Traditionally DIY Projects are made out of Metal and Wood, maybe concrete, but what about all of the other things you can make stuff with.
In this episode I talk through 5 things materials I want to try using in future projects.
1 of the materials I didn’t even know about. I have seen it all over the place, but I didn’t realize I saw it or what it was. Another is really useful for mass production, or at least repetitive production. That, again, I didn’t realize you could do at home.
Stick around and listen to the show, or read the transcript below to find out more.
If you prefer to watch:
Hello and welcome to the 16th episode of The Buddy Podcast. I’m your host, Buddy Lindsey. And today we’re going to talk about five different things that I would like to do DIY projects with that aren’t strictly steel and wood. But before that, please feel free to visit the website @buddiy.net and sign up for our email newsletter so you can be alerted when new episodes are out. So with that, let’s jump into our first segment, and that is what’s going on around here. Well, it’s an exciting week for me because I got my stitches taken out, which is amazing. And the doctor said I’m healing up really, really well and he’s like, it’s almost like Wolverine, how fast it’s healing up.
And I’d like to think that’s a mix between a modern medicine and kind of old remedies as well. We got antibiotics for about five days and took those every single day when I needed to take them. And then I kept my injury clean and even took a brush a couple of times just to make sure that everything was out of there and just kept it super duper clean. And for the first several days I would wrap it in gauze and Neosporin so that nothing would get in there. You have the antibiotic effect of the Neosporin, and so that really helped it. And then after that, I would let it air out during the day.
And then I would put what’s called comfrey on it, which is from a plant. And I would put a salve, I had a salve that I bought and I would rub that on there. And it helps to promote healing on the skin. And so during the day, it would be comfrey two to three times a day after cleaning my wound, and then at night and Neosporin and gauze. And I did that the entire time leading up basically until I got my stitches taken out this last week and it went great. And he said, “Whatever you’re doing it, just keep doing that for at least the next five days. And you should be good to go and you’re just healing up really, really well.”
So super excited about that so that I can actually kind of move on to other stuff, which brings me to the next thing that was going on. I actually started using my table saw again, got in a Bow Product’s Featherboard in that is made of the compressed foam, so that actually grabs onto stock if it tries to kick back at you. I got that in, and I am ready to start using that and I started using that this week. Got to put together, even put a video up on Instagram of me assembling it and giving it a test run. Along with that, I also got a piece of half inch MDF board from Home Depot to the local city of Tulsa. My grandmother went into hospice care and we went up to see her probably one last time, even though we didn’t really want to go in with all the crap that’s going on in the world.
But went ahead and stopped by Home Depot, picked up that board along with something else for my in-laws. Since they’re older, they couldn’t visit. And then we basically came home and so I’m ready to be able to do the little Microjig splitter on the back of the zero insert plate. So that’s cool. What else? Oh, not only was I actually practicing, but I had been suspecting that my fence was kind of out of alignment with my table saw and I finally was able to verify that it was very slightly, and I was able to make an adjustment. Now, normally there’s, you can like twist a little screw and adjust the Biesemeyer Fence. Well, for some reason, mine wouldn’t do that.
So I took a little tiny piece of metal and just hammered it into the little pad thing a little bit and it popped it out just enough that I now have a square fence, a perfectly parallel fence to the blade. So hopefully, I can get a lot better cuts because it was really frustrating while I was cutting boards that at the end … So this weekend I started back on my project for my wife making a table when I was cutting the top of the table and as I was cutting like the very, very, very, very last part of the cod, I would notice that it was slightly separating from the fence, which you don’t want to do and I could not figure out what was going on. Until I was finally able to find a way to measure and figure out that it is actually the fence and not something else that was out of alignment.
And yeah, so I got that adjusted and hopefully I’ll have a lot better cuts from now on. But I will say using the Featherboard and actually getting back out there and using the cut while it was super stressful and I was very anxious once I kind of stopped and actually started assessing what I need to do and actually did a few cuts, like things started getting back in the groove. I started feeling good and I mean I still have anxiety the entire time but I was able to overcome it, and I just don’t know if that anxiety is going to go away. And I’m also not even sure 100% why the anxiety is there. I mean obviously because I cut my finger but I don’t know if it’s something that I can overcome or not and it’s just something I’m going to have to deal with from now on.
