Duct tape for picking

If you have to remove a lot of adhesive backing paper from acrylic, use duct tape. I just figured this out and it is going to save me many hours of picking with an exacto knife!

Posted on June 9, 2014 and filed under Laser.

Walnut Audi badge for Pro Clip iPhone mount

I couldn't stand looking at the "ProClipUSA.com" bubble sticker on my new iPhone mount so I quickly made this badge to match up with the walnut interior trim. Should I make more?

Posted on May 28, 2014 and filed under Laser.

How to measure line length in Adobe Illustrator

While trying to figure out how long some lines would have to be for my paraglider project, I realized there's no obvious easy way to measure line length, or multiple line lengths, in Adobe Illustrator... until I figured this out. 

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 3.20.19 PM.jpg

Select in the menu Window -> Document Info. In the floating window that pops up click the options menu pull-down in the upper right and select Objects. POW... there ya go. Measurements are shown for the total length of whatever lines you have selected. The units are changable in the Units panel of the main preferences. Awesome. 

Posted on March 4, 2014 and filed under Tips.

A little paragliding nerd time

I've decided to finally finish a "salable" design for my laser cut paraglider. I'm working on the final cut files now and finishing up the little design details. Here's part of it... a pilot! This is version 3, Getting the balance correct through trial and error. 



I want them to have actual paragliding line and luckily I have a ton of that. Making line rigs and tying hundreds of knots should be fun!

Posted on March 4, 2014 and filed under Laser.

Walnut veneer for iPhone backs

I decided to do some walnut iPhone backs for friends after my successful etching of my own etimoe iPhone back from Monolith

I ordered some .03" walnut veneer with sticky back from Inventables. I'm sure not the cheapest but they are fast and reliable quality wise so just for a couple of test sheets... they'll do. 

After a few test cuts and engraving it's looking like it cuts nicely at Speed 90 Power 60 and engraves well at 1000 DPI at Speed 100 Power 30. 


It looks nice with just some mineral oil/beeswax finish but I've also ordered some OSMO Polyx Hard Wax Oil, which is ridiculously expensive but I've been told is worth it by Monolith. 

I'd love to hear if anyone has other sources for veneer with adhesive back!

The dimensions for all Apple mobile products are available on their developer page btw. 

Posted on February 19, 2014 and filed under Laser.

Materials update etc...

Just a quicky update. I just added a couple of things to the Materials Database... which is still behind.  I replaced my tube 9/21/13, quite a while ago, and have been going full on since. Wow I haven't updated in a long time eh?! The tube upgrade went smooth, just followed the directions from FSL and it worked great first try. So good to have full power again. I've been researching a bit on getting a higher wattage tube from another supplier but haven't committed to anything yet. I'm going to upgrade once this tube starts to die. I participated in Craft Lake City last year and sold a bit over $1000 in jewelry and learned a lot... like that I never want to do craft fairs for a full time job, though I think I could do so and be successful at it. It's very stressful and the hours are super long. Having to shill your product all day and repeat yourself over and over just isn't my cup of tea. So as soon as the show was over I go my website rolling, SKIVVIES.COM. The name is a long story and probably not the best choice for a laser cut jewelry store, but I've had it for years and it was my nickname and screen name for so long that I couldn't think of anything else. So far business goes up and down with how much I'm willing to advertise. I know if I put more effort into it I'd do much better.

I've made a few new objects which hopefully I'll get around to updating soon. I'll do my best to update more often!

Posted on January 13, 2014 and filed under Laser.

A Major Award, and bracelet production notes

I won! I entered my bracelets in the Full Spectrum Laser monthly free laser tube contest for June and I won... so I get a free laser tube. You can see the entire entry with photos of my setup and notes on production on flickr or click any of the thumbs below. This is awesome, because my tube is losing power. I have to cut about 10-20% slower and at 10-20% higher power to get through 1/8" 3 ply than I did when the tube was fresh. Not so good since I'm in production for Craft Lake City which starts on August 9th. Yikes. I hope I get the tube soon but I'm scared to switch out a working one for an unknown. We'll see.

I've only got about 21 bracelets about a third of the way through production, and I hope to at least double that by the fair. I need more time in my life for this. Ugh. I have lots of earrings and jewelry stands to cut too. I also need to get a website and business cards done. Yay for crunch time.

Scallop v1Unfinished Big Box v1, 3 sizesFirst finished prototypespre-finishing "Big Box" v2Super Flex wide prefinishingLots and lots of failed prototypes
The laser cut jig for forming the bendsMagnet and clasp tests.Lots of magnetsThe workbenchThe office.The Laser venting
Posted on July 29, 2013 and filed under Laser.

Aluminatus is here

Aluminatus Package
Aluminatus Package

It's here. Hopefully I'll have time this week to play with it and get it assembled... but not looking likely! I need some tinkering off time. Just to note, There was one ripped open bag of hardware, but all parts were still inside. The aluminum dogbone holes are definitely not centered, not sure if this matters yet. And the Magma hotend has a loose unseated pin and an almost unsheathed resistor (?). Some of the printed parts are pretty shoddy... there's boogers on the extruder head in a number of the holes. Haven't unpackaged it other than that. Updates soon.

Posted on May 3, 2013 and filed under 3D Printing.

Masking update

I've been doing a bunch of cutting on the 1/8" birch from WoodCraft for a design I'm perfecting, and after trying the plastic masking film someone recommended, I decided that paper film would be better. Well lo and behold a friend just happened to have two large 12" rolls of paper transfer tape for transferring sticky-back nylon laying around his shop that I happened across. It's labeled Masking Angel Tape. It's the same cream color as standard masking tape and has a medium tack I'd guess. I tried it out today and while it masked the char well, it also left behind a nasty residue from the burnt glue at the edges which doesn't come off easily. So... strike two. Plain old blue painters tape has been working the best by a long shot, so I picked up a 3-inch roll and will be using that from now on. Stick with what works. I've seen on some 3D printer groups (they use it to print on) that they bulk order it in larger rolls ... 6 inches or more... so that might be the way to go for larger cuts in the future.

I've updated the materials database with the above mentioned birch... and have some 1/8" bamboo ply on the way from Inventables.com. Not cheap at $8.56 per square foot plus shipping, but I used the $20 gift card that came with the laser to buy it, so we'll see if it's worth the money. It can be had for cheaper in much larger sheets.

Posted on March 31, 2013 and filed under Laser.