Thursday, June 25, 2015

Etsy Shop Stocked

My Etsy Store is stocked with flotsam! Some of it is re-listed older things, some is more recent.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Square Pouch, Knobs Installed

For Dad's birthday I got him a square and made a leather pouch for it. I sewed it with the awl I made.

Below is a chest of drawers he made, with some of the brass knobs I made.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Childhood Things

Small ballista, about 14" long, I made when I was 13 or so. I made a few catapults around that age. The first was an onager about 8" tall. The second was a trebuchet shortly after, about 20 feet tall with 2 - 4 60 lb sandbags for weight. Sadly there are no pictures surviving. I really did build it myself, sort of designing it as I went with suggestions from dad. I knit the sling pouch for it with big wooden knitting needles I made from dowels. The fulcrums were two 2" steel pipes. We shot apples and potatoes down the hill where we lived.

This ballista was made after the trebuchet; I was 14 or so. The release mechanism is an artifact from the welding phase of my life.

Dad let me make deck balustrades on the clock so I could save up for a Victor oxy/acetylene rig I really wanted. In my memory it was all kinds of difficult once I got it. All I knew was how to weld from taking a class. I didn't know where to get metal or how to cut metal without the torch, and I didn't have money to spend. Dad bought me some hot rolled steel once the threat of me going after "Free Scrap Metal" offers on Craigslist was real enough. Nobody I knew had much knowledge on the subject of metalwork, so I spent a bunch of time on the Hobart Weld Talk forum. Sorry guys.

Regardless of the situation, I loved being under the helmet. I used that oxy/acetylene set-up sporadically till I was 16, when I took some more welding classes for FCAW structural welding and aluminum welding. I did GTAW for robotics in high school, and applied to several welding jobs for the summer. I ended up in a machine shop doing GTAW now and then, my favorite part of the job. I haven't welded since due to my illness, but I might still do welding outside with SMAW/oxy-acetylene if I find a need.

Below is a number I cut out of 1/8" sheet with the torch, the same sheet I made everything else out of.

And a duct tape dispenser. I sold duct tape wallets in middle school for something like $4 each. I needed to increase the efficiency of my operation so I made this. It worked well, although the blade screwed onto the front cut me a few times.

I made this moped thing in 4th grade or so, digging through dad's hardware drawers. The allure of metal was strong apparently. The wheels do spin.

A working wooden lock and key I made from instructions in a library book. Fifth grade or so?

A big clothespin I made around the same time. It works! I think coiling the spring inspired me to make chainmail. I made two coifs around 7th grade, but have no pictures.

This was made when I was ~16, but I thought I should include it:

Drawer Box, Shelf Supports, Card Holder

A little set of finger jointed fir drawers done on commission. 13" w x 2.75" h x 6" d. I made the brass knobs. Joinery is tight, I don't think I could have done better. Finish is alright, I learned a little this time. Not bad though.

Below are some fir shelf supports, made from what was sitting in the firewood pile. Just linseed oil for the finish. Turns out I don't actually need them, so I will sell the set of four for $35 + ship if anyone's interested. The joinery is good but the finish is lacking so they don't get a maker mark. I still think they're nice.

A business card holder done on commission. This took five weeks of engineering and eight hundred sixty eight prototypes. The card angle was optimized for high contrast and a gentle color balance at its operating latitude, compensating for desk height and average humidity.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Small Machined Things

The original plastic timer knob cracked. The shaft coming out of the timer is an unusual 3/16" diameter D-profile. Instead of buying another one that would crack in three years, I machined one of white delrin. Stainless setscrew.

Below is a picture of the second operation on the drawer knobs. They will be installed soon.

And some machining-area ventilation I rigged together. The air is still in the basement, which does not go well with machining and tool repair. If I open the door the air blows inwards along with mosquitoes. This is the solution:

Here is a pretty humble V-block made mostly with hacksaw and file. It holds 1/4" shank boring tools in the Taig toolpost at the correct elevation.