ShopTalk Sunday: Our Free CNC Build Notebook

Yeah, well…since we do call this the ShopTalk column, every once in a so-often, we like to actually build something.  Big, important, flexible, resilience oriented toward local manufacturing and sustainability builds. What we’re doing today is a whole “soup to nuts” build of a Sainsmart 3018 Pro CNC that I’ve had sitting in the project queue … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Brightwork – Joy or Curse?

Since I lived full-time on my 40-foot offshore capable sailboat for nearly a dozen years up and down the West Coast, I should begin with a sailing story. When I bought the boat (following a legendary expensive divorce), it was a dandy cross between Peter Pan’s adventures and living in Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude.” Just like … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Time-Expanded Wiring & a Media Rant

Although I got the major PITA project I’ve been putting off partly done Saturday, the real satisfaction came from wiring up the BBQ outlet this week. However, it was a fine study in how “little projects” can turn into Big ones on the clock. The idea sounded simple enough.  We had run an extension cord from … Read More

Retail Fails – Freegan Friday – Meandering Markets

Retail Sales are just out, so let’s depart from drama, disdain delay, and dispense duration… “Advance estimates of U.S. retail and food services sales for March 2023, adjusted for seasonal variation and holiday and trading-day differences, but not for price changes, were $691.7 billion, down 1.0 percent (±0.5 percent) from the previous month, but up … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: 3D Printer Blunder, Spring Workout

Ah, the Country Life.  Yessir, if you live in the Big City, it’s a dream.  Why, just imagine! Eating fresh food out of your own garden.  Pure country air.  No traffic noises. Low stress.  Ultimately relaxing and rewarding…. Well, no.  Not exactly. During our ShopTalk Sunday adventures will tell you the upside – and the downsides … Read More

Fed Bails the Rich (Again) – More Monday Woo-Woo

Here’s what half a century of news reporting (and management geeking) teaches pretty clearly. When the first line of a press release begins: “To support American businesses and households, the Federal Reserve Board on Sunday announced it will make available additional funding to eligible depository institutions to help assure banks have the ability to meet … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Combat Loading – Material Handling

Actual progress around the Ure joint, even with the house guest this week.  Elaine’s son is an extremely useful fellow.  Having run something of a Home Handyman Service before going to work for the post office. Hard to explain to people sometimes, how useful (and valuable!) that wide range of “hands-on” work can be.  Seems … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Industrial Arts Revival?

I keep looking for Educators to get sick of re-dividing America.  Rather than tell us how we are “All different” and “All special” it would be refreshing – as we see it – to bring back at least some baseline “Not a Victim” hands-on skills. I looked over the last month of two of Amazon … Read More

A Word from “Mr. I Told You So” – Housing data

How long ago did I tell you?  We are likely in a large Wave 3 down now.  Hold that thought.  Couple of hot economic numbers to deal with before we go deep. Breaking: Housing Data Or should we call it “partly broken?” Key part: Building Permits Privately?owned housing units authorized by building permits in December were … Read More

2023: Our Post-Civilization Planner

Since I’ll be on Coast-to-Coast with George Noory, and since markets in the U.S. are taking this Boxing Day off, what better time to sit back with a fresh cup of coffee and ponder the three major agenda items that all 8-billion humans face a week from now when New Year’s Eve shows itself. The CLOCK IS … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Red-necking Winter, User Dark Theme

Detailed User Note and Follow up first:  User Theme is now adjustable.  That little “crescent moon and stars thing” in the lower right of the screen.  If that icon is black background, you are in Normal (light) theme.  If the icon is white background, then you are in dark mode. People like me who have … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Saw Service, Mixed Media Projects

First, a big thank you for prayers on behalf of ailing Zeus the Cat.  His appetite is back a bit, and between hand feeding of food, some cat kidney pills plus a gentle application of deworming meds, he’s up and about better than a week ago. Now into the projects of this holiday screwed-up week… … Read More

ShopTalk Sunday: Design Failures — e-Spa Plan

Before we begin, an unashamed plug for Amazon (“get ’em while you can”) as Cyber Monday Power Tool deals are here.  Best seen with your spouse present (and you in handcuffs). If you’re not already maxed out from Black Friday, life is short and power tools are safer fun than chasing something extra (ahem) on … Read More

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