Weird and wonderfuck

So, we have this vapor phase oven at work, and recently, the vacuum hood began to raise crooked:

Technician came in, said we broke the pistons due to overpressure…


Yes, you read that right. A 70.000€ industrial machine that supposedly requires an external pressure regulator that the installation technician DID NOT put in.

Because wait…what is THIS for, then?

Apparently, NOT for those pistons, just for the flimsy pneumatic scissor door.

Now, enjoy some damage x-rays:



Recently I binge bought this lovely miniature ratchet:

It has a certain je ne sais quoi that was irresistible.

Anyways, I also have some sets of 4mm hex bits, wich I would like to use with it, however, I found out that the only company making such an adaptor was Wiha, with this:

Wich doesn’t particularly appeal to me, really. What to do then?

Well, machine the crap out from an extension adapter:

Lathe out the end bit, saving the magnet in the process and there you go.

Nice and compact:

Also added a nylon cap to it’s end to make it easy on the finger when removing the adaptor, and, coincidentally, easing the insertion into the 1/4 socket.

Extremely happy with the result, I must say!

See ya!


Apart from being an awful 2009 movie, this is what we should do when a component strip is about to end:

Howeverr, in reality we rarely do it,mainly because the machine swallows the strip faster than you can comfortably splice it without risk of dropping the tool/ripping the strip. (Paper strips are tougher, but plastic ones can get damaged easily.

Also, shit sometimes we have to do:


Yeah, that is the same continuous strip… :/

Stimpak, an overkill mechanical paste dispenser.

In the age of internet, some people think it’s weird not looking up if something exists. I myself I’m in the leage of “buy the tools if possible”, because I don’t like spending time creating the tool I need AND then more time to do what I intended to do in the first place.
However, in this case, it didn’t cross my mind that it could be possible that what I needed already existed (not in a egotistical way, I just didn’t thought much about it). Anyways, I wanted a mechanical paste dispenser.

Easy enough, a screw, a syringe, and something in between to hold everything together, right? Well, normal metric screws do not bear well with pressure, they tend to bind, so I figured that, at least as a test, I could go by with a micro fine pitch screw. As I didn’t had such a screw (or tap, for that matter) at hand, I had to make my own:


That’s like half a millimetre or less pitch screw in a 8mm diameter shaft. That would need a keyway guide AND machining the end to accept a standard plunger tip:


Since I had made it at home, I also had to make a tap for the nut/actuator wheel, wich was simply done by putting a cone on a threaded shaft and some relief cuts so a sharp edge with all the threads would engage on the nut material:


The point here, tough, is that the shaft was 8mm, so in order for the tap to work, I had to make an undersize hole, probably in the order of 7.8mm or so in the nut, but I don’t happen to have a drill in such diameters at hand AND they are usually expensive. However, if I freezed a drill bit to -12ºC, I could achieve somewhat the same effect:

Super cold alcohol+water mix to freeze the drill bit.

And there we go!

whatsapp-image-2016-11-30-at-14-53-22Shaft threads haven’t been deburred yet on this photo.

So, did it work? Well, more or less it did:


However, the nut bind easily because of the shape of the screw threads AND the friction against the backplate. As expected,  I stripped the nut threads, as acrylic is not the best material to machine high load/friction parts. But the concept was there and somewhat solid, now it needed a real trapezoidal screw, a technic material for the nut and some bearings.

As before, a tap is needed for this screw:


With that I could thread a delrin wheel and machine the leftover screw end to accept the plunger:


Also machined two flats on the screw, as I did not like the keyway idea in the first prototype:


With all that done, a needle bearing (and some acrylic machining I did not photograph) there it was:





The bottom plate captures the syringe in place, and the top bearings both grab and guide the axle so the gear can do it’s job. The needle bearing removes stiction between the top plate and the gear.

It is made to be easily removable/serviceable:



In action:

Note how fast stops the paste extrusion. (nothing exceptional, just that it does XD! )

It will have a ratchett mechanism to actuate the wheel and a small nut on top to make the needle bearing captive, but it sorta works now, wich was the objective.

U hungry?

Reel feeders, what the heck do they have inside?

This is just one type in the feeder world. I will photograph the pneumatic ones when we get to use them.

And, what does a feeder do?

Sorry for the background sound, it’s a portable generator we’re using while the electric company decides wether or not to provide power to our machines.

When the feeder nozzle picks a part, it briefly interrupts an opto switch. Once the interrupt is gone, it advances a piece. It doesn’t actually know what the piece spacing is, you have to program it (via button presses) to set both step and fine tuning the center.
Part centering is only critical as small as the part goes, but not for the machine itself to pick it up, you can adjust pickpoint as you please from the GUI, but if you wander too far, the pick won’t trip the optoswitch, and hence, not advance a part, generating an error (vaccum error I think, will check tomorrow)



So, I was making these spacers to align some boards into an adhesive backing and I would like to point out that if you ever do something like this, you MUST NOT lathe the recess using the hexagonal body of the spacer. If you do, they (lathed part and center of rotation of the screw) will be very misaligned (up to 0.5mm).

Use, instead, a screw wrapped in copper foil to attach it to the chuck, then lathe away until you achieve the desired diameter. (2.52/50 in those). Also, be careful to make shallow passes or you might bend the screw and mess up something.

(yeah, not much electronics lately, I know. Just wait for it, I’m preparing something really cool, continuing a previous project)