The Blower that Blows Air

I picked up this Air Duster (as it says on the tin, or as Amazon calls it “Compressed Air Duster, New Generation Canned Air, 33000 RPM Electric Air Can for Computer Keyboard Electronics Cleaning, 6000mAh Rechargeable Battery, Reusable Dust Destroyer”).

Right, “Reusable Dust Destroyer” is good… Anyway, I got this tip from an exhibit shop pal of mine. He said they stopped buying cans of compressed air and just got one of these instead.

Interestingly enough, I too was using cans of compressed air in my home shop, and I really don’t like buying them just to use them up and throw them away, so this thing is a good replacement. (I do not have a need in my shop for a large compressor, so a small handheld device is much preferred.)

This thing works well for my needs. I have just a few minor gripes. The first is that, at least compared to a can of compressed air, it takes a second or two to deliver a full power blast of air. The blower motor takes a bit of time to spin up to full speed. This is pretty minor, and I can live with it, but if you need immediate satisfaction of blowing air when you pull the trigger, you may be disappointed. If you can wait a few seconds, you’re all good.

It comes with two attachments, a normal nozzle and one with brush bristles. I really only use the normal one, but I guess if I want to clean out a mechanical keyboard, the bristle version could come in handy. It may also work well for cleaning dust off flat surfaces with aid of the bristles.

There is a place to store the one you are not using, but… then you can’t use the device, as it blocks the trigger!

I think the way it’s meant to be used is that you can remove and store the nozzle when you are not using it, but you can’t really keep the other one there since it acts as a trigger guard. This is probably a good solution for portability and travel.

One more way it is different from compressed air cans is that it does not get cold. If you’ve ever purposefully used a can of air to freeze something, this will not do that. If cans of air getting cold always annoyed you, this does not have that problem.

The nozzle is quite large compared to the tiny diameter “straw” that a can of compressed air has, so if you’re going into a tight space, that might make a difference. (I may experiment with 3D printing more nozzles, which should not be difficult.)

Of course you also have to charge up this one before you use it. Honestly I’m not running it that long when I use it, so I’ve probably only charged it twice since I got it four months ago. It comes with a short Micro USB cable which I probably binned because I have dozens of them around already for charging things.

So yeah, the “Reusable Dust Destroyer” has been a nice tool for the shop, and I’m pleased to not be purchasing cans of compressed air once or twice a year anymore.


Hex Driver Handle

I’ve seen a few handles that convert a hex key into a “screwdriver” style tool, so I figured I would make one. (I’m sure there are better ones, but this one is mine!)

This one is two pieces. The main handle has a slot so you can insert the hex key, and then a piece to put into the slot. (Which I call the “Slot Filler” of course.)

When I printed this on the Prusa (not pictured) it came out perfect, and the slot filler filled the slot… perfectly.

When I printed it on the Maker Select Plus (the red version in the photos) it… well, fits, mostly… sort of. Hmmm. I had to X-ACTO knife away the blobs on the end. (Sorry, but the Prusa just prints better!)

You could always glue the slot filler into place I guess. It’s a wedge so it should “wedge” in place. In theory…

The first version had no slot filler, and no hole for the short end. I just smashed it into the slot. I figured making it removable might be a better option though…

Maybe it’s not a god idea? I don’t know. I did widen the slot a bit and added the slot filler. I just like designing these things and testing them out.

You can get the STL and .scad file from – Hex Driver Handle (2mm). Print it if you need it!


Wire Spool Holder

I use these spools of silicone wire and they come in a cardboard box with a hole to feel the wire through and every damn time the wire goes back into the box and I have to open the box and feed it through again and wow it’s a pain! This is an attempt to solve that…

Like some of my other designs I wanted a modular thing. The wire comes in six spools/colors but rather than one huge print each spool has its own holder. This makes sense to me. I thought about ways to interlock them, but eventually decided to just add screw holes and mount them all to a piece of scrap 1/4″ plywood that was near the laser cutter.

The hole the wire feeds through is just right for this wire. YWMV (Your Wire May Vary!) The OpenSCAD file allows for adjusting the hole. An X-ACTO knife or drill bit could also be used to fine tune things.

Advantages of this design? It is stackable. I can put stuff on top of it. (Maybe more wire spools?) I can pick up the whole thing easily. There is not one rod holding all spools, and you can easily remove/replace a single spool.

So far I’m liking this thing. It’s similar to my Chonky Solder Spool Holder. It took about four revision to this before I had the final version.

Here’s the first attempt. It was too difficult to feed the wire through the hole, so the hole got moved up and the half-circle notch was added to allow getting a finger in there to feed the wire through. The bottom lip was also added to allow for mounting to the board with screws.

You can get the STL and .scad file from – Wire Spool Holder. Print ’em if you need ’em!


The (In Progress) Tool Holder

It’s been a while since I posted about The (Old) Tool Holder but I did make some progress… Twice! I worked on the holders for wire cutters and wire strippers and made some progress.

I was mostly pleased with the wire stripper holder, though I can see a few improvements to do next time…

I do like that I can reorder the tools if needed. That was one of the main ideas of using the dovetail connections…

This version lasted about a day or two. I got annoyed by the holder for the wire cutters and made a change to the model…

And then I printed another one. Oh, yeah, I did end up changing the filament so we get a nice Prusa golden color this time!

The small modification help keep the wire cutters closed and they sit better in the holder. With the old wooden version I just sort of hacked at the wood so I could jam the cutters in and they would hold in place and hold shut. With modeling something it’s a bit different, but we’re getting there!


The (Old) Tool Holder

Tool Holder

Back in February I got sick of the tools I use most at my soldering desk just lying in a pile and decided to do something about it. I grabbed a block of wood and started drilling holes so I could place tools into it standing straight up. This would make them easy to grab and hopefully easy to put back… in the same place each time. The block of wood has worked well enough, but more than once I’ve wanted to change the order of the tools, and I can’t easily do that since each hole is customized for the tool it holds.

It was also a fun time creating the holes for the wire cutters and wire strippers since the holes are sort of oblong. I actually did pretty good for freestyle drilling on those. At the time I also imagined a modular system for this, and a month later I found a dovetail library for OpenSCAD and started messing around with it. I could not get a good dovetail joint to print though, so I gave up for a while.

Tool Holder

A few more months past (hey, I got busy) and instead of printing the dovetails on the old Maker Select Plus I tried on the Prusa MINI+ and wow, things fit perfectly! Well, after a few tests prints to determine the exact Teeth_clearance to use. Once I had that, Bob was my uncle!

Tool Holder

Here’s the first successful attempt. The pieces fit together well. Not super-tight, but not too loose. A small strip of tape on the bottom of the blocks would work well to hold them all together as one piece, with the ability to easily take apart and reconfigure. (The first dovetail attempts required a hammer to assemble and could not be disassembled!)

I’m still considering this prototyping, and I may tweak things a bit more before the final version… When I have something final I’ll post it here. My first thought on this version is to make the blocks a little smaller so the tools are spaced together a bit tighter. This should save a bit of desk space as well.

Tool Holder