Shared posts

02 Jul 02:36



I love stupid ratrods, but I want them not to be slammed.

02 Jul 12:23

3D Printed Knee Replacement Manufacturer ConforMIS (CFMS) Raises $135M As The Company Goes Public

by Scott J Grunewald

We used to share this building with them and were informed by the town that they had applied for a permit to store human body parts on premises. The Knee Morgue is now our main lab, alas the joint does not appear to be haunted.

Medical technology company ConforMIS, Inc. (NASDAQ: CFMS) has developed a knee replacement system that promises to drastically reduce both the length of the average knee replacement surgery as well as the patient recovery time....

View the entire article via our website.
01 Jul 13:21

Chicago Dries&Krump 45 Ton (LOWELL) $10500


"Krump" is a great name for a 45 ton press.

Chicago Dries& Krump , Model 56-A Serial Number L-16759, 45 TONS 6' BED, equip with a AUTOMEC Autogauge CNC 99 , brake runs excellent has a clean appearance, Autogauge also works excellent, there is TWO adjustable fingers that is part of this package [...]
01 Jul 22:35

Scrap Microwave Spot Welder

by Matthew Borgatti

Nicely done Matt!

This project involves AC power, high amperage, and high temperatures. Although this project is simple in principle replicating it on your own offers a lot of opportunities to hurt yourself. Proceed with caution.

Microwaves are treasure troves of useful electronic components. They’ve usually got some nice microswitches, a big transformer, a magnetron, and some smaller transformers and rectifiers to drive the display. I found a decent sized microwave hanging out on the street and transformed it into a shop tool I’d been wanting for a while – a spot welder.

Why Spot Welders are Useful


Spot welders are handy to have around the shop. They can tack together wire for quick brazing, and permanently weld sheet metal for durable enclosures. If you want a thorough guide on what you can do with a spot welder, Dan Gelbart has all the answers. I’ve been looking to up my prototyping game and have more freedom to build custom components when off the shelf parts won’t suit. Unfortunately my workshop is in Brooklyn and space is at a premium. I spent a lot of time fabricating structures out of steel wire in school and have found that it’s a good replacement for bent sheet metal and structural framing if you play your cards right. Wire is easy to store in a small shop, doesn’t take much equipment to manipulate, and can hold good tolerances in various dimensions as its behavior is very predictable. You can still find the manual I follow for a lot of my techniques on Amazon.

I’m not going to go into exhaustive detail on how I fabricated this spot welder. A lot of it is just frosting on top of other peoples’ tutorials. However, I am eager to share what I feel are some useful additions you might consider including in your own version. This particular machine was based off of designs by the King of Random, Albert van Dalen, and Olli Niemitalo.

The Welder Power System


The main steps in turning a microwave into a spot welder are cracking open the microwave, pulling apart the transformer and rewinding it with thick cable, fabricating your enclosure and arms, and creating a timing circuit. It’s important to remember that you’re turning a high voltage and low amperage supply (standard AC) into a high amperage low voltage system via the rewound transformer. This means that resistance is going to become a dominant force everywhere beyond the transformer. This means beefy connections, thick copper cable, and an understanding that even conductive metals like copper have some resistance and that will cause heat no matter how you work the problem. Using a spot welder continuously, especially with thin cables carrying the current out to the electrodes, will create a lot of heat and likely melt your cable’s insulation.

I used this battery cable for rewinding the transformer. I wish I’d had a cold chisel around the shop to get the secondary coil out of the transformer block, but time and hammering eventually freed it. I went through a few different versions of cables I had lying around the shop (including some uselessly wimpy dollar store car jumper cables) to get something that could stand up to high cycle times without overheating. I ended up biting the bullet and purchasing these. Along with some copper lugs (which came with flathead set screws, not socket set screws as pictured… they need to be switched out eventually) and cut rods, I had the welder power system built.

