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[Cancelled] The Pride Of Hiigara - Phase 3: Electronics
#61
Oh, wow, my arm is aching! Spent the whole day sawing. It took longer than expected because it was also extremely difficult to maneuver each board on my own, as opposed to when I received them, since I had help for that. Here however, working alone was to my disadvantage, which was further compounded by the constricted space.

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Getting ready to hit the gym! Had to begin each cut by first measuring out and drawing straight lines for me to follow while cutting.

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Initial cut.

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Quick inspection. Now if I were to have tried this with a jig-saw, I definitely wouldn't have the same straight line. Even with an edge guide. I have no idea how those guides never helped me. Oh well, manual tools FTW!

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Looks pretty even to me!

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Final products. Three of the four boards have been cut. Including spare pieces, plus the fourth board, I now have 9 pieces, all transferred to my bedroom for storage. Flying back to Moscow, so I won't be doing anything for a couple of days at the very least.

Next on the to do list is to buy the screws that I forgot to order. I'm just going to go to any store and grab a few. I'll need several long ones if I want to maximise the effectiveness of the hinges in their ability to support everything. Once I have the screws, I can put everything together with some rubber on all contact edges to dampen vibrations and noise when in use. Finally, using the spare wood, I create mounting sections for the caster wheels. From this point, the workbench is functionally complete!

...And then the real challenge begins. That's when I'll be ordering the acrylic boards. This will be the hardest part because these are all irregularly shaped pieces. For this, I'll take down the paper design I've had hanging on my wall for all this time, then cut out the shapes, stick them to the back of an acrylic board, and cut the shapes out by following the edge of the paper.

The question is how to do this. I can't use a jig-saw because I can never seem to keep one steady. I could use my router, but I need to build a template to use as a guide for creating an accurately cut shape, which obviously sounds like an infinite loop issue when it comes to creating an accurate template for the final product. I obviously can't use my handsaw, no matter how much I love it. So what's the alternative?

A scrollsaw could get the job done, but they are generally too small to be able to build the larger pieces that I will eventually have. Vertical bandsaws are ridiculously large. But what if I put my workbench to good use and give it a little mod? I could buy a jig-saw, flip it upside down and mount it under the workbench, so that the blade sticks up from a little hole I make in the tabletop. That would effectively make it a large scroll saw, allowing me to work with larger pieces, and at the same time, retain it's jig-saw uses. All I'd do then is feed the workpieces into the blade.
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#62
For the straight cuts in wood you could have used a circular saw. I'm not sure what the easiest way to cut the acrylic would be.
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#63
I could have, but I'm cheap when it comes to my own convenience. If I can achieve roughly the same results with cheaper means, I'll do it. Besides, circular saws are quite limited in their applications.
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#64
Alrighty, small update. Workbench is progressing nicely. Currently taking a break after dropping the edge of one of the boards on my foot. I'll be fine in a few minutes though. I've done worse to my limbs and extremities!

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So, I grabbed my drill, hinges and screws, and started on the first two pieces. Very straightforward job. Drill a small hole for a slightly larger screw to be screwed into. This prevents the wood from splitting, which is especially important with plywood.

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Closeup. Everything looks nice and aligned. Was a bit of a challenge to do this alone, since I had to prop up the wood at an angle to prevent it from falling over. This meant that things were not aligned. Using a combination of folded pieces of cardboard, and assorted household items, I managed though.

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Things are slowly starting to come together. Two things you might be noticing here. The first is that this table looks really low. The second is the question of how the table top will go on, if the sides were attached to the hinges on the outside of the back board, rather than the inside. Both of these issues are a non issue. The table is low because the wheels still need to go on, and a good workbench is a little on the low side to make using it easier. As for the board placement, I'm going to create a recession to align the outer face of the side boards with the edges of the back board. That will allow the table top to be supported on the sides.

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The boards folded. Also known as folding at home (feel free to boo me for that atrocious pun). Yes, I'm aware that the side boards overlap. I forgot to cut 12 inches off from the sides of each board, as the back board is 7 feet wide, and the boards are 4 feet each. So a cut of 12 inches, plus an extra 12mm for the aforementioned recession, should get everything perfectly aligned. I can just measure one board, place it on top of the other, and break out my trusty hacksaw. The extra wood that I get from that will then be put to good use as bracing on the table top. After all, something of that size and weight will sag considerable with nothing more than side supports.

That's all for now! I might have another quick update in a few hours. Otherwise, I have three days off. There is a good possibility that I can finish the basics of the workbench in that time.
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#65
(2014-11-04, 12:56:34 AM)hiigaran Wrote: The boards folded. Also known as folding at home (feel free to boo me for that atrocious pun).

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Looks like it's coming along fabulously!

Do you have a plan to deal with the potential sag?
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#66
Oh there will definitely be sag if I don't do anything about it. The extra wood pieces that I've cut off from the overlapping sides can serve as 45 degree braces between the back and the underside of the top. Easily done with some hinges underneath the top, and a little something to hold it in at the front face of the back board. That way, it still remains foldable, even if it means adding a fourth layer to it in its folded state, making it almost 5cm thick.

