Hand machined mechanical pencils


2019: Yes, I'm still here, don't worry! Just haven't got around to updating the site with anything new. I've been in the process of upgrading everything to a simple tag-based CMS I wrote, and this is taking far longer than expected. However, this year it'll definitely be up and running.

Latest updates, also available as an RSS feed

01/06/17: Updated my pages on the LM317 regulator with info on corresponding circuits using the LM337 negative regulator. See here and here.

29/04/17: HP1345A vector display font added to the single-line font page

29/03/17: I was able to measure the displacement amplitude on my ultrasonic horn

21/02/17: I've at last made a video on ultrasonic transducers - how to measure them and design suitable horns. Check down the bottom of the page.

16/12/16: Zodiac Tiles - ceramic tiles featuring characters from the Chinese Zodiac

20/06/16: Valved top for drinks bottle

07/06/16: Drawing the Lorenz attractor in Rhinoscript and using a UV laser on the AxiDraw to expose Cyanotype paper

01/06/16: Big update! Linear power-supply potentiometer feedback, LM317 adjustable current source/regulator, AxiDraw laser cutting/light painting/phosphorescent vinyl, and drawing the Lorenz attractor on the AxiDraw, also using light painting and glow in the dark vinyl.

30/05/16: Vacuum cleaner motor commutator cleaning

11/05/16: Modifying a 12V power supply to give an adjustable 5-15V output

18/03/16: Review of Arachnid Labs' miniature M3 angle brackets

21/02/16: Asteroids font added to the big list of single-line fonts

27/12/15: Sliding bandsaw table

29/11/15: UV quartz sleeve - good source of large-diameter quartz tubing

02/11/15: Cutting rubber tubing on the lathe with a razor blade

25/09/15: Shredder adjustment screw repair

24/09/15: Hot-foil machine, grinding disc arbor for Sherline, grinding a D reamer on the lathe, and a SSR relay switched mains socket

17/09/15: Low-profile knurled thumbscrews (rope knurl)

30/08/15: Some photos of the valve added to the page on the petrol to steam conversion

20/08/15: Macro photography stand

01/08/15: Powder coating capped starlock washers - a better example of the process. Hot-melt glue as a strain relief.

13/07/15: Freeze frame effect

09/07/15: Arbor press ram machining - sprucing up a cheap 1-ton arbor press

06/07/15: Current-fed inverter advantages for induction heating

30/03/15: Injection mould for belt tensioners, split clamps for lathe work

27/02/15: Celtic/Pictish circuit board coasters!

23/02/15: Bottoming tap modifications

14/02/15: Eccentric turning using two chucks

03/02/15: Summary of lots of single-line engraving fonts

09/01/15: Accurately measuring lathe topslide angle. I've put the RSS feed back again since, according to my logs, quite a few people were using it after all! I've also added CSS and XSL stylesheets to the RSS file, following the fantastic guide here, to make the feed display nicely in a browser.

02/01/15: Tube swaging drawbench

22/12/14: Gate drive transformer testing. I've ditched the RSS feed - you can use Twitter to keep up to date with what's new on the website.

07/10/14: Oscilloscope probe contact tips

28/09/14: Telescoping bore gauge

25/09/14: Height setting gauge for the laser cutter, extending a lens tube

19/09/14: Some measurements of the efficiency of hard drive mirrors

18/09/14: Using hard drive platters as mirrors for a CO2 laser cutter

17/09/14: Making knurled thumbscrews from standard socket-head hex cap screws

16/09/14: Calculating the force exerted by a band clamp

06/09/14: Clamp-type shaft coupler

29/08/14: Repairing a threaded hole in aluminium

26/07/14: Planetary multiturn potentiometer

25/06/14: 6mm single-tooth broach cutter, more Taylor Swift "The Giver" trailer screencaps

12/06/14: The end of the RED tour

09/06/14: USB connector panel insulator

07/06/14: Miniature tube drill for broken screw removal

01/06/14: Old TV tube neck assembly

28/05/14: Digigrams packing puzzle, Sherline chuck arbor

18/05/14: Solvent spray fireball

30/04/14: Air-gap flash photos of air gun pellet + optical sensor

27/04/14: Adjustable microscope eyepiece holder

11/04/14: Sidebar adverts have been removed since they had been killing the website visits. Apologies to anyone who was annoyed by them!

