Archive for the Design Category

English Benchwarmer

Posted in Art, Carpentry, D.I.Y., Design, Home Renovations, Lifestyle with tags , , , on 08/05/2016 by Baghead Kelly

Bench Warmer

I have a materials rack in my workshop which was filled beyond capacity and so it was about time to use up some of my hoardings. Essentially I had a pine plank which was 2.4 meters long and some dunnage/bearers that I had scabbed from jobsite skip bins.

What do you do with a plank?……… well you make a bench of course!

Now I wanted to make a knockdown bench so I could pack it up if I had to. Thus I used two wedges to hold it all together ( 9° from plumb and 8mm thick, hardwood is advisable). No nails, or screws. I used ‘ Sketchup Make’ to draw up the plans above. The components are essentially;

  • the plank
  • the cross brace
  • The legs x 2
  • The wedges x 2

It was all fairly straight forward but the hardest part was manufacturing the two legs. The feet were made from two pieces of 90mm x 45mm stud glued together so I could band saw the ogee shape and cut the 10mm groove out of the bottom. Then the uprights had a mortise and tenon carved top and bottom to house the feet which were glued and the bench which is dry fitted. I was worried about the dry fitting at the plank end for stability but in retrospect the mortice and tenon works great. However if you lift the bench by the plank it will come off – you have to lift it by the mid rail, which I can do easily by myself. If you’re worried about this you might think about a dowel to pin it on or glue it permanently.

Benchwarmer combined

The other modification I would incorporate would be to shorten the plank to 1800mm to reduce the span. Due to the detail that I’ve drilled into the centre of the plank there is a weakness right in the middle. Now I can sit on ‘Ye Ole Benchwarmer’ with my wife and six foot four son no worries but I don’t think we would be doing it across an infinite abyss. Plus I like the little detail of a cross cut with a hole saw and routered with an ogee to fancy it up – a little design feature I nicked from a church pew. The cross brace was also chamfered with a router in the middle to add a little old world charm as were the uprights and feet.

This was a fun project and I use it to put my toolboxes on, which leaves them on a convenient height to rummage through. So if your interested in a plank with legs, I’d recommend making the two legs first, followed by the cross brace and  leaving the mortises in the plank till last.

Any queries, I’ll try to help.  Cheerio Ladies and Gents!

Bench Warmer 4 pos

 

 

Making A Roadcase

Posted in Carpentry, Design, Gadgets, Home Studio, Lifestyle, Music with tags , , , , on 03/24/2016 by Baghead Kelly

Road Case Blog

Roadcases are fun little projects to encase and protect your precious electronics. This is the second one that I’ve built and I’ve enjoyed both of those endeavours. My old one became superfluous after I blew up the amp (I have a habit of doing that) and as these projects are bespoke by nature, it was time to update.

I’ve had this Yamaha EMX 512SC for a few years now and I cannot speak more highly of it. It has a great sound with lots of bottom end when paired with my A15 speakers. The big surprise for me though was the cheap arsed Chinese DMX lighting controller that you see on the top. My lighting system consists of this unit and 10 x ADJ Mega Par Profile plus a couple of laser lights. DMX is 80’s technology which basically is a standard for lighting systems. I didn’t know much about it but today you can buy these units very cheaply from your electronics store and they are very versatile. Paired with DMX standard lighting you can change the colours, intensity, focus and direction of your lighting. It depends on the light what you can do with it but with the controller you can also program lighting shows to match a song or play.

Anyway these two units complemented each other perfectly and so it was a natural progression to pair them into one unit. This way I had only one power point to plug in plus two speaker cables and one DMX cable daisy chained to the lights. An easy set up.

I had to also include an electronic fan and venting to ensure that the P.A. was happy with access to the reset on the ELCB within the unit. It is quite heavy for the size of the unit and so I added the wheels. The trick with wheels is to have two fixed wheels and two lockable, swivel wheels to steer with. I incorporated a lockable drawer and a shelf to stash the microphones cables and torch.

I used ¾” construction ply for the construction which used to be 19mm but seems to have been downsized to 17mm these days. The last time I built one of these I added corner protectors which you can get in plastic or metal but this time I didn’t feel the need.

The last tip that I can impart on this project was that I got an RCA to 1/8” jack so that the kids could use the play lists on there cell phones and run them through the P.A. It worked a treat so long as they didn’t play around with the phones whilst songs were playing. You can get some pretty harsh sounds with any loose connections.

