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Topics - Stonemull

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General Discussion / Hi bitches, tis me
« on: August 06, 2020, 07:04:30 AM »
Hiya people, been lazy and need to get back into the groove. I have not powered up a laser in months. Been too busy working, program some doohickey or another at times for fun and then when I'm sick of staring at a PC I just mould into the couch and watch netflix.

Am currently researching microwave foundrys..

Hope the virus isnt too extreme in your area.

Inspiration / Heraldic artwork
« on: July 26, 2019, 04:44:26 PM »
Nearly 3000 traceable images, not sure of legalities of using them but for personal use I am sure you are good. I can't wait to try some of these, SVG's too.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

General Discussion / Modernising Leatherwork
« on: December 24, 2018, 04:18:02 AM »
Years ago I was given a bunch of leather embossing punches, I then bought a dark brown hide which turned out to suck for embossing, made a nice sand bag for sheet metal work though. Thats about as far as I got..

A week ago I bought an old blokes old hobby, over 130 embossing punches, many hides from heavyweight 10oz stuff down to thin goat hides, heaps of roo leather lacing etc, a marble slab for embossing on (made a nice table to hold it), knives, patterns, lots of books, etc. Most of the stuff dates to the early 70's direct from the RM Williams factory outlet in south australia. (Not sure if RM Williams is known in the states ? Its probably the most famous farm gear outfit in australia known for quality leather and suitably insanely high prices).

The standard techniques involve tracing a pattern onto tracing paper, then use a blunt awl to mark the leather through the tracing paper, then follow that by hand with a swivel knife (which I now have a nice ruby bladed version), then emboss, bevel etc with the punches using the cut lines as a guide, the cut through the 'grain' of the leather makes the embossed punchwork stand out.
Its all very time consuming and pretty much an artform, you dont just buy the tools and off you go anymore than buying an easel and a paintbrush makes you an artist. Turns out I pretty much suck at it though give it a few years I could probably make stuff look pro.. lol, I have no intention of doing that, far too lazy and old.

So I am thinking the craft could do with a modernisation upgrade, thinking about marking the leather directly with a laser, then using the swivel knife to follow the grooves, even a light scratch and the knife can follow it a lot easier, alternative is to actually cut the same depth with the laser as the knife would, will do some comparisons later.

Instead of embossing like crazy I am wondering if I can 3D print rollers with patterns on them and use a bunch of force to directly emboss the leather, perhaps even make casts to make aluminium rollers etc if plastic turns out to be not tough enough, the leather is embossed wet, it takes surprisingly little force though a small punch and little hammer onto marble is probably exerting hundreds of kgs of force..

Just starting a thread.. maybe elsewhere is more suitable ?

RAMPS 1.4 / Software
« on: July 20, 2018, 09:48:36 AM »
Plasma cutter is about ready for its first tests, since I wanted this to be a stand alone device working in the shed from an SD card then the easiest way to get the functionality was to use a ramps 1.4 board and a graphic smart controller, all up is was like $22 I think, a no brainer.

The issue is that I can't be stuffed trying to port grbl-mega to use the display,encoder and SD card so I might as well use ready to go firmware, which leaves me without about 2 options (I know of), Marlin and Repetier firmware.
After playing with Marlin I found it needs 3 home switches or gets all upset and cantankerous (ie .. cannot compile), I originally had none but have since fitted an X and Y home switch, Repetier firmware is happy to have no home switches plus it has a laser and CNC mode, so decided to give it a try first.

So T2laser has no "repetier mode" :) the basic Gcode movements are not recognised, it seems that having a single G1 and lines of X,Y moves works fine with grbl but not repetier. If i do a search and replace in the gcode for " X" and replace it with "G1 X" and carve out most of the init commands (not gone through them all yet to examine) then I get basic movement but laser (plasma) stays on. repetier assumes laser will be off for G0 movements and on for G1,G2 and G3 moves.

I looked at bencut but the first thing it says is you need GRBL.

