DIY fabrication tools, the real world,
and a mini wooden yacht.
Volume 21 is a very interesting read. I do have two
quibbles. First, the warning regarding aluminum dust
on page 91 [“Geared Candleholder”]. While OSHA
has information regarding exposure to aluminum
neither filing, drilling, nor sawing aluminum produce
dust — they produce larger particles known as swarf.
The warning is thus not applicable to the project.
Second, the “ESP Lamp” is a very interesting
project, however I must object to the inclusion of what
is little more than fantastical superstition. MAKE is
fundamentally a magazine of science and engineering; there is no room for rubbish about “intent” and
psychic phenomena. As can be attested by the current unclaimed status of the James Randi Educational
Foundation’s $1 million prize, and many years of
study, there is no ESP or psychic effect to measure.
When tests do show some small action, they are
invariably plagued with flaws and poor controls. As
the quality of study improves, the effect disappears.
Please leave psychic phenomena to the psychics.
The real world is far more interesting.
—Paul Anderson, Mooretown, Ontario
Volume 21 is, in my opinion, the best issue of
MAKE to date. I’m blown away by all the DIY fabrication tools now available to the small business or
hobbyist. This issue reminded me of an article in
Volume 03, “The Maker’s Ultimate Tools” by Saul
Griffith. Isn’t it amazing how far we’ve come in less
than five years? Volume 03 (2005) suggests a 3D
printer for $25,000, a 3D scanner for $30,000, and
a plasma cutter for $10,000! Jump forward five
years and we’ve got the MakerBot for under $1,000,
the DIY 3D Scanner for under $100, and an open
source plasma cutter for around $1,000.
My son will be 8 years old in 2015. At this rate, he
may have access to all of this technology in his classroom. If I have my way, he’ll definitely have access to
it at home. —James Floyd Kelly, Atlanta, Ga.
Editor’s note: One reason Volume 21 is so good is that it
includes Kelly’s “Your Own CNC for Less Than $800.”
Editor’s reply: Thanks for the note, Paul. While Step 1’s
band-sawing and filing do create swarf, Step 5’s sanding
and polishing create hazardous dust. Erring on the side
of safety, we ran the warning at Step 1.
The only addendum I’d make to Forrest Mims
III’s terrific article on using a scanner for scientific
applications is that it’s a good precautionary step to
use a sheet of clear acetate to protect the scanner
glass. This is particularly good for samples like sand
or soil, where the chances of scratching are high.
I’ve found no loss of sharpness in my scans.
—Steve Salniker, Maryland Heights, Mo.
My son and I finally
finished making the
“Wooden Mini Yacht”
[Volume 20]. We had
a great time doing it.
The rigging was a little
challenging, and the
grommets were difficult
to put in, even with the
Dritz tool. However, it all came together in the end.
We look forward to sailing it.
—Jim & Max Castor, Redondo Beach, Calif.
In MAKE Volume 20, there were two errors in the
Auto-Phenakistoscope project. In Step 3d on page
106, the red wire should be soldered to the short leg
of the IR sensor and the black wire should be soldered
to the long leg. Also, the + and – signs were erroneously placed, as IR sensors do not have polarity.
In Volume 21, page 23, “The Art of Fusion” was not
credited to the correct author, who is Annie Buckley.
In Volume 21 there’s an error in the Reaction Timer
schematic on page 105. Switch S5 should be connected
to the negative wire, not to the positive wire.
16 Make: Volume