20/03/14: Mitutoyo SPC readout, Taylor Swift $13 bill, Taylor Swift frames from "The Giver" trailer

17/03/14: Converting an IKEA LED lamp into a microscope lamp

09/03/14: Flicker LED macro photos

06/03/14: Added an RSS feed. Updates will now go on both the news page and the RSS feed.

20/02/14: Laser-cut flexure translation stage

06/02/14: Inductor design (energy-storage types)

31/01/14: Brushless motor driver for hard drive motors

19/01/14: Magnetron sputtering gun plasma

15/01/14: Damping grease demonstration

13/01/14: How to grip threaded retaining rings and a tool for holding DC jacks while tightening.

10/01/14: Using WM_COPYDATA messages to transfer data between applications, X-ray image of my hand

20/12/13: Geiger-Müller tube detector circuit, nail clipper wire strippers.

15/12/13: RMS and average values of waveforms

12/12/13: High-current shunt resistor

09/12/13: Molybdenum disulfide laser marking

08/12/13: Glow discharge in acrylic channels - solving the shortest-path problem

06/12/13: X-ray of IKEA "wood"

05/12/13: A better electric hotplate

04/12/13: Procedural Rhino texture, laser-engraved instrument panel

26/11/13: PCB drilling video

25/11/13: Desoldering using a custom brass "iron" and desoldering an SOIC chip

22/11/13: IC decapping

20/11/13: Added a quick video of applying solder paste to the pick-and-place page, some links on the inductor tester page, and chopping up a halogen bulb to get the quartz tubing.

19/11/13: Thin diamond saw

19/11/13: Laser wire stripping

17/11/13: LED ring light for mill

10/11/13: Pick-and-place CNC router conversion

07/11/13: Measuring CO2 laser tube current and voltage

15/09/13: Video of the petrol to "steam" engine conversion, laser-cut transformer bobbin

01/09/13: Finding window handles

23/08/13: Bench punch leverage measurement

18/08/13: Film capacitor dissection, resonant charging equations, and focus stacking.

13/08/13: A better ICSP adapter and also a pogo-pin programming jig. Imitation Mitutoyo dial test indicator.

27/07/13: Lawnmower repair

19/07/13: Put a "latest updates" scrollbox on the front page. Modified the stylesheet slightly so that the header and navigation bar are now hidden when you print the page. Added thumbnails for the different page categories.

04/07/13: Webcam crosshairs using Processing

22/06/13: Garage tour

15/06/13: Salvaging ferrite transformer cores

07/06/13: Plastic optical fiber fittings, translating text files with Google Chrome, single file PHP gallery.

19/05/13: Bursting speed of rotating disc, read-modify-write problem

14/05/13: Another example of a toner-transfer PCB

03/05/13: Thermal measurement of laser power

31/03/13: High-speed photodiode

22/03/13: Making PCBs, flyback high voltage supply

18/03/13: Split clamp handle and Android tablet info

10/03/13: Nails as tommy bars

10/02/13: Online calculators added

04/02/13: Test indicator contact bar tip

25/01/13: Sherline coolant tray

24/01/13: Added photo of using the magnetic arm to hold a magnifying lens. High-value resistor mixture.

23/01/13: Displaying monospaced code in the <pre> tag. Added list of ultrasonic suppliers to the ultrasonic driver page.

21/01/13: Vacuum hold downs

20/01/13: Magnetic indicator arm, Rhino DXF export schemes

15/01/13: Rotary slit scanning

07/01/13: Powder coating

20/12/12: Video of Mandelbrot set zoom added to page on distance estimation methods

12/12/12: Links page

25/11/12: Distance estimation methods

21/11/12: Basic calculator program and electric hotplate.

20/11/12: Sharpening a tap

12/11/12: Load resistance on PIC programming pin

21/10/12: Adding a TTL output to the laser cutter. Video of glass lathe running added to the glass lathe page.

17/10/12: Electric field plotter software

12/10/12: Warning note about driving larger ultrasonic transducers

11/10/12: Turning between centers and hot air pencil

02/10/12: Reason for dip in expansion curve added to solder glass page

01/10/12: Fixing a thermal cutout in a desk lamp transformer and Sherline spindle drawbar remover

30/09/12: CRT stem pin holder

23/09/12: Warning about grounding laser diode added to UV laser diode page.

21/09/12: Small variac transformers

20/09/12: How adding noise and averaging can increase ADC resolution. Brandenburg flyback transformer.

