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Showing posts from March, 2015

Experiments in using solder paste

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Generally when joining metal I use sheet solder, which is economical and in most cases, easy and fast to use. But sometimes it can be a pain to get solder in place around a particularly tiny piece, so I thought I'd have a go with silver solder paste instead. It's a bit more expensive but it lasts for ages.

I'm starting out with a plain silver ring, to which I'm going to solder some silver and copper blobs. Blobby blobby blobby!

OK, right. Here we go. Excuse my fingernails, I've been testing out gilding nails with copper leaf. It actually worked pretty well, this is a few days afterwards..

Dot punch to start with. Stops the drill skipping off the surface of the ring.

Bzzzzzzzz. Only drill a bit into the surface, don't go all the way through.

Repeat until lots of holes.

This is fine silver casting grain, usually used for melting down prior to turning into other exciting stuff, but this shape is exactly what I want for this ring.

Carefully applying the solder past…

A Raspberry Pi Media Centre

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OK, so there's a million of these out there. This one is for some friends of mine. It's a Model B Pi running Kodi (previously known as XBMC) with a 1TB disk, wifi etc.

Two bits I like and make it a bit different - the handmade wood case, and the switches. The case is cedar and purpleheart, so it looks striking and smells amazing. The big chunky toggle switches are set up to play music, so it can work as a jukebox without needing the TV on to access controls. There's a python script to do this, which I'll detail later.

So, without further ado, the build. First up, making the case. I cut some channels into the cedar to slide the base into later (I don't have a full-size router so I did it with my 3KW mitre saw - luckily this is nice chunky wood so I could make those cuts without risking going all the way through). Clamp them bad boys up to the piece of purpleheart that is the front of the box (never enough clamps....) with some woodglue, leave for 24 hours.

Meanwhile…