As far as tools go the Chicago Electric Chain Saw Sharpener is not a great tool for it’s intended purpose. The motor is week, the arbor and nut are plastic, there is no shaft lock to hold the arbor still while you change disk, and so on. That said it seemed to me that it would make a good hobby chop saw for cutting really small stuff like brass rod, axles, piano wire, push rods and the like. Also the price is right at $29.99 for a good hack.
The big thing holding this saw back is the angle. As it was made to do just one job, they built in a fixed angle for sharpening. I felt that could be over come. There are some other things will need to change too. The chain advancing handle would not be needed, the blade is not right and a proper vise for holding the material to be cut. So lets look at these one by one. The handle and advancing mechanism can just be removed. We have to remove the red handle to remove the “bake handle” but it’s just a few screws.
With that out of the way we can look at the disk. They make some very thin wheels 3/64″ that have the same 7/8″ arbor. They are 4.5″ and not the 4″ that comes on it. But with a little trimming on the disk cover they will fit. They are much thinner so we will need a washer or two to make up the thickness so the arbor nut (plastic) will properly engage and tighten. Again there is no “lock” so getting a tight grip on the arbor and the arbor nut is not as easy as it should be. I don’t see an easy way to solve for this without replacing the arbor.
Next we need a good working small vice that will stand up to the parts getting hot. This simple $9 job from amazon should do.
Now to fix that angle problem. Remove the C-clip, hinge pin, and spring. Set those carefully aside for use later. Using a square to keep the 90deg angle, cut the base between 57 and 58 mm up from the bottom. Clean up the cut edges so you have the four empty holes. 3D print the replacement insert. STL print file. Use the printed part to mark a hole for a pin screw on the right back side. Use a 1/16″ drill to drill the hole. Carefully work the 3D part into the base. This is a tight fit and meant to be. We don’t want this coming out later. Put in a #4 or #6 – 1/2″ or 3/4″ screw into the hole to lock the the part in place. Re-attache the motor and disk to the base using the pin, spring, and C-clip. Refer to the image gallery bellow to follow these steps.
You should now have a good little saw for small hobby cutting. Have fun and hobby on.
One of the classic problems in a workshop is layout. Deciding where to put things so that you still have room for materials and work to happen but be able to use each tool at it’s station with room to maneuver. I decided to moving all the saw dust making tools to their own space. I was able to find a workshop design I liked in the SketchUp warehouse. I’ll use a simple saltbox shed design for this. SketchUP_8 Shed File
To help with the layout problem I used my trusty SketchUp again. Using just the floor and the door of the shed for reference. I modified it to the size I need. Then found most of my tools in the warehouse and moved them in so I could check the layout design and spacing. Using the layers it is a great tool for working out the details before you cut any lumber. This way you can check to see that the plywood still fits through the door and can be run on the table saw.Sketchup8 Workshop with Tools File
Many of the foam plane plans call for a formed wing. This is can be accomplished easily with a Wing Baking Jig. The Wing Jig is sized specifically to fit on the rack of a typical house oven. Just 15 mins at 200 degrees will turn the Fan-Fold foam in to a nice airfoil. Baking is an amazingly quick way to to build a wing.
Plans for the Wing Jig can be purchased from FoamFly.com here. Though I decided just to wing it on my own with out plans once I understood the design. The key piece of the design is knowing that the forming sheets are made from scraps of flashing supported by airfoil ribs. A see photos below.
Cut one a piece of 3/4″ ply 12″ x 20″.
Cut two pieces 1 1/2 ” x 20″ of 3/4″ ply.
Cut 4 or 5 slots 1/4″ wide. Cut the slots tight so the support rib fit snug.
Using the dihedral support template from the Foamie plane plans, cut 4 or 5 airfoil ribs of 1/4″ ply making sure to add the depth of the slots. Increase the airfoil shape 10% or so in sharpness. The curve needs to be a little tighter as the foam will bounce back a small amount after forming.
Cut two 20″ pieces of aluminum flashing. Crease the flashing 1 1/2″ from front edge.
Clamp the all pieces in place with C clamps and drill the front and rear clamping bolt holes.
With the ribs in place bolt down the bottom sheet of flashing. The nuts create a gap between the flashing sheets that is the space where the the foam will sit.
Insert the foam wing making sure to keep the front edge lined up and strait. If the foam is missed aligned the curve of the airfoil will be.
Using the 1 1/2″ bars clamp down the front and rear of the top flashing.
Bake for 15 minutes at 200 degrees. The wood will not burn but will be hot. Let the the foam cool in the jig.
Foam has become an inexpensive and viable building material for electric R/C plans. It’s durable, repairable and available from you local home improvement store in bulk. With the advent of Foam Safe CA super glues there is really no limit to the possible designs one can pursue.
There are literally dozens of plans available. A quick web search for Foamie Plans or Depron Foam Plans will return more than you can imagine. This will be a build of the Frog. Plans are available from FoamFly.com for $12.
I chose the Frog as my first foam build for several reasons. One It looked simple. Two: It looked like it would not take too long. Three: It is reported to be an easy flyer for park type environments.