19/09/12: More photos of an Edwards glass lathe

16/09/12: Using a webcam in VB6

09/09/12: Changed the appearance slightly (background, centered body, and rounded corners). PCB via size test.

04/09/12: Inductor properties vs. turns and air gap

03/09/12: Using external coil with induction cooker

31/08/12: Gamepad controller for mill. Links page.

29/08/12: Infrared projector lashup and series HV trigger

28/08/12: Removing my old number board from behind the wall

23/08/12: Wire butt welder

22/08/12: UV laser diode. Myst game Selenitic Age mazerunner map.

13/08/12: Triggered spark gap. Added years to the category pages to sort things out a bit. More links and another knurl example on the rope knurling tool page.

10/08/12: Soft drink bottle top thread size

08/08/12: High-voltage diode stack

02/08/12: Bench punch

15/07/12: Wide-range pulse generator and inductor tester

06/07/12: Added where to get needles for the micro gas torch.

05/07/12: Hot air gun circuit and operation

30/06/12: Large resistor and IC models.

24/06/12: Punch and die set for washers

16/06/12: Modifying a rotary switch for 1-pole 12-way operation

15/06/12: Mapping Num Lock key to a comma

10/06/12: Extruding solder wire with the hydraulic press. Taking shadow-free photos.

09/06/12: Useful suppliers spreadsheet. Example of knurled knob added to rope knurl page. Hydraulic press.

11/04/12: Swarf guard and travelling steady

05/04/12: Card creasing punch

30/03/12: Added video of laser engraving and cutting card

29/03/12: Example of laser-engraved anodised aluminium added to laser cutting pages

27/03/12: Better example added to the page on the double sided exposure alignment jig

23/03/12: Resistor colour code chart

08/03/12: Miniature rope knurling tool

01/03/12: Capacitive high voltage probe

18/02/12: DIY diecutting and making curpous oxide

11/02/12: 40-400V power supply

07/02/12: Magnetron launcher and removing ground connection from a site transformer

27/01/12: Shop added with my first product!

23/01/12: Sandblasting glass

18/01/12: Single-arm water manometer

17/01/12: Propane burner furnace, making a split mould ring for a tile press, storage drawer retainers.

12/12/11: Laser-cut happy Mac (bottom of page)

05/12/11: Faulty PCB pin header connectors

04/12/11: Bayonet bulb plug adapter

24/11/11: SOT23-6 adapter boards

18/11/11: TV CRT socket

16/11/11: The photos of my jamjar Panaplex display were used in the countdown clock at the Nerd New Year event in Redwood City, CA. For more info, see http://www.phantomgalleries.com/SJ/2011/11/carter_needs_your_numbers.html and http://nerdnewyear.com/.

05/11/11: Another example of using solder glass powder (see bottom of page)

27/10/11: ICSP adapter for EasyPIC5

19/10/11: Current-sense resistor and potentiometer end-stop modification.

18/10/11: How to do simple animations in Rhino 3D

24/09/11: Changed the logo to a new style

21/09/11: Uses for disposable syringes

20/09/11: Dismantling a freewheel cogset

15/09/11: Machinable wax. Trick of using the carriage DRO to measure tailstock travel. Using bicycle sprockets. Cheap bevel/mitre gears. Air atomising nozzle.

11/08/11: Flexible shaft coupling

31/08/11: A few explanatory photos added to the lathe DRO page

26/08/11: Lathe quick change toolpost

22/08/11: Surface mount adapter boards, PowerPAD heatsink, surface mount component soldering arm, PCB drilling viewer, Excel interpolation wizard, aligning successive cuts with laser cutter.

27/07/11: Anodising aluminium

23/07/11: Lathe DRO

21/07/11: Updated the page on solder glass to include dilatometry results and a full explanation of what's happening.

18/06/11: Manual orbital TIG welding

14/06/11: Laser wood burn examples. High-temperature strain patterns added to the solder glass page.

11/06/11: Test samples added to solder glass page. TIG welder arc lamp attachment.

10/06/11: Running a mercury arc lamp from a TIG welder and spark radiation detector.

08/06/11: More examples of electrolytic etching. Power ultrasonic driver and ultrasonic drilling. Americium 241 source holder.

27/05/11: TIG footswitch and timer. Two more pictures added to reed switch wires as glass-metal seals.

