Building Jigs? Brainstorming... - Page 3 - RC Groups
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Dec 15, 2016, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by gio06226
You definitely should, those particular kits are quite well done, quick to build and fun to sail ....... Too bad they are out of production , but I've heard that the guys who was manufacturing them may have some left in stock.
He better finish what he started for me before starts building any more boats I thinks he's struggling keeping up with demand for hatch covers...
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Dec 15, 2016, 03:32 PM
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Sorry Marc, I bought one of those hatch covers... By now I am sure he has had to upgrade to a better wet-dry vacuum too!

And if that is the Half-Pint Two (however it is called) in the picture, then no Craig doesn't have anymore in stock according to an email he sent me. What? OH GEEZ.... "Craig Huzway"... You guys are funny!

Craig, get some more of those pulled or I post up your email address LOL! What a small and funny world ours is. Look, I make you a jig if you pull me some hulls!
Dec 15, 2016, 05:22 PM
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In other news, I am on vacation now. I am supposed to be going out into the workshop and getting work done. But yesterday at the "job" was pretty painful... And I have no interesting brain puzzles to solve today. Fortunately, I bought the wood needed to finish (this version of) the jig on my way home last night. So motivation will be easier to find since I only have to walk to the car...

LOTS AND LOTS of awesome ideas coming my way! And plenty of ideas for others to make use of that are even simpler to implement. I want to go back to my original thought though. And explain my own reasoning for this path I am choosing.

First off, nothing is commercially available. Why? Several reasons. Economics is at the top. Using the most amazing airplane magnetic building system out there as an example. Airfeild Models Magnetic Fixtures Sets: For years, I have wanted a set of these. But, I can do it cheaper, with a little more effort. Although these new sets and lower prices are likely to win. And there is my point.

You need to have a product that is amazing enough to counteract the economics of want/need/ and application. If somebody can do it cheaper with a few pins, why would they WANT to pay more? You have to sell that need and create a want that surpasses the economics to create the sale.

Then you need a system that is modular enough to support more than one type of boat. Adds to the need and justification.

Then it needs to accomplish as much as possible. Once a tool fits multiple needs, it becomes easier to sell. A hammer that can only work on 6 penny nails, would be useless to most people. The more types of nails it covers, cool, Now it is also a prybar? AWESOME!

The Model Shipways setup is awesome, but it is for model shipbuilding and as I studied it I realized that as cheap as it is, it would have very limited (if any) use for my application. I would have to build right side up, and change the way shadows are made. Nope.

The wall plank system is super cool. And I actually was looking for that very thing at Home Depot the other night, didn't find it. But it is also expensive and fits a narrow application still.

Wood was simple (okay it SHOULD be simple if I had the right tools to work with it) and easily available. It also is reasonably priced. But what does it lack? PRECISION. Even purchasing nice oak hardwood to get clean and small sized materials, not quite precise enough. To get that precision I wanted, I had to make the jig barely adjustable, adjust to perfection, and glue it solid. Now it has little project flexibility and is likely only of real interest just to myself. And as an amusement to others.

BUT it is a prototype and proof of concept for me. And if I can design a simple, but super effective, configurable, and multi use building platform, that idea might be worthwhile to others also.

So why would I start off with very limiting base materials that require lots of extra effort to make parts that work with it?

Tarmstro's clamp idea implementation is nice and simple. Okay maybe not his original idea, but I give him the credit for posting it here and being my inspiration. And gio06226's suggestion here of the t-slot bar, sent me off and hunting.

Lets put 80/20's Industrial Erector Set into perspective and compare it with the other ideas mentioned above. I have spent maybe $50 on wood and hardware so far (not including the lasers). And LOTS Of time playing with that wood, aligning the jig, proving the idea. Not sure how much once it is all done, since I have to repurchase parts. But we will call it simple R&D costs.

To get most of the parts from 80/20 pre-made with zero effort, that will self align perfectly and create the modular and multifunction system I am after, maybe $40-60. A few dollars for the wood, and a little more for the extra hardware, and I have a setup that is not only easily reconfigurable, but possibly even "slightly" marketable.

The parts from 80/20 to make this happen again, are NOT EXPENSIVE. Hard part is simply figuring out what I need, to make it work with the minimal amount of future effort. I think once I figure out what I need exactly, especially if I was ordering materials to make several of them, the price would drop to maybe $30-50 for the aluminum extrusions.

