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10 hours ago, Kerry said:

Do you mind sharing which brush you got. I may need to do the same :) 

It was just a cheap strip brush I found on Amazon.  It's 3' long and I figure I might need 12" so I can just send you the rest when I'm done if you want to try it. I'm going to try to get it all put together this weekend. 

I'd hope to get the laser at least partially hooked up and aligned today but actual work was working against me.  Goddamnit I hate it when it does that.

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Ooh...  A laser :)  So nice!  Can’t wait to see some pics. 

I was thinking something different for the brush. Let me see what you’ve come up with before you bother sending anything. I can probably just get it locally if it’s what I think.  Thanks though. 

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9 hours ago, Emooze said:


I am nearly in the same boat. Been weighing the pros/cons between the Shapeoko vs the X-carve. Are there any particular reasons you went down the path you did?

Yes, there were definitely reasons.

1. The Shapeoko is, in many ways, an evolutionary step forward from the X-carve.  They started as the same company and split somewhere after their initial few designs. Its chassis is supposed to be more rigid and with add ons like the HDZ it can be even more capable.

2. I don't like that the X-carve software requires a network connection.  That said, I think their software might be slightly more capable than Carbide's but you can use the X-carve software to generate g-code that the Shapeoko can read so if push comes to shove I'll do that.  It's mostly related to inlay work, which I'd like to try at some point but I'm not there yet.

3.  I was lucky enough to find a new in box Shapeoko XXL for sale locally for about 40% off, basically the cost of the smallest one. It was too good a deal to pass up. The main board toasted itself within the first few weeks and while Carbide wouldn't warranty it, they did sell me one at cost which was nice of them.

I don't think there's a bad choice as both are really capable when used within their limits.  Both can be significantly upgraded and appear to have similar community and commercial support. If I continue to have as much fun as I am I can see myself building my own machine at some point. I don't need the entire size of the XXL and think a ball screw or linear bearing based machine with way more rigidity would be sweet with a cutting area of maybe 20" x 20" or so.  Trying not to give that much thought at this point...

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Thanks, I hadn't paid that close attention to the software yet but I agree, requiring a network connection is off-putting. And 40% off is kind of a huge deciding factor. Looking again at prices and just from a work-area size comparison, the Shapeoko is a bit of a no-brainer.

I'm not ready to pull the trigger on it yet so I would be very interested in your long-term observations eventually.


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I'll certainly share them.  I can't quite tell if I've got a persistent z-axis issue or not.  It seems to do some weird things every once in a while where it plunges to a different depth than it finishes but I haven't really taken the proper time to troubleshoot it.  It's essentially doing what I ask if it right now but there's no freakin' way that it could do metal as-configured.  The z-axis is not rigid enough and can't develop enough down pressure to hold position.  I think the first upgrade I'm likely to make is the HDZ option.

Today's handiwork, which Andrew requested so that we could have a gravestone outside for Thursday.  It's pretty fun to be able to whip something up like this and have it cut out in less than an hour.




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  • 2 weeks later...

Way overdue update on my 45 based DHT headamp.

In breadboard state, was really quiet.

After I boxed it up, as shown in the pic I posted way back, I had 60 hz humming.  It was pretty bad on my hd800's.

Spent a long time trying different things, because quiet a bit of the wiring changed when I moved into the chassis.

It turned out that what finally resolved the problem is that I had added a CLC filter on my ac in line.  The filter and ac lines were under the output tx's.  Should have been obvious in hindsight.

Removed the filter, ran AC directly from IEC jack to power tx, and noise is almost gone.  There is still a real small amount of hum I can hear if no music is playing, but you have to listen for it. 

I am using the low impedance output tap from my output tx's.

So in summary, I was able to make a one box dht amp using 45's and the Tubelabs SE pwb that is quiet enough (although I can't call it dead silent).  Sounds really good (IMHO).



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  • 2 weeks later...

They really are two preamp SE (for MM and MC) but Wayne Colburn take the SE output and he use with a "inverting stage" for the cold channel.

The "inversion" circuit is very simple and could be added to a Pearl I / II very easily. I recommend you take a look at the Pass Labs Aleph Ono Service Manual. ?

I have the Pearl I and II for quite a few years so I needed to build the Ono / Xono to close the circle.

Thanks Kerry !!!.  I love Gibson Les Paul but my back suffers a lot, so I went to the SG. Someday I will take pictures of my guitars.



Edited by jose
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There was a guy on another list I'm on who was asking how to wire up a high power diode laser he'd bought with the intention of making a laser machining unit. Of course these diodes can be bought by any tom fool cheaply from Amazon etc.

I pointed out to him that he could cheerfully drill a hole in his retina, or anyone who inadvertently walked in. Even scattered light when in use was way above eye-safe That he needed laser safety goggles with the correct specifications for the laser, door interlocks, a red warning light outside, blacked out windows. All usual precautions if you are going to frig around with multi-watt lasers. Particularly as he was totally unaware that these small diode lasers produce enough power to cause real damage.

At that point he went very quiet.

It surprises me not at all that a commercial unit that has all the necessary laser safety features is $6k, Nate. Superb results from it, by the way!

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