The Timing Circuit


The timing circuit plays an important role in keeping welds consistent. I based mine off a rotary potentiometer plugged into an Arduino for convenience’s sake. The key is to test your weld at different cycle times on the machine with some scraps from the same gauge sheet or wire you’re using for your project and try to break the weld. When you end up with a weld that’s difficult to break but doesn’t create a deep sink in the metal, you’re right on the money.

Contrary to popular belief I don’t do much work with electronics. On most projects I prefer to buy a battle hardened boxed solution rather than rolling my own. This time I thought I’d get some practice in and see if I could design a timing circuit with components I had around the shop.

I stole the 20VDC transformer and rectifier off of the microwave’s display circuit and soldered it onto and Arduino Protoshield. I had a foot pedal for a small sewing machine hanging around the house that was really just a switch with a mini audio jack on one end. I connected the foot switch’s female jack in parallel to the onboard switch on the protoshield for testing the system without the pedal, and soldered an LED to one of the digital pins for a status light. I had a spare Power Switch Tail hanging around the shop and it was a simple matter to tap the AC lines coming in from it to power the transformer. Putting a voltage divider between the transformer and the Arduino gave me a nice steady 10VDC. The best part is the Arduino just hangs out on the tail like a remora so if I need it for another project the microcontroller can just hang out where it is without interfering with anything except a digit or two after the decimal place on my power bill.

You can find the code below. It was only slightly modified from a program by Zmo.

#define BUTTON_PIN 7
const int ledPin =  6;      // the number of the LED pin
const int pstPin =  5;      // the number of the Power Switch Tail pin

void setup() {
    pinMode(BUTTON_PIN, INPUT);
    pinMode(ledPin, OUTPUT);
    pinMode(pstPin, OUTPUT);
    digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
    digitalWrite(pstPin, LOW);

// State variables
uint8_t last_button_state = LOW;
bool count_down;
uint8_t count_down_value;

void loop() {
    int pot_value;

    // Read the pushbutton input pin:
    uint8_t button_state = digitalRead(BUTTON_PIN);

    if (button_state != last_button_state) {
        Serial.println("BUTTON STATE CHANGED");
        // On button press
        if (button_state == HIGH) {
            Serial.println("BUTTON PRESS");

            // Starts the count down if the value of potentiometer is high enough
            pot_value = analogRead(A0);
            if (pot_value > 17) {
                Serial.println("POT IS HIGH ENOUGH");
                if (count_down == false) {
                    Serial.println("ENABLING THE COUNT DOWN");
                    count_down = true;
                    count_down_value = map(pot_value, 0, 1023, 0, 20);
                } else {
                    Serial.println("DISABLING THE COUNT DOWN");
                    count_down = false;
        } else {
            Serial.println("BUTTON RELEASE");
    Serial.println("STORING BUTTON STATE");
    // Save button state for next iteration
    last_button_state = button_state;

    // If the countdown is running
    if (count_down == true) {
        Serial.println("RUNNING COUNTDOWN");
        digitalWrite(ledPin, HIGH);
        digitalWrite(pstPin, HIGH);
        // If the last value has been shown, show last value and stop the countdown
        if (count_down_value == 0) {
            digitalWrite(ledPin, LOW);
            digitalWrite(pstPin, LOW);
            count_down = false;
        // Otherwise decrements the value
        } else {
            // Prints out the value
            // Wait
    delay(10); // Not to flood output

The Enclosure

Screen Shot 2015-07-01 at 3.09.59 PMI use a laser cutter as my go-to prototyping tool. I’ve found that most things can be made with 1/4″ Delrin (usually .26″ or 6.6mm), 1/8″ acrylic (usually 1.1″ or 2.78mm), and off the shelf fasteners. That, plus some printed brackets can get just about anything fabbed. One of the advantages in prototyping this way is that measurement errors or structural problems can be corrected without too much fuss. On the first rev of the design the arms weren’t beefy enough to handle the force of clamping pieces to be welded without slipping and misaligning. Fortunately all I had to do was cut some thicker beefier arms.