I didn't start this thread trying to make a "product," but simply hoping one was available. It isn't. Maybe I am the only one "buying" what I am making, but 3 pages in 2 days tells me that it is at least VERY interesting to others. Obviously since this idea is out there on the internet now, it is fair game. But I am really interested in taking it further, at least for my own use. So, I am going to continue to play with this using nice wood, and the 80/20 "erector set" system.

Let me put this out there. If I can afford the right tools, or borrow them, to make more of these, I will make up the wood bits AT NO CHARGE for somebody else to give this idea a tryout. I will supply the rest, at cost of materials. But first, I want to get the idea developed fully.

And the basic building board without the jigs for fin and rudder setup, or the alignment lasers, wouldn't have to cost very much. Most of the actual effort involved in making this, would be there for the wood clamps. The other bits are mostly just parts cut to length. I know I would happily pay $99 or thereabouts for a nice enough modular building board system. And I really don't think it would have to cost that much even to make the effort worthwhile!!!

Alright so NOT a sales thread here. Simply developing this idea, and offering to make some parts for free to do so if anyone else is interested in helping out with it! Beyond of course talking through ideas here in this thread.

Anyways, what ideas incorporated into this project would make it more interesting to you guys? What would make you buy one if you came across it online, or in the local hobby shop (yeah that won't likely ever happen LOL...)?

I probably should become a "builder" though. That is what I enjoy the most. Sailing is awesome and super zen. But to me the real meditation is in the making of things. Many a night I spend into wee hours of the morning just happily building stuff in the workshop. So in the end, if nobody else wants what I have built, my feelings aren't hurt. Okay mostly, as long as the execution of my idea/build is appreciated! I just LOVE making it and sorting out the problems along the way.

I probably need a simpler bad habit like drugs or alcohol LOL! Might be cheaper too...
Dec 15, 2016, 05:24 PM
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Eeck, that is a long post, I don't even want to re-read it to check it lol... Hopefully you guys still find it interesting enough to wade through!
Dec 16, 2016, 02:01 AM
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Finished Alignment Jig

Okay I have the alignment jig portion done, and it is looking awesome!

Super happy with how it turned out! Sure, there is a lot I could improve on it. But that is why this is a "Proof of Concept Prototype" so to speak. And honestly all the improvements I see, would be solved with the ultimate adjustability of the t-slot system.

And my brain just sorted out how to make it with two less pieces of hardware... Sweet!

Okay picture time! I need to get to bed soon, big crazy day tomorrow! But I think I am going to give a shot at setting up the next boat. I really think I can do so in a few minutes! There is one part of the process I think an extra little fixture would make much simpler. Having supports to hold the hull. But I can't see a way yet to do that and have them adjustable with this version...

Well when I am done playing with this, it will make a nice work or display stand when I build V2! And I am most defiantly making the adjustable shadow board, so V2 is only a few more parts away!

As for the Razor 3 hull on the jig, it now checks out to PERFECTION! I am super happy! This was the first one I had to cut the stem from the sides to get the twist out. BANG ON now!
Dec 16, 2016, 04:26 AM
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Okay, so I haven't cut gusset supports yet or glued anything solid, but WOW!

It took me 5 minutes to turn on the laser, adjust the jig to level, slip the fin into the hull, set the fin straight on the laser, then adjust the hull to the waterline, make some filing corrections and two checks, and it is dead on with ZERO fuss! Just 5 minutes!

Leveling the jug to zero, only matters if you need to make degree.angle measurements. The crosshairs and the jig being in alignment with itself, solves the rest automatically.

I do need to use two lasers at once to align the centerline, and keep fin correctly aligned with the waterline. So I need to finish building the lasers, basically just wire them up. I might make a little switch and battery box so I can power one laser at a time, but for now that is an unnecessary refinement..

I have all my dimensions roughed out for the t-slot parts. Waiting to hear back from 80/20 on some little details and pricing estimate. I keep staring at tarmstro's pictures, and simplified my idea even more for the clamp design. Took it from 5pcs of wood for each shadow, to just two. With my original idea, I needed the clamps lifted up a little for wing nut clearance. But they will hang over the edge of the track, clearance built in. So I can mount the clamps just like he does, but adjustable now.

Another cool thing about this system, you can have multiple length building boards too. Simply replace the center track, as it IS the building "board" or block. My workspace is always crowded. So not needing to use a 36" long center to build a Footy, is nice.

