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Thread: Need Help Designing Fire Piston Cylinder and Cap

  1. #1

    Default Need Help Designing Fire Piston Cylinder and Cap

    Hello everyone,

    I am fairly new to the carvewright community and am currently limited to using the basic software. I need help creating a fire piston. Basically It is a 2 piece item 1 being the cylinder and 1 being the piston. I plan on using dowel rods for the piston so basically I need help designing the cylinder and maybe a cap that would allow a person to hold the piston and compress it without jamming a dowel rod into their palm. These items are for intended for long term survival in a wilderness setting and have been traditionally only made from wood. I have pretty much figured that the cylinder will have to be a 2 piece carve that is double sided however the basic software doesn't allow me to create the parts. The cylinder would have a 3/8" id and a 7/8" to 1" od. If I were to choose the shape of the cylinder I would make the od in the form of a hexagon so that the glue lines didn't show up and it would simply have a hole on the interior of 3/8" that would go almost to the bottom of the cylinder. So it would go maybe all but half inch of a 5" cylinder and would have a cap the thickness of the board and the same shape of the cylinder that I could glue the piston into so that I could use my palm to compress the piston into the cylinder. If anyone would be willing to help me design this project I would be willing to pay a modest amount for the design time.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails firepiston.jpg  

  2. #2

    Default

    Are you more interested in learning how to do this yourself with Designer Basic no add-ons, or would you rather have someone do it for you?
    Last edited by DickB; 06-14-2018 at 01:11 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Kiel, Wisconsin
    Posts
    251

    Default

    Never heard of one before. Interesting.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    NE PA USA
    Posts
    9,895

    Default

    Didn't have a clue what a Fire Piston was... Pretty cool....

    This would be a fun project for a Rotary Jig for the CW if you wanted to get fancy.


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGyl8w16VbU

    Favorite Saying.... "It's ALL About the Brass Roller"..... And "Use MASKING TAPE" for board skipping in the X or breaking bits.

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  5. #5

    Default

    Hey Dick,

    Thanks for reaching out. I definitely would like to get a handle on these carve regions and how to set them up. I went through a learning curve with the software one time years ago and went away from the machine. Now that I am back to using the machine I feel like I am trying to learn a foreign language.

  6. #6

    Default

    All,

    snakerun and I spoke on the phone, and also through Facebook. snakerun said he would rather learn how to do this with Designer Basic, no software add-ons, than have someone provide a finished mpc. I'm willing to go ahead with a step-by-step in part to help snakerun, but also because I think that this might be useful to others in a more general sense. Yes, I know this can be done quicker and easier with software add-ons, but I am going to share some techniques that I learned before Designer Pro and the add-ons came to be. This may benefit other Designer Basic users.

    I will start with the cylinder design. The piston will be a dowel with end cap as snakerun posted. The piston will sealed with a string gasket as proposed by snakerun, and I won't cover that detail. The cylinder will be a 2-piece design that will be glued up per snakerun's post. The exterior will be hexagon in shape again per snakerun.

    This will be a step-by-step tutorial. I will provide instructions including screenshots but probably no mpcs - the idea is to follow along and do it yourself.

    Comments are welcome, but let's keep them along the theme of a tutorial using Designer Basic only.

    Dick

  7. #7

    Default Step 1: Making patterns from height maps

    To begin, we're going to need a couple of patterns: one for the inner cylindrical bore, and one for the external hexagon shape.

    All versions of Designer, including Basic, allow us to import a height map and make that into a pattern. What is a height map? A height map is a 2D graphic grayscale image, where black = highest and white = lowest. (I was a presenter at the 2015 Carvewright Conference, so I am borrowing a couple of slides from my presentation.) Here is an illustration of a height map on the left, and the resulting pattern on the right:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's noteworthy to point out that a height map is not a photo, and vice versa, although you may see some resemblance:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    We can use various drawing programs, including free ones, to draw height maps in 2D and convert them to 3D patterns. The 2D drawings will not make a lot of sense as pictures, but they will as height maps. Conversely, pictures that make sense to the eye typically do not make for good 3D carvings, as you can see by the picture of the hydrant and the resulting pattern.

    I'm not going to go into any detail on how to make a 2D height map maps using drawing programs. There are numerous drawing programs and all have their own learning curve. I will provide some simple geometric shape height maps that we need for this project.

  8. #8

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    What type of free drawing program is available for height maps. I am running linux on my laptop and windows 98 on my carvewright computer. In my defense the computer for the carvewright is the only windows computer in the house and it is only used for the carver. If I understood more about drawing height maps I might better know what type of program to use but I have never even heard of a height map drawing. Also at this point I have no graphical drawing experience.

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by snakerun View Post
    What type of free drawing program is available for height maps. I am running linux on my laptop and windows 98 on my carvewright computer. In my defense the computer for the carvewright is the only windows computer in the house and it is only used for the carver. If I understood more about drawing height maps I might better know what type of program to use but I have never even heard of a height map drawing. Also at this point I have no graphical drawing experience.
    There are many. I use paint.net and Inkscape. I also used a tool called Wolfie's Gradient Designer, but I don't think the author makes it available any longer and I'm not sure that I should post it. I'm sure there are dozens more. Best to pick one and stick with it for a while, as there is a learning curve for each. You can find tutorials for each darwing program online.

    Most any 2D drawing program can produce a height map. You just have to think black = high, gray = medium, white = low, and make a drawing with regions colored with the appropriate shade of gray corresponding to the desired height. (OK, sometimes I think black = low, white = high, but there is always the Invert tool!)

    Take a look at this thread:
    I used paint.net to basically color in the drawing that my acrichect friend gave me with shades of gray (and black and white) to establish various heights or depths of carve.

    (You will not need the drawing programs for this project - I will provide a couple of simple height maps that are needed.)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Western NC
    Posts
    59

    Default

    Awesome DickB, looking forward to hearing the rest of this project!

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