Blog Posts

This is the top level and contains ALL of my posts in every category.

I wanted to get a fancy ring light for my DSLR, but all the ones I could find were not built for my lens (18-135 STM) and they were too expensive - and so I've had to make my own! :)

First I ordered some LED ring lights that are *meant* to be used in a car interier, they are 12V DC and in my mind - ready to go for my project!

I got the ones that I needed from here (search for the sizes you need)

Then I orderd a LED dimmer, the dimmer is supposed to be used with the LED strips but it worked perfect with the rings too - I go mine from eBay - Like this one

and finally I designed and printed the holder that will fit the rings and also fit on my lens' hood ring part - I have provided the STL file in my Downloads section - if you have a 18-135 lens then it will work for you :)

Here's some pictures and a video of the light dimmer working - in the pictures there are some with the light ring, and some with the flash, and some with no flash - the best one's (to me) are the one's with the ring light :)

Check out the video on my YouTube Channel (I embedded the video here but Flash's "I got to be on top" was messing with my pictures! LOL

Have I mentioned that I LOVE having a homemade 3D printer? :)

I am making some videos for my band Big Moon Rocket and I am using my Canon T4i DSLR to record the video - You may have noticed my DSLR rig in the featured posts above (if not check it out)

Well, on with the story... I have an 8' camera crane, and the last time we filmed with the crane it was a pain to try and see what was on the little DSLR screen when the crane was up in the air. So I figured out how to connect my Canon T4i to my Samsung G-Tab tablet - Using the DSLR Connect app and a regular USB cable (The Samsung G-Tab has a regular USB port - it's like the only one of it's kind I SO lucked out and didn't have to buy an adapter!) - anyway I'm set up to use the tablet as an external monitor that can show the crane operator what's on the camera - it can even start and stop the video and change settings and everything - it's AWESOME! :)

Weeeelllllll Now I need some way to mount the tablet on the tripod... Of course there are things you can buy for that... but I am not down with that LOL Not when I have the opportunity to design and print anything I want!

Without further ado - here's my custom homemade 3D printed tripod mounted tablet holder :) (say that 3 times fast LOL)

Homemade Filmmaking Gear

I wanted one of those fancy rail systems for my DSLR camera so I can do some more video work with my band. Turns out they cost a LOT of money, and I'm not down with spending a lot of money (especially when I can make all the parts myself and have the same thing - only better) :)

Homemade 3D PrinterSpent Saturday of last weekend at the Oak Grove Middle School First Lego League Tournament. I set up my 3D Printer there for the kids to check out and was bombarded with questions all day long (not just from the kids)  it was great that all the kids showed a lot of interest in the printer, made me feel that it was worth going for sure.

A couple of the kids sat there and watch it print objects nearly all day long - it really can be quite mesmerizing! LOL

The printer worked pretty well all day, in the morning the 24V Power Supply I use for the heated bed blew (sparks and smoke even!) so I had to run everything off of the one 12V power supply - and that means that the bed doesn't get quite hot enough - but it all worked out OK. At nearly the end of the day the plastic was running out so I was trying to feed in another spool and broke the piece that provides tension on the plastic to feed t though - so that was it - we were down! Good thing it was nearly over anyway! :)

 Sunday of last weekend was spent milling some aluminum for a Taig milling machine on my Homemade CNC machine :) sorry no picutres of the work but the homemade CNC machine held up great and plowed through the aluminum better than I anticipated

So that's it - just a quick update - carry on


I was looking for tablet holders that my wife could use in the kitchen to display her recipes while she was baking and I found a few nice one's but they were way too expensive. So I thought to my self "I can make that myself for a lot cheaper" - that's pretty much what I say to anything LOL

First post of the new year!

As always one of my new years resolutions is to post more projects :) Let's hope I follow through this year - although last year wasn't too too bad, I still think I can do better

This year starts off with a project that I made for a Christmas present. I'm calling it a "Executive Tablet Stand". As usual I saw something in a catalog somewhere and thought to my self "Man! They want a lot for that! I can make that myself for a lot cheaper" - that's pretty much what I say to anything LOL - so check out the article above and check out the pictures :)

In other news... Nothing LOL just getting back from vacation and settling in the new year - I should get busy soon though :)


Here's a look at the Monster in a Box Halloween prop that I made. It uses a Parallax Propeller prototype board as it's "Brain" to control several different things - Check it out!

