Category Archives: MECHANISMS

Custom Wood Phone Charging Cradle

After getting a new phone recently due to a volume switch that was out of place, and my inability to solder well, I had a problem. Actually, I’d had the problem for a while with my last phone, but I couldn’t seem to get it to plug in correctly, and when I finally did, it was facing away from me. What I needed was some sort of cradle that I could put it in, sort of like what’s seen in the illustration above.

I could shop online for a cradle for my phone, but I really didn’t. Instead I designed and build one myself out of wood as seen in the video below. That’s always easier, right?

Perhaps it’s not easier, but it was a fun project, and one that wouldn’t be too hard to make, even without a CNC router. I made the device in three layers, which you can see in the video laid out in Draftsight. The yellow represents the middle piece of wood, and the red and white layers sandwich the micro USB connector inside (The DXF drawing file is available here if you’d like to make your own). Finally, Read more »

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 »