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Bill WW

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24Instructables1,110,935Views597CommentsWashington State USA
I'm a retired mechanical engineer, woodworker, boater, and inventor. Now I'm getting into wood turning, and have found that all my wood projects need not be flat and square.

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  • Energy Saving Window Insulation

    Wow, glad to help, Lauren! That is an old Instructable, but I still believe a good one. You could use standard Velcro, available at Joann Fabric or elsewhere. That would be better than the Command product. But my favorite is plain old double side tape. I use carpet tape from Ace Hardware or elsewhere. It is better than the usual mounting tape. Just apply a strip to apply, then another next time. Scrape off the old piece as necessary. Best of luck to you.Bill

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  • Bill WW commented on KevsWoodworks's instructable Small Box Sled
    Small Box Sled

    Very nice Instructable, Kev. I have made several sleds, but none as comprehensive as yours. I also made a spline jig that clamps to the front fence of a sled, and will post a photo in the "I made it!" section. Are all your illustrations done with SketchUp?Now will go to the box contest to see your entry.

    Yep! I thought your dimension drawings looked like AutoCad!

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  • Bill WW made the instructable Small Box Sled
    Small Box Sled

    I made a spline jig that clamps to the front of my table saw sled. The jig is similar to the one in this Instructable, but the sled is nothing to brag about!

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      • Small Box Sled
      • Corner Office Desk
      • Bandsaw Circle Jig
  • 4 Steps MOUSETRAP CAR (1/240 Mechanical Advantage)

    EXCELLENT! A mousetrap car with an automatic transmission!

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  • Magnetic Drill Bit Sorter

    My fist thought was the same concern about magnetizing the bits. I work with magnets a lot and its annoying to find my tools have been magnetized.

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  • 4 Steps MOUSETRAP CAR (1/240 Mechanical Advantage)

    Wow, what a great project! And clever design. Very nice description of mechanical advantage. And something to do with those old CDs.OK, now for a picky technicality. In your explanation you say: "...the mousetrap stores kinetic energy". It would be more correct to say: "...the mousetrap spring stores potential energy, which is converted to kinetic energy when released". I'm voting for this Instructable in the Simple Machines Challenge.

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  • Make a Self Balancing Gyroscope on Two Legs

    Very nice, Jim, thank you.I will add this to my spinning top and balancing projects.

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  • Dynamic Motor Balancing - With Sugru and an IPhone!

    Phidauex, great Instructable and well written. I am experimenting with spinning tops, and precise balancing is key to long, smooth spin time. I downloaded the same app (Vibration) and am pretty impressed what $5 will buy. I will now rig up a method to apply your method and give it a try. Will post my results after doing some trials.I'm an engineer also, so appreciate your approach.

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  • Bill WW commented on arpruss's instructable Copper Pipe Glockenspiel
    Copper Pipe Glockenspiel

    Did I forget to reply to your comment? No, could not tell any effect from drilling the holes - made sure they were exactly at the node point. The app I used for tuning is "Tuner T1" on Apple. I found that the frequency of a pipe changed depending upon temperature. I would tune a pipe when my shop was warm, than check later when it was cold. Different tone frequency! I have not yet experimented to find the correlation. May just be thermal expansion?The grandkids liked it. I sent one glockenspiel and three mallets for the three kids. Said it was an opportunity for them "to learn to share".

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  • Determine How Magnetic Field Varies With Distance

    Thank you! I will check it out.Bill

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  • Bill WW commented on arpruss's instructable Copper Pipe Glockenspiel
    Copper Pipe Glockenspiel

    Thank you. Drilling holes does not affect sound quality as long as they are at node points, 22.4 % in from ends. It plays well, my wife and daughter are musical and wife played some tunes. For me, it is all about the physics of sound, note frequency, and the building process. I almost went overboard on determining value of "A" from scratch using wall thickness and the other variables. But used your method which is excellent. I found that the measured frequency varies with temperature. If I measured a note when my shop was cold, the note was higher than when the shop was warm. I love your Instructables. Best wishes. Bill

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  • Bill WW made the instructable Copper Pipe Glockenspiel
    Copper Pipe Glockenspiel

    Yes I made the xylophone project, but with a few modifications. I used 1/2" type M copper pipe, and used (basically) the author's method of determining required pipe length to get the frequencies listed in step 2. I used the iphone app "Tuner T1" which worked well. But I did not use the rubber band method of supporting the pipes. With 3 young grandkids something more durable was needed. I suspended the pipes by a nylon cords, with vinyl tubing sections to separate the pipes.