I know in working with power tools you shouldn’t be anxious because you might make a mistake and cause an injury, but we’ll see. Time will tell. But I was able to move on and work on the table, which only really took about six cuts that I needed to take to be able to do the rest of the table, which is really nice. So I got the tabletop, I’ve got all the pieces cut, got them laid out, and glued up. Next, I’ll be ready to go out there and kind of start doing some finalizing work to it. I’ll cover some of the mistakes at the end of this episode, but I was at least able to make good progress that hopefully in the next few days I will have the table from my wife done and ready for her to start using. She was actually able to start painting it over the weekend, which is nice.
So it’s really about it for this weekend, for this week, about what’s been going on around here. So why don’t we just go ahead and move into the main segment and that is five things that I want to be able to use in new DIY projects. Typically, our DIY projects are made out of things that we buy at big box stores. You know, steel pieces that you would weld together or wood or pre-made plastic things, things of that nature. And as I’ve been doing more learning and more watching stuff on YouTube and seeing how people accomplish overall projects, and I got to the point where it’s like there’s several things that I would like to try to learn how to use and maybe incorporate into some projects because they’re really kind of cool and offer some interesting things that you can do.
So the five of those that I want to go through, I’m going to start with extruded aluminum, the T slot extruded aluminum. This is something that is really, really cool. There can be any side because they’re extruded aluminum but they have grooves down all the size that you can run like T slot, T’s spaced screws into. And then you put a connector on the outside and you’re connected to another one of these type of aluminum rods, in a sense. And you can do some really cool attachment. I actually didn’t realize that I’ve seen these around and in use in a lot of different places. I just didn’t know what they were.
It’s not something I ever considered, but basically a lot of places that you see them are in CNC machines, especially homemade CNC machines. They’re small, like the Shapeoko, the OpenBuild, especially OpenBuild CNC machines, those kinds of things, they use those. But you can also see them in industrial manufacturing places. I’ve seen them in display racks as well, now that I’m starting to try to remember them, and all over the place. I even was looking up online some stuff and I saw these really, really, really cool Miter Saw Station that use extruded aluminum pieces to build its own station, and then be able to have sliding on either side a extension table that basically slid on tracks so that if you need more material to the left you can use that. Or if you need more stuff to the right, you can use that.
You don’t have to have these super wide wings on either side. And then if you need the super wide you can just attach another set of aluminum tracks to it and you now have a completely level thing all the way across. Another use I’ve seen from is from very super cool tools. They use it and connect it to their Biesemeyer Fence system for the fence itself. And then another one that I’m going to try is … I thought about this while I was doing it and then I saw people confirm that they’ve actually done this, is do the extruded aluminum for a Miter gauge fence thing to use in actual some of your cuts.
So anyway, I really want to try to use some extruded aluminum on things, and I really recommend looking up some of the projects that people have done. Just Google extruded aluminum in 80/20. 80/20 is the company that I think that kind of started it. I’m not a 100% sure, but they have a section on their website just devoted to inspiration of what people have used it for. And there’s some really cool stuff in there. So definitely, definitely check that out because I know that I’m going to try to use it in future projects, especially for my miter gauge. And then we’ll see what else comes after that.
The next material that I want to use is plastic filament. That might be a little like what. But basically I want a 3D printer and I want to learn how to use a 3D printer. The more I do stuff in the physical space, the more and more need, or the more and more uses that I can come up with for a 3D printer. Before I got into making stuff outside on my computer doing programming, I was often like, “Man, it’d be really, really cool to have a 3D printer,” but I have no need for a 3D printer. It’s just, it’s not a good … Just would not have been a good use of money. I would have wasted it.
But now I’m coming up with new ideas all the time, it seems like. For one, I would like to make some custom connectors for my shop back to some of my tools. That’s a quick and easy one. Another one is to create some spacers for when I do the extruded aluminum fence for my miter gauge so that I can have a little spacers on the table saw itself so I don’t scrape metal against cast iron, and potentially scratch everything up or whatever might happen. So there’s a little spacing in there. Then there’s just all kinds of different things. I like little bitty toys to sit on my desk and so that would be really cool just to make little kind of fun toys to sit at my desk and play with while I’m working.