Really, it took me MUCH longer to write this, than it would have taken me to align fin, rudder, centerline, make adjustments, gusset, and glue it all in! I am impressed!
Dec 16, 2016, 05:14 PM
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Success! Thoughts on test run...

So assembling both hulls took me about an hour. And that was with fixing the one hull that still had a small twist issue. It also had another alignment/assembly issue with the fin I wouldn't have noticed using tape and rulers.

I couldn't be happier with how it is working! Okay, I could be a little bit.... But all the minor issues I am coming across in actual use of the jig, again are solved with the t-slot system. The main issue is needing more adjustment to eliminate parallax on the lasers. I don't know if it is enough to matter, but if somebody is going through this much trouble for perfection, it should be absolute. And it did cause me some fits with setting the jig up.

The stern laser has to be angled down and checked for swing alignment on the jig before the boat is slipped into the clamps. This gave me the most fits. When you swing it upwards, I could see the laser shift due to parallax issues. Until I got the arm spaced out with washers.

I am NOT happy with the laser holders. The base is plastic, likely plexi, and one of them snapped off. Plus they weren't very even/square. I could do better with some laser cut ply parts.... The lasers themselves are interesting too. Much finer lines than the Ryobi laser, but also a good bit dimmer. Not a problem, just an observation.

The Ryobi laser is AWESOME! It is so bright, I had to turn it off a few times to apply glue. I couldn't see!

Those bases will need some thought.... The upper holder works fine though. Wood seems to make a nicer pivot connection. Just enough friction. Might be able to make a wood holder, but likely to loose some at least one plane of angle adjustment. The plastic ones can be adjusted in all three directions at least.
Dec 16, 2016, 05:54 PM
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Airplane Building Tools to think about...

I stumbled across this gem on Thingverse: It is based on the A-Justo-Jig wing and fuselage building system. It wouldn't take a lot to make something along those lines to work with this building board. The wing portion, is easy and I can see several approaches to doing it.

There is a good thread here on the A-Justo-Jig:

The only hard part would be making it so dihedral could be built in. But I always build individual wings anyways so really doesn't matter.

The fuselage portion is a little harder... But not much. Making it to build straight sides, easy. Angled sides would take some thought, at least to keep the costs down. 3D Printing up the thingverse pieces would work well, and just attach to wooden blocks or aluminum angles to mount to the tracks.

A laser cutter would be my preferred way to make up the parts out of some birch ply... This would only be worth the effort for me, if I could keep materials cost very low for these parts. The laser cutter would be the way to go, since I want one for making shadows anyways.

A cool thing about using the above tools with this system, the alignment laser. It would make setting the centerline and lining up bulkheads and stringers so easy. Probably wouldn't be super useful for the wing. But already a part of the system, so it could be used to line up sheeting or such. To use for squaring the ribs, the cross laser would have to be set up directly above. Not hard, but another single track would be needed.

Anyways, back to sailboat building! I have some mast posts to place and line up. This will again be done with two reference lasers. On one boat (the pool yacht) , I am raking the mast back. Going to gaff rig it. On the other two, they will be square to the waterline. If needed, I think rake can easily be built into the rigs.

Pretty stoked about how this setup is working! I am looking forward to trying it out on the Racing Sparrow Footy. That has offset angles and rake built into things, plus a round hull that will be a bit harder to align. I think I will wait for V2 with the t-slots to setup that one.
Last edited by BiggsDarkLighter; Dec 16, 2016 at 06:19 PM.
Dec 16, 2016, 06:27 PM
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Way too funny! This laser cutter uses the exact same t-slot system to build it!
Dec 21, 2016, 01:12 AM
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Alrighty! I won my first auction lot, and have almost won the second lot. That will give me enough materials to make at least one, if not two complete building board and alignment jig setups. I have most of the hardware needed sitting in my cart waiting to win the next lot, or the next after that if need be. Seller told me to wait to get a combined shipping quote for everything.

Haven't solved the drill press aspect of it yet, but I may be getting one for Christmas. And if not, I think I know where I can go use one for an hour or so. At least long enough to drill out parts for a couple rigs.

The other seller has another complete laser base, and an unglued one on its way out to me.

This little project is happening, and I am pretty stoked about it! This setup already works really good cobbled together like it is. So making it even better, and making the building board to compliment it (and use it) is really awesome!

