Monday, September 12, 2011

Tubalcain machine shop Youtube videos

(Many of tubalcain's videos are posted on, which is where I initially heard about them)

Here's a list of all his videos in order, including other series besides Machine Shop Tips!
However, I'm not sure if it's updated with his newest videos. I have looked through this list and now I get updated about new videos after subscribing to his channel on YouTube.

Tubalcain is a retired machine shop teacher that has many interesting how-to, tips, and teaching videos on Youtube. They are all excellent and he has many of them. His Machine Shop Tips series is well known.


Sine bar (helps with machining angles):

Hole transferring (drilling a hole in an exact, corresponding place):

Dean Williams' mechanical engineering and machining site

(I think I was led to this from a post on

Dean Williams' site has many projects that he has done with his metalworking machines, such as lathes and CNCs. He makes many of his own tools for machining and cutting in unique ways. I wish I new more about the kinds of things he does.

Some samples:

Building a rocker engine (pneumatic engine):

Making a screwless vice (utilizes ball bearings):

Making a flycutter (a type of bit for accurately machining the inside diameter of a hole??)

Lego and iPod Touch integration

(I'm not sure where I found this, I think from

Some super innovative ideas for integrating a screen (iPod touch) with Lego creations.

First, a cover that has rubber studs on it for attaching Legos to.
TinkerBrick for iPod Touch 4g

This can be used to build the iPod into a creation to use it as a display. But the makers don't just think of it as like a user display or interaction, but also as a sort of object that is part of the creation itself, like an illusion. Here's an example where the screen is the bed of a dump truck. It displays the "material" in the truck, which "dumps out" as the bed is tilted.
Lego set 7631 with iPod Touch

Honda's electronic unicycle

From IEEE Automation:

This unicycle-like personal vehicle from Honda seems to have a purpose similar to the Segway, but uses only one wheel. There are some unique and beneficial things about it, but some drawbacks too.

It is driven by a single omni-wheel with powered rollers to allow side to side motion.

I think the portability and ease of use is great. You also can sit on it while using it. However, the battery life is quite low (1 hr), and the only real way to turn it is by putting your foot down (which, I'll give them credit, is a simple, easy to understand method).

The video shows a lot, I wonder how they power the rollers. They might have very small profile gears next to each roller that are powered by one or more motors.

Lego "Synchro Drive"

From Hack-a-Day:

This Lego robot is powered by one spinning motor and navigates around objects by turning. The turning motion/stage/gear position is activated when the robot bumps into something and the outer spinning ring stops moving, directing power to spin the wheels. Very simple, but elegant.

Tandem bike rack University of Nottingham student project

From Brady Haran's Periodic Videos blog:

This bike rack was made extra long and easy to use for transporting on top of a car. It has some mechanisms that make it easy to load a bike on and off. The group made it for a student project/assignment, and they also crash tested it.

I think some of the mechanisms are a more complex than was needed, but it seems that they were purposefully added so that they would fulfill a requirement. I enjoy seeing how and what they were testing with the crash tests.

Pneumatic Lego Vehicle, like a steam engine

From Tinkernology:

Very unique, it's interesting how he uses the flywheel, I'm wondering if that's to smooth out the power, or to sustain it longer when the air pressure starts dying.

MABEL Bipedal robot "hops" when it runs

From IEEE Automation:

MABEL, a robot from the University of Michigan, has multiple features that copy humans impressively:
"...MABEL has a torso that's substantially heavier than its legs, just like a human, and it's also got a system of springs that act like tendons. This gives MABEL a very human-like, bouncing gait, and the robot spends 40% of its time running in a "flight phase" with both feet off the ground, similar to humans..."
It still needs to be tethered to a pole so that it doesn't fall over, but it moves forward pretty interestingly. The video below shows a lot. It looks like it handles and maneuvering its weight very well when it runs, at least for a robot.