Or for the kids if they want something custom, I can be like, “Hey, here you go. You can play with this now.” Things like that, kind of goofing around things as well. But I think it’d be really cool to learn how to do some stuff with a 3D printer and make things that kind of fill the gaps, in a sense, in areas where I need something. But I don’t necessarily know A, what it’s called to go buy one, or I don’t need something that’s grade A material that’s going to be perfect. I just need something to fit that specific need for a short amount of time so that I really would like to get a 3D printer and be able to 3D-print stuff. I just think it’d be a lot of fun and it would open up the world of stuff that I can do.
The third material that I want to use is cinder blocks. You might be thinking, “Cinder blocks?” People use cinder blocks with stuff all the time, and I agree. My house is actually made out of cinder blocks on the outside shell. It’s built during the 1930’s as a WPA building for a schoolhouse. So, I mean, very familiar with cinder blocks, but I’ve seen some really, really cool stuff with cinder blocks lately. I’ve seen people do shelving systems for super strong shelves that they need. And I’ve seen people clean them up really, really nice, really, really smooth. And then they put them in their house to build stuff out of it. Build stands, build shelves, things like that.
I’ve seen some stuff where people have used them for bases of forges, which I think might be kind of fun and interesting to do some metallurgy. But I don’t know about that. And then I’ve seen them use them for just different outside projects. I don’t know, something about cinder blocks just stands out to me and it would be really cool to do some interesting projects with cinder blocks instead of kind of your standard typical projects, and definitely just Google search a cinder block projects and see some of the stuff that people have done. Some pretty, pretty neat things.
A lot of them are again, are just standard like I’m going to build a box. I’m going to build a fire pit, I’m going to build a house, just things like that. But there’s some other things that are pretty neat and some very clever ways that people have used cinder blocks. One of them that I really liked was this tower type thing that they turned into an herb garden outside of the back door of their house, and it was about like six feet high, I don’t remember. But they did these little stair things so that you could get up to the top one, and then it kind of circled all around to do kind of like a spiral herb garden. So you get different micro-climates and everything. I don’t know.
That one was really, really cool and it was super efficient on space so that the owners there, it could have lots of herbs, but they were really restricted on the space that they had available, and it was a super cool thing that they did. So definitely check out cinder blocks. People have done some awesome stuff with it. The fourth one that I want to deal with is carbon fiber/fiberglass. This just kind of seems like it’d be a little bit fun if you were into cars or trucks or something like customized cars, trucks, all that kind of that scene.
Back in 2002, 2005, ’06 area and time-frame, you would notice that a lot of people did custom dashes, custom components and everything, and they would make them out of fiberglass and get really cool moldings inside of the car. And then they would a buff them up, they would paint them, and then they would do a clear coat on them so it look just like the outside of the car inside of the car. And it was just looked really, really cool and you get some really, really cool shapes out of it. I haven’t been into the car scene for the last few years, decade, so I don’t know if that’s something that’s still popular, but I still kind of like it.
I recently saw a thing when I was looking at vacuum presses and homemade vacuum presses. This guy was using carbon fiber and fiberglass to literally build his own car body from scratch, what he wanted so that he could have his own car design. And this thing was amazingly. The first few that I saw was he was building a custom bumper and he took putty and rock and all this stuff and he kind of figured out the dimensions that he wanted. And then he kind of shaved away and scraped away and he got the design of the bumper that he wanted. And then he overlaid that with some basic fiberglass to get a little bit of rigidity to the structure.
And then he took kind of the sheets that are of carbon fiber and put those on there as well so that he could get structure and strength out of a high tensile strength for the actual bumper. And then he created the bumper, he polished it up, painted it, and it looked amazing. You would not know that this guy in his garage with mud created a bumper for a car. It’s like, what? So yeah, once I saw that, I brought me back to the days of looking at cars and thinking of some of the custom designs that you can do for kind of finalizing different components of things. And I was like, “That would be really cool to try to figure out a project that I could do that with just to kind of have something of fun.”
As an example, when I was thinking about doing a custom insert for an iPad at one point in my truck, so it could be similar the Tesla with their, what I call a giant iPad in the middle. I was thinking fiberglass would be a good little component to that. And then I started thinking about it, I’m like, “That’s a lot of work for something that I’m not really actually probably going to use all that much.” But it kind of got my juices going again and wanting to try to do something with fiberglass and actually make it look nice. So fiberglass and carbon fiber, you can do a lot with it. And I don’t know if it’s easy or hard. The guy made it look easy but he’s also an expert at it or a lot better at it than I am. But definitely check out carbon fiber and fiberglass for potential project, something interesting to do with.