So question is, anyone found a repetier friendly interface

Note: I wrote the post above yesterday but did more research, my notes for changing t2laser gcode for something that runs on the SD card are..

issues are that a single G1 does not work, it needs one per line.
an M03 S255 in a line is ignored, needs to be on its own line.
an M03 S0 I am not sure is dealt with the same as a M05 (I have 500mS warmup delay added)

search and replace M03 S255 and replace with nothing

search and replace M03 S0 and replace with M05

with every line with M05 in it, add a line above with M5

with every line with M05 in it, add a line below with M3 S255

search and replace M05 and replace with nothing

search and replace X and replace with G01 X

if required replace Fxxxx with Fyyyy

Mini CNC / Corexy plasma cutter
« on: July 07, 2018, 06:39:14 AM »
Not sure if right forum area, seemed suitable though..

Hoping to get some advice here on some of the experts, I am sure I will need it, I just uploaded the files/photos/stls to thingiverse at

current build state is as posted, so I still have to cut the horizontal steel, mount the thing, make a main carriage for the plasma tool, add a carrier for X axis, not sure whether to do a single or 2 rows of steel for the axis, idlers, belt clamps etc  .. then all the electronics and find a functional grbl that works with SD cards etc (I have a mega board with LCD, sd card holder etc, just no code for it)

T2 Engraving / Minor bug on exit
« on: April 25, 2018, 09:49:35 AM »
Not sure if it has been mentioned, got me twice so far .. "are you sure you want to exit without saving" .. traditionally hitting "cancel" takes you back to the software, not exits :)

I just did a perfect PCB, forgot to save the profile or note the settings, doh!

T2 Engraving / Gerber confused
« on: April 24, 2018, 02:45:28 AM »
Sorry guys, been a bit busy working and stuff and not had much time to play.

I know its not big on your todo list, just trying to make sense of the gerber import, was trying to blast some kapton tape with a solder mask, just a generic SOIC powerpad chip by itself and I end with tiny dots for mask/paste and copper layers.
Attached is the gerbview plot for the mask (green) and either paste or copper layers (white, they are identical) and the T2 import of the gerber.
Also attached the gerber of the mask layer, I figured it doesnt come much simpler than a single square padded device, is there a workaround maybe?

Anyway, I will see if I can get Flatcam to process it for me, just MUCH prefer T2 for these jobs :)

Projects / PCB solder mask
« on: February 23, 2018, 02:33:02 AM »
UV curable solder mask, dab a little on the pcb, squish with transparent film and smooth out with a bearing. Use T2, import solder mask gerber and then invert, need a negative.
Tried a few exposures using my plotter with the 405nm 50mW laser and the 2.5W laser.
Speeds down to 1000mm/min and power 100 on the higher powered laser, no curing occured.
On the 405nm at full power, 5000mm/min left me darker patches over the pads (where there shoukd be no mask) however even acetone would not remove resist, increased to 10000mm/min and had first success, excess removed with isopropyl alcohol, acetone still too violent and removed exposed material easily.
So somewhere between 5000-10000 mm/min at 50mW 405nm will be the magic spot.
Will toughen it up with further exposure to UV later.

Grbl Controller / Headless GRBL
« on: February 14, 2018, 07:31:31 PM »
Still have my CNC plasma cutter concept in the thinking machine but getting the hardware together.
Recently made a battery pack adapter to drive it with
Reason being is plasma cutters etc are pretty awful on the noise front, also requires my fairly large air compressor to cycle and between the 2 it iften blows the breaker to the shed, so decided I want the controller headless (no PC) and battery operated, if I stick a SD card on it, need a way to select files and home the machine etc, so a display and sone sort of input device is required.
I now have a PC just for going in the shed and wired the shed up with the house ethernet, its an old touch screen HP, I added a dual boot to it as I thought running LinuxCNC might be a future option, since decided to go headless on the plasma though. The PC is now setup with Eclipse and I have it compiling grbl for the Ramps 1.4 though, so good for dev work currently.
Today the rest if the hardware arrived, everything I should need.
Hoping someone has already done the hard work but not found anything driving these graphic displays with grbl yet.
Anyway, still alive and doing stuff o/

Mini CNC / Sieg ?
« on: December 20, 2017, 08:43:15 AM »
I was pricing bits to make an aluminium capable mill, still no idea, tossing up c-beam, sbr16, sbr20 etc etc.. looking like not much going to happen under $1000 in reality .. bits add up.