So here's the next update!

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First caster wheel in place! Now due to the metal base of the wheel, I needed to cut out a wooden block of the same area, then bolt that onto the metal base, before securing the block to the side board via four 90 degree braces.

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Second caster finished. You'll also notice that I fixed the overlapping issue. The excess wood I got from it was what I used to cut the blocks out for the wheels.

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This is where I leave it for now. I'll need to purchase additional screws and braces to mount the last two casters on. The final two will be mounted at the ends, via the back board. Also, I still need to make that recession for the hinges, which is why you still see a gap in the middle.

One concern I currently have is with the top board. For it to fold up and back, it needs to be as short as the combined height of the back board and caster. This means that with the current dimensions, the top is too big. I'll need to make a few measurements to see just how much needs to be cut, and then decide on what the best course of action is. Most likely, I will use hinges (again!) to fold the excess part on the outer edge (ie, the edge closest to the user) down and underneath the main body, which would then fold up and back as a whole, making the excess part face outwards. This presents the problem of having a small gap running along the entire width of the bench when assembled. A few stick-on door/window seals could help there. I'm already planning to use some on other edges to reduce vibration noise when tools are in use.
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#67
Another minor update:

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Wood cut to size. I've laid out everything to show how it would look disassembled. The bottom layer consists of the two side boards, the second last is the back board, the next one up is the main part of the top board, and the final smaller piece is the excess that will hinge out.

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Alternate view

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Closeup.

EDIT: Looks like I won't be finishing this before I leave for my multi day flights to Sydney, Auckland and back. Guess my next update will probably be in a few weeks.
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#68
Making progress!

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Purchased some random items. Got a 50 meter spool of three core electrical cabling, three male plugs, and a pair of wall sockets and housings. Why, you ask? Well the big issue I have with a rig that is expected to use 4500 watts (5000, just to be safe) is that there is no way I can safely run that from my room, on a single circuit. A single circuit can only take 13 amps. I could technically replace the circuit breaker with something that handles higher currents, but I would burn the place down soon after if I did so. The solution is to take power from three different circuits in the apartment. Each of those three sources of power would go to a single PSU, so electrical distribution is safe, and low on each circuit (thereby allowing other appliances to share the circuit).

So the plan is to run power cables from the edges where the walls meet the ceilings, hidden inside those plastic things that hide cables in them. I'll trail one from the corridor outside my room, and another from the living room. Two holes need to be drilled into the walls for this. The male ends plug into sockets in those rooms, and then each cable goes into one of the two wall sockets I purchased. The third comes directly from my room, hence the reason I only bought two wall sockets.

Next are those two blue things. Those are router bits. The small one does straight cuts, and the large one will be what I use later on to create the 45 degree angles on the acrylic edges. The blades next to those router bits are for a jigsaw that is in the process of arriving. I chose those specifically because they are nice and thin, which will help when I make tight curved cuts on the acrylic with the jigsaw/improvised scrollsaw.

And finally, some random assortment of screws, nuts and bolts in one bag, and a heap of L braces in another.

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Finally got the last two wheels on the workbench! It's fun pushing this thing around now!

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That gap that used to be between the sides when folded is now gone. Cut a small amount from the backboard to achieve this. Lines up perfectly! I'm going to get a small deadbolt to hold the boards in place when folded. I've noticed that they like to open up on their own while moving about.

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Finally reunited with my precious Dremel from Sweden! I missed my baby! Put it to good use as well. Had to cut off a small bit of metal on one of the caster wheels which was stopping it from swiveling properly.

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It's no garage pegboard, but it will do! My little shed (aka, a few shelves in my bedroom wardrobe) is starting to grow!

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Aaaand finally, my workbench starting to take form! Ordered a couple of heavy duty double action hinges (think of spring loaded doors that swing inwards and outwards), then removed the studs that determine the strength of their springiness, effectively disabling them. They are pretty large, so I need to cut small recesses into the top board so they would fit properly.

That's all for now, guys! I would have made more progress, but this site issue popped up, and took up a large amount of my time. I won't have any further updates for at least 5 days, but rest assured that the updates should become more frequent in December. I've got 12 days off in total, not including my rest days, so plenty of free time!

I'm close now. Almost ready to begin working on the computer itself. Once the workbench is complete, I will get the jigsaw and the router mounted to the bench, and then it's showtime!
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#69
Yay power!
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#70
Updates! Things are coming along nicely!

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Table top has been finally secured. Used my new jig-saw to cut a couple of recessions into the board, so that the hinges can fit.

Once concern I have is with keeping the sides aligned. If they open up more than 90 degrees, then the table top will not rest on anything, and therefore fall down. For the time being, I've made a temporary workaround by screwing the corners of the top board into each side board with a single screw, but I'll need to figure something else out. Probably either replace the screw with some rod that I just drop in and take out, or some sort of quick release fastener. Not particularly important at this stage. I can work with the screws for now.

