Monday, May 17, 2021

No more floor pump for me!


About a year ago I decided it was long past time to replace my ancient DeWalt 12V drill/driver as the NiMh battery was failing, again. I did some research and decided to buy an 18V, brushless Ryobi P252 that came with two, 2Ah Li ion batteries and a charger for about the same price as a replacement NiMH battery for the DeWalt unit.

The Ryobi driver is great. It's small, light, and very powerful thanks to Li ion batteries and the brushless motor. It has a white LED that lights up the work and a magnetic tray for holding bits or screws.

Here's a review of the driver:

A few months ago I was anticipating an upholstery project and I wanted to get a stapler so I did more looking. I ended up buying a Ryobi electric stapler that uses the same 18V batteries that the drill uses. The stapler slams staples deep into hardwood like it's butter!

The stapler is every bit as good as the drill/driver.

Here's a review of the stapler:

I got a new bike in March and have been using an old floor pump I've had for about 15 years to keep the tires topped up. The floor pump is a stupid design that has a screw holding the metal tube into the plastic base of the pump. The screw goes into the high pressure area and had a rubber seal that was leaking. I replaced the seal with a couple thick o-rings and some plumber's grease but no good- it still leaked. I had to pump that dumb thing a lot to get a little air into the tire as the pressure was going up, and I could hear it leaking at the screw with each stroke, as if it were laughing at my effort.

I decided to look for a replacement for the floor pump. After a bit more research I found that Ryobi makes a high pressure inflator that uses the same 18V batteries as the drill and stapler. Perfect! I picked one up at Home Depot for $25- less than the cost of a decent floor pump, and cheaper than ordering it via amazon. 

The inflator can pump up to 150 psi and has a duty cycle limit of 5 minutes on/5 minutes off to prevent overheating.

I noticed a couple things about it as soon as I opened the box and connected a battery:

1) there's no lock-out on the trigger, so a very light touch will start the thing up. Don't transport it loosely in your car with a battery attached!

2) the locking chuck on the end of the hose is kind of cheesy looking. 

Other than that, it seems to be well made. It's not exactly quiet, but it really isn't too noisy either. Best of all, it takes my bike's 700x32C tires from 60 psi to 80 psi in about 10 seconds. It has a big, easy to read, backlit digital pressure gauge that lights up whenever I squeeze the trigger. 

Here's a review of the inflator that will give you some idea of operation:

I think floor pumps are officially obsolete! I don't think I'd try to inflate a car's tires with it, but it's perfect for bikes.

Before you ask, no, I am not receiving any sort of compensation for this post- I just like these tools and thought I'd share. Also, I'm just someone who does a lot of hobby stuff and find these tools more than adequate for my needs.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Another Printed Lamp

To a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To someone with a 3D printer, everything looks like an opportunity to print. I needed a new lamp, so, of course, I printed it.

I started with a single walled PETG vase that's about 250mm in diameter and 600 mm tall. I used a edge-glow glass PETG filament from Keene Village Plastics that has a little blue dye added to make it look like old Coke bottle glass. I printed with a 1 mm nozzle, 1.2 mm line width, and 0.6 mm layers. The vase took about 8 hours to print at 30 mm/sec.

The vase on the printer- almost uses the entire print capacity of the machine.

The bulb is a 300 mm long x 30 mm diameter, dimmable, "Edison" type antique-looking thing I picked up via It has two linear LED "filaments" that use 12W and produce 4000K light.

The bulb screws into a socket that is positioned by another printed part to put the "filament" at the vertical and axial center of the vase. 

I added a printed "shade" that fits on the bulb itself. It, too, is PETG, in this case purple. Its purpose is to protect your eyes from the bright bulb filaments while adding some color for visual interest. The shade is a cylinder with a 90 degree section cut out and facing the wall. The lamp lights up the wall behind it and the shade appears red (yes, purple filament) from every other direction. I operated the bulb at full brightness for several hours and the plastic shade is not affected by the heat from the bulb.

No, that's not a white balance problem- the brick is cream colored (old buildings in Milwaukee were made using cream colored bricks) and the shade does look red, not purple, probably an interaction between the 4000K light from the bulb and the purple shade.

Light bulb with purple shade fitted. The bulb only warms slightly in operation so it poses no danger of melting the PETG. The shade is sized to fit on the 30 mm diameter bulb and to just cover the length of the LED "filaments".

This is what it looks like in daylight with the lamp off. Note- the shade is purple. The bulb and shade are positioned at the exact axial center of the outer vase.

Another view of the lamp in daylight. The outer vase is very glossy

The vase design was made by combining two twisted designs- one right handed twist, the other left handed twist. That resulted in an easy to print, pleasing shape that produces some interesting reflections of whatever light is in the room.