Tag Archives | DIY

DIY Suspension Trainer | DIY Project

DIY_supension_trainerI thought it might be nice of me to offer some of the projects I make for other people to follow. Not everything I do is CNC related. That explains this first project, which is a DIY Suspension trainer. This is a type of exercise equipment, popularized by the company TRX. The basic concept is nylon webbing sewn together, which are used to do various bodyweight exercises. Now, I will say, the name-brand version of this is probably better made, but they are pricey. And I am cheap. So I decided to make my own. I should point out that this is not a thoroughly tested design. It is a design I came up with browsing other designs on the interwebs. I can’t say if it will hold you, I don’t claim it is safe, and I don’t recommend you do this at home. This is just a blurb about what I did, for me.

For materials, I got a pair of tie down straps, a ratchet strap, and two pieces of 3/4 inch PVC pipe (nipples), 6-inches long. Total cost, $14.26 at Home Depot. pipes straps_1 tie_down_strap

Step one: I took the tie down straps, and made a loop about long enough so the buckles would be past my arms (behind me) while doing push-up type motions. I cut the excess off, and used a butane lighter to fuse the ends where I cut the straps.  I fed the material through my pipe nipples, then pinned it together. I used my 1968 thrift store Singer sewing machine ($11.25, I kid you not) to sew a series of wide stitches, one about every inch and a half. I had seen other guides suggest just tying the  straps, but that lowers their load capacity.

Step two: I took the excess material, looped it through the PVC pipe handles, and sewed that several times. These form the foot loops. The final step, I just took the long strap part of the ratchet strap, snipped off the hook, and fed it into the buckles of the tie downs. I could have just gotten plain webbing at a fabric or camping store, but that would have been another trip. This part will be looped over a tree or whatever I can hang it from. I have an idea about making a shorter, knob on a strap thing that could be wedged into a door, but I haven’t done that yet.

And that’s it. Not too complicated, which is the whole idea behind this kind of trainer. It’s simple, portable, no muss no fuss.

Is 3D Printing Dangerous?

When a certain type of person– teen to mid-20’s guys — find out that I am a machinist, often the first thing they ask is, “Can you make me a silencer?” Yes, and no I am not breaking Federal law so you can pretend you are James Bond. But no one really questions if mills and lathes are going to make the world less safe through the spread of guns and backpack nuclear bombs. Can 3D printing be used to make dangerous plastic guns that can escape metal detectors? Will we all be able to be John Malkovich in ‘In The Line of Fire’, ready and willing assassins with undetectable guns? Do you have any idea what I have done for God and Country, Frank?
Most likely, no. First off, running a 3D printer will probably never be as easy as a photocopier. There will always be some skill and art involved in making things, even with 3D printing. Well, at least until they perfect the Star Trek replicator. But I digress. Adrian Bowyer makes an excellent point in the video– ANY manufacturing technology can be used for making dangerous objects. Any gunsmith has a lathe and mill, and could conceivably make a complete gun from raw stock. On the whole, we try to see the potential benefit from advanced manufacturing, because that will be by far the end result, not a massive spread of Jello Biafra’s “harmful matter.”
Check out Mr. Bowyer’s RepRap project, while we are on the subject– a 3D printer that can replicate itself.

DIY 5 Axis CNC Machine — Big!

I came across this Youtube channel earlier, with videos of a 5 axis gantry type router CNC machine a guy in Armenia built for a friend of his. It’s not the fastest CNC machine (at least not in the videos I watched), but he sure did give himself a lot of travel! It has a tool changer (of sorts) and everything. It looks to be running on Mach3 software. It’s been said before– the only limits are your imagination. And how much steel you can get your hands on. I’m pretty sure that is implied. If I had time– and a shed– I’d love to build a CNC router like this.

5-axis DESKTOP Cnc!

There’s a startup company in Boszeman, MT working out the bugs on what will probably be the first desktop 5-axis CNC mill! That should bring some serious power to hobbyists and small shops everywhere! I may just have to open a shop on my patio.




I needed to turn some custom parts with a hose barb on one end. This wouldn’t be very hard on a CNC lathe, but I only had a manual lathe. To make a custom shape like this, a form tool is used. This isn’t a technique I invented, obviously. To get my part shape, I had a custom form tool cut by a wire EDM machine at another shop.

To use the tool, I roughed the form close and then plunged the tool in to finish the barb form. It made quite a lot of noise, which might have meant the tool was over center a bit. It was a little hard to set the height. I got the parts done, none the less.



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