Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Redneck Canoe Thwart Fix

I have an ancient fiberglass canoe that I am "storing" for my brother. The Thwarts (or cross braces) were getting pretty rotten, and one had basically fallen off. The braces probably were not original equipment- they looked with 1/4's cut to length and screwed in. Since this canoe isn't a show piece and is only used occasionally, I thought I'd try something really cheap and easy for Thwart replacements.

Rotten Thwart! (cross-brace- not a yoke)
All ready for new Thwarts
I decided to try using EMT tubing- or galvanized steel conduit. It's super cheap- 5' long 1/2" diameter EMT tubing was less than $1.50 at the local Home Depot.

Step 1: Measure the stock Thwarts and cut the EMT to length with a hack saw

Step 2: Smash the ends flat- I used a combination of a big bench vise and a hammer. My bench vice has a built-in anvil. Everyone needs an anvil!

Getting ready to smash
Squishing with vice
Finishing the job with a hammer
Nice and flat

Step 3: Drill holes in the end for fastening hardware. I used M5 x 25mm stainless hardware, since I had some available.

Hole Drilled

Step 4: Install and go paddle!

Installed and ready to go!

Obviously these replacement EMT Thwarts are not strong enough to use as a portaging yoke, but they are certainly strong enough to hold the canoe sides in place.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Stratasys UPrint SE Plus material container

Stratasys's Uprint SE PLUS is a great entry level "pro" 3D FDM printer. One minor annoyance is the printer comes with foil zip-lock bags for storing filament that isn't in use. When you have a team using the printer, and you've got a collection of colors, the foil bags make managing your filament inconvenient.Solutions that might work for hobby-level machines - such as putting the spools together into 5 gallon sealed buckets - won't work for the Stratasys as each spool has a keyed computer chip that must stay with the individual spool.

Sterilite makes a food container that works perfectly to store the filament spools. Sterilite's 03186606 food storage container seems almost custom-made to hold filament spools for the Uprint SE PLUS. The spool fits nice and snug in the container, and it has a rubber sealed top to seal out moisture.

These are sold at many retail outlets, and are also available at Amazon.com: Buy at Amazon here.