Holes in Delrin can be piloted on the laser and then tapped with a drill and will yield a really strong threaded fastening. If there’s one thing I love it’s reducing the part count on a design, especially when they’re fiddly parts on the inside of an enclosure that could easy fall out and rattle around when you’re servicing a machine. I haven’t found a good rule of thumb for offsetting the hole sizes to compensate for kerf, but it’s easy to laser cut a test of a few different hole sizes into a scrap of plastic and then tap them to test fits. I’ve found that 4.3mm holes for M5 fasteners, which are the most common threaded fastener size I keep on hand, work well in 6.6mm Delrin.

I wanted a simple trigger action for clamping pieces for rapid fire welding, so came up with a mechanism recessed into the handle. The first rev had an interesting cam action, where if it was fully engaged the jaws would stay up until you pulled the trigger back down. I though this was a pretty useful feature so refined it a bit for the final design.

The most unintuitive part of the design process was just how stiff the 2ga wire I used for the secondary transformer winding was. Initially I thought I’d be able to bend it around to fasten as I pleased and save some room in the enclosure. It turns out it was pretty intractable so I ended up measuring where the ends naturally rested without too much tension and put the fasteners there instead.

Wrapping Up


When all the bits were cut, printed, and tapped I screwed everything together. I used spade connectors for the illuminated safety switch on the back and even managed to salvage the microwave’s original power cord (though with a new plug found at a dollar store).

If there’s enough demand I’ll clean up the source files a bit and publish a complete tutorial. In the meantime you can download the relevant files on Thingiverse.

02 Jul 07:09

Brand new van wrapped to look like an old rustbucket

by David Pescovitz

I like the concept but the execution is over done.


A customer commissioned Glasgow, Scotland vehicle graphics company Clyde Wraps to make a 2014 Volkswagen van look like it had been devoured by rust. The vehicle is actually covered in beautifully designed vinyl stickers of corroded car parts. Read the rest

01 Jul 19:55

A New Trailer for the Steve Jobs Biopic Starring Michael Fassbender Features Jobs at Odds With Steve Wozniak

by Glen Tickle

Ah! Perhaps this explains the shift to a Bondi Blue based palette in movies this year?

Universal Pictures has released a new trailer for Steve Jobs, the biopic about the late Apple cofounder starring Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs and Seth Rogen as Steve Wozniak. The new trailer features Jobs at odds with Wozniak and the Apple board.

The film is scheduled to release in theaters on October 9, 2015.

Steve Jobs

photo via Steve Jobs

01 Jul 14:55

Snopes scopes the $43K "Relentlessly Gay" GoFundMe

by Andrea James

aw fuck, I hope it's not how it looks.


Baltimore resident Julie Baker raised $43K on GoFundMe to make her yard more gay after posting a letter she says she got from a neighbor complaining about her "relentlessly gay" yard decor. Snopes investigator Kim LaCapria did a little digging and found the story got curiouser and curiouser. Read the rest

30 Jun 23:12

‘35 Kenworth...

10 Jun 00:00

The Martian


Seems legit.

I have never seen a work of fiction so perfectly capture the out-of-nowhere shock of discovering that you've just bricked something important because you didn't pay enough attention to a loose wire.
30 Jun 19:48

Kenworth Bi-Level...


Well hello there!

29 Jun 19:12

WATCH: Insane excavator cliff descent probably not OSHA-approved

by Andrea James

The original mechs! When I was 14 my parents had a pool installed. I went out to look and saw the backhoe in the bottom of a perfectly rectangular hole. I thought "Duh! he must be new at this!" but then he expertly climbed out and *over* our hedge using the bucket and backhoe. It was unbelievable!

YouTuber YJSubs stabilized this crazy video of an excavator operator using the bucket to descend an unstable sandy embankment. Read the rest
30 Jun 16:44

Pope returns to cocaine

by vaughanbell

Interesting pope beat.

Image from Wikipedia. Click for source,According to a report from BBC News the Pope ‘plans to chew coca leaves’ during his visit to Bolivia. Although portrayed as a radical encounter, this is really a return to cocaine use after a long period of abstinence in the papal office.

