Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Misc projects

One problem that many DiYers have is that they have a multitude of projects going on or planned at once and I'm no exception to this rule. Since my new mouse still hasn't made its way to me and I'm forced to twiddle my thumbs between waiting for manufacturer quotes, here's a round-up of two of the other projects I have going on, either in my head or physically.

Headphone wooden cup creation
As I own a Yamaha HP-1 anisotropic planar and have a NAD RP18 planar on the way, I have started thinking about rehousing the drivers in a much more sympathetic chassis. This section is short because I don't have much experience with woodwork, but here is a list of some of the (possibly) incorrect information I have gathered so far.
  • The best three woods (for Grado wood cups at least) are limba, soft tiger maple and zebrawood. I'm not sure if that will apply to cups designed for planar drivers or not but I'd like to experiment if I have time.
  • Limba tends to be more mid-centric and romantic, tiger maple balanced and spacious and zebrawood fun and punchy bass and treble.
  • The finish and cup geometry does matter a bunch! Generally, oil finishes tend to destroy the sound when not sanded down and even the slightest change in geometry can alter the sound in possibly drastic ways.
  • The best oil to use seems to be Danish oil or truoil. Other good finishes are the type employed in violin making where as little is applied to the wood as possible, retaining the properties of the wood.

Solder Fume Extractor

Since this one is longer, I put it second. Everyone knows that when soldering, there are fumes created that are extremely harmful to oneself. One can solve this problem in a multitude of ways, but the main one is simply buying a commercial fume extractor and leaving it at that. However, I'm a DiYer! I don't buy stuff if I can make it, and I was bored and wanted to practice making something out of acrylic so I went ahead and bought or procured:

  • 120mmx120mmx25mm 12V 0.25A PC fan
  • 2 x 120mm mesh fan protectors
  • 2.5mm DC jack
  • SPST switch
  • 4 x 50mm M4 screws
  • 8 x M4 nuts
  • 12mm thick activated carbon filter sheet

and to quickly design a fume extractor case in Sketchup:

The fume extractor will be made of layers of acrylic stacked together much like the ergodox, sandwiched between the fan mesh protectors and held together with the screws and 4 nuts. The build is 45mm long in total, leaving 5mm for the nuts at the end. The fan is held inside the thick box of acrylic (which is 35mm deep) using the other 4 nuts and the carbon will go in the remaining 10mm of space left, sandwiched between the acrylic on one side and the fan on the other. The power switch will go in the rectangular hole and the 2.5mm DC jack will go in the circular hole.

Once done, I had to then lay it out in Sketchup Pro Layout, planning to cut out:

  • 2mm thickness x 1
  • 3mm thickness x 1
  • 5mm thickness x 6
  • 5mm thickness special x 1

I am aware that there is some wasted space in the top of the fume extractor and maybe in a future iteration I can make the design sleeker, but for now a simple box shape is easier to implement so that's what I went with. Now, all I need to do is find someone or a company to cut out the acrylic to my spec and the whole thing will be done.

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