Party Lights

Making a Lagerphone

Posted in Carpentry, Design, Free, Gadgets, Home Studio, Humor, Lifestyle, Music with tags , , on 03/15/2016 by Baghead Kelly

 

I’d always harboured a desire to make a lagerphone and finally I’ve ticked it off of my bucket list. A lagerphone is essentially a tambourine type of instrument made from a broomstick and crown capped bottle tops. From the Idiophone family it is mainly used in folk music and is known by many names from many different cultures.

The first task was collecting the bottle tops, which required much merriment and the sampling of various types of lager which had different coloured bottle tops. I was clearly the right man for the job.

Another pre-requisite was my penchant for hoarding. During renovations I kept one of our old curtain rods, which was about an inch and a quarter diameter (32mm). It also featured a finial which with a nose added became the ‘Noddy’ head. In my research I discovered that it was commonplace to place a boot at the bottom to protect a venues flooring. It so happened that I’d kept one of my fifteen year old’s boots from when he was a toddler. Actually we kept all of them.

The next stage was punching holes in the bottle tops. For this task I used an off-cut from one of our veranda posts, which I had drawn diagonal lines from corner to corner and drilled a 5/16” (8mm) hole in the centre where the lines bisected. With a nail punch I could then line my bottle top up over the hole using the diagonal lines and with one tap I could punch a hole in the centre. The jig worked quite well although I had to manually pull off the bit off metal still left hanging.

Next I space out where I wanted the bottle tops which was basically a north/south/east/west pattern. I carefully drilled them and bought some screws with a clean shank to affix each set of twin bottle tops.

Additionally I placed a mint tin containing ball bearings into the boot which was simply screwed to the curtain rod between the tread of the boot. I used a bit of plumbing pipe insulation for the handle and the sock of the boot. Also on the large beer can at the top I placed a nut suspended from a bit of wire to act as a clapper.

I thoroughly enjoyed the process and the thought of terrorising my clan gatherings with my new lagerphone fills me with wicked glee. So if your interested in making a lagerphone here are a few name variations to Google as the various designs are as different and wild as your imagination.

a.k.a.

  • Boozaphone,
  • Mendoza/mendozer,
  • Monkey stick,
  • Murrumbidgee River Rattler
  • Teufelsgeige
  • Jingling Johnie
  • Stumpfidel
  • Ugly Stick

The Inheritance

Posted in Art, Carpentry, Design, Family, History, Home Renovations, Humor, Lifestyle with tags , on 02/10/2016 by Baghead Kelly

JKS Toolbox

A few years back my father gave me, my grandfather’s toolbox, as seen in the photo above. I was chuffed, it was full of tools both old and new. Indeed as a youngster I well remember the odd occasion whilst in my grandfather’s care we would ‘stooge about’ at his workbench. My favourite memory, is when he showed me how to make hot air balloons that floated up to the rafters in his loft. At other times we would make secret compartments in his house. He was big on secret compartments. One in particular I wondered if after he died whether anybody knew of its existence except me. I guess I’ll never know. Anyways my memories of this toolbox were fond ones and it reminds me of a time that was happy and carefree.

Still that was an era when my grandad owned the toolbox and now it belongs to me. The first act of sacrilege that I committed was when I removed the contemporary tools that were contained within and replaced them with the antique tools that I had collected over the years. All of a sudden, Voilá, it was transformed from a toolkit from a bygone era into a mini museum.

The second act of vandalism was when I decided to paint a mural on the front. I had the idea of painting an English pub type sign with sawyers in a sawpit. When I started searching for photographs to base my design, I came across, a book called; “The Book of Trades or Library of the Useful Arts” from 1805. Volume 1, page 68 contained a magnificent illustration of “A Sawyer”, which I duly lifted for my own purposes.

Interestingly enough, the said book was a vocational guide for young people to compare occupations and indeed such publications dated at least 200 years prior to this one. Reminding me of my recent encounter with my sons teachers who seem to want to pigeon hole him into some dead end career at the age of fifteen. The difference being at the earlier time 11 or 12 was probably more appropriate an age to begin your working life but I digress.

Having finished the mural I have concluded that I ain’t much of an artist but one day my son will inherit his great grandfathers toolbox and he will be free to do with it whatever takes his fancy. At this point however just trying to entice him from his virtual reality to stooge about with his Dad is proving to be a new challenge in itself.

Finnished

 

 

 

Rainy Day Pedalboard For Guitar

Posted in Carpentry, Design, Gadgets, Home Studio, Music, Songwriting with tags , , , , , , , , , on 06/02/2013 by Baghead Kelly

PB 1
If your into electric guitar, then chances are that you’ve got a few stomp boxes, lying around. Once you’ve collected a few then eventually you get to the point where you start thinking about a pedal board. Such is the dilemma that I faced on a recent rainy afternoon.