Although the leaves are a traditional, mild stimulant that have been used for thousands of years, they are controversial as they’re the raw material for synthesising powder cocaine.

The leaves themselves actually contain cocaine in its final form but only produce a mild stimulant effect because they have a low dose that is released relatively gently when chewed.

The lab process to produce the powder is largely concerned with concentrating and refining it which means it can be taken in a way to give the cocaine high.

The Pope is likely to be wanting to chew coca leaves to show support for the traditional uses of the plant, which, among other things, are used to help with altitude sickness but have become politicised due to the ‘war on drugs’.

Because of this, recent decades have seen pressure to outlaw or destroy coca plants, despite them being little more problematic than coffee when used in traditional ways, and consequently, a push back campaign from Latin Americans has been increasingly influential.

However, two previous Popes have been cocaine users. Pope Leo XIII and Pope Pius X were drinkers of Vin Mariani, which was essentially cocaine dissolved in alcohol for its, er, tonic effect.

Pope Leo XIII even went as far as appearing in an advert for Vin Mariani, which you can see in the image above.

The advert says that “His Holiness THE POPE writes that he has fully appreciated the beneficient effects of this Tonic Wine and has forwarded to Mr. Mariani as a token of his gratitude a gold medal bearing his august effigy.”

But being a Latin American, the new Pope seems to have a much more sensible view of the drug and values it in its traditional form, and so probably won’t be giving away some of the papal gold after having a blast on the liquid snow.

Link to BBC News story.
And thanks to @MikeJayNet for reminding me of the historical connection.

29 Jun 19:48

semitrckn: Atkinson classsic heavy haul


What a sexy beast!


Atkinson classsic heavy haul

29 Jun 17:23

Jigsaw Is Closing

by Michael Park, Treasurer

Oh noes! :(

It was fun while it lasted, but Jigsaw Renaissance is closing. We have to be out of the space by July 3. If you have any stuff there, pick it up before Friday. Other stuff is for sale to try to pay back rent.
Keyed members, please return your keys.

24 Jun 02:36

Why not?  If all you need to transport is one horse, and it’s a...


Pimp ride, dude!

Why not?  If all you need to transport is one horse, and it’s a pony, why not a horsey sidecar?  This guy’s a genius.

from Redland Maggie

29 Jun 03:58

Yay! So glad to be home with a fridge full of fresh veg, after...


It is a testimony to the people in my feed that I started at this picture for nearly a minute looking for the birb.

Yay! So glad to be home with a fridge full of fresh veg, after four days of eating mostly preservative-laden road food. I’m thinking huevos rancheros and leek-asparagus quiche tomorrow.

29 Jun 16:18



That didn't take long.

28 Jun 16:40

buffyboleyn: BTVS + Onion Headlines :...


Aw, Spike. *feels*


BTVS + Onion Headlines : Spike’s Condensed Character Arc

28 Jun 13:27

“Desert Festival Shade Cloth” )’(


Gonna try it out this week at the beach campground.

“Desert Festival Shade Cloth” )’(

27 Jun 02:40

So I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road and in no particular order here are my thoughts:- I must be a...


I like her point about Nux.

So I went to see Mad Max: Fury Road and in no particular order here are my thoughts:

- I must be a shitty viewer because I could not figure out what all the wives were called except for Angharad and Cheedo, like, I know one of them is called Splendid because that’s what Immortan Joe calls out but the others? And I spent a LOT of time paying attention to the very little dialogue.

- I actually liked that there was very little dialogue and the story told itself through much of the facial expressions and gestures and movements. 

- I get the Furiosa love since she’s a disabled woman but she wasn’t the only disabled character in the movie and it is deeply disturbing that there appears to be two kinds of disabled people: the conventionally attractive one, e.g. Furiousa and Max (who is clearly, mentally ill, so in my books he’s disabled), and the grotesque disabled, i.e.g Immortan Joe, his sons, who either wear prosthetics that emphasize their unattractiveness or require so much help that it makes no sense to me that they even survive. The only one that looks vaguely attractive is Rictor, who relies on his oxygen can, and even then he’s clearly an Evil Disabled Person. 