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  • How to Sharpen Your Woodworking Tools With Sandpaper

    Kaszal, I would ask the glass shop about the type of glass. They would know best and may even give you a scrap or free. A piece of granite countertop is also flat and likely a give away if you find the right shop. My neighbor gave me a huge piece that was left at his house after a kitchen remodel. I had to make it smaller, so cut a groove and broke off a strip.If you work with RC cars you use bearings. I get my bearings from Boca Bearingswww.bocabearings.com. I like their website, prices, and fast delivery.

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  • How to Sharpen Your Woodworking Tools With Sandpaper

    You could ask a glass shop to cut you a piece of glass plate to the size you need. Be sure it is thick enough and have edges smoothed. I now have a piece of granite countertop that works well and is flat. Maybe use a mirror of the shape you need? In any case, thick is better. Wow, flattening model car differentials?

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  • Make a Truncated Icosahedron Out of Wood

    Excellent Instructable, Steve. Congratulations on a great first one. I will print out the PDF so I can study it in detail, when I saw your precision of cutting angles to a precision of four decimals that really got my attention. Most amazing woodworking project I have seen, and I have been working wood since 1952.

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  • Bill WW followed arpruss
      • Simple Manual Star Tracker for Astrophotography
      • Accurate Wiimote Light Gun for Raspberry PI
      • Adjustable Wobble Board With Timer App
  • Bill WW commented on ClenseYourPallet's instructable Xylophone
    Xylophone

    Very well written and a wonderful story of what you learned along the way.Your following statement was so honest and open: "Also, I have been using the word "block" to explain this throughout this ible but I'm not sure if that is actually want there are called." I really don't know the right word either! I will be making one for my two year old twin grandkids.Best wishes and thank you.Bill - making things out of wood since Truman was president.

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  • Moon Photography Guide for Beginners (using an Entry-level Camera and Kit Lens)

    Great information! I have this camera (earlier version) an will be taking some photos!However, your comment: "the moon also appears bigger when it's just over the horizon..." is an illusion. Hard to believe. Sometime I will make my own measurements to prove/disprove this.

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  • How to Make Log Ends Perfectly Flat & Parallel

    Nice one. We have the same router.

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  • Marshmallow Launcher

    Wonderful!I will have so much fun with the grandkids and drive their parents crazy!Thank you.

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  • Design Criteria for Stirling Cycle Engine

    Wow, I wish I could tell you! I built this almost seven years ago, so the cost details are pretty vague. And prices would be different now.The 2" copper pipe is now being sold on EBay for $3 per inch. You will need about 8", so $30 or so. The most expensive purchased item is the power piston and cylinder: Piston diameter 5/8”; piston stroke 5/16”. Purchased from Airpot Corporation. I totally do not remember the cost, you could contact them:1-203-846-2021 Main Numbersales@airpot.com203-849-0539 Airpot Corporation, 35 Lois Street, Norwalk, CT 06851. The bearings I bought from Boca Bearings. They are surprisingly not very expensive. Everything else I scrounged from my shop or local suppliers. I imagine if you built one now it might set you back $100 total.Good luck with this!Bill

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  • Bill WW commented on Bill WW's instructable Bench Top Dynomometer
    Bench Top Dynomometer

    Thank you for your question.Since there were several motors I wanted to test, each one was attached to the plywood base a bit differently. As stated in step 3 (photo),since various size motors will be tested, the base should accommodate different shaft height. I just put various size blocks (riser blocks) under the motor until the shaft height was about the same height as the input shaft. Then it is just a matter of attaching the riser blocks to the plywood and the motor to the riser blocks, using wood screws. Since the shafts were connected by the simple rubber hose connection, the shaft height and alignment were not critical.