I am probably going to need to handcut the base supports out. Or design them to be made with just simple angle cuts... I like the visual idea I have in my head much better. But it might have to wait until I can buy a scroll saw. A bandsaw would be better to use for that, but a scroll saw will let me cut shadows and possibly get MUCH more use. Need to give that some thought. I could cut shadows with a bandsaw... But not thinking I would get much precision that way, and probably not be as safe.
Dec 22, 2016, 04:28 PM
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Aligning the Mast

(I am reposting these pictures here from my build thread as they are really more relevant here, and I want to talk about the process a little!)

I am just wowed by how awesome this system works! I know you guys are likely getting tired of hearing it, but really it makes a difficult process a lot more enjoyable. And MUCH MORE ACCURATE! And with V2, or whatever I decide to call it, I will have much more accuracy built into the jig itself. Here the inaccuracy of the materials used, causes some issues. Especially when the boat is removed from the jig, then replaced. And I suspect a couple minor alignments are out due to parallax on the laser. Again this will be fixed, or at least fixable, with the next version.

I will go through the full process in one post eventually, but lets talk about setting up the masts right now.

First the boat needs to be leveled. Since the waterline is the 0 point, I level that to perfection. During the build and attachment process, level doesn't matter as much, just alignment. Having the fin perpendicular to waterline, and the hull aligned in beam and length.. I think I had it off by a degree out of level... So, I readjusted the hull to level. I could adjust for angle off, but adding and subtracting, more importantly knowing what direction to go, complicates it. So I set it level.

Then I swapped the cross laser to a line. Now that I knew hull was level, I roughly set the laser, then checked the angle. I could have just installed the Ryobi laser to the fixture, but I handheld it and simply turned the focus head on the laser until it was perfect.

Now I discovered with a bump to the jig or head, these lasers easily move. The lens/head isn't tight. So once things were lined up perfectly, I hot glued the head to the holding fixture. A very simple and quick solution that is not permanent, but locks it down solid.

Then I put the mast footer in, taped the deck on (and made alignment marks), and slipped the first tube into place. I slipped a cut section of mast (about the size for a boom) into the tube to get more measurement distance. Or any distance, since the deck blocks the laser from the mast tube....

It took a few tries to get the footer plate straight. I had marked the centerline the hull and the plate). Then get the mast perpendicular to beam, but raked 5 degrees back. Next to get the mast tube perfectly straight (beam was a degree off due to the fixture not being level again, so this was all simply set to perpndiculare and hull alignment, leveling feet will fix this in the next version). Once everything was aligned, I simply let CA wick down the side of the tube, then wicked some CA along the plate to secure that.

All I had to do for tubes 2-4, was rotate the laser forward and back. I aligned the main hole first, since my plate did not account for the hull bottom and deck not being parallel. It didn't matter too much. The forward hole might have half a degree less rake than the main hole. Enough to EASILY see it is off with the laser, but I can't really measure it. Goes back and forth between 4 and 5 degrees with the Ryobi. So I am sure it is right at half a degree. I could have solved this with a slightly bigger hole on the plate. As I checked the tubes, a couple were slightly out and I was able to correct with a slight shift of pressure on the mast stub. So even a tiny bit more space, maybe one drill bit up, would have given me the room to set perfection.

Not enough to worry about. I might try and correct on the next hull though.

Does this setup save time over some of the earlier ideas mentioned? Hard to say... For me, yes. I wanted perfect alignment in all directions. I put so much effort onto the first Racing Sparrow build, then to find out my mast is off maybe 1-2 degrees to the side. I was pissed.

It is a little fiddling to set it all. BUT it also HOLDS the boat fin and rudder in alignment. Then lets me set the hull up perfectly. It is an extra set of hands that is easily adjusted to perfection, before anything is glued up. Once fin and rudder are perfectly set, there is a solid reference point to work from. And it then lets you EASILY align the mast rake and also keep it straight. Then repeat for other mast locations, or tubes in my case.

This boat I just took off, is so beautifully straight now! And it was one of the ones that was twisted out of alignment before too!
Jan 04, 2017, 09:06 PM
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So SUPER disappointment on the hull above. As any that follow my multiple ADD threads know, there was a paint failure that ended up leading to another accident, and a completely crushed boat. I have been a bit crushed and unmotivated since too.

