How to Use BenBox Software

The Benbox Laser Engraver as a CNC-platform for laser engraving We would like to tell you about the functionality of the Benbox Laser Engraver, 3.7.99 (though a newer version may be already available). The laser engraver was ordered in China. No doubt, it is available for order on Aliexpress as well. It is delivered as a DIY constructor and it contains a circuit board developed in China, a 0,5 mWt, a frame (the like for every type of the circuit board and lasers) with steppers. Its program for this DIY engraver is in English, but it neither have any comments nor Russian translation. Technical or software support is available only on Chinese forums. Now we’ll try to understand the engraver functionality to make Russian users’ life easier.

Problems begin at the stage of the board driver firmware booting. In the constructor kit there are neither flash cards, nor discs with drivers. The drivers can be found and downloaded on the official site of the seller on the Internet. There you can also read how to install them, but there is no explanation or translation of the buttons. But let us turn to the description of the accompanying program. There are two tabs. 1. The first one is the steppers settings.

CA Glue Use

Everyone has heard of Krazy Glue. It is one of those magic adhesives that will glue almost anything to almost anything. CA glue or Cyanoacrylate glue is is actually the generic name for all of these types of glues. They come in a host of proprietary names, like Krazy Glue, Super Glue. These glues are so wide ranging in use, that veterinarians sometimes use them in small animal surgery under band names like LiquiVet and Glue Stitch.  Sheesh - you heard it here first ! The reason they work for this type of application is because they adhere almost instantly and they are often little or non-irritating and non-toxic to the skin, according to claims.

It is most often sold in very small quantities because it is somewhat expensive compared to other glues. They are often used as "temporary" glues or "prototype" glues because of their characteristics cited above. As a general rule, CA glues have a lower resistance to moisture, at least over a short period of time although some brands include water resistant ingredients that counteracts this tendency very well and does make them quite water resistant.

In the workshop CA glues are commonly used by wood turners for making pens and re-gluing items on the lathe. The glue is indispensable for many woodworkers as it is (relatively) cheap, easy to use, non-toxic and bonds things very, very well. As far as a repair glue, CA glues are excellent for small furniture repairs, many tool repairs and numerous woodworking projects.

There are a number of different strengths of CA glues which take a varying amount of time to cure and harden ... plus for some you can purchase a separate accelerant that allows for instant adhesion, which is great for some projects where you need instant adhesion.

CA glues are slightly different than Polyurethane glues, like Gorilla Glue which work best with a small amount of moisture present (i.e. you might dampen one side of the wood while applying Gorilla Glue to the other side then clamp the two sided together).

Copyright Colin Knecht

Wood Carving Basics for Beginners

Beginners WoodworkingLearn the way to Carve and Sculpt Wood Into Art

Wood carving is a kind of art that transforms and brings wood to life. Learn how it's possible to get started in wood sculpting and wood engraving. What used to be called whittling, something done by pops and granddads to use up their spare time, has developed into a full-scale hobby. Walk into any book store and it isn't difficult to find a complete section dedicated to wood working and wood carving. Carvers can scan many monthly magazines dedicated to the hobby or make a journey to the hardware store to find many tools designed specifically with wood carving in mind. Wood carving is popular!

Wood Carving Tools and Wood Selection

Forget about any thoughts of using a pen knife to tediously craft a toy or sculpture.  Today's wood carving tools are composed of specialised chisels, spare time interest knives, and power tools like scroll saws, dremels, and table saws. Additionally, wood carving patterns can be acquired and used as a template to make complicated and monumental works of humanities.

It is not important to have all of these tools to start wood carving.  Commence with a straightforward pattern and practice with a basic set of wood sculpting knives on a soft wood like basswood or balsa wood. After gaining an understanding of the tools how they handle on the different species of woods available, move on to the subsequent tool or saw and practice as much as you feel you need to.

Wood types are abundant and many wood carvers regularly blend one or two differing types of wood to create a novel project. This practice is particularly common with wood inlay where different colours and textures of wood are in employed. Beginners to wood carving would do best to start practice with basswood or balsa wood, and then move on to harder woods after learning the best tools and systems for wood carving.
The best tip for amateurs, except for choosing woods that are simple to work with, is to avoid employing a heavy hand when chiselling or carving. Don't force the tool into the wood as it may cause it to split. Instead, make tiny frequent cuts, permitting the image to be exhibit itself. Practice the best way to carve with the grain and not against it.

Another tip for beginning wood carvers is to understand when to stop carving. Many a gorgeous piece has been messed up by that last cut that was intended to perfect it. Remember the saying “ less is more”, and when you have removed a chunk of wood from the project, it cannot be replaced. Patience and a steady hand is vital in wood carving.

For more wood carving or wood burning tips remember to check your local library for books and past copies of magazine subscriptions or check out

Types of Lathes

LatheA lathe is a machine tool which spins the workpiece to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knurling, drilling, or deformation with tools that are applied to the workpiece to create an object which has symmetry about an axis of rotation (Wikipedia ).  Lathes perform the machining operation known as "turning." While turning, material is removed from a workpiece by rotating it against a tool. Turning is a central production operation in the manufacture of many metal, plastic and wood parts. Lathes can be either manually operated or computer controlled (CNC). Lathes can have many differences, unique features and accessories to facilitate a wide range of jobs.