I was asked a few months ago to make some large letters for the Tampa Bay TEDx Youth event that happened December 2nd. I made the biggest styrofoam letters on my homemade CNC machine that I could - which put the letters at about 3 feet high. Here's a photo gallery from the TEDx event and the letters can be seen in more than a few of them. Thanks to Terri Willingham from Learning is For Everyone (and numerous other organizations) for giving me the opportunity to help out with the event (even in the smallish scale that I did) :)

check out the pictures here


Well it's been awhile since I've posted - Sorry about that! I know you're all hanging on the edge of your seats waiting for my posts! ;)

I've been busy working on a lot of electronics stuff - figuring out how I'm going to make my latest project work - I am working on a Monster In A Box Halloween prop - basically when the kiddies come up to the door for candy, the box, which will say something like "Danger - keep away - wild animal" the lid will start to bounce up and down like something is trying to get out :) hopefully it will give a nice little scare :) I will post more on that as I get more into it, but I have created the box part of it already - check it out
In other news I've spent the last few weekends building a new wall in the workshop and building myself a new built in workbench! As you know my "shop" is the garage and I've always just had a tarp hanging to separate my shop from the laundry area (sawdust in the shorts ain't so nice) so I decided to build a proper wall to keep things separate - plus that gives me the ability to put a workbench on my side and shelves and such on the laundry side :) Here's a picture of the new wall and workbench

On my side of the wall I decided to go with the french (pinch?) cleats for hanging stuff, it's flexible and easy to put up. If you can see on the concrete wall on the left I have the computer and CNC controller hanging on a cleat, and I've made a few hangers so far for my wrenches - but there's lots more to make! I also turned my homemade CNC machine along the wall to give me a little more area next to it. Right now the Reprap 3D printer is sitting on the CNC machine - it's awaiting a proper permanent home (that means I'm trying to figure out where to put it!) LOL

Ok that's it for this post - stay tuned because I need to finish that MIAB project before Halloween! So I should be posting the completed project soon! :)



Just sharing my latest little project - I made some pens on the lathe. They came out pretty good for my first try at it, I haven't turned any wood in over a year so it was all a bit rusty to me. I made three pens, one from Purple Heart wood, one from Red Oak wood, and one from Buck Eye Burl wood (the best out of all of them - the one in the middle) so here they are :)

In other news (as there usually is) I put a new table top on the CNC machine and added some aluminum t-track slots so I can clamp things down easier - I also made two clamping jig things and milled them while on the CNC so I can use them to make sure boards are lined up straight with the CNC - this came in hand on my latest project (article coming soon) where I needed to route channels in long 2X6 boards. Here's a pic of the latest look at my homemade CNC machine!

OK that's it - look for a new article soon about my Portable First Lego Leage Practice Table! :)


Just messing around with the Parallax Propeller I plan on using for my latest project (more to come on that when I get a little further along) :)

So this testing is to see if the Prop can simultaneously drive 8 relays and at the same time run a stepper motor through it's paces. In addition to that it's changing MP3s on an MP3 player and reading a Ping sensor and reporting the distance to a serial terminal on the computer

As you can see - the prop handles this no problem :) Lovin the Parallax Propeller micro controller!

As always if you have any questions - feel free to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Workshop projects are for stuff in the garage (CNC, Reprap, woodworking, metalworking, electronics, metal casting, etc...)

These are my posts about my CNC hobby, now to include my new Reprap 3d Printer :)

These are my electronics projects, working with the Parallax Propellor, Arduino, stepper motors, you name it!

Here are some of my Metalworking projects, probably with my Enco 3-in-1 Mill / Drill / Lathe

Here are some of my woodworking projects using my Shopsmith Mark VII and other various woodworking tools

Here are some of my adventures in casting aluminum with my homemade foundry