Archive February, 2012

Tool-Chest Made by Hand

25 February, 13:28, by AlexCiccone Tags: , , , , , , , ,

After coming to terms with my woodworking addiction last summer, I started seeking a way to get a fix while at university. Luckily I happened upon DIYode! My first project was a tool chest, found in Tom Fidgen’s book “Made by Hand”.

Finished Tool-Chest
It’s made with poplar and walnut. For anyone interested in this plan, you’ll need 8’ x 10” x 3/4” of poplar, 3’ x 8” x 3/4” walnut, and a 4’ x 10” of 1/4” plywood. Tom Fidgen makes his plan for this box available for free online, but I recommend his book!

All of the cuts were made by hand with the exeption of rip cuts (made on a table saw), and the initial dressing of the wood from 1” rough to 3/4” dressed. Instead of giving a step by step (boooooring), I’ll just outline methods I used in the project.


The bottom is 1/4” plywood slipped into a dado, about 1/4” up from the bottom.

Dado: After marking the stopped dado to be cut with a marking guage, it was emphasized with a cutting knife. This line was cut as much as possible with a backsaw. Following this, the bulk was removed with a 1/4” chisel.

Mortice and tenon: Quite a simple joint. The mortise was cut the same as the dados. The tennon size was simply a third of the overall thickness of the piece of wood. Ie. if the wood is 3/4” thick, then 1/4” is removed on either side of a 1/4” tenon.

Sliding lid: An innovative part of this chest is that the lid slides back and forth. Again, some 1/2” dados are cut to fit a rotating hinge available through Lee Valley.

Finished Tool-Chest, back


Well that’s all for this post! Now back to my Saturday DIY ritual: homemade bagels!


The Diyode CodeShield

23 February, 20:29, by Simon Clark

Like many other hackerspaces, Diyode has been running arduino workshops as part of our community outreach. Typically, we’ve started with an intro to the concept, built a simple button/led circuit on a breadboard, then coded it up. People with a natural aptitude for this kind of stuff do okay with that, but we’ve seen a lot of people losing interest when it takes an hour or more before they see their first light blink.

People are fickle beasts, and when there’s a struggle to get to the first milestone, they tend to get frustrated quickly. Many are picking up a resistor for the first time, or are intimidated by the breadboard and its hidden pathways. Others get something built, find it doesn’t work, but don’t know if the problem is hardware or software. These things are all daunting to beginners.

Diyode Code Shield - prototype board 1

We came to the conclusion a while ago that for the sake of keeping people, especially kids, enthusiastic, they should get their feet wet with code first. Once they are comfortable with that, then tackle the hardware. To provide the shortest possible route to the first moment of glory, we developed a new arduino shield built specifically for the process of teaching arduino code. By  initially bypassing the electronics theory and postponing the breadboarding stage, it takes much of the frustration out of the learning process. Those things can come later, once they’ve already got a pocket full of victories.

The Diyode Code Shield has:
Inputs: switch, button, potentiometer, rotary encoder, thermistor, photocell, and hall effect sensor.
Outputs: Piezo buzzer, servo motor, RGB LED, Yellow LED, and a relay with screw terminals.

Over the next month we’ll be developing a curriculum and sample code for the board. We’ll also be refining the board layout, and looking to source the circuit boards in larger quantities. My personal goal is to be spreading the gospel of Arduino to schools, cub scout groups and community centres though out the city, leaving an arduino and a code shield in the hands of each kid who was first to meet a specific challenge.

If you’d be interested in the board, leave a comment below, and I’ll keep you updated as things progress.

Tytler School Demo

01 February, 20:47, by James McKeown

We showed off the rocket launcher at Tytler school the other day.

We brought the kids plenty of candy – but to get it they had to make an armor piercing rocket 😉 They got pretty clever pretty fast…

Rocket Launch Video