I recently moved jusbot.com from Tumblr to WordPress, in hopes that it would encourage me to write and share more on this platform. Coming soon… more projects, thoughts, explorations, and daydreams.
Currently I’m busy working on digging out from getting new furniture for the Watertown Middle School Makerspace. It’s been a slow process, moving areas of high entropy to areas of slightly lower entropy. The upside is I can now have 24 students working in here at a time. It’s tight, but it works.
In the meantime, feel free to contact me at jusbot at gmail dot com or look me up under jusbot on your favorite social media platforms.
Harvard lectures, courseware and assignments for free? Seriously?!
Yup. edX is amazing. I started CS50X, the online version of Harvard’s popular Intro to Computer Science course. Week 0 was amazing – the lectures are engaging, the support materials and other courseware top notch.
Week 0 concludes with a problem set: create an animation, app or game in Scratch– MIT’s fun visual programming platform. It was on my list to learn Scratch anyway, so I dug in and explored a lot of what Scratch has to offer.
Here’s my game – a fun little ghostbusters “inspired” shooter.
At work I get to hang out in two different science classes. In 8th grade we’re working on elements. In some of our activities we use a “bubble sheet” to figure out how many electrons live on each shell of an atom. The handout we have does the job, but I wanted to find a version that might be a little easier to use. No luck. So I took to Illustrator and made my own. Here it is. Take it, use it, love it.
I’ve been getting back into playing guitar more often. I have a bunch of pedals, but no pedalboard. I had been looking at Pedaltrain and some of the boutique-y makers out there (see list below). I knew I could pull something together myself and practice woodworking in the process.
I decided I wanted something like a Salvage Custom board. I threw some sketches together and came up with a simplified version I could make with plywood.
I wanted to use rabbets as corner joints. A quick trip to the coin sorting machine and I was off to Home Depot for a stacked dado blade set. I’ve wanted one for a while but wouldn’t impulse-buy one. Now I had my excuse.
Rabbet joints are easy to cut. Badly planned rabbet joints are NOT. My original design called for rabbeting both parts of the corner, like this:
The problem was that the depth and width of the cut (height of blade and fence position) needed to be exactly the same. Otherwise, I ended up with gaps and the joint wouldn’t work. This level of accuracy does not happen with a cheap table saw and dado set. I thought I was doing something wrong and burned through a lot of my material trying to get this joint to work.
I thought it over for a while, trying to fix my method and not even thinking about the design. As I was thinking of jigs and gauges I could make, it came to me out of nowhere – my design was wrong, not my hands. If you rabbet one side of the joint, the dimensions are much less critical. My new joints look like this:
Much easier to set up the saw and plenty stable once glued up! I think this is how you are *supposed* to do it anyway.
I used a homemade taper jig to cut the top of the sides at an angle. It was hard to line it up, but I got it to come out good enough.
Once I got the frame glued up, I did a ton of sanding. I shaped it by feel, not worrying too much. I threw on a coat of grey stain. This cheapo plywood did not take the stain evenly. I ended up with a neato streaky patina. Two coats of poly and I was all set.
The top is 1/2″ plywood. I drilled a few 5/8″ holes and connected them with a jigsaw to create the cable slots. The velcro loop sheet and the hardware all came from pedalboardshop.com. I decided to use “electrosocket” style input and output jacks and an IEC power plug.
Here are my notes from my project book.
If you are in the market for a pedalboard or thinking of making one, here’s some of the cool stuff I found out there. I looked at these makers over and over while planning my design, all the while admiring their great work.