There is a ton of material this morning – mostly in the form of stories and vignettes, so pour a long cup and let’s have a go at this:
T’other day on eBay, I was out “buying information” and I came up with a couple of real gems. Before I tell you about them, though, let me give you my “shopping excuse.” Writer’s are sorta like computers: To get lots out of them, you need to put lots into them. So, as a professional (ahem…) writer, I have an “information and research budget of several thousand bucks a year.
Thus, when I see something interesting on eBay, I have no qualms about clicking and buying.
This week, I picked up a couple of gems. One of which is the Woodworkers Guild of America’s “Shop Made Problem Solvers” DVD. Someone was cleaning house, or something but this thing set me back a whole $7-bucks including the shipping.
Wow! Notice the wall behind the host: Loaded with shop jigs.
I’ll tell you why this is important: Because anyone can take a drill or router and eyeball something and kluge together. But a couple of hours watching George VonDriska’s “problem solvers” (jigs and setups) and how he made them? What a bargain!
Thing is – even the early episodes of “This Old House” were very good – anytime you can spend with a Master of any craft – is time well-spent. $7-bucks and two cups of coffee into it, I was thinking I was a genius.
Curiously, not a lot on Amazon (who’d have thought?) but click over to the WWGOA website and take a look at some of their DVDs. I was really impressed so this will become a “regular” eBay track for me. Although that $3-dollar a year deal on the WWGOA website looked interesting, too.
Thing is? You’re smart, I’m (well, it’s debatable), but given enough time we could figure anything out. But lemme ask: Who has “enough time?”
Second gem? 75-year DVD of Model Railroader. I didn’t but I have regrets!
Right Tools for the Job
Mostly sat on the wallet this week, even though a pretty good-sized tax refund from I.R.S. landed. Besides, once you get a good stable of power tools, maybe the “Top-20” the rest is in technique, job planning, layout accuracy and a lot of other “fine points.”
One of which is a “folding rule.” Yeah, yeah – been a HUGE fan of the Stanley Fat Max series of measuring tapes…forever. For one thing, they will self-support out to almost 8-feet horizontally. If your “helper” is helping herself to a break in the house, or if the helper had a hangover and didn’t show, then a 6-1/2 foot folding rule is extremely useful.
What many people don’t know is they come in two flavors: Inside reading and outside reading. I opted for “inside reading” because if I stick a tape into a cabinet to measure, I don’t want to play ‘flip-around’.
Only my experience, but an “inside measuring tape” lays flat with the still folded part on top so the tape lays on the work doing layout. Outside reading is a PITA because the 1 in on the left and the big numbers on the right. Real PITA (wait, or is it the other way around?).
A couple of “problem children with glues recently.
For example, attaching the red light strip to the inside of a skateboard helmet (new light crown -NOT SPEED CROWN) is not well-suited to photo resin glue (as I pissed away an hour learning). Loctite 406 (holds in about 1 minute) may be the winner – we’ll see. But the marketing spiel is that it is surface agnostic. I’m anxious to find out.
If it works, I will give it a try on the additional neoprene skirt for the 12″ HF chop saw. Although that dust collection 3D print works like a charm. Now I’m going for perfection.
Hot glue (Gorilla and generic) didn’t hold the neoprene skirt. Maybe I have no patience (*yeah think?) or maybe the materials just ain’t “pal-sy.” 406 may solve that one.
Keep Them Machines Turning
My brain is always working, so I like to keep my machines going all the time, too.
This week, so far, four of those metal-look napkin holders have come off the CR-10 print line. And several large (190x190x140 mm storage boxes. Getting. anymore, so when I open a fresh roll of filament to print, I like to have a whole roll’s worth (and then some) of objects set to print. No point getting humidity into filament and spoiling it.
I did mention UltiMaker Cura is up to 4.10 on revs now and just keeps dialing in better incrementally?
Didn’t have time to set up either the small 3018 or the larger 3040 CNC machines. But hell, the lawn got mowed. Can’t do it all.
Let’s Have a Tumble!
Another one of those “machines in waiting” which has been patiently sitting on a shelf waiting for me to stop doing other stuff was the rock tumbler.
Years ago, Harbor Freight had this dual rock tumbler on sale. It was like $39.95 on sale. *(They were about $65 when I looked Saturday).
Never tumbled (rocks, lol) before. Simple enough: Add 3 pounds of rocks, two shot glasses worth of coarse grit (one to each half) and fill with water enough to cover the rocks. Seal up and wander off for a week.
At which time, you rinse everything out, only this time using a finer grit, a third time another week later.
Doesn’t make too much noise and seems like fun. Only takes a few minutes for each task step. Mostly you’re letting time do the work for you.
Progress as we go. Hundred dollar pastime, though. Less if you’re near a beach.
Elaine’s got this idea that sounded pretty neat: “I wonder if I could cut the rock, arrange and glue them down. You know…like a “rock painting?” (How this question arises while wearing a cut-off Hooters Tee-shirt and black PB Bunny ears is one of those mystery’s of the Outback. Where do these ideas come from? Never sure what to focus on with E…well, maybe I ain’t that old…)
Did I ever show you the 110 and 220 VAC outlets out in the shop lean-to?
If you’re comfortable doing wiring (or know an electrician who likes beers to do the final 10-minutes of the job) putting 220 wiring for a welder on one end of your shop is well worth it. Fumes and sparks stay out.
Don’t miscomprehend: I love welding everywhere. It’s the sparks I get paranoid about and they’re better outside than in. And on a breezy day no messing with fume fans, for instance.
OK, millions of minor projects and plans…have a great Play Day and remember to work as hard (or harder) on your own projects as anyone else’s.
Write when you get rich,