Child Safe Natural Wood Finish – by weight this time

Kid safe wood toy finish

Kid safe wood toy finish

In my earlier post, I shared details of how I make the child safe wood finish made from purified beeswax and mineral oil that I use on my wooden creations meant for little ones.  In the past year I’ve had several emails asking for a more specific ratio of wax to oil.    As I needed to make more of this kid safe finish for my wooden toys available in my etsy shop, I used a scale and took notes while cooking up a batch.

1 pint of Mineral Oil  ~ 380g

Shaved purified Beeswax ~ 25g

Making it about 6% beeswax.  I hope this helps answer your questions if you want to make larger batches or be more precise in mixing up this nontoxic finish that works great on wooden toys you may be crafting.

 

***  Using hot oil and wax over an open flame can be dangerous.  If you have a gas stove, you should use extreme caution or a double boiler.  It’s not really any different then deep frying with oil or crisco on your stove top but I had a friend who suggested I put a warning up here about using oil on a stovetop and I think he is correct.  An alternative method is to use a double boiler with a jar as your container for the wax and oil.   As with all things, use your head, be smart when doing projects at home, and above all BE SAFE! 

 

 

Ducted fan designs, an early project sneak peek

3d printed ducted rotor aircraft engine

3d printed ducted rotor aircraft engine

This post is an early sneak peek at a project I have been working on in my spare time.  I showed a friend who stopped by and he told someone else an I was pestered to share pics and a video.  I have been experimenting with ducted fan thrust generation with a planned application.  As for what  that application is…  Well it is not ready for the world yet and I will let you use your imagination.

thrust generating ducted rotor     3d printed ducted fan thrust generator

Mostly eye candy at this stage of the game, I have tested 3 different rotor designs without getting into complex blade geometries to date. I have primarily been focused on printing rotors that have little wall clearance and hand finishing them to minimize the gap between the duct and rotor blade.  Research papers I have read shows that this area is critical to ducted fan efficiency and design.

ducted fan design 3d printed-9400

I am currently using a set up with a friction fit on a taper to lock the two halves together so I can get at the motor.  This little bad boy screams when she spools up.  In the shop it sounds like a mini jet engine starting up.   I am working on test platform speed a controller for it using an Arduino nano and components..

rotor design for ducted fan

You can see that this needs lots of cleaning and smoothing before final thrust measurements.  I plan to put it through an acetone bath treatment and then do a bit of hand finishing to smooth out the inner walls to reduce any drag from the 3d printed irregularities.  Eventually I’ll make a rotor balancing jig to fine tune the balance on the rotor.  Future iterations will likely have continually reduced rotor mass to decrease inertia.  I am testing behind a 1/4″ polycarbonate shield in case of catastrophic failure.

ducted fan design 3d printed-9401Here’s one with my hand to provide you with a sense of scale.  I will try to get a video of it spinning at moderate speed.  Without a speed controller I’m reluctant to limit test the high speed operation at this stage of development.  I will put a video up here later this weekend if I can find time. 

Ferrari 308 GTS Magnum PI Plastic Model Kit Built

Ferrari 308 model built

Ferrari 308 model built

While looking through old photos to find some for a longtime friends upcoming retirement party I came across these pictures of the Magnum PI Ferrari 308 GTS model kit I built as a Christmas present for my good friend who owns one of these cars.  You may have seen my earlier posts where I built a custom Stainless Steel Exhaust for my friends Ferrari 308, if not please check it out as it is a thing of beauty.  Final pics are in this second post on the Ferrari custom exhaust project by clicking here.

magnum PI Model Kit      magnum PI Model Kit 2

    My friend had bought his Ferrari early in the year.  We had many fun times driving in it, working on it, and reveling in the fact that he owned the car we always dreamed about when we were younger and fans of Magnum PI.  I decided I would put my model building skills to work and make him an almost identical replica of the car for his desk at work as his Christmas gift for that year.  I had done this for another friend the year before and I regularly heard how much he loved it when we chatted.  The challenge was of course finding a kit, as the show and car were both over 25 years old.  I went to Ebay, and even there I had little luck.  Finally I came across a mint in the box still sealed kit at an online webshop that specialized in Old Out of Production (OOP) plastic model kits.  I payed a small fortune, but I purchased the kit. I had been taking lots of detail photos of his car when we went out cruising in it so I had reference material to base my model off and match details exactly.

Custom Ferrari 308 Quatrovalvo model -0927

Custom Ferrari 308 Quatrovalvo model -0930

Custom Built Ferrari 308 Model

I think the model came out pretty good. I would even go so far as to say I am quite proud of it.   There is not a lot of how to in this post, just wanted to share this model and the memory with some of my friends.  Hope you enjoyed the pictures.

 

Salt Powered Robot Kit Build and Review

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7767

I love the modern prevalence of robot kits available for children to build.  They have many different types of kits available for different age groups.  My nephew visited me a while back and I had picked up a The Salt Powered Robot Kit for us to build together.  This post shows the build process, which he did almost entirely himself.

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7740      Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7741

This Salt Powered Robot Kit is made by 4M as part of their Green Science line, and comes in a nicely illustrated box. My Nephew was super excited when he saw that I had a robot project for him during his visit.  In the past we had great fun building a Tin can robot kit.   

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7744     Robot kit build

With this kit I let my nephew do all the work, while I offered guidance and took photos. Taking the parts out of the box, we quickly realized it could have been in a much smaller box.  Just one small bag of parts and some detailed instructions.

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7747     Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7746

Expanding the photos above will allow you to read the instruction sheet for the Salt Powered Robot.  In case someone needs them in the future.  The single sprue of plastic parts is laid out and the other bags contain the small parts needed to make this robot go, a motor, screws, cathode and anode plates and a separator.  You have to supply your own salt and water.

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7749      Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7752

I’m pretty proud my lil Nephew managed this robot build all by himself.  At the age of 6 years old, he did (almost) everything to build this kit by himself, .

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7753    Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7756

We spread out the parts after cutting them from the sprue.  Assembly following the instructions was quite straight forward.  My little nephew could read and follow the instructions easily. The one part that he was not able to do himself was snapping the two axles into place.  He was not strong enough for this part.  Even when he put his entire weight on them they refused to snap in place.  My only contribution to this robots construction was that I helped install the two axle pieces.

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7758    Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7759

There were a few small screws which he managed to put in entirely on his own with a small screwdriver.

Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7763     Salt Water Powered Robot Kit-7767

This was a fun kit to build. You have to mix up salt water, I used a shot glass and a tablespoon of salt into warm water.  The instructions call for a saturated solution, meaning you have solid salt remaining after stirring so the water has as much salt dissolved in it as possible.   The two plates used to make the “battery” that powers the motor last for some time.  The robot went for some 10-15 minutes. 

Video of the Salt Powered Robot in action

The above video link shows the robot kit in action.  This robot kit and many others are great fun for children.  Next time you need a gift for a little girl or boy, consider an educational kit like this over another stuffed animal, doll, car, or action figure.