Then I saw these on ebay

These sieg machines are rebranded as lots of others, including harbor freight, so now I am wondering how hard it would be to add some nema23's to something like this instead, might need gearing down but so what, pretty easy to come up with something I reckon.
One thing that has me wondering .. backlash, I see the fine Z axis winder on the front has half a turn of backlash before it engages the coarse spindle.

couple of example videos in action

and oh .. here is one converted to CNC ..

and one doing 1/4 steel plate with CNC

comment by uploader
Exactly, I have not using a chuck, just a end mill holder made by my self, you know, to convert the X2 machine is very easy and not so expensive, have good kits on market like little machine shop.

ok, looking for sieg x2 cnc turns up like this kit
which is nearly as exxy as the mill and includes new ballscrews .. but not the motors or mounts, damn. I still wonder if its doable without exxy added bits.

found a thread with a dude doing a conversion

So .. what ya reckon.
Can you see disadvantages of going this route ?

edit: forgot to mention this guy too ..

combo lathe mill, dunno, might do neither well ..

Z Axis / Adding z axis driver to stock Mana SE
« on: December 01, 2017, 06:39:50 AM »

Wanted to link it here so I can find it in future.

Mini CNC / Spindle motor arrived .. now to assemble a machine around it
« on: December 01, 2017, 05:17:55 AM »
So I have had this in my shopping cart for months and just decided what the he** and ordered it..
Arrived today .. tested with my tacho at just over 10000 rpm, pretty torquey, I have not fully tried to stall it at low revs as I figure that is not nice to the controller but it hurts the fingers just trying to slow it down.
Peeking in through the side I can see the main filter cap is 400V, I prefer 450V which you get in better gear.
My mains is 253.5V today .. so multiply by root 2 and you get 358.5V .. a bit close to 400 for my liking.

I thought I found a glitch with Banggood website .. neither the iPad app or the website gave me the ability to confirm the delivery, the button is just missing. Sent an email off to the help desk thinking it was a bug, no

The "confirm delivery" button will be showed after 5 days of the order has been shipped.
Could you plesae wait for a few days?

So talk about fast delivery, damn, never seen that before. Sure enough I ordered on Nov 25.

Now .. what to do with it, my old sherline mini lathe runs an old universal sewing machine motor, that could do with an upgrade.

Or .. I fit it to the dodgy bendy mini mill and see if the extra torque allows it to cut aluminium, I doubt it.

Or .. I bite the bullet and buy some SBR12 or SBR16 .. which ? I would really like to make something that works, it does not have to be large .. I think now that buying the larger version of the engraver was a mistake, if I did it again I would buy the smaller profile version.

General Discussion / MIT concept printer
« on: November 30, 2017, 06:11:11 AM »
This could be interesting, up to 10x faster and melt with a laser.

Projects / SMD solder stencil
« on: November 29, 2017, 06:01:31 AM »
This is for stenciling solder paste onto a pcb so you can reflow it in an IR oven, hot plate or hot air, if you are careful not to blow the parts away.

If you are mass producing boards you usually buy a laser cut stainless steel stencil, you can also get cheaper mylar or polyamide versions, I wanted to try DIY.

I can't seem to find suitable sheet stock yet, figured I would try what was to hand first.
First thing I saw, black insulation tape.. hmm

Needed to stick it to something, blank copper seemed a good choice.
Imported a gerber 'paste' stencil into T2, ran auto trace and ran the default 'cut' profile, full powrr at 100mm/min.
Burn away .. realised after I started this is likely evil vinyl tape, toxic fume stuff .. meep, held breath, it's only small.
Advantage of tape is peeling it off leaves the cut out sections behind, tape is probably going to stretch but I think for a few boards it is probably a usable solution, might be a little on the thick side is all, which means too much solder on the pads.
Will report back later.

Picture shows the cut bits left behind on the copper and the resulting tape once moved and stuck elsewhere.

I also have a slightly sore throat now, might die overnight..

Projects / Thermal paper labels
« on: November 09, 2017, 05:11:35 AM »
Needed to make labels for parts drawers and grabbed my trusty labelling machine, problem was I only have black on clear tape and on clear plastic drawers it is impossible to read.

However I have a roll of good quality thermal stickers my ex grabbed me from a meat packing factory.
These things stick like sh** to a blanket andcare waterproof too.

So set a custom frame size of 30x15 in T2, write the text in sketch, etched at 200/1000 .. then right click the trace border function to burn a thin scissor cut line.

Took a while but still not found a better method. 5 more sets of drawers to go ..

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