Crafted Bits

Odds & Ends: technical notes, design decisions, project blog

I’ve resumed work on my DIY CNC router!

I’m remiss in not posting about this, since I’ve been working steadily on it over the last months. I’ve abandoned the Joe’s 2006 idea and am now basing my machine on the OpenBuilds OX router.

I had already decided to use some sort of aluminum extrusion for the linear motion and OpenBuilds makes a product I think will work really well, plus they also sell hardware and wheels and even a motion control system (black box with some of the required electronics in it) that suits my project perfectly. So when I ran into their OX build, I realized it was really close to what I wanted to build.

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Finally finished CraftedPlaces page on Plan 23!

This is odd, since I took down Plan 23 From Outer Space!!! 6 years ago, but I’ve just finally uploaded all of the photos and videos from the event. I had uploaded a bunch, but not the ones from the final months after Halloween when I tweaked everything. It takes effort to go through the hundreds of media files and pick which ones you want to display, maybe having to edit some of the videos! I redid the final timelapse of tearing it all down.

You can see what the heck I’m talking about or relive the memories by heading to

Posted in Micro-Imagineering | Leave a comment

Finished Police Car Shell for New Sky Kids

I haven’t documented the process hardly at all, but last month I finished designing and building a fiberglass shell for New Sky Kids. Like the fire engine I did over a year ago, this one is designed to allow “older” child actors to have some cool props for their videos.

This one is a police car, designed to fit on the go-kart that New Sky purchased. I modeled it after a Ford Interceptor, squashing and stretching the model to make it fit my chassis. Long story short, the process took way, way too long (over a year) and was painfully labor-intensive (and inaccurate to boot), so I definitely won’t be doing things this way again!

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Working on Blender model for police car shell

I’ve been working on this model for quite a while so I’m remiss in not starting a new set of blog entries.  You know those electric cars they make for little kids that look like a police car or a fire engine? My friends at New Sky Pictures have commissioned me to make “bigger kid” versions of these to mount on go-karts that they’ve purchased.

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Back in Business

I left my project blog desolate for many months while I was working first on the fire engine shell for New Sky Kids and then on the Tiki Bluetooth Speakers. I should have been sending out regular updates on those projects but in the back of my mind the Etsy shop was on hold and so was the blog.

Things are back in gear now. Doesn’t mean I’m going to tear up the blogosphere or become a good writer. 🙂

The Tiki Bluetooth Speakers are now available on my Etsy store.

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Etsy shop still there – just on hold

In case anyone has wandered here and wondered what is happening with the Etsy shop, the short answer is “nothing”.  🙂

My first products were some kids’ tables and stools.  The logic was to create a smaller product first to make something more accessible (cheaper entry point for the potential buyer).  This failed on two accounts:

  1. the items are so small that they’re only useful for very small children (i.e., my 4 year old is almost too big for them already)
  2. they’re not inexpensive enough to be accessible.

I’m not sure how they ended up being so small.  I promise I thought carefully about what size to make them, but once they were created I realized they were really too small for someone to want to pay premium prices for them.  The main factor in the price of a custom-crafted piece of furniture is the labor and design, not the material.  So I could have spent the same amount of time and money making something literally twice as large that would have had lots more apparent value.

Well, now I know.  I’m going to size them up by about 50%, which will make them useful over a longer range of a child’s life.

My next item, when I have money to build it, will be a tiki  bluetooth active loudspeaker, which will be unique enough to be worth the money one would spend on it.  I hope!


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CSS Background-size: contain/cover not working on Chrome

Wow, this one was random.  I couldn’t get background-size: contain to work on a navbar for a project of mine and after googling it a while I ran into this page:

Turns out that was it!  I made sure that my “background-size: contain;” rule occurs after “background: url(images/Back-HeaderBar.jpg) no-repeat;” and now it works!  What the heck??


Posted in HTML5/JavaScript/CSS | Leave a comment

Windows keyboard quit working after I logged in; issue was Filter Keys

No category for this one.  Just making a note.

Yesterday, don’t know when or how it happened, but suddenly my keyboard quit responding: couldn’t type anything, couldn’t turn caps lock on/off, etc.  The numlock light was on, but nothing more.

I tried plugging the USB keyboard, which had worked perfectly umpteen thousands of times before into different sockets, just to check, and the same results.

So I tried restarting (fortunately, the mouse was still working) and hit F2 to enter the BIOS on the way back up.  Keyboard worked there just fine, without any problems, so I knew this was some sort of Windows configuration thing.

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