But, parts and tools are arriving! And my motivation and excitement is slowly coming back! First thing to arrive was the drill press vise. Cheap, and pretty boring. No pictures lol. Yesterday though the t-slot stuff arrived, and I unpacked it today. Drill press arrives tomorrow, and I can then get the parts drilled for the building jig. And early next week my vintage Model 8 Dremel Scroll Saw arrives! Once that gets here (and fixed if needed), I can cut out the oak end pieces needing to be scrolled.
Jan 04, 2017, 10:33 PM
W Kuhns
BillKuhn's Avatar
Alright you go Dude... funny just picked up a drill press vise / milling vise. If you read my thread. I had to make my bench top drill press 6 inches higher. Turned 3 inch pipe took about 3/16 off by 4 inch to fit up in the drill head. Then welded it to the original drill post. . Your gonna love a drill press. Sounds like your on your way. Hey just remember accidents happen and most things can be fixed. Yes is it depressing. yes!!! Trying to get out of the funk. Sometimes impossible. But again your on your way. My drill press is old and heavy as heck. But does the job as well if not better than the new ones. The best part is and I think it's what you got. It with the drill press vise. It will allow you to do milling. Perhaps not as nice as a Bridgeport Miller. Or anything close. But for our hobby. It will work out awesome. With the tilting table. And the 360 rotary along with left and right axis you will be able to slot anything. With the rotary tool your in business. You have a mini lathe as well right?. I can't believe how long I let mine sit for. I'm still hesitant on making threads with it. I never did that hans Berger is coming by one day to help me set that up and teach me. Something I never did with a lathe. Well my friend can't wait to see pics of your setup. One thing I'm going to try is slotting a mast for a bolt rope. With the press and a fence and a small ball file. Should be a snap. Ok well again HIJACKED your thread. Keep on keeping one bro. Good luck. Bill
Last edited by BillKuhn; Jan 04, 2017 at 10:42 PM.
Jan 05, 2017, 12:08 AM
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Haha no PLEASE hijack away!!! seems most of my threads lately have turned into tool discussions anyways, I am good with that. This one is especially about tools, and making them anyways! And watch this, I will hijack my own thread too with more randomness! WHOOT!

I don't have a drill press "milling" vise, just a cheap (like $12) simple single axis clamping vise. A proper milling vise would probably cost me more than the drill press did... Here, went and grabbed the picture (of mine actually, scratch on handle is the same haha!) from eBay. It is cheap, but will get me going down the road for now. And really if I need to start doing milling work, I would consider a proper mini-mill. That would be WAY down the road though.

Now, there are some nice vintage Dremel lathes out there, but for woodworking. IE chisel rest and not a tool head setup. An inexpensive tool head for that, might make one a worthwhile consideration.

But one set of wants at a time lol... Right now, I have to simply get together the current builds and projects.

Actually right now, I need to go clean off my main workbench, and my "storage" workbench where all the t-slots are sitting. So I will likely have to move stuff to the secondary workbench.... I need a secure bench to use the drill press and scroll saw on. I may need to set up a way to quickly secure them to that, or move them also. Small workshop, and I simply don't have space to setup even these "micro" tools up permanently...

I have mentioned thoughts of building a bigger workshop out back. But the idea also crosses my mind to also simply "build out" one of my existing sheds. Add inside framing and insulation, a window or two, a proper door, and electricity. Move one or two of the workbenches out there. Repaint, and away we go. That probably wouldn't cost me even a full paycheck. Especially if I can find door and windows on craigslist cheap/free. It would take some thought to make them "look pretty" though. Or at least "interesting." If I made it look like an old store front, that might do it... A few free pallets for materials, and a cool neon sign, and bam. Anyways burning time and too many ideas and existing projects. Something to ponder at least. Well here are some different pictures that captured my imagination. And finally what I have right now. They are more than big enough, just very ugly and in need of repairs and improvements if they are to be used for anything other than a crudy shed... Yes, I am at least mildly obsessed with the whole "tiny house" concept. I may not have ever grown out of my building rehouses stage. I made some SUPER nice ones!

As you can see, ANYTHING I did to these sheds would likely make them look better.... The basic structure might be worth having, especially the shell and roofs. They are leak free at least.
Jan 05, 2017, 07:26 PM
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Dick L.'s Avatar
A couple of thoughts

1. Check the bearings in the drill press to assure vertical accuracy.

2. Verify a straight spindle. Remember drill presses are for making vertical holes. They aren't milling machines or for making horizontal cuts.

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