21/05/11: Webcam crosshairs/alignment software and hardware. Excellon to G-code converter.

16/05/11: Added a better video of cutting glass tubing in the lathe

15/05/11: Ribbon burner for the micro torch

12/05/11: HV trigger and capacitor dumper

11/05/11: Added some better photos of the glass lathe

03/05/11: Link to Adams & Chittenden's video of cutting glass tubing added to cutting glass tubing page.

27/04/11: Mirror of a page on a home-built TIG welder. Also electric melting furnace, Planté rheostatic machine and a dual-spindle glass lathe.

13/04/11: Added example of joining a CRT stem using solder glass

05/04/11: Added stuff on cutting mica, engraved wooden boxes, and protecting wooden surfaces to the laser cutting examples page

27/03/11: Using solder glass

23/03/11: Electrolytic etching and a better 3V supply for my digital camera.

14/03/11: Pulse arc welding using TIG torch

10/03/11: Custom text discharge tube

09/03/11: Digital camera spectroscope

24/02/11: New valve on vacuum filling manifold. Added an example of sealing a reed-switch wire to glass tubing. Page on double-sided exposure alignment jig

07/02/11: Page on vacuum filling manifold

25/01/11: Added page on digital Kirlian photography.

21/12/10: Added the bit about my CO2 lasers from the Physics Dept. newsletter to the homebuilt CO2 lasers page. Added old page on the oscillating mercury drop.

16/12/10: Moved the page on cutting glass tubing in the lathe to the Workshop section

14/12/10: Finally uploaded the old pages on my homebuilt CO2 lasers

13/12/10: Changed the logo text from Century Gothic to Papyrus (download the Papyrus font here)

07/12/10: Page on a rotary valve steam engine

06/12/10: Page on converting a petrol engine to a steam engine

05/12/10: Pages on Stuart Turner 10V steam engine, Roberts boiler and prismatic rings

04/12/10: Added new page on an air inlet guide for the laser cutter

03/12/10: Old pages on Zeeman effect, sodium street lamp and my very first ever webpage on a copper pipe spudgun. Also page on uranium marbles.

30/11/10: Uploaded old pages on the fusor and my first "neon" sign.

25/11/10: New page on the second Panaplex display!

23/11/10: Added a "favicon" to the site

20/11/10: Thermionic emission, Thin-film thermopile and helical gear

19/11/10: Stainless-steel bellows, reed switch wires as glass-metal seals and diffusion-pumped vacuum system

17/11/10: Added a video to the Houskeeper seal page. New page on high-current feedthroughs.

16/11/10: Cutting glass tubing on the lathe

14/11/10: CNC coil winder, induction cooker, capacitance manometer dissection and simple HV feedthrough

04/11/10: Degassing chamber

31/10/10: RF CO2 laser head and spot welder

30/10/10: Page on LTD Stirling engine.

27/10/10: Page on copper tubing pinch-off tool.

22/10/10: Added pages on micro gas torch and laser-cut solder paste stencil.

21/10/10: Uploaded the old pages on the CO2 laser cutter. The Panaplex display has been mentioned in the Make Magazine blog!

19/10/10: Pages on Panaplex display and LED mounted on conductive glass.

18/10/10: Page on Houskeeper Seals.

07/10/10: Added page on Nixie counter.

06/10/10: New site (v7) constructed using lots of nice CSS. Added page on AA battery eliminator.

  Electronics Induction heating, power supplies, high voltage, making PCBs     Vacuum Low-pressure discharges, vacuum coating, pumps, hardware
  Optical Lasers, fluorescent things     Mechanical Steam engines, Stirling engines, assorted contraptions
  Workshop Machines, hand tools, techniques     Mathematics Maths-related stuff
  Chemistry Chemical stuff     Computer Computer and software stuff
  Other Stuff which doesn't fit any other category     Calculators

The dates on the various content in the categories are usually when it was first made/done/bought (usually). Some stuff may get put up months after it was done, in which case it might appear buried in the middle of the page somewhere. Sometimes, something new will be added to an old page. The News page has stuff ordered by the time which it was put on the site, and is the best way to see what's been happening recently.

There are various VB6 programs listed on the site. To run these, you'll probably need the VB6 runtime files. See either http://support.microsoft.com/kb/290887 or download from my site directly at http://www.imajeenyus.com/VB6.0-KB290887-X86.exe.

Temporary page (my use only)