The brief was simple I just wanted a board that I could walk up to, plug in and play –  no flat batteries and no multiple adaptor clutter.

I went about researching such a thing simply by checking out a whole lot of other peoples boards on Google’s “Image Search”. Interestingly, during this process I saw a few pedals used more often than others. The four common stand outs were;

  1. a Wah Wah pedal of some kind,
  2. an Ibanez’s tube screamer as made famous by SRV,
  3. Boss’s RC20 looper and
  4. Boss’s TU3 Chromatic Tuner – the one with the disco lights.

Beyond these four pedals it was open slather. Each pedal board was wildly individual, incorporating a plethora of designs and configurations – some home made others just plain obscure or whacky.

In assimilating these designs another design concept came to the fore and that was the use of velcro tape and hook carpet to enable the pedals to be securely but temporarily mounted. In the end I went with this idea because it was simple and allowed for ongoing adjustments and configurations.
PB 2
I started with just a simple 15° wedged box (800mm x 300mm) shown above.

Originally I planned to enable the wedge to sit over my microphone stand and the red and green lines on the bottom of the wedge indicated the microphone’s legs that would sit in the as yet unbuilt slots. I abandoned the idea for the sake of simplicity but I still think the idea has merit.

The power supply is the Gator G-BUS-8. This worked out fine because one of my pedals was the 18volt Dunlop Univibe and the Gator was the only supply that would accommodate 18V (3 of) as well as 9v (8 of) plugs. It was for me, expensive but in the long run all the electrical work was thus pre-solved. The Gator is not the only option here for those of you contemplating such an adventure; there is also a Dunlop version and T-Rex have several models.

The other practical concern was to be the fact that there was going to be a whole lot of cables that were to be stuffed into this wedge shape and so eventually I would have to make a sealed cover to keep them tidy within the wedge. Ultimately when it was finally set up I would only have to plug in my wedge, guitar and amp to be good to go.

I have three commercial pedalboards, which all have their own unique benefits but some of them are extremely complicated affairs and my needs are simple. A little distortion, some chorus maybe some E.Q. is all I really need. That’s not to say that I don’t like experimenting with the kinky stuff because I do but in the end its all about the music. The old K.I.S.S. adage seems to apply here and this pedal board is both simple and adaptable which I really like.

Laser Violin

Posted in Design, Music with tags , , on 03/23/2013 by Baghead Kelly

xlarge

http://www.gizmodo.com.au/2013/03/a-laser-violin-would-have-surely-blown-amadeus-mind/

Zoom H2n Review

Posted in Design, Gadgets, Home Studio, Music, Review, Songwriting with tags , , , , on 01/10/2013 by Baghead Kelly

Zoom H2N

I purchased one of these little microphone recorders awhile ago after sniffing around the Line 6 Back Track recorder. The unit is about 4”in -100mm in length.

Mostly I am very pleased with the recorder as it has done for me what digital cameras have done to photography. Record as much as you like and as many takes as you like. If I have too many false starts I just stop it and start again. You can easily trim the fat through the machine or with your computer afterwards. (You will have to buy a decent SD/SDHC card for it as it only comes with a 2GB card to get you started.)

You have several options with regards to how you can record using the 5 on board microphones. Most notably the mid-side  configuration which essentially mixes Left & Right microphones with a unidirectional microphone at the front allowing adjustment of the width of the pattern from 30° to 150°. The other major configuration is an XY pattern of 90° which is my favourite.

The unit  takes two AA batteries which give you 20 hours play time. It can use rechargeables but you have to register them within the unit so that it can accurately tell you how much usable time you have left. For me 20 hrs is plenty and AA’s are more preferential then AAA’s because of the cost.

I should also mention that it comes with Cubase LE which is the light version of Cubase. As I already have Cubase 5 I didn’t play around with it too much but it all seemed quite adequate for editing etc.

Along with the Zoom H2n I also bought the accessories kit that in my view should really come with the unit. The accessories kit comes with:

  • Wired remote control with extension cable
  • Windscreen
  • AC adapter (USB type)
  • USB cable
  • Adjustable tripod stand
  • Padded-shell case
  • Mic clip adapter

Personally I’m not likely to use the remote or the windscreen but the rest is essential. Even the strange looking handle attachment means that I can clip it into my existing mic stands and it looks like its meant to be there.

The recording quality is excellent once you get your distances right and I would thoroughly recommend this unit for both enthusiasts like myself and serious recording aficionados who would like a field unit. This is probably my favourite piece of kit that I have purchased in 2012 and I would rate it a whopping 5 out of 5 rubber chickens.