1. The straight wall shape just doesn’t work for me.

  2. Planning the length vs. the wedges. Because the final red/white wedges aren’t parallel to the base, the layers inside the vessel aren’t concentric and they look funky from the inside.

  3. Material choices. When you make segmented blanks, you should pay attention to the relative hardness of the individual segments. If they are vastly different, it’s hard to turn. I know better, but succumbed to the allure of using mystery wood. I guess I got what I paid for.

I have wanted to make a pot with these slanted wedges for some time, and now that I’ve made it … it’s nothing special. I probably won’t make another unless I make some significant modifications.

Hope the lessons are useful.


Beautiful table! also where did you get the legs from?

NightVision goggles using picam noir and a set of FPV 720p goggles. I wrote the interface and settings control in python using picam API. It’s multithreaded with an XMLRPC listener thread that lets you send commands to the main thread to change options like ISO, white balance, colormode (fullcolor, green overlay, bw) etc… future plans include using a small IR remote to navigate the menus and settings while wearing. It runs on a battery pack and has many hours of battery life because it only uses about 6% CPU. I use an IR flashlight (invisible to human eye) basically to illuminate scenes at night to make them visible to the IR camera.


From last night’s Resin Petri Dish class