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  • Very nice! Did you mention where you got the magnets? I might have missed it.

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  • Very nice, especially the smiles.

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  • Nice work Stephen. Also excellent drawings. Are they all Sketchup? I envy your lathe with v/s drive and speed indication. I'm still moving drive belts on my Jet lathe. Thanks for the great project.Bill

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  • "over-tightening chain tension"... yes excellent point.

    Just realized I have spelled a word incorrectly all my life, and the author misspelled it also. VISE is the clamping tool on the workbench... VICE is a type of crime.

    Yes, the rakers... that is kinda tricky.

    Nice, thank you. Excellent point about using a vise, with the wood blocks on the vice jaws. I know that properly holding the piece you are working on is a big part of the project - and for safe working. However, I have been sharpening my chainsaw on the bench just inches from the vise - but not using it! DUH!

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  • Tireguy, you’re sure right. I agree this boot idea might not be too good for the dog. I just saw them in NYC and that is what I was told.

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  • Bill WW commented on Bill WW's instructable Bench Top Dynomometer

    Thanks for your question, EsraNo, you are not missing anything; you are adding something in that is not necessary. There are no equations listed in Step 6 that involve friction factor.And the force, shown in equation: Torque = Force x Distanceis the Force measured by the scale you see on the right in the photos. And the Torque is caused by clamping the two wood 2x4s around the steel shaft.Everything you say about friction and friction factor is correct, but these things do not enter into this experiment. Yes, torque is produced by friction caused by clamping the 2x4 onto the rotating steel shaft. But if the frictional force is not great enough to slow down the motor, you just tighten that toggle bolt you see in the opening photo. If the coefficient of friction of the material (wood) is…

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    Thanks for your question, EsraNo, you are not missing anything; you are adding something in that is not necessary. There are no equations listed in Step 6 that involve friction factor.And the force, shown in equation: Torque = Force x Distanceis the Force measured by the scale you see on the right in the photos. And the Torque is caused by clamping the two wood 2x4s around the steel shaft.Everything you say about friction and friction factor is correct, but these things do not enter into this experiment. Yes, torque is produced by friction caused by clamping the 2x4 onto the rotating steel shaft. But if the frictional force is not great enough to slow down the motor, you just tighten that toggle bolt you see in the opening photo. If the coefficient of friction of the material (wood) is low, you just tighten the toggle bolt. I did not make a good decision in using wood as the friction material. Sometimes I had to clamp it so tightly that the friction almost set it on fire!Let me know if I can be of more help. Bill

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  • Hello John -As usual, I wander my shop looking for the right material to make the project. I saw these blocks that I picked up at the woodturning symposium this Summer. People dye veneer strips then glue them together, and use them for turning projects like bottle stoppers. Worked out well here.Wow, you topped 2,000,000 total views on Instructables, congratulations! I'm getting close, but have not been active lately.Cheers!Bill

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  • Newton’s Gravity Defying Puzzle - 3D Print

    I love your drawings and dimensions! I use Autocad to make my shop drawings, so can identify with what you are doing.But I can't claim to have turned the pieces to three decimal place precision on my lathe. Not that I wouldn't try!Sending a couple of these to grandkids today a Christmas presents. Thanks for the Instructable!Bill

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  • Spectraply?... hmm, not sure. I bought the material at the Woodturning symposium. I think people dye veneer strips and glue them together. I looked around my shop for something to turn for the plug, and there it was. Still experimenting with the design, initially turned the two pieces with really tight tolerance, just a few thousandths clearance. Now think that is not correct, a little more gap is needed. Hope your engineering studies are going ok.Bill

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  • How to Make a Newton's Gravity Puzzle

    Great project!I drilled out the inside plug to lighten it a bit.thanksBill

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  • Thanks Kayak, you reminded me to get busy and make a couple of these for grandkids this Christmas. You and I are on the same wavelength: hollowing the plug to lighten it. And I will experiment on my lathe to make various airfoils.

