Hacks: August 2016

August was a little more productive than the last few. Perhaps because summer is winding down, and with it comes a bit less crazy and more time to tinker. So I was tackling all manner of crap.


One of the things I’ve been struggling with is a good to-do tasking system for my day-to-day life. A few months ago, I downloaded todo.txt, but had some issues with it crashing like fuck. Tried it again on Friday the 5th, and it worked great. The basic premise is this — the data file, which is flat text, is stored on your Dropbox. You mobile devices can display it, but more importantly, you can edit in on the desktop or via the command line using pico or similar.

Once I had the system running, it immediately occurred to me that I could do a bit of legwork with crontab and some Bash scripting and have it automatically add my recurring weekly tasks, and archive my completed ones. (Those completed ones will be analyzed at a later date.) I’ve got a full article coming on the topic.

On the grander scale of things, the Iceberg project is floating right along (see what I did there?). It’s been a heck of an education in the intricacies of WordPress plugin creation, and my Javascript skills are coming back to me, too. It’s at a point where it’s functional, and it’s running neatly on a local dev box — at least the first of a couple features are. Sometime in the new future, I’ll write a post detailing more of what it does.

Also, minor CSS tweaks to this site — cleaning up some legacy styling shit, plus creating a standout format for private posts, and doing some formatting of various post formats (quotes, images, videos, etc). Nothing super-exciting there, really.

3D Printing

D-Bot Core XY PartsOne of my bigger projects has been making my own 3D printer. It’s underway, but it’s going to take awhile to complete. This month, I printed out all the 3D-printable parts for it, and started ordering the components to build it. It’s going to take a few months of purchases to get everything else I need to actually build the sucker, but I’m okay with that. I still have access to the printers at work and have been making good use of them the past few months.


deadpool pencil holderI was originally inspired by the Deadpool knife block that had been going around. I started a design for one, but then I realized that I had a very strong preference for knives that were “neat and orderly” and not a random scramble to fit the humor factor. After realizing that there was no place in the kitchen for a vertical knife block (low cabinets), I decided to drop the idea altogether. Then, in the midst of a day of trying to get my desk organized, I realized I wasn’t squeamish about poorly organized writing implements…and that I still had the Deadpool head model available. Thus, the birth of this project. At the time of this posting, the model is in mid-print and will be done on Friday afternoon. So expect some pictures next month once it’s painted and stuffed full of pencils and pens.


sismarg_cadRelated to the above, my friend Holly bounced the idea of making the sign from the bar in Deadpool. I’ve done so, I’ve got a 3D print (9.5″ by 7.5″) that I knocked out and then primered and spray-painted bronze. I’m debating whether or not I want to have a batch of them cast in bronze and then put them up for sale. I might. We’ll see. (This, also, was my very first from-scratch CAD project. Text layout was done in Illustrator and saved as an SVG file. Imported into Tinkercad, where I designed the backplate, hook hole on the back, etc.)

LED Bridge Lamp

I initially saw this design on Thingiverse and knew right away that I wanted it for my office — for the tinkering desk. So I’ve printed out all the pieces for it. I’m going to get up off my ass and order the electronics for it after I get my office set up and going. I need a couple of desks and a rolly-chair as the baseline for that. I’ll post pictures once it’s complete.

The Everlasting Wall Hook Project

I’ve mentioned my wall hook project here in previous iterations of this series — as a quick recap, it’s a hook designed to hold a pair of wheels (road) in a single slot on the wall, without their quick-releases (or bolts) from getting tangled up with the spokes of the other wheel. The first iteration had the wheels too close together both vertically and horizontally. The second iteration wasn’t much better, but the third. Well, the third in underway — I actually sketched out some shit to make sure I had a solid understanding of what I was building. It’s designed around 700c wheelsets, specifically with road rims — so track, cyclocross, and road bike stuff. I could probably make another design that would accommodate larger mountain wheels, too. As for fatbike wheels? Too heavy. I don’t trust ABS plastic to hold those, especially at the distance they’d need to be from the wall (based on hub widths) — it’ll probably get be cheaper to get a pair of hose hooks and hang them from the garage ceiling. I promise that the road hook will be ready very soon, and if you want to print some for your own use, they’ll available for download here, and over at Thingiverse.

GoPro Mounts

I also managed to crank out a basic GoPro mount that bolts onto saddle rails. It’s a pretty simple design. I like it. It’s available for download in the GoPro subsection of my bike stuff. I also printed a few extras. If you want one, let me know, and I’ll be happy to send it to you.


gp_clipI also cranked one out that’ll clip onto the top of my shoe, for reasons that I’ll leave you to wonder about. That was a fast mash-up of a money clip found on Thingiverse, and a GoPro mounting stud that was trimmed off another Thingverse design. Design literally took less than 10 minutes, and I dropped it to the printer immediately. Time to design and complete print: 90 minutes.

The Big Hitter

Lastly, the Open Source Wheel Truing Stand. I’ve been making progress on the project, and have started finalizing the components. Just need to order some 8020 extrusion, and a bunch of metric hardware, and get down to business.

PowerTap Tool

powertapRather than pay $10 for a chunk of plastic to remove the battery cover on my 2009-vintage PowerTap hub, I opted to make my own. It was one of those last-minute quickie designs, and it, unfortunately didn’t work. I have since ordered the real deal off of Amazon and am considering making my own version of it. We’ll see. If I do, it’ll be available in the Bike Tools section.

Image Credits: Dan Bailey/Creative Commons Zero/Public Domain (CC0), Dan Bailey/.

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