January 31, 2018 AUTHOR: Donald Bell CATEGORIES: News Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Kerbal Space Program Controller [Maker Update #69]

This week on Maker Update, a virtual rocket controller, a light organ dress, 3D printed detergent hack, and casting with Lego bricks. This week’s Cool Tool is a 5″ Sanding Mouse.

Show Notes

Make: magazine Senior Editor Caleb Kraft guest picks!

Photo by Brad Zweerink.

Check out Caleb’s YouTube Channel:


Project and photo by Hugo Peeters.

KerbalController a Custom Control Panel by Hugo Peeters

Photo by Sascha Ludwig.

Light Organ LED Dress v2 by Mirromaru

Project and photo by davwilso.

Laundry Detergent Cup Drain by davwilso

Cool Tools Minute

5″ Sanding Mouse for Orbital Sanding Discs

As recommended by Nick Offerman


Lego Mold Boxes, Know Your Screws, and Yet More Glue Tips and Tricks by Gareth Branwyn

Photo by Adafruit.

Adafruit Feather 328P

MagPi Issue #66 Now Available

HackSpace Issue #3 Now Available

How to lift a banana: a guide to motors in robotics by Simon BDY

Maker Faire Bay Area Call for Makers

Get Maker Update weekly emails (w/bonus links!)



This week on Maker Update, a virtual rocket controller, a light organ dress, 3D printed detergent hack, a sanding mouse, and casting with Lego bricks.

It’s Wednesday, I’m Donald Bell and welcome to another Maker Update. Last week I had this crazy idea that maybe it would be cool to have a guest host on the show just to mix things up. So everyone welcome Make Senior Editor Caleb Kraft, who’s going to run through some of his favorite projects this week.

[Caleb’s segment]

It’s time for another Cool Tools review. This time I’ve got a sanding mouse. I picked this up for $10 just last week after seeing Nick Offerman mention them in a This Old House video that I’ll link to. If you want to pick this same one up, using the Amazon link in the video description helps support my videos and the Cool Tools blog.

A sanding block is one of the most basic woodworking tools, great for smoothing and shaping wood by hand.

And up until now, I’ve thought of sanding blocks as either a literal block of wood wrapped in sandpaper, or one of these contraptions where you pinch or wedge sandpaper into a block.

These will always work, but the paper is prone to tearing, and it’s awkward to hold and a tends to waste the bits of paper around the edges.

This sanding mouse is a great alternative. It’s made of a relatively lightweight foam that’s contoured for your hand and fingers like a fancy computer mouse.

The bottom is made of the stiff, hook side of Velcro and designed to perfectly fit common 5-inch sanding discs from an orbital sander.

Now, maybe I’m biased because I already own a 5-inch orbital sander and have picked up a bunch of sandpaper discs at yard sales over the years — but I love having another way to put my sandpaper stock to use.

I also like that, because the entire surface of both the sandpaper and the block are covered in hook and loop — you can get really aggressive with this and not worry about a rip or snag sending you back for a new piece of paper.

And when you do need a new piece, or just want to change your grit, the old piece just peels right off.

So that’s the sanding mouse. You can pick one up on Amazon using the link in the description and you can see thousands of reader recommended tools like this at Cool-Tools.org.

I have a few more tips to share with you. Over on Makezine, Gareth Branwyn’s tips of the week column has some interesting ideas, like using legos to create reusable casting and molding boxes. There’s also a neat tip on adding washers to your glue bottle tips to make them easier to pull open.

Adafruit unveiled a new Feather board that uses a retro ATMEGA 328p processor chip, which is the classic Arduino chip and is compatible with classic Arduino code. The board sells for $12.50 and looks like a great option for sizing down and updating older Arduino projects.

A new issue of MagPi, issue #66, is out. This one’s all about media player projects, and like every issue of MagPi you can download it for free from RaspberryPi.org.

There’s also a new, free-to-download issue of Hackspace magazine out, all about making with salvaged parts.

I also really enjoyed this beginner’s guide to electric motors written by Simon BDY on Medium. He goes over brushed and brushless, inrunner and outrunner, gearboxes, servos, steppers, and even tiny piezoelectric motors.

Finally, the Call for Makers has begun for Maker Faire Bay Area 2018, which takes place May 18th, 19th, and 20th at the usual spot in San Mateo. And look who they used as a photo to inspire you to join! I’m literally a posterboy for Maker Faire! How cool is that?

And that does it for this week’s show. Be sure to subscribe and give a thumbs up or leave a comment. Sign the email list to get show notes. And a huge thanks to Caleb Kraft for coming on the show. I’d like to make guests a more regular part of this show, so tell me who you’d like to have on, and I’ll see if I can make it happen. Alright? Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next week.

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