The Plans and accompanying instructions are good. The pictures also help. Still you are building a plane from plans and not a kit. So, there is a good deal of cutting, shaping and forming to do. Learning to work with the foam can be a challenge if you have not work extensively in other materials. There is no real forgiveness when cutting the foam. It’s right or you cut out another one. The plans come with “The Definitive Guide to Working with Fan-Fold Foam”. This a 6 chapter (45 page) guide to foam building techniques. It covers tools, glues, sources, etc. If you have never built with foam before it’s well worth buying at least one of Dan Schwartz plans to get the guide. It will save you time and money hunting for the right things.
The Frog has formed wings. These are wings that hold their shape. You can see this in the photos. To get formed wings you need a wing jig. This a jig that you put the cut wings into and then place in the oven for a about 10 minutes to heat to shape. After the foam comes out of the jig it will hold the shape no other forming needed. It’s a cool trick. Being my first foam plane I had to also build a jig. I will cover that step in a second article. But here what it looks like.
The frog does build quickly. I think I spent one evening cutting out the patterns from the plans and the next night I cut the foam from the patterns.
The Tail was first and installing the hinges was the only tricky part. You have to have the right style hinges and control arms to work with foam but other than that it’s the same process as working with balsa.
Building the body on it’s side was different but easy to do. the body is tight. there is no extra room to work with. It’s width is just enough for the servo and the are to move. The servos have to go one behind the other and not side by side. The placement is not 100% spelled out. I think mine are just a little to far back. Unfortunately you don’t have the wing at this point to balance their placement with.
The motor pod is next. you really need all the parts at once to make sure it all fits. There no room to come back and add the ESC later. Once the second side of the body goes on it’s on.
Once the motor is in place it’s on to the servos. To make the line to the tail as strait as I could I mounted one right side up the other upside down. They are taped in with two sided tape. I used a small stick on one side to keep them from twisting loose from their own torque. When you feel you have got it all in place, tested and working, then glue the second side on. It seals it all in and there is no turning back. Even though the servos are only taped you would have to break the foam apart to get to one if you had to change one out.
Well, maiden flight in the back yard. Had to add weight to the nose to get it to balance out. But a few washers and it drifts along just fine. We are ready for the park.
Total time to for this build was several weeks. The wing jig took at least a week to work out. I didn’t track the cost but it wasn’t as inexpensive as one would have thought. Since the first time, I had to buy a lot of the tools to do the job. Most of the R/C gear, batteries, ESC, motor and so on can be bought on-line. However you are buying ala carte. A motor from here, receiver here, control arms and props from somewhere else. The start up cost was probably equal to buying an ARF with it all in the box. Now that said the second and third one will have all most no cost as I now have supplies for about ten plans. I would rate the difficulty as Medium to High. This is not for beginners. You have to know where you are going, know how you are going to get there and when you don’t you have to work it out on your own. There is no store to take it back to or support line to call.
Here are some stats on other Foam Plane options I considered from their Plans:
RimFire 22M-1000 Brushless
GWS IPS-A (5.86:1 Gear Ratio)
2-cell 120mAh LiPo
GWS Pico BB or Hitec HS-50
GWS Dual IPS-A (5.86:1 Gear Ratio)
2-cell 700/1200mAh Lipo
GWS Pico BB or Hitec HS-50
GWS IPS-A (5.86:1 Gear Ratio)
GWS Pico BB or Hitec HS-50
2 GWS EDP-50XC Carbon Brush
2-cell Li-ion 7.2v
280 brushed motor
8.4v 600 to 800mAh
2 micro or nano
GWS EPS-300c “2S” (2.80:1 Gear Ratio)
2-cell 1200mAh LiPo
GWS Pico or Hitec HS-50
With so many other good plane plans available to build, I’m sure I will have more to write about soon. I just need to pick my next project. Happy flying!
I have seen a lot of ads for headlight polishing products and never thought much about it. I few days ago my roommate complained that she could hardly see driving home at night. So we went to the auto store and bought some brighter headlight bulbs. We came home and changed out her headlights. It seemed to help a little but not much.
The next day I was browsing through the auto department and came across about 5 different products designed to restore your headlights. Some were complicated kits with sanding and polishing pads. I did a little research and came to the conclusion that it shouldn’t take much to do this.
I’m not recommending any one product because I have not done a side by side comparison of this product to that one. I picked a product from a brand-name who’s products I was already familiar with and it worked great. I think the key to making it work was the tools and process, not necessarily the product. I’m sure any good mild polishing compound with a wax would work.
What my research showed and what my own experience backed up is that you need a good high-speed polishing wheel and pad.
My steps where:
Wash down the lights to remove any dirt or debris.
Mask off the surrounding area with a low stick tape that won’t peal the paint or remove you wax finish.
Apply liberal amounts of compound to the light lends and pad.
Buff at a high speed.
Wash off extra compound.
Remove tape carefully.
It only took a minute or two of buffing and it was done! No muss no fuss. Really, it took longer to tape off the area than it did to do the job.
Now if you headlight lenses don’t come right back to a smooth shine, try a light sand with some wet 1500 or 2000 grit paper to knock down any deep oxidation. Be very careful if you try sanding. Use lots of water and move in light circles. Then buff again. That should do it.
Total time to do this job was about 30 mins. and the product was $7.99 from you local massive retail store. I would rate the difficulty as Low.