Daylight Time dawns over America. Yet-another example of the Grand National Delusion we’re under.
As the Native American sage explained: “White man the only ones who cut a foot off the bottom of their blankets and sew it on the top – and then claim their blanket is longer…”
Or, as this once IAM-751 R&E mechanic was taught: “If you don’t like the Work Rules, bring it up to the Shop Steward.”
Of course, that was…er…53-years ago. Before Hoffa disappeared, when Unions weren’t a “front-end” for Wall Street, and when stupid ideas didn’t preoccupy the Fools on the Hill.
Some “mood music for the day” over here on YouTube after the ads and the slightly too-long piano open. ((Chicago – Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?))
In the interest of time, we will hit this morning by specific skill or interest sets.
Housing Freedom 101
The Junior Makers of today are in a world of hurt. Not only do most landlords frown on “unauthorized” construction; the worst of it is so many people even have landlords. They ought to own their own. Statistically, only about 68 percent of people do. Big majority of these owe the bank. Statistical joke: Owned not owed is sold as virtue.
As always, we point out our Shop is located in a rural East Texas county. There is no building department, no red flagging of jobs, or any of that.
Yes…some people will build “under Code” out here. The supporters of the Social State believe letting people be so free is a terrible risk. But, even since dinosaurs were eating us, hasn’t risk been part of the buzz?
The part where a “copped-feel” or a “…hope no one sees this….” *(*with the exception of Cuomo…) It’s just that the risks in Life are mis-assessed all the time.
First Take-away: If you consider yourself a Patriot, ask whether your little slice of America is owned free and clear? If it isn’t, you’re owned by someone else. Freedom?
Let’s begin with some context. I asked Pappy Ure once, do we put the sheetrock on the ceiling first or the walls?” When you’re 10 or 11 years old, these are basic questions of Life.
“Always design sometime so that if a part fails, the damage will be minimal.”
Well, I thought about that for a few weeks and said what any 10-11 year old would: “Yes, I conceptualize the design philosophy, but what is your projected failure rate scenario (with regressions) and I still don’t know if you’re doing ceiling or walls on first?”
“OK, Sport: Ceiling on first. That way if any of the fasteners fail, the wall pieces which we will slide firmly UP and snug, will hold the edges. As a bonus, the joint will move less, reducing cracking over time…”
I tried to explain this to Elaine a few years back. She’s always asking “Why do you do it THIS way instead of…” Still trying.
Making – becoming a real MAKER (someone who can spot a problem and work it through to solution) – is even more complicated today than ever.
Making is Harder – LOTS
Understand that MAKING has revised massively over the years. Why, 60-years ago, when The Major and I were still building underground camps on vacant lots, the amount of “trouble” we could get into in the Shop, was limited.
Most Makers – enjoying the recently earned 40-hour workweek – were using only a couple of saws (Disston 8 and 10 crosscuts and a 6-point rip), a hammer (16-oz. claw). Add nails and a paintbrush and you could make a home. A Vise, too.
Life was simple then. Remember, in all Making activities there are only so many steps:
- Find or create Design
Didn’t matter if the Design was from Chuck Barris who was measuring and cutting down a hot rod, which would be joined with other parts and painted Candy Apple metalflake.
All that remained for the Maker to do? Order of work. “Hmmm…guess I should frame up a foundation wall and get that poured first… First floor decking and wall sections will come later. Roof last, maybe?”
Today, Jr. Makers have a lot more freedom, but a lot of it has come at the expense of craftsmanship. Clicking in a CAD app is somehow different than holding a plane in your hand, or making menacing gestures to the Shop Gods with a rip saw…
This “tool migration in Making” has been amazing to watch. I’ve seen plumbing, for example, go from everything being galvanized pipe and sweat soldered (which includes the art of not starting a structure fire) was the norm.
How tough is plumbing today? Measure, cut, join with a quick swab of hot set PVC glue and join with a quarter-turn. Bada bing.
As Tools Changed, So Did Thinking
Back when creativity was somewhat limited by having mainly wood, hammer, saw, nails to buying multi-material tools.
I don’t know how much flared copper tubing you have done, but the cost of a blow torch alone was terribly expensive and it would only do two things well. Sweat copper or set buildings on fire.
