Doing It Old School

Back in high school, one of the subjects we had to take in year 8 was technical drawing. I can remember thinking to myself, why am i learning this rubbish, its not something that I am ever going to use. But alas, here we are and I am in need of being able to draw some semi accurate plans on at least A3 paper for some things I have going on at the moment.

Now i know I can do this on a computer using CAD, I have various software already on my computer to do just that very thing and I am competent in using it. However, I have no way of printing them out on A3 paper and scaling them to A4 is not the best option either because its not all that accurate. I need the person reading these plans to be able to measure 1cm on the page and have them translate that into 1m or some other notional measurement.

And so I went looking for a drafting set, i know my kids had them when they were at high school, but it seems they have all been moved on also. Looked online and well, no so cheep. So i figured making one would be the way to go. I have most of the materials here already, it was just a matter of buying a sheet of MDF, buying some set squares and mechanical pencils and making a drafting board and T-Square.

$20 later and an hour of my time and bingo bango boombo we have an A3 drafting set. How accurate is it? Well, its about as accurate and the carpenters speed square that I used to make it and the factory edge of the MDF sheet. In the vertical its a couple of tenths out as you can see from the parallel lines, and in the horizontal, not shown, its about 1mm over 460mm, good enough for the kinds of girls I go out with as they say.

I have enough adjustment in the T-Square to take that difference out, but i do not have a square accurate enough to do that. Carpenters speed squares are not the most accurate of things and I do not have an engineers square. Though I am going to buy one now and then make some other squares to use from it. I have a bunch of aluminum here. All in all, this came out pretty neat and now I just need some A3 paper and I am good to start drafting.

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More Metal Work

So i bought a new metal shear and thought I should take it for a few laps around the garage straight away to see how she goes. Well, it cuts a nice straight line obviously LOL. Anyway, I made a little case to house a AM broadcast band highpass filter in. While the fit and finish are not perfect, it is certainly serviceable. I did learn a bit and should be able to make nice slide in and out clam shell type boxes with much better tolerances.  Something i also did was add in some locating pins on the bending break, this made repeatability of the bends much better.

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Homebrew Bending Brake

So there is this channel on youtube that i like to watch, Old School Forge by Chandler Dickenson, he is a blacksmith and a bit of a funny bastard to boot. Here is a link to his channel have a watch: https://www.youtube.com/user/chandlerdickinson anyway he has a saying Need A Tool, Make A Tool and I am currently in need of a tool, that tool is a bending brake for think stock aluminum sheet metal 1 ro 1.2mm thick.

I went looking on line as well in the local retail chains and they wanted over $100 bucks for one and well, i am not building the Taj Mahal or anything that good, so i figure I will make one out of either crap i got laying about or whatever i can find at the local bunnings. So $20 worth of 3mm mild steel angle, and $5 worth of hinges and some bolts and clamps I already had laying about and boom, we are in the sheet metal bending business.

It has an opening just a tad over 300mm and that is wide enough for anything I will ever want to bend, mounts in my vice on a bit of old scrap pine 3×2 and is accurate enough for the kinds of bodgey jobs I am making. Which currently is a lab PSU with 3 channels. Anyway that’s enough gabbing, time to go and do some more project work. And remember the motto, Need A Tool, Make A Tool.

I should also mention, to get the hinges to sit flat, you need to pop the pin out and flip one side over, other wise your crap will not sit level.

A small update: IT WORKS.

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