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  • Bill WW commented on squared59's instructable Cross Puzzle

    OK, thanks, now I see.

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  • Great job, I love it! No simple miter angles for you; a septagon no less! I use a digital protractor for these types of angles, accurate to 0.2 degrees. Congratulations on your wedding and for creating a meaningful arbor. Is your shop always so tidy?

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  • Bill WW commented on squared59's instructable Cross Puzzle

    Great project Martin, I'm looking forward to making it! Got some nice hardwood just waiting for this one. "...putting a 1" Forstner bit into the drill press and clamping it in my vise so that it made contact at 3 points...". Excellent! You did not show the spheres going into the puzzle. Seems one each on inside of dowels?Your combination square... it looks, um, well used.Thanks for sharing!Bill

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  • Great, Troy. I'll make some for the grandkids - and their parents for Christmas. From one mechanical engineer to another: if you have had your fluid dynamics courses, you know Newton had little to do with this. The puzzle is best explained by Bernoulli's equations, and demonstrated by an airplane wing - the moving air over the curved top of the inner part creates a lower pressure and lifts it out of the shell.

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  • About leaving the vacuum pump running:I made a vacuum chuck for my lathe, same principle, vacuum holds the workpiece. I found that if you make the jig out of wood, air will leak through the pores in the wood and will loose vacuum. You can try to seal the wood with sealant, but likely the pump will need to continue running.

    Great work, Charlie. First step in any shop project should be a solid way to hold the workpiece. You found a good one.

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  • Yes, I assumed a drill press, but maybe others may not.

    Thank you David, will definitely try your method!Forgot I did this Instructable. Wow, look at my finger and the Exacto knife in step#1! Someone should have yelled at me about that!Bill

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  • Bill WW commented on Kink Jarfold's instructable I MADE a DADO JIG

    Very nice jig. It is important that users clamp the jig into position before using it, as you show in the photos.

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  • Bill WW commented on jprussack's instructable How to Dry a Cell Phone

    Jeff, re: your question on outward force. At your rotational speed of 2.4 rev/s (40 mph and 4' radius) centrifugal force from an iphone 7 (138 grams) is 8.6 pounds. That is an acceleration of 28 g.

    Thanks for the tips. However, I found that salt water (sea water) is a much different problem compared to fresh water. I dropped mt iphone 7 overboard in 20' or so into Puget Sound. A diver got it back the next day, but it was quite dead, even a repair service could not help revive it.

    In my case it was an expensive lesson. Compounding the corrosive nature of salt water, here on Puget Sound we have a pretty extensive tidal range, which causes a pumping effect on the submerged phone.

    Of course it wasn't your intention to sound "supersmart", the author requested that we help him calculate the outward force: "...any have the moment of inertia calc for the outward force?"

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  • Bill WW commented on Phil B's instructable Uses for Spent K-Cups

    Phil, I saw that slide rule also! I have mine (55 years) and my dad's (about 100 years old).The K-cups also make a nice container for mixing epoxy glue.

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  • Bill WW commented on tomatoskins's instructable Perfect Wooden Sphere

    The "sharpened tube way of finishing it to round"? Where can we find out more about this, have not heard of it. Thanks.

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  • I just set it there. You could glue it down, but it's not necessary. Let me know if you have any more questions. Good luck.Bill

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  • Thank you for viewing my Instructable.I assume you mean the force when the solenoid is activated and touching the iron bar.Some manufacturers provide this information on their website. You may want to check.Otherwise, you will just have to find a hand held scale such as is often available for weighing luggage, such as this one: https://www.walmart.com/ip/TraverGo-Analog-Luggage-Scale-Black-TR1300BK/55187870You will have to tie the scale to the solenoid with the solenoid on the bar, then lift the scale until the solenoid breaks contact. The scale reading will indicate the magnetic force.Hope this helps.