Also, you may have noticed a little bolt lock at the top of the side board. This is just a simple little solution to keep the side boards reasonably secure while being wheeled around. Otherwise they just open on their own.

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Everything folded up. Not perfectly flat because the back board warped a little, thanks to me being away on work all the time, and the way I had stored it. Not a massive issue though.

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So now that the workbench is somewhat functional now, I have begun to make preparations for bench-mounting my two power tools. I've decided to start by mounting the jig-saw first, as doing so will get me one step closer to beginning work on the acrylic. So here's what needs to be done to mount the jig-saw:

You can see in this photo that there are four screws on the base of the saw, as well as a hex screw in the middle. That hex screw allows the base to swivel left and right, to create angled cuts. Removing it completely allows the base to come off the tool.

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After removing the four screws, I removed the black part of the base, and was left with this. Since I had those square holes on either side of the base at the bottom, I only needed two more holes, which I drilled at the top. These four holes will serve as the mounting holes for the four screws that look like the one pictured above.

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After a bit of work, I was finished! You can see the blade sticking out on top. I simply drilled a hole a little larger than the blade, and it now allows me to easily exchange blades straight from the hole.

Also, before anyone mentions how close the blade is to the edge, remember that I still have the final third of the table top to mount.

Everything is holding well. Fired up the jig-saw on full speed. Works great. Haven't tried cutting anything with it just yet, but I'll be sure to give it a whirl once the workbench is complete.

I'll need to order more small hinges for the last part of the table top before the workbench is completely functional though. I had some extras, but I used them after needing to replace the hinges on one of the side boards. I installed the hinges in such a way that after opening and closing that side, the hinges ripped clean off each other. Saw the problem, didn't make the same mistake again, but now I'm short on a couple of hinges because of it.
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#71
That's coming along great hiigaran!

I think you table mounted equipment will be a great boon.

How are you planning to mount the extension of the work surface?

To solve the problem of the edges swinging out from under your top surface, you could simply slap an L bracket ont the lid, like so:
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#72
I've considered that, but I need to see it right in front of me before I do it, in case it causes any problems when folded away. I do have a massive pile of L brackets, so I can simply grab a pair if need be.
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#73
Yep. Looks good, and works fine.

So, two things need to be ordered now. The first will be more hinges. I'll need five more of those small brass butt hinges to complete the workbench's table top. From there, I can then start ordering the acrylic and get cutting. This is going to be a pretty difficult stage. My big weakness is that I cant cut straight with a jig-saw. It's a bit better when table mounted, but it's still there. I'm going to need to think of something that can assist me with making straight cuts, and even then, I'm pretty nervous about the curved cuts.

That's still a while off though. The second thing I need to order are some toggle bolts. Those are about as heavy duty as you can get for wall fixtures. For those that don't know, it's a bolt screwed into spring-loaded 'wings'. Drill a hole the size of the wings when pinched flat against the bolt, insert the bolt with the wings pinched, and the springs will open them up on the other side of the wall. They provide the strongest hold of any type of wall anchor, and their strength is really only limited by the strength of the wall they are in (ie, the wall will generally rip open before the toggle fails).

So why do I need several of those? Well based on my rough math, and assuming my plywood is on the heavier side of the plywood density of between 500 to 650 Kg/m³ (just assuming. It's likely on the lower end), the base layer would weigh nearly 100 kilos. Then add the acrylic and electronics on top of that.

To throw even more complexity into this project, remember that cables and stuff need to go behind the base layer, to keep things looking nice and clean. This means that the base layer is more like a box, than a plate being mounted to the wall, with a gap between the wall and the back of the base layer. It also means that to get to the stuff at the back, it needs to open somehow, and the only way to do that is with hinges on one side. Therefore, all the weight needs to be supported on the hinges. Not going to work. The torsion on that would rip everything to shreds.

Solution? Well, the bottom is quite close to the ground, so I can add some caster wheels on the corner on the opposite side of the hinges. That should eliminate the torsion. I should be able to order the same casters as I got for my workbench. I tested the bench's ability to take a heavy load by sitting on one edge, and jumping up and down a little on it. If two casters can take a 50 kilo impact, I should be fine.

Now the question is, how much of a gap should I have between the back of the base, and the wall?
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#74
(2014-12-05, 04:06:01 AM)hiigaran Wrote: That's still a while off though. The second thing I need to order are some toggle bolts. Those are about as heavy duty as you can get for wall fixtures. For those that don't know, it's a bolt screwed into spring-loaded 'wings'. Drill a hole the size of the wings when pinched flat against the bolt, insert the bolt with the wings pinched, and the springs will open them up on the other side of the wall. They provide the strongest hold of any type of wall anchor, and their strength is really only limited by the strength of the wall they are in (ie, the wall will generally rip open before the toggle fails).

Erm, I thought it was strongest to screw directly into studs with regular wood screws. (Unless your wall has metal studs, I'm not sure how to anchor to those.)
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#75
Not where I'm going to be screwing in from. I can't screw anywhere else, if I want to be able to hinge it and open it.

EDIT: And I'd probably use an anchor bolt if I had a stud
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