Prusa I3 MK2s Build

I finally got my new printer.  Nearly 2 months after purchasing it shows up the day after my birthday!  That is one serious adventure in a cardboard box.


I rolled out some paper onto the dinner table and got rocking.  I couldn’t help but setup my gopro and get a time-lapse of the assembly.

The total build time was between 5 and 6 hours plus some tweak and tune time.  The first print had to be the prusa logo in honor of the great maker.

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Print baby print

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With it up and running I got to bootstrapping.  The kit comes very complete, and really is a wonderful printer.  That having been said, the little knob they included to run the interface isn’t great.  It rubs and is awkward to use.  Print a new one!


A lot of my filament is from when I first bought the monoprice back last summer.  It spent a lot of time sitting out collecting dust.  Someone made a nice clip in dust filter that goes right on top of the extruder.

Next came a replacement for the spool holder.  The one included works, but you have to sort of bend it out of the way to get a new spool on.  Plus something with bearings would DSC_0832roll a lot smoother.  Any catches or resistance in the spool rolling could cause Z banding as the extruder fights to pull in filament.  Thingiverse had a great assembly that sits on top.  It included a printable threaded nut and bolt that turned out gorgeous!  Skate bearings pressed into the rollers so the spool rolls with little resistance.  A filament guide keeps it running true.

Speaking of spool holders, my one major disaster so far has been this print job.  Sometime over night the extruder actually pulled the spool off the holder.  Nothing broke except the filament guide (just print another).  It turns out the spool was wrapped poorly and kind of synched itself off.  Poor spool wrapping perhaps.

I monitor all my prints with a webcam and octoprint.  This works out well while on the other side of the house, or on the go.  The only trick is that I have to leave a light on after dark.  Instead of leaving the room lights on constantly I designed and printed some brackets for holding thin under-cabinet LED lights.  Serendipitously one light will fit in a slot the spool holder had.  Only a small printed wedge was needed to keep it secure.  The other two went on my bracket.  It clears the extruder at full height.

It is turning into a proper looking monster!  Let the print games begin.


GoPro Handle

Shakey cam seems to be the plague of small handheld home video.  The units are light and often don’t have good ergonomics.  If I want to do any hand held shooting I will need a decent handle.  I looked around a bit and I think the DIY projects I found fall into three categories.  1.  A simple handle.  Basically something to hold onto.  2.  Balanced handle.  A little nicer, it is weighted so the unit isn’t so top heavy.  3.  Steady cam handles.  These are fairly elaborate, but should give really good stable video.  I am going to try number 2, it will probably give the most bang for the complexity buck.

I think I found a really simple solution.  The handle is PVC.  This isn’t novel, there are a lot of PVC handles on the internet.  Mine is a bit different though.  Instead of using the pipe and putting a bolt through end caps I used couplings and plugs.  It means the whole handle has a consistent diameter with flat tops.  Normal end caps are always domed; not ideal for mounting.  The other trick is to use threaded rod instead of a bolt.  A lot of designs use a short bolt.  It is never short enough.  You end up having to do funny things with extra nuts and washers.  A threaded rod held in with a nut is infinitely adjustable.

Enough talk lets pictures.

I glued everything together except the top plug.  I left it loose so I could add or remove metal BBs to the hollow handle.  A bit of trial and error got me to a good balance.  It is centered at about my middle finger when holding it normally.  I shot some video with and without weight.

Not exactly an instant hollywood quality shot, but a few grams of BBs did really help calm down some of the shakes.  With the BB weight added I mixed up another batch of epoxy and poured it in to hold them in place.  It wouldn’t do to have them bouncing around while shooting with audio.  The cap got some PVC glue and the handle is assembled.  I wanted some kind of paint or grip for the handle.  Plasti dip provided both.


DSC_0474The final product still kind of looks like spray painted PVC, but I like it.  The total weight isn’t high and it feels solid in my hand.  While not professional, it was well worth the <10 dollars and little time I spent on it.


GoPro Zip-Tie and Base Mount

When I was out in California I played around with the GoPro enough to know that I needed a few more accessories.  The first would be a decent base.  That plastic square that comes with the camera is nice, but it slides around and is bigger than it needs to be.  A sturdy non-skid base would be nice.