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  • Thanks for the comment! I apologize for the hype in the title: "...Supersonic Speed". No chance of hitting mach 1. Maybe with pressure on one side vacuum on the other? I looked at your chart and guessed that you got over 250 m/s. I had trouble with the end seals also, then made that holder thing.with the thin basket wrap plastic. My cannon still just sits in the corner of my shop gathering dust. But I inherited a couple of grand kids and I'll probably show it to them sometime soon. Good luck with the scout project.Bill

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  • Bill WW commented on diycreators's instructable Mobile Bench Vise

    Nice work; I can always use another work holder! I use the same method of using weights when gluing items. Most of the exercise I get from the weight lifting weights is lifting them to the work bench.

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  • Wow, thank you, Zig! Somehow I missed that article, I will print it out and study it in detail - with my physics book open. I have seen that reference to specific heat of air. Looks like you are new to Instructables? Welcome, you will find it entertaining. I've been pretty inactive for a few years. Appreciate the comment. Bill

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  • This Instuctble Is as good as it gets. Great detail and clarity. It is 100% right-on (I do segmented woodturning a lot). I believe you can buy the segments from Jerry Bennet at Segeasy.com. Or if you are cheap like me, use a large 30 degree drafting triangle and make perfect 12 segment rings. Looks like we have the same lathe.

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  • Ah yes, my good friend. It could have gone either way ;-)Since the border between these countries has changed over the centuries, both could have claimed ownership of the one-way valve. However, I suggest you petition the International Valve Agency and ask for a re-naming. Should the diode also be considered.So good to hear from you again.

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  • A valid concern. But glueing a magnet on my drill has worked well for me for several years, no problems.

    Mike, another great one, thanks.

    I do this also, I use the magnet to hold the screwdriver bit. Perfect.

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  • Nice work Linn, you do keep busy!All the best to you and family.Bill

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  • Be nice, Markl. Arbodude has shared a good project.You are correct that the latent heat of vaporization is about 7000 BTU/gallon. But we do not know the air flow rate of 68 degree air. If his swamp cooler evaporates two gallons per hour (a lot of water) that is 14000 BTU/hr. He needs to source a lot of water, but that is part of the the game. Experiment and learn.

    Excellent project Arbodude, thanks for sharing. Let us know how it worked for you.

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  • I'm trying to stay retired, but projects pop up and I can't say no. I had a Popular Mechanics magazine from the late 40's that announced what became the ball point pen. But all they said was that a new writing device had been invented that could write under water.

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  • Bill WW commented on Bill WW's instructable Simple Shop Storage Bins

    Dumpster diving can be a gold mine at many companies. A friend of mine worked in R&D at a manufacturing company. He collected a lot of equipment and stainless fasteners from projects that did not work out.

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  • Glad one of my Instructables could help you. Your son could climb a big hill with a 24 volt drive!Bill

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  • It isn't a project. I entered a contest several years ago and they needed a video from me. I would have deleted it, but due to a glitch was not able to. If you want to see the solar powered Stirling engine running, there is a short video on YouTube. Just enter my name and "solar powered Stirling engine".Thanks for your interestBill Wells

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  • First, where are you located? I hope I included enough metric units.Part of my problem is that I made the cannon four years ago and forgot much.1. The office tape may be a problem. For covers, I used a very thin plastic film, the green material you see in step 5 (and other steps). It needs to "pop" when punctured. The covers are held in place by vacuum; turn on vacuum pump, then hold one cover at suction end, have someone hold cover on discharge end while pump is running.2. Make sure the ball is all the way at the suction end of the tube before firing. Good luck and let me know how it goes.Bill

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  • Thank you for your comment.Using US standard pipe sizes based upon ASTM D1785 specifications, following are PVC pipe dimensions:1 1/2" PVC pipe, schedule 40 1.610" 40.9mm1 1/2" PVC pipe, schedule 80 1.500" 38.1mm And the standard ping pong ball diameter is 1.57" 40 mmSo, using schedule 40 pipe there should be about 1mm clearance for the ball to fit into the pipe. You may be using schedule 80 pipe, which indeed will be too small. Good luck and best wishes.

