Blog 2017

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You can read about previous activity at What we did last year

2017-02-21 Tuesday

Carl and guest
  • Another evening of great activity. Peter Harris called in see us (maker of the crazy coffee machines) and he showed some photos of his creations.
  • The model plane is really in its final stages. Ben started covering the fuselage.
  • Nick made some progress with the instrument control panel he's making.
  • Charlotte continued creating small animals in colourful felt.
  • The lathe and Jon were getting on fine for a while. Then one of them needed to take a break. But really, Jon is on his way to becoming our resident expert.
  • A little inconclusive discussion of holding an Arduino teaching day/evening. We will return to this idea.
  • Between them, Nick and Paul B devised a way to CNC mill a block of wood, making a base for Vina's illuminated bottle. There was smoke at one point, but fortunately we have no smoke alarms.
  • Hello to Imi, Ryan, Dan and Kevin.
  • Simon was using the laser cutter and getting good results.
  • Carl dropped in carrying the beginnings of a giant penguin. It will be covered in paper-mache (should that be papier-maché?) but it was a bit wonky at the feet.
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2017-02-18 Saturday

  • Jon popped in this morning to investigate why the shutters didn't close - there is a switch on the other side of the door frame to where the up/down controls are located - this provides power to the shutters! We could take the fuse out for the window shutters to see if it kept Little House a bit warmer on cold evenings?
  • Jon's real purpose was to have a practice with the lathe after training last weekend. He has a couple of model railway wheel forming tools imported from Germany, however they needed a holder to fit our quick change tool-post, so a length of hex bar was cut down, faced off in the lathe, bored to a suitable diameter to take the tool cutter, and then a hole was drilled and tapped for a grub screw to retain it - unfortunately he couldn't find a small enough Alan key to tighten the grub screw, so wheel re-profiling will have to wait until another day.
  • Attendance today = 1

2017-02-14 Tuesday

  • The CNC cutter was going through its paces. Jon brought some board for 3-D cutting practice, and Nick made egg-shaped recesses in a spare wooden chopping board.
  • Nick 3D printed a perfect control knob, despite it being modelled in OpenSCAD which he doesn't like.
  • Charlotte was crafting small birds.
  • William's digital anemometer is getting on well, with a bit further yet to go.
  • The laser cutter is working a lot better since the tube was replaced. Both Jon and Simon had some successful sessions on it.
  • Mono is a touch-screen and micro-controller package. Carl had been sent one, and Gareth has programmed it as a binary clock, showing year, month, day, hours, minutes and seconds, all in binary.
  • Saw a beautifully-made rosewood pinhole camera brought in by Iain. He's wondering about adding a motorised shutter lever, remotely controlled by a Bluetooth link to a mobile phone.
  • Fixed a 'Sun Jar', an ingenious use of solar panel, battery and LED to catch and store sunlight, for use after dark.
  • Hello to Jean L, who came in to see how we were getting along
  • Konstantin has 3D printed a case for the Universal Component Tester.
  • Attendance tonight = 15

2017-02-11 Saturday

  • Jon, Ian and Paul had a day of Lathe training from Alan White.
  • Almost no actual cutting took place but the lathe is now set up parallel and we have some clue how to use it.
  • Homework was set!
  • We now need to practice some of what we were taught.
  • Alan is happy to come back and give another starters session, or an improvers course later in the year, can accommodate 3 members around the lathe - please ask Jon if interested.
  • Attendance today = 3 members plus the trainer = 4

2017-02-09 Thursday

Special arts and craft day

  • Vina brought here Arts and craft equipment for making greeting cards.
  • The theme was clearly valentines day.
  • Some original and professional looking cards were made.
  • With little training Andres made two cards in 2 hours and have to very satisfied costumers.
  • Vina of course was able to do 10 more in the fraction of the time!
  • Attendance today = 2

2017-02-07 Tuesday

  • The CNC router cut a test piece on MDF. Result: needs better clamping of the workpiece.
  • The laser cutter produced a coffee-bean logo on ply, and cut some plastic sheet
  • The 3D printer was making control knobs for an amplifier project
  • The biplane is now a 3-wheel propeller-driven car. We ran it round the car park and it moved quite impressively.
  • The other plane is waiting to have the fuselage covered, then it will be complete.
  • We have this big box of broken helicopter parts - Please plunder it for motors and gear-wheels. Anything left will go for recycling.
  • Thanks to Jon for doing the housekeeping this week. Someone has to. A rota would be more fair.
  • Welcome to a couple of new faces. Hope to see you regularly.
  • Carl's bike's rear light let him down again. IanB and Carl combined forces on fixing it up properly, involving wire, solder, gorilla glue and hot-melt glue. It earned the RML 100-year guarantee. (Terms and conditions are: If it goes wrong during the next 100 years, you have to fix it yourself!)
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2017-02-02 Thursday

