Metal and reclaimed wood table

A request for a “small dining table” came in and immediately I knew what I want to create, or should I say “copy”. A very similar table caught my eyes and I wanted to make my own version of a frame made of metal kept in raw format with a tabletop so natural that you’d have to add a glass to make it useful.

Next think I took an old pallet apart using a saber saw to cut the nails in-between the boards. This is the easiest way to dismantle a pallet while saving most of the wood and the marks and spots that comes with using used wood. Putting the board together as a tabletop was easy since I didn’t have to worry about flattening it or even about gluing it to hold weight. All that comes from the tempered glass held on top of the wood with silicon spacers. The wood is finished with heavy-duty outdoor polyurethane varnish that gives it the wet look and the frame with metal lacquer.

As for the rough look, some likes it, some don’t, I love it and the way it came out is exactly what I was looking for: glue lines and spilled glue, uneven surface, very basic metalwork and finish that protects and add a touch to the rustic look rather than stilling the show.







Metal and reclaimed wood table

Restoring Aircraft Carrier Model

Exactly 47 years ago on Oct 6th 1965 my father Negus (Michael Raymond Marcel Ransenberg RIP 1936-1947) built a model of FOCH Aircraft Carrier.

For many years the model was at the same apartment where we lived and in later years at my nephew’s house. The model housed in wood and glass aquarium with back mirror was kept reasonably, only few parts fell apart and most of the wood and glass stayed intact. To give it another 50-100 years I took the frame apart and rebuilt it using the same materials replacing only one broken side glass. The model itself needed some cleaning and regluing. It is now time to re shelf it for next generation to keep and remember.

Camera stand for ski boat

Daniel K., a very close friend of mine got a new ski boat and needed video camera mount and tracker to follow the water skier while dragged behind the boat. There are such trackers you can buy for $300 but Daniel wanted to build it more than he actually needed it, so we did it. The whole project is made of machining grade Aluminum using my Sherline CNC Mill and Lathe and some manual work as well.

All the credit to Daniel, except for losing the photos we took at my workshop when we completed the work. The only one photo left is shown above.

SketchUp Model.

Bosch table saw riving knife

This post is relevant to owners of older models Bosch table saw (4100 and GTS 10) who may be interested in using a cross cut sled without removing the riving knife. Well, once you removed the guard you removed the riving knife as well and therefore the only work around is to create an alternative, a metal stand alone riving knife.


As you can see in the pics below, this is a simple metal plate cut to shape which you can copy from the existing riving knife. There are no critical measurements here except for the part held within the saw and the thickness of the plate which should be kept at blade width or thinner.

Hands workout bicycle

This has been the most extreme action I ever did in favor of sport. It was hard work, extensive and intensive, hard labor over long period of time, aerobic at parts and muscle stretching at others.

After few weeks of sheer metalworking pleasure I finally finished converting a  stock spinning bicycle into a Hands Workout Bicycle expecting it to change my non existing sportive life, and it did, for about 2 or 3 weeks of on and off workouts.

Then came the metamorphosis which converted this workout gizmo into a…  statue.

I am proud of the idea and the execution and here it is for your judgment.

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Workbench wheels lift mechanism, failed

Everyone knows the wheels lift mechanism you install under the workbench to lift it off the ground and on the wheels, the one that is shown below.

Installed several years ago, it worked very well and served me by making it really easy to move the workbench around the shop and keep it in place without moving when needed. Apparently I needed it to move more than stay at position and only now I discovered that keeping it on the wheels most of the time caused the wheels plate to bow. It is made of hard Ipe and I expected it to hold forever, but it didn’t.

In the pics below you can see the deformed board.

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Fuel Jerrycan for my Wrangler

I am not sure how practical and needed  was this project (probably like most of my other projects), but I really wanted to carry extra fuel for my JK Wrangler Jeep and ended up designing a building a unique solution which is attached to the rear door hinges.

It has some limitations such as the need to push open the door with an hydraulic piston and careful design to eliminate the jerrycan corner hitting the body. Nevertheless, I lime the result, it is very steady and rigid and most important looks good on my Jeep.

Famous 5-board-bench

Again, for the kindergarten, this time they needed to replace some old yard benches and I went for the easy solution of the 5 board bench concept. Not a complicated project yet time consuming as I had to make four of these.

All parts are made of Pine glued boards held together with heavy duty long metal screws that will last long after the benches will become firewood.

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Teak side table

The idea was to build what should  look like a floating table top. At first I didn’t realize that most of the work would be in creating the table top itself as the original teak stock which I intended to use didn’t glue up nicely, partly because of the lack of decent jointer, the rest is due to lack of experience I guess.

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To overcome the gluing problem I decided to slice the wood into thin stripes which I glued one by one on their sides which gave the fantastic pattern. Building the legs was no big deal and I only had an issue with the finish which was planned to be a burned metal but came out rather nice with the black primer.

Backlash probe for Mach 3

As a result of struggling with backlash issues much longer than needed I built this probe and wrote a small VB procedure to help read backlash values within seconds. The probe is similar to edge finder which rises a bit on the parallel interface when grounded. The electrical connection is made between the probe and the spindle using two alligators and required an isolated base which is made of clear Polycarbonate. At the base are two rare earth magnets which holds the probe on the milling vise or alternatively between its jaws. The audio jack plugs into a connections box which leads it to the controller.

The script is self-explanatory, just notice the settings under “User Inputs” and make sure to select the correct values:

Resolution – If you need an immediate low-res (i.e. non-accurate) backlash reading you can run at 10 or 100 and the feed rate will be set respectively (the resolution will be low but the speed will be high). For final reading always use 1000.

Active Axis – Simply set to X, Y or Z and place the spindle (or tool or whatever is attached to the spindle) between probe’s brackets, somewhere in the middle, and in a way that will allow the brackets to touch the spindle when the axis moves in both directions.

Two Sides – This is useful for Z but can be used on any axis. When measuring backlash I always read it in two directions and set the average result as backlash compensation. With X and Y there should be no problem, but when doing Z, how do you set a tool to touch the two brackets of the probe? You can use any tool such as fly cutter, a bit with extended tip or a hex wrench attached to a drill chuck. Otherwise, you can set this parameter to False and the script will run the axis in one direction, which is going down to the table.

Number of loops – For some reason I initially wrote the script with an option to run multiple cycles and display the average reading but I never used it and always run once. It is there in case you find it useful.

The code can be found here, open the VB editor and paste it there. Always remember to “SAVE AS” or else Mach 3 might use a previously stored file name and overwrite existing file you may need.

How to hold the probe for XY (right) and Z (left)

555 Shower Buzzer

How do you get the kids out of the shower before they empty the hot water boiler? Well, you can try to educate  them (good luck),  punish them (“no shower one month”) or build a small 555  circuit to generate high frequency alarm 4-5 minutes after operating it by a toggle switch.

The alarm sounds well under the water and around the house so if you hear it too long you know the kid is testing your nerves again…

The kids hate it of course so after a while they start getting use to the time limit and promise to get out of the shower quickly if you let them do it “without the beep”.

Tryally’s Slim Vise

I guess every Sherline owner knows Luiz Ally (Tryally) and his videos on YouTube including the one about his slim vise which looks like an excellent solution for holding small and thin objects.

If you are interested in building such vise you may find the attached file useful.

it’s a SketchUp model I’ve designed with minor modifications from the original, what I was able to see on the video. I have not built it yet and not sure if I will go for the exact solution or to something similar based on a tool plate, we’ll see.

So for now you are welcome to download the file and feedback if you have any comments, and I repeat, I have not built it yet so  it may contain errors.

Design credits to Luiz of course.