I picked up a rotating time lapse thing from amazon.  It winds up like an egg timer, and slowly rotates while you take time lapse photos.  It is a pretty sweet toy, but the base is slick, and the item itself is light.  That makes the whole thing top-heavy and likely to slide if what it is sitting on isn’t perfectly stable.

Two birds? One stone!  Enter my new default base!

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It may not look like much, but the 1/4-20 stud sticking out of the top will screw into my drift lapse base, and with a tripod mount, I can stick my GoPro directly to it.

The body is oak with black paint.  I used the mill to cut out the shape and do the counterbore for a hammer in threaded insert.  A short cut section of all thread epoxied in provides a short stud.  Hot glue holds the drawer liner gripper material.

Zip Tie mount

Zip ties can attach just about anything to just about anything else.  Why not use them to attach a GoPro to just about anything else?  Well, first you need a good zip tie mount!  I milled oak to accept an adhesive mount.  Two grooves allow zip ties to run cross to the camera orientation.  I rounded the edges of the zip tie channels by sawing and chiseling the corners.

I suspect most things I tie this to will be roundish.  A little sanding on the bottom creates a curved relief.  Peel and stick sand paper on the bottom should help it stay still.  Lastly, I wasn’t sure how well the 3M stuff would stick to wood, so I gave it a little 2 part epoxy at the edges.

I am really excited how this one turned out.  I need something to test it out with… how about this?  Spray paint GoPro anyone?  Oh well, it illustrates the point.

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San Francisco Fun With GoPro

I took my GoPro with me on a business trip to San Francisco.  The conferences don’t get started till 10am, and I was still on east coast time.  That gave me a chance to experiment with time lapse.  The first one I recorded was on the top floor of the Marriott I was staying at.  The video turned out well, but the blue WiFi LED got in the shot from time to time.  1 image every 5 seconds.

I really liked the video and wanted to try more.  The next morning I got up well before the sun, turned off the LEDs and had a sunrise shot.

Both shots suffered a bit from dirty window syndrome when the sun was full, but there wasn’t much I could do about that.  I still have a lot to learn about cleaning up color settings and all that.  Still, my little Hero 3 White did an admirable job taking photos in very dark conditions.  I am going to have to take this on all my business trips and get cool travel shots.  If this keeps up the GoPro might earn its own category here at Kilted Craft Works.

Scrub Plane + GoPro = ScrubPro?

I said I was going to spend some time getting to know the video software and not just jump into making things.  And I have a really big, for me, project that I need to get done by a certain friend’s wedding date…  Well, maybe just one little video while I work on said project wouldn’t hurt.

I needed to do some thicknessing on a few legs, so out comes the scrub.  Why not attach a gopro?  I used one of the flat adhesive mounts, suck some magnets to it, and put that on the top end of the iron.  Next time I need to angle down a little more.  Still, I am pretty happy with the results.  It is a plane’s eye view of how to rapidly remove wood.

I’ve Gone Pro! (sort of)

Do you hear it?  That heavenly sound?  It is amazing!  It is the sound of awesome consumer technology and a wife that encourages me when I have neat ideas.  It is….. A GoPro!


I have enjoyed blogging with only text and a camera.  My old DSLR has served me well and will continue to.  I think it still does a great job (above pic is with phone for laziness reasons), but sometimes pictures and words aren’t enough.

If a picture is worth 1000 words, what is a video worth? </cliche>

After researching a bit and getting an encouraging “let’s get one!” from my wonderful wife, I decided to pickup a Hero 3 White.  It is one of their most basic models, but it has a decent suite of features, good capabilities, and is compatible with pretty much all of the add-ons.  At 200 bucks, I am forgoing a nice pice of cast iron plane goodness for it, but unlike a woodworking tool, this is something we can both probably enjoy.

I am going to spend a little time learning basic video editing so I don’t end up with videos that have tons of dead time and look like a Blair Witch editor reject.  Can you imagine how bad that footage must be?  It might be a few weeks before any video shows up, but expect cool things in the future.  Actually on second thought, the Blair Witch thing might not be so bad.  Imagine a video of me staring into the camera crying “Why do I keep getting tear out in this maple?!”  Horrifying!