Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Making Some Hooks…

I had to make a larger jewelry display for the local food co-op. The hooks the earring cards hang on are somewhat expensive and not really available in the length we want at a smaller wire diameter. Besides I wanted less of an “L” hook and more of a gentle bend at the end. So I made some to suit.


Drilling some steel rod.


Milling a 45 degree angle on one end…


One short piece of rod drilled only 1/2” deep.


Other piece slips over the end of the rod.


Bend down to 45 degrees.


Look at that…


That’s the type of bend I want to make it easy to slip the earring cards on and off the hooks.


Here’s my high tech setup for whacking up a bunch of bronze welding rod (which I had laying around) to length. That’s a rivet trimmer (scroll down to "Rotary Rivet Cutters") held in the vise.


The stop allows me to cut them all to the same length.


A pile of blanks.


Used a cup bur to round the hook end of the blanks.


I set up my Geometric die head with #6-32 chasers.


Done…I love my die head. I could have theoretically set the turret up on the lathe to part the rods to the same length, round the ends and cut the threads but that seemed like more work than the method I chose.

Here’s a short video of the operation.


This is what happens when you don’t lock the tailstock…


A pile of threaded blanks.


All the blanks bent.


I ran them in a tumbler with some walnut shell, wood pegs and rouge for a day. Didn’t completely remove several decades of oxidation but made them acceptable.


And all the hooks screwed into the display.

Sunday, October 10, 2010


I didn’t realize it had been so long since I had blogged…hazards of the information age. You haven’t been missing out on much. Here’s the latest fun project, a home aquarium:


Home with a bag of fish.


Such excitement.


Max is the fish obsessed one but Henry likes them as well.


Four fish. Poor doomed little fish.

Besides normal life I’ve been working on some 3D modeling work for TDC and their website will someday be updated with the new designs. It’s nice to have a third part time job, I think I was slacking with just the Taig sales and jewelry.

In hobby news I finally found a few new airguns to play with and blog about, although I’m a bit heavy on bb guns right now. It had been a whole two months without getting a new airgun and I was going through a bit of withdrawal.

I finally gave up on getting Photoshop Elements 1.0 to play nicely with Windows 7. I’m trying out Paint.net although I find It’s easier to do file saving and renaming as a batch job in Irfanview after editing and color correcting the pictures in Paint.net. I find it hilarious that Paint.net’s homepage has google ads that tout other photo editing programs. In any case it’s a good piece of software and free.

As part of the above mentioned modeling job I often have to illustrate steps taken in Rhino so we can keep on top of the process. Turns out Windows 7 has a neat program called Problem Steps Recorder (just type PSR in the search bar). It captures everything in a .mht archive file that’s .zipped. Unpacking the .mht into html and separate pictures was giving me fits, I finally decided to just save everything out from IE separately as the unpacking programs I found didn’t work. Wake up! You fell asleep from the boredom.

Felice and I both transitioned to using a dual monitor setup on our PCs. I can’t believe I used to suffer with only one monitor. One thing that will drive you crazy is trying to get the displays to have the same color and brightness, etc. I found that by opening this picture in separate windows on both monitors was a good reference for tweaking the settings.

I know, I’m not being nerdy enough. Last month I also installed Virtualbox on my PC then installed Ubuntu linux on the virtual machine (yes nerdburger, I did just upgrade to Maverick Meerkat). Virtualbox is pretty slick not that I have any real use for it.


Oh yeah, I checked a bunch of rechargeable batteries with my multi-tester. Some days I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.

If you grew up in the Boston area in the 70’s you definitely remember this from almost every movie you saw.

George is working on rebuilding a Whizzer bicycle engine:


And I found this at a yard sale for free:


but I donated it to Goodwill. I didn’t have a Colecovision which was needed to get it working and it took up a ton of space I don’t have.

So that’s the last month and a half or so.