- BUT WHY DOESNT ANYONE TALK ABOUT NUX THO like he’s right in between the conventionally attractive disabled and the grotesque disabled–he has those cancerous lumps, he’s bald and skinny and he needs Max as a blood bag  He’s got SUCH a great DEVELOPMENT ARC??? Like he starts off having swallowed Joe’s teachings and trying to do his best to be a good War Boy and then he wallows in failure and doesn’t have the strength to lash out anymore and then he’s discovered by Capable (???) who keeps true to the “no unnecessary killing” rule and treats him with incredible compassion and he stays and changes and actually makes himself useful (omg a hero’s journey that doesn’t involve being a fucking inconvenience to women,  y’all to me this is a HUGE NOVELTY I AM USUALLY REALLY FUCKING ANNOYED BY THIS TYPE OF CHARACTER WHO’S DEVELOPMENT ARC COMES AT THE HANDS OF A WOMAN’S COMPASSION bc they tend to hog the center stage, but he manages to share the limelight in what is essentially an ensemble cast), he goes from treating Max as a blood bag to taking orders from Max. I totally shed tears for him. (Also, it’s thru Nux that we get a sense of War Boy culture up close? When he sprays chrome on himself, when he geeks out over being noticed by Immortan Joe, when he has that crisis, and what’s underneath it. Look, I have begun hating most male characters in general but I think there’s a serious lack of Nux love considering what he makes out of his vulnerability at the end, which is not to destroy or lash out, but to cooperate and help and, most of all, love.)

- (I also liked how the women took advantage of the men; Rictor being tricked by the Wife (Cheedo?) who asks to be taken back was an interesting (although not unexpected) move. I also feel that Nux was manipulated in some way as well, but the feelings between him and Capable were genuine.)

- I’m really disquieted, though, at the way the plot panned out with Furiousa and the women seeking an escape (because did they not consider that Joe would come after them and destroy the Green Place??) and then going back and just killing Immortan Joe in a car chase scene, when they could have done that at the Citadel itself, and taken advantage of some other War Boy like they were going to use Nux–did they not think they could bring about that change themselves?? It felt like this plot had to exist just so Max could have his redemption arc, which, grrr.

- I’m also REALLY frustrated at the world-building. This place is fucking falling apart! The politics of the space only make sense from a very particular way of thinking about the world (which is white, cis, and patriarchal). I’ve never seen any of the previous Mad Max movies so maybe this is a quibble that makes no sense. HOW did Immortan Joe even get control of all that water as a disabled man? I can understand his not having the foresight to invest in agricultural development in his Citadel because IIRC rich people who lack empathy don’t make good long-term decisions because the person in the future is someone different, and since they lack empathy, they don’t consider their own future selves, hence they make shit decisions that are only self-serving in the present (but they tend to have some sort of buffer anyway in the future).  How are the unwashed masses waiting for water surviving? What are those creatures on stilts in the swamp? How did the Green Place die, what created the toxic soil? Generally if you have a green space and you understand self-sustaining agricultural methods, a green place actually rejuvenates and can carry itself on but apparently not here?? How do the crows survive? Do they eat the things on stilts? If this was a far-away planet or fantasyland I might be able to handwave it, but no, this is supposed to be Earth, AND IT MAKES NO SENSE. 

(yes I know this is normal for dystopic post-apoc but that doesn’t mean it makes any more sense and I don’t think there’s enough people criticizing how really illogical this gritty aesthetic is)

- The chase scenes were immersive, but IDK, I wasn’t attracted to the aesthetics at all, and I kept thinking to myself, “OH MY GOD WHAT A GODDAMN WASTE OF OIL WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE” and it was so fucking frustrating not being able to handwave it because POST-APOC RESOURCE-LOW EARTH. (I guess I know now where my limits are for suspension of disbelief.)