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  • Thanks kndclark.Yes, I believe you are correct. Close to speed of sound but not quite. But the title does get attention. I hope somewhere In small print I said "close" or "maybe".I believe supersonic speed could be reached with compressed air on one side and vacuum on the other. I have not tried tat yet! Bill

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  • Good thoughts , Carpenter. Someone in my woodturning club had the design details, but of course now I have lost my copy. Darn, now that I need it. (1) There are a lot of carbide tipped turning tools out there now, like the Easy Wood tools. And I occasionally abuse some of my saw blades without damaging the carbide tip. Have knocked the saw tooth tip off, however - another story.(2) Good point about the tooth profile. (3) Yes, we would need to consider the rake angle, good point (no pun intended). Maybe I will finally find the plans.

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  • I have also seen a design for making a woodturning parting tool from a saw blade, but incorporating the carbide tipped tooth. Thanks for this Instructable, I need a marking knife.

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  • "Awsome"? "Awesome"? I didn't notice. What I liked, other than the design, was learning a new word: TUBIFY.

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  • Your cookies look much better than the woodworking and electronics projects I usually look at on Instructables. And you do not have to think about blocking these "cookies" from your computer!

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  • Fantastic! But now my car will be forever banished from the garage.

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  • Bill WW commented on Stish's instructable DIY Notebook Stand/Cooler

    Great, and your design raises the cooling fan inlet so air can get in. On my Dell the fan inlet is pretty much blocked right there at the back.

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  • Very nice, and drilling the hole in the corner is a valuable feature. For those nice tight glue joints you made, you do not need much clamping force so "spreading the angle" should not be a problem, and you have the metal square behind to check. Good work, thank you.

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  • Bill WW commented on kludge77's instructable Milliput Ring

    Be sure to use original JB Weld, not the "quick" variety.

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  • Really good shop storage option; I like the lip at the top which keeps the boxes stacked.

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  • Bill WW commented on Kiteman's instructable Make a Viking Sun Compass
  • Bill WW commented on Bill WW's instructable Bench top dynomometer

    My workbench is much more messy now compared with four years ago.

    Oh, I wondered... my misinterpretation. Maybe we should go metric and say your motor is between 2kw and 6kw. I think you need a major scale-up here, that is like 10 times the power I tested. I doubt the brake blocks I used would work in your case. It would be best if you did not just clamp down on the motor shaft only, you should have something like a brake drum. Remember the key equation: Power = torque x RPM.

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  • Bill WW commented on Bill WW's instructable Bench top dynomometer

    ​Maybe not too much, in my tests, the AC motor tested 0.15 HP, the DC motor 0.35 HP. Your engine I assume is 3/8 HP, or 0.375 HP. Pretty close. The main thing to be aware of (and be careful of) is that when you clamp down on the Prony brake it will heat up fast; and even faster for higher HP engines. You may want to make modest changes to the design, just use the equations I listed. Good luck with it.

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  • Bill WW commented on stangtime's instructable Box Threading Jig

    Your bearing press jig is the key; I'm going to have to rig up something for tapping straight. I'm using the same cutter as yours. I made a decent threaded box with my prototype #1 jig, but it only has a 1" x 6" long lead screw. I would like to use a long section of 1" 8tpi all thread as you did, but can not find it locally - it needs to be perfectly straight, as yours seems to be. Where did you get that all thread rod? ThanksBill

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  • Thanks for your comments and valuable suggestions. Yes, I am now rotating the LCD more often, which does help. My "new" problem with the S9900 is that Nikon packed so many buttons and dials that my fat fingers often hit the wrong keys. But I'm learning...Bill

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  • Thanks Daniel - Patching only goes so far, as you know. This year I broke down and had a new roof put on! I live in Olympia. Bill

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  • Thanks BtheBike. Yes, should help in both Winter and Summer. The only downside, of course, is that it will block your view out those sliding doors!

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