Plasma CNC for Workshop Cleanup


So awhile ago after binge watching some YouTube videos I was certain that I needed to have a Plasma CNC, you know like every normal person. Having no experience with CAM and very little CAD experience, how hard could it be. Just over a year later I finally get it fully assembled, and then a couple of months later got the plasma cutter hooked up and started making sparks. So to have a place to keep a plasma CNC and various other tools that I really have no business having, I rent a decrepit and overpriced workshop. Don’t get me wrong as shitty as it is, it’s very nice not to have to try to figure out where to put my sit, I mean tools. It’s also so nice not to work on projects in a moldy basement or in the crap North Idaho weather for 9 months a year. Also, my friends enjoy having a place to work on stuff as well. My big thing is I am ok spending too much money as long as it is getting used and beneficial to others. Kinda weird philosophy for someone who inherently dislikes people, but what can I say, I am a walking conundrum.

Initial Projects

With that overly wordy section done let’s mention the first project with this thing. So what do you do when you have a plasma CNC? Well after tripping over a dozen tools and other random crap just to power the damn thing on I had an epiphany… let’s use it to make some brackets and other parts to get the crap off the ground.

The Grinder Holders

So the first 2 things I happened to trip over were my angle grinders, so that seemed like a logical place to start. Grabbing a sheet of 18ga sheet metal, you know the cheapest overpriced metal I have… quick rant: what dumbass says I know what I’ll do now that COVID is a thing and the price of everything is soaring, I’ll get into metal and wood working… I take it over to the table and make my first actual cut on the machine to use it to cut out a 2×4 ft section to work with. Normally I am not a fan of proprietary software made by a company making cnc’s or 3d printers, but I have to admit, the Langmuir software isn’t half bad, and having the ability to generate a straight cut without having to open fusion to create a CAD/CAM file for something so simple was nice.

So now to design a bracket for the angle grinder holder, wait why reinvent the wheel. So over to the FireShare website, I start to look for one someone else has made and get horribly distracted, you know like my writing. 45 minutes later I finally decide on a design by Wolfgang Hofer. So it’s not the greatest design that I could have chosen, but it did have the cut file ready to load and go.

Lessons Learned

So yeah 18ga, while it did work, if I had to do it over again I would definitely use 16ga or larger so it’s a little less flimsy. I was able to run this at 25A with 180IPM with decent results.

Hammer Holder

The next thing I tripped over was 3 different hammers. You know those hammers I can never find when I actually need them. So that’s my next project, but this time I decide that I need to design it myself. I went and grabbed some measurement off the 3 hammers I tripped over and made some educated guesstimates on what I should dimension the part to. After having watched 2 YouTube videos I decided I was a Fusion 360 sheet metal expert and went after it. I have to say after the first 15 minutes of cussing at it trying to flange an extruded sketch, before realizing I should have used flange on even the first sketch instead of extruding, it went pretty well. Well, well enough, you tell me.

If you like the design you can grab it here.

To Be Continued…


Costco Dual Socket Outdoor WiFi Smart Plugs Tear-down


So in the past I have had success with flashing custom firmware on the Costco outdoor smart outlets, but like I said that was the past. Over the past 2 years WiFi devices that used to have the infamous ESP8266 module on board have increasingly become replaced with other soc (System On a Chip). While I do hate this fact, I will say that it’s not entirely to thwart people from flashing it. The new chips mostly use an ARM architecture and can prove to have better abilities where security is involved. That also said, I highly doubt more security measures have been taken.

So now I digress and get to the meat of my point. The new outlets feature a bk7231tqn32 chip making it far less easy to flash with custom firmware and impossible with the current variants of Tasmota. I figured I would share some pictures below to give you an idea of what is in this device. So if you find it helpful awesome, if not, there’s the door… Also, if you have any thoughts to contribute make sure leave some more info below.


This things has some really shitty mechanical crimps on the high voltage connections and tiny traces as well. Please make sure you don’t over load this plug.

Warning!!! Rant to ensue…

I mean honestly WTF, how much more time and cost would it be to at least add a little solder. I know we have a chip shortage, but is there also a solder shortage??? I mean I guess the only other option is a competency shortage. Yeah I like that one. I go with that.

Gut Photos