  • Emergency light testing: we failed so we will be getting new lights. A recommendation will be set in to have extra emergency lights in kitchen and cloakroom.
  • is working on the 2 extruder 3D printer
  • Andres started 3D printing half a heart
  • Attendance tonight = 3

2017-01-31 Tuesday

  • We tried the suggested 7-minute talk format:
    • Carl spoke about his method for removing a verruca and was persuaded to show his related TV appearance
    • Andres spoke on Open Street Map and about ways of adding paths and trees.
    • We had an open discussion with the outcome that talks like this would be held on the last Tuesday of each month
    • Next talk: Maybe Gareth and Vina
  • Nick continued to get the router working, and had brought water for the cooler
  • Nick took another look at the CTC 3D printer. We really need some help from Matt on that one.
  • Des called in with a heap of broken remote-control helicopters. We could salvage some small motors, perhaps.
  • Openstreetmap is needed in Scotland!
  • Showed where the sewing machine is and some nice textile found in the loft.
  • Previous vacuum cleaner taken down from the loft to be donated to Mind.
  • Andres Reviewed all the outstanding projects that he knows about with a young member.
  • 3D printer now working! the problem was the protection tube was shoved into the feeding gear. Not good!
  • Attendance tonight = 12


  • Nick did massive job on CNC
  • Andres removed the inner tube of a unicycle.
  • Ian pop by to get some bits for the model airplane.
  • Attendance = 3

2017-01-25 Tuesday

  • Sascha continues to build a pump, using a Dremel cutting wheel
  • Ben has condemned the biplane as not airworthy. It will be converted to a prop-driven three-wheel car.
  • Jon was laser cutting acrylic sheet for 00-gauge models.
  • Nick looked at driving the CNC router, then looked at the problems with the CTC 3D printer, and finally tried out the unfinished 3D Delta-printer.
  • William was making an electronic anemometer, one with no moving parts.
  • Good to see Dan, Konstantin, Imi and Carl
  • Carl is considering giving an explanatory talk on Binary to primary school-children. Will he get his message across?
  • Attendance tonight = 10

2017-01-17 Tuesday

  • Mended a USB microscope
  • Fixed a faulty laptop
  • Sascha has started building a pump, laser cutter, drill press and lathe have already been used
  • Nick, Paul and Jon discussed the laser power problems.
  • Nick helped Jon turn a 2d AutoCAD drawing into a 3D .stl file using fusion360
  • The model plane tail was covered in Solartex
  • Welcome to three new faces today
  • Anthony gave a 30 min talk that generated a lot of discussion
  • Andres put some draft blocker on the glass door. A young maker helped!
  • Vina, Kevin and Andres discussed about repairing leatherwork (a coin pouch).
  • Discussed about joining forces with a certain department of Kingston Uni.
  • Attendance tonight = 21, maybe many more. I lost count...

2017-01-10 Tuesday

  • Very busy tonight
  • Further progress on the Tomboy model plane - the tail assembly has now been skinned by Ben and his dad
  • Spontaneous group discussion and analysis of modern consumer router hardware between Ryan and three new RML members
  • Jon and Terry discussed model railway items, Jon is developing his own kit and the first 'approval' castings have arrived.
  • Sascha shadowed Jon at the laser cutter then made his own keyring.
  • New member Jaroslav diagnosed a faulty electric fruit juicer controller
  • PaulB helped a HUG member transfer his files from a failing hard drive to a new one
  • Dan made an appearance holding up a mobile phone and looking makerspace brilliant
  • Kevin refurbished a laptop for a nearby resident
  • Jon and Paul discussed the cause of poor laser performance, Paul cleaned the lenses, and together we measured the laser power, our 60W tube is only delivering about 30, and by the time it reached the lense it seemed to be down to only 14 - no wonder everything is taking so long - a prolonged session of test firing and adjustment of mirrors ensued - net effect TBC.
  • We left one of the heaters on overnight :( - new project to set it on a self timer required!
  • Attendance tonight = 14

2017-01-03 Tuesday

  • Good progress on the Tomboy model plane by Emm and Ben
  • More instruction in the ways of Linux by Ryan, for Emm and Ben
  • Kevin had a problem laptop that might have been past repair
  • David W brought a laptop with trouble at boot-up. The Hard Disk was put under analysis by SpinRite, a process that might still be in progress.
  • Three new faces today, with interests in 3D printing and robotics. We hope to see you all regularly.
  • Carl arrived late, after a hard day's work. He was interested to see the mechanical binary counter prototyped by IanB.
  • Attendance tonight = 12

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