Aka everything is cooler if you add LEDs



So I like to make stuff, lots of random stuff. I am a 28 year old recent college grad, and soon to be graduate student. My main hobby is woodcraft, and I spend more time in my workshop than just about anywhere else. Projects can range from kayaks, to solar powered (anything) to writing computer programs. oh yes and did I mention I was a business student, confusing I know, but I love my life. This is what I do.

Introductions are in order, I am Matthew Hill, and I am one of those types that has to take everything apart to find out how it works, then try to build a better one myself... most of the time they end badly, like my exgirlfriends "upgraded" hairdryer that became a single use flame thrower. But every project is a learning experience and that is what this life is all about.


I tend to stick to woodworking projects, and do commissioned work on occasion. Well most of my real successes have been woodworking projects, but in the last 2 years I have been toying with electronics and basic circuitry. This is my Project Journal, my successes, my failures, and the most fun a boy with a workshop can have.

Enjoy it, because I already have.


Link

Aug 14, 2011
@ 12:55 am
Permalink
14 notes

I am Trying to Raise Money for GradSchool »

So, I am trying to raise cash to help get me to Prague and a MBA in sustainable business practices. I committed myself to this before realizing how impossible it is to get a bank to part with their money, so I am near to desperate and asking strangers, “Wanna help me save the world?”

If you can, please share and repost this as much as possible, I am giving the Kayak I am building to the person who refers the most contributors to my campaign so even if you cant help financially, share share share, and get a hell of a kayak.

Email with questions: matthew_b_hill@hotmail.com

Thanks!

Matthew


Photoset

Aug 10, 2011
@ 9:59 am
Permalink
1 note

So I am reaching back into the old projects bin on this one. This is one of my first commissioned pieces, and man I still like the lines on it, but I also know that there are some glaringly obvious things to me now that  I would have done differently. But not much we can do about that now.

Story - It is a Bookshelf/ Torah Case that I made for a friend of mine, she had this ridiculously awesome copy of the Torah (and yes she knew Hebrew well enough to read it) and I always thought it was a shame that she didn’t have a display case for it. So obviously I bugged her about it until she told me to shut up and make one. Wish every job was that easy.


Photoset

Aug 6, 2011
@ 10:16 am
Permalink
165 notes

It was my girlfriend’s and I’s One Year anniversary (still not quite sure if it was when we met, went out, or changed our Facebook status, but regardless, a year has passed together) So I decided to make her a “Year One Anniversary Box” that contained pictures of all the little trips that we went on, as well as highlights from the last year.

The box itself was  alot of fun to make, and I think it turned out well. I used wood strips that I had cut for the Kayak I am building, a collection of Walnut, Golden Oak, and Red Oak.

The Parachuting Bunny was something that Megan had drawn up when we were on one of our first dates, we had been talking about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we both came to the conclusion that if they airdropped bunnies, that would solve all the problems. Who can fight with cute little bunnies coming down all over the place? Right? I mean, really, airdrop bunnies, the big floppy eared ones. Problem Solved. It has since become a logo of hers in her design work. I really like it, it has a fun story.

I took a proof of the image, and used carbon paper to transfer the image to the top, and then took out my carving tools…. and a week passed while I worked on it. I then used oil paints to color the image, and then used epoxy to cover and protect everything. I want this box to last a Very long time.

The rest of the box was pretty self explanatory, I laid out a pattern, and interlocked the pieces for reinforcement, and proceeded to sand for  another week, story of my like, sand, repeat with higher grit, and once done, Cover with epoxy and hope it doesn’t run.

On the interior lid of the box, I wrote a letter to Megan, then photocopied it onto transparency paper, and inlaid it into the lid, and of course covered it with epoxy. I had done something similar when I built my telescope, and I really like the effect, it looks like the letter was printed directly onto the wood.

And Finally, I went to a drugstore and printed off 580 pictures from over the course of the year, and had a bit of sticker shock. It had been years since I had actually gotten pictures developed, and now I know why…

I am really happy with the final result, Enjoy. See, not all the stuff that I make is for me. I can be a sentimental little girl sometimes, but its fun.

Come get some


Photoset

Aug 3, 2011
@ 3:10 pm
Permalink

So here is an update on the Kayak, the Deck and Hull are fitted, and I have been sanding, and will continue to do so for a while, untill that sucker is as smooth as possible. Enjoy


Photoset

Aug 2, 2011
@ 1:03 am
Permalink
1 note

This is the solar filter I built for sunspot observations using my dobsonian. Its been a bunch of fun to use, and really opened up more telescope time for me, it always sucked to have to wait till dark to use it, now I dont have to wait. Bam, go build stuff.

I made it to also act as a dust cover for the scope, and has a panel that slides over and protects the solar film when in storage. It also affixes to the top using magnets, so I can hold it upside down and shake without the worry of it falling off.

I also took some pics of he first time out back in April, using the webcam, and some photostacking and editing software.

Yep, I am that kind of nerd, ya jealous?