- yes I get the love for the Wives, I do, I want to learn more about them. When Angharad smiles in relish at being free, that was a cool moment, and again when she publicly displays herself so Joe won’t shoot down the rig. I agree 10000% with everything that’s been said about them, especially with how the camera frames them and doesn’t sexualize them. I really liked that they were actual characters and not eye candy! 

- But while story-wise the major woman characters are served well, world-building-wise it makes no sense to me. BIG thing, for example: the fat women used as cows (and again, we have juxtaposition between the conventionally attractive and the grotesque; Furiousa is disabled and lacks an arm, but she is still conventionally attractive). I GET, from a storycraft POV, that this abjection is necessary as juxtaposition to the ending where they are the ones who open the water works to the people below. It’s an incredible symbolic gesture where they were previously forced to give up their milk, and at the end out of their own free will choose to water everyone else; it raises them up as a symbol of how the whole Citadel is newly free from Immortan Joe. I’m a bit sad that the camera didn’t linger on them some more to show the joy on their faces. HOWEVER, that gesture means that they are aware of how Immortan Joe controls people, and understand how control stuff works in the Citadel. So……. how do they not work with the Wives and with the Imperator? Why is there no rebellion seeded within the Citadel that throws over Joe? Why is there no network of sharing strength? 

Anyways it was otherwise an OK movie and I get the love for it

27 Jun 23:12

carsthatnevermadeit: Colani Sea-Ranger, 1979. One of the more...


Dat chair!


Colani Sea-Ranger, 1979. One of the more amazing of Colani’s creations, the one-off, amphibious Sea-Ranger was based on the Mercedes Unimog and built by Thyssen. Personally I think more vehicles could do with a fisherman’s perch. The bottom pic show Colani’s original model for the Sea-Ranger upon which the full-size version was based

28 Jun 16:24

vintageluxurytravel: 1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT RV...


That last one!


1970 Oldsmobile Toronado GT RV Motorhome

The Toronado was popular for conversion into a motorhome or car hauler because its Unitized Power Package was so overbuilt that it was used in the car and in the cult-followed GMC Motorhome, and the front-wheel-drive allowed you to cut the car behind the driver’s seat and add anything you wanted to the back half of the car.  I can’t think of any other production vehicle with two non-powered tandems in the back, can you?

23 Jun 14:25


What the fuck Google?

26 Jun 20:41

Guys. The White House changed its official social media icons to this.

by Xeni Jardin

Kind of a crazy day, right? (more…)

26 Jun 20:39

This cartoon nails today so perfectly: Confederate flag down, rainbows up

by Xeni Jardin

Spotted first on the Southern Poverty Law Center's Facebook Page.


25 Jun 23:40

theaudacityofswope: kellysue: adoremexatxtheritz: wilwheaton: ...


Our does not have a "vortex" setting. I think it may be time for an upgrade.






Robopotty has a VORTEX setting. #vortex (Also I think it just spoke.) (No, seriously.)

One vortex massage, please.

It looks very much like it’s going to space invader your butthole.

Reblogged for comments. 

bowel disruptor 

25 Jun 01:44



25 Jun 12:30

How does our garden grow? Let me show you!


Lost a few pepper plant leaves to cut-worm, but nothing serious. No sign of the voles but I did catch a snake slithering through the garden!

I'm hoping snakey will eat up all the cutworms!

How does our garden grow? Let me show you!

25 Jun 13:01

VW 1971 Squareback (Cohasset) $4000


Wow, I have the same car in my drive right now. I'm getting ready to sell it. Mine's rougher but this one can't possible be worth 4K, can it?

Up for sale is my 1971 VW Squareback, Automatic, Fuel Injected, 1600 dual port engine. Engine has very few miles on a rebuild from real clean case. Transmission was rebuilt in 2005. Sunroof, rear rubber deck mat. Floors were sanded to metal and pain [...]
25 Jun 12:27

I can’t even parse this. WTF?


At least it's not on a car with Mass plates?

I can’t even parse this. WTF?