So the final material that I want to actually try to use is we’re back to plastic, but it’s more in the process of using plastic than the actual material itself. And that is either vacuum molding or injection molding of plastic. Now granted, this is more for I need to mass produce some stuff or I need to run a limited quantity like say, I need a hundred of X, Y, and Z thing. That’s more where this would come into play. But it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. I’ve always wanted to create a product of some sort and be able to sell that to other people.
I think understanding how to do vacuum molding and injection molding of plastic is a good skill to have. Plus, you can do some interesting things, specifically, one of the things that I would like for my Delta Unisaw, and I don’t know if I’ll ever do it, is I would like to make a custom cover for the cabinet itself so that I can hook up dust collection to it. So I don’t have a desk collection unit. Currently, I’m not really in a hurry to do that, but that’s something that could be good and useful to do from vacuum molding on it. It might be too big and I would have to build a really big vacuum molder, but I think that would be fun too, is just building one of those as well.
However, watching people do stuff online and do vacuum molding and injection molding, you can do some really cool things. Specifically, one of the things on the injection molding, I didn’t even think this was possible for home creation, and I saw something on Instructables where somebody created it and they were able to make smaller things, and it actually came out really well. They were actually making caps for something. I don’t remember what it was and I was like, “That could actually be useful if you create a project out of wood, or a project out of metal, and you need a complimentary piece that goes on there in a specific spot.”
You can do some injection molding of plastic to have a cover for something or have a piece that needs to fit in for if you’re doing take down of stuff. Things of that nature. That’s where doing injection molding could come into place. Or if you created a tool of some sort, I’m going to throw something out here. I think Katz-Moses’s router fence, adjustable router fence thing that he has, that’s something that he created and I think it’s out of metal. And I was thinking if I could come up with something in that vein, I might have something that’s plastic that is a complimentary to a tool like that.
And injection molding like that or even vacuum molding could be a good additive to whatever that product is. And it’s something that can be done at home so that I can control the production at least initially to get for several hundred units of whatever it is sold until it becomes … I could tell it might be more viable before I have a manufacturer going to take over the whole process. And then I finally have the product I’ve always wanted to create and can sell.
So those are the five materials that I would like to use in an upcoming DIY project of some sort because I feel like everything can help with getting the overall project done. It all doesn’t have to be made out of the same thing and you can have a lot of fun with it and make some really, really cool stuff that looks nice and accomplishes the goal may be even cheaper or just kind of with a little bit of a flair. So on that note, let’s jump to the final segment of the podcast and that is a failure. So my failure this week is the process of gluing up my table for my wife. The actual table top.
That went terrible and it’s probably because I have never done it before. I had no idea what I was doing. And combine into that, I remember I said that the fence was kind of a little bit out of alignment. So there kind of was some bad cuts combined that again, with the fact that the jointer is not coplanar and now you have other problems. So it just it overall went bad. In the end, I got things as flush and as straight as I could against each other and I just kind of did pocket holes across the entire thing on each slat and screwed it all together. And that didn’t go all that great either because in one, trying to hold it all together, it raised one board up higher than the other. So there’s kind of this dip thing.
Fortunately, I have some 40 grit sandpaper and this can hog away some of that board and get it smoothed out. I really wish I had a number six or number seven planer so I can get it jointed with a plane and make everything perfectly level. Not going to be able to do that with this project. Fortunately, it’s not a huge serious project. It’s just something that my wife needs. I think it’s going to look good and I think it’s going to be good enough for now. So what can I do to fix that? Well, one is fix my fence. Two is I need to start watching some videos on making my jointer co-planar and do a lot more testing on that so that I make sure I get everything lined up for that.
I mean, I got it waxed a few weeks ago with some paste wax, so it’s smooth again, so I’m not going to have to worry about that. But I really need to dig into that jointer, make sure it’s on par, especially since in a couple of months I plan to start getting some rough sawn wood to start on a project that I plan to do in a couple of months. With all of that being said, I want to thank you for your time. I thank you for listening. Please feel free to visit the website https://buddiy.net. Have a great day and we’ll see you next time. Talk to you later.