Monday, May 14, 2018

Slide of the month extra - Steampunk slide

Mid May 2018

Time to design: 2 hours
Time to build: 2 days

Original design: Bill Macfarlane

What if the petrol and electronic eras never happened? Would our society revolved around a steam technology? Steampunk stories revolve around the "alternate version of the historic past, especially 19th-century England, and involving advanced technologies usually based on steam power."
That's the premise of this slide.  

Building this slide was really several ideas coming together has I was building it based on what I had available at the time. I had a old empty CO2 cartridge that I knew would be a part of the slide and I cut it in half. Next I wanted to have a copper boiler so I used a 3/4 inch FPT adapter  and I cut it down to just above where it reduced. I sanded off the part you would normally use a wrench on so it would match the roundness of the area just above it. To have the CO2 cartridge fit inside it took a bit of sanding.  Next I took a 1/4 brass tee and cut off one of the female ends. Next I cupped the rough edge of this piece of brass so it would fit the roundness of the outside of the cooper FPT adapter. I clamped the brass piece and inserted the CO2 cartridge then heated the assembly to solder them together. When it was cool, I threaded the top of the CO2 cartridge so it would accept the core of a tire valve stem which the center was removed. Next I wound a brass rod around pen to form the coil and soldered it to the copper base and inserted the top into the core. The ruby glass is lens from a car indicator light that fits perfectly inside the brass fitting. 

Now to show the glow of the fire, I used a led from a flickering electronic tea light and inserted it into a hole drilled into the copper base. The led is connected to a battery holder and a push button switch.

Now I wanted all the electronics to fit inside the slide and to be able to screw a fitting into the bottom to seal it but that didn't work and the slide was already heavy enough. Rethinking it, I ground out the threads from the inside center so everything would fit inside. The base became a thin walled copper cap with a piece of rubber tube so the that friction fits inside the center. I had a brainstorm regarding hiding the switch and went back to the junk drawer to fine a brass elbow gas fitting. I drilled out the center of the elbow to the size of the switch and broke the bit in the process.  To remove the drill I soaked the elbow in alum and water to dissolve the bit and a day later, with the bit gone, I soldered it to a hole in the cap. I mounted the switch inside the elbow so the button was just outside the fitting. In order to active the switch I added a cap to the end and when the cap is screwed deeply into the threads, it pushes the switch turning on the led.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Slide of the Month - Soyuz spacecraft

May 2018

Time to design: 2 hours
Time to print: 2 hours (your times may vary
Finishing: 2 hour
Original design: Thingiverse
Original designer:manboy
Try it yourself: Soyuz spacecraft

Designed for the Soviet Lunar Space program, the Soyuz spacecraft is still in use today bringing astronauts, cosmonauts, and other guests to the international space station. The Soyuz I printed would have been in flight during the time of the Gemini and Apollo US missions. You can read more about the Soviet manned lunar_program here.The space craft is made up of three part as shown in the diagram below.

Soyuz-TMA parts.jpg
By NASA -, Public Domain, Link

Printing this was pretty straight forward but I did and supports for the solar panels and the area around docking mechanism needed a bit of filling with UV glue. As to painting, it seems like there may have been two colors of green paint used on the Soyuz. I went with the darker of two and used a plastic spray paint. For the rest of the painted details, I used paint markers and the markings are done with water slide decal. One thing of note, I did print to a white decal as the clear decal did not show up well with the dark paint.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Slide of the Month Extra- Home grown slide

April 2017

Time to make: 1 hour (give or take a few years)

Original design: Nature

An old friend once told me "slides don't make themselves", well maybe I had to do some work but there is no way I could have designed this myself.  I was removing some bushes from around my house about a couple of years ago and I noticed the nice contrast in the colors of this wood. Thinking about a different project, I decided to keep a section of the trunk to see what I could do with it. Knowing the wood would have to be completely dry, I set it aside in my garage until this year. When I started to cut the wood up, I was amazed with the patterns I was seeing and these slides were started. Both were cut about 3/4 " of an inch and sanded smooth. I glued a wooden loop to the back and three coats of clear poly later they were ready to wear.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Slide of the Month April 2018 - Diver's Helmet

April 2018

Time to carve: 2 hours

Finishing: 1.5 hour

Boy's Life July, 1976

Design: Wayne Mason

An interesting idea, weigh down a person with a big metal helmet while pumping air down to them. There is pretty good video of an old diving suit out on you tube.

Carved out of Poplar and the grate is made out of regular paper staples. I also used some small nuts super glued to the carving. Its painted with black, rose brass and yellow brass metallic hobby paint

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Side of the Month Extra - (Carve a face) 70's Scout

March 2018

Time to make: 3 hours

Design Bill Macfarlane

Original concept: Bill Burch

So while I was carving the Bill Burch slide of the month I got an idea. I was a Scout back in the 70's and I thought what if I did a Scout of that era. Complete with the red beret and sunglasses, it is what I might have been wearing at a Camproee or Summer Camp.

First I sketched out the basic design and with another a block of maple, I cut out the profile of the slide. Taking what I learned from the original care-a-face slide I did, the details like the chin turned out much better than the first. I finished the slide up with hobby paint and gave it a couple of coats of poly.

Friday, March 2, 2018

Slide of the Month March 2018- Carve-a-Face


Time to make: 3 hours

Boys Life "Slide of the Month"

April 1975 page 54

Original design: Bill Burch and John Taylor

Bill Burch had been carving bolo slide for years and has been at many Scout functions including National Jamborees. I was told he had tied over 48,000 slide before his death on September 25, 2012.  A fascinating article about him can be found here and a moving video here. It's with honor I try to recreate the Slide of the Month he did for Boy's Life.

Starting with a block of maple, I cut out the profile of this face then turning it on its back, I cut out the outline from the remaining wood. Lots of cuts and wood removal before I could start shaping the slide. Countless breaks to sharpen my knife and then the sanding.Painted with hobby paint and given a couple of coats of poly.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Slide of the month - Voskhod

 February 2018

Time to design: 3 hours
Time to print: 4 hours (your times may vary)
Finishing: 3 hour

Original design: Bill Macfarlane

Try it yourself : Voskhod slide

The Voskhod space capsule was a larger modified version of the Vostok capsule large enough for two cosmonauts. Voskhod 1 was designed as an unmanned mission and Voskhod 2, a manned flight, included a inflatable airlock for the first space walk by Alexey Leonov
The mission almost ended tragically as Alexey space suit ballooned to a point he could not reenter the airlock. Luckily he was able to reach a valve to release some of the air out of his suit so he could get back through the airlock.

Based on the Vostok design by nemilya I was able to modify the model to include the airlock and backup retro engine in Tinkercad. To my knowledge this is the only model of the Voskhod ready for printing on a 3D printer. It was printed on the same SeeMeCNC Orion printer I did the Vostok on because I could not seem to get a good print on the Ultimaker 2. The green is spray paint and the top and bottom is silver craft paint. The inflatable airlock is painted with a white paint pen