Monday, May 29, 2006

A week of moderate action

I just mowed the lawns, and my fingers are vibrating from the DR mower. We have 3.8 acres so I only mowed the front and back of the house proper, and a few trails so that we can go hither and yon at our whim. I hate mowing. Would that I could call in a napalm strike on our property.

Sleepy drinking.

Max and Henry having fun

Mommy sets up the coolest Thomas train track setup ever.

Felice didn't go to the market on Saturday, as it was rainy and quite cold. So instead she set up an Etsy shop. No sales yet...she is on tenterhooks.

I spent some time listing some stuff on Ebay that was getting in my way. I have much more to list that I hope to get to today. Even if it all sells for a pittance at least I don't have to pay to throw it out in the garbage. All this stuff accumulates when I buy a lot at an auction, stuff I didn't want but got with something I did.

We managed to watch Capote, Word Wars, and Match Point this week. All were good, but Word Wars was the most enjoyable of the three, I love a good documentary, and I love Scrabble. I did enjoy Capote more than I thought I was compelling. Match Point was a minor Woody Allen film, technically good, but he covered much of the same ground as he did in Crimes and Misdemeanors which left me wondering why he made this movie. But it was well made and acted.

I have another post to put up on my visit to Steve the locksmiths shop yesterday.

This is one of the best written company histories I have read on a commercial site - too bad the rest of the site is largely useless as yet.

A Steam Robot! That would be a good gift. Not as good as my favorite steambot.

Tips on Designing Cost Effective Machined Parts Would that everyone followed these suggestions...

A free computer game about the Hungarian Independence War of 1848-49 Makes me realize how little I know of European history...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

For James Chen's wife

James was lamenting the fact that his wife won't let him have a sand table outside for fear the children will track sand in the house. I told him that sand was the least of our worries, and thought I should show the state of our living room so he can show his wife when she complains about small messes

That's not even as bad as it gets, and indeed is what often passes for clean...

The culprits.

I might as well stick some links in:

My cousin-in-law Aimee has an Etsy store. We should probably have one as well.

The Reverend Corwin & Nellie Taylor Collection collection of old photographs of Korea.

A romantic story amid the conflict between US and Korean culture.

New Rail Models - check out the How it's Done section especially.

A good metalworking/machining blog

Thin Kerf Technologies - for Saw Filers...

DIY Babyproofing

Here are some of my home made babyproofing attempts. None of these are recommended as being actually child proof, so undertake any at your own risk!

A swinging latch over one of the bathroom drawers. This was an absolute failure as Henry quickly learned to swing it out of the way. The drawers are now empty.

A fixed latch over the drawers in the entertainment center. The drawers contain stuff we never use (so why do we have it?) and the latch is firmly screwed in, it requires a philips screwdriver to remove.

Foam pipe insulation laid over the sharp stone edges of the wood stove base (stone tile) and duct taped in place. This has saved us numerous trips to the emergency room. The cardboard is over the lower bit of stone, more to protect the stone tile than a child. It is now disgustingly filthy after several years in place.

Two heavy duty cable ties keep the wood stove closed. We only use the stove in emergencies (when the power went out for 3 days one winter) and if a child were to gain access to the lovely piles of ash within the mess would exceed even our standards of filth.

A pin that sticks into the medicine cabinet drawer from the side. Henry has yet to figure this out.

Only with the pin removed can the drawer open.

In the end the best babyproofing is to remove everything hazardous from any area where the kids will possibly be, and encase the children in foam sumo wrestling outfits.

Friday, May 19, 2006

More Tool Blogging

First some CNC lathe:

Roughing cuts

Getting closer

Almost looks like a chess pawn...

We went to yard sales today. Just hit two, one was at the same place I scored the Dumore high speed drill press.

This bunch of hand tools cost me $15.00 The 4 wrenches in the center are nice and thin...Everything is made in the USA. The oil cans are for Kent. I love the tiny Craftsman pipe wrench. I needed another Automatic Center Punch (just under the 4 wrenches), you can never have too many laying around.

