One of my favorite passtimes in college was going down to the machine shop and seeing what I could make from scrap materials. It earned me the title of "shop rat" and occasionally even resulted in something useful. Ever since then, I've loved machining.
When I started working in the machine shop at CU Boulder, I hadn't done any machining in nearly three years and I was a bit rusty. I built this pneumatic engine from plans to brush up on my skills. I made the bottom plate on a waterjet.
To get promoted at my job in undergrad, I fabricated this hammer from plans on the mill (head) and lathe (handle). The process required practicing many useful-to-know processes, like fly cutting, single point tapping, using angle blocks, and polishing.
In High School, I made pocket knives out of sheet metal, wood, and other materials. Once I learned how to use a milling machine, I figured I'd try my hand at making a handle out of aluminum.
Replacement Tripod Mount
This was a fairly simple project. I bought a second hand tripod that was missing the mount that attaches to the camera. I machined a replacement one from aluminum and it works great!
Miter Gauge Angle Set
I once saw one of these in a woodworking video. Depending on where you place the dowel pins, it creates different angles that can be accurately transfered to a miter gauge. Not wanting to pay $100 to buy one, I made one up in CAD, scrounged some scrap aluminum, and got to work making my own.
Magnetic Belt Buckle
A magnetic belt buckle based on the design I created for the foley catheter bag project. It kind of works.
Replacement Oven Dial
One day at my college apartment our oven dial fell off, leaving us with a Shrodinger's oven in an eternally uncertain superposition of on and off. After taking some speedy measurements with my calipers, I ran down to the shop and whipped up this replacement from an off-cut of Delrin. I matched the angle on the front so I could glue on the old label.