Friday, June 22, 2007

A Few Pictures by Henry and More by Me...

First off, 3 pictures by Henry with his captions:

"My Lego racecar and this guy fixing it. The pipe is sticking up."

"I don't want to write it in because I don't want to give it a name."

"I had to take a picture so people could see what it looks like. Choo-Choo at a station"

Now a few I took:

Max, controlling a red car.

Just cute...

Last Saturday, desperate for a project, I decided to make cottage cheese, or rather paneer, with Henry. It turned out well. This shows the loose curds being strained. We used the above cottage cheese recipe from Good Eats, but only a quarter of the amount, and then pressed it like paneer. It came out well and was enjoyed by all.

Gregg and Kent relaxing on a Thursday night.

Bill about to shoot, I took the picture in hopes of distracting him. He did miss the shot.

Clif grinding an end mill on the tool and cutter grinder.

Gregg made the nested cube project from the latest issue of Digital Machinist. The one on the right shows the cubes before separation.

And now a two more links:

Our HTML earrings showed up in a magazine in Hong Kong.

The Hummus Blog

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

My Tax Dollars at Work

For the longest time I have been wanting an ergonomic, adjustable chair for my workspace. I never was able to rationalize spending $100-$800 for a real office chair, especially as the lower priced ones are really cheap knockoffs made overseas. Today we stopped off at the OSU surplus sale that they hold every week on campus and I was able to purchase an Office Master BC44(possibly made in the US, or at least engineered here) chair for the princely sum of $5.00, which seemed to be in almost perfect condition (dust aside). When I got it home I realized why they had sold it as surplus, it wouldn't hold any adjustment to the seat and back tilt. A quick perusal of the mechanism showed why:

Lever B loosens the spring tension that clamps together the steel leaves at C. The steel leaves are slotted and are constrained by that rod, allowing the seat to adjust. In my case the seat adjustment was not locking. Tightening nut A by about a half turn completely fixed the problem, allowing the seat to be adjusted when the lever is depressed, and locking when released.
So the University, rather than having a maintenance man adjust the mechanism, sold me a $120.00+ chair for $5.00

The chair in all it's awesome and functional glory. I'm sitting in it now as I type this...

And now, some links I've been saving up for you to peruse:

How To Make a Ring in 19 Steps

Homebrew CNC surface mount PickNPlace machine using a Taig CNC mill

You Tube video of Taig CNC mill turning bushings like a lathe

Autodesk Inventor LT is free for a year

Plans de moteurs simples

Really Cool Mechanical Art

Sheldon Brown's Bicycle Technical Info

A brief discussion on sheetmetal cutting tools, methods and practices

Here's how to build The Illusionist Locket from common craft store items

Need rubber bands?

Potential Energy

Kwik Check Hole Gages. Yes, I have one...

Here's another take on html earrings.

The African Experience in India

Africans in India

Chess Fonts

Thursday, June 07, 2007

We Become an Internet Fad

Well, as an influential artistic poser said, last century, "In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes." This has held true for us, or at least for a pair of our earrings. Last Thursday we started to get many orders for our HTML "Head" Earrings. We had sold a pair or two before, but it became apparent that somewhere on the internet they had been linked to on a high traffic site.

After some sleuthing, we found that they were on the front page of Digg isn't a site I read normally, but is one of those that will bring your site down if you don't have enough bandwidth. The comments about our earrings are hilarious. The post about our earrings has since moved down to the 2nd page of the "7 days" page. Because they were on Digg, they also were linked by many different blogs. Only a few had anything mildly interesting to say, such as these two: and Clicked. As you can see, I left comments on both, as I did at the end of the Digg posting. Our friend Miss C. also linked to them on Neatorama.

Here I am milling many pairs of the earrings. At this point we only had enough silver to mill earrings for the orders we had, although later that day some more silver showed up from Hoover and Strong.

This is what happens when you work too hard. The mistake on the left is when you use an endmill on a toolpath meant for an engraving tool, and on the right when you set the depth of the engraving tool to .03" rather than .003"

The earrings are somewhat labor intensive to make, in spite of using the CNC mill. I did get into a good workflow with them towards the end of the fad (sold two pairs today, but we can tell the end is near). Now we live in fear of lost packages, returns and all the sundry other hassles that come with people buying items on a whim. It will still probably be worth it. All in all it netted a comparable sum of money as one good day at an outdoor craft market. It certainly is a lesson why Etsy is a good host for our jewelry, had our old jewelry site been linked to, it would have crashed from bandwidth overload in minutes.

So that's what we've been doing the last week, making earrings, mailing earrings and replying to emails.

Henry and Max were great through the whole week, playing peacefully together.

Here they are, waiting for a snack.