Henry cranks the insane rotary table stack of chucks I bought for $110.00
I know you are saying to yourself, "Nick, isn't $110.00 a lot of money for some boring old steel chunks?", and I would have to disagree.

The rotary table alone is worth 4 times that, new. It is a Yuasa 6" rotary table, insanely smooth in action (seems like almost no backlash.) The chucks are just icing on the cake. The 3 jaw chuck looks a lot like the Bison 5" I have on my Jet lathe, with two part jaws. The 4 jaw looks like it's a Craftsman. The point is, I love this rotary table.

The graduations on the dial are 1 degree broken up into 60 minutes (notice the "30" on either side if the dial picture)...The vernier at the top oof the picture divides one minute of a degree into 20 seconds of a degree increments.

This week in child behaviour

Henry and Max at the sand table.

Max has yet to learn the self defeating nature of flinging sand.

Moments in good parenting #127:
Henry eating Cocoa Puffs (the whole grain ones) while in his bee costume.

Bought a simple HO train at a yard sale today.

Henry really gets into his trains...

Felice just found an egg from the Easter egg hunt behind the piano.
I wonder if it is still edible?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Tool blogging

Well I thought I should do a little tool blogging....

This is the state my shop was in this morning before I started cleaning it up. This is after doing about 4 or 5 projects over the last week.

My new Sherline CNC lathe. I know I'm a bit of a traitor (as I should probably be promoting Taig machines) but it's the only CNC ready lathe on the market today. I have been learning a lot of new ways a CNC machine can commit suicide.

Inside the Xylotex controller I put together for the CNC lathe. I bought his "ready" kit which meant I only had to hook up the wires and mount the components in a box. Just setting up the box generated much of the mess you see in the first picture at the top.

A good yard sale find, a Dumore sensitive high speed drill press. For drilling small holes (small as in .032-.010" diameter) at high speeds. $30.00 was a good deal...

Kent and I went to an auction in Portland yesterday but the prices were high so this is all I bought. A Compac .0001" test indicator, 2 Doall 8" x 12" surface plates, and a fixture. One of the surface plates has some chipping on the surface but the other one is perfect. Flat to .0002". I have wanted a compac indicator for some time and was happy to buy this one for less than half of the new price. Still the economy must be good going by the prices that were being paid for the stuff at this auction.

On the way back we stopped off at Tool Shed out on Powell near the 205. Bought a .0001" thickness gage (tool on the right), a cased Lufkin/Starret backplunger indicator set (which needs some work but it was cheap) and a nice magnetic base with fine adjust. So I ended up with some more tools.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Spud's Altoids Continuity Checker

We went over to our neighbor's house today for a visit. Checking out Chris "Spud" Miller's shop, I noticed his Audible Continuity Checker that he built in an Altoids tin.

He uses it to check the mags for his business.

He likes the audible tone as it changes pitch rather than being simply on and off like a light.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I vist the 1970's and George's Derailleur

Last Sunday we visited Issac, Hannah and Kiko for Hannah's baby shower (she had us all bring compost). They live in a cob house (mud hut) way off in the hills. The oven on the right was busy baking pizzas.

To my jaded eyes it was just like a page out of the Whole Earth Catalog

Henry and Max, cute.

Henry and Max, serious.

I brought the camera over to Kent's open shop night. George brought his latest project, an aluminum and titanium hand crafted derailleur. The only parts he didn't make were the sprockets. All the screws and pins are titanium. He roughed it out with a mill and lathe and did the rest with files and a jewelers sawframe.

George is a retired machinist who works on all sorts of fun projects: an electric trike, a stirling engine that runs on ice, and a rifle are his latest. I should really go to his house and take some more pics...He knows how to make anything as far as I can tell. I basically channeled him when doing my dishwasher handle.

Notice the style...

The hex holes were broached with a sharpened allen wrench and the bench vise.
I should bring my camera every night.