Wood Lathes

The simplest lathe type is the wood lathe. As the name suggests, it is designed for turning wood. Wood lathes are small machines consisting of a bed, headstock, tailstock and tool rest. Unlike with what is found on a metal-working machine, there are no precision ways since the cutting tools are moved by hand and not by machine power. A steady hand and good skill is needed to control the cutting tool to accurately turn smooth curves and complex contours on the work piece.  The spindle is driven by a belt connected to a motor, and speed differentiations are made by manually moving the belt to one of many pulleys mounted to the back of the spindle.
 Lathe tools are held by hand against the work, with the support of the tool rest. The tool rest is adjustable and is clamped to the bed at a position that best suites the operation at hand.

Your Essential Wood Carving Tools

wood carving toolsWood carving is both a craft and a form of art, one that has persisted since the dawn of mankind, and one that still sees a lot of use today. Indeed, it is still very widely practiced today by hobbyists and professionals alike. Indeed, wood is a wonderful and surprisingly easy material to shape: it is neither as hard nor as heavy as rock, and it does not need the constant hammering into shape needed for sculpting metals such as bronze and iron. One of the biggest appeals of wood carving, however, may be the fact that one only needs a simple set of good wood carving tools in order to carve.

The basic set of tools needed by any woodworker has hardly changed through time. Even in this age of advanced woodworking technologies, these simple tools persist, requiring only a pair of strong hands and a good helping of elbow grease in order to work wood. The following are what are most often considered to be the essentials, the most basic wood carving tools:

Gouges – The category of carving tools with curved edges, these are often used for creating hollows and curves along wooden surfaces, and may be the most used type of all wood carving tools.

Chisels – Wood carving tools that have straight edges, these are used for carving wood along straight lines and sometimes to keep surfaces flat.

Carving Knives – These are the probably the simplest of the wood carving tools discussed here. These are nothing more than simple knives that are created for cutting through wood, often used to pare layers off of wood or to make wooden surfaces smoother.

V-Tool – These are used for parting wood, and in some cases, to make lines in fat areas of wood more emphasized.

Sharpeners – These consist of various stones with differing degrees of roughness, used to sharpen the wood carving tools of a woodworker into different degrees of sharpness and fineness.

In addition, one may also place on this list the various pieces of protection that are commonly used by woodworkers:

Carving Gloves – These are thick gloves that are specially created to withstand, or at least, reduce the impact made by the sharp edges of a carving tool if it accidentally cuts at the hand of the woodworker. These may be made from a variety of materials.

Thumb Guards – These are smaller pieces of protection, made especially to protect the thumb of a woodworker from wayward blades of chisels, gouges and knives. This is also the option chosen by those woodworkers who find carving gloves too large and unwieldy to work with.

Lists between different types of woodworkers may vary: some may greatly benefit with the help of electric woodworking tools, while some may appreciate smaller, lighter tools in order to work wood into finer formations. But these are, more or less, the basic wood carving tools needed by any woodworker.

Starting Wood Turning

Wood turning has been and continues to be one of the most popular woodworking methodologies. It's not difficult to learn how but to get good at it can take years and years ... and the results can be outstanding. What I particularly like about woodturning is that you can spend a couple of hours in an evening for example, and actually start and finish the same project. This fact gives many woodworkers the encouragement to start woodturning, and once bitten, many can not resist the thrill of turning for the rest of their lives.

  If you are just thinking about getting started wood turning and not sure about investing a lot of money, I suggest purchasing one of the smaller "mini" lathes like the Jet Mini Lathe . They are quite inexpensive and don't take up a room, and they are not particularly dusty machines ... yes they throw some dust and chips but generally they are not like a table saw, radial arm saw or band saw that can through out volumes of fine dust and you really do need dust collection. With a lathe you can control the amount of dust to a much higher degree.

The thing that I like about the mini lathes is that if you do get intereted in turning and want to move up to a a larger lathe, you will find there is a benefit to keeping your smaller lather as they can be more useful for smaller projects and just for working back and forth between it and your larger lather.

There are a host of projects that can be done on a lathe from making (woodworking) tools to large bowls, urns, pens, plates Christmas decorations, kids toys ... the list is endless. What I also like about turning is if you want, it is easier to collect and use your own wood. You do not have to purchase all the wood you use, if a neighbour decides to cut down an old apple tree there can be a wealth of great wood ... probably for very little cost (if not free) for you. Because you are generally using smaller pieces of wood, you can experiment with other species of wood and really get some great looking pieces. 

You will need a good set of turning chisels that you will be able to use on either a large or small lathe. There are many, many accessories and chisel varaitions fo turning, but to start off with you are better get a bacic sent and start turning to see what kinds of projects you like best. If you decide on doing specific projects you can expand your tool base from their.

There are many many projects that can be done and you may want to pick up some books or DVD on truning to help get you started, again they are inexpensive and will get up up an going quickly. Another suggestion is to investigate a local wood turning club in your area. There are hundreds and hundreds of clubs all over the world and I would be surprised if there wasn't one in your area. If you aren't sure ... check with some of the local dealers ... they will be able to put you in touch with a local club.


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