Photoset

Aug 1, 2011
@ 11:15 pm
Permalink
5 notes

This is the modified webcam that I use to take astrophotography shots. $20 at walmart, some hotglue, and a piece of PVC pipe is pretty much all you need to get the ball rolling on some supernerd astrofun. I have since changed my setup to a different webcam that mounts at the primary focus, as soon as I get some good shots, Ill post them. aka nerdporn, enjoy


Photoset

Jul 25, 2011
@ 4:17 pm
Permalink
3 notes

So this show the assembly of the secondary mirror & eyepiece section, as well as final assembly and finishing. After the initial compeletion I added a digital level, or pieces of it to help determine the angle, as well as a “finderscope” solar filter, and tracking platform, they will be uploaded soon.

Oh yes, and there is a pretty girl using it, always a plus.


Photoset

Jul 25, 2011
@ 4:01 pm
Permalink

So this part documents the construction of the base. It is 3/4 plywood, with an inlayed compass for alignment with the north pole. I also inlayed an azimuth circle, buy photocopying it onto transparancy paper, then routing out an area and epoxying over all of it. Best of all, it looks great!


Photoset

Jul 25, 2011
@ 3:46 pm
Permalink
4 notes

Part 2, I threw some final Pics in there to give an idea of where everything is going, The Mirror Cell as teflon “slides” that rest on the base, that with proper weight distribution allows smooth and easy adjustments. These show the base and Mirror cell, as I got them put together and figured out exactly how I wanted the lines to interact


Photoset

Jul 25, 2011
@ 3:33 pm
Permalink

So this is going to be a multipart post, documenting the construction of my 12.5” Truss Dobsonian telescope. Since its completion I have added on quite a few little features, and now its capable of spectral analysis and decent astrophotography.

These are the start of the base and Mirror Cell, were the primary mirror sits and what not. The 1st pic is the origional design that I did in Sketchup.


Photoset

Jul 18, 2011
@ 2:16 am
Permalink
10 notes

The top deck of the Kayak is done! I still have quite a bit of Shaping and sanding to do, as well as to cut out the opening for the cockpit, then do the coping for reinforcement, but it was really satisfying to see her put together for the first time, especially after my weekend.

Next, final shaping, then sanding and sanding, and sanding.

And eventually after all the toolmarks are gone and it is as smooth as humanly possible, the joining of the hull and the Deck, then fiberglassing


Photoset

Jul 17, 2011
@ 2:35 am
Permalink
9 notes

I took a break from working on the deck of my kayak today to build a 5vSolar Charger for my cellphone/ bluetooth headset/ any miniusb plug device.

Its 3 5v solar panels run in parallel (so it wont take forever) connected to a 1 way blocking diode (its late I dont remember if that’s the right name for it, probably not) and I mounted them to a thin piece of wood that I had with the intention of making it a chest panel for my messenger bag. (read: man purse/ electronics grab bag)

After wiring and shrink tubing over everything, I mixed up some epoxy and coated that sucker like you wouldn’t believe. The slits in the top and bottom are for the strap to go through. And I probably should have shortened the cable, but I figured if it didnt work well on the strap I could mount to something and just run the cable. Love it. It was a fun satisfying little project. You know you want one, go buy a soldering iron and build something


Photoset

Jul 13, 2011
@ 3:42 pm
Permalink

About 6 months ago I decided to build a solar powered laptop charger/ case. I am constantly running form work to school, and my tablet sees pretty heavy use. Therefor I decided to build something to help recharge the poor thing during my long days.

It was pretty simple, a 12v panel, (I forget the amps off the top of my head) a solar charge controller ( I didnt feel like building my own) and a bunch of old powertool battery packs to cannabilze for cells, put it all together, with an automotive 12 volt plug, and Viola you are able to recharge your computer via the sun.

(I decided to use a 12 volt automotive adapter in leiu of directly wiring it so that I could use it to recharge every device I have a car charger for)


Photoset

Jul 13, 2011
@ 1:00 pm
Permalink
8 notes

This is the first of what is going to be some of my old project uploads, it is a Golden Oak Table made for a friend of mine back in 2010.

The really fun part about this project is that the friend who commissioned it wanted me to use some Oak planks he had reclaimed from an old Barn up in northern Georgia. They had this beautiful weathered gray patina on the outside that he wanted to keep intact for the table, thus making a new table look like it had been outside for 80 years.

Little did I know what I was getting into, the concept was easy enough, run the planks parallel then frame them in, all on offset trapezoidal legs… well little did I realize the work I would have to do with the hand plane to get those planks to match up, being exposed for 80 years on the side of that barn had slightly warped and bowed them so lying them side by side left large gaps I had to plane down so it would look good. Well needless to say, Aged Golden Oak is about as easy to work as granite, and I spent the next month and a half sharpening my irons more than actually working.

Either way, once I had that hard part finished, construction was quite easy, its a simple design, and the pictures don’t do it justice, its Big, Heavy, and I am happy to have made it


Photoset

Jul 13, 2011
@ 12:41 am
Permalink
5 notes

So I had planned on only working on it for a little bit tonight, but you know how that goes. Once you get into that rhythm it is a bit difficult to stop, The deck is really coming together. Should have it roughed out in the next few days, then the fun part, well we have been over this before.