Today, a $17 tool (and a tub of Oatey hot glue, a Zantle Ratchet-type Tube and Pipe Cutter for Cutting O.D. PEX, PVC, and PPR Plastic Hoses and Plumbing Pipes up to 1-5/8″ inches seems to cut a lot of stuff!
Back when, this whole “multi-material” deal didn’t mean much. But, today? A LOT of home shops can get along fine with only a long pull miter saw on a good stand…but look what the saw can do in the right hands?
- Non-ferrous metals
- Cut thin steel…
(Anyone making a Dado-ing sliding miter saw, yet?)
Don’t get me wrong, but multi-tools are the Future. Which is why things like the LEATHERMAN, Surge Heavy Duty Multitool with Premium Replaceable Wire Cutters and Spring-Action Scissors ($139 – Amazon) got to be so popular. HUGE improvement on progenitors who came up with the Swiss Army Knife.
Strangely, I don’t carry one, anymore. When living on a sailboat (11-years) it was a must-have. Everything on a boat breaks, you see. The only question is when?
SainSmart Gets Smarter
Told you a long time back my “project after teaching myself enough about 3D printing to be competent” (or dangerous) I would move on to conquering CNC (computer numerical control) milling machines.
So, I bought the Genmitsu CNC 3018-PRO Router Kit GRBL Control 3 Axis Plastic Acrylic PCB PVC Wood Carving Milling Engraving Machine ($249 – Amazon).
Haven’t put it together yet because I kept thinking about maybe getting a larger machine.
Well, along come SainSmart and they now have an expansion kit to increase the 3018 series to the much larger 4030 (also called a 3040 unit). My CNC gets bigger! 30 cm x 18 cm vs 30 cm x 40 cm. That’s 30cm by 18 cm. So the 3018 CNC does 12″ by 7.09 inches. The 3040 (also called a 4030) works out to about 12″ by 16″ roughly.
And it’s cheap – like $60 cheap and sold on the Zon as Genmitsu 3040 Y-Axis Extension Kit for Most 3018 CNC Router Machines.
Now, you get to a choice: Do you get the new spoilboard out of aluminum or MDF? $25 price diff. I went with the aluminum T-slotted spoilboard. Simple: You can never have too many clamping options. MDF? Sketchy.
Anyway: The choice now is either the 4030 OR a 3018 PRO, extended axis kit and a spoilboard.
Like the Creality Migration Path
They did something similar in the evolution of FDM desktop printing. Creality came out with the Ender 3 series. This was then scaled (with some upgrade path [nozzles, power supplies, Marlin and whatever…)
The next “step up” is (pick one:) the Ender 5, Ender 6, or CR-10 series. Basically, the tool is priced on its volume of printing space.
Oh look! Where does the time go?
Time to Get Making Something
Whole project (3D printing).
- Define the Problem: RadioWaz new double-bazooka 80-meter antenna doesn’t come with a hook to attach to an antenna halyard.
- Design a Fix: Easy one. A Cradle of sort with a hole for the antenna feedline…
- Test a Solution: In this case, prototype a light infill first pass. Light infill made destructive testing easy.
- Modify (Right the Second time theory) to work as intended: Rerun the print with 100% infill and a just-slightly higher temp so plastic bonds on both the layers under and adjacent.
- Install and Use: Thing is, project is ready to install and use but ((as always)) the weather is not cooperating. I’m not the smartest guy around, but putting wires 50 feet up with thunder in the area? Naw…
I mentioned I had swiped Elaine’s inch-thick yoga mat out of the gym to sit or lay on while working electrical (which was tagged off,. etc.).
See where the flame peaked out of the box? I might leave it that way to tell why every wire gets retightened every 10-years.
Seems to me there was something else to mention…
I don’t know if I mentioned this before, there are a few “tools for tools” I carry with me most of the time.
One of these is a cheap (like, yeah, $2-bucks is cheap) seamstress tape. The kind with a spring and pushbutton return.
I can’t tell you how many times around the house you’ll say “I’d like to know how wide that is, but the measuring tape is (invariably on another floor or out in the car – and it’s raining…)…” But, running a close second to the pocket knife lately.
Must be Spring and projects bloom in the spring?
On that note, thunderstorms to check, new antenna to test, two messes from yesterday to pick up, but we did get 12 vegetable varieties put into the remnants of the greenhouse…New Moon, new vitamins…
Write when you get rich,