Empty Filament Spool & Scrap Wood Wagon

Wagon design render

It is almost consistently warm enough in Chicago to continue with the solar oven trials. Thinking about last year’s trials, I realized that the solar oven peformed best during the first day on the ground in the park. It makes sense to return to the park this year. A means of transporting the oven to the park is needed. Since I had four empty filament spools and remembering Chuck’s Spool racer, my thoughts went toward making a wagon. I have a hand truck that converts to a 4-wheel platform cart, but it’s not something I would want to push to a park. A wagon could be the best transport for the oven, I thought and set about searching for methods of making a wagon. I found a video on the Popular Mechanics YouTube channel that provided the best information for the type of wagon I intended to make.

Continue reading “Empty Filament Spool & Scrap Wood Wagon”

Storage Bin From Scrap Wood & 3D Printed Parts

First bin

I wanted to make one of the closets in my apartment look tidy. Since I had wood left over from old or failed projects, which was contributing to its untidy appearance, I decided to use some pieces to make it look better. A bin for tall objects has been a desire for some time. I attempted to make one a couple of years ago, but it was a failure. I know more now about how to make furniture strong, so I designed 3d printed parts to get the job done.

A couple of the one-inch oak dowels were bent and the screws did not go in all the way. In addition, they were not aligned properly. I was not going to let that stop me from making the bin. I designed parts to hold everything together. Each side has a different width and they stack instead of forming a square corner. The parts were screwed to the dowels except for the bottom four. The unit is lightweight and very sturdy. I am pleased to finally have a bin I enjoy seeing every day.

The bin will live in the closet between the broom and hand truck.
UPDATE February 9, 2022

The 3d printable files for the parts are now on Thingiverse.

Hamper Stool, A Year Later

It has been over a year since I finished the hamper stool. The photograph above shows its current condition. The front has not changed much since I finished it. Only a couple of the spiral inserts have popped out on occasion. I cannot say the same for the inserts on the sides. I did not want to glue inserts into place in order to change colors whenever I change my shower curtain. I was tempted to glue them after months of trying different tapes to hold them in place. Instead, I came up with the idea of using wire to hold them in place. It is a haphazard solution, but they rarely fall out now.

DSCN2327The inserts were not falling out when I sat down, I could hear them falling when I was in another room. They would fall also, when I moved the stool, but not all the time. As I write this, I realize now what was causing them to fall; vibrations from trains. I live close to freight train tracks and the ground vibrates when trains travel by. I never connected the two events before now.

One other aspect about the stool was troublesome until I figured out a solution. I used plastic bumpers on the dowel tops under the lid. The two in the front were always coming off. I finally cut rings from small round cork pieces and attached them with wood glue. That has been working very well.

Would I make another one?

DSCN2330My answer to that is a resounding yes! I would be working on making one as a sewing stool this very minute if my 3d printer had not lost the ability to make prints wider than 3 inches. I would be finished with at least one cabinet too, if the printer was capable. Instead of trying to stress myself with replacing and configuring parts, I have decided to just get another printer next year. Plus, I would like one with a larger bed in order to make shoe soles.

Would I change anything?

Another resounding yes! I would reduce the number of screws, washers, and bolts by using wire to connect the casings and spiral inserts vertically.  Instead of regular nuts, I would use nylon nuts to prevent nuts from falling loose. I would make the length of the 2″ dowels 16″.

Overall, I love my hamper stool. It has been a useful asset and I still really like the spiral inserts.

3D Print TV Stand/Cabinet Project

cabinet tv 1My October to November project is a TV stand/cabinet. I plan to make several similar cabinets to create a clean look in my small living room. I have modeled all of the 3D parts for printing. I may make adjustments to the design, such as adding dowels in the middle, but I won’t determine that until I print all of the bottom parts. I plan to print the bottom first and move up the sides.cabinet tv 3 2

The top of the cabinet will be 45” x 12” x ¾” Oak. There will be four 1” x 2” square wood dowels on the corners; 31 ¼ length. I will attach four steel furniture legs to the bottom. I checked the Sagulator and using the 45″ length is okay for my 22 lb. television.

Inspired by a short film I saw about Japanese furniture making, I have designed this project to use as little hardware as possible. There will be ¼” round wood dowels crossing throughout the PLA/PHA filament 3D printed parts. I have placed holes for short wood dowels to connect parts, depthwise. I found the lengthwise dowels served their purpose well in keeping parts aligned in the hamper stool. I wished I had used them more in that project.cabinet tv 2

PLA/PHA is not the same as wood typically used for fine Japanese furniture. I have mentally prepared myself to use wood glue or hardware to connect pieces if I find that my original plan fails.

I have a few more projects for which I have modeled parts. I will post about them in the coming days.

Hamper Stool Project Finished

The hamper stool project is finished! It is a piece of furniture that combines 3D printed polylactic acid (PLA) filament with wood. It started as a desire to capture the qualities of spiralising filament in a functional piece of furniture using a 8″ x 8″ x 7″ sized print bed. It ended with furniture reminiscent of ocean waves and capable of holding a decent amount of dirty laundry.
The Starfish in the photograph was 3D printed from a file created by CBiker and painted.

Hamper Stool Project, Part 6

DSCN1787The structure of the hamper stool is almost together. I have 4 additional side casings to make and 9 pieces for the back. I ordered a roll of filament on Sunday and I expect it to arrive Friday or Monday. In the meantime, I have been printing the spiral infills.

DSCN1779I have never added wheels to anything from scratch, so I watched a video (see end of post) to learn how to do it. I measured the width of the wheel stem (9 mm) and bought a 3/8″ black oxide drill bit and 3/8″ t-nuts. One thing to note here is that my steel drill bit created a lot of heat when boring into the hardwood legs. The black oxide bit did not.

DSCN1781After I prepared the legs, I put the top 3D printed pieces together and attached the legs flush with the assembly top. Next, I turned my attention to the hinge.

This was the first time I have attached a hinge from scratch as well. I searched the internet to try and determine how to place it properly. After awhile, I concluded that I just needed to be sure the top could open completely. To do this, the circular part must be in the center space between the two pieces to be attached. Also, the hinge needs to be centered on the wood, with equal measurements to each end. I think I did okay with centering the hinge on the wood and the 3D pieces; not so well with screwing the nails into the wood. I used push pin pilot holes after marking placement with a pencil and I should have drilled the holes using a small diameter drill bit. The slanted nails prevent the wood top from closing as it should.

DSCN1785The 3D pieces do not have holes in the top. I planned to drill holes here when I designed the model. I simply marked and drilled holes using a 5/32″ black oxide drill bit.DSCN1789

The hinge created a roughly 4 mm space between the top assembly and the wood lid. I placed 13 mm vinyl bumpers on the center of each wood dowel leg and turned the project upside down to position the front casing assembly. I used mounds of Sculpey to hold the assembly at the 4 mm height while I maneuvered it. I marked and drilled holes in the casings.

After I made 3 side casings and put them together, I found that I did not do a good job with centering the front assembly. I will re-position it after I have both side assemblies together.


Back of project – My initial plans were to make the same casings for the front and back of the hamper. However, after attaching the hinge, I found that there was no room for the casings. Luckily, my experiment with the placemats provided a solution. I will print flat panels and hot glue them together for the back. Then, I will mark and drill holes to attach the panel assembly to the top, bottom, and side assemblies.
DSCN1792Spiral fillers – Upon attempting to fit the spiral fillers in the casings, I found that half of the spirals need to be open on the sides to accommodate nuts. I have printed a side spiral open once with supports and it works. I am working on positioning the opening in the right spot.

Threaded Stem Cast Installation video