Hacks: July 2016

July was not as productive as I would have liked. Summers are always a bit crazy and this one has been no different. I did get started on a few interesting things, though.

Software Side

I decided to formally learn how to build WordPress plugins, rather than beating my head against a wall with trying to hash things out at random. Thus: a book. I’m working through it and building a new/from-scratch plugin simultaneously. Right now, it’s…rudimentary. But the long-term goal for this is to build out a super-useful analytics tool for WordPress.


I started filing down the fillets on my long-postponed cyclocross frameset. I really need to get moving on that sucker again.

I’m going to measure out a couple of parts that exist on the bike as a 3D printing experiment, but that’s for a future post.

3D Printing

First and foremost, I’ve decided that if I have access to a 3D printer (which I do), I need to get crackin’ on making my own 3D printer. To that end, I’ve started the process of printing out the parts for a D-Bot CoreXY.

After that, I need to print out the first iteration of my Open Source Truing Stand, and then I need to get my next ideas out of my head and into CAD — chainstay and seatstay mitering fixtures. Again, open source, most likely.


Eddy and I were talking about drones the other day — I’ve printed out the framework for one and just need to order the parts and controller. When I told him we could build it this fall, he excitedly said, “And then we can fly it to Calfornia!” Which got me to thinking. I’m thinking a GPS-driven drone with a smart battery that lands at 15% and uses solar to recharge itself. It’d snap photos along the way (at every stop and hourly), and log it’s lat/long all on an SD card. The goal would be to get an image of the Bay Bridge, and then go land in a friend’s yard for shipment back to Minnesota.

lego-star-wars-millennium-falcon-75105-box[2]Also, for Father’s Day in June, I got the newest iteration of the LEGO Millenium Falcon (shown, click to embiggen). The engine “glow” is a translucent blue corrugated plastic tube that runs around the back of the ship. I got to thinking that it might be fun to get some electroluminescent wire and string it through the tube to actually get some real engine glow out of it.

Might build my own desk for the home office. Workbench style so that I don’t feel awful when I inevitably damage it in some way. Need to rough out a design in SketchUp and see what makes sense. Last time I built workbenches they weighed about 150 pounds each and were monstrosities. (They were a little too tall, just past waist height, but super-sturdy.) I built them knowing only how long the legs would be, along with the size of the tops/base shelves. It was kind of a pain in the ass, and I wound up with a lot of extra scrap. I’d like to be more efficient/economical this time around, and be a bit smarter about how I accomplish things.

Speaking of the house, I’ve been thinking about wiring the whole thing for Ethernet. We’ll see. Not the highest of priorities right now.

Image Credits: blickpixel/.

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