120 things in 20 years

Due to quantum and other effects beyond my control, I'm forced to start a new thing.




I was planning to move this blog, and to that end acquired odolobo.com to have my way with. But at least for a bit, I can no longer.

I've set up an email address at odolobo.com that I'll bulk reply to if I can get this thing back on track, if and when the universe permits me to be me again.

If you feel trusting that I wont sell it or send you junk mail, send an email to ...

120thingsin20years@odoloboDOTcom just replace the word DOT with a "." That's just there so spam bots dont send me spam.

I hate spam.

Otherwise, if you feel untrusting, do it anyway.

Thanks to all the people who follow the blog, and all those who find hopefully useful snippets via search engines. I hope I've been entertaining, distracting, irritating, informative, of whatever your motivations are for reading this stuff. Oh, and sorry to those students who sourced their reports from my "history of mold making". I'm not so good with histories. I never know which version to believe.

If it's at all possible, I'll be back, if not, I'll let down one of your car tires every few years so you remember me.

If my return is actually a clone/alien/impostor of some other kind, you will know because I'll fail to start my next post with the secret code.

120 things in 20 years

Stay tuned for a slightly interesting 120 things in 20 years announcement.

Wind energy - Carving wooden blades 3

I'm not so sure I can make the other half of this thing.

And I'm not so sure my glue Fu is powerful enough, or dynamic enough for this caper.

I got a shape that looks a bit like it should, but its in 3 very distinct steps. I get the feeling this will make for some inefficiencies , and perhaps a stack of noise.

It takes a lot of plane work and file work to get to anything that looks by eye to be about right.

The big problem, that is the problem bigger than the ones I'm dealing with now, is that I have to go on to make another of these on the other side. I have no idea if I can do that.

This blade will work, but its a thing made by eye, and it's a thing that deviates from the image I have in my head. Its not the same as the image in my head, how am I going to make another one that's the same as the one I already made.

But on more immediate concerns, my blade broke a bit when I was filing it.

I used PVA wood glue. (that white stuff you can make removable fingerprints with when you should have been listening to your teacher) But I think some epoxy might have been a better bet.

It should be safe enough because all sections will have the shaft through their centre, so if it all comes unstuck it will just be a motley collection of different shaped puzzle pieces spinning around in the breeze.

I glued it back together with yet more PVA glue just in case it will do, and wrapped it tightly with tape to hold it in place to dry.

I'm really not sure if I can make another blade the same as this without developing some other method. I have a pretty good eye for 3D shapes as a result of doing a bit of pottery, but I also have a pretty good understanding of the limitations of my current skill set.

At the moment I'm thinking...

  • Cutting this blade up into sections so I can trace the shape onto thin sheet plastic or something so I can cut out a series of section profiles that I can test a new blade against.
  • Mould making to duplicate this blade in cast plastic or something.
  • PVC (with PVC, I could use a template so I could copy the first blade I made. Other people have used PVC with some success, especially on smaller windmills like this one.
  • Or even making a big version of my proposed lure copying machine. I'm pretty sure that would work, and it only requires longer threaded rod to make the thing big enough for this project. Longer threaded rods, and being built in the first place. 
  • Something else
It's interesting to see that, if I include my newly learned PVC tech as a "thing", three of my five ideas include stuff from previous 120 "things".  I wonder if that's going to happen more and more.

Mould making was suspended until I had a project that actually required it, so perhaps this might be it.

But I do love working with PVC. It's just so easy to cut, file and drill. Mmm Polyvinyl chloride.

Wind energy - Another drive in the country

Always willing to bring yet more wind energy information to the world, I once again made the sacrifice of going for a drive in the country. Last time I went North, this time, South.

In fact this time I drove down to Glenelg River in Victoria, just East of the South Australian border, just north of the wet stuff at the bottom of Australia that keeps us from walking to the south pole. This trip was only a little over a thousand kilometres. I spent a couple of days there to look at stuff.

I saw a stack of these.

Some, mixed in with these.

And I even saw one of whatever this is.

This thing was actually kind of interesting. I might have to make one out of drinking straws or something. It's most interesting aspect was that it worked like two different styles of wind turbine depending on which way the wind was blowing.

Or not. I'm not sure. But if it didn't work like I think it does, then I've just had an idea.

I just walked in the door.


Wind energy - Carving wooden blades 2

Sometimes you just have to wait until glue dries before you can progress with your wind turbine construction. This has been one of those times, and this post follows on from the post called "Wind energy - Carving wooden blades".

After undoing all the clamps, I still felt a bit like I had no idea what I was doing. This was partly due to knot getting enough sleep, and partly due simply to the fact that I really don't have any idea what I'm doing.

I'm still not certain I've got the shape correct.

But that's ok. I'll learn some stuff anyway.

Just don't copy this until you see if it works out.

The aim here is to try to make the blade have a steeply angled, thick wing shape at the slow centre, tapering out to a thin, slightly angled wing shape at the faster moving tip.

The cuts I'm making go to approximately 6mm from the edge to around 6mm from the other edge

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

I used a coping saw to make these cuts. A coping saw is the only saw I ever enjoy using. They have rotatable blades so you can cut sideways, and because the blades are very thin, you can cut circles etc. They are the only saw that seems to cut anything. It might be that, because the blades are so thin, you break them all the time. This means your blade is always brand new. Buy a coping saw if you need a small saw. They are very cheap, and are great to work with.

It took around 10 minutes to make the cuts.

Any of the regular readers (hi regular readers) might have come to realise that perhaps I don't use rulers and things as much as I should. This may be one of those times.

If you look carefully, you can see a collection of random looking lines drawn on the wood. At least one of these lines is important. Perhaps two. 

This is the under side of the blade. Actually I think this might be the front. This is my problem. I cant tell. I'll cut and see. 

Hack away at the little bits of wood between the cuts. They break of in a very satisfying way. 

I used a chisel for a bit, then just hit them with the side of the chisel as if it were a hammer. 

Then I just used a hammer. 

Once again, I'm a little surprised.

It kind of looks a little bit like it might one day resemble a turbine blade. 

The wacky angled bit of wood in the foreground is just the top, smallest length of wood on the progressively more angled stack. 

The bit sticking out toward the back is the blade I just hacked into a rough shape.

Next up, let the filing begin.

This might take a while. It's not as smooth as it looks in the photo to the left.

I'm tempted to just use the angle grinder, but I thought I should do at least one side by hand to keep it to a basic set of tools.

If it takes too long I'll use the angle grinder for the other side, but this one will be by hand.

And using an angle grinder might set fire to my project anyway.

I used a bench grinder to carve my home made fishing lures in a previous "thing", and that got a little hot but worked quite well and was fast.

We shall see.

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