Category Archives: MECHANISMS

Clear Polycarbonate Strandbeest Assembly (Part 1)

For the past month or so (past few months really, I’ve been working on yet another Strandbeest, this time made with clear polycarbonate material. Even though I had the material cut outside, it has still taken a ton of work to get it together, opening up holes as needed and other small modifications.

Either way, I finally got it to a point where it can turn (some of) its legs while supported and stand on the floor on its own. I’m excited to see where this ‘beest will go, and I’m planning to use a Bluetooth remote control scheme, and add a head and “tail” to it as discussed in the video seen below.

Though I hope you find the video interesting, be sure to check back or subscribe on YouTube, as the next one should show it in action, walking with two more appendages and lighting under external control! Or at least that’s what I’m planning…Also, I’m not quite set on the name yet. I’m thinking “Clear Beast,” though if you have a better idea, let me know in the comments!

Lights! Coasters! Drinks!

img_5638-ce-logoIf you’re been following along here, or especially on the “Jeremy Cook’s Projects” YouTube page, you might have noticed that I’m on a bit of a lighting kick. This started with my infinity mirror (which was fun, and I have more plans for it), but then morphed into a few other projects involving non-programmable LED strips.

I purchased a reel of this type of strip (Amazon) several weeks ago, and after coming back to them found that they were really excellent. You can cut them into sections of lights in multiples of three, and they have adhesive on the back, so you simply place them where they are needed and they stay. Another interesting “feature” is that even though they nominally require 12 volts to operate, they work quite nicely with a 9 volt battery.

The Infinity Coaster

Incidentally, a 9 volt battery fits inside a piece of 2×4 cut out with a hole saw along with a microswitch. I had this, along with pieces of one-way mirror in my garage, so after some creative fixturing and woodworking, I had what I call an “infinity coaster.” When you set a drink on it, it engages the microswitch, completing the circuit and giving the illusion of lights stretching to infinity inside of it. As shown in the video, it looks nice, though a coaster over 1 1/2 inches thick still has some room for improvement.

A Translucent Light Up Coaster

I’m not exactly sure when inspiration for this hit, but after Read more »

Make a Simple Dust Collection Box

preview-imageRecently I saw a downdraft suction box used to collect fine dust sanding somewhere online and thought I could make it very simply with 2x4s and plywood. Using some scraps of each that I had around my garage, here’s what I came up with:

Though after production, this came out to be a 7:00 video, you can probably figure out the basics from the picture above. A few details that might not be especially evident come at around 2:00, where I cut two offset holes to allow my Rigid vacuum nozzle to fit properly, and around 3:00, where screws are used in a sort of non-traditional way to retain the top.

Results are shown at the end, and it appears to be somewhat effective, if not “vortex-like.” I should note that this could also likely be used for vacuum forming, where thin material is heated, then sucked around another part. I haven’t tried the process myself, but it definitely seems to have its uses.

For another take on this design, here’s a suction box that looks slightly more complicated to build, but features an angle on the inside to help channel the vortex. Perhaps the results would have been better with that inside. It wouldn’t have been too hard to add to my build, but I was trying to make the simplest build possible (OK, I perhaps the machine screws weren’t that simple) so this is “left as an exercise to the reader.”

I put a lot of work into producing this video, so hopefully you like the results. I started putting things on YouTube to simply host it for this site, but I’ve been trying to put quite a bit more effort into production etc. I’d encourage you to subscribe there to see what other videos come out of “JCP!”

On another note, I’m thinking of changing around my YouTube playlist format to hopefully make things easier to find and play. Please let me know what you think about the video in the comments below, or perhaps via Twitter here! As always, thanks for reading and watching!