Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Vertical Lumber Rack

With a two-car garage that triples as a car home, work shop, and storage shed, space is an absolute premium.

To organize a bunch of plywood scraps, lumber scraps, and sheets of plywood, I started working on a design that limited wall space, was mobile, and was cheap and fairly easy to throw together.  I saw a lot of different carts but almost all of them took a full sheet horizontal which took up a lot of space.  A lot of the carts I saw seemed pretty heavy and made from a number of sheets of plywood.  I didn't want to spend more money on sheets of plywood then absolutely necessary ( rather use the sheets on projects ).

After the research, I threw together a Sketchup model which was a great starting point.  And it was the first model using the new Space Navigator.

The design has one side for sheet goods and the other divide up for cutoffs and smaller pieces.  It is about 5'6" tall plus castors and 4' wide.

The result varied a bit due to the scraps I found stashed in the garage and what fit the best.  The overall dimensions are the same though.

Picture of the glue up of one of the lap joints for the top frame.

Here the cart is coming together well.  The casters are on and it rolls around very well.  I used the same casters as the tablesaw mobile base and they handle the weight easily.  They also lock both the wheel and turning.  Link to Casters on Amazon

And the finished product with a little wood on it already.  I have to be careful where it gets rolled or a full 8' sheet will hit low hanging things in the garage ( Door opener, Bikes, etc ).

Happy to answer any questions about it and share the Sketchup file if anyone is interested.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Save Sketchup Settings to a Central Location on OSX

I run Sketchup on multiple computers and got tired of having to make settings or installing extensions on each.

Many applications running on OSX keep their settings in the ~/Library/Application Support directory.  I've had good luck moving those directories into a Dropbox folder which is sync'd across all my computers.

Sketchup saves its settings and extensions in the

~/Library//Application Support/SketchUp 2017


Move that directory to Dropbox and then create a simlink back from the Dropbox folder to

~/Library//Application Support/SketchUp 2017

will keep all the settings and extensions in sync across your computers.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Small thing, HUGE Difference

You know the feeling you get when you find a tool that makes you feel all gitty inside every time you use it, kinda like grabbing a 220v line? Have I got a new one for you today!  A Space Navigator.  It will make your toes curl every time you touch it.  Besides, who doesn't like the name "Space Navigator"?  And it goes right along with the Festool tools are Cylons theme.  It might even beat out the Festool Tracksaw for toe curling action, maybe...

I started using Sketchup to do initial designs on some new projects around the shop.  I've used a number of what I would consider "big boy" CAD/CAM software packages ( Ideas, Pro Engineer, Catia, Cadam, Solidworks, etc ) but Sketchup took some getting used to.  One of the tools I used to use was what we called a SpaceBall, or a 3D mouse on my SGI workstation.

The 3D mice are vastly improved these days, and a good bit cheaper as well.   As it turns out they work beautifully with Sketchup.

I found a deal on Ebay for a 3D Connexion Space Navigator and very impatiently waited for it to show up.  A bounding Tornado burst through the office door carrying a very cold but nicely boxed piece of heavenly goodness.

It has 2 buttons which are user programmable, a nice blue light, and a soft rubber joystick.

I put it on the left of my keyboard so I can use my right hand for the mouse.

To use it, think of the joystick as the model so when you want the model to move up on the screen, pick the joystick up gently, same for left, right, etc.  To zoom you pull it towards you.  You can flip, rotate, and make yourself motion sick till your heart is content.

Now working with models is 10X faster for sure.

I can't recommend getting one of these enough, or even one of the bigger brothers which have a lot more buttons!

Total BUY!